Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Thoughts on the cost of sewing your own clothes

cost of sewing Su Sews So So

The general consensus around these bloggy parts is that sewing your own clothes isn’t cheap. For example, you can’t just take into consideration the cost for the pattern and the fabric, there’s all  the notions the project uses as well (thread/zips/buttons/interfacing etc). Plus the start-up for this hobby can be quite pricey – even your basic sewing machine doesn’t come that cheap. I’ve also learnt the hard way that buying cheap means paying in the long run – I recommend never buying cheap fabric shears or cheap thread, the money you save is just not worth the heartache!

I’ve always been aware that my hobby was a bit of a money pit (shhh…let’s keep that between you and me, my husband needn’t know!), but do you know, I have never sat down and actually worked out how much each of my projects has actually cost me.

Until the other week that is, when I decided I would do just that for my Autumn sewing plans (photo above). I was busy making plans for things I would like to make, but they all involved buying new patterns and new fabric, so I was concerned how much my ideas were actually going to set me back. To be honest, my initial reaction wasn’t good, probably because I added everything up and got a big stinking figure. But anything is going to sound expensive if you add a whole pile of things together. Looking at each garment cost individually it’s not actually that bad – a dress for £29.45 sounds fair to me. OK I could get something cheaper in some of the shops from the high street, but I would guess (hope?!) that the quality wouldn’t be as good, plus I wouldn’t have a say in the fit, fabric type or colour.

Of course there’s the argument that you need to factor in my time spent on making the clothes and an hourly wage – but if I did that then I would definitely be shocked at the cost! I’m happy to work for ‘free’ with the reward of something pretty at the end of it!

And they are only good value if I actually MAKE them!! I don’t even want to think about the number of patterns and amount of fabric in my stash all waiting to be used up. That’s when things start to get expensive. I see lots of bloggers talking about shopping their stash and going on a fabric diet, which is what I planned to do…only I didn’t really have any suitable ‘Autumnal’ fabric in my stash. There’s always an excuse isn’t there?! I suppose every hobby has it’s costs though doesn’t it?

I think I will try and keep a tally of how much each project costs from now on though, and will list this when I blog about new makes.

I’ll tell you one thing, it’s hard to stop buying new patterns and fabric, when there are so many wonderful and inspirational sewing blogs out there, tempting me with their latest creations!!!

How about you? Do you keep a close eye on your costs? Do you work out how much each project ends up costs? And do you go on fabric diets (or maybe fabric binges?!!)?

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