Why would you buy a sewing machine in this day and age of consumerism? Clothing is so cheap that you’d pay more for the material and a pattern than you would for a purchased garment already made for you and ready to try on. No risk of making a complete design mistake.
Yet many, if not most, female Baby Boomers learned dressmaking from their mothers. In the sixties and seventies dress material and patterns were relatively cheap. You could quickly make a frock or skirt within hours and you could own a completely unique piece of clothing for a fraction of the cost of buying one in a dress shop.
In those days young mothers would make many of their children’s clothes – especially when stretch fabrics came in. They used to make T-shirts galore both for themselves and their kids. Fabric shops abounded and the ability to sew made clothing your children really inexpensive.
But then things changed. As China developed, cheap Asian imports began to flood the market and it started to become more expensive to make your own clothes than to buy cheap imported apparel. This trend has led to the near demise of fabric shops and the necessity of having a sewing machine in the home.
The flip side of the “cheap imports” coin is the advancement and increased affordability of technological gadgetry. Fortunately, you have the choice of buying a variety of inexpensive and portable sewing machines that can be used for very basic mending tasks. However, that is all they are really good for.
Yet there is still a valid argument for having a “proper” sewing machine in the home. If you buy quality clothing that doesn’t exactly fit, you end up paying for it to be altered if you are not able to alter it yourself. This, of course costs time and money.
For the price of a few visits to an alteration service, you could purchase a decent computerized, free arm sewing machine. Sewing is a skill that is extremely useful to learn and valuable to have for all sorts of sewing projects that may arise over the course of time.
These days with such technologically advanced sewing machines available, it is quite easy to learn the craft of sewing. A sewing machine such as the Brother CS6000i can be purchased for a little over $150. This particular model has been the most popular on the market since 2010 because it is extremely easy to use and offers so many features for such a small outlay.
If you purchase a sewing machine that has an easy learning curve, it is not difficult to master the art of dressmaking. But even if you choose not to learn how to make clothing from scratch, it is still really handy to develop some dressmaking skills. You at least want to be able to alter waistlines, take up hems and replace zips, for example.
It could be very handy to be able to create soft furnishings such as simple curtains and matching cushion covers. It is also really useful to be able to alter and mend children’s clothing and have the ability to quickly create simple yet inexpensive costumes for their festive occasions. With a feature packed machine such as the Brother CS6000i such projects are readily achievable.
Although the art of dressmaking is not as popular as it was 40 years ago, a whole range of other creative pursuits using a sewing machine have emerged to take its place. One such extremely popular craft is quilting. Quilting groups and classes abound.
So have a rethink about the idea of owning a sewing machine even if you don’t choose to learn dressmaking. It is a fabulous tool that can fill a unique creative urge. Once you get hooked, you are likely to really enjoy it.