I don't know if if it's because I'm a Taurus or just naturally bullheaded, but for the last few years I committed myself to sewing everything I wore and to wearing only what I'd made myself.
OK, a few exceptions. I didn't sew my running clothes or swimming pool swimsuits (as opposed to beach swimsuits), and I continued to wear the underwear and undershirts I'd owned before I started sewing. And sweaters, I mean, I'm not going to sew myself a cashmere sweater.
Lately, I've mellowed. I've come to the conclusion that sometimes I like ready-to-wear better and it costs less -- often much, much less (especially at thrift stores or my local flea market). Sites like eBay and, naturally, Amazon, are also sources of great bargains. The Steven Alan cotton knit shirt up top, a recent find, is actually made in the USA and beautifully constructed. I could have made something similar but not for $2.
Speaking of cotton knits, they haven't been a source of much sewing fun for me. Finding the right weight knit for a project, as well as sourcing matching ribbing for cuffs and/or collars, are ongoing challenges. Ready-to-wear knit shirts, on the other hand, are rarely wonky (i.e., neckbands lie flat and don't need pressing); everything matches. If they don't fit, I don't have to purchase them. We all know how frustrating it can be to invest time in a project only to find that the fit isn't quite what we'd hoped. (Naturally, there's a lot of crap out there too, so you have to be willing to hunt a bit.)
These days, I like investing my sewing time in the things I know will turn out well, like shirts and pants, rather than devoting an afternoon to making a cotton brief that, no matter how well-fitting, still wouldn't be mistaken for Calvins.
A few weeks ago, I found these two Penguin-brand striped knit shirts at the Salvation Army. Nothing earth-shattering but as good as new and about $2 each. How can you beat it?
I bought Jockey all-cotton boxer briefs -- $6.99 for 3-pack (!) on eBay. Do you know how long it would take me to make three pair of boxer briefs? Sometimes I just need underwear!
Today, after dropping off that Brother sewing machine at the Salvation Army, I found this lovely wool blend intarsia sweater (below). Three bucks.
Of course I love to sew but it feels good to be less dogmatic about it. While I can sew everything I wear, I've learned that that isn't really the best use of my time, my skills, or my passion.
Readers, I ask you:
Do you try to sew everything you wear or are there some things you always prefer to purchase ready-made?
Are some items simply not worth the effort?
Have a great day, everybody!