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Does anyone else make their own clothes

Old_Meanie Posts: 84 Forumite
edited 29 August 2023 at 4:31PM in Old style MoneySaving
I thought it would be great to hear from other money savers who sew their own clothes. I used to make a lot of clothes and thought I might try again but I am beginning to think I am one of very few people who do this. I tried to find a class I could go to locally as I need a bit of an update but the nearest was some miles away. Perhaps a thread similar to the knitting thread would enable people to swap ideas and solutions to problems.



  • kippers
    kippers Posts: 2,061 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I make my own curtains, quilt covers, cushions etc but i've not made clothes as i wouldn't know where to start. I'd love to try but i couldn't find a night class in my area.
  • Bobbykins
    Bobbykins Posts: 590 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I used to make a lot of my own stuff (including wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses for BOTH my weddings:o :o )
    but TBH, I can now buy everyday stuff far cheaper than I could possibly make it for, so don't bother any more.

    Also, I started to find it increasingly difficult to find the bits and bobs I needed, cottons, patterns etc.etc, locally.

    If there's one near you, John Lewis', however, have a great selection of patterns and stuff and also do loads of fabrics. I wouldn't be surprised if the staff on the fabrics section couldn't point you in the right direction for classes.
  • Rosemary7391
    Rosemary7391 Posts: 2,879 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    How scary - I was thinking about starting to make my own clothes! Nothing fancy, just everyday clothes. We've got some good sewing shops around here, but has anyone got any advice?
  • csarina
    csarina Posts: 2,557 Forumite
    I used to make all my clothes and those of my children, including wedding dresses christening robes etc. I stopped when I realised that it was cheaper to buy clothes, although just now I am wondering wether to start again, but I too would need an update, the last things I made were nightshirts for OH 17 years ago, and he is still wearing them!!!!!

    When I went for an interview as a rep for Janome the district manager asked me if I did any dressmaking, I was on my way out of the door when he said it. I closed the door walked back into the room and said, ' well - I did make the suit I am wearing', did a twirl and walked out of the room and shut the door behind me. Later he told me that it was the reaction to what he said that got me the job!!!

    These days I make quils, etc and embroider inserts for cards, make cushions, table cloths, able mats, bed linen........

    Any advice....yes start with something simple like a skirt, look for patterns that have several things on, some have a capsule wardrobe, patterns are very expensive now, although I have not bought patterns for years. Buy the best maerial you can afford and if you are making skirts line them, they last so much longer and hang better. Buy yourself a really good pair of shears, make sure they are comfortable in your hand, another good buy is a pair of pinking shears for fabrics that fray, saves you have to overlock them. My machine has a special overlock stitch which is very similar to an overlocker stitch, it does a large and small zigzag ove the edge, and makes a very neat edge to a seam.
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  • looby-loo_2
    looby-loo_2 Posts: 1,566 Forumite
    I used to make clothes years ago but I agree with Bobbykins that it isn't cheaper these days and buying something off the peg is risk free - I know I will wear it.

    The only thing I have made in the past few years is 'ball' dresses for my daughter which did save a lot of money. Having tried on every dress in town she got the idea of the style she wanted. A very similar pattern was £7.95 but I've used it three times now. The fabric was £15. I've made it in black, silky, full length, then in bottle green, crushed velvet, long/short and finally bright red, very sparkly and short.

    At first she was reluctant because some of the girls were spending £80 - £250 on their dresses and even having them made by a dressmaker. When I said if she didn't like I'd buy one she trusted me. When the other girls asked her where the first one was from she told then a dressmaker had made it and they were impressed! She didn't tell them it was less then £20
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  • morwenna
    morwenna Posts: 844 Forumite
    I used to love to make clothes, for myself and especially the older two children, when they were small. I have done everything from simple pencil skirts to bridesmaids dresses. I tend to use the patterns in Prima, they are free (which has always been my favourite price ;) ) and there are good recipes, articles etc in the mag too. These days iI tend to make curtains and cushions etc.

    csarina: what model sewing machine do you use? I am intrigued by the "overlock" type stitch.
  • purpleivy
    purpleivy Posts: 3,576 Forumite
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    There is a very good sewing forum, where I got some help with something, friendly too
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  • malvena_2
    malvena_2 Posts: 213 Forumite
    I love making my own clothes and drafting my own patterns. I know its cheaper to buy stuff nowadays but everything is the same in the shops and generally badly made (sorry I am really picky, if I wasn't I would be better off):o . I thinks its much nicer to have something which no one else has and to keep the old traditions and skills alive.

    A lot of colleges do fantastic dressmaking and pattern drafting courses. There is also a basic booklet called Teach Yourself to Sew on website. It would never replace a good course but it has some good tips.

    Good luck with the sewing :D
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  • pigpen
    pigpen Posts: 41,064 Forumite
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    I make loads of stuff for the children.. mainly the smaller ones.. less time and all that.. plus they don't complain when I buy super funky fabric and make them something mad.. like capri trousers with big frills on... in bright pink fabric with green frogs on!
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  • catherineblack
    I love the forum is really friendly and there are some amazing patterns and ideas for altering clothes. I've got some great ideas for sewing projects but never enough time!
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