Having been sewing my own clothes for a few years now, I'm used to getting the same responses when I tell someone I've made the clothes I'm wearing. It's usually surprise, followed by some sort of compliment. Yet sometimes, someone will ask "Why?" And that’s a perfectly understandable response.
While home sewing used to be the norm not even fifty years ago, the rise of fast fashion has made it practically obsolete. Making your own clothing can be time consuming, stressful, expensive, and wrought with mistakes, especially when you're just starting out. In this day and age, it is so much easier to pop into a shop or open up an app and just buy something new.
Why do I do it?
To me, the biggest benefit is custom clothing. Being the creator of my garments ensures that no one else will have exactly what I'm wearing. Even just small adjustments like changing out the buttons, or adding some embroidery to an off-the-shelf piece can make a big change.
There are little things as well. Jeans too long? Hem them. Skirt a bit loose? Take it in. By learning to sew, a better understanding of fit and cut have naturally been included in the deal. I do not have the body of a fit model and now instead of having to change myself to try to fit into the standard sizes (or pay a fortune to a tailor), my clothes cater to my needs.
On a much less practical note, the sense of satisfaction I get from having created something that I love adds a spring to my step and is an instant confidence boost that can’t be beat. For me, being able to express creativity in my daily life is really the main reason why I choose to sew.
Sewing & the Fashion Industry
Sewing has opened up my eyes to quite a few realities of the fashion industry. In particular, the high prices on designer pieces seem much more reasonable to me now that I understand the time and effort that goes into their construction. When you’ve ripped out your stitches for the umpteenth time or spent hours cutting out bias binding, you understand exactly what you're paying for when someone else does this for you.
Learning to sew has given me a better appreciation of both design and the value of labor, and as more and more information on the fast fashion industry comes out, I’m glad that I’m able to contribute less to the growing waste by modifying the clothes I already have or by making something new. (More on fast fashion and spending more for quality here.) And if I am going to purchase something at a store, I’m now much more likely to save up for a beautiful high-quality dress rather than buying a trendy one from a fast fashion store that will fall apart at the first wash.
Have you checked out my past sewing posts?
If you're interested in learning how to sew, I recommend you check out my past blog posts here. I've covered quite a few projects ranging from easy to intermediate, perfect for those getting started in clothing construction.
If you have read these posts, I hope that I’ve convinced you to give sewing a shot! If not, there’s no time like the present! I promise, it will change your life.