Monday, September 14, 2009

An Oath

I solemnly swear before all of you--my crafting witnesses--that I will not buy fabric for another quilt until I finish the six (yes, six) quilts that I already have fabric for.

I think I have discovered the most expensive hobby of all--quilting with new fabric.  I just spent $140 on fabric for a twin sized quilt, and it was only the top, not the backing or binding.  Yikes!  For someone used to spending $10 on some fabric for an article of clothing, this was a shocker.

Oh well, what's done is done.  Check out the quilt from American Jane, isn't it adorable?




And then after that, or in the meantime, I'd like to make a quilt out of my kids old baby clothes, and also a quilt out of my old t-shirts (it should be much cuter than it sounds, trust me).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Halloween Math

In an ideal world, there would be a large chain of Halloween exchange stores wherein you could borrow halloween costumes for free, not unlike a library.  To me, Halloween is a huge waste of resources.  People often complain about purchasing a wedding dress or a prom dress and wearing it for only one night, but I usually feel like the only parent that complains about Halloween costumes.  Think about it-- you are buying an outfit that your child will only wear once for a couple of hours (more if you are lucky) to beg for candy in.  At the end of the night, the most you can hope for is that you'll be able to pass it on to another sibling--that is, if the costume survives the night.

These are among the reasons that I refuse to make my kids costumes almost without exception.  Usually people are surprised by this due to the fact that I love to sew and craft so let me break it down for you:

Cost

Just about any seamstress knows that these days, you do not save money by making your own clothing--especially children's clothing.  If you are purchasing your materials retail, you usually spend way more than the cost of a ready made garment before you even put in the time and effort to make it.  Costumes are no exception.  Take this Cinderella costume for example:

*Pattern--$10.51
*41/2 yds blue polyester satin fabric from fabric.com--$22.41. (plus more for shipping)
*notions (ribbon, interfacing, velcro etc) 10-20$
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*Total cost: $42.92-52.92 depending on how crazy you go with the notions, and this isn't even including extras like a crown or gloves or shoes.

I found a much cuter one on ebay for under $30 dollars brand new including gloves and shipping

Effort

Last year I did actually make Greta's Tinkerbell Costume, it consisted of me hunting down a leotard and slippers, bleaching the pink out of them and then hand dying them green.  Then I had to cut a ton of green tulle strips and tie them on an elastic waistband, and make pom-poms out of yarn for her slippers.  On top of all of that, I had to purchase wings.


Through the night, Greta had a potty accident in her leotard, ripped a hole in her tights and ruined her slippers beyond repair.  So all of that money and work went down the toilet so to speak.

I think many people make the mistake of thinking that a halloween costume should be easier to sew than a regular garment, and this is simply not the case.  I guess technically you could get away with not finishing your seams or pressing, but the general construction is still the same.

I'd rather spend my time making something my daughter or sons would use over and over until they grow out of it--or better yet--something for me that I wouldn't grow out of (hopefully).

Hopefully I've convinced you to relieve yourself of the Halloween pressure and just purchase the cheapest thing you can for your kids this year, and then spend all of the time you would have on costumes for your handmade Christmas gifts (wink wink).