Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

Resources for beginners

We’re lucky to live in an age where information is always at our fingertips. I’ve learnt so much about sewing on the internet and I wanted to create an area where you can find links to lots of different blogs and tutorials that I’ve found over the years.

Amazing blogs for beginners

Tilly and the Buttons – Ask anyone (at least in the UK) about learning to sew and most of the time you’ll be directed to Tilly and the Buttons. Tilly’s blog has expanded into a well known indie pattern company with online classes and two books under her belt too.

Colette – The original indie sewing pattern co has tons of fantastic posts and tutorials on how to get started sewing!

Crazy little projects – This blog is chock full of fun little projects and loads of tips of getting started with sewing. It’s definitely more orientated to parents as there’s lots of sewing for kids!

So Sew Easy – This is another great site jam packed full of helpful sewing tips.

Learn from Youtube with…

Annika Victoria – AKA @littlepineneedle on Instagram, Annika is all about DIY fashion with a strong emphasis on thrifting and upcycling clothes.

Stitchless TV – Tree has over 200 videos with a huge variety of projects, upcycles, tips and tricks to try out. I love her transformational pattern cutting ones in particular!

Palmer/ Pletsch – learn the Palmer Pletsch method of fitting clothes.

With Wendy – I have so much love for Wendy’s style of DIY videos. It’s just too easy to get sucked into watching all of her makes!

Man Sewing – He’s just a guy that likes to sew! Rob has a ton of video tutorials mostly on quilting and accessories.

Be inspired by…

Oonaballoona – Marcy Harriell’s blog is full of beautiful over the top inspiring makes. Her bright vibrant style is sure to catch your eye!

Male Pattern Boldness – Peter Lappin is the proud creator of the world’s most popular mens sewing blog! He does actually do both mens and womenswear and has an extensive back catalog of makes.

Mimi G – This DIY blogger (and general style sensation) has even teamed up with Simplicity to produce her own sewing patterns.

The Fold Line – This site is part pattern database, part sewing community, part pattern shop. It’s a great resource is you’re looking for a particular style of garment and want to search through lots of different patterns from the big 4 and indie designers.

Pattern Review – PR does exactly what its name says! The site allows participants to post reviews for whatever pattern they’ve used. I love using this site to check out other people’s experiences with a pattern (and to check out photos for fitting tips).

Mood Sewciety – this blog from Mood Fabrics (of Project Runway fame) offers tons of free patterns.

Useful guides

How to measure yourself

Fabric shopping guides

+ to online shopping

+ for cities around the world

Putting together PDF patterns

+ check out guides here and here


How to put in a zip –

+ invisible zips

+ lapped


How to sew buttonholes –

+ by machine

+ hand sewn

+ bound


+ a how to guide

+ on making them perfect

Inserting metal poppers


Bust adjustments – this video tutorial covers full and small bust adjustments

Sway back adjustment – do you get that bit of excess fabric that pools at your lower back? This is the fit adjustment for you!

Shoulder (wide or narrow) shoulder adjustments – tips on how to adjust the width to accommodate wide or narrow shoulders.

Big bicep adjustment – a simple adjust for those (like me!) with larger upper arms.

Fitting jeans and trousers – sign up to the free newsletter at Closet Case Patterns for two great guides to fitting jeans and trousers.

Online classes

Sometimes a dedicated online class is easier to follow than a YouTube video. I’ve tried them in the past and really enjoyed the e-learning experience. These are especially good if you aren’t able to make it to a class in person but want a more formal atmosphere.

Closet Case Patterns – Sew your dream jeans – this is one of the best online classes I’ve ever taken!

Closet Case Patterns – Sew your dream swimsuit

Sew It Academy

Sew Over It

The Stitch Sisters

Tilly and the Buttons