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How to Learn Tailoring at Home

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Tailors repair and alter clothing. Tailors may work from home, in their own shops or for cleaners or in department stores. They can design clothes and help clients select the best fit when shopping for new clothes, as well as make original designs and patterns. Some tailors have learned their craft by on-the-job training. Today, tailors can learn their craft at home with a book and an online college course. Most tailors have some training beyond high school and many tailors have an associate’s degree in fashion and design.

Buy a sewing machine and sewing supplies. A basic sewing machine will suffice while you are learning how to sew and tailor clothes. You need a sewing machine that can sew a straight stitch in different lengths, sew in reverse, make a zigzag stitch and make button holes. Buy threads in many colors. Have spare needles and sharp sewing scissors. You will also need a dressmaker’s measuring tape to measure cloth before cutting.

Find an accredited online college that offers design and fashion and tailoring classes for credit. Your computer must have a high-speed Internet connection and a good graphics card so that you can view online tutorials and how-to videos during the course. Many online colleges allow you to proceed through the course at your own pace. Other online schools are more rigid and follow a strict syllabus. Decide which type of course is best for you and your learning style. Online schools usually provide the textbooks and lessons for the course.

Buy a reference book about tailoring clothes. Books are available at booksellers and at craft shops that sell sewing supplies. On old clothes, practice different types of alterations and tailoring described in the book.


“Measure twice and cut once” is a common saying among tailors. Always double-check your measurements before cutting.

Practice tailoring clothes for friends and family members after you become confident in your skills.


Wear eye protection when sewing thick or coarse material. Needles can break and cause injury.

Become familiar with how a sewing machine works before you attempt to sew a garment.

Keep your fingers away from the needle.

Unplug the sewing machine when you finish a project.