How to Make Your Own Clothes

The basics you need to master for sewing clothes

The thought of sewing your own clothes from scratch may be daunting, but mastering how to sew each individual component of clothing and then putting it all together is an easier way to frame the learning process. Take the time to practice and make samples so the real thing will be easy. Below, you'll find some basic techniques to help you get started.

  • 01 of 21

    What Is a Dart?

    Dart Pattern Markings Samples
    Debbie Colgrove

    Darts, when made properly, blend into a garment. Learn tips and tricks for sewing darts that shape a garment without standing out on their own.

  • 02 of 21

    How to Sew Darts and Types of Darts

    Trimmed and Pressed Bulky Dart
    Debbie Colgrove

    Darts are one of the first parts of a garment that you sew, which is why they're so important to get right. After you've mastered the basics, this article shares more detail, including different types of darts used in sewing.

  • 03 of 21

    How to Transfer Pattern Markings

    Pattern Markings to Transfer
    Debbie Colgrove

    To get a perfect finished product when you are sewing, you need to transfer the pattern markings onto the fabric. Learn how to do this and you will end up with a garment that is made the way the pattern intends.

  • 04 of 21

    Before You Choose Interfacing, Know the Basics

    Interfacing Collection
    Debbie Colgrove

    Sewing usually includes interfacing in collars, cuffs, lapels, and more. Learn about interfacing choices and when it is used before you go shopping.​

    Continue to 5 of 21 below.
  • 05 of 21

    What to Do With Fabric That Can't Be Pinned

    Pin Cushion Colection
    Debbie Colgrove

    Not all fabric can be pinned in place while you are sewing. Unsightly pinholes can be avoided while managing unpinnable fabric with these solutions.

  • 06 of 21

    Tips for Sewing a Set in Sleeve

    Easing VS. Gathering
    Debbie Colgrove

    Knowing how to sew a set-in sleeve isn't magic. Learn tips and tricks to get professional results.

  • 07 of 21

    Hemming Information

    Different Types of Hems
    Debbie Colgrove

    If we were all the same height and build, all off the rack clothes would fit properly. Since that's not the case, we usually need to hem clothes. Find the details here.

  • 08 of 21

    How to Use a Sewing Machine Blind Hem Stitch

    Sewn Blind Hem Example
    Debbie Colgrove

    Many sewing machines have a built-in blind hem stitch capability. Learn tricks to using a sewing machine blind stitch to sew hems and you may find yourself using the machine blind stitch for other purposes too.

    Continue to 9 of 21 below.
  • 09 of 21

    Basic Directional Stitching to Sew Stay Stitching and Seams

    Directional Stitching for the Bodice Areas
    Debbie Colgrove

    If you're wondering where to start or which direction to sew a seam or stay stitching, this page has the answers.

  • 10 of 21

    Free Step by Step Directions to Sew Bound Buttonholes

    Bound Buttonhole
    Debbie Colgrove

    Full step-by-step directions that show how to sew a bound buttonhole.

  • 11 of 21

    Transferring Dots to Fabric From Your Sewing Pattern

    Transfering Dot Pattern Markings
    Debbie Colgrove

    Here's a quick tip for marking or transferring dots found on sewing patterns to your fabric.

  • 12 of 21

    How to Remove and Replace Sewn Stitches

    Using a Seam Ripper
    Debbie Colgrove

    Almost every homemade garment requires you to rip out stitches at some point in the construction, even if it's just to remove basting stitches. Learn how to properly rip out sewing stitches and then resew or repair a seam here.

    Continue to 13 of 21 below.
  • 13 of 21

    How to Preserve Sewing Patterns

    Preserve Sewing Pattern Pieces
    Debbie Colgrove

    Learn how to preserve your favorite sewing pattern so you can use it over and over again for years to come.

  • 14 of 21

    Alterations, Design, and Accuracy

    Accurate Seam Allowance
    Debbie Colgrove

    Have you had a garment turn out completely different from the pattern envelope measurements? Learn some of the ways these problems can happen.

  • 15 of 21

    Tip to Prevent Lost Pattern Pieces

    Sewing Pattern Pieces
    Debbie Colgrove

    If you've ever had to buy a second pattern because the first is missing pieces this is a simple solution.

  • 16 of 21

    How to Sew on a Flat Button

    Flat Buttons
    Sew News

    Simple to follow text directions to help you learn how to sew on a flat button.

    Continue to 17 of 21 below.
  • 17 of 21

    How to Sew a Shank Button

    Shank Button and Flat Button
    SewNews

    An easy tutorial with instructions on how to sew a shank button.

  • 18 of 21

    Interfacing Chiffon and Light Weight Fabric

    lightweight Interfacing
    Debbie Colgrove

    If you're working on a project made with chiffon or another lightweight fabric, this is a must-read.

  • 19 of 21

    Perfect Pockets

    Pocket Placement and Reenforcement Details Diagrams
    Debbie Colgrove

    Learn tips and tricks to make your pockets as perfect as the rest of your garment.

  • 20 of 21

    Interfacing: Sew-in or Fusible?

    Interfacing Collection
    Debbie Colgrove

    Pointers on choosing what type and weight of interfacing to use when you are sewing a garment.

    Continue to 21 of 21 below.
  • 21 of 21

    Free Projects to Try

    Joann Fabric and Crafts
    Debbie Colgrove

    Joann Fabric and Crafts offers free tutorials for a variety of sewing projects. Many of these require a purchased pattern, but some are free.