Thursday, May 05, 2011

Do I save money sewing?

Ann of Gorgeous Things put that simple sentence in her last post and of all the information there, that's what I latched onto! *smile*  The reason that I latched onto it was that for years I did sew to save money.

When my children were smaller and there were so many expenses with so little money...I mean my ex-husband and I both worked but we had jobs.  You know the kind that pay a decent salary but when you add up all the things you need, plus a few extras, you are living within your means without ALOT of fancy extras...there were no playstations at my house...not even a computer until they were in high school.

So to stretch every dime, I sewed not only for the girls but for myself.  A yard of fabric cut just the right way could yield a shorts set for each of the girls. Sunday church dresses definitely came from my sewing machine.  I really loved those $80-100 little girl dresses with the lovely ribbons and "silk" overlays...I could make those for about $15-20 a dress.  Since we spent alot of time in church, I needed a lot of Sunday clothes...not to mention every day school clothes.  Okay I'm sure you are getting my point.

I also didn't have a large stash of fabric.  There were a couple of bins but not the proliferation that lives with me now...and a pattern...a pattern was used until I couldn't use it anymore because I didn't purchase as many as I do now.  All of this to say that yes...at one point I did sew to save money. 

I'm in a different stage of life now.  My kids are grown.  I'm no longer married and I have a much more demanding, well-paying job.  So my priorities have changed.  I sew for pleasure now.  I sew to have the wardrobe I want.  I sew because I can...but sewing to save money...no that's no longer apart of my lexicon.

So what about you?  Do you sew to save money?  Or do you just sew for the pleasure of it?

Let me know, cause this is the question of the day!

101 comments:

  1. I don't think so; I've got quite a stash of fabric and patterns that I've spent a lot of money on. But on the other hand, those are sunk costs and I can go to my stash and make things without any additional expenditure. So in a sense, they're "free."

    Most importantly, I sew for myself for my own pleasure. Cost isn't the primary factor.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I sew to save money! Oh, wait, that was my mother. ;) I'm more in the Gigi camp of going broke sewing to save money. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I learn to sew when I was 14 yrs. At the time it was a God send. I was nearly 6ft tall and nothing store brought fit right. Been sewing since. Would not know how to buy clothes now. I don't sew to save money, or least that not the reason now. Of course I would not buy clothing in the store because they are expenses, even clothing at walmart's. The few times I've gone into a clothing store and looked at the way clothing are made and looked at the price tag, I usually go, uhmmm I can make this better for less. I also sew for religious reasons. The type of clothing that I require are found in very few clothing stores and I refuse to throw something together to cover myself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My need to sew is to have better fitting garments. Period. I don't really see a big savings personally.

    Now if I can just get in gear and start sewing I'll be fine! LOL

    Be encouraged...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think I would save by sewing clothes form my 2yo boy.... But only if I was inclined to buy from higher end shops/department stores. I tend to make pants for him in more interesting colours/patterns than I could buy. I mix these with store bought, fairly cheap t-shirts and other secondhand garments.

    I'm currently pregnant with a girl and will definitely enjoy sewing a huge chunk of her wardrobe ... Time permitting :-) I have a feeling that I'll save some $$, but I'm not sure.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm very similar to where you were in the young kids stage of life. So yes, I want to save money, or at least to spend the same amount but get better quality (more durable, non-see-through) fabric.

    ReplyDelete
  7. When I started sewing I sewed because I couldn't find things that fit. Big shoulders and boobs didn't work with RTW.
    Now I mostly sew for my kids to make things you can't really buy or because all that's available is so shoddy. Do I save money in the beginning? Maybe not but I would think I do save some money in the end because what I make lasts a LOT longer than the stuff you can buy these days.
    I'm going back to sewing for me though and for the same reason I started with - I can't find clothes that I like that fit the way I want them too. I bet I'll eventually save money there too - because I'll be tossing a lot less stuff out!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I guess on somethings I save mney and others I don't... May as well say I break even.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I find that I spend more now, but my clothes fit better than when I only bought rtw. Plus, I have become more at peace with my body and its quirks. That alone has probably saved me thousands in therapy alone!

    ReplyDelete
  10. My sewing is like my knitting, I often have expensive tastes. Even when I do find a bargain, I tend to end up buying a ton more (fabric, yarn, pattern, book) anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  11. If I can figure out how to make jeans then I'll be sewing those to save money. I think I do save money on things made of woven fabric, but not on knitwear. I certainly do not save money sewing Halloween costumes. And since most of my kids' clothes are purchased at the thrift store, I don't really save money by making them clothes.

    What I am saving is my sanity. I hate scheduling shopping trips to thrift stores looking for certain things that the kids need. I would rather spend all of that time in bits and pieces at home planning and one larger chunk of time at the fabric store and then bits and pieces again in actually creating the garments.

    I like the mental challenge that sewing presents. Yes there is a bit of creativity, but I have never thought of myself as having original ideas, it's the puzzle of it all that intrigues me. And the lure of clothes that fit!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I sew because I love it, but it also has the benefit of providing my family with clothes that both look good and fit better than RTW. The retail scene in Australia is a little different to the US and from what I've seen clothing is quite expensive in Australia compared to the US , so I can save quite a bit of money by sewing my own :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't save money by sewing. I would be happy if it were a revenue-neutral hobby.

