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Health, Home, and Happiness: Sewing vs Thrifting

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sewing vs Thrifting

My hubby's aunt sent me a wonderful box of toddler sewing patterns, including Kwik Sew's Sewing for Toddlers and lots of cute knit fabric to practice serging with. I alternate between sewing and knitting and thrift stores, and a little bit of new, for our clothing needs. This past weekend was a sewing weekend.

For about $20 and a few hours I got two skirts for me, two for my toddler, and a twirly sun dress for my toddler. $20/5 articles = about $4 each, which is close to thrift store prices, and we got to pick out the colors, fabric, fit, and length. I felt quite productive, and with that I wondered what else I could sew to fill out our wardrobe. I was flipping through the pattern book looking at all the cute things I could make my kids, but then remembered how hard it is to get the time to sew, that the dishes and laundry pile while I sew, and that not everything is as quick and easy as skirts. A mix of sewing and thrifting works well for us right now.

And I had an great day at the thrift store last week, finding a plain orange Gymboree hoodie for the toddler that will be passed down to her brother (I don't find nearly as much for boys as girls), and a few plain cotton Land's End, Columbia, and Ralph Lauren tops for me. I don't really like logos or pictures on our clothes, and I kind of feel like a snob, but I pass up everything that isn't brand name since I find that brand name clothes fit better, resist staining, and hold up to washing better.

It seems like every time I go, I find something that is better than I could find at the local mall, for so much cheaper. These are a few of my favorite thrift finds. A Coldwater Creek 3/4 length tee, I love red, and I know that I like the Coldwater Creek brand. The lap front v-neck is something I normally wouldn't buy myself, but I was willing to risk it for $0.75 (it was half off women's clothes day) and I absolutely love it. Sometimes it's fun to break out of my normal crew-neck solid-color rut.

The shoes are something I'd been looking for since I was pregnant with Sam and didn't enjoy holding my breath so I could reach to tie my lace up shoes. I even went out to the mall and other 'real' stores last summer to look for something like this, and couldn't find any that I liked. These were perfect! They were a European size, so I almost passed them up since I didn't know my european shoe size, but I tried one on and it fit just great, with enough room to cover the pregnancy swelling next time, or thicker wool socks in the winter. High quality leather in perfect condition, they're my every day shoes now. The little blue shirt is Hanna Andersson, I think the European sizing throws people off. This is a 70 and was stuck in with the 0-3 month clothing.

Both sewing and thrifting (and most absolutely knitting) do take a little more time than going to the local mall, but I have a good time shopping and evaluating and come away with some great deals just about every time I go into a thrift store. And compared to the amount of time my husband or I would spend working to cover the retail cost of buying new, an hour here and there isn't a bad investment.

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Blogger Dollmaker Barb said...

Thrifting and knitting can go together too; See my blog for the bag I made from a thrift store sweater as part of The Green Knitting Club swap at Swap-bot. It is the first Swap-bot swap I've done and I found it fun and inspirational. There is, however, a knack to picking out sweaters that can be easily unraveled. Look for sweaters that are sewn together with the same yarn they're knitted from; if they're sewed together with thread, chances are, you'll end up with a million yard-long pieces of yarn. I also look for cotton or wool, not manmades.

February 3, 2010 at 3:30 PM  

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