It seems like another world.
Once upon a time -- up until the 1980's I'd say -- people (primarily women) sewed clothing for themselves and their families because it was cheaper than buying ready-to-wear clothing in stores. If you're middle aged or older, you probably remember a time when store-bought clothes were budgeted for carefully, as opposed to something picked up on an impulse and so inexpensive that it really doesn't matter if it lasts more than a season.
Back when clothing was more precious, people also took better care of their clothes. They learned how to mend them and they learned how to reuse them. If clothing got discarded it was probably because it was truly beyond repair.
If you buy fabric on a regular basis, you know that good quality fabric can be expensive. A few yards of fabric can cost more than an entire garment purchased at H&M, Forever 21, Old Navy, and similar purveyors of fast fashion. And that doesn't factor in the many hours it takes to sew clothing -- how can it possibly cost less to make it yourself?
Of course, if you're very skilled, you can make better quality clothing than you might be able to find at the types of stores listed above. Truly high quality clothing made with high end fabrics probably is still cheaper to make, it's just that there's so much cheap and trendy clothing available, it makes it harder to rationalize spending more, especially if you work full time or are busy raising a family -- or both.
Readers, a few questions:
Do any of you sew with the primary purpose of saving money, or do you do it out of a love of sewing and/or because you can't find the type of clothes you need in stores?
Is it better not to have to sew for oneself to have a decent wardrobe and have the option of doing other things you enjoy with your free time? IOW, aren't we better off for having so much cheap clothing available?
Finally, if you are sewing to save, what kind of things are you sewing?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!