Cost analysis of sewing my own clothes

14 Jan

I freely admit, I am getting the heebyjeebies about spending extravagantly on sewing. I have spent $300+ on it in the past month (holiday sewing spree!)

Don’t get me wrong, I am sure I will eventually use the vast majority of my purchases this year. After all, in addition to sewing up some of the new fabric these holidays I am also sewing up some fabrics that have been in my stash over 5 yrs.

But it set me thinking – mum taught herself to sew when she was at Uni, as a cost-saving measure. She sewed a lot of us kids’ clothes when we were young, and most of her own ever since, for much the same reason (Though now it seems more sheer force of habit, helped along low availability of flattering plus-sized clothes suitable for this climate.)

I have always sewn a large portion of my own clothes, my wardrobe padded out by plenty of op-shop clothes, so I barely know what it would cost to rely on RTW clothes like so many people do.

Out of curiousity (er, well, ok, and as a hopeful sop to my heebyjeebied money conscience 😉 I have attempted a cost comparison.

I have two stumbling points. One, how do you compute the cost of a pattern? Do you count it the first time you use it, then never again? Do you divide it by how many times you have used it? (What about when you use the sleeves of one pattern or the neckline of another used as a pattern adjustment to another pattern?)
And second, I simply don’t know how much most RTW clothing would cost. And would I buy at K-Mart and Big W? Or Portmans and Witchery? Or a bit of both?

As I go on from here I am going to do my best to add up the cost of my garmets, and see if I can do some sort of comparison.

One Response to “Cost analysis of sewing my own clothes”

  1. Anonymous January 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    >The saving is enormous, particularly when you consider that the garment you make yourself is also made to fit your figure, and so will look better on you than a readymade. If you use the pattern more than once you could compute 50% of the purchase price, plus fabric, thread, trim, etc. Apart from that you put something of yourself into the garment when you are sewing it, and you will still be wearing it (usually) long after a readymade has been consigned to the op shop.


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