Sewing is a very common pastime in America. Believe it or not, tens of thousands of sewing enthusiasts make some or all of their livings through dressmaking. The skills learned as you become a seasoned dressmaker apply very well to other marketable activities.
Excellent sewing skills will only get you so far in the business. An eye for fashion and an ability to translate this eye into your finished work is critical. If you want to be a dressmaker, you would do well to study design in order to better market yourself. In addition to making dresses, dressmakers can do alterations, make patterns for others, and offer basic tailoring.
The field of dressmaking is not for the weak-hearted. It requires confidence and follow-through in order to be successful amidst heavy competition. Think about it – not only are you competing with other dressmakers, designers, and tailors, but with clothing retailers, as well! A clear understanding of classic looks, construction, as well as the current trends will serve you well in the field, as will an honest appraisal of which looks will work for which body types and the tact to express that when needed.
How do you get started in dressmaking? There are a number of possible approaches. Many get started as a hobby, making clothing for themselves and for family. Mentoring is another option – experienced dressmakers may have a need for help around the workshop, help you could provide in exchange for knowledge and experience. Such an arrangement not only provides an opportunity to work on your sewing skills, but will expose you to the business side of the venture, as well.
Historically, the dressmaking profession goes back hundreds of years. The aristocracy might employ their own dressmakers to create and maintain their household’s clothing. Those less well-off, however, wanted access to these skilled tradesmen and women from time to time, as well. Thus was born the freelance dressmaker, serving not a single employer or family, but many customers at once.
Beginners would do well to startsmall, and work up from there. Pick up a basic beginner’s pattern at the fabric store (they are marked according to difficulty), and give it a go. As you develop your skills, you may opt to create your own custom patterns, or combine parts of several patterns to make unique pieces for your various customers.
The benefits of being a skilled dressmaker aren’t all financial. Knowing your way around the sewing room gives you the ability to stand out, dress to impress, and access garments that no one else can buy. Further, you’ll know that every piece in your wardrobe will fit perfectly. No more buying off the rack for you! If you can imagine it, you can create it – and that’s quite a skill.
Over time, you’ll find that your wardrobe isn’t the only thing in your household to benefit from your skills. Home decor is often fabric-based, too, and as such is every bit as malleable under your nimble fingers. Drapery, wall hanging, pillows, bedding, and furniture can all be spruced up with ample sewing skill.
There’s also a certain meditative quality to the repetitive nature of dressmakers, as many in the field would attest. When you get working on a project, hours can pass in contented silence. You may also see a general improvement in your outlook on life, brought about by a solid outlet for your competence and creativity.
Learn to Sew – Recommended Books!
Sew Everything Workshop
Step by Step Beginners Guide With 25 Original Designs
One Yard Wonders *BEST SELLER*
101 Projects – Look What You Can Make With One Yard Of Fabric!
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