Saving Money by Sewing
By Nikki Willhite
I started sewing when I was a young girl. I never had a lesson
or took a class. As with most everything...I taught myself. Through the years,
it has saved me a lot of money.
I still love fabric. I don't do as much of it now. I don't need
much anymore, and my children are grown. Any free time I have now I work on home
When you want to buy a cotton shirt, it is a lot easier and just
as inexpensive to pick one up at Walmart. However, when it comes it items like
dresses, sewing is going to be more economical and the quality better.
The biggest danger in learning to sew is to love it and become a
fabriholic! There are lots of those! Hang around the fabric section on eBay, and
you will see what I mean. However, everyone collects something, so why not
fabric? If you don't use it, eventually you can sell it as vintage fabric, which
pulls in a lot more money on eBay. It's almost an investment :-)
I've known people that just learn to make one thing. One lady I
knew made one item- jumpers for her children. She had one unisex pattern. It was
very easy, especially with Velcro applied at the shoulders instead of buttons or
Many children's items are easily made -from pants and tops to
pajamas and bathrobes. If you are going to sew for yourself, you will have to
take more care. You need to know which type of fabrics you like, the lines that
flatter you, and the colors you look best in. You would think this knowledge
would come naturally, but you can get very confused looking at all the different
fabrics and colors when you are in the store.
Then you need to make sure you alter the pattern if you need
adjustments for your size. Once you get a pattern that fits, you can use it over
and over with variations that make it look different. When an item of clothing
you own wears out, you can pull apart the seams and use the pieces as a pattern
and make the item with new fabric.
When you become skilled, you can turn men's suits into boy's
suits, alter larger size clothing that you may find at a thrift store to fit
you, or even sew for others.
The great thing about sewing today for the beginner is that
fashions are very relaxed, and there are many very simple patterns. You don't
have to fight with set in sleeves if you don't want to. Most of us do not need
to make the stiff, heavily interfaced and lined suits of yesterday. We can get
buy with casual clothes and a few dresses, or skirts and blouses.
Keep sewing costs down by buying patterns and notions
secondhand. There always seems to be a wide selection at thrift stores.
Inexpensive fabrics can be found at Walmart or other fabric/craft stores during
Summer clothes are very economical to make. You don't need much
fabric, and it is lighter weight and more economical. If you've thought about
sewing, now is a good time to give it a try. If you are very nervous, find
someone who teaches classes out of their home, or take one at your community
college. There are also many good books to help beginners. Find a friend who
will help. Most people are more than willing to help others.
Sewing is a hobby that lasts a lifetime. Develop this frugal
My Waverly Tablecloth
My family is large, and so is my table. Banquet tablecloths are
expensive. I made this one with fabric purchased on sale at
$3.00/ yd, and a homespun cotton print fabric in a coordinating color from my stash. Total cost - $9.00,
and it is washable.