1) Never compromise on size, colour or style- make exactly what you want.
2) Clothes that fit- most brands these days don't even make their patterns nor fit their samples on real people. It's all done by technicians on computers overseas. Margins are cut by skim off jean tops (hence the hipsters) and leg length. You may have even noticed that pants and skirts have stopped curving in at the waist and out at the hips. You can cut to fit you.
3) More choice - go into any sewing shop and sift through the folders of patterns and let you imagination run wild. There's no reason that you can't tweak the patterns further- adding a sleeve, removing a collar.
4) Colours that flatter and fabrics that work- we all have a colour range that suits us but sometimes the colours available in stores are limited (What's the story with purple this winter in Rundle Mall?) Buy up on the fabrics that work best with our complexion (and lifestyle).
5) Lead the pack- are you fashion forward? Make it before it hits the stores.
6) Save money- if you have kids you will save hundreds a year on outfits. In addition you can mend and hem things that were worn out or not just right.
8) Be the best mum/aunt/friend- kids will love that you can sew costumes, teens will love you if they can pull a dress out of a magazine for prom and mum can make it (at unaffordable cost).
9) Be eco-friendly- choose your fabrics like linen, silk, wool blends and bamboo, and natural dyes. You are far less limited when you can choose your own fabrics. You are also reducing your carbon foot print and making biodegradable clothes that will last longer.
10) It's soothing- watching fabric moving through your machine and become something useful, is a satisfying hobby.
So, where do you learn? When you buy a sewing machine ask whether it comes with free lessons. Many do or the sewing shop may run classes and offer them to you complimentary.
I've always wanted to learn to sew, but I've just never really got around to it. As you've pointed out there are so many great reasons. I’d love to be able to make my own clothes and wear the things I like rather than just what is ‘in fashion’ at the time.
TAFE SA also has a great course "Sewing Your Own Fashion" that teaches you to work with sewing and patterns. I have a friend who did the course and she learnt a lot and came away with some good things she had sewn.
Thanks for giving me a boost to give it another go. Perhaps I'll look at doing a course. I should at least get out my sewing machine and dust it off, I don’t think it’s ever been used.