Dressmaking used to be a very common skill, and the main reason people used to make their own clothes was that it saved a good amount of money compared to buying clothing from a store.
However, now that mass manufactured fashion is the norm, and you can buy garments very cheaply, it can be more expensive to buy the fabric to make the clothing than it is to buy the clothes pre-made (as crazy as that is!) So even though the main purpose is no longer to save money, there are very strong arguments for why I think people should preserve this skill:
– You can be unique: You can follow your own style completely and not be a slave to fashion. If you can think of a design, you can make it, and that’s what is so great about making your own clothes. Once you get comfortable following sewing patterns, you can alter them to suit your style and then even make your own patterns from scratch. You can make garments that are much better suited to you than anything you can buy in a shop.
– Custom fitted to you: all the clothes you make are made for you (or someone you know) and so you can use actual body measurements. This creates garments that are much more accurately fitted to your size and shape, which is especially useful for people who find it hard to find clothes in stores to fit them well.
– Valuable skill: Sewing is a skill that is growing rarer, and is therefore more valuable. You can alter or mend clothes. You can sell your knowledge and/or your skill, and if are ever struggling to find work, you have a trade to fall back on. You can also pass the skill on to your children.
– Creativity: I think it’s very exciting to be able to come up with your own clothing designs and then be able to make them at home with your own two hands. You can really get creative knowing that you don’t need to follow the latest trends or the restrictions of mass-manufactured clothing. If you want to add beautiful hand embroidery all over your dress, then go for it! If you want to make a blazer with a comic book print lining, go for it!
– Satisfying: to be able to wear what you have made is very satisfying, and you can take much greater pride in your appearance. It’s especially lovely when you get complimented on what you’re wearing.
– Money: I said above that a main reason for making clothes is no longer to save money, however this is when compared to second-hand clothes or clothes from cheaper stores. If you have more expensive taste in clothes usually, then savings are still there to be had. For instance, you could make clothes inspired by designer garments or items you have seen on the catwalk. Kid’s clothes are also a good area to save in, as they can be expensive to buy and yet kids grow out of clothes so quickly. You can also up cycle / recycle
Another point on the money subject is that if you achieve a good level of skill with sewing, you could sell the clothes you sew, mend and alter clothes, teach sewing classes or even sell your own sewing patterns. So it can also be a money-making venture if you are entrepreneurial minded,
– Fun: If you are creative and enjoy crafts, then I’m sure you will love the freedom that sewing skills bring. There are so many more projects open to you when you can sew well! Its also meditative and brings great satisfaction when you complete a project.