A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Cookie Policy | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Breaking News: What's with all of the SPAM on Craftster?  Click here to find out what happened!
Total Members: 307,157
Currently Running With Scissors:
339 Guests and 4 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop


Pages: 1 2 3 4 [All]
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: 10 Ways to Economize your Sewing  (Read 10520 times)
Tags for this thread:  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit add to Wists
1+
 
sewsweetness
« on: June 12, 2011 09:14:44 AM »



I originally posted this here:http://www.sewsweetness.com/2011/05/10-ways-to-economize-your-sewing.html


1. Set a monthy budget and stick to it.
This year, I've been restricted to $25 for my monthly sewing budget. This not only includes fabric, but sewing patterns, notions, and interfacing. I'm going to be honest, it isn't easy, especially if you have a small stash. But I think setting some sort of limit for yourself is important. It not only keeps you in check, but it will prevent you from buying fabric on impulse (fabric that you might change your mind about or not even use!). I keep a piece of paper over my sewing machine, with the budget limit at the top. Every time I buy something, I mark down how much I spent and what I bought. If I sell something (fabric, a custom item, etc.), I add that to the list as well as a "+" instead of a "-".




2. Cut corners when working with a sewing pattern.
All patterns list the fabric and notion requirements on the back. In a lot of cases, I have found that the fabric requirement are usually an over-estimate. Designers will usually illustrate a cutting layout, which means they show you which pattern pieces to place where, and if you need to place them on the fold. However, it is really easy to economize your fabric when working with a sewing pattern. Once your pattern pieces are cut out, lay them out on your fabric but do not cut them out (if you do not already have the fabric you plan to use for the project, use a similar-sized piece of fabric to estimate how much you will need to purchase). If a piece needs to be used more than once, either mentally visualize it before you move it to another space on the fabric, or mark it with chalk or an invisible marking pen. Place the pieces as close together as possible (unless you need to fussy cut). Only cut when you are satisfied that you have saved yourself the maximum amount of fabric.

You can also use solids or scraps for less visible or important pieces. As an example, made the Amy Butler Weekender Bag. The pattern called for 1-5/8 yard of fabric for the exterior. I only had 1 yard of the fabric that I wanted to use, and even though I did fussy cut it, I managed to fit all the important pieces on the fabric. There were 2 pattern pieces that I was not able to fit, but these pieces I cut from solid green coordinating fabric scraps that I had. This works for this particular project because these parts of the bag are the reverse sides of 4 exterior pockets on the bag, which are really not visible. I am not sharing this information so that you'll purposely not have enough fabric for a project; but with advance planning, it is possible to work with much less fabric than a pattern calls for.






3. Be flexible with your notions.
Coordinating thread that will match your fabric is needed for most projects, mostly for topstitching. But it is usually cheaper to work with white thread (I bought some Coats and Clark white thread recently on sale for $1 per spool). So I use white thread for all the non-visible parts of my sewing projects, and save the colors for when thread will be showing. You can also save on zippers by trimming a larger zipper to fit your project needs. I have a whole bag of older zippers in many sizes and colors, and I will often trim them if possible,  just so I don't have to buy a brand new zipper.

4. Swap for supplies.
There are several places to swap your unused fabrics or other supplies, such as on Flickr. Keep in mind that you will need to pay for shipping, to send your item to your swap partner, but it's a great way to get something new (to you, at least!).

5. Go thrift store shopping.
The best places in the thrift store to check for repurposing fabric is the linen section. Sheets and pillow cases are great sources of fabric. I blogged about one of my trips to the thrift store here. I actually used the light blue king sized sheet ($2) last week as backing for a 70" x 90" quilt. Even if I had bought the fabric at the store on sale, it would have cost me at least $30. With all the supplies you need for a quilt, you could easily spend $100. Saving on the backing is a great way to trim your costs. The pillow cases also make great sources for making layer cakes or charm squares. A vintage dress, apron, or pajamas would also make a great source of fabric that you can use for a bag!




