Tips For Wearing Handmade Clothing

Honestly, I’m just figuring out this whole wear-the-clothes-you-make thing. It scared me at first. You see, I can see the flaws. I can see where I’ve had to rip out seams 12 times. I can see where the seams don’t quite match up or where the hem-line is slightly angled.
For the most part, I am the only one who sees these things. A little over a year ago I sewed my first paper pattern. I had success, so I decided I would sew some more. And last Summer I deemed the Summer of Sewing Patterns! Oh how fun it was. It sparked a new energy inside me that said I CAN DO IT! I CAN SEW MY OWN CLOTHING! But then when I would sew my own clothing I would be weary about wearing it in public. See, to me, it glared HANDMADE.
Not until recently (maybe the past 6 months) have I realized that ONE: its OKAY if people know your clothes are handmade… most people will actually think that’s pretty cool. and TWO: chances are a random person on the street ISN’T going to notice that your clothes are handmade.
SO, (with out an entirely large amount of expertise) I am sharing with you my tips on wearing handmade clothing:
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Tip #1: Be Confident
I know, this one may sound like a no-brainer. But seriously, the more confident you are in your clothing the more apparent to people it will be that you are PROUD of what you can accomplish.. and maybe you’ll inspire them to accomplish something they’ve been putting off for a while. You never know how you could impact someone!
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Tip #2: Choose the right pattern (and pattern size).
OK ladies, SOMETIMES it takes a little digging to find a pattern suitable for our body types. Sometimes it means not giving up and keeping on searching. I have found that independent pattern designers have the best fit and instructions, are 100xs easier to work with than commercial-grade patterns, their sizes are normal, and most of them are multi-sized: win-win-win, y’all! Some of my favorite pattern designers are Sew Liberated, Favorite Things Patterns, Wiksten, Grainline Studio, Violet Field Threads, Made-by-Rae, April Rhodes, and Jennifer Paganelli. As far as sizing goes, READ THE BACK OF THE PATTERN. It usually tells you measurements and then a size to go by… if you’re not sure, make it from a muslin first, it will save you time and money in the end!
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Tip #3: Choose your fabric wisely
This one is important because if you choose the “wrong” fabric, your hard work won’t really pay off. Choose a fabric that will be easy for you to feel comfortable and confident in. Choose fabric with colors that compliment your skin tones. And finally, choose fabric with appropriate weights. I like to sew with quilting-weight cottons and voiles. These are my go-tos. Sometimes I sew with jersey knit, but I don’t love it. The quality of quilting-weight cotton has increased so much that it is definitely suitable to wear AND washes so nicely!
SO, I hope these little tips will help you feel more comfortable and confident about wearing your own handmade clothing!

13 thoughts on “Tips For Wearing Handmade Clothing

  1. Thank you for your tips on where to get nice patterns! I love to support independent pattern makers (thats not really a term, i know) and they ARE so much better!
    I especially like your staple dress! Super cute. I have to get my hands on that pattern 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for these tips! I love making my own clothes, but when it comes to wearing them, it’s a different story. I’ve been trying to wear them more often, so these tips are helpful!

  3. thanks for the inspiration, I have had the tunic pattern from your last post for a couple years and haven’t tried sewing from it yet. I plan to try your tank dress tutorial this weekend and maybe experiment with a blouse pattern 🙂

  4. Gah, you’ve inspired me so much from this post. Over the course of three(?) or so years of designing clothes and making things (for school and for fun), I’ve never worn anything that I’ve made because of the lack of confidence.

  5. My mom sewed a lot of clothes for my sisters and me, so I grew up wearing handmade. I liked choosing what my clothes would look like, even in high school, when “Did you make that?” sounded like an insult. Now the only people who ask are the ones who sew their own clothes, too, or wish they did.

    Go for it!

  6. You know what I have realized from sewing my own clothing? How frequently I notice the flaws in RTW garments! They are not perfect either. Love reading your blog, and I love all the things you made in this post. So cute!

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