Is Sewing an Expensive Hobby?


Sewing is one of those popular hobbies that anyone can easily take up and grow to love. There are a lot of resources for complete beginners online so if you have a real interest in it, getting started with sewing shouldn’t be hard.

That said, it can be an expensive hobby depending on the equipment you choose to use. If you use high-end equipment and the most expensive fabric, it can become a really expensive hobby. However, it does not have to be expensive at all. You can pick up a used sewing machine and buy second-hand fabric from your local thrift shop or a clearance sale.

If you have been considering taking up sewing as a hobby, here is everything you need to know about it to help you make that decision.

Is Learning To Sew Worth It?

Sewing is a skill that is definitely worth learning. It is not only a great pastime activity, but a potentially lucrative one too.

Good sewing skills will come in handy throughout your life. You’ll be able to create your own outfits and express your unique sense of style. Few things feel better than the sense of achievement and contentment you get from making something with your bare hands. When you sew, you activate these reward systems in the brain making you feel happier and more complete.

Designing and making your custom garments tailored to your taste will help you save money especially when you make garments for yourself using cheap materials. Similarly, you can alter, repair and upscale your wardrobe easily if you know how to sew.                                                         

What are the Benefits of Sewing?

Sewing not only gives you a sense of accomplishment but also some of the following benefits:

  • It reduces stress and anxiety. To help you beat that stress, sewing helps you to concentrate on the project at hand. This prevents your mind from wandering into negative thoughts, keeping you perfectly focused and calm.
  • Sewing builds better hand-eye coordination. Sewing is one of those activities that have cognitive and motor benefits, leaving you better than when you started. Threading, cutting, and sometimes weaving can help to improve your pattern recognition and motor skills.
  • Sewing boosts creativity. Thinking to come up with creative ideas is part of every sewing project. When you do this, your brain cells grow and you learn to come up with better ideas every time. Sewing uses all major types of thinking including associative thinking which the most creative among us use predominantly. You also become better at insightful and experiential thinking.
  • When you sew, you get to create something that is uniquely yours. Every time you sew, you make original creations and this is what art is all about.
  • It also allows you to connect with like-minded people around you. Chances that others share your passion for sewing. This is great because all of you can get together from time to time and socialize. You could do this in your local sewing classes or have fellow hobbyists over for a fun afternoon to share those ideas. When you do this, you end up getting more skilled at what you do.

Can You Make Money Sewing At Home?

Absolutely! Sewing is a hobby that can easily be turned into a lucrative money-making opportunity just like any other. And if you are interested in taking this hobby to a whole new level, you’ll have to invest not just time but some money into it. To start a home business, you will need to invest in all the necessary infrastructure like a good quality sewing machine, needles, fabric and threads and also cutting tools like scissors. The equipment you’ll get will depend on the type and scale of the project you are starting.

What you choose to sew is entirely up to you. Aside from garments, you can create furnishing, soft toys, bags and much more. Before you decide what to sew consider whether the product has a demand in the first place.

And when you finally start bringing your design ideas to life, make sure that enough people know about it. Spread the word among your family, friends and your community to let them know about your business. There are also other channels you can use to advertise your new business. These include social media sites, like Facebook and Instagram, which have become major portals of advertising over recent years. You can also sell your creations in flea markets, boutiques or consignment shops.

How Do You Sew Frugally?

Here are a few tips to help you keep your overall sewing expenditure as low as possible:

  • Use a cheap sewing machine – If you are looking to make garments in the cheapest way possible, this is the first step to take. Get an inexpensive sewing machine especially if you are new to the craft and are still unsure about your commitment. There are many places to find these inexpensive, second-hand sewing machines like thrift shops, garage sales or even charity shops.

What if you are unsure about these second-hand machines? You can get a new machine if you want one. But make sure to go for the cheapest base models that have the most basic features you need. Further down the road when you’re surer about your commitment to sewing, you can just as easily upgrade to a more advanced machine.

  • Learn how To hand-sew – Let’s say you are just beginning and you have just started learning the basics of the trade. You’ve just gotten the base model sewing machine but doesn’t have all the features you need, so you are forced to revert to hand sewing to make up for the functions the machine doesn’t perform. What if you didn’t know how to hand-sew. You’d be frustrated and stressed and maybe even would have given up on sewing.

Start with the basics. Before you even go ahead and buy a sewing machine, make sure that you at least know a few basic sewing techniques like hand stitching (blanket stitching, running stitch, and so on). Hand sewing is time-consuming but it helps to keep your sewing expenditure under control.

  • Use only what is easily available – It is important to work with the materials you can easily source for. Working with fabric and materials easily available to you will help save time and money especially if you are working on a budget. It is also important to do this when you are still relatively new to the craft and are learning the ins and outs of sewing.
  • Work with fabrics you are familiar with – You will be tempted to start working with new, unfamiliar fabric. You should only yield to this temptation if or when you have complete mastery of the basics. Start sewing using curtains, old bedsheets, or any unused pieces of fabric you find at home. If you don’t have anything lying around, you can then purchase some fabric from a thrift shop. Your first sewing projects will not be anything fancy you can wear in public, so it’s okay to use cheap fabric.

A few months later, when you have some mastery and the confidence to work with better, more expensive fabric, you can start sourcing your fabric from online shops. I prefer online shops because it’s way easier to shop here than in stores. Most shops have online guides, blogs, and communities that help you get the information you need. You can also make detailed comparisons between fabrics and end up picking the best deals available. Look for offers and sales to get the best fabric at crazy prices. eBay is one of the best places to find and purchase fabric at the best prices.

  • Start to collect accessories – You can save money on accessories like buttons and bows by collecting them from wherever you find them. Don’t buy them, pull them out from your old dresses. You’re guaranteed to find quite a number of beautiful embellishments when you just look for them around your house. Reuse those buttons, zippers, elastic bands and more to make some truly amazing (and cheap) creations while spending as little as possible.

You can also purchase accessories from a crafter who is downsizing or giving up the hobby. Thrift shops and hobbyist communities are also other opportunities to get these accessories at very low rates.

For accessories like needles, scissors and other cutting tools, it is best to buy new ones as opposed to reusing old ones.

Also, make sure that you buy good quality thread that does not easily fade when washed. 

Final thoughts

If you’re truly interested in sewing, consider trying it out to find out where it’ll take you. If it doesn’t work out, at least you’ll have picked up a new skill that will help you save money for the rest of your life.

Sewing is all about having fun. It’s about getting creative and taking control of your wardrobe. The best part about it is that no matter what your budget looks like, it is possible to get started with it. So give it a shot because you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author. She enjoys traveling, reading and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC. Connect with her at [email protected]

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