6. Work with scraps.
Scraps will not only make a great quilt, but I have also used scraps to make bags and dresses. It's really easy to piece fabric scraps together into a larger unit, and use your pattern piece to cut out what you need.

7. Only buy if it is on sale or with a coupon.
I know it's really hard, especially with quilting fabrics, but it is possible to buy only if something is on sale. I'm sure you have many fabrics that you have your eye on, so watch for sales (True Up has a weekly post of fabric shops that are having sales). Watch for a good percentage off, or a free shipping offer. Also, I don't buy anything at Joann's that isn't on sale. My family members save their Joann ads from their Sunday papers, so I usually have about 3-4 ads a week, and there are at least one or two 40% or 50% coupons per ad. Even if I only need thread or a zipper, I will use a coupon on it. I also use a lot of fusible interfacing, so if it's on sale and I can also use a 25% transaction coupon, I'll get 5-10 yards of interfacing at once.






8. Share a fabric bundle.
If you want to purchase a fat quarter or half yard bundle of an entire fabric line, why not split it with a friend? On occasion, I'll go in on a bundle with my friend, Kim, and it's usually cheaper to buy by the bundle as opposed to buying yardage separately.

9. Conserve batting.
What do you do with all the scraps of batting you have amassed from quilting? Connecting smaller pieces with a zig-zag stitch is a great way to get larger pieces, especially for quilted projects like a table runner or bag.

10. Use a free tutorial or a library book.
With all the free tutorials out there on the web, it's entirely possible to sew projects from only free tutorials. Amy Butler even has many sewing patterns available for free on her website, or you can find her Blossom Bag pattern from the Style Stitches book here. Just about every sewing book that I have on my Amazon wishlist, I was able to request from the library. The books that come with pattern pieces even have the pieces in the back of the book. With many sewing patterns selling for $5-$15, it's a great way to save money.

:-)
Sara
THIS ROCKS   Logged
lunaholic
armed with scissors
Offline Offline

Posts: 221
Joined: 06-Sep-2010

*meow*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2011 03:46:28 PM »

this is a very good guideline!
in the beginning it might be difficult to attach to it, but it helps to economise even though stash will be grow slower.. but it'll grow beautifully! Smiley
THIS ROCKS   Logged

goldfishpollywog
Goldfish kisses *<><
Offline Offline

Posts: 3544
Joined: 24-Mar-2008

I have Never met an unimportant person. Never.


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2011 09:37:09 PM »

Thank you for posting such a wonderful guide!

It has wonderful tips.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

The Pin(trest) are mightier than the sword.

LV Tumblr - possible swap spoilers
alwaysinmyroom
Craftalongs Moderator
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Make All Things, especially from stash
Offline Offline

Posts: 32930
Joined: 12-Feb-2006

Make all the Things!


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2011 07:36:22 AM »

Thanks for posting these tips...

I have been doing most of these for years so it is good to see them still true today!

I love the idea of sharing fabrics with a friend...splitting fat quarters is my favorite since I usually only want a few pieces (especially themed fabrics--who want a whole yard of peas anyway...Cheesy)

Lovely blog as well...again, thanks for sharing!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

rootdarc
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011 09:17:03 AM »

Thanks for the tips!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
punkrockpigtails
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2011 12:16:14 PM »

Great tips, thanks for posting! I love your blog too! Smiley
THIS ROCKS   Logged
SewingPete123
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2011 04:26:45 PM »

Thanks for the tips! Really appreciate it. Do you know a good place to purchase good quality 100% linen? I've purchased from Joann's but it wasn't what I was looking for. I've been hearing about this place called fabrics-store.com... Have you heard anything about them? I'm new so I'm not sure where to look yet... I guess maybe I'll start my own thread. Either way, I totally agree with you! Cheesy
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Tessie
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2011 07:50:55 PM »

I would love to add some of my own tips.

