Is Sewing Cheaper Than Buying Clothes? (How Much)

Is Sewing Cheaper Than Buying Clothes? (How Much)

The financial aspect of sewing is one of the things that makes a lot of people seriously consider it taking up. But is it cheaper to make your own clothes or buy them? That’s the question we’re going to answer today.

In short, sewing your own clothes does seem to be a financially wiser decision, as far as the materials are concerned. However, you’re the only one who can accurately appraise the financial value of your time. We’ll consider all of these factors and more when we answer this question once and for all. Furthermore, we’ll also demonstrate how much it would cost to make a dress from scratch as opposed to buying it later in the article.

Making Your Own Clothes vs. Buying Them

Making Your Own Clothes vs Buying Them

While buying your clothes is certainly a more convenient option, we believe that making them comes with far more benefits. Aside from knowing exactly where your clothing items came from, you’ll also get pieces that are completely original and that cater to your own taste.

What’s more, store-bought clothes are more often than not of lower quality and much more expensive than they ought to be. After all, there are all sorts of expenses that are necessary in order to make a single item. From the cost it takes to design it to fabric dye, material, thread, the costs of labor, shipping and more, there isn’t a single step along the process fast fashion brands don’t skimp on.

In fact, when we’re making our own clothes, we have control over many of the steps along the way. Asking the shopkeeper at a material store where and how they get their fabric bolts is easy. And everything after that is up to you.

Nowadays, most of the clothing at fast fashion stores is polyester. As you’re probably aware, polyester is by no means the best and most breathable material, especially if it’s going to be touching your bare skin. Instead, you can opt for natural materials such as cotton, linen, and silk.

And, if a particular outfit does require polyester and other synthetic materials, you can simply buy those at a store. Sports bras and workout leggings often fall into this category. Fortunately, saving money on other clothing items means that you’d be able to afford better workout equipment which will last you much longer.

How Long Does It Take to Sew Clothes?

How Long Does It Take to Sew Clothes

So is it cheaper to make your own clothes or buy them? So far, we’re leaning toward making our own clothes. However, there is another factor to consider. Whether you’re gathering supplies or making your clothes, you’re going to invest something much more precious than money: your time.

For some people, that’s going to be a worthy investment. Still, others may draw the line at spending long periods of time leaning over a sewing machine.

Fortunately, there’s hope even for the slowest seamstresses among us. The simple fact of life is that the longer you’re working on something, the more skilled you become. And the higher your skill level gets, the faster you’ll be able to make your pieces.

So you won’t actually be wasting your time, even as a beginner. Instead, think of every slow process as a step in the right direction. Soon enough, you’ll be churning out new blouses, trousers, and dresses every week.

How Much Is Your Time Worth?

Ultimately, the most important calculation you need to make is how much your time is worth. However, when you’re considering the value of your time vs. the value of sewing, you should keep several other factors in mind. For one, sewing is a great hobby and would take your mind off other, more distressing matters. For another, you’ll always be wearing your own designs, sparking envy everywhere you go! That alone is worth it to us.

So now that you know all of this, is it cheaper to make your own clothes or buy them? Let’s figure it out on a specific example.

How Much Does It Cost to Make a Dress?

How Much Does It Cost to Make a Dress

Ultimately, is it cheaper to make your own clothes or buy them? Allow us to propose a hypothetical situation to help lay this matter to rest. Let’s imagine the least expensive dress a fast fashion brand might offer. That would probably be a spaghetti strap midi bodycon dress that would cost about $15-$20. The manufacturer would have probably saved some money on the materials.

So you can expect this imaginary model to be a blend of polyester, viscose, and elastane — all synthetic fabrics. What’s more, you’ll probably be able to spot loose threads in a matter of weeks, if it’s not already compromised when you buy the piece. All things considered, we expect this dress to fall apart after a season, only to be replaced at the beginning of next summer.

What Would It Take to Make This Dress at Home?

What Would It Take to Make This Dress at Home

First of all, you may want to consider getting a more breathable material. We don’t want to sweat through polyester in the middle of summer, do we? Fortunately, a similar effect to the fabric of our imaginary store-bought dress could be achieved with a pure organic cotton fabric. Because we’re making a bodycon dress, we need two lengths of material that are as long as we want the dress to be. If we stick to the midi length, we’ll need about 2.5 yards of fabric (that usually comes in 36–42-inch widths).

In fact, the question of the fabric you’re using is a big part of answering the question we started with: “is it cheaper to make your own clothes or buy them”? On the one hand, the polyester fabric would be a much cheaper solution. After all, it’s usually half the price of cotton at $6 per yard rather than $10. Still, there are plenty of places where you might get cotton material for about $5 per yard, too. And, as for the rest, you can find sewing kits complete with thread, scissors, needles, and seam rippers for under $3 online.

The sewing process itself couldn’t be easier. You’d just fold the fabric in two, trace and cut the pattern on, then sew it shut and hem the straps, the neckline, and the bottom of the dress. The whole process won’t take more than a single afternoon and you’ll be ready to hit the town in your new dress by nightfall.

Taking into account the materials and everything else, you can see that the financial cost comes out to be the same. However, your own dress would of higher quality from the material to the thread, and it would fit your own body like a glove.

Is It Cheaper to Sew Your Own Clothes?

So what can we say now that we’ve finished this examination? Is it cheaper to make your own clothes or buy them? Well, it all depends on the things you prioritize.

If you already love sewing or believe that the skill will be useful, then, by all means, sew all of your clothes. Why, the sense of accomplishment alone would be worth all the money in the world to us! However, some people may not agree, and that’s also fine.

Now, we’d love to hear from you. What do you think, is it cheaper to make your own clothes or buy them in the long run? Answer in the comments below! And, if you know someone who still needs to be swayed, go ahead and share this post with them!

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