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Saving money, are we?
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Posted 2010-11-01 3:50 AM (#69619)
Subject: Saving money, are we?

Elite Veteran

Posts: 651
I dropped by the fabric shop on my way back from physiotherapy today, and fell upon the bolts like a starving woman. I did get out of there with nothing worse than a piece of sweater knit, a small piece of white lace to brighten up an excessively yellow cream blouse length, and some heavy dull pink lace to make a vest to go over the bulges likely to be revealed when I sew some silk knit in my stash up into a criss-cross shirt. With thread, my haul still cost less than a teen T-shirt or a pair of cheap shoes, and of course I didn't need to buy patterns.

Do we save money by sewing? Since I don't get the "dollar-deals" on patterns that some of you have access to, the cost of PMB in full-price patterns is good value for me.

I think I do, though not through any virtues of my own. I am positive that TailorMade has saved me money, even though I have yet to sew up anything more than daily wear for my many menfolk.

Has PMB saved me money? Hmmm...hard to say, as it undoubtedly tempts me to make unjustifiable additions to my stash and encourages me to buy male fashion magazines for my family to scoff at, but given that even PJs cost a lot when shipped from overseas, I think I've had a good run for my money. If I factored in the entertainment value as X number of DVDs or books unbought, the picture would be even rosier!

On the one hand, it's taken me longer than I thought to really feel comfortable with PMB, on the other hand, things look possible that would have frightened me to sew from a pattern now that I am a non-standard shape.
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Posted 2010-11-01 8:26 AM (#69628 - in reply to #69619)
Subject: RE: Saving money, are we?

Location: music city, USA
i know for a fact that sewing saves me money, especially on children's clothing, because our budget can afford to buy discount and department store clothing but i can make couture.

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Posted 2010-11-01 10:09 AM (#69643 - in reply to #69619)
Subject: RE: Saving money, are we?

Certified Educator

Posts: 509
Location: Houston, TX
When I learnt to sew, back in the 1960's, it was to save money. It turned out that I got a lot of pleasure from sewing and it is now my hobby and my 'therapy'. Now, I can by some very decent clothes at sales and in the outlet stores (I live in the States) for far cheaper than I could possibly make them - so I reserve my sewing projects for things that I cannot buy. That includes things made out of wonderful fabrics I have found, things that fit better than I can buy them or things I just want to make for the fun of it. But I can see a lot of what I do depends upon where I live.

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Posted 2010-11-01 5:06 PM (#69658 - in reply to #69619)
Subject: RE: Saving money, are we?


Posts: 101
Location: Oregon
(1) sewing is therapy... don't have to visit shrink
(2) the clothes I make for myself are in colors of my choosing and fit far better than ready to wear clothing (that's priceless)
(3) Since getting a bra pattern that fits me (thanks to the Anne St Clair of Needlenook Fabrics class held by our ASG group last spring), I can now make bras for about $10-15 each rather than paying $30-40 each. BIG savings (and that's the price if I use the kits from Needlenook - if I used fabrics from my stash & bulk-purchased elastics & bra findings, I could likely save quite a bit more)
(4) I've paid $18/yd for knit fabrics & from a 2-yd cut can get 1 short sleeve and one long sleeve t-shirt from it - making the cost about $18 each. If I were to purchase tops from a department store I would wind up paying far more for something that does not fit well (sleeves too short, front & back same width (MY shirts are approx 19" back and 25" front...BIG difference in fit when compared to RTW w/ 22" front and 22" back))
(5) you can't buy the costumes I've made - the only way to do so would be to commission someone else to sew them - which would make the cost several hundred each (before adding in cost of fabrics)
(6) I make purses / wallets/ bags from scraps left over from clothing I make so I haven't purchased any of those items in years.
(7) My machines do embroidery, so I don't have to pay a fortune to have embroidery added and can have almost any design in any color on whatever I want.

so,yes, I do save money by sewing.
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Posted 2010-11-01 11:11 PM (#69685 - in reply to #69619)
Subject: RE: Saving money, are we?