I take all the hand-me-down clothing I can get. What ever isn't used for scrap fabric cna still be used for others. I will take the buttons off of clothing, zippers...elastic too!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
NattyBee
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2011 10:43:52 AM »

Thanks for sharing this!

If I could add a tip, I always trace commercial patterns and work from that so that I can use all sizes without having to re-buy the pattern.  It also leaves the pattern in "just-like-new" condition so that I can swap it with a friend.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Tessie
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2011 08:19:48 PM »

What do you trace your patterns to?
THIS ROCKS   Logged
NattyBee
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2011 06:17:43 AM »

Tracing paper. I buy it in rolls at an art store.  Its the same paper that I use for making patterns.
It isn't always big enough for the pieces that I want to make/trace... but two pieces are very easily taped together  Cheesy
THIS ROCKS   Logged

JHall
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2011 12:30:02 PM »

Good tips!
Mine:
Thrift stores are food for more than sheets!! I love buying bundles of vintage trims at thrift stores... It's something I like to have on hand in case I want to add that little detail, but it's too expensive to buy a bunch of it new (even with coupon!) I've also been able to buy some nice books on sewing from places like goodwill and mission thrift stores for only a few dollars. I love being able to to have a book to touch and look at for instructions and guides, but I have definitely never spent bookstore prices! I also have a favorite thrift store that sells a lot of patterns. I've probably purchased around 15 vintage patterns there (10 cents/each) and only one was missing any pieces (not important pieces, either!)
I've also found free fabric on craigslist and freecycle
Patterns: Except for one or two New Look patterns, I don't buy patterns full price (NL is like $3-4 anyways).  I always keep a running list on my phone of the patterns I saw and really like.  When the sales roll around at Joann, I buy them all. Better to spend $10 on 10 patterns and only end up using 2 of them in the near future than the go buy those two later at $16/each. Also, by spending so little on my patterns, i don't feel compelled to do time consuming, pattern saving extra steps such as copying patterns. 
THIS ROCKS   Logged

thingsivemade
Trying to sew the fabric of the universe with invisible thread is tricky.
Offline Offline

Posts: 445
Joined: 06-Oct-2009

A wielder of karma and scissors


View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2011 12:41:32 PM »

I've been doing the thrift store shopping for years, it's one of my favourite ways to shop. Not only is it a challenge, but I'm also helping out various charities by doing so. Although, I found that getting the bus home from work instead of walking is cheaper because then I won't go into every single charity shop on the way home (there's LOADS on the route home!) Cheesy

 This might sound odd, but it's something I've been doing for a while. I use 3v cards if I'm buying anything online (it's a Visa card, but instead of credit, you top up the card. I still can't trust myself to have a credit card) and there's usually money left over. If there's remaining cash, I go onto ebay and find something. You can get loads of ribbons, zippers, trinkets, lace etc. for next to nothing, and you might find some notions and whatnot that are cheaper online than in your local craftatorium.
 I have a saved search that's free postage and packaging, in the category of crafts and includes whatever amount I have left over so I can go back to it. It's a fun little challenge too!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

"You can have whirlpools in the fabric of existence, because it is a very strange fabric." - Terry Pratchett (Equal Rites)
alwaysinmyroom
Craftalongs Moderator
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Make All Things, especially from stash
Offline Offline

Posts: 32930
Joined: 12-Feb-2006

Make all the Things!


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2011 07:13:50 AM »

Those are all great tips!

I love mixing and matching pattern pieces...if you have a basic dress that fits well, you can add different sleeves or necklines pretty easily (I learned from experience and also a few good books!)...also, vintage patterns made in modern fabrics gives you a longer life for the pattern!