    I did amortize my machines and other equipment and the $ I spend on fabric, patterns and notions in a year, and I might save money, if you didn't count my time and the space I devote to sewing.

    But face it, for the price I could rent a bedroom for to a roommate (at the beach in LA), I could be buying a Chanel suit every year.

    I sew because I like to make stuff.
    I sew because it pleases me.
    I sew because my daughter (10 yo) still loves what I make for her.

    Full disclosure (and I am interested in what other people spend):
    I spent $300 on clothes, shoes & accessories so far this year and $1260 on sewing, knitting and art supplies and lessons. Anyone else want to share how much they spent?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I sew hoping for a better fit. It's hard for me to buy rtw dresses or pants because I have a rather exaggerated pear shape. My mom sewed to save money. But fast, cheap fashion has changed all that. Who can compete with Walmart/Primark on price? Also, there is not much competition in the off the bolt fabric market when you think about it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I do both. Sew to save money and also because I enjoy it. More importantly, I sew because I can have clothes that fit me. Unlike RTW that have sleeves where I cant even see my hands and trousers that I need stilts to wear everything I sew fits in all the right places! Ok, so I'm exagerating a little, I am 5'1" and even petite RTW still doesn't fit right.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I sew because I can't get decently fitting clothes in the shops. I'm a 36E bra, so RTW just doesn't have clothes that fit me. I'm also *really* short waisted (my neck to waist measurement is 13"! The pattern size I use has a 16.5" neck to waist measurement!) so I find RTW bunches up aound my waist as theres just too much length there.
    However, I also *kind of* sew to save money. A bespoke piece of clothing would cost alot more than what I spend on a made-for-me dress. But if fit and quality didn't matter to me, then most of the time RTW is cheaper.
    And of course I sew because I love too! :)
    Ashley x

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have only been sewing about two years and I started sewing to make skating costumes. In that sense, yes I save money because I am not paying a professional seamstress to make costumes for me (I still spend a lot on the raw materials, but I probably save $100-$300 on labor costs per costume).

    I only recently became interested in sewing "normal" clothes. I was never really interested in clothes before because nothing looked good on me. But since my school days are numbered (I can live in the hoodies for two more years at best) I am a little more interested in dressing slightly more like an adult. Now I don't have a ton of experience, but I have made enough to know that I can make clothes that fit a lot better than RTW. The quality of my stuff is maybe not quite as good as a lot of my RTW yet, but I get more compliments on the clothing that I have made (from people who don't know I made them) than I do on my other clothes. I also have much more appreciation for good fit and good quality, so when I do buy RTW I am more discerning. Which means I spend money of stuff I am going to wear (a lot) which is much better than buying something and not wearing it much.

    Of course, I am spending a lot of money on sewing because I am sort of new, so I didn't have a lot of patterns or tools or non-skating fabric. So I do feel like I am spending a lot because I have been stock-piling things recently, and I would not necessarily have spent all of this money on clothes. On the other hand I feel like the money is not only being spent on a hobby I enjoy, but is also an investment in a good future wardrobe, because I can see my skills and tastes improving with most projects. So overall, I don't think I am saving money (because it is money I probably wouldn't have spend on clothes), but I think I am gaining comfort, confidence, and a skill, so I still think it is worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I started sewing because I am very particular in my choice of clothes. I admit that it is probably possible to buy the garment I envisioned but I just don't have enough time and strength to do extensive shopping. And now when I started sewing (I am still at the beginning of the path) when I compare shop prices and the cost of me made clothes I do feel that I save money.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Like you when my daughter was younger and funds were tight I used to sew to save money. Now my daughter is grown and I sew for various reasons but not really as a money saver.
    I gave up dressmaking for a long time and have recently returned to it because I got fed up of going into shops and end up buying something that 'would do'. Clothes now seem to be worn so tight, so short and so low cut. I was standing in a shop thinking what I really want is that blouse but with these sleeves and that neckline to go with that skirt only in a different colour and longer, then I had a 'light bulb' moment that I could make what I wanted - goodness knows why it took so long!
    Now I go into shops just for ideas. I frequently try things on to see what I would do differently or to see how something is constructed and as I don't have to look at the price tag I never know if my finished garment has cost more or less.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Clothing is so (irresponsibly) cheap it's hard to save money sewing. I meant to say I save money sewing pants for the kids, simple elastic-waist designs from inexpensive fabrics. But really, even then secondhand pants wold be cheaper. Everything more involved I sew to save money in the sense that I wouldn't spend the money needed to buy something that nice but unnecessary (festive dress for the girl, festive coat for me). Since I also accumulated a fabric stash, overall I don't save, which is okay since my primary aim is to have a creative outlet.

