To make or to buy?

Hello my friends,

I really enjoy looking on handmade markets for inspiration. 

Often I’ll look at something and think “I can make that”. A few times I would actually attempt to have a go but often enough I don’t. 
Maybe it’s because I don’t have the time or another idea pops in my mind, the fact of matter is: ‘When should you buy or make something?
I prefer to sew only things that challenge me creatively. With time being scarce, I find myself buying more. Not a problem for clothes as I love buying quality key items and there are things I would never sew.
Yesterday I bought this fox. Yes, I could have made it but it was so liberating not having to.

*Just to clarify. I don’t think its cool copying the idea, but to adapt and inspire.

 I want to know were do you draw the line between making and buying?
  • Oh, foxie is so cute! My line is drawn where I cannot reasonably make, mostly clothes. I count bra’s, socks, knitted items, leather belts and shoes in this category. I guess I could stretch myself and try, but really, my time is stretched already!

  • I will buy something if I think I just won’t enjoy making it and it’s not too far out of my price range. If i really want it but it’s ridiculously priced and I can make it myself for less money, I’ll usually make it regardless of whether I enjoy the process or not. Ya know, it’s actually been difficult for me to accept that just because I CAN make it doesn’t mean I have to.

  • Interesting question! It’s so easy to think “I can make that!” when you first gain confidence with knitting/sewing/jewelry making. But then when you think about the time that it would take and the investment in supplies and materials, it sometimes isn’t worth it. I buy basics and staple pieces for work and I sew the special stuff – things that wouldn’t fit or would be out of my price range to buy in RTW. I only make the things that I would be thrilled to wear and excited to make, since sewing and knitting are things I do for pleasure.

  • Good question! I feel like recently I’ve come out of that beginners’ euphoria of “I can make it all! I will never buy anything again!”, and am now much more comfortable with the decision that if I want to buy something, I just can, whatever the reason. Mostly the reasons would be: can’t or don’t want to make it myself, it’s not worth my sewing time, I have too many projects on the go already and have to be realistic. Paradoxically though, having made this shift, I’ve been buying less – these days I’m much happier to build my own wardrobe, SLOWER, and leave it at that. And I’m not making people’s presents any more, at least not till next Christmas πŸ™‚ They get shop-bought with just as much love as if I’d handcrafted it myself πŸ™‚

    • C+B

      ah, so that’s what it is, “beginner’s euphoria”! I’m still there! Haven’t bought anything for myself for ages (but haven’t actually made much for myself either)… the kids on the other hand, they are victims of my euphoria – but they’re too young to know it! πŸ™‚

    • Paradoxically though, having made this shift, I’ve been buying less

      I found this too, I start to buy less rtw clothes, not because I can make it, but just because %)

  • I just love to make things, and I love to buy things. I don’t like copying other people’s ideas much so I don’t often try to, unless you count being inspired by something to try an improved or altered version. πŸ˜‰
    What I like about making is that it can crank down the extravagance of gift giving, in favour of something thoughtful. (i know we’re not just talking about gifts but that’s what’s on my mind right now). Take Valentine’s – a few cupcakes or hand made chocs for friends is such a lovely way to show appreciation. For me it beats the heck out of jewellery or even a card. πŸ™‚

  • I am totally hopeless. When it comes to fabric and yarn I constantly think “I could make that” and then don’t buy it. Then I don’t get round to making whatever it is…

  • great question Rachel.
    Last year I did the seamless pledge for nearly 10 months, not buying a thing I could make. I gave up when I realised I was making myself miserable. It was great to take the pressure off myself again!

  • Good question! It’s funny– once I learned how to sew and knit, I felt obligated to make everything. But I can’t realistically make everything! I actually like to buy things from indie designers or Etsy shops– I don’t think it’s fair for me to knock off their ideas. But that’s just me. πŸ™‚

  • that is a very interesting question! i find it hard to find a good balance between me-made and bought. i have become more and more critical about store-bought clothes since i started sewing, which makes it even more tempting to make it myself, but i cannot make everything. i want to enjoy the process, and not feel forced to make it. so i try instead to buy more thoughtfully, and to put my money on quality instead of quantity

  • If it’s something I will learn from and enjoy then I will make it. If the thought of sewing it fills me with dread then I buy it πŸ™‚

  • if i don’t have the time to make it or if i won’t enjoy making it i’ll buy it. sometimes it’s hard to be honest with myself about my time or my desire to DIY something. πŸ™ i’ve learned that lesson the hard way.

  • I always seem to go for the make option, and you’re right, it does take a lot of your time up, but if I think I can make it, then I have to make it. I’d hate to buy it then have someone say, did you make that? And I have to say no!!

    That’s just me.

    Though I always,maybe somewhat optimistically, think I can make everything.