As you certainly know, I am in love with sewing. Any sewing (except hemming and alterations…oh, and throw in sewing buttons back on).
I am not really sure when this all started. Perhaps it was when new deals were reached with foreign industry. Anyone could walk into a Wal-Mart or K-Mart and purchase a pair of pants for yourself or your kid and unbelievably low prices. I remember looking at pants and thinking “Well, someone isn’t being paid”. They were so inexpensive! The cost of fabric alone wouldn’t cover what I was about to pay for these pants. Of course there are good sides and bad sides to anything. I am not going to discuss that at all, but what I want to talk about is the decline of garment sewing.
There is a small resurgence of young women again, but obviously, it’s nothing like it used to be. People sewed garments out of necessity. Now, it’s purely entertainment, and entertainment it is!
I have a wonderful friend who knits like a fiend. She always buys good yarn, and she spends a lot of money on yarn. She always says that she divides the cost of the yarn over the number of hours that it takes her to knit a project. Then she decides that this is her entertainment per hour cost. Think about it. If I spend $45 on a project, and it takes me 5 hours to complete the project, that is less than $10 per hour for entertainment. Where can you find something to do for less than $10 per hour? Well, you can watch a movie on Netflix, but once you do that, it’s done and gone. After you sew something, it’s a forever gift to yourself or someone else!
I have only recently discovered using pdf downloads for patterns. For years I didn’t trust it. But I have to say, if I have the itch to sew something and don’t have access to a pattern then I can just go online and print it out and voile!
Here is the most recent pair of shorts that I made. They are bubble shorts for a 2 year old.
Since I already had the pattern, I can eliminate the cost of that. It took about 2/3 yard of fabric. That’s $8. Then the fabric for the trim was about 1/8 yard, and that’s only $1.50. So for less than $10 I was able to entertain myself for an hour. I didn’t include elastic, but okay, it’s still around $10.
Quilting is wonderful, but garment sewing takes less time and the results can be amazing. They can be frustrating too, but you will learn a few things in the time that you are spending cutting and manipulating the fabric. Learning can be frustrating but it always results in something good.
Next time you want to sew, consider a garment over a quilt or table runner. The gratification can be amazing.