    ReplyDelete
  21. When DH and I first married, we were both going to college and there was not a lot of money for clothes. Growing up, my grandmother made most of my clothes, we were not rich but I was always well dressed. She purchased a sewing machine for me and I made a lot of my clothes, particularly for work as I worked and went to school. I don't have to sew now because of lack of money; but I do have to sew now to keep my sanity as well as creativity going. Besides I love to sew and I love that I will not see my garments walking down the street on another person.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I sew because I love to sew. I used to think my size was the reason I sewed, but Lane Bryant, Avenue, and department stores carry enough large sizes to keep me from being naked. I can get inexpensive clothes at Burlington, Marshall's and TJMaxx. There really is no reason I *have* to sew - except to save my sanity.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Saving money is one of the reasons I wanted to sew (getting a better fit was the first). What I've found is that sewing isn't cheap, but it's less expensive than good RTW. If you compare garment to garment, sewing saves money, but if you factor in the pattern collections, fabric collections and tools we've amassed ...

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have always loved working with fabric so I have always sewn for pleasure. However when I was younger it did save money and occasionaly now it saves money (swimsuits and jackets!). I used to sew to make things that fit but I have put a lot of work into losing weight and getting fitter, so that is not not a big issue now. I sew beacuse I love handling fabric - I am more excited to make a dress in a pretty print than a sensible skirt in black! I sew beacuse it gives me a wardrobe that I won't see coming down the street toward me, no simple reasons but I just love to sew!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I sew because I hate shopping! I hate struggling in and out of my clothes again and again in cramped changing rooms in order to try on clothes which are supposed to be the same size but in fact are all randomly sized. It's such an ordeal! It takes hours to find something I like that fits me (and I am a standard size). Sometimes I fail - and go home feeling frumpy and demoralized. The fringe benefits of sewing include that all my clothes now fit me better, are more comfortable, coordinate colourwise and, yes, actually, they do work out cheaper, in terms of price-paid to quality (of workmanship, fabric, fit and finishing).

    ReplyDelete
  26. I sew mainly because I love to sew but I do feel like I save money also. I find things in stores, magazines or online and many times I can recreate that look for less.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I sew out of pure love. I love the craft. I love wearing nice clothes. I really love sewing for my family, just love love love.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Saving money on sewing? Well, there are certain things, like basic knit tops that I buy but I have issues finding things that I like (why is retail so boring now?)in my size range, so I sew. Now, I also am careful about how much I spend on fabric and notions but when I can make a coat which cost me (all in - buttons, heavy weight flannelized satin lining, wool flannel interlining and hair canvas) all of $50-60 (without my labor but that's the love part) and will last me for years being worn every..single...winter...day (and in Upstate NY, that is 5 months' worth), that is worth it for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I could sponsor a couple of PHD educations with what I've spent on sewing! No savings here!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am saving money, I would say; I've been sewing for a little over a year, and have spent less than $30 on clothing for myself or my daughter since then (and almost all of that was for underwear). I thrift a large portion of my fabric (especially for muslins) and almost all of my notions. I do not fit into RTW sizes at all, and have lost quite a bit of weight since I started sewing. I used to find myself buying lots and LOTS of things that didn't really fit simply because it was all I could find...I'd wear it for a little while, and then go buy something else and try again. Now I take the time to fit as well as my skills are able, use patterns and fabric I actually want to wear, and am happy with the shorts, or shirt, or dress I make.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I too, sew because I truly LOVE it. My skills have improved over the years, and I finally have "time" to indulge my passion.

    I "think" I am saving some money..... I refuse to do a total cost savings calculation. Some items are definitely approached as a "I can do that for so much less", whereas an expensive must-have fabric can be justified in a heart beat....

    I agree. Cost is not the factor for me........

    ReplyDelete
  32. I started sewing (as an adult) because in the stores i couldn't find pants to fit, so i designed my own. I found that i got so much satisfaction out of that one thing that i started sewing & designing lots of other clothes & reading every piece of info on sewing & design that i could get my hands on. 15 years or so later and my reasons for sewing have only expanded. Some items i do save money by making myself, some not so much, just a better fit. Lately i find myself sewing items for my Etsy shop (i.e. stuff that i wouldn't/ can't wear) from my overflowing fabric stash in an attempt to reclaim the space. :P Overall, while i don't save a lot of money sewing for myself, i do save a little and my quality of life is greatly improved. :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. No, I don't sew to save money. Like you, Carolyn, I did in my younger days when money was tight and buying clothes for the family was not possible.
    That is not an issue anymore, so I no longer pay attention to the price when buying fabric, although sales still lure me in to buy more than I need.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I do both I tend to save money on finer fabrics and making it myself does cost less. But sometimes I find really good bargains at a top of the line store and then I sew something for the pleasure and creativity it gives me. I used to sew pants for length reasons being 5ft 10, but with the heel heights being higher I see pants are no longer a problem as hemlines are longer and I wear flats. So I break even.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Ha ha ha . . . save money? Rarely do my sewing efforts save me money! I sew for the pleasure of it . . . I can create what I want, it's unique and unlike anything I can find in the stores. It's like cooking . . . sometimes, it's cheaper for me to go out for a meal than to create something at home (especially since I usually have to buy spices or veggies or some special ingredient). But I like making my own food because I know what's in it, I can tailor it to my tastes. And I enjoy a great feeling of accomplishment when I'm done!

