I have a bit of a Sew Weekly addiction. I love the seeing all the cool, beautiful, and sometimes very weird things people sew for themselves. And the pictures they take. But I always get annoyed on the posts where it talks about cost. They ask the contributors how much they spent, and so often people write “Free! It was all from my stash!” or “$2 on buttons, and $1 on a thrift store fabric.” Where is this thrift store silk coming from? Send me there! And I know those buttons, thread, needles, bobbins weren’t free, but they are often not factored into the price.
I’m pretty sure sewing does not save me money. In fact, I could get cute stuff at Superstore for the same cost (or less) than what the fabric costs. And sometimes the patterns alone cost $16 or $20, which is great if you make a bunch of the same item, and I often do. But it’s not a great price when you buy it and never get around to making it, which I also do. And then the cost of the machine, maintaining it, and all the little bits of equipment – needles, bobbins, new blades for the rotary cutter, maintenance for the serger etc. And the whole “stash” thing is such a fallacy – if it’s in your stash, you must have bought it at some point!
There has to be some other reason to sew – because you love the work, because it relaxes you, because you can customize things and make them unique. For me, well it’s just that I have fun with it. I’ve said it before, but sewing is my yoga. I can do it when the kids are napping; I can cut out patterns while watching Dexter with J (though he sometimes complains about the rustling.) And I like the creative outlet it gives me, particularly when working in an industry that is intellectual, but rarely creative.
Still, every now and then sewing does make me feel like a very thrifty and industrious soul. These are really simple little pants I made for P, at 3/4 length. I am imagining him running around on the beach in them. I was inspired by the pictures of the Huck Finn pants in Heather Ross’ Weekend Sewing Book but the pattern only goes to Size 2 so I just drafted up something similar. It wasn’t quite right, but I will fine tune it in the future. And the fabric? I made it from a $2 pillowcase! (I can hear you cheering right now!)
I made two pairs – the other pair I made from some fabric in my stash so FREE! (Just kidding – I’m sure it cost me $12 a metre at some point, though I didn’t use all of it, which could mean either wastage, or savings, depending on how you look at it.)
No pattern, so that part was free I guess, except I got the idea from a book that cost me $15 or so. If I had taken it out from the library it would have been free though!
Oh and elastic and thread. Not sure how much those cost, but probably a couple of bucks? Plus amortized cost of sewing machine and serger repairs. Still, it was cheaper than my ‘inspiration’ pair from Jack and Janie. And don’t you dare tell me they’re not as cute!
Besides, goofy kid wearing something his mother made him? Priceless.