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How To Make a Dress with This Awesome Video Dressmaking Classes

how to sew a dress | Get started sewing with our dressmaking classes on DIY Projects at

how to sew a dress | Get started sewing with our dressmaking classes on DIY Projects at

How to Make a Dress | Dressmaking Classes

Time to dust off the old sewing machine, or plug in that brand new one – and learn to sew! Follow along with Lisa, our resident sewing expert, as she walks you through the basics of sewing, some tips and tricks to making clothes, and we’ll finish with a complete dress that you can sew from a pattern piece. For everyone into DIY, you ain't REALLY a DIYer until you know how to turn lonely pieces of fabric into amazing fashion crafts.

Follow along at your own pace, all these videos are organized for your convenience – so take your time, because we aren’t going anywhere! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. We'll be moderating the comment section regularly.

How to Make a Dress | Introduction to Dressmaking

In this course you will learn:

  • All the tools you'll need to make dresses
  • Best fabrics to use
  • How to finish your dress and make it look like it was purchased
  • All about Patterns and how to navigate through this dressmaking process

By the end of this course, you should know how to:

  • How to properly cut fabric
  • Seam finishing for Dresses
  • Hemming basics for Dresses
  • How to make your own dress with or without a pattern!



How to Make a Dress | Lesson 1 – Supplies and Tools

We will learn all about dressmaking, but first, we'll talk about the tools needed!  Fabric aside, there are a few things required to make a dress by yourself.

You will need:

  • Fabric Shears
  • Rotary Blade & Cutting Mat
  • Basic Scissors
  • Spools of Thread
  • Empty Bobbins
  • Pencil with eraser
  • Pins (ball pins / quilting pins)
  • Snips
  • Seam Ripper
  • Seam Gauge
  • Measuring Tape
  • Grid Ruler
  • Pinking Shears
  • A Sewing Machine
    • Tip: If you’re on a budget, try finding used sewing machines.  Vintage sewing machines are often more durable that newer models because they're made of steel instead of plastic.  As long as you have a basic straight stitch and a zig zag stitch, you can make it work!


How to Make a Dress | Lesson 2 – How to Thread a Sewing Machine

Mastering the machine is a must.  Before you can start sewing, you must understand your machine. Sewing machines are moving contraptions with many different moving parts and levers. Familiarize yourself with the way your machine works so your sewing experience will be more satisfactory.

In this tutorial I am using a Simple Singer Sewing Machine c 2013. Your machine might be different, but the beautiful thing is all sewing machines are relatively the same. The parts of the machine are all named the same thing, and they all serve the same purpose. If you are lost with your machine, use the handbook, or find an old handbook on the internet.

In this lesson you will learn:

  • How to wind your bobbin
  • How to thread your machine
  • How to thread your bobbin

Learn How to Make a Dress with our Dressmaking Classes at DIY Projects



How to Make a Dress | Lesson 3 – How to Use a Sewing Machine

Using your machine is the most important part. If you can't get your machine to work well than you're not going to be able to sew anything well. Always use care and caution with your machine, move slowly and avoid moving parts. For basic stitches, set your machine to a Stitch Length of 2.5 and a Stitch Width of 0.

In this lesson you will learn:

    • The basic straight stitch
    • Best stitches for wovens
    • Best stitches for knits
    • How to adjust your stitch
    • Stitching techniques

Learn How to Make a Dress with our Dressmaking Classes at DIY Projects



How to Make a Dress | Lesson 4 – Know Your Textiles

Here is a quick history of fabrics, because the different fabrics you choose to work with will make a difference on your final look!

In this lesson you will learn:

  • An intro to textiles
  • Warp – parallel to the selvage
  • Weft – perpendicular with the selvage
  • Bias – diagonal to the selvage
  • Wovens – Fabrics woven on a loom, little stretch
  • Knits – have more stretch
  • The different uses between wovens and knits

Learn How to Make a Dress with our Dressmaking Classes at DIY Projects


How to Make a Dress | Project 1 – Sew a Drawstring Bag

Time to put your knowledge to practice with your first project, a drawstring bag! This is a very basic sewing project that you can make from almost any size of fabric. You will learn all the basics of sewing straight lines, turning corners, and even adding a drawstring. This bag we will make below is sized for a pair of sunglasses…  but you can use the same idea of sewing up the bag to make one of any size! Drawstring bag ideas include: coin purse, laundry bag, lingerie bag, gift bag, etc….

In this course you will need:

  • Fabric
  • Sewing Supplies
  • Drawstring (yarn, rope, string…)
  • Basic knowledge of sewing

Learn How to Make a Dress with our Dressmaking Classes at DIY Projects



How to Make a Dress | Lesson 5 – How to Cut Fabric

Cutting fabric is a bit trickier than you may have thought. There is indeed a right and wrong way. Below you will learn these ways, follow along with the video. The right way to cut fabric. The most important thing to keep in mind here is to ALWAYS use the right tools!!!