    ReplyDelete
  36. My mother definitely sewed to save money. After the kids were grown she sewed for fun, took loads of classes, and bought what she wanted to sew. I picked up sewing because I could have more clothes and I enjoyed it. Now I enjoy stalking the fabric sites in hopes that what I like goes on sale but I have paid full price just as often. I still have fun sewing.

    ReplyDelete
  37. It's a little bit of both for me---probably leaning more to the saving money part. I think my luxury sewing (at times) balances out perfectly with my normal frugality. I don't really have major financial restraints but rather I get alot of joy out of being frugal. It adds to my enjoyment of sewing if that makes any sense.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I sew because I love it. I can't afford my taste in clothes so I guess I do sew to save. Sewing is the most useful thing I have ever learned.

    ~Sewjourner

    ReplyDelete
  39. I sew because I love it. And I sew because most of the fashions out there (too tight fitting) only seem to suit the young and skinny. I'm am neither anymore. LOL. I'm certainly not saving any money! My stash is huge and I hope my hubby doesn't look in the closets! LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I sew for pleasure, not to save money. Because I love sewing I have more clothes than I need, and probably more than I would have if I bought clothes. Also, I love sewing with and wearing really good cotton and linen fabrics so I could buy "ordinary" clothes, made from cheaper fabrics, more cheaply than I can make them.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I do save money by sewing (my fabric is always purchased on sale, but I also get a good fit. I can't imagine ever being able to afford the RTW clothes that appeal to me (may-be my tastes are a "little" too rich!) and I know from experience, that alterations would always have to be done. Much easier to just bring home a piece of fabric and start from scratch. Funny thing - when I "figure" the price of a garment I've made, I somehow always manage to forget the fact that it's not just the fabric itself that costs money. Being frugal and producing something that looks good does take a lot of creativity, and I really enjoy that part of sewing.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Sewing to save money stopped for me sometime in the 1970s, when the cost of materials shot up relative to the cost of living. I sew for better fit, for better-quality construction than clothing in my rtw price range, to have styles that I am comfortable in even when they are "out of style," to have colors that suit me even when unavailable in rtw, for the enjoyment of playing with pretty fabrics and the joy of designing an interesting wardrobe. Cost of patterns, fabrics, notions, etc. is considered entertainment budget at my house.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I, like you, am in a good place in my life. I don't sew to save money but in a way I'm sure it does save me money. For the type of garments I like and the fit I'd want I'm sure I would only be shopping at up-scale stores and be on the brink of bankruptcy. I'm sure my fabric stash would net me quite a bit if I had the cash instead. I am semi-retired so I don't need the an extensive wardrobe but dressing nice and have infinite choices make me quite happy. I spend more money on shoes and purses than I do on clothes. Of course if I didn't sew so much I would need as many purses and shoes to choose from. Hmmm. No I don't sew to save money, I sew because it has been a major part of my life for the last 43 years and will probably be for the next 43.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I do save on kid's clothes, especially the Sunday dresses, since I have to buy for two girls 6 years apart. So instead of (cheap estimate) $100 for 2 dresses, I may pay $30-40 for the 2 to coordinate. I also make PJ pants to go with plain $3 tshirts. Since I don't like most RTW on me, what I do make successfully is a time and shopping savings. However, the pile of UFO's eat up savings. For me, it's also sanity-saving, learning and stretching my abilities, a creativity outlet, and not buying too much from Target/Walmart, because 4 kids go through alot of clothes.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I started sewing because it was cheaper - I had a low paying job, and liked having a wide variety of clothes.

    Now I could certainly afford to shop more, but in a way, sewing is still the cheaper option. Sewing has given me expensive taste!
    I've become so spoiled by being able to make my own well-made things from beautiful, quality fabrics, that I'm dissapointed in the quality of reasonably priced ready to wear. I couldn't go back to wearing RTW now unless I was willing to spend a LOT on my clothes.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I hear the comment about "you can't save money sewing" all the time. Strange thing is - even though I don't sew to save money - I do because I'm always on the watch for sales and good deals. It's rare for me to buy fabric full price. It's usually radically reduced like the 22.00 a meter fabric I'm sewing with now that I bought for 2.00 a meter. That's the benefit of a stash and a bonus because I sew for entertainment. It's also cheap therapy - LOL - and the fit is way better and I'm totally addicted to good fit.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Yes and no.....
    I am actually tracking all my sewing related expenses this year to see how I do. I buy a lot of supplies, patterns, and some fabric from thrift stores, and some vintage and oop patterns on-line (cheap ones only). But I do that so that for some really special items I can buy more expensive fabrics (on sale)or the occasional new pattern. But, the bottom line ~ I sew for fit and quality - and that is priceless.
    Blessings,
    Patti

    ReplyDelete
  48. Although it is possible to save money while sewing, I don't. I do it for my sanity and I call my sewing room my "coping room". Of course this type of therapy benefits myself as well as my girls so my husband fully encourages it.

    ReplyDelete
  49. The reasons for sewing have changed over the years. I started sewing when I was 10, when I'd sit with my Mum while she sewed. She did it to save money, I started because I LOVED it.

    I've sewed mainly for 2 reasons: to save money, so I could have really nice clothes that would otherwise have cost A LOT as RTW, and also to have clothes that FIT well; I'm a petite, small-busted pear shape.

