Sewing basics: what you need to know to start altering your clothes.
Learning how to alter clothes might seem quite frightening at first, especially if you’re never sewn a stitch before. The good news is that there’s no need to be a
Learning how to alter clothes might seem quite frightening at first, especially if you’re never sewn a stitch before.
The good news is that there’s no need to be a pro-sewer to be able to adjust or repair your clothes, so that you will not need to rely on a professional when a hem needs shortening.
Wearing an item that fits perfectly, not only gives you confidence, but completely changes the relationship you have with it. You cherish it and love it so much more. For this reason, I put together a quick guide on the basics of sewing. It includes a compilation of resources and tools to help you begin your sewing journey, and alter or repair your clothes.
Let’s get into it!
The Sewing Terminologies:
The first step into this guide is to get familiar with some sewing terminologies – like seam, allowance and hem are just some basic concepts in sewing. You don’t need to learn about in-depth garment construction to be able to tailor your clothes, but having a basic understanding of some terminologies is key to succeed.
Learning about them, not only will make you discover a different side of your clothes, but also will help to get into further, and potentially more complex steps, in the journey of sewing.
Whether are a necessity or an option, alterations are such a great process to improve the clothes you love.
Looking into a comprehensive guide on some basic alterations, will help to understand what type of alterations are required for your needs, and to consequently move onto the next step and select the right suppliers.
Basic alterations include taking up hems on pants or skirts, repairing seams/fabrics, shortening sleeves and changing buttons – these don’t necessarily require the use of a sewing machine!
Basic Sewing Suppliers:
Having good and essential sewing suppliers is key. Investing in some good tools, such as sharp fabric scissors, will make you achieve better results and save you money in the long term.
Here’s a list of my essential suppliers I use for alterations:
1.Hand sewing needles – there’s a variety of them to chose from, depending on the project requirements
2. Fabric scissors – I use KAI N5210
3. Seam ripper
4. Tape measure – I suggest one that bends easily
5. Sewing threads – from thin cotton to glittery and thick, so many types available on the market
6. Tons of pins and safety pins
7. Chalk – I suggest one with thin edges
8. Sewing machine, I own a fairly inexpensive Brother AE1700 – this is not essential, but I thought I’d share what I use.
There are many kits available to purchase on the market that contain all the required tools for basic sewing, but personally, picking the tools singularly is a better way to build a bespoke sewing tools kit.
Lastly, and most importantly, enjoy the process! Learning about our clothes and being able to look after them is such an empowering act, and it’s all in our hands.
words and visual by Giulia Mummolo