These are not the reasons I sew

I was trying to come up with a list of reasons I sew and I came up with a list of reasons that other people have, but I don't. So here goes.

  • I don't sew to save money. My machines aren't cheap. Supplies aren't cheap. Oftentimes the clothes I make are way cheaper than off the rack, but taking into consideration all the excess fabric I have, the machines, the needles, supplies, etc., I'm not sewing to save money.
  • I don't sew to fight against poor working conditions in the garment industry. Though I wish that was one of my reasons because that is awesome. 
  • I don't sew to make money. My time as a mother is more valuable than the pennies I make selling things. I do, occasionally sell things I make, but not really to make money.

I think it just boils down to sewing because I enjoy it. Pretty simple. Do you sew? What is your motive?


  1. says

    I certainly don’t sew to save money. We’ve all been to Target. Helloooooo. There is some cute stuff out there for dirt cheap. I wish I could come up with some granola eating, hippie reason for my sewing like environmental impact, but that’s not it. I’m sure I wouldn’t have as much fun without the amazing bloggers out there for inspiration. I sometimes waste my precious sewing time looking at what is out there (yes, it is 11:39 p.m. and I could be sewing while all three kids are asleep).
    …I just love sewing. I have literally 20-30 projects lined up at any given time. 80% never get to see the light of day. Blogging helps those precious few come to life.

  2. says

    I’m the same. I sew because I like to make stuff – I was (and maybe one day will be again) an engineer, and I think sewing and crafting are the way I express the engineer in me as a SAHM. I love seeing my son in clothes that I made.
    I would say they are better quality, better fitting clothes for the same money, but my impatience once I’ve started a project means that’s not necessarily the case. It is nice to know that you aren’t going to see anyone else wearing the same thing!

  3. says

    I kind of sew to save money, in that if I bought clothes I’d buy them from ethical retailers, who are never cheap, but I don’t particularly count the cost of the sewing machine, as I also use it for quilting and other things I love.
    I partly sew to have unique things – I live in a wealthy area with lots of yummy mummies spending a fortune on their kids, and I like having the crazy kid with brightly coloured patches on his handmade trousers.
    I partly sew because I love it, it’s a great way to spend time that would otherwise be spent in front of the TV.
    And I partly sew because it just seems like the biggest expression of love for my family – to make the clothes that they wear.

  4. says

    Islay, you may be right not to count the cost of your machine. The problem I have is that I just “invested” in a couple not so cheap machines and therefore I can’t really say I’m saving money. I love your reason for sewing! It is definitely a wonderful thing to be able to clothe your family!

  5. says

    I mainly sew because I enjoy it. However, I do sometimes save money – by buying fabric from the remnants bin and making toddler clothing out of old adult clothing. I love taking an article of grown-up clothing that is stained or has holes in it and turn it into something comfy for my kids to play in. And then I spend the money I saved on fabric and sewing machines =)

  6. says

    I sew as a creative outlet. I DO sew to save money! I love the challenge of finding things that are less expensive, so I use vintage notions, buttons, fabrics (when I can find them), and patterns. In my neck of the woods these are ALWAYS cheaper than buying them new at the fabric stores.
    I also sew because I want my little girls to look like little girls and not some underaged rock star knock-off. I like the flexibility of determining hem lengths and styles and not having to search store after store after store to find clothing I consider appropriate for my daughters.
    I sew because I want our clothing to FIT us and that’s hard to find in off-the-rack clothing. I’d much rather fit a garment as I sew than alter a store-bought garment.

  7. says

    That is AWESOME! I totally agree– with all of it! If I bought the girls clothes at Target and ON clearance it would be MUCH cheaper than all the fabric I buy. I would LOVE to make some money, but have too many ideas to stay focused on one thing long enough. . . I am starting to find though, that I really love having my girls in unique clothes that you can’t buy in stores.

  8. says

    I sew because I love it! Before I opened my Etsy shop and started sewing more I had not been finding/making time to sew. Sewing is a great creative outlet for me and I feel more complete now that I make time to sew. Sewing time is also sort of me time and sort of renews me. I also really love repurposing things I find at the thrift store. Not filling our landfills is very important to me.
    I loved reading everyones answers, great question!

  9. Melissa says

    I sew for fun. I sew to have unique boutique-y clothes for my kids. Sometimes I can make something for less than I would buy it… and sometimes I spend more… but it’s worth it.

  10. says

    I sew because it gives me something to do other than eat :) I have found that if I don’t have something that I can do for myself (even though I hardly sew for myself I am always sewing for my etsy shop) then I get a lot more done. Its like since I have something that I can do today I won’t sit and do nothing :)

  11. says

    I sew, and like most others, I love it. That is the main reason why I continue to do this. I have been known, in times of stress and anxiety, to just sit down and make something. It gives an outlet, it allows me to express myself, and feel a bit of accomplishment, maybe even to feel a bit more in control. I try to sell my things, but not so much for the money, but because it will give me an excuse to sew for something I don’t have. My daughters are grown, but I love making cute little dress, so I have to do something with these things I make, or else I would have no room to live in my own home.

  12. says

    I sew, beacause I like to create things that nobody has it.
    It’s an oulet for my creativity and a justification for my addiction to buying fabrics and craft supplys.

  13. says

    I sew mainly because I’m addicted. When I walk into stores, I find myself figuring out how things were made to the point of distraction. But part of this is because, like you said, I sew to avoid supporting labor inequality in the garment industry. So I spend a lot of time copying in-store items. Just because I don’t buy from Target doesn’t mean I don’t LOVE adoreable Target clothes. But they’re actually very easy to make (seriously, just turn them inside out and you have all the info you need to make them yourself). And making those things does save me money; I can usually make a knock-off of something from Gymboree or Target for $3 or less. Which is cheaper than buying from the store and far cheaper than buying from a company that produces in the U.S. It usually fits better, too. All that said, I could — and do — buy things from garage sales, thrift stores, and companies like American Apparel and Hero Bags as well as Etsy sellers to avoid supporting sweatshops. But there’s something about sewing an item that is cute, unique yet in style, and in good condition that makes it all worthwhile. Plus, there are some things you just can’t find in good condition in a thrift store and that are prohibitively expensive to buy from a company that uses fair labor practices. And in those cases, while I’d love to support a company with a good labor record, I just can’t afford it and I have no choice but to head to the sewing machine. Darn. ;-) It’s kind of exhilarating, though, setting out to sew something that is really going to get used a lot, like underwear, a bra (gulp!), a swimsuit, or a jacket. It’s a bit scary, but super fun, too.

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