Guest Post from Makers Market - How to Sew Clothes

I recently asked Michelle from the wonderful blog Makers Market to write a blog post for me. She has chosen a wonderful subject - how to sew your own clothes. This will prove very useful I'm sure. As this is a huge subject to cover we have agreed to spilt it into a few posts. Over to Michelle!

There are many good reasons to start making your own clothes. I personally started as I’ve always loved textiles and it seemed like a great way to put all my fabric to good use. Also, as I got older I found that cheap shops like H&M and Zara etc didn't have the same appeal anymore. The kind of shops I wanted to spend money in were the likes of Whistles, Toast, NW3 and Anthropologie, but the price tags were slightly debilitating! If you take away the branding and styling of these companies some of the shapes are quite simple, so actually it is feasible to make yourself a simple Toast esque tunic and better still you can pick the fabric and the very most it will cost you is about £30.

To start making clothes you need 5 fundamental requirements:

A Pattern


In my opinion this really is the most enticing thing about making your own clothes. When choosing your first project try to use either cotton or linen as these are the easiest fabrics to work with. Some of you might already have a ‘stash’ that you can start working through, if not here are the places I mainly shop for fabric. Always pre wash your fabric before sewing to avoid shrinkage. Best to chuck it in the machine as soon as you get home! Image via Nani Iro

Ray Stitch, Islington and online. You can buy the beautiful Nani Iro fabrics pictured above here, as well as a large range of organic prints and plains. There is also a café and workshop space.

Merchant and Mills, Rye and online. All natural fibres and mainly made in England or Ireland. The look is paired down and simple, but always good quality. You can shop online, but their shop in Rye is really worth a visit too.

The Cloth House, Soho. This shop has a reputation for being overpriced and unfriendly. This is partly true but it never fails to inspire me and I always leave with something unique, I just don’t go too often! They have a particularly great range of cotton poplin linings in beautiful shades.

Goldhawk Rd, Shepherds Bush. Essentially a street full of fabric shops, expect to search for gems and be asked for help numerous times. Prices are affordable and it makes a great day out working your way through them all! I usually go in autumn when I’m thinking about my winter wardrobe as they have the best selection of affordable wools.

Rolls and Rems, Holloway. They have a huge remnant bin that is always worth a rummage, otherwise they have a great selection of plains in so many colours and different weights with pleasing price tags.

A Pattern

Start simple. Working in a fabric shop I see lots of over excited people who have a buzz about learning to sew and delve straight into something that’s too tricky for a beginner. The likelihood is it will put you off and leave you feeling like you can’t do it. Bide your time you can progress onto that tailored jacket in a few months! Due to the recent boom in sewing there are an increasing number of indie pattern companies starting up. Their designs are very current and they take extra care in making the instructions easy to follow. Although the traditional companies like Simplicity etc still have a great range. These 5 patterns are all suitable as starter projects. If you ‘google image’ the name of a pattern you can see other blogger’s versions which helps when choosing a suitable fabric. Image via April Rhodes

Thanks Michelle! Check back soon for the second part in this series. 


  1. Wonderful post, for seamstresses of all levels. I've been sewing for a long time and of course am always looking for new fabric sources, thank you for the links! I look forward to the next installment.

    1. Thanks Laura, I think Michelle did an amazing job on this post!