If you’re thinking of picking up a new hobby as winter starts to set in, we suggest that hobby should be sewing. Not only can it save your wardrobe and money, but it has great mental benefits too. As well as all the reasons we think you should take up this craft, we’ve also included a few tips to get you started.
Altering, Repairing and Repurposing
Do you remember the good ol’ days, when a hole in a frock or sock meant it was repaired, not tossed in the bin? No? Neither do we, but ask your parents about it.
Cheap high street brands and seasonal fashions have led to the rise of disposable clothing. We buy our threads on the cheap, compromising on quality, and the result is garments that don’t last as long as we’d like.
Instead of throwing out your old or damaged clothing, why not try altering, repairing or repurposing them?
Having the latest trend of clothing might be really important to you, but if you’re on a budget that can be difficult. Try getting creative and updating your clothes instead. After all, why spend money on new ones, if you are only going to want to wear them for a few months anyway?
If you’ve ever bought clothes in a sale that doesn’t fit and you can’t return it for whatever reason, knowing basic alteration skills can save you from wasting that perfectly good dress.
When a garment can’t be mended or altered, try upcycling it into something useful. There are thousands of resources online instructing you on how to repurpose clothes into everything from accessories, household furnishings, different garments and toys.
Not only will this save you a bit of money, but when you learn how to sew, you begin to appreciate the amount of work and quality (or lack thereof) that has gone into making something.
One of the many benefits of sewing is that if you’re thrifty, or stick to altering, repairing and repurposing, then it can save you money in the long run.
Obviously, mending your clothes means you don’t need to spend money on replacing them, but what if you don’t have a sewing machine? Before you rush off and buy a brand new one, try sourcing a second hand one first. Ask family and friends if they have an old machine that you can keep or borrow. Otherwise, try picking one up from a charity shop, car boot sale, or advertise on websites like Freecycle. If you get really stuck, there’s always eBay!
Having the freedom to choose whatever colors and patterns you want makes fabric shopping one the best parts about the hobby, but it can also be one of the most expensive. So, if you’re on a budget here’s a few tips on how find some great deals:
- Shop at local markets for basic fabrics and notions, as they tend to be a little cheaper than high street stores.
- There are hundreds of online haberdasheries, so shop around
- Keep an eye out for sales online and in-store
- eBay is a great place to buy off-cuts from expensive fabrics, e.g Harris Tweed, for smaller projects
- Charity shops are great for cheap clothes that you can repurpose
- For no cost at all, try using old clothing and fabrics you have laying around the house
In addition, you can save a bit of cash on gifts by giving something homemade, as Christmas and birthdays can be really expensive. Even if it is as simple as a vanity case, they will be so much more appreciative because of the time and effort you put in.
We know what you’re thinking: By the time I learn how to sew, buy and source fabrics, let alone get around to stitching, I could have popped down to the local High Street and bought something cheaper. That may be the case, but, if you sew your own clothes and home furnishings you will end up with something way more personal.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, the freedom of choosing sewing patterns and tailoring them to your individual style and needs makes sewing liberating, because after all one size does not fit all.
Sewing is a really rewarding hobby that can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.
There’s nothing better than getting stuck into your latest project and the sense of achievement once it’s completed. Not only can being creative help you regain motivation when you’re feeling down, but focusing on something different is a great way of de-stressing.
If you decide to take part in local classes, it’s also a great way to meet new people, and all the compliments you’ll receive on your latest make can boost your self-esteem and, in turn, help build your confidence. These are all good things, and yet more reasons to start sewing!
How to Get Started with Sewing
We’d be very rich if we had a pound for every time someone complimented us on our homemade items, followed by one of the following comments:
‘I Wish I Could Sew’
You can! It’s just a case of practice makes perfect. Embrace your failures as learning experiences – we all make mistakes – and if you’re not making them, you’re not trying anything new. While a lot of people seem to be frightened of sewing machines, they’re not fragile and they’re not scary beasts, we promise! If you’re really nervous about teaching yourself, you can always find a local class.
‘I Wish I Was That Creative’
Everyone is creative. Once you know the basics of sewing, your confidence will grow and you’ll be creating original pieces in no time at all. But, if you’re lacking ideas, there are thousands of books, as well tutorials on the Internet, so just have a look around.
‘I Don’t Have the Patience’
Patience is a virtue. If you don’t already have it then this is a great way to learn; take your time, do your research beforehand, and it will all be fine!