    Before having kids, when I was making a very decent income, I wasn't sewing anything!! Too busy working overtime! But I missed sewing.

    Now, as a SAHM, I'm sewing primarily to save money. I sew for my boys a bit, but mainly for myself. I'm ramping up to re-enter the workforce next year, and I've got NOTHING to wear...that fits anymore. Can you tell I'm excited?! I LOVE TO SEW!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I sew as a hobby. I probably break even as far as cost goes including the stash I have. I buy so few RTW things these days but I do find that I'm more willing to buy a really nice pair of jeans or shoes because I don't spend the money on other clothes. I sew because I can, it's fun, stress relief, and I love to have unique things no one else does. Add to that the joy of something fitting me right!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I sew because I love it. I didn't start with the mindset to save money. I just enjoyed it.

    Now I do save from time to time when I'm making the girls dresses. We too spend a lot of time in church, but sometimes the dresses they like I can make MUCH cheaper.

    I'm getting to the point now where I realize I don't HAVE to make all my clothes JUST because I can sew and I'm LOVING that lol.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Both.

    This economy sux!And I like to look good. I could buy cheap clothes, but I rather, for the same money, have the clothes I want and like.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I sew totally for my own pleasure now. When I was a teenager, sewing was purely economical because I grew up in a big family and there was no extra money for a budding fashionista! As an adult, I sewed in the garment industry for awhile, and amassed enough swim wear fabric to last a life time (or so I thought...it's all gone now!) Now that my family is grown and I have money to buy clothes, I sew because things that are tailor made fit so much better and I can have the wardrobe I desire.

    ReplyDelete
  54. A survey done by a major pattern company found that the number one reason people sewed was because it allowed them to be and feel creative.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Like you Carolyn, I'm at a place in my life where I sew for the pleasure of it. To get the clothes I want and save myself the horror of trying on clothes. Although, I have to admit, even when I was younger with small kids, I still didn't sew to save money. I sewed to get the specific outfit that I wanted. With the boys all grown up, this habit is even worse now. It's SO MUCH fun!

    ReplyDelete
  56. For pleasure! Every now and then what I sew does save money, for instance I just bought 4 pieces of ITY Knit for $32.00 and this will give me 2 tops and 2 dresses, so for this time it does save me money and it will also give me pleasure while I'm making them.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I sew (and not that well-I'm still learning) for two reasons: to have simple, comfortable clothing that fits. I hate paying top dollar for pants or a suit that still doesn't fit well and needs alterations. I'm frugal when purchasing fabric, I watch for sales, free shipping. I don't count my time because I don't see sewing as work or a chore. It's almost like therapy. Creativity is one of the best stress relievers for me.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I sew now mainly for fit because I am so over RTW plus-size clothes! After sewing for years and learning what good fit is, I can't bear to part with hard-earned dollars on poorly fitting, yet overpriced garments.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I have been asked that question before as well.

    Frankly, it doesn't save me anything to sew for my kids because shopping the clearance racks I can get better deals than the cost of fabric. Except for PJs. Why do pajamas cost $20 at Target for $5 worth of fabric and my time? PJs I love to make. My kids love the PJs I make them. Win/win/cost savings.

    However, for *me*, I do save money. I can make myself a dress that would cost me around $80 at the local dress shop and I'll like it better and it will actually fir *me* with all my weird figure variations.

    I don't sew to save money. I sew to save my sanity. Sewing is therapeutic for me. I'm able to satisfy the need to construct/deconstruct and also to avoid frustration with RTW that never has and never will fit *my* body.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I sew for enjoyment & the pure pleasure of creating something. Do I save money? Not really as I give most of what I sew away to others. I might spend $30 on fabrics for pillowcases & end up giving them to the local Ronald McDonald House. I might spend $60 on batiste & lace & sew preemie burial clothes for Threads of Love. I buy supplies for clothing repairs for my church members. I don't do any of this for profit or tax deductions, I do it for the love of sewing. It makes me happy & that is what counts.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I had another post and lost it, but anyway...

    I find myself nodding in agreement to so many of the posts. I sew to save my sanity, I sew because it's the only "me" time I get, I sew because I love that creative kick, I sew because I know it'll fit (eventually! LOL!). I sew to challenge my skills and improve my techniques because you will never, EVER, know everything about sewing and I find that idea oddly comforting.

    I did sew to save money when my daughter was a wee sprog, because remnant bins could yield fantastic clothes for next to nothing. I also made several fancy easter dresses for the Hancocks that I worked in, and got to keep the garment when the display came down, as payment for my work-that REALLY saved money!

    But now it's really not a money saver, per se, and I don't mind. It costs about the same as RTW, but for better fabrics and better fit, so I figure I break even. The biggest factor is that it is my creative outlet.

    Now, as soon as I get the presser foot lever on my serger repaired, I can actually change the thread color! LOL! It's always something, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  62. I would never be able to duplicate my wardrobe if I bought off the rack. Not in my size, anyway! My primary reason for sewing is the pleasure I get creating a garment that's unique. That special jazz you get when an idea becomes a physical reality keeps my interest and drives me to learn how it's done. Like you, I used to sew to save, but now I save to sew!

