If I sew it, Spring will come?

Skirt time! I really, really wanted it to be spring this January. So I made this floral skirt in the hopes of coaxing the weather into submission. Weather, however, does not work like  that. But, hey, I got a skirt out of it, so I guess it wasn’t all bad. 



Cost: 

Charlotte pattern from By Hand London: $18.50 (12 pound – Brits!)

Cotton fabric from Etsy: $31

Notions:

Time:  Maybe 5 hours? One of those hours was for printing and cutting the pattern. It was a quick sew.

TVM: The wage for a seamstress according to the Internet is about $14/hr. So let’s call it $70.

Grand total: $120.36

So, worth it? The Internet is littered with pencil skirts at all sorts of price points. It’s really all about the fabric, (which is most of the cost), the fit, and the details (which adds to the time). I’m not crazy about the specific pencil skirt I made, because the fit isn’t awesome and the fabric is not great for apparel, but I see potential in skirt making.

Next time, I’ll get a better fit, better fabric and upgrade some details to get a higher quality item for only a marginally higher cost.



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It’s Sweatertime

I made a sweater! My second, technically, since the first was a just a starter sweater – more of a shrug. This was legit though, so I can now assess how good I feel about having made a sweater, and whether I would do it again.

Costs:

Malabrigo Yarn in Polar Morn for $27.

Pattern from Customfit for $12.50. (Which, BTW, is a cool idea. You input your measurements and it customizes the pattern to your shape)

I already had knitting needs and notions. I’m also excluding the value of my time, because that would make the sweater cost about a billion dollars. More on that below.

Total: $39.50

Time:

Oh boy, well, countless time by the TV and at least 2 eight hour road trips. I did a bad job counting but if I had to ballpark it I’d day 50 hours. So…factoring in that cost is a bit of a doozy. Just for fun with numbers, the average salary for workers manufacturing good in the US was $22/hr last year, so let’s call it $1,100 in cost of time. But let’s say I’m just a bad knitter. Some googling shows a proficient knitter can knit a straightforward pattern in about 30 hours, which would “only” be $660 worth of time. Really makes me want to buy nicer wool the next time I bother to make a sweater. And fix my mistakes. It’s worth it when you are making a $1,139.50 sweater.

But was it actually worth it for me?

Worth $40? Eh…maybe? This one is a tad funky because I’m not very experienced with sweater-making, but it’s comfortable, practical and nice looking. With some practice I could get it to look more like a sweater I might buy instead, like this one for $89.

in progress sweaterBut worth the all the time costs in addition to the material costs? I’m not sure. I enjoyed knitting it, but I don’t think I enjoyed it enough to make it the best investment of my time.

There is something to be said for getting out of the fast fashion food chain. When I look at sustainable fashion sweaters in a similar style, the prices are much, much higher ($100 – $1000, depending on where you look). But not quite my TVM cost, no surprise!

I think my verdict is that sweaters might be best left to those who LOVE KNITTING SWEATERS A LOT or professionals. I might dabble here and there with another sweater, but by and large I’m not sure it’s my thing.