How Can I Make My Sewn Items Worth More?

When I think about a sewing budget, I also think about how I sew the item. What am I sewing to equal? Target? Myer? A boutique store? Bespoke?

Things such as fit, technique and seam finishes add value to your product.
First of all, it is best if you take the time to make design changes to make sure the pattern fits first. This automatically puts you above Kmart/Target because their clothes are designed to fit a wide range of bodies, not YOUR body or your child's body.

Then, what techniques do you employ?
Do you try new things? Do you push yourself to learn?

Or do you avoid the zipper or buttonhole you have always dreaded, in favour of something easier? Trust me, the time you take to perfect technique really adds value to what you are making.

Overlocking photo DSCN3629_zpsf58452dc.jpg

What seam finishes do you use?  Overlocking looks much more professional than pinked seams. But even overlocking can look cheap at times... see above! :)

A French Seam can look better than overlocked edges.

French seams photo DSCN4846_zps61ea104c.jpg

What about turn and stitch?

Turn & stitch photo DSCN4833_zps9fb6ed3e.jpg

Yummy bias bound seams!

bias bound seams photo DSCN4842_zpsead1b9fb.jpg

The reason I think about these things is because they cost nothing! (Oh except the bias binding, which is cheap anyway). They take time, but can increase the value of your sewn product tenfold.

So, maybe you splurged a little and bought an expensive fabric. If you take the time to do things right then your garment will save you money. We all need clothes, right?

Example: Woman's Unlined Dress
Material 3metres x $20 = $60
Matching Thread              $4
Buttons /Zip                     $5
Pattern                             $10

Investment = approximately $80

You didn't test fit, so it looks a bit funny in areas, maybe you sewed the zipper in a rush and it doesn't look quite right.  You can get a nice dress around the $60 - 80 mark at a big chain store, meaning you didn't save any money, really, you should have just bought one. Below is the only dress I have made for myself. It was not done properly, I have only worn it once and that was with something over it. What a shame, I love the fabric! If only I took the time to do it right.

 photo DSCN4848_zpsac7677f1.jpg

Now imagine that we all took the time to do things the right way, our dresses fit superbly, seam finishes look clean and professional - those dresses would cost $100 at the very least. Do you see how this effects your sewing budget?

So question... how can I reuse this beautiful fabric? I have to be honest with myself, I don't think I will get much wear out of it. I think I need to upcycle! :)


  1. This is a great post! One of my aims this year is to take more pride in my sewing and finish off my garments better, particularly for myself. As for your dress, I can't think of much...maybe a top?!

  2. The first dress shirt I ever sewed (which was actually my first sewing project, haha), I didn't finish any of the seams and whenever I wear it (and I do wear it), I feel a bit self-concious. For all the rest of the shirts I've made, I used flat-felled seams and now I have a hard time telling which side is the right side!! A sure sign of quality, at least for me. :)

    And not only does taking the time to finish the seam make your garment more 'expensive,' it prolongs the life of the garment by making the seams stronger!! Definitely a step that needs to be taken when sewing garments! :)

  3. Thank you so much for sharing all your valuable knowledge with us. Blessings to you.