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Essential Tips For Sewing Your Own Shirt Or Top

4 min read

There's no denying that tops and shirts are key wardrobe staples. They are such a core part of our outfits, and we love styling them in new ways! Not only are tops and shirts essentials, but they also come in an endless array of styles and aesthetics. Basic, timeless, urban streetwear — the possibilities are endless!

One way to achieve a top that is truly you is to make it yourself! Pattern Emporium has a range of shirt sewing patterns and top sewing patterns that will suit every unique style. From essential t-shirts to modern fitted shirts, we’re your sewing pattern best friend. Browse our range of top sewing patterns today to find the perfect new piece you can make all by yourself!

However, you can’t just dive into creating a garment without knowing your way around a sewing machine or your chosen fabric. Sewing for the first time can be daunting; there are so many important steps that are crucial to making your piece properly. But it doesn’t have to be so scary! Pattern Emporium is here to help.

We’ve created this comprehensive guide of tips and tricks you need to know to create the perfect top. Keep reading to learn more.

  1. Choose a Style You Love

This may seem obvious, but it’s important to understand the style and silhouette of the tops you’re making. When you get excited about making something new, you often want to skip straight to the fun part — sewing. But planning ahead will definitely help you out when you're sewing. Schedule some time to comb through the steps, materials, and methods before getting to work.

Each of our top patterns comes with multiple style options. So, read the top pattern before you get started! The top you choose could also be seasonal. For example, the Low-Key Cami Top has a flowy silhouette and is a good summer option. 

It’s also a great idea to take a look at everything in the pattern before sewing. Often, there are different options for sleeves, cuts and lengths of the garment. Pattern Emporium makes ‘What’s in the pattern?’ YouTube videos for patterns like our All in Easy Fit Shirt, so you know exactly what you’re getting when purchasing a pattern from us!

  1. Choose the Right Fabric

Another important factor in sewing your tops the right way is to match fabric to pattern. Our patterns include information like recommended fabrics and give you different options to choose from. You can even see different fabrics in action at the top of most pattern listings.

  1. Make Your Unique Size

For people who are keen to start sewing, one of the challenges can be fit and measurement. A common mistake among new sewers is with seam allowance. With the detailed instructions that come with our patterns, you’ll find that seam allowances are included in all of our patterns. Each of our patterns offer a step by step guide to help you determine the best size to make for your unique body & sew a garment that fits. Where needed, we include tips on multi-sizing. So you don’t have to rely on guesswork. They are different depending on whether you’re sewing knits or wovens, but you can find in-depth instructions on the pattern and in the tutorial. Check out our tutorial on measuring yourself before you start!

  1. Pre-Wash And Iron Your Fabric Before Working

A crucial yet simple piece of advice we want to give is to wash and iron your fabric before working on it! Removing any creases or crinkles allows you to lay the pattern and cut and sew accurately. Instead of a good finish, ironing is a simple step that can give your clothes agreatfinish. 

Iron your fabric before you start to get accuracy while cutting. Iron again during sewing for flawless seams. Ironing is an important step so that your garments have that professional finish. For beginners, our patterns offer tips on how and when to iron. 

  1. Test Out Sewing Techniques Before Going All in

If you’re new to sewing, it might be a good idea to test your sewing skills before you get started, especially when attempting new techniques. Our patterns carry detailed instructions about each technique, but mistakes can be a part and parcel of the process of learning new sewing skills. 

Even sewing pros practise new skills on scrap materials before applying it to a garment. No one gets it right 100% of the time, so work out those errors on scrap materials before you start working on your fabric. As you get more practice, you will save time in the long run and end up with a much neater finished piece!

  1. When Unsure, Seek Help

Sewing in the dark is never a good idea — both literally and figuratively. If you’re feeling stuck, there’s always help at hand! Pattern Emporium has a bunch of how-to videos that can help you along your creative journey. You will find links to these in your tutorial. And our YouTube channel is a gold mine of resources, tips and tricks and more! Our tops’ patterns come with detailed sewing techniques, some of which you may not have tried before. Before sewing, make sure you read the method in detail and check out our how-to videos for more information. Then, you can dive into creating your piece fully prepared and confident!

If you’re still stuck, you should join like-minded creatives in our Facebook group who may have the answer! In a supportive community of people who just simply love sewing, you’ll find many friends who can lend a helping hand. 

Happy sewing! Browse our range of top and shirt sewing patterns, or for further information, feel free to get in touch.