Why Sewing is (Mostly) Better Than Buying

No one will ever be wearing the same outfit as you. The odds of another sewist choosing the exact same fabric and pattern as you, and making it in exactly the same way, are slim to none, so your me-made clothes will always be unique to you. There’s also the added bonus of the feeling of satisfaction you get when proudly stating ‘I made it myself’ when someone compliments your outfit. #Nailedit.

It can be cheaper than buying ready-to-wear. Not always, granted (see below), but sewing can often be better value than buying RTW. I managed to make a dress to wear to a Christmas party for under £10 last year, which is a lot less than the usual cost of a party frock!

Choosing versatile patterns you love and will want to make again and again – and tracing them, rather than ripping them to shreds with pins – is a good place to start, as you won’t have to purchase new patterns every time you want to sew up something (of course, being able to draft your own would be even better! One day I’ll learn how…).

Fabric bargains can be found in abundance online on sites such as Remnant Kings and eBay – you might have to spend a few hours browsing the options, but it’ll be worth it! Plus, if you don’t spend too much on the fabric, you’ll probably be more likely to experiment with different sewing techniques as you won’t be so scared of ruining it.

It’s a great creative outlet. We aren’t all lucky enough to have the opportunity to let our creative side free at work, so sewing is a great chance to indulge in your love of all things aesthetically pleasing. And that would make us all a little happier, right?

It changes the way you view fashion (for the better). I used to think I enjoyed shopping, but what I actually liked about it was browsing and being inspired by all the pretty colours, patterns and styles on offer. Sewing is like that, only much more fun, as you get to choose all those things for yourself and combine them in just the way you want! And because you know how many hours it took to sew that gorgeous dress or stylish jacket, you’ll treasure your clothes all the more. Fashion is no longer throwaway for me, and I rarely make spur-of-the-moment purchases (well, unless it’s fabric anyway) and that can only be a good thing.

Vintage Spools

And why (sometimes) it’s not…

It takes time. Although simpler projects can be completed in a weekend (or, if you’re really good, an evening), there’s no denying that sewing is time-consuming, especially if you want to get it right and not end up with a #sewingfail on your hands (believe me, I’ve been there). Sewing is not a fast fashion fix, but that isn’t a bad thing. It just means you have to plan in advance for any big events coming up, or admit defeat and head to the high street when you haven’t been able to squeeze in any sewing time.

You can’t sew everything. This rather smoothly links to my previous point. As much as every sewist would love to have a fully me-made wardrobe, having work responsibilities (and, you know, friends and family to see) mean it’s impossible to find time to sew everything you’d like to, let alone the boring but essential basics like tees and vest tops. This is why I sew the fun stuff, like dresses and blouses, and buy all the dull but much-needed staples.

It can cost more. This may seem contradictory, seeing as I’ve just harped on about how sewing is often cheaper than buying, but both statements are true. It all depends on the project and the fabric. If you’re making a big, floaty dress that requires lots of fabric, say, and have your heart set on expensive material to make it with, then you’re probably going to be spending more. But, if you sew it well, that dress will be so darn amazing that you probably won’t care anyway.

If you liked this, you might like…

Silly quotes about sewing.

6 problems only people who sew will understand.

My guide to finding sewing inspiration.


12 thoughts on “Why Sewing is (Mostly) Better Than Buying

  1. Totally agree, although I’ve come to accept that generally, it is not cheaper for me to sew than to shop. I recently bought materials for a dress which ended up costing way more than I would have spent on a ready-made dress! Certainly doesn’t happen all the time, but it made me realise that I can’t always use cost as a factor to justify my sewing. For me, it’s more about the fun, the feeling of success, and like you said, having a unique outfit that fits me perfectly :)

    1. I agree sewing can definitely cost more, but (hopefully) the quality of craftmanship will be much better than anything on the high street – or that’s my aim anyway!

  2. Haha I love this. Nailed every single point. You can also add: Everything you make will (hopefully) fit you perfecty, instead of the mass sizing in the shops. No more too-short maxi dresses for me!

  3. Yes, yes, and yes! Funny story about no one wearing the same outfit as you …. I wore one of my Colette Monetas to work (a black floral print) and my coworker had on almost the exact same dress, LOL! Hers was RTW and had no sleeves, but the print was almost identical and everyone kept commenting on how we coordinated. Maybe I need to choose less mainstream prints!

  4. Love the pictures you took – they are just gorgeous <3 I wish I had a sewing machine :( I sometimes miss it and would have plenty of ideas. But I need to make room here first before I even start thinking about buying one^^

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.