When money is tight, there’s no better way to make savings than knowing how to do things for yourself. It’s here that sewing really comes into its own as a practical life skill. But many people remain unaware of the sheer variety of ways in which sewing can help you save. Here are ten of the best:
1. Repair your clothes.
This may sound obvious, but many people are quick to throw out torn or damaged clothes even when they can sew, because they don’t think it’s worth the effort. Fixing old clothes may not be as exciting as making new ones but it can end up saving you a lot of money and it’s a good way to put the sustainable living ethic into practice, cutting down on the environmental costs that accompany manufacturing.
2. Make new clothes from old ones.
So you want something new and exciting? Rather than spending a fortune on the high street or even splashing out to buy new fabric, take a look at your old clothes and see what you can reinvent. You can also visit charity shops to find garments that can be cut up and reassembled or embellished.
3. Make presents for your loved ones.
Everybody appreciates the personal touch and a hand-made present is really something special. What’s more, a present like this can be tailored for the perfect fit and designed to match an individual’s tastes exactly.
4. Repair bags, boots and shoes.
Most people assume that these items must be thrown away when they get old and develop holes or tears, or that they need specialist repairs, but there’s a lot you can do yourself with some strong thread, a leather needle and a bit of patience. They may not look good enough for formal wear afterwards, but they can still be very useful.
5. Line your curtains.
It’s quick and easy to do and it can make a considerable difference to the insulation quality of your home, saving you money on your winter fuel bills.
6. Keep your hands busy.
Sewing work is a great thing to carry around with you and it’ll decrease your vulnerability to expensive habits like smoking, eating chocolates, or fiddling with things until they break.
7. Hold a sewing evening, or attend sewing evenings at friends’ houses and in public venues like libraries.
These are a great alternative to other, more expensive social activities like going to dinner or spending an evening in the pub. You’ll still get to enjoy spending time with your friends, and you can make useful and attractive items in the process.
8. Create cute draught excluders.
If you’re working or relaxing in just one room, there’s no need to spend money keeping the rest of your house just as warm, but beware cold air blowing in underneath doors. Draught excluder snakes are great insulators, provide fun features in your home, and are so easy to make that even beginners can create them.
9. Make tapestries and embroidered wall hangings.
As well as looking great, items like this can do a lot to insulate your home, and it’s much cheaper to produce your own than to buy them in the shops. In a similar vein, you can use old rags to create cheerful, brightly coloured insulating rugs for your floors.
10. Help your friends!
Because not everyone can sew, or has the time or inclination to learn, it’s really beneficial to share skills like this. In return for assisting with their needlework needs, you can ask them to help you out with things that you find difficult, whether it’s carpentry or cooking. That way you can all save money and live much more sustainable lives, and your friendship will grow stronger into the bargain.