In an attempt to rekindle my love of sewing, I’ve been doing things that I used to do when I was first learning – making inspiration boards, listing new patterns I want, and shopping for new fabric. In this vein, I purchased a few things from Mood for my fall/winter wardrobe. They arrived last week, and in a love struck frenzy I unpacked and refolded them while making notes to my sewing plan. It occurred to me during this process that I needed to share how truly efficient (and beneficial) it is to sew your own clothes.
I spent $350 on 10 cuts of fabric, which for ease of explanation, we’ll say is $35 per garment. Add to that the cost of the pattern, plus a zipper, thread, and a needle, a custom garment that is EXACTLY what I want costs roughly $50. These are not poor quality fabrics either – they’re all well made and sourced wool tweeds or other wovens.
I think most people agree it’s cheaper to sew your own clothes, so the real issue becomes a matter of time. I’ll readily admit that learning to sew, like any other hobby, takes time to master. The more you do it the better you get. But I would argue that the time you spend learning to sew and creating your own clothes isn’t time lost – instead it’s an investment in your well-being, confidence and overall self-esteem. Unlike spending hours at the mall in dimly lit fitting rooms laboring over how something looks, the time spent learning to sew and creating your own clothes actually makes you happier and healthier.
When I was going through my divorce, my therapist told me that I was very fortunate to have a hobby that I indulged in regularly. She explained that right-brained activities (read: creative endeavors) are very healing for the brain and that my most prized hobby would serve me well as I healed over the next year. Her words could not have been more accurate – only after moving back to TN did I realize that sewing had ultimately saved my self-esteem and had a huge role in my recovery.
Now that I’m a proficient seamstress, creating a garment from a well-loved pattern only takes a few hours. If I’m starting a new pattern I take the time to make a test garment and make adjustments, but ultimately that saves me time in the long run. I wouldn’t trade these hours spent recharging in my sewing studio for anything. I also wouldn’t trade the comfort and confidence of wearing something that is completely “me.”
My sewing classes are designed to give you the most efficient introduction to sewing garments as humanly possible. I know that everyone’s busy. I know that fitting in one more thing on top of other things can be stressful. But I also know that unlike painting mugs or popping a pill, sewing has the power to transform not only your stress levels, but your confidence and self-esteem.
I can’t say enough about the transformative power of sewing. I have witnessed it in myself, and I’ve seen firsthand others become more calm and appreciative of their bodies. So, before you disregard the idea of making your own clothes based on time and resources, I urge you to take another look. As many seamstresses say, “Sewing is cheaper than therapy.”