The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

This is NOT a political statement…

….we have enough of that lately, but this is a reality check.

It’s a very real look at the cost of fine clothing.  This is to put things in perspective about what good clothing costs, and more importantly to put the appropriate and realistic value on your sewing.

This link shows the two wives of the debaters in pink.  That happens (although neither I think wanted it to happen that way), and both dresses are TOTALLY appropriate, and personally I don’t think one is better or worse.

But BOTH of them are also priced appropriately.

Mrs. Romney wore an Oscar de la Renta for $1,690 which honestly is a great price for an Oscar dress.

While Mrs. Obama wore an outfit by Michael Kors;  the jacket for $1,495 and the dress for $1,795.

The point is that we often compare our sewing to $200 jackets from shopping center chain stores when we actually should be comparing our sewing to $1,500 jackets.  When you do that, you instantly begin to see the value of your sewing and the value of the clothes that you are making.

Suddenly you begin to realize how much value these items have in your wardrobe.  That jacket that Mrs. Obama is wearing would look smashing with a black or dark navy dress.  The dress Mrs. Romney is wearing would go great for casual or evening (not ball or extremely formal), but with an evening jacket  (beaded or brocade) would be perfect for an evening meeting or semi-formal cocktail/dinner.  Both outfits can certainly be worn again and again, which as much style and poise as they have been worn the other night.

But you don’t have to be a FLOTUS wannabe to have an outfit like this.

Let’s look at pricing this out.

I found a silk/cotton designer fabric at $20/yd.  It’s not the pink cotton/silk crinkle fabric that Oscar is using, but it’s got a pretty close price (you might have to pay up to $50/yd), so that higher figure is what I’ll use.

The dress at the most will take two length of the dress probably about 1.25 yds, so add another .75 for the sleeves and good measure – so that’s 3 yds @ the higher $50/yd so that $150 – add another $50 for lining, notions (I know it’s high, but just for guestimate).  That’s $200 for fabric and all the stuff.  That’s about 12% of the cost of Mrs. Romney’s dress.

Let’s look at Mrs. Obama’s ensemble – that’s $3,290 for both her jacket and dress.  This is going to be even more fun. I can’t find the exact dress, but Michael Kors has a wool crepe dress on his site about the same price, and so I’m going to use the crepe dress (let’s not even count the jacket).  Wool crepe runs about $25/yd online – so let’s say it’s about $40/yd.  Three yds for the dress – that’s $120 – plus $50 for notions and we’re at $170. So that’s about 10% (even less than Mrs. Romney’s) for the cost of making the dress.

So 12% of the cost of Mrs. Romney’s dress and 10% of the cost of Mrs. Obama’s dress, you can make the dress.  That means that the value of your sewing is about 90% to 88% the cost of these dresses.

Hopefully this makes my point – and makes the point that the fabric does NOT costs too much and you can afford that.  The truth is that both of these dresses (if you make them out of high-end fabric) are such bargains that it’s stupid not to do them.  THIS is the real bargain – not the $75 – $125 dress at the discount shopping center chain store.  That dress does not last the season, much less make you feel wonderful every time you wear it.

After dressing ladies like Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Romney, I can tell you that they not only will wear these dresses again, they will love wearing them cause they feel good in them – that’s what well-made clothing does for you.

OK – Claire will now take a double-dose of her medication and step down from her soap box!!!!

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