Sunday, 31 January 2016

2016 Sewing Budget: January

I mentioned in this post that I was going to keep track of what I spent on both sewing stuff and RTW clothes. At the time I had no intention of sharing this information, but since I am so appalled at how much I spent this month (on sewing stuff) - a month when I felt I didn't really need much, I have decided I will share it. If you feel this type of post is boring, please feel free to skip it.

Spend is all relative. What I spend in one month might be a drop in the ocean for some, while it might be 6 month's budget for others. I usually have a rough budget of around £50 per month for sewing related paraphenalia, which is based on absolutely nothing, and is completely made up. However, this weekend I read this post (and the follow up), and it got me thinking. Do I actually even need to spend £50 a month? Again, it's all relative, but I have a fairly sizable stash of both fabric and patterns. I have a few zips, some elastic and quite a bit of thread. What exactly is it that I think I need to buy?

So, along with recording my spending, I have decided to set myself a few other rules. This is for the foreseeable future. It might not be all year, but I'm starting with 3 months, and then I'll see how I go.
1. Plan. I always have a million sewing plans floating around my head and I don't document them (other than occasionally on here). I like to keep things fluid because needs change, and I never manage to sew all the things I intend to, however I'd like to plan at least the next 3 garments to keep my focus.

2. Sew from the stash. It's kind of a duh one, but while I have quite a bit of fabric that's seasonally inappropriate/I've gone off/I can't decide what to make with, I also have jersey and denim, and quite a few pieces that I bought with firm ideas that still hold. Where I have fabric, do I also have co-ordinating thread? Elastic? Interfacing? Zips? Let's check those things BEFORE I nip to the shops.

3. Buy only what I need. So, for example, I could really do with more trousers for work. I have no trouser appropriate fabric, so I am permitted to buy that, but only that. No sneaking other (non-essential) things into my basket.

4. Don't compromise on quality, but keep it realistic. For example, I want to make a shirt. I have buttons that are just OK, but I'm not 100% sold on them. I don't want to spend time making an item I'm not happy with, so I'm not going to force myself to use the buttons. I will buy nicer buttons. But if the buttons are pretty decent, and I like them and they'd make a nice garment, but I've seen really nice ones in John Lewis that are £2 each, I will stick with the buttons I have. And if I do buy them, I will have to own up to you! And do 100 press ups.

That's it. I'm keen to keep it simple. To be clear, this is not a spending ban, rather a plan to use what I already have, where possible. Because, what else is it for?

Right. On to January's spend, which went something like this:

I lumped the new blog template in there, which wasn't truly sewing related, however if I didn't sew, I wouldn't have the blog, so it does kind of fit! Also, note me justifying to myself that the Camas blouse was on sale!!! :)

On the plus side, I have already sewn up the Lizzy House/ponte into pyjamas that are still to be blogged (but have been Instagrammed), and my next project is a shirt dress, based on this with the navy/white viscose. The haby was replenishing stocks.

Let's see what February brings!


  1. Very interesting, I notice a few others are noting their spending down too. This is making me feel I am in denial that sewing is a cheap hobby!
    The 100 pressups punishment made me laugh!

    1. Yep, the denial is strong here too, that's why I'm doing this. And the press ups are even funnier when you consider I have zero upper body strength, so probably would struggle with just one!

  2. Good on you. My wake up call was working out I had sent $5,000, about GP2400, in a year. Things slowed WAAAy down after that!

    1. Well, thankfully I don't think I'm close to that, but it's a sobering thought nonetheless. Things add up pretty quickly, don't they?

  3. Sounds like a good plan to me! It is scary how it all adds up without you really noticing.....

    1. It really is, Liz. A sense of perspective is all that I'm after at this stage (saving cash would also be handy though!).

  4. Sounds like a good plan to me! It is scary how it all adds up without you really noticing.....

  5. This is something I should really do too. I'm trying really hard to work through my stash but already have so many summer sewing plans that seem to involve new fabric I 'need' to buy! Good luck with February spending!

  6. good luck with this. I have roughly the same monthly budget, but I seriously need to WRITE down my spend. I rely on memory (and then conveniently forget when a new pretty fabric comes my way!). All out bans just don't work for me - I rebel against my own rules and then feel like a weak fool. But what I think might work, is having my stash out where I can see it (folded on some shelves) - hoping that will remind me that I really don't *need* to buy anything else for a very long time!


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