Category Archives: Savings Made by Sewing

20 Ways to Save Money Sewing {On Everything}!

If there’s something I’ve learned over the past month it’s that I am continually learning. I do love to learn, but I tend to think I know quite a bit too. However, when my outstanding guests gave me their ideas, I learned something new every time. Every. Time! I am so inspired to organize, stretch myself to try new techniques, and even pay a little more than I would normally have, knowing that it’s an investment.

20 Ways to Save on Everything Sewing! Fabric, patterns, supplies, organizing! | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Save Money on Fabric

1. My secrets to saving money

Upcycled Lime Raglan and Baggies {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

2. Upcycle fabrics

3. Buy quality fabric

Create this beautiful white dress inspired by the Zimmerman dress Kate Middleton wore in Australia last year. See the details and alterations made to the Simplicity pattern for the Recreating Kate series.

4. Use a project budget

5. Think outside the box

Denim Mini IPAD Case  Free tutorial

Save Money on Patterns

6. 5 ways to get FREE patterns

5 Ways to Sore FREE Patterns, Savings Made by Sewing {Patterns} | A Series to Help you Save Money Sewing | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

7. Invest in Ottobre

why I ottobre sew a straight line-3

8. 5 more ways to find cheap or free patterns

9. Use patterns from books

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10. Organize your patterns

Pattern Organization

11. 8 reasons for when to buy that pattern

8 Reasons to Invest in a Patter {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Save Money on Supplies

12. Rethink how you look at sewing supplies

Savings Made by Sewing {Supplies} | A Series to Help you Save Money Sewing | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

13. Maintain your machine!

Tips for Maintaining Your Sewing Machine. Savings Made by Sewing {Supplies} a series by Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

14. DIY your own cutting table (with storage!)

15. Redo your craft room for less than $100

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16. 5 tips for saving money on supplies

5tipsGeneral Savings Tips

17. 6 tips for saving money (with a sewing twist)

General Sewing and Saving Tips by Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

18. Use your library!

www.From-a-Box.com Savings made by Sewing

19. 5 crafty ways to extend the life of those clothes

Make Do and Mend by Willow & Stitch for Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

20. Inexpensive and DIY organizational ideas

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A HUGE thanks to all the ladies who participated in this series! Be sure to check them out as they continue to sew and craft amazing clothes, accessories, and other items.Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

Fabric:
Feather’s Flights | Mabey She Made It | Phat QuartersVicky Myers Creations

Patterns:
Sew a Straight Line | House of Estrela | Sew Straight and Gather | A Real Life Country Housewife

Supplies:
Bernina Sewing, Etc. | Pretty PracticalFinn’s Door | Lulu and Celeste

General Tips:
 From-a-Box |  Willow & Stitch | Knot Sew Normal

Savings Made by Sewing with Knot Sew Normal

Today is the last of my amazing guest bloggers for the series, and she does not disappoint! I’ve had the honor of working with Jonie on an ebook – all about sewing for boys – and I love the crafty things she does with her kiddos. Today, though, she is finishing off the saving series with a bang, You’ve got to check out all her great organizational ideas!

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Hello Everyone!! I’m Jonie; I blog over at Knot Sew Normal and also at Sewing With Boys. I am so excited to be here to share my tips with you. I will be honest with you. I had a completely different post written, but I felt the need to change it up. I decided to tell you about organizing all your sewing goodies on a budget. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get organized; in some cases you don’t have to spend any money. What is the point in saving money on fabric, patterns and notions if you can’t find it when it comes time to sew. I have been a bit under the weather for awhile and when I am feeling good and want to sew, I don’t want to have to sift through all my stuff to be able to sew so I have been focusing on getting all my stuff organized. I just want to grab what I need and get to sewing.
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First up are my buttons. I have a ton of buttons that belonged to my great-grandmother. When I got the buttons, they were in this cool vintage tin. I love the tin, but I was spending a crazy amount of time looking for matching buttons when I needed them. I love these multi-compartment boxes for small notions. My tip for you is DON’T buy these at a fabric store or in the craft section. Head over to the hardware section; they are usually $3 or $4 dollars cheaper in the hardware section. Bonus points if you have a Harbor Freight near you. I got this box there for $3.00 a few months ago. I have also scored several other things I use for sewing at Harbor Freight, including a magnetic dish for my pins ($2), a metal ruler ($.79) and a set of ABC metal stamps.

