Frugal Skills-Sewing Can Brighten up Your Life


Sewing is Frugal Fun

If you haven’t been bit by the sewing bug yet, now is a good time to give it a try. Sewing is a basic frugal skill, whether you are mending a rip in your old jeans or creating a whole new wardrobe. It may seem complicated at first, especially if you get mired down buying equipment.  That is why I suggest getting a simple used machine at first, and only upgrade if it becomes necessary. To find a good used machine, try asking around, and if that fails, keep an eye out at garage sales or try Craigslist. Until you are proficient you don’t need bells and whistles, just a few basic features.

Once you have your machine, you will need fabric and a pattern. And probably a lesson or two. Going to the fabric store may well prove to be a lot of fun. Try making something really simple like a gathered skirt to begin with. It is just two seams and a waistband with elastic in it. This way you will have an early success and not get bogged down. As for lessons, if you know a seamtress they might answer a few questions or even show you a thing or two. After that try your local adult education facility or Junior College. Almost every community has some inexpensive sewing classes available. After you enroll your teacher will guide you in picking good projects.

If you are the type that does well with books try the local library. There are many great how to books in the sewing and fiber crafts area. Pick an easy one and work your way up. Also look at the magazine section in your local book store. If you see a pattern you like it may be worth the price of the magazine.

Though the sewing industry has changed and it is harder to find a real old-fashioned fabric store there are still a few if you are willing to hunt them down.

The other alternative is the “crafts store”. Go only if you must. Hang out, ask questions, and see what patterns are out there. There are thousands available for clothing, home decorating, and costumes. Even if you have never sewed before you will be able to find what you need.

Once you learn this valuable skill you will be able to enhance your wardrobe, beautify your home, and maybe even make some money if you stay with it. Once you start it could become a wonderful obsession.


4 Responses

  1. Even simply hemming your own pants can save quite a bit of money– maybe $40-$60/year for me. And that doesn’t require a machine. All I need is an iron, a few pins, a needle, and matching thread. Other small modifications in purchased clothes can also be done by hand… making your thrift store purchases fit well at a very frugal price.

  2. I personally would never upgrade to a new machine. My 40 year old Bernina is the mechanical love of my life… And yes, it really WAS the 2nd thing out of the house when we had to evacuate last month.

    That all said, don’t get a machine expecting to make clothes and save money. Unless you find yard sale or thrift store fabric, buying used clothes will ALWAYS be cheaper and easier. New fabric is expensive. That said, there’s a lot of updating that thrifted clothes can use and a machine will be very handy for all of that!

  3. […] General Sewing Post […]

  4. […] General Sewing Post […]

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