Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sewing has Evolved From a Necessity to a Luxury, Unless you Get Thrifty

It used to be cheaper to sew your own clothing and household items. But now the price of fabric has steadily risen and cheap clothing (cheaply made with cheap synthetic fabric) is everywhere. So, the motivation for home sewing has changed. Now home sewers are looking for quality, fit, durability and personality.
The price is daunting if you go to your local fabric store, or online to find fabric. I'm in sewing groups where folks are excited about cotton knit that's $10+ per yard. Depending on how many pairs of underwear they can get out of a yard, plus at least an hour of their time... the price tag could easily go above your favorite brand.
My rule was never to go to a fabric store without a good coupon in hand. Even then, the cost of materials could push the equation towards a top or skirt costing more than a comparable item from Target. For the budget conscious sewer, when sewing for ourselves we can discount the cost of our time spent sewing. But for someone looking to sell their work, the hours spent shopping, planning, cutting and sewing would need to be calculated in too.

My Budget Friendly Sewing Plan

I buy used clothing to upcycle or use for the fabric. The process is longer, when you're looking for particular fibers in the right colors and price range. But at the end, I have something that fits me or a family member, my preferences and my budget. As a mom, much of my recent sewing has been for a particular twirly girl. Repurposing fabric from used clothing particularly works for the patch work styles, which I'm rather fond of...

Related Articles

An article about how this generation is turning to sewing, where cost doesn't appear to be a consideration:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

70's patterns!

I did a little thrift last weekend while visiting my parents. And discovered a pattern that just made me smile. 1971 McCall's 3050 Caftan or tunic and pants...

From perusing ebay, it looks like it may have some value, although the pattern is definitely cut. But I want to frame it and put it up on my wall near my sewing machine.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Sleeping Beauty

Last year I just about blew a gasket looking at Halloween costumes targetted for girls. Back in my day (when did I become old enough to say that??!?), we made authentically cool, extraordinary, unique costumes. Unlike the dreck (sexy/scary, polyester, "don't wash" bits of fabric barely sewn together) in your local Halloween shop or super store.
My little one was recently invited to a princess party and really wanted to be Aurora from Sleeping Beauty.
I pretty much knew from the beginning that I'd have to make the dress. First of all, I can't stand polyester. Second, the temperature tends to reach 100 in the summer here. And third, Disney doesn't appear to sell a realistic Aurora dress anymore. And Disney doesn't even pretend to offer it, now the dresses are 'inspired by' [insert movie title]. And sewing patterns to make a Sleeping Beauty dress are out of print.
Ebay to the rescue. For a higher price than I would normally pay for a pattern, I won an ebay auction for the  mini-Aurora dress pattern. Now I really hope she likes it right up until Oct 31, I have no interest in sewing an Ariel dress.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Vinegars and Oils, Oh My

Is this gorgeous or what? Hibiscus nettle vinegar... For my hair rinse. It probably doesn't stay in my hair long enough to give my hair any red... but I can hope.
Here's a blog post that covers infusing vinegar, oils, alcohol and honey.

 The pink bottle has vanilla steeping. My four year old and I paper-mached a glass jar to keep the vanilla shaded. And she painted it her favorite color. Unfortunately the little glass jar is probably a mistake... My hemp oil says to keep it refrigerated, so why did I put my prized lavender from my garden in there and promptly put it back into the fridge? Because I wanted to do *something* and I got two steps ahead of myself. Word to the wise silly - think it through before you do. Sigh.