You may or may not know (and probably don't care - lol) that I have been sewing on and off for over 45 years. I may have been 5 or 6 (or even younger) the first time one of my grandmothers handed me a piece of fabric and a threaded needle.
Both grandmas tried to teach me hand stitchery - garment stitches, embroidery, crewel, knitting, and crocheting. I wasn't much interested (make that bored to tears). Then, when I was about 8 years old, Mom made me start 4-H. I loved 4-H. With it came sewing lessons and a whole new world opened up - using the sewing machine!
I made night gowns, pj's, bathrobes, dresses, blouses, pants, skirts, jackets (not "officially" tailored ones) not just for myself but also for my mom. Later, I also made shirts for the men and almost all of my maternal grandmother's clothes.
I wound up being a home economics major because of a 4-H scholarship. I was able to take classes to learn about textiles; flattering fabrics, styles, and colors; clothing construction (yes, I did learn new techniques!); fitting; and pattern and clothing alteration. (Unfortunately, I didn't get to finish college so never got to take pattern making.)
Then, as with a lot of things, I started to let sewing go by the wayside. Could this possibly have been because I had a husband and toddler and was working outside the home? Was it because my husband didn't like the mess sewing caused? Was it because I was constantly having to set up, take down, and move everything? Had I just gotten tired of sewing? Then, I had another baby who turned into a very demanding toddler/young child. And, I sometimes still worked full-time outside the home. Somehow, I'd still manage to occasionally make something or even sew in spurts and make several things.
A few years went by. I had hardly made anything, and when I did, I wasn't satified with the results. Frustration gave me a new reason not to sew. Then, oops, suddenly my daughter is a young singer. She needs concert black clothing. Where do you find concert black clothing? In Idaho, where do you find concert black clothing? Where do you find petite-sized concert black clothing? Out came the sewing machine.
Guess what? For the most part, it is incredibly less expensive to buy fabric and sew formal gowns than it is buy them ready made. Depending on your area, you can even hire someone to make a gown cheaper than purchasing a ready-made one.
When I'm in "town", I check to see if fabric, thread, zippers, and patterns are on sale. I always try to keep 3 or 4 lengths of various black and other dressy fabrics on hand. It saves a rush trip to the city for supplies. Once we had a limited time to come up with a black dress and our only fabric store was out of all "dressy" black fabric! I remember panicking, but I can't remember what we wound up doing.
Hopefully, my daughter is now full grown and won't change in size for a while. With her black pant's outfit, a black gown or two, and maybe a couple of long black skirts, she'll be set.