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Higher disposable income helps more learn to sew

It doesn’t have to cost the Earth to learn to sew – initial costs can be as little as a needle and thread, with scraps of old fabric more than adequate to practise the basic skills, and you can hand-stitch until you’re ready to invest in a sewing machine.

Even as you get more advanced, sewing patterns cost just a few pounds each, and can be reused over and over again.

With households’ disposable income on the increase, many families have more to spend on hobbies, which could help even more people to learn to sew for the first time.

Research from SunLife shows that between 2015 and 2016, the typical monthly household income increased slightly from £2,000 to £2,083, but essential outgoings like rent, mortgage, loans and living costs dropped from 60% to 55% of this total.

This led to an increase in spare cash from 29% to 33% of household income – and this is money not earmarked for anything in particular, rather than regular outgoings like hobbies, entertainment, health and beauty.

Expenditure on hobbies and entertainment is up slightly too, from 11% to 12%, but clearly there is more in the bank for many households to try something new for the first time.

Some regions have even more to spare – up to 44% in the north-east, 38% in the East Midlands, and 35% in Scotland.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the households with the most spare cash currently spend the least on hobbies, equivalent to just 10% in the north-east and 11% in the East Midlands.

However much you have to spare in the bank, if the past year has brought a few extra pounds your way, you can learn to sew on any budget – from a simple needle and thread as mentioned above, to a more comprehensive setup with a sewing machine and a library of sewing patterns to put your newfound skills to the test.

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