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To Sew or Not to Sew

April 20, 2010
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I have stated before on this blog that I sew.  This statement might have been a little inflated.  I own a sewing machine.  I have sewn throw pillows, curtains, valances and a skirt for a Halloween Minnie Mouse costume (because one cannot find a plus-size red and white polka dot skirt – trust me!).  But, I have never read a pattern, or owned a pattern, or looked at a pattern.  I just kinda wing it.

But recently, my domestic instinct seems to be kicking in.  I feel like I want to sew – for real.  I would be proud to see Edward running around in a pair of shorts I made or to sport a cute skirt or PJ bottoms I made for myself.  What I can’t decide is if it is worth it.  I buy the vast majority of Edward’s clothes at garage sales or second-hand stores.  We have also been really fortunate to get tons of hand-me-downs.  And for me, my wardrobe is usually from Target or Old Navy with the occasional Kohl’s & JC Penney sprinkled in.  We aren’t fashion-less, but not fashionistas by any means.  So, would sewing even make sense?  I would try to learn on my own, so there are no class costs to consider.  But, from my experience in home decor fabrics, the fabric at fabric stores isn’t that much cheaper than just buying clothes.  Plus, there is the time.  So, I wonder, is this an activity to which I want to devote my time?  I mean, pride in watching someone wear something I have made is one thing, but I also enjoy down-time.

What do you think…to sew or not to sew?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Susie Cox permalink
    April 20, 2010 8:33 am

    Good morning Anne, You have raised an excellent question. One that has been asked over and over by many through the years. When my kids were growing up, I made most of my clothes, most of theirs. I enjoyed the creative process because I would take patterns and ideas and incorporate them to make outfits similar to cute expensive things I saw in stores. As I was growing up, my mom made ALL of my clothes. Every fall she would buy the Seventeen magazine and we would go through it and pick out the cutest outfits and she would purchase the same material used in the clothing in the magazines and copy them. No one ever knew they were not bought ready made and I had the cutest clothes in the school for a fraction of the price. Those were he days you could go to fabric outlet stores and by material for less than a dollar a yard. Not so today. Fabrics are so expensive these days that if you shop wisely, watching sales and using extra percent off coupons you can buy ready made clothing much less than you can buy a pattern, fabric, thread, buttons, zippers, etc, etc……not to mention very valuable time. I know you could made Edward cute little shorts, pj’s etc for not much because you can use remnants but over all, unless you just love the creative process, which I have to admit I did, sewing doesn’t pay as it used to. That being said, I just ordered a new sewing machine but I plan to use it basically for repairs, machine embroidery (fun) and such. I have 2 other machines but both are old and have seen much better days. As in everything else you just have to be a smart shopper and pick and choose how you spend your priceless time and money.

  2. Keryl permalink
    April 20, 2010 9:37 am

    I had to take home ec, including sewing, back in high school. We made two things – a skirt that I never wore and a nightshirt that I still have today. Once I had bought my cute kitten material for the nightshirt, the pattern, the thread, buttons, etc., it ended up costing something like $40. That was for a single nightshirt, and this was back in 1993.

    Sewing definitely has its appeal, and you should go for it if you think you’d enjoy it as a hobby. Fabric stores and community colleges usually have really affordable beginners’ classes. However, sewing is not usually a money-saver these days unless you get a really great deal on material and/or you absolutely can’t find the garment you’re looking for in a store or online.

  3. steven permalink
    April 20, 2010 10:04 am

    I choose not to sew!

  4. sherry permalink
    April 20, 2010 10:12 am

    Ditto, Suzie & Keryl. I was blessed to have a mom who made all my clothes when I was growing up and they were perfection. For a while, when my tastes in fabric went beyond my pocketbook in ready made things, I turned to making most of my clothes. Now, I have found a fabulous consignment store where I buy used (sometimes still with tags), very nice dresses, sport coats, jeans, tops, etc. Nothing exceeds $7.50!! It’s not important to me, but some have designer labels. An exception to my rule; I hope to make a couple of long, summer lounging “dresses” appropriate to have on if someone drops by in the evening, because I simply can’t find anything I like. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother. I also made my boys shirts at one time and a pair of slacks. I assure you, it’s not worth it. Make one cute shirt for Edward if you want and get it out of your system 🙂

  5. Linda permalink
    April 20, 2010 10:23 am

    great comments and YOU KNOW what I think. You’ve heard how I sewed up armholes on first home ec blouse. I still can’t sew on button without making mess on the back….and hemming……forget it! Maybe you just want to know that you could do it. Granny Faye made my clothes until about 6th grade and I guess I got too “uppity” for homemade clothes. I would really like to have something now that she sewed. I do distinctly remember some of those items, however, maybe because I’m wearing some in some early school pictures!

  6. April 20, 2010 11:09 am

    When I was your age, Anne, I found sewing to be one of life’s most gratifying and therapeutic of activities, affording me healing time to quietly meditate and exercise my creativity. Also, if any one of a jillion little things went wrong with the temperamental bloody-hateful machine – and it always did – or I found it necessary to remove thousands of microscopic stitches by hand, my vocabulary naturally began to increase and, hence, to this day I am able to successfully hold my own in cussing competition with any sailor.

    See? Overall, a positive experience – but you have to make your own decision. Be sure to let us know what it is.

  7. mike permalink
    April 20, 2010 5:23 pm

    No for the sew. However, I’ll agree with most of the ladies that it may show your desire to create. Bargain shopping is fun also.

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