Thursday, April 15, 2010

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Lori, Julie, Gwen, Julia, Kristine, Lady Jenn, Waikikimum, Linda, Cole's Corner, StitchyWitch, Tamara, Lois, Faye, Cindy, Alison, Shannon, Mary, Gaylen, CarlaF, Becky, Uta, Elaina, Karin, Claire and Summerset for talking back to my confession last week!

The topic was the relationship between sewing and saving money, and I brought up the fact that there are plenty of stores out there that sell RTW (ready-to-wear) clothes for such low prices that it would be difficult to save money by sewing those garments yourself.

While 4 people did agree that times have changed and sewing is no longer the guaranteed money saver that it was for previous generations of women, most people pointed out (in the nicest possible way, of course!), that I was comparing apples and oranges.

Shannon summarized it nicely, "...when I think of the cost benefit ratio of home sewing, I don't compare it to Target or Walmart. Yes, clothes there are cheaper. They are also poorly made, use low quality materials and are not sustainably produced."

And 15 other people echoed this sentiment in one form or another - the clothes that we make for ourselves and our loved ones are of higher quality, better fit and more personalized than anything we can buy for an affordable price. Sewing may not always be cheap, but when you match on quality and compare apples to apples, you can save money.

At the same time, most people also reported that saving money was not their primary reason for sewing. In addition to sewing for better quality and better fitting garments, a major reason for sewing for many people is that they have a passion for it!

As for whether or not people actually do save money with their sewing, we had a variety of answers spanning the gamut from:

Ah, that would be a "no"...
  • No, I spend way more on sewing than I ever would on RTW clothes (1)
  • I probably could if I tried, but I don't think I actually do (2)

to: I do shop carefully and take advantage of sales, but I don't let money rule my sewing
  • On some garments yes, on others no (5)
to: Yes!
  • Yes I (usually) save money (3)

Finally, Becky and Kristine also echoed Shannon's concern about the production values of the fashion industry and the use of sweat shop labor in third world countries, etc. Kristine mentioned and HBO special on this very topic that I have never heard of, "Schmatta." I'm going to have to check it out...

There were also a lot of great stories about saving money and how much buttons used to cost and other fun stuff like that - that I can't begin to capture here. If you have a few minutes, I think it's worth reading the comments directly (here)! :)

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to talk back! :)

PS - A couple of people commented on the photo I used last week and Gwen asked where I find my pictures. Actually, I learned where to find pictures from a Friday Confession! I got a lot of good advice from commenters, and the method I use most often was recommended by Wendy - I search "Flickr Creative Commons" - photos uploaded to the internet with permission to be used by others, as long as credit is given to the original photographer.