Simplicity is in the Pattern

Sewing Patterns

Is it cheaper to make your own clothes, or buy them?

I found some Simplicity, Butterick, and Vogue sewing patterns that I must have been saving for a rainy day.  I wouldn’t have touched a sewing machine for years, dating back to school when I made a pillowcase and nightie. I do have friends that can sew, but getting the machine out of the cupboard, doesn’t happen too often these days – unless for a quick alteration.  It is now so much cheaper to buy clothes than make them, which is sad really?

When I was growing up, Mum was often sitting at her Bernina Sewing Machine, making outfits (often matching) for my sister and me to wear.  This wasn’t as bad for me as I was 5 years younger.  In my teens she made me an amazing mini skirt in a metallic gold fabric which was supposed to be about 30 cm in length and somehow ended up around 20.  (photographic evidence provided).  I literally wore it until there wasn’t much life left in it.  It was a tad short though!

I am keen to give myself a sewing challenge and try to make something using one of the patterns I have.  I may need to start with some lessons, and of course a sewing machine would help.  I was thinking maybe a wrap dress.  How hard can that be?  Perhaps I could ask Diane von Furstenberg for a few pointers.


About stylebyyellowtulip (244 Articles)
I fell into the art of style quite by accident. There was no defining moment when I decided that I knew what I wanted to do. I want people to feel good about themselves. Many don’t know where to shop and/or how to wear fashion. It has never been solely about cost, but of finding quality at a reasonable price and being able to wear - to suit your own figure, style and fashion. Join me as we explore – What is Style? Yellow Tulip

7 Comments on Simplicity is in the Pattern

  1. I always wanted to know how to sew and even took a beginner’s sewing class. It was much harder than I realized and needed attention to detail – not my strong suit! I’m sure you’d be great at it – have fun!

  2. DW in Brisbane // February 12, 2014 at 12:39 am // Reply

    Not being able to do more with needles and thread than sew a button is something I really regret. I wish my mother (who still sews to this day) had had the patience to teach this art to me. Being short, I have spent a small fortune having clothes altered. Happily here in Aus some department stores have petite ranges so I can sometimes get trousers and skirts that are the right length for me or “normal” 3/4 pants that are ankle length! Sewing is something that I would love to learn and one day perhaps I will motivate myself to do it! Good luck with your sewing adventure – I think a wrap dress would be a good thing to start with! I look forward to reading about how it went. 😀

  3. My wrap dress could become part of my first range by Yellow Tulip. Of course the wrap dress would have to be black and yellow. Am visiting Mum this weekend and I know that she has a sewing machine, so might ask if can borrow it. You are so lucky in Australia that they have a petite department to shop in. Nice to hear that your Mum still sews. I think that Kathy does, but Mum hasn’t got the machine out in years.

    • DW in Brisbane // February 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm // Reply

      Yes, love the Myer petite range – especially Basque and Piper brands! Looking forward to seeing your signature range – save me a seat for the preview show! Remember me to your Mum and Kathy! 😊

  4. It’s true that now you can buy clothes cheaper than you can sew them. The upside, however, to sewing your own clothes is that you can use better quality fabrics than what’s offered in stores such as Forever 21 (even if the fabric does cost a bit more to buy).
    The wrap dress is a great way to start sewing again 😉 Best of luck.

    • I keep reminding my friends about the quality over quantity rule as it is so true when it comes to buying anything really. Sometimes cheap and cheerful is fine but don’t expect it to last too long. I will need lots of luck with the wrap dress but off to pick up the sewing machine today. xx

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