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Here is a project that will cost you next to nothing. I cut a cereal box in 1/2 to store my binding and trims in. I am planning on covering them with scrapbook paper or fabric when I find something that I really like. That shouldn’t cost more than a dollar or so.

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I am pretty sure you can pick these up for $10 or less on sale. I bought this one 10 years ago, and it has been used for multiple purposes. I use it now to contain all my smaller scraps of fabric. I sort by the type of fabric; the top 2 drawers are quilting cotton, and the bottom drawer is knit scraps. I am slowly working on a handsewn quilt so I like to sort the scraps by color. (It is usually a little neater than this, but my daughter was looking through it to find fabric to make a Barbie outfit.)

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This over-the-door shoe organizer is actually new for me. I bought it for my daughter’s room to put her Barbies in, but the pockets are too shallow. I then realized that it would be perfect for storing elastic, zippers, velcro, etc. I also like to cut out fabric for several projects at a time and store them in Ziploc bags. The pouches on this are perfect for storing these projects. I am planning on making labels for each pocket to make it even easier to see what I have in each one.

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I also love having this thread holder. This was less than $10 at Wal-mart, and it saves me from buying multiple spools of thread in the same color. I did that A LOT before I got this. I would have 6 spools of blue, but no white or black.

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My next tip is to check out your local Dollar Tree type store. I found these small cube containers for $1 each. They are 8″x8″ and are perfect for the shelf I have above my sewing area. I keep spools of tulle and other odd sized notions in here. Another great tip is to ask if you can have the spool that ribbon or trim comes on from the store if you are buying the last of it. I love this big spool to store my handmade bias tape on.

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For my PDF patterns I bought 3 ring binders from Wal-mart that were $.97/each, and then I buy these big envelopes that are around $1 for 8 or 10 of them. I punch holes in them and then slide my patterns in. You could also print out the front page of the pattern and tape it onto the front of the envelope. I have several of these binders to categorize my patterns. I have one for boys, one for women, one for girls and one for accessories.

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What do I do when I get fabric for a deal? I bring it home, wash it and then store it on mini-bolts in my fabric hoard…I mean stash area. I know some people use comic or magazine boards, but once again being the frugal person I am I won’t pay for something if I can find something for free. In a former life I went to art school where I had to mount all my photos on 11″x14″ matte boards. Needless to say I had a TON of 11″x14″ matte board. I cut these in half and used them to wrap my fabric on. I also started using cereal boxes after I ran out of the matte board. I do like to double up on the cereal boxes, as one layer is a bit flimsy for me.

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My last tip for you is for organizing ribbon. I might have a slight problem with buying seasonal ribbon. I always plan to make hairbows, but don’t always follow through. My ribbon had gotten out of control. It filled a multi-compartment container and 3 plastic shoe boxes. I could never find what I needed or wanted when I needed it. Using various cardboard boxes that were slated for the recycle bin, I organized all my ribbon nice and neat into one plastic shoe box. Nice and neat and easy to see what I have now.

I hope you all are able to save some money, time and sanity with my tips for organizing on a budget. I am so grateful to Dana for having me over to guest post today. If you want to see what else I am up to you can follow me over on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

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Wow! I have all of these materials easily accessible and I need to start organizing. I love that most of her ideas are upcycling of materials that is already laying around the house or recycling bin. Do you have an organizational tips using cheap or free materials?

