I want to learn how to tailor my own clothes
August 10, 2018 6:09 PM   Subscribe

Hello MeFites. I have a lot of clothes that are a bit big for me. I'd like to learn how to take things in properly. I'm looking for beginner resources but something more advanced than just being told to sew things up both sides. Can you recommend blogs or youtube channels?

I have a sewing machine and time and interest but I'm a beginner and have only done straight-line things like curtains and new cushion covers on my outdoor setting. I did do more sewing decades ago at school so I know basic stuff about pinning and measuring and have all the chalk and stuff.

In case it helps narrow down what resources I'm looking for, most of the things I want to take in are work dresses and there's a couple of jackets I want to nip and tuck. Not afraid of taking things apart or losing a failed project.

Recommendations for general sewing and dress making blogs would also be great.

Thank you!
posted by stellathon to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (3 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
This book is the go to for rtw clothing alterations.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 7:47 PM on August 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

This video to tailor a blazer and how to add darts to alter a dress.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 8:56 PM on August 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

YouTube is going to be your best friend! Search what you want to do; take in a dress shirt, upcycle a knit dress..there'll be a video to show you how to do it! Take some time to explore, you'll get a feel for who really knows what they're doing.

As far as books, I recommend The sewing Bible for clothes alterations, by Judith Turner. She takes you through the "why do it this way" as well as the how to do it, so you end up with a professional looking garment, rather than a lumpy, wonky seamed mess!

And another book, The yestermorrow clothes book, by Diana Funaro, is one that started me on upcycling thrift store finds many years ago! It focuses on vintage clothing remodelled into modern styles, but she has extensive info on how vintage items are constructed, and on techniques for altering to fit modern bodies. It's a bit dated, stylewise, but the techniques can be used to achieve current fashion results! And it will give you ideas you would never consider otherwise!

One last thing; get a friend to help you. Put a test item, something to practice on, INSIDE OUT. Have friend pin darts and side seams, to get a rough fit. This may mean creating new darts, or pinching out excess fullness. Just pin the puffy areas, and aim for balance on both sides. Take it off, use chalk to mark various areas where you want to sew and start cutting off/ picking apart. Resew, paying attention to how much you've taken off in the various areas, so you'll have a ballpark idea when you do this again. And learn to finish seams!! This is what separates funky homemade from professionally altered work! And again...YouTube!
posted by LaBellaStella at 4:52 AM on August 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

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