    ReplyDelete
  63. I thought I was going to sew to save money. I sew clothes that couldn't afford to buy ready made, but if I didn't sew them I'd just do without so I guess I'm not saving!

    ReplyDelete
  64. When I first learned to sew (this was in the 60s) you could save money. Going through high school, if I hadn't sewed, I would not have had many clothes. With the advent of school uniforms, now it is cheaper to buy. I sew for pleasure and to get the right fit. I have been sewing long enough I have the nations and equipment are "sunk" costs so this year I might actually save, that is if I don't buy more fabric.;) I'm like Gigi and Shams, going broke sewing to save money.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I don't even want to figure out the price difference (lol)because I like to think that I save....Actually it saves me time. When I shop I have something specific in mind and I am not satisfied until I find it. Very frustrating because if i did find it then it would not fit right! I rather find a pattern and fabric and make it! For me, it is more satisfying!

    ReplyDelete
  66. I guess it depends on your definition of "saving money" *GRIN* I have a good paying corporate job, but I have two young-ish boys, so my money is not my own. I couldn't afford the type of clothing I'd like to have from RTW. Not to mention the fact that all of it requires alterations. So, yes, I save money by sewing. But, I do spend a lot more on fabric than I would if I were buying RTW (if that makes sense?). I would never come home with an article of clothing not knowing if I would ever really wear it. But I frequently buy a length of fabric not knowing what it will ultimately become. LOL! And that is really what it's all about, right?

    ReplyDelete
  67. I started sewing again this winter (last time I had was junior high home economics class!) because I was tired of paying the local tailor to do things like hems and minor repairs and because my kids grow so darn fast. I've tried to keep it an affordable hobby by buying my machine on super sale, by accepting all fabric and notions stash donations (big presents from my mother-in-law and mother), by buying fabric that is inexpensive or on sale and by focusing on refashioning what's already in our closets. So far, I'm having a great time and not spending too much but I can see how this could ultimate become a very expensive pastime! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  68. I sew for pleasure! In theory I'm saving money, because I could never afford to pay what it would cost at retail for high-quality garments that fit well. Also, things never fit me properly in stores, so I'd have to get things taken in and altered anyways, adding extra cost. Maybe I *do* save money, after all? I sew because I love it, I love having control over the fit, fabric choice and colour of my clothing! That's more important than how much it all costs. :) Great subject!

    ReplyDelete
  69. LOL, Shams! Well, I like nice fabric, quality notions and, at last count, owned about 25 sewing machines so I think I really am going broke saving money sewing. :-) However, the joy I get from it is absolutely priceless.

    That being said, my very large stash has enabled me to keep sewing and dressing well through nearly 2 years of unemployment. Not exactly money-saving but I have been able to make needed items without having to spend anything. Like Nancy said, they're "free".

    ReplyDelete
  70. I sew to save money when it comes to my kids. They're both very tall and very skinny -- store-bought pants, in particular, never fit them.

    I actually sew to make money when it comes to sewing for others. I like to do alterations and little custom jobs. This is my 'mad money' fund.-

    Sewing for myself is still done in limited quantities, so the money isn't really a factor.

    ReplyDelete
  71. When my children were young I made most of their clothes. I quit sewing for son after he discovered zippers and jeans. Daughter was incredibly well dressed - made elementary and junior high cheer outfits, refashioned formals, etc. Couldn't wait for a little girl. She was ten days old when I dragged myself (and her) to a fab. fabric shop for Christening dress fabric. Have been going strong ever since. Bottom line.....I LOVE TO SEW!!!If I save money - it is a by-roduct.

    ReplyDelete
  72. My goodness, Carolyn. We share a similar story. I started sewing in junior high. One because I was so skinny and tall, nothing fit. And second because I could get more bang for the buck. Married life: My reason was the same as yours. But now, it's like you said for my pleasure + plus I earn a little extra sewing for other people to help increase the stash.
    C

    ReplyDelete
  73. I am motivated more by fit than saving money but... Here in Auatralia I'm dfinitely saving money by eschewing retail and sewing instead due to the high cost of RTW. A dress made out of poly cotton unlined can be had of $250 and if I want one out of silk and lined it would be $300 up. For other Aussies I'm referring to the David Lawrence brand. Comparatively if I sew a similar dress in silk, with a nice lining, with good fit (most important) then it would cost me around $60 -$80. I believe as my skills increase and I'm able to make things like suits and winter coats I will save a lot more. Till then i'm happy to just make my more casual wardrobe and buy my suits second hand. Mel

    ReplyDelete
  74. I sew because I love to sew. I may save a little money on some things but I sew so many items, I lot more than I would buy. Sewing is something I just love to do, I love the feeling of creating something new. My husband thinks I am saving a lot of money.....I have never told him that but he just assumes so.

    ReplyDelete
  75. My story is very similar to yours when my daughter was little I sewed because I believe every little girl deserves to have great clothes. One Sunday when we arrived at church her friend started to cry, saying, "she always has a new dress", needless to say I made that little girl a dress. But now I too am in a different place and sew mainly to have the wardrobe I've always wanted and find it very enjoyable and a great stress reliever.

