You can afford to sew your clothes

12 years ago

You can afford to sew your clothes

Fiber Arts

by Sylvia Buob

    Nearly every week someone comes into the shop and starts the conversation that “it is no longer cheaper to sew for yourself” and therefore not worth it.

    It is still very feasible to sew your own clothing and it is also very satisfying. Just to test this theory I visited a local discount store. I checked the price of pants, dresses and tops. Pants ran an average of $15 to $20; shirts were $15 and up; dresses were an average of $15 and up; and oddly enough many of the shorts were more than pants!

    Next I went to the fabric department in the same store and checked the prices. Shirting and dress fabrics were approximately $2 and up. It takes two to three yards of fabric to make a shirt or dress, at $2 a yard that is, at the most, $6 — cheaper than the price of the readymade. Next I looked at bottom weights (pant fabric) and they ranged from about $4 and up. It takes two and a half to three yards of fabric to make most pants, so again, at most $12 and up on the pants, depending on the fabric.

    The point of this is that if you are comparing apples to apples (discount fabric prices to discount clothing prices) you can still make clothing at least the same price as and frequently less than their readymade counterpart. If you are shopping at better fabric stores then you have to compare those prices to better clothing shops. It is still very comparable.

    In addition to that you are also getting something that fits you, in a color and fabric that you choose. This is important to me because I am not a size 6 and frequently the color trend of any given season does not work for me.

    I think we have all heard so many people say that you can’t sew cheaper than you can buy, for so long, we just don’t question it, but it just isn’t so! You just have to compare apples to apples as above and not really good fabric to really inexpensive clothing (two very different animals!). Besides, get your fabric on sale and you save even more; we all wait for a great sale on clothing, do the same with fabric.

    So don’t talk yourself out of sewing because you think it is more expensive than buying readymade, it isn’t. Plus you will have the satisfaction of having something no one else is wearing!

    Sylvia S. Buob of Presque Isle is owner of Garden Gate Fabrics.