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Get the Right Fit When Making Your Own Clothes

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 15 May 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Clothes Clothing Make Sew Sewing Fit

If you like to customise your own clothes to create your own look, don’t like the clothing selection on the high street or are on a tight budget, then making your own clothes is a great idea. One of the crucial aspects of not buying clothes straight from a shop is to ensure the size is right for you, so here’s a guide to getting the right fit when making your own clothes.

Get the Tape Measure Out

Even if you already know what size clothes you take when buying them in shops, you need to get back to basics when making your own clothes. That means getting the tape measure out and measuring yourself, or whoever you’re planning on making clothes for. Even if a clothes pattern states set measurements for certain set clothing sizes, it’s still always better to measure yourself, as set sizes differ.

Depending on what clothing you’re making, you may need to take the following measurements:

  • Waist – measure around the natural waistline, keeping the tape measure taut.
  • Bust – measure the fullest part of the bust and across the shoulder blades.
  • Hip – take standing up, with the feet together, and put the tape around the fullest part of the top of the leg.
  • Neck – measure around the neck.
  • Inside leg – take the measurement of the inside leg, or for skirt lengths, from the waist to the ideal point you’d like a skirt to fall.
  • Head – to measure a head, if making a hat, take the measurement around the head just above the ears.
If you’re making clothes for yourself, then measuring yourself can sometimes be tricky, so try and find someone else who can help hold the tape measure, as this is an important factor in getting the right fit.

Make a note of each of the measurements and write them down clearly, as you’ll need to refer back to them throughout your sewing. It’s also useful to keep a record of any measurements you use if you subsequently make more clothing and saves the hassle of having to keep re-measuring.

Don’t Cut Corners

The correct fit of clothing often depends in part on their style, so when you’re making your own clothes, this is important to bear in mind too. If you’re following a pattern or particular design, then the key to getting the end result you expect often lies in following it to a tee. If you’re tempted to cut corners, to reduce the amount of work involved or the cost of particular fabrics, then think about how it could affect the end result.

For example, the look, fit and style of a slinky dress or wide legged trousers can be lost if you use the wrong type of fabric for them or if you don’t quite follow the pattern guidelines. Of course, if you’re customising clothing or love creating your own unique look, then following the rules may be against your nature and the originality of the end result is likely to be more important to you – although good fit should always be kept in mind.

Keep Trying it on

To ensure your clothing creation is working out to plan, and that you’ve not accidentally cut out the material too small or too big, it’s helpful to try on the emerging piece of clothing whenever you can. If you’re making it for yourself, then having someone to help with this may be necessary – especially as it’s likely to be pinned delicately in place.

This is also useful if your body shape is changing, such as the result of pregnancy, losing weight or putting it on. The beauty of making your own clothes is that you can tweak it and make alterations as you need to.

If everything goes to plan and your sewing takes shape, then your clothing should be finished successfully and fit as expected.

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