Sewing vs. buying
Vicky Tobianah | Date posted: August 3rd, 2012
While making your own clothes may be all the rage these days, there’s a lot to consider before you get out the dusty sewing machine and head to your nearest fabric store.
Making your own clothes can be just as costly—or even more expensive and time-consuming—than buying clothes at a store.
Here are 4 things to consider when making your own clothes:
1. Affordability: Fabric can be very expensive—even for simple projects like a skirt, you will usually need at least a metre and a half to be safe. This could cost anywhere from $5 to $50 per metre depending on the type of fabric.
If cost is your main factor, then compare prices to find out how much it will cost to make your project before you begin.
“In general, most everyday clothes that I have made have cost about the same price as what they would cost in stores (just in terms of the cost of fabric, without including the time and labour that was required),” said Chana Haboucha, a seasoned sewer and McGill University student from Montreal. “But the fancier clothes that I have made cost significantly less than you would find them for in stores.” (That’s Chana, by the way, in the photo above, wearing a dress she sewed herself!)
2. Time: The first—and only—item of clothing I have ever made was a skirt—and it took me about five classes at The Sewing Studio to do so. Five classes x two hours per class means I put in about ten hours of work. Granted, it was my first project, and I expect my next project to go much quicker..
3. Originality: Even if it does take more time and money, one of the best reasons to make your own clothes is because you can design anything you want and make it tailored to fit your own body.That’s the reason why Chana got into sewing in the first place. “I found it hard to find clothes in the stores that were exactly what I wanted. I would often fall in love with a dress in a store, but wish it were a bit longer. Or find a great shirt, if only the neckline were a bit less revealing,” she said.
4. Hard work pays off: So what if a metre of fabric costs the same as a pair of new pants, and so what if you spent four hours working on it? At the end of the day, it’s a labour of love—and nothing feels better than knowing that you can make something out of nothing.
I'm a multimedia writer and editor with 5 years of journalism experience. I recently graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts, Honours, in Political Science and English Literature. I love politics, writing, scrapbooking...