    ReplyDelete
  76. In junior high and high school (late 80's/early 90's) I loved to have new clothes that were quirky and creative like me. We didn't have a lot of money to spend on clothing. At that time, fabric was cheaper than it is now and there were so many more fabric stores in my area that it was easy to sew up a new outfit every weekend at a fraction of the cost to buy it, especially when I stuck to whatever was in the clearance bin. Sewing allowed me to express myself artistically and I loved to do it.

    For my wedding, I made my dress and the bridesmaid's dresses for pennies on the dollar for what the store would have charged, and I since I designed the gowns myself, I got *exactly* what I wanted, not whatever trend was popular in 1996.

    I have two boys. I have sewed them quite a few Hawaiian shirts and made some applique tees for them, but as far as sewing for the clothes they wear on a daily basis? I don’t. I stick to the thrift stores, hand-me-downs, outlets, and sales with coupons at Old navy.

    I grew up to work in the arts and do some costume design and construction. If I want something unusual or quirky, I make it myself. In a sea of store-bought costumes, my kids always win every costume contest they enter, and they already know that I can make whatever crazy thing they come up with FAR cheaper than what we can buy in the store.

    As far as fashion clothing for myself? RTW clothing fits my body just fine, and by watching sales and hitting the outlets, I can get what I want cheaply (I have no work dress code). The dozens of fabric stores in this area that I remember from my youth are gone, save one giant JoAnn’s at the mall that has more floral and frames than fabric. There’s always Downtown LA, but prices there have sharply risen from what I used to pay in the 90’s. I still love to wear quirky and unusual clothing, and I can only get that by making it myself.

    So all this is a long winded way of saying that no, unless you’re talking about costumes, I don’t sew to save money. I sew because it’s an artistic expression, a challenge, a way to let out stress, it gets me attention among my non-sewing peers, and because it makes me happy. Priceless.

    ReplyDelete
  77. I sew to have clothes that fit in fabrics I love. So saving money is not really my goal. Whether or not I save money depends on how you calculate it. If I bought the same fabric and paid someone else to make my clothes, then yes I save money. If I just bought the best I could find at Kohl's and Walmart, then no.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Like you, in my early sewing days with small children, I sewed to save money. And even now, I like to "think" that I'm saving money, but the reality is that I'm probably not. Now, I seem to endlessly buy patterns and fabric. But it is such a wonderful creative outlet. :D

    ReplyDelete
  79. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  80. For me, it's an emphatic "no". I sew because it's hard to find clothing for my plus-size body that fits and/or isn't a loose peasant shirt that makes me look about 10x bigger than I am. I like the look of clothing that's available for smaller people (sheath dresses, retro flavored clothing) and haven't been able to find it in my size. I'm not a great sewer yet, but I feel like I look good in what I do sew - and that's worth every penny I spend on fabric, patterns, time, etc

    ReplyDelete
  81. No. I don't sew to save money. I thrift shop to save money. No, really, I thrift because I enjoy the hunt and shudder at RTW prices. But I DO buy mostly on sale...patterns, fabric, etc., and that involves a little planning. Except when I see that one perfect fabric...

    ReplyDelete
  82. I sew for the sake of tradition.
    It means I ultimately pay fewer actual dollars for dress-up clothes. I sew gifts for friends, and I think the savings there and the gift of something hand-made are honestly priceless.
    But the total cost in time... well, it adds up.
    I sew to get what I want, how I want it, and if I could successfully stay on a fabric diet, it probably would save me money. It certainly saves my sanity to have the creative outlet... so I end up saving money because I don't pay for therapy.

    ReplyDelete
  83. I don't sew to save money, but because I love it. I'm happy about the saving money bit though.

    What other hobby saves you money?
    Imagine if we were wine connoisseurs! ( well imagine if we were ONLY wine connoisseurs and not sewists as well!). Now that's a hobby that is just a sink for money.

    Sewingelle

    ReplyDelete
  84. Like you sewed to save money when my five kids were young. For the pleasure. Love the creative process.

    ReplyDelete
  85. NuJoi and others have said it for me. I started to sew to fit a tall skinny kid when I was 12, to save money for a long time, and now I save money by sewing things that are more expensive than I would buy, but spend more money on my sewing than I ever would on clothes.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Sewing today costs me money, but it gives me so much pleasure. I sew for me and a couple of grands. I like learning new techniques as well as new technology. New machines and new challenges are good for. My mind too! I love to read about sewing too-- lots of inspiration to try new things!

    I love your blog and I try to check in often to see what you are doing. It expands my horizons!

    Lynda in LV

    ReplyDelete
  87. My mom sewed for twin girls so I'm sure she saved money. I remember sewing little doll clothes from the scraps. I have always sewed. I sewed tons of dresses and PJs and play clothes and costumes for my 3 kids, right up until it suddenly wasn't "cool" for your mom to make your clothes anymore. I sewed for other people and I sewed displays for Piece Goods when I worked there. (I miss them, don't you??)

