Okay, I’m the first to admit that I’m thrifty. Really, it’s a genetic thing! My ancestors were all frugal Yankee farmers – I can remember my relatives wrapping stray bits of string into a big ball and making sausages from scary scraps of meat. I learned from them to be frugal with my purchases, but recently it occurred to me that perhaps my thrifty ways are not as cost-effective as I thought. Especially when it comes to purchasing my sewing patterns. Let me explain what I mean.
Recently I purchased an Indie pattern. The pattern was the Tie-Back Top, pattern #107, from Christine Jonson Patterns. The pattern was on sale but still cost $12.60, plus shipping of $5.24. As you can probably guess, because of my thrifty genes, I’ve rarely paid more than $2.00 for a pattern. In fact I usually pay less than that, including tax! So the Tie-Back top pattern, even on sale, seemed pretty expensive to me. After all, I could have purchased 8 Big 4 (Butterick, McCall’s, Simplicity and Vogue) patterns on sale for the same price as this 1 Indie pattern.
But when I apply the principle of “cost per use” to the garments I’ve sewn thus far I see it differently. Those 8 Big 4 patterns I bought for $18.00? I didn’t end up with any wearable garments after sewing them. So that’s $18.00 wasted. And what’s even worse? When I figure the cost of the fabric I used and the amount of time I spent making 8 garbage garments, those 8 low-priced patterns actually cost me a small fortune. I understand that sometimes you get lucky and one of those Big 4 (on sale for a dollar) patterns actually fits and is a keeper. But in my experience that’s about as likely as winning the lottery. It only happens rarely, and only to other people.
I’ve finally learned my lesson about cost per use and I’ve changed my ways. The Christine Jonson top pattern I bought (which I originally thought was too expensive) was well worth the price I paid. Because this Indie pattern produces a great fitting and wearable garment. Before I even attached the sleeves and sewed the hem of my Tie-Back top I ordered another pattern from Christine Jonson – at full price!
So take it from me, to be truly thrifty, find an Indie pattern line that flatters and fits you and then make that pattern over and over again. The cost per use is much lower in the end with a well-fitting Indie!