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Message Board > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > Where "You can totally sew that!" meets "Yeah, but it's not worth it."

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Where "You can totally sew that!" meets "Yeah, but it's not worth it."
HanPanda
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HanPanda
Intermediate
DC USA
Member since 4/27/08
Posts: 662
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Date: 1/25/14 10:06 AM

I was driving with Mr Hanpanda last night and we were talking about my IKEA couch. I said that I wanted to get another one or two covers for it, so in case it ever gets discontinued, I would have replacements and other color options. It's a full size couch with a low back, three cushions on the bottom and back, and the cover is what gives it upholstery. It's really a brilliant idea from IKEA, and gives lots of options to customers without spending a ton of money. The covers are $100, give or take $10-$30 or so.

Mr Hanpanda turns to me and (sort of surprised) says, "Well I'm sure you could make one, why don't you do that instead?" I can understand his surprise, there are a any things that I have needed and simply said "Okay, I'll make one." I made a new fabric basket to hold my patterns, dust covers for my sewing machines, an ironing board cover, dinner napkins, etc.

Immediately I said no. XD I have reupholstered a couch before and did not enjoy the experience. Beyond that, it'd take what, 8-10yards of fabric? And good quality uphostery is not going to be found for much less than $10-15/yd. Even if I had wanted to make one, the cost of fabric and supplies alone is more than the cost of purchasing new ones premade.

Now, sometimes I do make things where the savings are negligible or non-existent. My refinished serger table, for example. Or certain skirts and dresses. Small clothing repairs that would cost $3-4 at a dry cleaners. In these cases, the quality of what I am doing as well as the experience may make it way more than worthwhile.

A lot of the time, one of the big reasons I sew is to save money in the long run. But certain things that I truly don't want to do (cough, reupholstery, replacing zippers, etc), no matter the savings, aren't worthwhile.

------
2014 resolution: keep track of sewn yardage!!
In: 68.5 yards
Sewn: 21 yards

I'll try anything once :)

Please excuse my typos...sometimes it is harder to go back and edit on mobile than it is worth!

Debbie Lancaster
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Debbie Lancaster  Friend of PR
Intermediate
CA USA
Member since 9/18/02
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Subject: Where You can totally sew that! meets Yeah, but its not worth it. Date: 1/25/14 10:40 AM

I don't usually sew to save money, but there are definitely things that aren't worth doing. And if:

1. It doesn't save you money or give you a better product for the price

2. You don't get some kind of satisfaction from doing it

What's the point?

------
Debbie

Gilraen Surion

Gilraen Surion
Intermediate
NETHERLANDS
Member since 6/6/04
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Date: 1/25/14 10:48 AM

When it is too much trouble - huge amounts of fabric.
When it is just a base thing (cami, plain t-shirts) and effectively something that everybody has.
I sew to have things that nobody has and better fit.

Gilraen

------
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.
Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC)

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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OH USA
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Subject: Where You can totally sew that! meets Yeah, but its not worth it. Date: 1/25/14 10:53 AM

That's when you turn to the "customer" and say "go for it, but leave me out"!

------
I dont give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think its Hell. Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Annie- oh
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Annie- oh
Intermediate
CO USA
Member since 2/7/04
Posts: 1328
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Subject: Where You can totally sew that! meets Yeah, but its not worth it. Date: 1/25/14 2:17 PM

Meanwhile, the Mister can replace all the floors in the house and redo the electricity.

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I try all things. I achieve what I can. "Moby Dick"

We stand here confronted by insurmountable opportinities. Pogo

Speech girl
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Speech girl  Friend of PR
Intermediate
GA USA
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Date: 1/25/14 2:47 PM

Home dec sewing is usually not worth it for me, with some exceptions (usually smaller projects or ones where I can't find what I want already made).

I bought replacement slipcovers for my 18 year old Pottery Barn sofa because when I researched the cost of the fabric (20 or more yards of nice home dec weight green cotton velvet) and notions it came to an astronomical amount. The purchased covers were more, but were exactly what I wanted and it was worth paying a little more to not have to make the slipcovers myself. I am going to slipcover a small vintage chair myself as I don't need fancy fabric for it and will use a less expensive fabric and I should only need about 5 yards.


-- Edited on 1/25/14 2:48 PM --

------
Kim
formerly mikkim
http://girlwithatimemachine.wordpress.com/

EleanorSews
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EleanorSews  Friend of PR
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MI USA
Member since 7/26/07
Posts: 4334
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In reply to Debbie Lancaster <<
thumbsup 3 members like this.


Date: 1/25/14 3:19 PM

Quote: Debbie Lancaster
I don't usually sew to save money, but there are definitely things that aren't worth doing. And if:



1. It doesn't save you money or give you a better product for the price



2. You don't get some kind of satisfaction from doing it



What's the point?

I think Debbie put it well. There might be a basic garment that I can make for less than the one I really want but am reluctant to pay for, even on sale.

It truly does not make sense to sew slipcovers if you can buy them for the same or a little less (or even a smidge more) than what it takes to buy. The price of materials only does not account for your time.

IKEA will do it better and you can be sewing something fun.

------
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal." unknown

Vivienne
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Vivienne
Intermediate
BC CANADA
Member since 6/29/04
Posts: 1080
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Subject: Where You can totally sew that! meets Yeah, but its not worth it. Date: 1/25/14 3:38 PM

For me, it is work clothes that will be wxposed to the elements, stained, ripped, etc. I don't want my efforts exposed to those conditions!

And plain t-shirts, too. I can buy my holy grail t-shirt (fit,fabric) easily at a reasonable price, so I have no desire to sew those.

------
Cheap fabrics, like cheap shoes, are a false economy.

Red Dragon
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Red Dragon
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
Member since 2/4/08
Posts: 611
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Date: 1/25/14 4:32 PM

Yeah, I wouldn't be making something that large and fitted that I could buy readymade for a reasonable price.
My hinge point is suit jackets; I can make them, not as well as RTW because I don't have the patience for that level of detail, but it will fit better. If I find one that fits I buy.

------
Tracy, Canberra

Janome 7700QCP, Janome 4618QC, Husky S25 overlock/coverstitch

jacqui583
jacqui583
Beginner
ON CANADA
Member since 11/25/13
Posts: 198
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thumbsup 6 members like this.
Date: 1/25/14 4:50 PM

I'll be the opposing voice here and say to make it, but it comes with a big IF:

IF you don't really like the fabrics used in the store bought covers (the patterns - are they pleasing to you?)

and IF you can find an upholstery fabric that you LOVE LOVE LOVE...

THEN - make it. Cost isn't even an issue at this point. You have to live with this piece of furniture every day. If you aren't happy with the pattern on it, well, you just aren't happy.

On the other hand, if you like what's on offer, then spend your sewing time making things that you enjoy.

------
Jacqui

Phoebe (Pfaff Ambition 2.0)
Betty (White 1505)
Sergio (Brother 1034D)

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