    Then I took myself off to college and the corporate world and my kids grew up and I didn't sew for YEARS. I started sewing again (for ME!) just this year and I can't believe how much pleasure I take in it again. I sew what I want and what I like. I'm a big thrift shopper, so I'm certainly spending MORE on my clothes that I sew, but the pure pleasure of it is worth every penny to me.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I don't sew to save money. I sew to have clothes that are not what everyone else has. I live in a rural area. Most of us, professional women at work, would shop at the same on-line retailers. Often we would have the exact same outfits. Now I sew most of my work clothes so I don't see myself coming and going. I started sewing as a kid. In college, I did sew to save money.

    ReplyDelete
  89. How about this? Could you afford the quality of clothes you can sew for yourself? Would you be able to get the fit you get from sewing at any price? I don't like to shop for clothes so don't go in stores much but when I do, even the low to middle level stuff I'm looking at is priced too high for what it is. If time is money, it could take awhile to find something that fits also.
    Sewing gives me some "thing" as well that I might have to spend money on… therapy, alcohol…

    ReplyDelete
  90. I don't know. I just plopped down $18 for 6 buttons this morning. Ugh. I know I *can* buy cheap clothing cheaper. But I couldn't afford ready to wear clothing of this quality. Not at all. We're a big family. 9 kids. So sewing saves me a lot, and they dress a lot better (and cooler!) than most of their friends.

    ReplyDelete
  91. I was a teenager in the 70's. I had five brothers and sisters and money was very tight. It also seems that clothing was more expensive then than it is now. Well, even if there had been less expensive, throwaway clothing available to me when I was growing up in the, my mom and I turned our noses up at badly made RTW. My mom is from Spain and during the 40's and 50's you made your own clothing or had it made for you. Since we couldn't afford the quality we wanted here in the states, we made our own clothing to save money. Nowadays, I'm still disappointed in the quality and ill fit in the stores, but money is not as tight, so I sew for the individual touch I learned to love back when I couldn't afford to buy. I also sew for fun, since I no longer work under the pressure to provide everyday clothing.

    ReplyDelete
  92. I sew because I like too. I love to sew childrens clothing. I just wish I had more time.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I sew to get fit. I would probably spend the same amount of money if I bought everything RTW, but then I wouldn't look nearly as nicely dressed as I do. When you're fat and short, designers ignore you. I can shop in every department from petites, Women's, and misses and find clothes that I can wear but still find nothing that fits me right. Oh, and I need to mention that I just love to sit at my machine and sew. I also love to create and be artistic. Shopping just doesn't feed that side of me.

    ReplyDelete
  94. I remember when my kids were younger being asked this question by a fincial councelor. At the time he thought sewing was a silly hobby and I should buy second hand. Well to this day I sew because I want too. Some times it saves me $$, other times it is for pure enjoyment. My faric stash and closets consist of everything from second hand, discount to depatment store because it fit not only the budget but the mood I was creating. I guess than I would have to say I sew to be creative.

    ReplyDelete
  95. I sew because I just love to sew and be creative and have garments - even if it's just a plain black jacket - that is the only one of it's kind. I've felt that way ever since I learned how to sew. I think that it does save me money but that's not why I do it.

    ReplyDelete
  96. There are many reasons I sew. Firstly I'm not a "standard" size and find ready to wear a complete nightmare. I detest clothes shopping (shoes and bags are a totally different story!). My husband is frustrated with the quality and fitting issues I encounter every time I try and buy something for me.
    Also I love clothes that are priced way above my budget so am working on my skills so I can replicate these at a price I can afford.
    When it comes to my children I mix high street and supermarket buys with hand made items. I love it that my daughter, who is 3, gets really excited that Mummy is making her something. Children's clothes are also a great way of recycling items from your wardrobe that you no longer wear or are damaged and would otherwise be sent to the charity shop or the recycling bag.
    Finally, with two children aged 2 and 3, my time in the sewing room, however limited, is a precious haven for me to reconnect to myself and my creativity and contribute something physical to our family and our budget.

    ReplyDelete
  97. I originally started sewing because my daughter got into the stage where store bought skirts were too short or too provocative (remember when they had the hankerchief hem for little girls), so I started making her skirts.
    Now, I sew more for pleasure.
    However, my husband thinks I am saving money so does that count :)

    ReplyDelete
  98. No, I don't sew to save money. We are lucky that I'm able to truly have this as a hobby - one that results in some awesome garments for me, gifts for friends and sometimes even something for my husband. ;) My fabric and pattern stash is far too large and my time too short to really save money doing this. Heh.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Catching up on your blog - I really thought this post and the comments were interesting. I don't sew to save money, although that is a nice side effect. My reason for sewing is to own clothes that fit much better than RTW in better quality fabric. I was never 100% happy with the fit of RTW even after altering it because of my height and body shape. Now I feel like I get the fit pretty close to perfect on my oft-repeated TNT patterns, and that's a great feeling. I'm finally learning what adjustments I need to make to practically every pattern, by pattern company, so that I can get very wearable muslins on the first attempt and refine from there if necessary. I love sewing! I hardly ever knit anymore, which makes me a little sad, but I just need the immediate gratification (and total immersion/mind occupation) of a sewing project.

    ReplyDelete
  100. I sew because I enjoy the handwork and creating a great fit. Money isn't all-this from the woman who spent $1000 on a machine to put a professional hem on her RTW knit sleeves!! I just love sewing and having well fitting garments. Sheila

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! It is so appreciated.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails