Can we afford to sew any more?

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Re: Can we afford to sew any more?

New postby Liz92B on Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:29 am

I don't have much choice - I *need* to sew my own clothes! RTW doesn't fit my size 8 frame with size 22 "upholstery" only around the middle ...
Liz / Calgary
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Re: Can we afford to sew any more?

New postby kjh9835 on Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:37 pm

I like knowing that "I" have the only one of some item that I've made. I don't mind shopping and usually find things that fit but I also make some items cheaper than I can buy, namely print scrub tops. You can't touch one in the uniform shops around here for less than $25, Wal-mart for about $15. Most of my co-workers have the same/similiar tops as they get the cheapest they can. I get alot of compliments on my tops/vests and I like to say "I made it myself".

Of course then I get multiple requests for alterations, zippers, hemming, make me a top, etc and I don't do alterations but will do hemming at times. When it comes to making tops/vests, I can get fabric for anywhere from $2-10/yard so I'll have $4-20 in it for myself BUT my time is my time and if I sew for others, then they have to be willing to pay me for my time and for what I charge (not nearly enough, according to what I should be charging), they might as well buy them at the uniform shop or online. The RTW tend to last longer as they are not 100% cotton which is what I usually buy when I get fabric but mine are more comfortable and I hang them right up from the dryer. Occasionally I will quick iron one but they don't look that bad.

Pants are another story, it takes 3 yards and 100% cotton pants do not hold up well so poly/cotton blend is best but also more expensive. I can get pants online for $10 usually with free shipping as I get 5 or more pr at a time. I order pants then make tops to match. Some of the Halloween tops I am wearing now I've had for several years but each one only gets worn a few times each October and I got the fabric for 49 cents a yard!

I can also make nicer gifts like the baby quilts, throw pillows, placemats and couch throws in colors/prints of their choice. I spent less than $30 today to make a couch throw for a wedding gift but I already had the batting on hand. Most recipients of my handmade gifts are very appreciative of the time I put into making them which makes me feel better than if I had bought them something at the store.

Home decor items are so expensive, pillows, curtains, etc I just cannot seem to make myself buy them even on clearance when I know I can make them better and if not cheaper than at least for the same amount and I can get what I want, not what the store has.

I've had ppl asking me to teach them to sew and Joe has had a few requests for cleanup/repair of those sewing machines ppl have stored for years. The economy, IMO, is making ppl become more self sufficent as job losses continue and making do with what you have is a "new" thing for most of them. My girls did not know why I kept all of Joe's old chambray shirt uniforms and jeans when his company gave him new ones: yes they are stained in places and ripped/torn but hey, there's good fabric left on those clothes and someday I'll make a "no cost" quilt and I added quite a few buttons to my jar :)

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Re: Can we afford to sew any more?

New postby Mule on Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:59 pm

I definitely can buy clothes cheaper than what it costs to make them, which is probably why my hubby just shakes his head at the time and money I spend sewing.

There are two big advantages to making my clothes though:

1. I can get exactly what I want. The items that are on sale aren't always the things I need, and sometimes I can't even find what I need at full price. A couple years ago I spent nearly 7 hours at the mall looking for a brown straight skirt -- none to be found! The few brown skirts I did find had the wrong shape, or had some sort of trim, or weren't in my size. I had a similar experience a few years ago when I found out last minute my daughter needed to wear a black and white dress for a family picture....

2. I'm hard to fit. I have a broad back and narrow hips, so I'm about 3 sizes bigger on top than on bottom. That makes it impossible to find a fitted dress or a regular button-up blouse. If I can move my arms freely, the garment hangs at the waist. Also, the necklines end up too low since I'm buying a larger size. As for pants, the department stores here don't carry my size so I can only buy them at the smaller shops. And many of the smaller shops that carry my size are more geared towards teenagers. I really don't want to walk around in clothes from Forever 21!

I also enjoy sewing -- it's a creative outlet!

However, if I find a great deal on something and it fits well, I'll buy it! I still like shopping too. :)
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