How I learned making my own clothes and how you also can

How often do you go clothes shopping? Every week? Every month? Every season? Only when you travel? Or not at all?

My answer will be almost never.

If someone told me this 5 years ago or so I would laugh 🙂 Not that I loved the process of going shopping itself. I liked it to some extend. But it was more of a routine for me, more like a necessity. Common, how else do you get clothes?

Isn’t it the standard setup in our society? You want to look good, cool and beautiful, you see all the advertisements and other people who look good, cool and beautiful and you know the places where you get all what makes you look good, cool and beautiful. Shopping malls, shops, boutiques, –  you name it.

Well, o’kay. I need a skirt. I have an idea of what it should look, and where I will use it. Now go find it girl! Good luck! I would have to spend a day in a mall, going in and out of shops untill finally I find something that I like. Yey! But what the price… I don’t want to pay 1000 NOK for a skirt… At least not now. Bummer. Go search further.

This is what drove me crazy about shopping!

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Another factor is the quality. There is an ocean of clothes produced out there. And to keep the buyer coming back for more the manufacturer is not really interested in selling you the piece that will wear for decades. You need to keep coming.

Or, if you do want a quality piece that will wear for decades please pay for that. Quality costs money.  Right?

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Well, not necessarily. Or, it does but it can cost much less.

I learned to make my clothes myself.

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Now 2/3 of what I wear is “Luba-made” and I buy only small things or something I really love.

Benefits?

  • No shopping headache. The process of acquiring a new item goes down to: know what I want -> buy the fabric -> turn on some music and make it.
  • It’s way cheaper but looks good.
  • I am the one who determines the quality of the item. I know that stuff that I make will not worn out after the 3rd wash.
  • Possibility to create truly unique items.

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“Good for you! – might you think,- but I am not a professional seamstress. And it must be really difficult!”

Well, I am not a professional either. The only sewing background I have is from the high school. I started basically from scratch only being curious and having desire to give it a try. So can you!

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So what do you need to start sewing your own clothes?

  1. Desire and faith in yourself (in my case it was ca 80% to 20% ratio)
  2. Use a pattern. This is a key to success! When I first decided I wanted to give it a try, I went on Pinterest to collect inspiration. There are plenty of tutorials out there on how to “turn a t-shirt into a skirt” or “your husbands pajamas into a wedding dress” 🙂 Well, sorry, it didn’t work out for me. It looked easy on a screen, but in reality it looked cheep and too obviously DIY. And sadly, those pieces had to go into the garbage. When I started using patterns from Burda, it was a game changer. They fit well and are easy to use (and include step by step tutorials). But any quality patten will work I guess. People sometimes approach me asking advise on how to resew their old clothes that don’t fit anymore. I wouldn’t advise starting from those. It’s hecka lot of work! Way easier to make from scratch with a good pattern.
  3. Good sewing machine and preferably an overlocker (that’s a machine that makes seems like on store bought clothes). By good I mean from this century, easy and pleasant to use. Your grandmother’s old Zinger could do the job but also give you a lot of headache and irritation that will make you hate sewing from day one. I know I wouldn’t be sewing if I hadn’t invested into new equipment.
  4. Quality fabrics. When I’m choosing fabrics I go for either 100% cotton, linen or wool, or blends where the amount of synthetics is not higher than ca 30-40%. It is inspiring to use something that looks good no matter what you do with it 🙂
  5. Basic equipment like scissors, threads, needles and pins. The rest depends on what you are making and what kind of pattern you are using (if it needs to be traced down onto a different sheet of paper or if it’s ready to be used).

So, say you are making your very first simple dress ever. If following my tips, believe me, chances it will turn out decent are pretty high.

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Here is one of the very first dresses I made when I was still learning (and even before I bought an overlocker)

I will be sharing more tutorials and my experience posts in the future. So stay connected and subscribe not to miss a thing 🙂

Cheers,

Luba

How I learned to make

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