Catie George wrote:Thanks for the sewing resources. My mom took professional pattern making and sewing classes, so at one time I planned to sew a lot of my clothes, as she did when she was my age. If working part time, or no longer working, i could see it making sense, but not, personally, now.
My biggest issue is time! Sewing is not hard, but it is fiddly, and quite time consuming to do well (especially when taught by a perfectionist who does everything the '9right' way). It's also not a hobby I really love.
From my experience:
Buying fabric, pattern, notions, driving, etc =1.5 hrs.
Cutting out pattern = 1 hr (read instructions, mark cutting lines, cut, iron pattern pieces).
alter pattern =0.5-2 hrs.
prewash + iron fabric = 1.5 hrs.
layout and cut pattern, transfer pattern markings, etc = 1-2 hrs.
Sew long seams and iron flat=1.5 hr.
Sew fiddly bits (plackets, waistband, press and sew darts, pleats, etc)=2 -4hrs.
Install notions, buttons, clasps, zippers, etc, = 1-2 hrs.
So about 10 hrs to 15.5 hrs, plus more time for my screw ups, etc. About 5+ hrs of screwups on my last project- (button holer not working and 1 way directional fabric that you can only see in strong light, and a lot of seam ripping..)
My last project took about 5 days of my Christmas break. Project before that 10 hrs and never finished. One before that (easy circle skirt) 2 weekends + 5 evenings. Yes, you can save time by reusing patterns and buying the fabric and notions for multiple at once, but it's still a lot! I don't have 15 extra hours in a month to use for sewing at this point in my life.
As for elastic... tried it. Looks awful added post construction, works great when integrated into the waistband.
As for purses... my mom's briefcase which she uses now as a massive purse is 30+ years old. Dragged everywhere, thick full grain leather. It has been repaired/reinforced professionally twice at the handles to reinforce it (gotta be 30 lbs, she carries another purse, 2 waterbottles, lunch, sunglasses, notebooks, keys, makeup, OTC meds, etc inside of her purse), and still has years of life left. Our firewood carrier is leather, 25+ years old, and looks nearly brand new.
I am a 3rd generation dressmaker. My grandmother helped me draft my first pattern when I was 8 years old. I don't do as much sewing as I did when I was younger. Your example is a reason why. It also highlights the issue my mother ( she passed away a little over a year ago at age 91) and I have dealt with for many years. People expect to pay less for something custom made for them. I just don't get it. I have two pairs of jeans from Walmart that have lasted me probably 5 years. I am disabled and wasn't able to work for the last 6 years. I just started working part-time again. I work just 10-15 hours a week at a Tommy Hilfiger outlet store in NH, so we get a lot of Canadian shoppers. Their prices look high, but everything is always on sale, never full price. They also give us a generous 50% off any clothing we can wear to work. I've got jeans there for less than what I paid in Walmart. While the clothes are not made in the USA, they do care for their employees, such as making accommodations for those of us with disabilities. They also care about the employees of their suppliers. Their clothes are not made in horrible sweatshops (I'm sure they are still in large cheap factories, but at least not the horrible ones). As a dressmaker, I can tell you the quality of the stitching is much higher than many of the other stores I've shopped in.