How Much It Actually Costs To Make Your Own Clothes

Gone are the days when making your own clothes was reserved for former nuns in The Sound Of Music and the Shreddies nanas. After the rise of fast fashion in the late 20th century – and the more recent backlash – people are turning once again to slow, handmade fashion.
Even before the pandemic, digital magazine service Readly reported that of the 5,000 titles and 83 million issues read globally in 2019, the most searched topic was needlework craft. The last year only accelerated that trend: Google searches for sewing machines jumped dramatically from March 2020 in the UK, with John Lewis reporting in June that sales of them had risen by 127%. Likewise knitting, crochet and embroidery saw a resurgence in popularity as people sought things to do with their hands during lockdown.
For someone on the outside looking in at the world of sewing, knitting and crochet, getting started might seem intimidating. What does it actually cost to make your own clothes? How much time does it take to produce something wearable? And how can I get started?
We asked six women and non-binary people whose homemade clothes we love to share their favourite self-made piece and use it as a way to explain just that: the real cost of materials and equipment, the time spent and the satisfaction gained from the final result.

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