It can, as others have said. At this point in my life I sew to make money and to make things for my home I couldn't afford to but outright. We have many beautiful quilts I have made for a fraction of the price the equivalent would have cost in the store.
Sheets! lol, I just thought of this when I saw someone talking about using tablecloths. Sheets are WONDERFUL sources of good natural fabrics. You can get them from the thrift store or even Organic cotton sheets fairly cheaply. That's a lot of fabric. I also like to use recycled sweaters. Cashmere is my favorite for making kids winter clothes out of, but wool is good for tons of stuff. When I have another baby, I'll have to learn how to make my own diapers.
I would consider having another baby just to make my own dipes!
I've read through this thread before and have found it interesting, the different perspectives.
I just had to post a reply to say that I spent about $100 at the thrift store today buying up clothes as fabric to make skirts, shorts, pajama bottoms, etc for my 2 youngest dc. This is going to be considerably cheaper than buying the same items even from resale. So, in my case and in this instance, sewing will surely save me money. This is true because I already have thread and tools like a cutting mat so I'm not calculating that into the cost of the items I'll be making.
I did splurge on a $7 bias tape maker so I can make my own coordinating bias tape.
I would also say it depends on what you are doing if it will save money.
I don't sew all our own clothes on a regular basis. I do sew special things or repair items though.
I think that having the skill to sew and basic sewing materials/equipment on hand can save money- like if you can repair/alter an item instead of buying a new item or paying someone else to do it for you it will save money.
Some example situations-
your sofa cushion has come apart at the seam but you can fix it yourself at little to no cost
your child is tall but very thin and clothes off the rack just don't fit right- you can alter the waist on all their pants or skirts or get a pattern and sew pants or skirts to fit your dc if you know how to sew
Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)
I'm with the others, but I also sew as a stress reliever, so that helps. I make a lot of baby gifts, make stuff to donate to friends' causes, and stuff around the home. Recently made couch cushions (saved $$ there) and snack bags (saved a TON there). But then I bought fabric to make Xmas table runners and didn't get to it so I wasted some there, but I will make Xmas aprons or table runners out of them next year maybe.
I also shop thrift stores for older stuff to remake stuff into. My DS and DD2 are super skinny so I have saved a ton tacking in their clothes. When MIL gets me elastic waist pants for the kid that are too big in waist on clearance for $1.30 at Target and I can tack them in, they totally work. I also help out friends and tack in their clothes when asked.
Carly, mama to DS C (5th grade), DD Miss M (07/09, fostered 1/10, adopted 08/10), and Little Miss C (11/10, fostered 01/11, adopted 11/12). Foster Son, Mr. A, age 11 placed 10/13.
My angel babies , ~01/08~ (twins), ~09/08~, and ~01/09~.