The value of sewing for the home

I’m working on setting up a sewing course that will be available at minimal cost to anyone over 16 who wants to learn to sew. Just the basics: use of a machine, make a few simple things, and learn to follow simple instructions. The goal is to get the knowledge and confidence to start sewing for the kids, for the self, for the home.

I thought, in this column, I’d set down some of the benefits of learning to sew for anyone thinking of adding some home decor items to their space. 

A small 18×18 cushion costs about 30.00 to 40.00 at a chain discount store, and 100.00 plus for online custom. The 40.00 is a great price. But unless you hit a day when there is exactly the color, print, and feel you need, you’ll probably end up with a decor statement that looks like you bought some almost-right cushions at the chain discount store. I’ll bet that if you go to the local fabric store, you will find exactly the color and feel you want. Maybe not the exact prints but you can get darned close. And it takes about a half hour to make a simple 18×18 cushion.

Let’s move to fun pillowcases for the kids’or grandkids’ rooms. Make them yourself, about an hour each, for around 20.00. Yes, you can get them for less at another local chain store, but if there is a particular color or print you just must have, if you do a bit of online sleuthing, you will probably find it. 

 I bought some fabric from Japan a few years ago that has macarons printed on it. The $10.00 1/2-meter piece is enough to make a simple apron, which I did and gave to a friend for her birthday. She loves it. ( She wears aprons and makes macarons!)

Curtains: Are the curtains in your motor home ‘a disgrace’? If you want new custom curtains you will pay a fair bit for custom made. But you will get the exact curtains that fit and are just the right color and functionality. Making these is not rocket science. If you can sew a straight line, use a measuring tape, and follow simple instructions you can make new curtains for the motor home. Or the kid’s room. Or your room.

My sister has a beautiful log home. It’s full of her personality, it’s decorated in her colours and everything in it fits into the overall. Her dining room table is oversized and the only tablecloths we’ve found ready-made are polyester yucky and not fitting of her style at all. We found a plaid fabric in the local fabric store that is exactly what she needs. We needed to add some width and hem all around, it took about 2 hours total to make and could not be more perfect. I think we spent about 50.00 on the fabric. If you’ve looked for oversized tablecloths, or any good ones, actually, you’ll know that price is amazing.

 Learning any new skill can be daunting if you think ‘I can’t make that. I don’t even know where to start.’ If you start at the beginning and build skill on skill, before you know it you will have the skills to make ‘that thing’.

 Making home decor:

 Saves money. A lot of money.

 Gets you exactly what you want.

 Keeps your brain ticking.

 Is a lot of fun.

Watch this space for announcements about the course. I hope I can get this up and running. Fingers crossed.

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