“wow, sewing is so cool but that sounds like an expensive hobby!”
Alright, well it’s definitely not an inexpensive hobby, but it’s definitely one that you can get your money’s worth for!
I definitely get that comment a lot from other folks, especially when they find out I’m still a student! However, given my previous online shopping habits, taking up sewing has definitely softened the financial blow – especially when you scrounge up fabrics in a sustainable way, like digging through the “linens” section of your local Goodwill or thrift store.
The major cost to entry to sewing is the machine itself. I was lucky in that my aunt had bought one while visiting our family in Texas, and she decided to leave it behind! Entry level machines run under $100, and the newer model of mine, the Singer Simple, cost a little over $100.
Other things to consider include:
- patterns – there are a ton of free patterns out there, and I even wrote up a post on my favorite free patterns! Patterns bought from Joann Fabrics can be anywhere from $2 to $20, so it’s crucial to be on the lookout for sales. I’m a big fan of printing out online patterns as well! Those range anywhere from $8 to $20, but usually around major shopping holidays like Black Friday or Boxing Day, these can be purchased at a discount
- thread – $2-$4 per spool
- a nice pair of sewing shears – I’ve got my eye on this gorgeous gold pair
- fabric – this is where there is a huge variation in cost! I lean more towards Joann Fabrics and a few local fabric shops here in Houston, but there are a TON of fabric options online that you can explore. I’m a big fan of just scrolling through Etsy until I find a good deal. I also get a lot of my fabric from Goodwill – aka bedsheets, table cloths, and curtains are a great source of yardage, but it does take some digging and a bit of luck! Shopping at Goodwill is the perfect sustainable option if you don’t want to contribute to textile waste, as well.
Bottom line: if you want clothes that fit and you want a fun creative outlet, this hobby is for you 🙂
Pattern: Sudley Dress by Megan Nielsen Patterns
Fabric: upcycled shower curtain from Goodwill – post about my Goodwill haul here!
Difficulty: confident beginner: skills include inset sleeves, gathering the skirt, lining the bodice, and confidently sewing curves
Time: 3-4 hours start
Changes: In order to get the fun “smock dress” look, I decided to extend the bodice by about 2 inches all around from the shortest fold line on the pattern (so shorter than the full length blouse and cropped length blouse)
Thoughts: I LOVE THIS DRESS. I love how fun the neckline is, I love how loose and flowy it is, and how versatile this would be in a variety of fabrics! There are no darts, so it comes together pretty quickly as well. In the time it’s taken me to finally finish up this blog post, I already made another one from a spare flat bedsheet I was planning to donate anyways – more pics from that dress coming soon!
It is absolutely genius for this pattern to be reversible (aka either side can be the front or the back), so depending on your mood you can switch it up!
And even though the fabric is made out of a shower curtain, it was surprisingly breathable for a fun date to the Houston Rodeo in the rather humid weather we had this past weekend.
What is stopping you from sewing? What other DIY skills should I try?