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Is sewing frugal?

Last post Wed, Nov 4 2009 4:09 PM by Edey. 41 replies.
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  • Wed, Oct 21 2009 10:30 PM

    Is sewing frugal?

    I want to start sewing- I feel it is a useful skill to learn. I know sewing used to be very cost-effective. But I am wondering if it is still frugal. The cost of fabric seems really high, and I feel that I might be able to find used clothing cheaper than sewing. Any thoughts?

  • Wed, Oct 21 2009 10:59 PM In reply to

    Re: Is sewing frugal?

    Thats when you can cruze threw the thrift shop get some old fabric some of it pretty cool and hit dollarstores for thread zippers I rip out of old clothes and reuse them along with buttens yeah fabric is expensive but get it on sale scrape at the fabric store which can be 50% off now thats a great salebut if its something special occassion they when I pay for good pretty fabric and a pattern but take a course see what you want for me yes its very frugal I mend things an recreate the shirt or pants yes I also darn socks here in the urale I live I mean farm area things are alittle far so yeah got to use everything so good luck get a book or about.com has a link to sewing 101 its cool good luck.

    cindy

  • Wed, Oct 21 2009 11:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Is sewing frugal?

    cfisher2008:
    I feel that I might be able to find used clothing cheaper than sewing.
     

    Used clothing can be found very inexpensively, but if you know how to sew, you can alter what you find. A cotton flannel sheet in great condition becomes a girl's nightgown.  A nice woman's jacket with a small stain becomes a smaller girls jacket or vest. If you can sew, your options are very much expanded. As cheapchic notes above, it is cheaper to buy the article at the thrift store if you like the buttons than to buy the buttons new, especially if you have a use for the rest of the article of clothing.

  • Thu, Oct 22 2009 8:41 AM In reply to

    • Toni B.
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Apr 5 2008
    • Seneca Falls NY
    • Posts 3,826

    Re: Is sewing frugal?

    As others have mentioned, its a great skill but you're right, fabric and patterns can be expensive. The price of patterns has gotten way out of line. In order to make your clothing budget stretch through sewing, the key is finding a good classic style that fits you correctly and has several variations shown. Some patterns include pants, shirt-jackets, skirts and tops all in one so you can mix and match.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Stages of Life
  • Thu, Oct 22 2009 10:50 AM In reply to

    Re: Is sewing frugal?

    Other posters are correct in that sometimes sewing is more frugal than store-bought clothes, but not always.

    You can definitely spend a lot on quality fabric, and some projects can be quite time-consuming.

    BUT...you can't always count "frugal" based on dollars spent. Sure, you might save money buying a new blouse, but what about the quality? Will it fall apart or shrink after one or two washes? Then the money is really wasted.

    At least when you sew an item, you know the workmanship is good, you can pre-shrink the fabric, and you know the garment will last longer.

    Stacie

    http://holdinghandswithmyhoney.blogspot.com/
  • Thu, Oct 22 2009 11:03 AM In reply to

    • Edey
    • Top 25 Contributor
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    • Joined on Mon, Sep 10 2007
    • Los Angeles County, CA
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    Re: Is sewing frugal?

     Quite often a store like Joann's will put patterns on sale for a$1.00 or some very low price, compared to the envelope price. That is when you buy patterns, because otherwise they are horribly expensive. Like was mentioned, find some very easy basic styles and then use your imagination to make those styles your own. 

    Do an internet search for fabric embellishment, clothing design, fabric manipulation, fabric decoration, etc. and see what ideas you can get. 

    Fabric Depot is one good on-line store for ordering fabric. 

    Look for large size clothing in thrift stores that may have large sections of fabric that you can cut down for yourself. For instance a man's shirt would have quite a large back section that could be used to make yourself a top, or possibly shorts, depending on the pattern. 

    Edey

     

    Edey's Vintage and Current Needlework Blog

    Life is like a quilt - it is made beautiful from all the little pieces stitched together.

    Use a HandCranked tool, it doesn't need to be plugged in or charged up!

    Treadle sewing machines. Get a workout and save electricity all at the same time. Plus it can go anywhere, even outdoors!

    READ THE ARCHIVES! It'll do you good.
  • Thu, Oct 22 2009 11:10 AM In reply to

    • Pat
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    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: Is sewing frugal?

    I've found some very good quality cotton in sheets and tablecloths from thrifts stores. A sheet is a big piece of material you can make almost anything out of.

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  • Thu, Oct 22 2009 11:33 AM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
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    Re: Is sewing frugal?

    Putting posts from the other thread here:
    Wed, Oct 21 2009 9:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Is sewing still frugal?

    I agree it is a useful skill, and a frugal one that shouldn't be allowed to die out.  When my kids were little, I sewed all their play clothes and p.j.'s and a few holiday dresses for the girls.  But anymore, I think those things can be had cheaper at yard sales and thrift stores than you can make them for.  Especially if you have to pay full price for patterns and yard goods and notions....way too expensive.

    Now, if your sewing skill includes being able to make fitted suits, formal dresses, etc., then by all means you can save money.  I still would want to be able to sew for repairs and alterations and for home projects and crafts, but for everyday dressing, if I still had small children, I wouldn't be sewing for them in order to save money...Liz.

  • Wed, Oct 21 2009 9:52 PM In reply to

    Re: Is sewing still frugal?

    cfisher2008:
    used clothing would be cheaper

     

    But sewing something from used clothing or "fabric" from thrift stores is truly cost-effective. For instance, cotton flannel sheets in almost new condition can be used to make a nightgown for a child, very inexpensively.

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  • Thu, Oct 22 2009 12:57 PM In reply to

    • phygar
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Jun 2 2009
    • Posts 57

    Re: Is sewing frugal?

     Sewing is not as frugal as it used to be, but still can be sometimes, and it can give you a great deal of satisfaction.  I agree with the other posters about buying thift store items for the "material" in them, as that can be very frugal.  But there are other reasons, too.  Say you have a "style" that is just "you".  You know what I mean....it's like they invented it just for you, and it looks fabulous on you............well chances are, that they will quit making it (they always do), and it may not come back into style for years..............so make your own!  Right now in the stores, and for the last few years, there is nothing out there that I like, so I've started sewing again, plus I'm hard to fit, and I can tailor things to fit my body.  And it's just not clothes.........you can take a very old couch or chair and make slip covers and matching curtains or drapes, and suddenly have a new room!  Have a hard to fit window?  Make your own.  There's lots and lots you can make and do and even if you can buy from the thift stores I hope you learn to sew.....you won't be sorry.

     

    Phyllis

  • Thu, Oct 22 2009 1:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Is sewing frugal?

    sewing is only frugal if you don't buy your fabric.

    Michelle in Northern Michigan

    "Those who would surrender liberty for security deserve neither" - Ben Franklin

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