I’m finishing up a pair of burgundy pants.  Since I already have a pair of black dress pants that fit well and go well with the new wardrobe I made, these pants will be the end of Stage One of my Sewing with a Plan experiment.

I was talking to someone who said that sewing isn’t cheaper than going to Wal-mart.

Now, I do shop at stores like that often, and sometimes do find deals there!  But the money-saving wardrobe aspects really depends on a lot of factors.  Because I’m a reasonably experienced seamstress (hem! hem!), it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever be able to get something off the rack that will fit nearly as well as something I’ve made myself.  I can’t buy something in Wal-mart with a custom fit.  It’s simply not available.  But even throwing fit aside, can I find clothes at Wal-mart “just as cheap”?

Eh, sometimes I can. And when I do, I buy them.  I’d be highly unlikely to make myself sweat pants, a sports bra, or a t-shirt I was intending to work out in.  While I learned to sew to save money, it was more for historical costuming (which is gut-wrenchingly expensive if you cannot sew) than it was for a personal wardrobe.

I wouldn’t recommend sewing as a money-saving technique, necessarily, unless you really like it.  I do, which is what makes it worthwhile.  Yes, I get a garment whose material price is cheaper than what I’m likely to pay in a store,  I get the hours of pleasure making it, and the additional kick out of wearing something I made myself.  I don’t think I’ll ever get over that!  Opening my closet and seeing the garments I made for myself hanging all neatly organized gives me a wonderful sense of satisfaction.  But even the process of sewing, the smell of the fabric when I’m pressing down a seam, the sense of wonder of turning a 2D piece of fabric into a 3D creation, the puzzle-solving satisfaction of putting together a pair of pants with pockets, the way that the machine loops the thread to make a stitch in a way that seems like magic, all of that is all just fun to me.

But if I didn’t enjoy sewing, I don’t think it would be worthwhile at all.   All those hours of aggravation would not be worth the money I’d saved doing it, even if I did force myself to develop the skill necessary to sew well enough to be saving money.  I think that’d be too much like work and I could earn more money in other, more pleasant ways.  Ultimately, sewing is just a hobby I have that pays for itself, that’s all.

sewing, SWAP 2008

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