How to Tailor Your Own Clothes

Custom-made clothes are out of reach for most budgets. Even tailoring can get expensive fast. Here are some things you can do at home to make your clothes fit you better.

The first step is to use tailor's chalk, or any chalk, to mark the changes you are making. Then get ready to pin, pin and pin!

General Tailoring Tips

Test Out Your  Changes

Try the garment on with the pins in place. Move around in it. Walk down the hall, sit in a chair. Does it still feel right?

Be sure not to cut off any excess fabric until you are SURE you have the measurement exactly how you want it. You don't want to make that cut until it is the perfect size for you!

Make Adjustments

Helpful Supplies when Tailoring Clothes

Tailoring Scissors Pins Soft measuring tape Seam ripper Safety pins Dress form

Tips for Making Clothes Bigger or Smaller

To make something bigger, you need at least 3/8” to make a seam. If there is more than 3/8”, you can let it out a bit. Same with making things longer. If you can’t adjust it, consider turning it into clothing for your children!

Changing the Length of Pants and Seams

This is one of the easiest things to do. Just rip out the stitches for the hem, pin it to the length you want, and try it on.  If you are happy with it, sew the new hem. Don't forget to try it on again before cutting off the excess fabric.

A Final Note on Tailoring Clothing

Garments with linings are much harder to tailor. Unless you are very comfortable with sewing it may be better to leave that to the professionals.

For more tips and ideas, visit DIY Danielle

Danielle Pientka

Danielle is a DIY/craft/sewing blogger on  She loves to write about projects that she makes for her small farm, her children, and her home.