Can Sewing Save You Money???

I hear this question all the time… “Can sewing save you money? “

Does sewing save you money

Since I hear it so often, I did a little research. It’s generally well accepted that if you want a boutique dress from a specialty shop that you can save money sewing it yourself but what about the everyday items?

The short answer is…

YES!

Sewing can definitely save you money!

I compiled a list of basic clothing items and found a similar item at Gap and Target. If you normally shop somewhere more or less expensive you’ll have to keep that in mind when looking at the chart but this gives a good benchmark. All pricing is based on a child’s size 5.

Handmade Cost:

  • I did not factor in pattern price. If you already own a pattern that will work for you, then your cost is $0! If you need to purchase one I recommend dividing the pattern price by the number of times you know you will use it. For example, if the pattern is $8 and your child is still at the low end of the size range and it’s an everyday item, it’s reasonable to assume you will use it at least 8 times making your pattern cost $1. If it’s for a special occasion and you might only use it twice your pattern cost is $4.
  • For knit items I used a “Designer” price of $18/yard (Art Gallery, Riley Blake, Birch, custom knits, etc.) and a “Bargain” price of $7/yard.
  • If the yardage required for an item is 1/2 yard but you’ll have enough width on the bolt to make 2 items I divided the cost by 2. Use those scraps!
  • I did not factor in time. I assume you are reading this post because you love to sew :)
  • For items with buttons or zippers I did include that in the cost. I didn’t factor in thread, scissors and other basic supplies you should have on hand.
  • If the fabric price was pulled from Joanns I factored in a 30% discount because it really is almost always on sale or you can use a coupon

Caveats:

  • Yes retail clothing goes on sale but fabric goes on sale too. You never know what type of discount you might score so I didn’t factor it in. I’ve found amazing clothing at a yard sale for $1 and I’ve also found amazing cuts of fabric and large items that can be re-purposed at yard sales for a $1 or even less
  • Price doesn’t always equal quality. A Target dress might hold up just as well as one from Gap and your $7 knit might be just as good as an $18 knit. Typically it’s a good indicator but not always. Hopefully by having both prices to look at will help you determine the comparative cost depending on your particular fabric and the item in question.
  • There are lots of other reasons to make handmade: custom sizing, it’s fun!, creating a one-of-a-kind piece for your child, you don’t have to drag all of the kids to the store with you, and it’s made by you instead of in a sweatshop (while it might not be true of everything you buy a majority of the time that is the sad reality of the fashion industry)

Patterns Used:

The Breakdown:

1
2

3
4

What are you waiting for?

Let’s get sewing!

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Amy is the founder and owner of Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop. She is a wife and mother to 3 children. Amy loves to sew, read and spend time outdoors.

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Comments

  1. 9

    Sandi says

    I typically buy my fabric in bulk when it it’s on sale or clearance, and save even more. I almost never buy fabric for a particular item. That saved even more money in the long run.

  2. 10

    says

    LOVE this! Of course :) My whole blog is dedicated to this topic, how could I not love this!? I love the comparison to store-bought clothes too. Thanks for compiling this and sharing that sewing can save you money. Plus, what’s more important, sewing your own clothes helps to limit people working in sweat shops to sell cheap clothes. When we make our own clothes we know what goes into it and exactly how it’s made!

  3. 11

    says

    BEing a SAHM, no income at all, I found in my skill a great way to save us some money by making our kids clothes. It really helps me save and sometimes I can make items at cost 0$ because I refashion/upcycle all the time.

  4. 12

    Amanda says

    This is something my husband and I have talked about. We decided even if it costs a little extra (we live hundreds of miles from fabric stores) to make it, it’s worth it to have something unique!

  5. 14

    Emily says

    This is really interesting! I think I will start keeping track of the costs of items, just to see.

  6. 15

    says

    Great post!! This is one of the reasons I make the majority of my own clothes. I do have problems finding quality fabric for a reasonable price though.

  7. 16

    says

    ABSOLUTELY AMY!!! I created an almost identical Couture kids outfit and it saved me something like $400…LOL! Great post!

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