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Dressmakers: Best Advice
February 15, 2022

If you’ve ever been frustrated with a sewing project, take a breather and ask around for expert advice. Over 40 years ago, at age 18, I first walked into a dressmaker’s shop after taking my sister to buy her prom dress. What I learned that day has helped me achieve success as a garment sewer for over 25 years and enabled me to teach other beginners how to sew. My goal is to share what I know about the art of sewing so they can enjoy their successes in this beautiful craft!

How long does it take to make a dress from scratch?

It depends on the complexity of the dress and the skill level of the seamstress. A simple dress can be made in a day, but more complicated dresses may take weeks or even months to finish. The time required will vary depending upon your experience, fabric choice, pattern size, and whether you are using commercial patterns or making up your design. Start with something easy like a nightgown. Once you feel comfortable sewing garments, try out some skirts, tops, pants, etc., then move onto jackets, coats, blouses, shirts, sweaters, suits, etc.

What is the dressmaker’s best advice?

  • Know what body type you are working with. If your measurements don’t fit in any standard sizes, it may be time to consider custom tailoring or alterations. The same goes if they have an unusual shape. Best to get a dressmaker doll to get the size perfect. You can buy one here
  • Take measurements before you start designing your clothes. If you’re making something like a wedding gown or party dress, it will be easier to know where you want things to fit on their figure.
  • What type of fabric you should use. I always recommend using cotton because it breathes well and doesn’t shrink much when washed. It can get wrinkled quickly, though, so make sure that you iron out wrinkles after washing. You could try silk, too, although it tends to wrinkle more than cotton.

Helpful sewing techniques

  1. Follow the pattern!
  2. As you sew, keep pressing down. Your sewing will look much better if you press it well.
  3. Make use of high-quality materials.
  4. Slow down and enjoy the journey.
  5. Pay attention to current fashion, so you stay up-to-date.

In conclusion, sewing is a fantastic skill that everyone should try. It’s also a great way to exercise your creativity and get your hands on some new clothes. Whether you’re an experienced seamstress or just starting, there are plenty of sewing techniques you can learn that will make the process easier for you.