Well, that’s it for today, but come back tomorrow to hear how everything gets wrapped up for the series!

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

Fabric:
July 6: Sew Thrifty | July 7: Feather’s Flights | July 8: Mabey She Made It | July 9: Phat Quarters | July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

Patterns:
July 13: Sew Thrifty | July 14: Sew a Straight Line | July 15: House of Estrela | July 16: Sew Straight and Gather | July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife

Supplies:
July 20: Sew Thrifty | July 21: Bernina Representative | July 22: Pretty Practical | July 23: Finn’s Door | July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Tips:
July 27: Sew Thrifty | July 28: From-a-Box | July 29: Willow & Stitch | July 30: Knot Sew Normal | July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty

Savings Made by Sewing with Willow & Stitch

We all have those people we instantly connect with in person or online. Jess is one of those people for me. She’s living in Australia (which automatically gets bonus points in my book), she makes the most amazing masks and patterns, and she’s constantly coming up with the most outstanding looks for Kid’s Clothes Week. And today she does it again – check out the amazing tips she has for us…

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Hi, I’m Jess from Willow and Stitch.  I blog about sewing, sustainability and inspiring imaginative play.   I’m really happy to be here today to share some of my tips on how you can get the most wear from your handmade clothes.

While I obviously LOVE the explosion of sewing blogs and the resurgence of sewing as a hobby, all the exposure to beautiful new patterns, inspiration and fabrics can leave us feeling like we need to buy ALL the fabric and sew ALL the clothes.  There is certainly a risk there that we begin to feel like we just NEED TO KEEP SEWING or we will get left behind.  Sound familiar? I often think that life would be better if we were able to slow down, buy less, make less, and take more care of the things we do make or buy.

I have always had a little bit of a fascination with the Second World War.  Not so much with the war itself but with the effect that it had on daily life for those who were left at home. I have always loved to hear my grandmas talk about life during the war, about rationing, food and clothing coupons and the many resourceful ways that they found to make everything go further.  I find it really inspiring, particularly now that we are faced with the need to live more sustainably – not through war-induced necessity but through moral imperative.  The more I look into the deprivations endured during the war, the more outrageous our own excesses appear.

I know I’m preaching to the converted here. I have always believed that sewing and that making things by hand is the perfect first (or second, or third) step towards a more sustainable lifestyle.  Once you have made clothes by hand, it is impossible not to treat all garments, handmade or not, with a little more respect, to have a greater appreciation for the effort and material that go into making them, and therefore of their true value.

Now don’t worry, I’m not going to get all ‘Sound of Music’ on you and start insisting that you make clothes out of curtains (although you totally could). I’m also not going to go into too much detail about up-cycling because I feel that it has already been rather thoroughly canvassed elsewhere.  What I really want to write about today is the attitude of ‘Make Do and Mend,’ i.e. ways in which we can make sure that we get the absolute most wear out of a garment and how we can look for ways to ensure that nothing goes to waste.
I recently bought this ‘Make Do and Mend’ book, which is actually a collection of a series of leaflets published by the Ministry of Information in the UK during WW2 with tips and advice on how to survive clothes rationing.  Apart from being hilarious in places, “your corset is one of your most precious possessions” and “never let your girdle get too dirty” (erm, OK then), it’s also full of all that amazing advice that your grandma used to give you; that advice that went in one ear and out the other because at the time you had no idea that it was actually really useful information!

Make Do and Mend by Willow & Stitch for Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

The point here is that when you are pouring time and effort (and money) into creating handmade clothes, you most definitely want your efforts to be worthwhile and for the clothes you make to be used, and loved, for as long as possible.  For me this usually manifests itself in my inability to make anything in the correct size, I nearly always make things one or two sizes too big so that they can be worn for longer – of course this usually just results in things being much too big, and they then have to be put away until next year when they might actually fit.