I must admit, but quite happily mind you, that I too save money by sewing, I look at the clothes in most shops, the 'cheaper' stores like big w or target (Australia) and also the middle and upper priced stores and think that for what I am paying I could make a garment of far better quality than what they offer.
I also save money come concert time for my childrens dance school, we pay the lady who runs the dance school for the fabric packs, and then we make the costumes or pay someone else to make them for us. So I sew my own and sew for a fair few other children as well.
Like Lady Runa, I can make myself clothes that fit me in styles that suit me in colours that also suit me any time i want. I don't have to be restricted to buying what is available in the shops. And I also get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction in completing a garment, whoever i am making it for.
In terms of saving money by owning and using PMB and PMCP, I would say yes definitly, I know that the patterns I use are going to fit me, and not end up sitting in a heap in the corner where i have thrown them in frustration, because they don't fit or sit right!
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Posted 2010-11-01 11:30 PM (#69689 - in reply to #69619)
Subject: RE: Saving money, are we?


Posts: 1985
Location: Norman,OK

I save scads!

Other then T-shirts, which I buy because I think they are boring to sew, I make almost everything I wear. And shirts for Donn, and gifts at the holidays. Not to mention curtains and drapes, pillow cases, new covers for the old lawn furniture, and the umbrella. Holloween costumes for whoever gets here first, and on and on. And I'd save more if I would do the mending!


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Posted 2010-11-02 8:46 PM (#69761 - in reply to #69689)
Subject: RE: Saving money, are we?

For me saving money is not the issue. I need something to fit. My dd can buy tons of stuff on sale ans get a good fit, I can see, it is not worth for her to sew. I terms of money, I dont' think it is any cheaper really. someone I know spent lots of time and money on fitting calsses and her dh said she could have flown to singapore and had it made for less. It is something to think about. Get something fitted and deconstruct. makes sense to me.
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Posted 2010-11-02 11:22 PM (#69768 - in reply to #69619)
Subject: RE: Saving money, are we?

Elite Veteran

Posts: 651
I was just thinking about exactly where the savings come from:
1) PJs and loungewear. My family and I seem to reach for our TM/PMB-drafted items first, and I think it is because the custom-drafting makes them comfortable without being excessively bulky. The proof is that these garments actually get worn out and have to be replaced. Also, fabrics for this kind of garment are quite easy for me to find locally or in Nippori Fabric Town.
2)"You want it WHEN??!" items. If I had to search out a pattern for various items, especially costumes, I would probably not sew them.
3) Business wear. Perversely, I'd save more if I spent more in this area! I'm resolved to spend more on fabrics - e.g. I would wear more PMB-drafted pants to work, if I didn't keep sewing them in cotton drill or weird furnishing fabrics from my MIL's stash!

Also, for business wear I think I'm reaching the limits of my machine's capabilities...I don't have adjustable presser-foot pressure and it's a bit challenging to sew very delicate or very thick fabrics. Not to mention serger lust!

P.S. I agree with Coopie about the soft furnishing sewing - I've no magic wand when it comes to interiors, and was surprised how much of it I do, and how economical it is...covers for our heated table, son wants bean bag for dorm room, etc. Roll on "Wild Inside" (that's what I've dubbed my imagined WG home dec. app)!

...but the main reason why sewing saves me money is my family's attitude - they wear what I sew (and eat what I cook) with a smile on their faces, poor dears, and think it's only lack of time that prevents me from sewing 3-piece suits!

Edited by dotmoll 2010-11-02 11:26 PM
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Posted 2010-11-03 12:30 AM (#69769 - in reply to #69619)
Subject: RE: Saving money, are we?

Extreme Veteran

Posts: 532
Location: Eugene OR
Garment sewing is a creative and useful pastime IMHO.
The big 4 patterns don't work for me very well and although some of the specialty ones might they don't go on sale often. I figured the price of 10 such patterns would equal what I paid for PMB, which had a CAD editor to boot for whatever manual manips I'd do.
I am also finicky about colors and have spent the last couple years rolling my eyes to these combos of brown, light green and oranges in the stores. Thankfully, I do have some things in the stash that are in colors I can stand so with sewing, all is not lost.
Like Runa I do anime themed costumes for DD and DH , for which patterns don't usually exist and if the design comes close, it's a safe bet they'll need some fairly extensive alts to fit properly. As to the costs for such costumes...if I wanted to risk buying from those chinese ebay sellers would I get a similar dollar costs, but quality is often iffy with only the possibility of fit and none of the satisfaction of creative accomplishment.
The only thing I didn't bargain for when starting with PMB was the amount of learning involved not just for the software, but how drafting works in general. I'm currently trying to find the point where manual manip must take over for fit, but it's more my having to develop a 'rock of eye' for what a pattern that fits me should look like.

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