Top 5 Best ways on how to Sew a Dress from Scratch
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  • Sewing Tutorials
  • Posted February 23, 2016
Top 5 Best ways on how to Sew a Dress from Scratch

Top 5 Best ways on how to Sew a Dress from Scratch

Top 5 Best ways on how to Sew a Dress from Scratch

Here are some five key stages in making a dress from scratch, you'll be well on your way to sewing ready-to-wear looks. You might learn for this sewing stages and create an amazing all in one Dress.

1.) Make a wise choice on selecting your Fabric

Not sure what they are? Educate yourself on the differences of each type of fabric that's out there. Once you've picked your pattern and dress style, you need to pick a fabric. It's critical to match the pattern style with the proper fabric. If the garment is structured, it could be a disaster to make it with voile, and likewise, picking a stiff fabric for something that should flow, won't work either. On the back of every pattern is a list of suggested fabrics. Much like you did for the pattern style, check out your closet for inspiration. Do you like wearing natural fibers? Does the garment need to breathe, or is a man-made fabric okay? Personally, I'm a natural fibers kind of girl. I've learned that if my fabric doesn't breathe when the heat turns up, I get uncomfortable. So this is something to figure out for yourself as well. Look at your favorite dress and see what it's made from. Get clues from what you already own and wear! Print and color of the fabric will largely depend on the style of the dress and the occasion that you plan to wear it. Looking for something for a spring afternoon? That could be perfect for cotton floral. Or if it's for an evening wedding, perhaps a black silk is right. Add up your personal preferences with the circumstances at hand, and you're bound to choose something great.

2.) imagine your own finishing touch

It's these details that will elevate a handmade garment to a much nicer, custom-made garment. Much like you did for the inside, consider using fine sewing techniques on the outside, despite what the instructions state. For the hem, a blind or hand-sewn hem is lovely, as you won't see your stitches on the outside of your skirt. Another nice touch is to use a trim on the inside of your hem for a little surprise of color or lace when the inside of the hem is seen. Does your garment require buttons? The color, texture, and shine of the buttons can completely change the way the final outfit looks. Think about what you might accessorize the dress with and perhaps pull another color into the mix. Or, use a contrasting thread to attach the buttons for a little pop of color. While the couture techniques you used for the inside of your dress will satisfy you, all the finishing elements you use will not only be visible for you, but they will inform those around you of how professionally you've constructed your dress. All these decisions that seem like small choices can really add up to a well thought out custom made dress that will be enjoyed in your wardrobe for many years to come.

3.) Make sure to Choose a wise Pattern

In choosing a dress, there are a few things to consider. First, what is your body type? It doesn't benefit anyone to lie about their body type or measurements, so the first rule in sewing for your body is to be honest about what your body really is, in order to achieve a custom fit. Step one for any project is choosing what pattern you want to make. Is your pear shaped? Are you bottom heavy? Or are you top heavy? These are some of many questions to ask yourself. If you're curvy in the hips, perhaps a straight cut skirt on a dress isn't the best choice. So be honest with yourself and take real measurements. To measure yourself properly, it's best to put on your "real" undergarments (not a sports bra, for example) and have a friend help you. You want to take your bust, your natural waist (which is where you crease when bending to the side), and your hip (or the widest part of your body below the waist), which is usually about 9" below your natural waist. There are many other measurements that will come into play, but to pick your size, this is your starting point. Lastly, you will want to consider style. Take a tour of your own personal closet and listen to what it's telling you. Notice any trends? See any holes in your wardrobe? Think about what you like to wear and how a new garment will work within that. Is there something that you really love and want to make more of? Or maybe it's time to try something new! There are patterns for thousands of dresses out there, everything from the big four brands, to indie pattern companies, to vintage couture sewing patterns, so the world is your oyster.

4.) Try to Shape a draft

Your pattern will likely instruct you through the most basic steps, but this is your handmade garment, and taking the time to employ couture techniques can be especially rewarding. French seams, blind hems, and other fine sewing finishing will elevate your dress to a higher level. Common shape forming that you will see on patterns are darts, pleats, and gathers. Darts are folds in the fabric that look like long triangles. You will find darts at the bust, the waist, and sometimes in the back for shaping. Pleats and gathers build volume and will most often be seen at the waist, under the bust, or at the sleeve cap. Fabric is flat; you are not! All those marks you've made are now going to fold and bend and gather up to accommodate the curves of your body. After following the pattern's instructions for making darts and other shaping, consider how you want to assemble the pieces together.

5.) For your finish product you can Cut a Marking into a Fabric Pieces

In order to cut your pattern, you need to pin the pattern down, or alternatively, you can weigh it down with pattern weights. If you're doing more fine sewing and plan to use something like silk that isn't self-repairing when you remove the pins, I would suggest using weights or being careful to only use your pins inside the seam allowances when pinning your pattern down. Also, invest in some pins appropriate to your fabric. There are ballpoint pins for jersey and stretch fabrics, fine pins for silks, and everything in between. Once you've chosen your size and cut out the pattern pieces, it's time to mark your fabric so that it can take shape. You've spent all this time selecting your pattern, picking the right fabric, cutting everything out, so don't do the tragic move and use a marking device that won't wash out of your fabric! I almost always use water-soluble pencils and though I'm careful to only mark on the inside of my fabric or in my seam allowance, I still make all my marks very conservatively because there's no need to use a heavy hand. Alternatively, you can use tailor’s tacks and other couture sewing techniques to mark your fabrics, especially if you are using finer fabrics that you don't want to make any marks on, even on the inside.


Alvin is a fashion and lifestyle writer who has recently earned interest in sewing his own clothes. Writing for Sewing Ideas gives him another avenue to express his experiences and learning in his sewing journey.

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