Thrift stores are a good source for a lot of sewing notions if you are willing to spend a bit of time...I like to snip out the labels as well to use in altered art pieces...and the buttons can be used for charms and not just sewing...

if you are ever at a social gathering with elderly people, sometimes if you mention that you sew, a lot of them have old sewing items that they no longer want!  Just recently, I was offered a vintage treadle sewing machine and table and all of the sewing items inside!  I am going to pick it up this weekend!  So, talk about your passion...another person who was once passionate about sewing might be listening! Cheesy
THIS ROCKS   Logged

JHall
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2011 02:23:59 PM »

if you are ever at a social gathering with elderly people, sometimes if you mention that you sew, a lot of them have old sewing items that they no longer want!  Just recently, I was offered a vintage treadle sewing machine and table and all of the sewing items inside!  I am going to pick it up this weekend!  So, talk about your passion...another person who was once passionate about sewing might be listening! Cheesy

Oh my goodness, this is such a good idea hahaha

I love thrift stores. There is a store near me that has patterns for 10 cents. Most of them are icky 80-90s patterns, but I've found some really nice patterns there. Almost never missing pieces! I love using thrifted sheets for making muslins, too. so much cheaper than buying new fabric for it!!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

mom2garrett
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2012 06:44:58 PM »

I cannibalize clothing, too!  Shirts that are stained or torn?  No problem!  All the buttons go into my button jar, and the fabric goes into my scrap bins and eventually become quilts or part of some other small project.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Crystal Mess
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2012 10:36:18 PM »

Thanks for the great tips. I'm pretty thrifty myself, but extra ideas are always helpful  Smiley
THIS ROCKS   Logged
P31 Creative
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2012 11:27:28 PM »

Sara thank you so much for taking the time to put these all down! I have been producing items for local shows and my bigcartel store and keeping costs low while $ is slow is very important. great suggestions!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
MurasakiB.
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2012 01:01:20 PM »

Great tip on sharing. Thanks!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Ophelia Love
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2012 12:22:42 AM »

Tracing paper. I buy it in rolls at an art store.  Its the same paper that I use for making patterns.
It isn't always big enough for the pieces that I want to make/trace... but two pieces are very easily taped together  Cheesy
I get the leftover ends from newspaper from my local press.  They charge $2 a roll & I never need more than 1 a year & I have 2 draw-happy toddlers - so you get a LOT for that $2.  If I plan to use a pattern a LOT, I buy shower curtains from the dollar store (for $1).  They also make great drop cloths.  Just be aware they are stinky as all get out so they need to be opened & allowed to air out outside.  I also then run them through my washing machine once.  It helps.

I too cannibalize everything & with toddler boys - that gives me lots of damaged stuff to worth with - not sure whether to say "fortunately" or "unfortunately"  about that...LOL
THIS ROCKS   Logged
meanlook
Mean Look
Offline Offline

Posts: 21
Joined: 16-Feb-2008

You want to look this mean!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2012 01:21:55 PM »

Those are all great ideas!  Thanks for sharing!  Smiley 

I had a coworker give me several garbage bags full of fabric, all kinds.  I won't need to buy interfacing for a long time!  I also got a bag full of thread from my great grandmother's stash after she died.  It is definitely lasting.

Another great idea is looking for wholesale supplies on places like ebay.  A few years ago I got like 200 zippers for like $24 shipped or something?  I still have a ton left.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

alwaysinmyroom
Craftalongs Moderator
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Make All Things, especially from stash
Offline Offline

Posts: 32930
Joined: 12-Feb-2006

Make all the Things!


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2012 01:01:52 PM »

Be sure to check your thread...if it is 100% cotton or even rayon, it can weaken with age and not hold together when you sew...personally, I have used thread from my great grandmother's stash with no problems, so I am not sure if that is an urban myth just to make us buy more thread or what... Cheesy

Wholesale places are great!  I buy iron-on interfacing for $1.99 a yard, 60 inches wide....at Joann's it is $3.99 and only 32 inches wide!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Pottersprincess
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2013 10:59:34 AM »

Another good tip is to use wrapping paper to make patterns or trace them, it is cheap right after xmas and plenty big; you can even code them by paper pattern
THIS ROCKS   Logged
steiconi
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2013 06:16:07 PM »

Silk thread rots, too--someone gave me dozens of spools of fabulous colors of silk thread, and every spool was bad to the core.  Sad.

