Thursday, April 5, 2012

No More!

Hello friends!  Today I’m going to talk about something that I just recently had a revelation about – cheap clothing.  Now, granted, we all have different reasons for sewing.  Some of us (like me) just love it as a hobby and can’t have enough fabric in our stash.  Some of us sew because we like to have our clothes fit better.  Some of us sew because we can’t stand to buy the cheap clothing we find in department stores.

Until recently, I’ve sewn just for the sheer joy of it.  Although my time is limited, I stole a few minutes each week to work on some project that was taking me far too long to finish. I’ve always looked at sewing as just a hobby, nothing more.  I would spend more time shopping to nurse my fabric obsession than sewing.  I read blogs and magazines, all about sewing, to get my sewing fix. Every now and then I would sew something to keep my hobby alive.

No more!

Lately, as I’ve done clothes shopping, I’ve really noticed how cheap all this clothing is.  I’ve shopped at Kohl’s, JC Penney’s, Coldwater Creek, Chico’s, etc., and I find the same thing over and over again – the fabric is cheap, the sewing is standard, and there’s nothing in these pieces of clothing that stand out as well-made.  Why do I want to spend my hard-earned money on this junk?? 

I know some of you may be saying “DUH!” but for me, this realization is fairly new.  Well, not really new but let’s say that it just sunk in.

Yes, I’ve always known that the clothing I was buying was substandard and not being able to afford couture shops, I just settled for what I could afford.  But I tell you, this past week as I was window shopping during my lunch hour, I couldn’t find anything that I would actually buy. As I looked through the racks of clothing,  I knew that the t-shirt I’d buy would shrink to be too short on me in the first wash.  I knew that the slacks I purchased would rip at the seams.  I knew the fabrics would fade and that the clothing would end up looking like a rumpled mess.  I also knew that I wouldn’t fork out the cash to dry clean them.  It was all so cheaply made and the fabric was such low quality that I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Why would I bother to buy this junk when I can make it so much better myself?”

Not anymore!  I’m done spending my money on crap.  I’m frustrated but this realization is born out of my frustration, really.  

My hobby is no longer just a hobby to do in my spare time.  It’s a means to create higher quality clothing that fits better and lasts longer.


  1. I agree. Most of what I can afford to buy really is so crappy. Even pieces I thought were of good-quality materials fell apart after a few wearings or washings.
    Is it just part of the current consume and dispose mentality? When my 25-year-old appliances wear out I have to purchase new ones that are only expected to last 5 years. Same for cars and electronics.
    Good for us for taking some control by making our own clothes and home decor! We get excellent quality, and less junk goes to the landfill.

    1. I think you're right, Katrina. We are a consumer society and its easier to dispose of things than to keep them up. Expensive good don't always equal quality, I have found.

      My husband and I are incorporating more self-sufficiency in our lives and sewing goes hand in hand with that mentality. In the past year I've started to thrift shop a lot more instead of buying new. I've recycled, reused and repurposed as much as possible.

      It's work but it's worth it.

  2. Well said.
    I make clothes for fit mainly and the personal satisfaction of creating something different.
    I'm finding I'm buying fewer and fewer clothes. So far this year (not including underwear) I've spent £4 on a pair of yoga pants and £6 on charity shop items - I'm keeping a note in the back of my diary.
    Re crappy quality - we were discussing this yesterday when Pete was wearing a fishing smock he bought over 30 years ago. That's quality!

    1. Wow! That's fantastic! I also want to buy fewer and fewer clothes.

      I'm going to have to step up my sewing time. Working full-time outside the home and having a 3 year old son takes up a lot of time. I find that 20 minutes at the end of the day set aside for sewing lets me getting my sewing fix but it makes for slow-going on the clothing side, heh. But, the clothes will be much better quality!


I enjoy reading your thoughts!