In this lesson you will learn:

  • When to use your different scissors
  • How to prepare the fabric for cutting
  • Cutting on the grain
  • Cutting on the fold
  • Cutting on the bias

Learn How to Make a Dress with our Dressmaking Classes at DIY Projects



How to Make a Dress | Lesson 6 – Hemming

Being able to sew is one thing, being able to make it look like a finished product is another. Here we will learn how to turn and press and finish your pieces with a hem so they will look store-ready!

In this lesson you will learn:

  • Basic hem
  • Double Fold Hem
  • Blind Hem
  • Hand Hemming: The Slip Stitch

Learn How to Make a Dress with our Dressmaking Classes at DIY Projects



How to Make a Dress | Project 2 – Basic Elastic Skirt

Now that you know how to make your own pattern, go grab a skirt from your own wardrobe (or a sister’s or a friend’s), and make your own version using the skillset you just learned!

In this lesson you will learn:

  • How to make a basic elastic skirt with only 1 yard of fabric
  • How to cut your garment
  • How to sew your garment
  • How to finish your garment

Learn How to Make a Dress with our Dressmaking Classes at DIY Projects



How to Make a Dress | Lesson 7 – Seam Finishing

Finishing seams makes garments look commercially made. This is an important step for the garment because it will make the garment more durable over time, it will also feel better against the skin. There are all kinds of ways to finish a seam. This video highlights the main four, and you can find links to even more ways below.

In this lesson you will learn:

  • Zig Zagged edge
  • Stitched & Pinked Finish
  • Turned Hem
  • French Seam

Learn How to Make a Dress with our Dressmaking Classes at DIY Projects



How to Make a Dress | Lesson 8 – How to Sew a Dress without a Pattern

By now, you've learned a lot about sewing dresses.  You've learned about the tools, the stitches, the finishing, and the techniques.  You've also made your first garment!  Great job! Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of dressmaking. Let’s say you don't have a pattern.

In this lesson you will learn:

    • How to make pattern pieces from an existing garment
    • how to layout your pattern pieces for cutting
    • how to add seam allowance
    • how to reuse your pattern pieces

Learn How to Make a Dress with our Dressmaking Classes at DIY Projects



How to Make a Dress | Lesson 9 – How to Use Sewing Patterns

Once you know how to use pattern pieces, you can make anything… anything that comes with a pattern! Head on over to the pattern section at your local craft store and you will find thousands and thousands of options. I also recommend visiting McCalls Patterns online, as they have several different lines of pattern pieces that are constantly being updated for the latest looks.

In this lesson you will learn:

  • How to read a pattern
  • Marking your pattern
  •  Pattern Techniques

Learn How to Make a Dress with our Dressmaking Classes at DIY Projects



How to Make a Dress | Lesson 10 – How to Choose Your Sewing Pattern Size

Patterns can be very complicated. Something to remember is that the numbers used in pattern size guides are NOT indicative of what size you are in real life. They happen to be larger, so while it may be tempting to choose the size that reflects your store size – do not. Your garment will come out much too small. Besides, size is just a number.

In this lesson you will learn:

  • How to measure your body to find your size
  • How to read a pattern size guide
  • How to adjust the pattern for specific sizes.

Learn How to Make a Dress with our Dressmaking Classes at DIY Projects



How to Make a Dress | Project 3 – Sew A Kate Middleton Dress

It's the moment you've all been waiting for! How to make a dress from a pattern. In this lesson you will use all the skills you just learned together to create a dress from a pattern. Head over to the store and find a simple dress pattern that you like. Or follow along with our DIY Projects dress pattern! Either way, you should find that the instructions are very similar for any and all garments.

Keep in mind, there are patterns for all levels of sewing.  If you're a beginner, make sure to use a beginner pattern.

In this project you will find:

  • How to cut out your pattern pieces
  • How to line up your pattern pieces them up
  • How to sew your pattern pieces together
  • How to finish the seams
  • How to hem the dress

Learn How to Make a Dress with our Dressmaking Classes at DIY Projects


How to Make a Dress | Conclusion

You learned so much! Now you know about…

  • Tools and supplies you'll need for dressmaking
  • We also went through the wonderful and vast world of textiles and techniques to cutting fabric.
  • We mastered the art of seam finishing, and hemming
  • And we also learned everything there is to know about making a dress from a pattern.
  • We made a lot of cool things:
    • Drawstring bag
    • Simple Skirt cut on the bias
    • And we learned how to make a cool, summer maxi dress without a pattern!

Learn How to Make a Dress with our Dressmaking Classes at DIY Projects

That zips up our Dressmaking Course! We hope you learned the skills to start sewing clothes, with and without patterns. You're well on our way to being modern, self-sufficient dress makers, but this is just the surface.  There is so much more to learn, and we want to make sure that you learn them all! Stick around for even more awesome tutorials, coming soon.

Love what you’re doing? We want to hear from you, and we want to see your work! Share with us in the comments below!

Share on our Facebook page: Projects

Tag us on instagram! @DIY Projectsofficial


Happy Crafting!

-The DIY Projects team


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