Why Do I Sew My Own Clothes?
Sewing, while enjoyable, can be expensive, time consuming, and frustrating. Sewing machines, especially good reliable ones cost a lot. Fabric is way more expensive than when my mother was sewing for us kids. Sewing has tons of accessories to make projects faster, more efficient, more accurate, and more professional. Adjustments to patterns to fit each unique body take time to figure out (especially for women!). And projects can be frustrating before they pay off and look like we imagined. So why do I sew my own clothes and my kids clothes?
I’m not going to analyze inflation to figure out financial costs from the 1970s’s in today’s dollars, but I am going to listen to my mom. Because she’s wise. And according to her, we sew because we want the item a certain way.
What is that certain way?
Ready to Wear clothes don’t always fit right, especially when your body isn’t a 5’11 120 lb. model body. Not many of us fit that mold. But then think about how wide your shoulders are, how large your bust is, whether or not you have a booty (not me!) and all the million other variations our bodies have! When you sew my own clothes, I can make my clothes fit just the way I want.
My oldest son is a solid kid with slightly longer than average arms. He needs a bit more width to his shirts and length to his sleeves. My oldest daughter is a petit girl and needs things smaller. Plus, she is super picky about how things fit and feel! My younger son is a skinny kid who needs clothes long and thin. I make those adjustments when I sew for them and their clothes fit!
I have very wide shoulders with a fairly small bust. RTW clothing rarely fits my shoulders and the bust correctly at the same time. And I have a hard time getting pants to stay on me and still be comfortable. So I’m learning to sew my own clothes with small bust adjustments, wide shoulder adjustments, more room in the back of shirts, and a whole slew of pant adjustments I’m just scratching the surface on.
Other times, the stores just don’t have what you are looking for. Whether it’s the color, the design, the patterns, or simply the desire to wear clothes unique and different from everyone else! When you sew you have much more control over your clothing.
In high school I wanted to wear a dress with sleeves to Prom. I didn’t want strapless, spaghetti strap, sleeveless, or even a shrug over one of those options. I wanted sleeves. My mother helped me have beautiful dresses with sleeves by making my dresses, helping me make my dresses, and sometimes buying two RTW dresses on clearance and cutting up the second one to make sleeves for the one I actually wore. She even spent hours hand beading the bodice of one of those fancy dresses. Yes-she’s an amazing angel.
This puff quilt came about because I could not find the colors I wanted for my daughter’s room in the store. At the time I even had a hard time finding the fabric I wanted in the stores. Now 6 years later, that color is everywhere!
Ever hear of Fast Fashion? To me, fast fashion is trendy clothing meant worn for a season and then discarded because it is no longer in style or worse-falling apart. Think of the shirts you have bought only to have a hole appear in the fabric after wearing it 3 times. Or the dress that started pilling after washing (according to recommendations) twice? Or the thousands of jeans that fit perfectly in the store and then shrunk 3 inches in the wash! Or the striped shirts where the stripes don’t match up-and you can tell it’s not a design feature…
Choose your own textiles that are good quality and sew your clothes well. Then use good sewing techniques so the clothing looks good and fits well for years. Or makes it through multiple children!
Honestly, I did not start to sew my own clothes because I wanted clothes a ‘certain way’. I started sewing because I needed to think about something other than my children-even though often I was sewing for my children. As a stay at home mom while my husband went to school, I needed a hobby that let me be an adult. I love the challenge of making clothes fit and I love that it gives my brain something to think about besides ‘Old McDonald’.
But I also started sewing again to save money. While living on student loans and now paying off those student loans I use every possible way I can think of to save money while still staying home with my children.
As I mentioned earlier, sewing can be expensive. I’ll be sharing my tips for sewing and living on a budget every so often as I get inspired. Maybe you’ll hear something new or be reminded of an idea you want to try.
Do you sew for any of these reasons? Do you sew for a different reason?