Be sure to check your thread...if it is 100% cotton or even rayon, it can weaken with age and not hold together when you sew...personally, I have used thread from my great grandmother's stash with no problems, so I am not sure if that is an urban myth just to make us buy more thread or what... Cheesy

THIS ROCKS   Logged

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams
Potato Cat
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2013 05:20:06 PM »

I didn't know that about silk thread. Thanks for the info.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
alwaysinmyroom
Craftalongs Moderator
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Make All Things, especially from stash
Offline Offline

Posts: 32930
Joined: 12-Feb-2006

Make all the Things!


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2013 10:02:50 AM »

That is so sad about your silk threads!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

goldfishpollywog
Goldfish kisses *<><
Offline Offline

Posts: 3544
Joined: 24-Mar-2008

I have Never met an unimportant person. Never.


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2013 06:18:09 PM »

Ouch!  Rotting silk thread.  Great info, not a fun situation...sorry.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

The Pin(trest) are mightier than the sword.

LV Tumblr - possible swap spoilers
Kaymar
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2013 01:27:01 PM »

Love all these ideas and other suggestions. I've used tisuue paper, wrapping paper and unprinted newspaper to make patterns before. I almost always seem to have those things laying around. Wink
THIS ROCKS   Logged
alwaysinmyroom
Craftalongs Moderator
Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

Make All Things, especially from stash
Offline Offline

Posts: 32930
Joined: 12-Feb-2006

Make all the Things!


View Profile WWW available for personal swaps
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2013 01:32:10 PM »

I did not think to use old ugly or worn out wrapping paper for patterns...I have a few rolls since I now use mostly gift bags and tissue paper or give gift cards...I need to make a pattern this weekend..thanks for that tip, Kaymar!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Nofuelleft
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2013 01:51:04 PM »

You know that big stash fabrics and stuff  you wonder about why you bought it ??

I trade them
THIS ROCKS   Logged
TkRainy
Offline Offline

Posts: 210
Joined: 31-Mar-2009

Everybody wants a big ol' slice of a little pie


View Profile WWW
« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2013 01:46:01 AM »

1. Ask for supplies for xmas/bday.

2. Trade free supplies with other crafty friends.


I got a TON of beads for xmas last year and just traded a bunch of them with some friends who've also gotten beads as gifts. I also ask friends and family for any clothing they do not want/need, and I use that for reconstruction. But honestly, trading craft stuff with friends has so far been the best. Plus I pretty much ask for any kind of crafting supplies (Knitting stuff, beading stuff, sewing stuff, chainmaille stuff) for bdays and xmas. In fact, now that I got my sewing machine FINALLY! I can focus on just asking for supplies. I don't really have any electronical devices that I want anymore, besides an Ipod touch, mainly so I can have the square but I don't want an iphone...
THIS ROCKS   Logged

ellie_be
FertLover
Offline Offline

Posts: 23
Joined: 24-Mar-2006

www. PeaceandPlastic.com


View Profile WWW
« Reply #31 on: August 09, 2013 06:51:38 PM »

This is great!  Just today I was thinking that I need to limit myself to a cost of about $20-$25 dollars - so I'm glad I won't be alone!  I also find that limiting can make you more creative because you have to make do with what you've got!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

I'm an artist, I make shit.

I was on my way to the market to buy a loaf of bread, when all of the sudden...
Threads you might like:
Pages: 1 2 3 4 [All] Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
 
Jump to:  



FacebookTwitterPinterest
only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search



How-To Videos
How to Choose the Best Hairstyle
How to Make Your Own Shampoo
How to Make Your Hair Grow
How to Plait Classic Pigtails
How to Shampoo Your Hair
Latest Blog Articles
I propose a toast!
Tute Tuesday: Plastic Mesh Rug
Love Your Mother

Comparison Shopping




Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies
Comparison Shopping

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...
Moderators

Follow Craftster...






Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2016, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.