Monday, October 3, 2011

Sew Spendy or Thrifty?

When I was little, my mom made a lot of my clothes. I think part of it may have been because it was cheaper, but it was probably more due to "hey I'm home all day with this small child and going a little bonkers, I need something to keep my sanity and hey look clothes." I'll have to ask her about that one day. She made me all my Easter dresses and Christmas dresses and the dress I wore to my sisters wedding, and also my sister's wedding dress. She was good. Then she went back to work, and I got to the age where "homemade" was eeewwww and that was kind of the end of that. Life moved on.

While I do own both regular sewing machine and serger, I do not currently make my own clothes. I modify some shirts, I made a wedding dress and a skirt or two, but it's not a regular thing. I would rate myself as an advanced beginner when it comes to clothes sewing. It's something I'd LIKE to get better at, but until 3 or 4 hours is magically added on to my day, it's going to have to wait.

The Simple Dollar has been doing a series on whether buying vs. doing yourself saves money. He just did one asking Does Making Your Clothes Save You Money?

It's an interesting read.

Mom had a huge fabric stash, so we didn't really have to go out and buy lots of fabric, so it probably saved. Buying the material and notions and pattern for my dress was significantly cheaper than spending even $150 on a dress in a store. But everything else so far has probably cost me money.

How has it worked out for you?


Cozy in Texas said...

As a child growing up in London, we were poor and I went to village jumble sales and bought dresses (the big Doris Day ones) and cut them up to make skirts and simple dresses. Hand knitted sweaters I unraveled and made new ones out of the yarn. I also bought clothes and cut off buttons and took out zippers because it was much cheaper than buying new. Any leftover material I used to make quilts. I don't think people make clothes as much these days.

KMay said...

I've tried the unraveling a sweater thing once. Unfortunately it was a chenille, so it mostly disintegrated before I got the whole sweater apart. Lesson learned. I still want to do that, but I haven't been a very good thrift shopper lately. I am still very much in favor of reworking other clothes.
Having such a weird body type, I think making my clothes is the only way I'm ever going to get shirts that fit right.

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

My grandmother made all of her children's clothes and pretty much only let them ever choose material from the remnants table. It was such an ingrained habit that when my mother was shopping for fabric for her wedding dress, she asked if for once they could skip the remnant table and pay full price.

My grandmother made some of my clothes too and I loved watching her put the patterns together to create something. She even made my wedding dress and it was one of the last few articles of clothing she made before she switched to quilting altogether and stopped making clothes.