"Resign yourself, Catherine! Shops must be visited! Money must be spent! Do you think you could bear it?" - Northanger Abbey

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Things you notice when you start sewing...

Ever since I've started sewing for myself my shopping habits have changed. I look at shop bought garments in a completely different way. I thought I'd draw up a list.

1. You start looking at fibre content and will dismiss items on basis of fabric quality. I tend to buy cotton, viscose and polyester only if its in a blend.

2. You check the stitching on seams & hems. The amount of times I've rejected items on basis of the collar has just been overlocked in a scruffy manner.

3. You look out for things like facings, linings and pockets.

4. You look at an item and instead of just thinking 'ooh pretty'....you think "princess seams, lining, pleated skirt...quality I'm having that."

5. You know the value of the fabric and the time it takes. And compare it to what you would make and decide you could make something similar for less, forgetting you don't have the time coz of a zillion other projects you've got in the pipeline.

6. You don't go clothes shopping very often....you go fabric/pattern shopping instead.

Can anyone add to this? Do you agree with my list?


  1. All of the above, plus I decide if it's something I can make myself, or make better then I don't purchase it. I'm pretty picky. I don't sew 'knits' nor have a serger, so I classify those kind of garments in the "I don't even want to try to make it" category, that I'm more likely to buy off the rack.

    But specialty items that don't need a serger, like a silk suit, or dress...I won't pay out my money for them if I know I can make it. I get a lot of my ideas from off the rack, then go figure out what I need to do to make it myself.

    1. I have the same philosophy about knits and stretch items.
      That and trousers...just because I've read people say how tricky they are and its put me off.

  2. Classic! It's so true! Sewing can really ruin shopping for clothes, given the dearth of garments for sale that tick all those new boxes!

    1. Yeah. the only thing I buy now tends to be undergarments and anything stretch as I don't have surger or machine that can handle them.

  3. Oh yes, this is so true! The fabric content and I could make one of those (even though I don't have the time!), especially. Oh and the lack of clothes shopping! I'd say your list is pretty spot on :)

  4. Can def agree with all of these! Although fiber content was a huge deal to me even before I started sewing my own clothes =)
    However, most of the times all these things are irrelevant to me: I begin by just looking at the garment and realise that "Nope, this will fit badly here and here and here". Then I don't even need to look at fibercontent, seams, details etc =)

    And yes, that does lead to a whole lot of "I'll make it instead!", and of course I don't have time to do that project right away. However, I find letting it mull while I sew things already on the list most often leeds to the project inspired by the moment to be dismissed, leaving me with me-made clothes (made from ideas that stayed) that are lasting, both in fabric, sewing quality and style.

    But let's not get into the fabric shopping. I'm forbidden to buy more fabric, my fabric storage space threatens with dire consequences otherwise =) I am making my life easier by trying to be critiqual and only buy really good stuff (life's too short for bad fabric, I usually say) and only for projects I have decided on making soon. But sometimes I stumble...