So, here are my top 5 tips for getting the most wear out of your handmade kids clothes without forcing your little ones to run around in clothes that are obviously much too large for them:

1. Sew a waistband which can be let out

If you are sewing a garment with an elastic waistband, cut the elastic extra long and sew it with a 2 or 3 cm ‘seam allowance’.  If you also leave a small opening in the elastic casing then you will be able to easily get to the elastic and let it out as your child grows.

Waistband

2. Sew a large hem

Cut all children’s pants, skirts and dresses with extra length and sew an extra large hem.  This will give you the ability to lengthen them as your child grows by letting down the hem.  This is a particularly useful tip for older children (over the age of 3) who tend to just shoot up without ever really getting bigger around the middle.

Waistband

3. Add a cuff / contrast strip for extra length.

Once you have exhausted the extra length that you can get by letting down a hem, you can add extra length to pants or skirts by sewing a cuff to the bottom of pants or an extra contrast band to the bottom of skirts.

Visit my website for a tutorial on how to do this.

4. Make a matching pair of bloomers.

Alternatively, if you have a dress or skirt which has become too short, why not channel that super cute vintage look and make a matching pair of bloomers from the fabric remnants.  That way you will be able to get another summer’s wear from the dress.

Make Do and Mend by Willow & Stitch for Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

5. Cut pants off to make shorts.

Once the added cuffs of pants have been grown out of, get a little more use from them by cutting them off to be shorts.  If you have a dress which is too tight around the arms and chest you can cut the top off and turn it into a skirt by adding a simple elasticated waistband.

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Have you ever thought about any of these ideas?! I actually haven’t. And I can’t believe it. These simple suggestions are brilliant, and I’m definitely going to be incorporating them into my future clothes for my kiddos.

Come back tomorrow to hear from Jonie from Knot Sew Normal!

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

Fabric:
July 6: Sew Thrifty | July 7: Feather’s Flights | July 8: Mabey She Made It | July 9: Phat Quarters | July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

Patterns:
July 13: Sew Thrifty | July 14: Sew a Straight Line | July 15: House of Estrela | July 16: Sew Straight and Gather | July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife

Supplies:
July 20: Sew Thrifty | July 21: Bernina Representative | July 22: Pretty Practical | July 23: Finn’s Door | July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Tips:
July 27: Sew Thrifty | July 28: From-a-Box | July 29: Willow & Stitch | July 30: Knot Sew Normal | July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty

Savings Made by Sewing with From-a-Box

Sometimes the most obvious solution is right in front of you and you don’t even see it. That’s the case with today’s guest blogger. Stacey from From-a-Box is going to tell us about a brilliant way to save money sewing.  Plus, check out her awesome ideas for kids and tweens over on her blog!

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Hi, I’m Stacey, and I blog at From-a-Box about sewing clothes for kids and occasionally adults, plus a few odds n’ ends about cooking and crafting. As part of Sew Thrifty’s series, Savings Made by Sewing, I want to (re) introduce you to your library. Yep! Your local library. It’s a wealth of thrifty sewing rewards of technique books, pattern books, and inspiring style books. For FREE. That’s pretty thrifty.

www.From-a-Box.com Savings made by Sewing

There are valuable resources at your library to support thrifty sewing. Resources at the library are books, magazines, DVDs, and even free printing. Our library offers up to 25 pages a week for each patron – and that is color printing. Have you looked at the Sewing and Home Decorating sections? At our library branch, there are 3 shelves full of books and many, many more in the library system. A simple keyword search of ‘Sewing’ in the online catalog pops up 1,010 items.

www.From-a-Box.com Savings made by Sewing

Sewing techniques are available in various forms and locations. Mostly, we all use YouTube and Blogs to learn new skills these days. But let me tell you about resources at your library. There are books galore to teach you everything from straight stitching a rag rug to professional tailoring. There are books from 40+ years ago that teach the classic & vintage ways, and books just off the press to teach the modern methods.

