Susan's Tips: Get Started Sewing Your Own Clothes!

Susan's Tips: Get Started Sewing Your Own Clothes!

Have you dreamed of sewing your own clothes? Of picking the perfect fabric and features and customizing it to your exact shape and size? 

Dream no more! Learning to sew your own clothes is not only a fantastic skill, it's sustainable and better for the environment and... it's fun!  

But how to get started? Follow our easy step-by-step guide to getting started:  

First things first! Stock up on must-have sewing supplies. These are all of the essential tools you'll need for most garment sewing, including sewing notions such as needles, thread, pins, and your cutting, marking, measuring, and pressing tools. While you don't have to break the bank, we recommend investing in well-made supplies that will last for years.  

Next, familiarize yourself with your sewing machine! It's important you take time to practice on your machine before you start sewing a garment together, especially if it's a new machine -- or new to you! Chateau Sew & Sew can help you with this with our one-hour private lessons at our Sewing School. 

You've learned how to use your machine; now, pick the right materials! From your fabric to your thread, choosing the most suitable materials for the type of garment you're sewing will save you a lot of time and frustration. For instance, a cotton jersey would be a much better choice for a t-shirt dress than netted tulle! The Chateau Sew & Sew Krewe are experts at fabric and fashion and can be your go-to source for help choosing the best materials for your project! Drop us a line at; we will be glad to help!

Now it's time to learn the basics of sewing patterns! There are two main types of clothing patterns: traditional paper and digital downloads. Paper patterns are still very popular, and there's something so fun about perusing designs and picking a style out at the fabric store! Our two-hour-long Pattern Prep class can help you through the confusing pattern process and smooth away your worries! 

Now that you've picked the fabric (s) and pattern you want to use for your sewing project, it's time to review the basics of cutting fabric properly. It's essential to always use sharp fabric scissors or a rotary cutter. Never cut cloth with paper scissors (they are not sharp enough). Also, resist the urge to "air cut" fabric because it will not provide an accurate or clean edge. Instead, cut material on your table with the shears gently gliding along near the tabletop while holding the fabric down with your other hand. Avoid only using the "tip" of the scissors; instead, use the whole cutting blade section. If you use a rotary fabric cutter instead of scissors, work with a cutting mat below the material to protect your table.  

After your Fabric is cut out and ready to sew, make sure you know how to use your straight pins correctly. Straight pins hold the pieces together, giving your stitching a more even look while avoiding unwanted wrinkles and folds in your seams. Darts should also be pinned where you will sew them. It's up to you whether to place your pins horizontally or vertically. Never sew over pins, even if you've seen others doing so! Doing so can not only bend the pins, but it can also break your needle or even damage the machine.

And last but never least, double check your project! Once you've finished sewing your garment, it's important to do a "quality control" check. Trim any loose threads, give it a final press with the iron, ensure the buttons are secure, etc. This will give your work a more professional look and save you from having to do repairs later.