13 January 2010

A Year of Saving

A Stitch in Time Saves .....$65!

When I was in high school I hated sewing class with a vengeance. Learning to make bias tape and the perfect French seam was BORING. Doing samples of different seams, fasteners, bindings and hems was painful. Then there was making things: the felt pot holder (yuk), the cotton nightie (so not my style back then) and the woollen, gored skirt (I was a definite jeans girl) nearly sent me, and my mother, around the bend.

My mother sews beautifully. The only bought things I wore were my socks and shoes. Mum made everything else. Dad drafted the patterns for her from Enid Gilchrist books (does anyone remember those?) and she'd sit at the sewing machine, hour after hour, sewing for my brother and me. She loves sewing and she didn't understand at all why I didn't. It led to many an interesting discussion, especially the weekend before a sewing project was due.

Thankfully mum and Mrs Winzenreid (she was my sewing teacher) persevered and I managed to pick up a few basic skills. A few years after I left school a friend talked me into going to sewing classes with her and after twelve weeks we graduated as fully certified Knit Wits. The sewing bug had bitten and I found that I actually liked it if I was able to choose the pattern and fabric. As time went on my skills developed (or my belief in them did anyway) and I started to adapt the patterns to suit my idea of the finished garment.

I would carry a pad, pencil and tape measure with me and when I saw something I liked I'd draw it and go home and try to make it. That habit has stuck with me and this week I stood in front of a dress Hannah liked and decided that no matter how much she wanted it and how pretty it was, $24.95 for what was about 90cm of fabric and some wide elastic was not worth it. Instead I pulled out the pad and pencil  and drew it, made some notes about waistlines, necklines and gathers  and came home to draft up a pattern. 

Monday was just too hot to sew, 44 degrees outside and about 34 inside and the thought of sitting at the machine was enough to send me back to the cool of the air-conditioned lounge. But yesterday was cooler so we pulled out the material boxes and went through them, then made a quick trip to Big W for a couple of singlet tops and came home to sew.

Hannah is now the very happy owner of two lovely new sundresses, one black and grey check, the other hot pink floral and a very pretty pink floral skirt. And all for $12, the cost of the two  singlet tops! The materials were already in the box, leftover from other garments. The elastic for the skirt was in my sewing box and we found a belt buckle on an old belt to use for the skirt.

Now if I could only figure out how to get the photos from the new camera onto my laptop I'd be able to show you. As soon as I can get one of the boys to show me I'll upload them for you.

I'm thrilled with the savings we have made, but I'm not putting $65 in my money box. I'll leave it sitting in the clothing budget. You never know, I may get the urge to actually buy something one day  soon.

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