- Sewing is a great activity for leisure time and a very popular profession.
- Anyone can learn to sew if there is enough dedication to learn and practice: below are a few simple steps that can help you to make your very first dress in just a few hours.
- Sewing is an activity that has to be improved and developed step by step, consistently, continuously.
Sewing is one of those jobs where both the hobby and the work can be combined. Although talent plays a quite significant role if you are about to become a world-class tailor, no superpowers are needed to learn how to sew a dress or any other garment at home. All you need is a strong desire to learn, a little effort and some simple equipment. Ready to go? Let’s begin!
Before you start, get familiar with the most common mistakes beginners do and try to avoid them:
Mistake # 1. I CAN’T DO IT!
Get rid of this type of thinking before you take a needle in your hands. It will ruin all the further process.
Most people think that sewing is an extremely difficult craft and only for those who have some special skills. False! If you really want – you can do it.
Mistake # 2. FASTER, FASTER, FASTER!
Patience is one of the most important elements in the sewing process. Unless you don’t mind wearing a little crooked dress or remake the same thing over and over again.
Thoroughness goes along with patience and is key to a perfectly made garment. It’s always better to sew slower but with quality than hurry-scurry.
Mistake # 3. NO MEASUREMENTS
Sewing without measuring using the same stencil is only possible if you sew a garment for the same person, using the same fabric.
If that’s not the case – it is a must to get the clear measurements first, and only then start sewing.
Mistake # 4. COMPLEX MATERIALS
Here’s a scenario: you’ve just bought a luxury piece of fabric and already have an amazing dress in mind you are about to make for yourself. One small nuance – you have never sewed anything in your life before.
Wanna find out the end of such story? Disappointment, sadness, and reluctance to sew ever again.
Do yourself a favor – start with simple fabrics such as linen, wool, cotton…
Mistake # 5. LEAVE THE JOB UNFINISHED
Well, it happens. We are only humans, after all, right? However, one small but very useful tip: do not start the new job until you finish the old one. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself stuck with a mountain of useless fabrics that won’t let you sleep calmly.
Put yourself together and stop procrastinating – eat that frog!
Now that you know what NOT to do, time to move forward and learn what you SHOULD do. Below there are few straightforward steps that will help you to sew your first dress in no time:
STEP # 1. CHOOSE THE FABRIC
You already know that luxurious complex fabrics are not recommended at the beginner level. A slightly thicker wool, knitwear or cotton fabric with a bit of elastin would be the best choice – easy to handle and enjoyable to wear.
STEP # 2. PREPARATION
You’ll need: a wide table or free floor space, some chalks or a piece of dried soap, sharp scissors, a roll of thread that would match the fabric and of course – the sewing machine. All set? Let’s begin the sewing process!
STEP # 3. CREATE DRESS STENCIL
Fold the fabric in half and place it on a flat surface. Pick a dress from your wardrobe that would have a straight silhouette – it will be used as a pattern. Now, lay it down on the folded fabric and outline using a chalk or a piece of dried soap. Leave at least a centimeter from the top edge for the seam allowance!
Important: Outline the sleeves and shoulder lines according to the stencil and then spread evenly from the armpits to about 2-3 centimeters and keep this width down to the bottom of the dress stencil.
STEP # 4. CUT OUT THE STENCIL
Take the sharp scissors and cut out the stencil carefully according to the outlines.
Now, sew on the sides gently using a sewing machine.
Afterward, the bottom of the dress and the cuffs have to be folded for about 1 centimeter to the inner side of the dress and nicely stitched.
STEP # 5. SEW THE ELASTIC INTO THE DRESS
First of all, measure your waist (subtract 5 – 10 centimeters from the waist measurement) and cut the elastic.
Secondly, sew the ends of the elastic together (overlap the ends of the elastic by about 1 centimeter).
Important: Make sure you sew it appropriately and securely. If needed, sew a few times.
Third, pin the elastic to the waistline of the dress in 4 spots spaced evenly. Then, sew it in place using a sewing machine.
Important: The elastic should be stretched out as you sew it so that it would be the same length as the fabric!
STEP # 6. TRY THE DRESS ON!
Flip the dress on the other side and try it on. If it looks good – congratulations! You have just sewed your first dress and without any superpowers. Up to more challenges? Try some more complex sewing methods. Believe me, there are plenty of them.
Now that you’ve overcome the beginner level and feeling inspired to move forward, keep some worthy tips in mind:
- Sewing skills should be developed slowly, consistently and continuously;
- Before starting a new sewing project, plan everything ahead, do research and take time for good preparation.
- Choose a sewing project based on your sewing skills.
- Learn something valuable from each sewing project.
The most important thing to remember – do not expect your first garments to be perfect. A lot of mistakes will have to be done until you learn the basics of the sewing. Don’t lose your passion and keep going!