How to design your own clothes

words Alexa Wang

design your own clothes

Have you ever had a specific piece of clothing in mind, but just couldn’t find it anywhere? Going around from store to store looking for that certain dress, finding it in a different material, in the wrong size or another colour, but just not being able to find the exact same thing you’ve imagined in your head can be frustrating and exhausting.

Sometimes, it really gets annoying that you wish you didn’t have to depend on someone else to create the garment of your dreams. Wouldn’t it be super cool if you could just make it yourself?

It’s actually quite doable and you can end up making whatever design your mind can imagine. Here’s how:

1.  Start off with a good machine

When choosing to make your own garments at home, having a good machine and digitizing software is the key to get things done easily. Get a machine that is easy to use, has different needles for each fabric, and therefore can be used to make pretty much anything your heart desires. Since you’re a newbie in the sewing industry, you can take the advice of the professionals over at about the best heavy duty sewing machines that can be used at home. Take into consideration the fabrics you’d like to use and how much you think you’ll actually be designing to decide on the price range, quality and durability before investing in a sewing machine.

2.  Take a sewing class

Sewing classes are spread in many different places and available pretty much everywhere. Check your area for the available sewing classes and register for a course, or if the timings aren’t suitable, you can even consider taking a course online. Courses are pretty easy to follow and will initially teach you how to use a sewing machine as that is the most important tool to bring your designs to life.

designing your own clothes

3.  Pattern-making

In most sewing courses, the basics of pattern making are included. Understanding a pattern means that you comprehend how to cut your fabric in order to make designs. A pattern is the template or layout of the garment when completely open which is traced onto the fabric to be cut out and assembled. Patterns can be made out of paper or thicker material like cardboard which makes it easier to trace onto the fabric using a fabric markers. Let’s say you know how to use a sewing machine, but are unsure of how to go about making a pattern, you can find many patterns online that you can use and start altering in the design process according to the dimensions you found online.

4.  Start Designing

Once you’ve understood how the pattern works, you can start sketching different designs and transferring the ideas in your head on to paper. Whether it’s a dress, pants, tops, shorts or skirt, you can create whatever design you have in mind. You can even start colouring in the designs, imagining what kind of fabric would go best with your design and start making a specific pattern for it.

5.  Take your measurements

Before you set out to buy the fabric, it is important to make sure you get the right amount. Start by taking your measurements and calculating how much fabric will be needed.

6.  Choosing your fabric

The next step after your design is ready on paper, it is time to head to the fabric store. This is when your idea starts coming to life and seeing the fabrics all around will help you visualize and alter any necessary changes that need to be made in your designs. So grab the right fabric and take it back to your sewing machine to do its magic.

7.  Cutting and assembling the fabric

Once you’ve transferred your pattern onto the fabric, it is time to cut and assemble the fabric by sewing it together to make it into one garment.

8.  Choose the necessary trims

The next step is to choose the trims you’d like to add to your garment. Say for instance you need a zipper, according to the type of garment, there are several zippers that can be used. You can even choose to accessorise your garment and add pearls or sequins. Any trims are added in this process and sewed on to the garment.


Congratulations, you’ve just made your first garment! Follow steps 4-8 every time you want to make a new design and you’ve got yourself an entire wardrobe you’ve made yourself! If you enjoy the process and get compliments on the designs you’ve made, once you’ve perfected the skills and techniques, you can even consider starting your own label.


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