Budget Sewing- By Alexandra

I've always been a frugal-minded person and actually wanted to learn to sew thinking that it would save me money (ha ha! so much wasted fabric through the learning process). About 3 years ago all my ideas on saving money came together when I discovered the ideas of financial independence and the freedom that it gives you. It has also made me very mindful of where and how I spend my money as my ultimate goal is to have a high savings rate and not waste money on things I don't love or don't find important to me. Saving as I go will give us much freedom in the future.

One of the aspects I've focused on is my sewing. How can I be mindful of how we purchase clothing for a family of 5. Can I use sewing to save me money as I've always been pretty good at finding sales? Am I just better off buying second hand clothes for the kids?

However, in my quest for mindfulness I've come to the realization that I also like sewing our clothes for the environmental and social benefits. I can choose more environmentally friendly fabrics and avoid purchasing fast fashion that may be exploiting workers.  And well, let's be honest, it provides me a certain satisfaction to make something I love or my kids look adorable in.

I've been trying to move into planning out my sewing so I can get the best value from it. Sewing items that would be very expensive to buy in store or finally having ones that fit properly. I've recently discovered my kids don't actually fit well in ready-to-wear clothes. They are both slimmer than the standard sizing for their height. This was a light bulb moment for me. Making things, while not always cheaper will look nicer on them. I'm also on the taller side so often find pants too short once they've shrunk in the dryer.  I can make things for myself that are exactly what I want vs. settling for store bought. So sometimes I save big by sewing and other times its making that perfect item.

Finding l'oiseau fabrics has been a godsend for me. I'd been a little scared to purchase fabric online, but since moving back to Edmonton from Montreal I just didn't have access to the same quality of fabrics. I've only ordered twice now but each time I've been thrilled with everything and they are actually cheaper than some of my local options (and better quality). Going forward I know I'm going to make some great pieces for my kids and me. Making items with cheaper fabrics can often be frustrating and items just end up in the garbage, which I'm desperately trying to avoid.

Recently, I fell in love with the flying zebra print and selfishly wanted it for myself.

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I made Jalie 3355 without the elastic cuffs for me and was able to squeak it out at 1.0 m. I love my new pjs and can't wait to change into them when I get home. Total cost about $23 for me, so maybe a bit more than I'd spend in the store, but I absolutely love them and they are long enough! Worth the extra cost. The fabric is so beautiful and soft, making the most comfortable pjs.

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I tried to plan in advance all that I could do with the leftovers, but sometimes things change. Initially I had planned to make a pj top for me using Jalie 3245  but I was a little short in my coordinating fabric. I had bought 0.5 m of Salmon in solid basics and it coordinated well but I just didn't have enough for a shirt for me and my daughter so my daughter won out this time. I was able to whip up the raglan for her and she loves it. Still working out what I'll use the rest of my scraps for, but I'll definitely get something else for her out of it and likely a 2nd project using some creative colour blocking. Total cost for this shirt about $8-10 which is about the best I can ever find on sale for her and I really dislike spending much time in the shops, so I consider making her something really cute for this price a win!

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Shirt!

Total cost for this shirt about $8-10 which is about the best I can ever find on sale for her and I really dislike spending much time in the shops, so I consider making her something really cute for this price a win!

 

 

I'll often pair some special fabric with thrift store clothes I use to harvest fabric. With the remaining salmon basic t-shirting I was able to pair it some fabric I used from a thrift store women's t-shirt and create this cute dress Bonus I used the hem for the sleeves so I didn't even need to hem it, just used the existing one. Every day playdress by love notions : it was my first time trying out their patterns so I wasn't ready to use the cute rainbow fabric  I bought so this was the perfect way to use up some scraps and test it out. Total fabric cost about $7. I purposely made it a little big so hopefully she can wear it next fall/winter as spring is almost here.

 

 

 

I also love using up my tinyiest scraps of lovely l'oiseau fabric to add some interest to a project. I'd previously made a bunch of maxaloones for my son and had some of the cute polar bear fabric left over. When I wanted to make a pair of warmer maxaloons for him this winter I used the polar bears to cut out the bum circle and I think it made these pants so cute. Was excited to use up some given fleece and left over knit that I bought locally but didn't love the quality of.

 

 

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Not sewing related, but this was the blog post that got me interested in Financial Independence and the ideas of early retirement : http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

and I've been continuing my journey by listening to the ChooseFI podcast https://www.choosefi.com/

So thank you to you both for creating a store that is worth spending my money on and has such wonderful products.