BMB Challenge: the money question

Reversible Bucket Bag

Shortly after embarking on my Bag Making Bible Challenge, I decided it would be interesting to look at the costs of bag-making at home. Sewing is often seen as a money-saving hobby. You sew your bags or clothes in order to save a bit of money and to have a personalized finished product. But it isn’t always the case. A lot of the bags in the book require hardware and interfacings I’ve never used before. I’ve always been wary of spending too much money on sewing doo-dads. By that, I pretty much mean anything beyond fabric and thread. If you sew at all, you quickly realize that cost of the notions (buttons, zippers, tools, interfacings) required to make something can be a bit shocking. The first two bags from the book were easy and frankly not too pricey, I used fabric from my stash and there was very little extra that went into them, so they won’t be included here. For a more careful look, let’s look at what it cost to make the Reversible Bucket Bag .

The Reversible Bucket Bag is a pretty basic bag. The only hardware is a self-covered button and a safety pin. I did a little math based on the fabric requirement in the book and what it cost me to make the book. That means pricing fabric according to the prices I buy at and a free self-covered button from my mom’s old stash (thanks mom!). These prices are all Euros.

  • Interior Fabric (.5 meters): 2.92
  • Exterior Fabric (.5 meters): 4.87
  • Binding Fabric (.5 meters): 2.50
  • Woven Interfacing (.5 meters): 4.98
  • Fusible Fleece (.5 meters): 4.98
  • Self-covered Button (1): free
  • Safety pin (1): free
  • Total cost for bag: 20.23 EUR

So, working with fabric and supplies I already have at home, this bag cost me just over 20 Euro to make. Perhaps the most interesting thing I see above is the fact that most of that money went into the interfacing, or the structure of the bag. Mind you, this pricing is done using the fabric prices I manage by purchasing fabric when I’m on vacation or ordering it and having friends and family carry it across the ocean. Making the same bag with all new notions and same quality fabric purchased here in the Netherlands, your materials price would be closer to 32 Euro. That quilting cotton is precious stuff!

Whether that makes it worth the time and effort to make a bag for yourself is up to you, but I enjoy the process thoroughly and learned heaps about technique in the process, plus I get the pretty bag!

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