Shirtmaking as a hobby - is it viable?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by chobochobo, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    6,102
    Likes Received:
    1,114
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    I just googled "sewing schools" and there were tons of links.
     


  2. william

    william Senior member

    Messages:
    1,554
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I just googled "sewing schools" and there were tons of links.

    +1.

    I found the Atlanta Sewing School. It's about 15 minutes away from my house!
     


  3. instar

    instar Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Location:
    Houston
    Shirtmaking is much easier than it looks. I've made most of my dress clothes for the last 15 years - from shirts to suits - and if you can read, you can sew. I can offer three pieces of advice from my experience:

    1. Start out with a commercial shirt pattern with clear instructions. McCalls has a good one - check their catalog. Once you get the basics down, you can alter the pattern to be whatever you want. The Coffin book is great once you've made a few shirts - I keep mine on my work table, but for a beginner he sometimes overly complicates simple steps.

    2 Spend a little extra money and get a good sewing machine. You don't need a lot of built-in stitches - unless you plan to embroider little ducks or rabbits on your shirts - but a speed control switch and GOOD buttonhole foot are essential.

    3. Buy a 1/4" edgestitch foot for your machine. They're cheap and worth their weight in gold for shirtmaking.

    Shirtmaking can be a great hobby. Just take your time and don't be afraid to rip out seams that aren't quite right. Good luck!
     


  4. william

    william Senior member

    Messages:
    1,554
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Shirtmaking is much easier than it looks. I've made most of my dress clothes for the last 15 years - from shirts to suits - and if you can read, you can sew. I can offer three pieces of advice from my experience:

    1. Start out with a commercial shirt pattern with clear instructions. McCalls has a good one - check their catalog. Once you get the basics down, you can alter the pattern to be whatever you want. The Coffin book is great once you've made a few shirts - I keep mine on my work table, but for a beginner he sometimes overly complicates simple steps.

    2 Spend a little extra money and get a good sewing machine. You don't need a lot of built-in stitches - unless you plan to embroider little ducks or rabbits on your shirts - but a speed control switch and GOOD buttonhole foot are essential.

    3. Buy a 1/4" edgestitch foot for your machine. They're cheap and worth their weight in gold for shirtmaking.

    Shirtmaking can be a great hobby. Just take your time and don't be afraid to rip out seams that aren't quite right. Good luck!


    Another encouraging post for the do-it-yourself fans among us.

    Could you perhaps recommend a few good sewing machines?
     


  5. prozach1576

    prozach1576 Senior member

    Messages:
    851
    Likes Received:
    65
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    I emailed a few fabric stores the other day to find out where I can learn how to sew...I was actually going to go talk to one of them today. I'd really like to learn how to make shirts too.
     


  6. instar

    instar Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Location:
    Houston
    For those interested in the process, here's a link to a webcast showing how to make a man's shirt step-by-step.

    http://www.expertvillage.com/videos/...asic-tools.htm

    It's pretty basic, but clear. (On thing: Stephanie's expertise aside, I don't advocate sewing a seam without removing the pins as you go.)
     


  7. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

    Messages:
    14,914
    Likes Received:
    93
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Wow, great link. Thanks.
     


  8. rssmsvc

    rssmsvc Senior member

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Many fabric shops have sewing classes or continuing ED or colleges. Instruction to sewing a shirt could easily be found in most cities.

    I took a continuing ed class when I was 18 and made a navy blue with white windowpane, very fine wale corduroy shirt.


    I find what you do incredibly interesting, at that point had you any previous tailoring experience ?
     


  9. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    6,102
    Likes Received:
    1,114
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    I find what you do incredibly interesting, at that point had you any previous tailoring experience ?

    I had begun working in my fathers tailor shop. Had about 6 months of sewing experience. You start out just learning to use a needle and thimble. I don't know why I took that class except I was always looking to learn, anywhere or from anyone I could. Any experience or exposure is good.
     


