To sew or not to sew
Why should you make your own clothes if you can easily find relatively cheap clothing all over the place? Well, this is actually the first reason to do so when you take a closer look at WHAT you can find.
You are surrounded by products of fast fashion. An overwhelming amount of similar, standardized in size, defined garments, not always of a top quality and finish.
So let’s begin with the most visible difference and the most obvious added value of making your own clothes. Your garments will always be unique. When you make your own clothing you can express yourself, experiment with styles, fabrics and patterns and create a garment that no one else will have. You can create clothing that in general terms would be “too non-commercial and too daring” to be put into production and found in a store. Mass production of fast fashion is addressed to a large group of people and therefore designs are often on the safe side of trends, which limits the choice of fabrics and style.
Unless your body’s measurements correspond exactly to the dimensions of a standardized size, ready-to-wear clothing will always fit rather poorly. You are likely to experience various fitting issues ranging from the length (sleeves, bodice) and the width (circumferences from different sizes combined in one silhouette) to the depth (bust size, prominent belly) of a garment. Frustration with the (lack of) fit of ready-to-wear clothing is usually the biggest motivator to start sewing on your own. By doing so, you can address a great deal of fitting issues and make the garments fit not only your style, but also your body. Read more on that in the article The importance of fit.
Sewing radically increases the awareness of your body and the way you look at it. You understand that clothing off-the -hack comes in sizes for standardized average measurements and that pretty much everybody has fitting issues either due to a structural build or due to a lifestyle Perfectly non-standard. Consequently, you become much less frustrated and disappointed with your own body because it does not fit a ready-to-wear garment that you like. It will not fit as the garment is created for a different (standardized in type) body. An extremely important transformation takes place: your body becomes the subject and the object of your wardrobe. Your body is the king and the clothing is to serve it, fit it and not the other way round. You will stop pushing your body to fit into standards. You will become also less attached to the size number. At some point, your measurements and size melt away as you are focused on making beautiful clothes that flatter your silhouette.
Not to mention that making your own clothes is fun. The whole process of turning your idea into something tangible, hunting for patterns and fabrics is a true thrill. You can see a piece of garment coming into life from scratch and see how a piece of flat fabric turns into a three-dimensional wonder. Even if you have a busy family and work life, it is worth to find in this way a time for yourself. You will feel great by doing what you like, by snatching an hour or so to proceed further with your project – a quality time for yourself, precious. You have your “time-capsule” while sewing.
It is also therapeutic. Psychologists agree that creative undertakings decrease stress while increasing positive perception of yourself. Creative actions which are repetitive, like sewing or knitting, have the same impact on your well-being as traditional meditation. Did you know that?
Sewing will also give you a sense of pride and satisfaction. You will be proud not only of the results of your efforts, but most importantly you will be proud of yourself being capable of creating something from nothing. Learning something new, developing and mastering skills definitely improves your self-esteem. Sewing provides endless opportunities to learn and expand.
Let’s talk about money. Is it cheaper to make your own clothes? It is a very tricky question and the answer to that is no and yes at the same time. Sewing is not cheaper when it comes to “cheap”, poor quality and finish items sold in all kinds of discount stores. In all other cases making your own clothes is cheaper. If you compare a price tag of a garment made from a quality fabric and sewn with care you will see that you can save a great deal. Sewing is very much affordable on the long run. Fast fashion has a short living. You wash a fast fashion garment two or three times and it no longer has its shape. That means that it is cheaply made – you get what you pay for.
So the cost cannot be looked solely from a monetary perspective. The reason why “designer” clothes are so expensive is the quality of the fabrics, the care and time taken to make them fit, the attention to details in construction. You can combine all these elements in your own creation.
Do not let the lack of sewing traditions in your family or among your friends stop you from trying something new. Even if you have now no idea what a dart is or what seam allowances are, this is where we all started our sewing ventures. Take your time, learn as you go, enjoy the process and results. Do not expect to complete a plain shirt on one day and a jacket the day after. This stuff takes time and practice, but there are lots of projects very suitable for beginners. All MySizePatterns patterns come along with detailed step-by-step sewing instructions, showing almost all stages of a sewing process in clear photos and with comments. The projects are at different Difficulty levels and some of them are created with adventurous beginners in mind.
You also become a member of a sewing community – a group of fascinating people sharing the same passion. If you have a question, there’s always an answer. Welcome!