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Topic: Cheaper fabric options, esp. for DIY sellers?  (Read 3689 times)
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2009 05:27:09 PM »

You might also consider using less of the expensive fabric in each piece. For example, if you're making a tank top, the front can be the expensive stuff and the back something else. That sort of gives you a more interesting tank also.

Sort of what I do for some of the bags I make. I can totally live off fat quarters.

« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2009 02:54:00 PM »

If you spend $15 on fabric for something, and $3 on fabric for an exact version of it. Which do you think is of a better quality? Also, if you are pricing your items properly you wont be selling those for the same price. I spend about $20 or more on materials for each clothing artible I make because I want it to be of a good quaility and I spend a lot of time making it. The better quality your item is and the more you spent on it the more it will cost when you sell it.

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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2009 01:16:45 PM »

I search thrift stores, yard sales and craigslist. Just today I saw an add on Craigslist for a woman selling 100's of yards of cotton fabric (exactly what I use) for $1 a yard. I use sales like these to bulk up my stock and use these creations as "sale" items! It takes time (trust me I work more than full time and then craft on weekends) but its worth it.
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2009 04:45:06 PM »

Obviously being a fabric seller I'm biased in this. Get some of the designer fabrics just once. Sew with them and feel the difference. They have a nicer feel, drape and weight to them. Raise your prices. Customers will appreciate a better quality and will be willing to pay for it.

If I saw a bag or top made from cheap fabric I wouldn't purchase it no matter how cute I thought it was. It just doesn't hold up as well and for me- it would be a waste of money.

« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2009 08:36:27 AM »

If you can't see yourself paying that type of money out I would say try going to your local fabric store and asking them about when they our outstocking their fabric (b/c they usually throw it away) and ask if they could call you so you could get it instead.  That way you get the cute fabrics and they are free, but that would also mean it would limit your production in that fabric Smiley

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« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2009 06:44:58 PM »

I tend to buy fabric on sale if I can, or with a coupon. Find an Etsy seller that has good prices (I've seen some Amy Butler fabric for just $7/yard!) and don't forget to include shipping when you compare shops. I always shop around before I buy even a single yard, and try to combine all of my purchases into a big order to get special discounts or use coupon codes. Usually www.fabric.com has at least one good promotion going on at any given time, and any order over $35 is free shipping. I don't find it difficult to reach their limits (like xx% off a $xx order) if I save up and buy a lot of stock at once. Try wholesale if you can too, I am now buying most of my hardware this way and you save a lot. It may take awhile to use 200 O-rings, but I last purchased them 6 months ago and I have plenty left! You can't beat the convenience of ordering once a year.

Also, it may seem like someone is selling their designer fabric item for cheap but they may not be charging for their labor, or really pricing accurately. You will find that the people who are doing well are the ones that sell quality items at reasonable prices (not cheap! reasonable means fair) and are able to make a small profit to have money to put back into their business. The best advice I can give is to get the pricing of your items down to an exact science and suddenly designer fabric won't seem so expensive. The item may take a lot less fabric than you think, just because a yard is $10 doesn't mean you need to charge $10 just to use that fabric. I liked CraftyChef's advice to just use the designer fabric as an accent, I do this too. 

Your customers will notice if you are using quality fabric. I recently upgraded from extremely cheap plain cotton to Kona cotton for my linings, and I can see and feel a difference. Unfortunately I am going to have to raise my prices a bit to compensate, but I know my bags will last longer. To price, I have a massive spreadsheet that I use. It incorporates everything and because I calculate the exact amount of fabric I use down to the square inch, I am able to keep my prices low.

If you like handmade bags and purses, check out my etsy!


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« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2009 08:01:30 AM »

Another place to look is fabric co-ops, where you purchase yardage off of bolts bought at wholesale prices. 

I'm in one on Yahoo Groups and quilting weight cottons are usually $6.50 a yard, and home dec weight are $9 a yard (cost to get them to the organizer - you also have to pay for shipping to you, plus a small co-op fee for every month that you have items ordered).  They also buy patterns, and they have knits, linen fabrics, trims, and oil cloth on occassion.

However, since they are bought wholesale, it usually takes them at least a couple of months to come in.  So, it would be something to start looking into now, but don't plan on having any of the fabric in hand for at least 3 months from now.

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