  10. chobochobo

    chobochobo Rubber Chicken Dubiously Honored Moderator

    Messages:
    6,483
    Likes Received:
    453
    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    This is encouraging. So with an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of sewing machines, we'd get a Kabbaz shirt yet.
     


  11. chobochobo

    chobochobo Rubber Chicken Dubiously Honored Moderator

    Messages:
    6,483
    Likes Received:
    453
    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Location:
    Hong Kong

    GOOD buttonhole foot are essential.
    Buy a 1/4" edgestitch foot for your machine. They're cheap and worth their weight in gold for shirtmaking.


    seriously though, thanks for the useful post, but what are a buttonhole foot and a edgestitch foot - what do they look like and what do they do? [​IMG] I am a complete newbie with sewing machines, I probably used one for all of an hour twenty years ago.
     


  12. instar

    instar Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Location:
    Houston
    seriously though, thanks for the useful post, but what are a buttonhole foot and a edgestitch foot - what do they look like and what do they do? [​IMG] I am a complete newbie with sewing machines, I probably used one for all of an hour twenty years ago.

    In a nutshell, a buttonhole foot makes buttonhole construction much easier. If the link works, here's a picture of one:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Home-Janome-...QQcmdZViewItem

    Essentially you drop in whatever sized button you're going to use on the shirt and the gadget makes a buttonhole to fit. On the newer machines, it's all pretty much automatic. I'm using a Kenmore 19110 right now and it makes a great buttonhole.

    The edgestitch foot is a presser foot that has a metal guide on one side exactly 1/4" from the needle. You keep your fabric against the guide when you're edgestiching and it keeps your seams nice and neat and the same distance from the edge all way around.

    There is also a shirt hem foot that aumatically rolls and stitches the hem at the bottom. Personally, I bind my hems with silk tape handstitched to the back, but a rolled hem is quicker and easier.

    Hope this helps. Believe me, once you start working with a sewing machine, it'll all be very straight forward. It took me longer to type this than it'll take you to get used to using the machine. [​IMG]

    Instar
     


  13. GlenCoe

    GlenCoe Senior member

    Messages:
    965
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Prague
    I find this thread very motivational [​IMG]
    Could someone in a nutshell explain the basic process of pattern making? For a beginner, obviously. I always thought the easiest way would be to dissect some well fitting shirt and then take those parts and make patterns out of them.
     


  14. columbia92

    columbia92 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    I got interested in shirtmaking due to my experience in buying MTM shirts. I think pattern making is the process of just drawing out the pattern on a piece of fabric so that you can just cut the fabric out and sew it together to make shirts or clothe. You can take the shirts apart and make pattern out of them but then you also have to learn to lay them out correctly on the fabric because if you don't line up the fabric correctly, the check or the stripe won't match when you sew the fabric together. You also need to know if you want to increase certain size at specific locations, which other part you also need to modify as well. My question is, even if I can take apart my clothe and lay out the patterns on a fabric, where can I buy all the fabric I need or the accessories such as buttons, thread and so forth??
     


  15. GlenCoe

    GlenCoe Senior member

    Messages:
    965
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    Location:
    Prague
    I got interested in shirtmaking due to my experience in buying MTM shirts. I think pattern making is the process of just drawing out the pattern on a piece of fabric so that you can just cut the fabric out and sew it together to make shirts or clothe. You can take the shirts apart and make pattern out of them but then you also have to learn to lay them out correctly on the fabric because if you don't line up the fabric correctly, the check or the stripe won't match when you sew the fabric together. You also need to know if you want to increase certain size at specific locations, which other part you also need to modify as well. My question is, even if I can take apart my clothe and lay out the patterns on a fabric, where can I buy all the fabric I need or the accessories such as buttons, thread and so forth??

    depends where you live, I've been doing some research for online shops and so far the best I found is this

    http://www.macculloch-wallis.co.uk/Default.aspx
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by