10 Dressmaking Tips

Updated: Jan 5

Here are some helpful expert tips for beautifully handmade not just "homemade" dresses.


Fabric Selection

Fabric selection is very important, when in the "blue print" phase of the design. Picking the right fabric will make or break your finished look. On most store bought patterns, in the back of the envelope it often tells you the fabric best suited for the design. Until you are more familiar with fabric construction I'd say follow the suggestions.


Press as you sew

Pressing is often overlooked as something that should be done after a dress is completed. However, pressing as you go along including flattening seams and hems makes all the difference if you desire a pro look.


Proper Tools

Proper tools simply makes things easier and improves the finished results. You don't need to buy everything all at once. but I'd say start off with a user friendly sewing machine and take good care of it, including changing needles regularly and additional maintenance. I have a course on teachable that goes into great detail about "Knowing your Tools".


Interfacing

This can not be understated, interfacing adds structure and "clean-ness" to your design a well applied interfacing is a tell tale sign of a well made garment. Learn more about the types of interfacing here.


Sew from patterns

Whether you create them yourself or purchase store patterns. They are very helpful in reducing errors and not wasting too much fabric on improper fit. Being able to read and adjust patterns are also vital in dressmaking. Learn more here.


Plan Ahead

Plan out your design ahead of time. Every piece of trim, interfacing, fabric, size etc. As the old adage goes, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail". Purchase your very own design template here.


Cut Fabric Properly

It matters how you cut the fabric, and when I say "how" I'm talking grain lines. All fabric has three distinct grain lines; Bias, Crosswise and Straight. If a garment is not cut properly it will often lead to poor fit, that no amount of, pressing, pinning or tailoring can fix.


Clip seam Allowances

One of the key differences between store bought design and couture is often seam allowance. Cutting down the "bulk" in a design stream lines the look. Just make sure you have all the proper measurements before you cut and that you finish off the ends neatly.


Check for loose threads

Nothing says "homemade" like frayed edges or loose threads, Cut as you go.


Follow Couture Techniques

If you want to know, go to a pro. Purchase books on sewing couture and the types of techniques. Here I have a free download for a list of books to get you started on your sewing journey.


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