www.From-a-Box.com Savings made by Sewing www.From-a-Box.com Savings made by Sewing

The BEST reason of all to use your library is for the pattern books. Do you know that you can check out books with patterns included?! Yes ma’am. That’s right. The actual patterns. And these are ‘designer’ patterns that are available for check out at your library. Last summer, I checked out the Sew Serendipity books and sewed skirts, dresses, and bags. I traced the tissue patterns contained in the envelopes in the back cover of the book. I still have my copy of the patterns with my construction notes if I want to make it again. Or, I check out the book again. Or for some patterns, I go and buy a copy of the book for myself because I loved it so. Using the pattern books in your library is extreme Savings Made by Sewing!

www.From-a-Box.com Savings made by Sewing

www.From-a-Box.com Savings made by Sewing

The books have tissue patterns in the back cover envelope, or a CD of PDF documents, or pages within the book that should be enlarged & copied.

www.From-a-Box.com Savings made by Sewing

And then, there is style inspiration to be found in library books. Just flipping through the books sparks creativity to make, and make, and make. There are the newest publications that range from modern minimalist to recreations of classics. There are older publications, again from 40+ years ago that can influence with vintage looks.

This is my all-time favorite vintage sewing book at my library. It’s from 1973. My husband *hopes* I do not find inspiration here……

www.From-a-Box.com Savings made by Sewing

To take the most advantage of your library, remember to use the online catalog. It is your source to find out if your library has the resource you want and to get a list of resources that you didn’t know you wanted. Here are some of the best keyword searches for me: Dressmaking (250 items), Sewing Patterns (213 items), Sewing Techniques (173 items), Sewing How To (96 items)

Also, look for Library Lists and Reviews on the library website. You could be introduced to similar titles of one of your faves.

When you find a book you want to look at, put the item on hold. I am currently number 29 on the waiting list for a crafting book. It is a great day when I get a notice from my library to pick up a book from the special hold shelf.

My last advice for getting the most thrifty sewing rewards from your library is to just ask for it. If you are looking for a specific book that you want but it’s not available, see if you can request a new title. It might not happen right away, but your request could get considered for that exact book, and considered for future new additions to the library.

www.From-a-Box.com Savings made by Sewing ________________________________________

Have you ever used your library for sewing inspiration or resources? I have checked out a few sewing 101 books several years ago, but never thought about it recently, especially for pattern books! Thanks Stacey for this great idea!

Be sure to visit back tomorrow to hear from Jess at Willow and Stitch about another great way to save money sewing!

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

Fabric:
July 6: Sew Thrifty | July 7: Feather’s Flights | July 8: Mabey She Made It | July 9: Phat Quarters | July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

Patterns:
July 13: Sew Thrifty | July 14: Sew a Straight Line | July 15: House of Estrela | July 16: Sew Straight and Gather | July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife

Supplies:
July 20: Sew Thrifty | July 21: Bernina Representative | July 22: Pretty Practical | July 23: Finn’s Door | July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Tips:
July 27: Sew Thrifty | July 28: From-a-Box | July 29: Willow & Stitch | July 30: Knot Sew Normal | July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty

Savings Made by Sewing {General Tips}

I’ve told you I’m a math nerd, right?! And I love budgets and saving money too. Ok, just making sure you knew that before moving on. Because today I’m giving you some general money-saving advice. I’ll put a sewing spin on it, but really these tips can be useful in all areas of your life.

General Sewing and Saving Tips by Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}
Plan Your Projects

Do you have a sewing planner? I just started one this year and love it!  Writing or drawing up my projects inspires me, but also helps me plan what I need – fabric, patterns, notions, and otherwise. When you have all your ideas written down, you can make one trip to the store, saving on gas, or one online purchase, saving on shipping. Not all my supplies come from the same place, but having my projects planned out definitely helps knock down some of those extra costs that do add up over time.

Don’t Buy What You Can’t Afford

It really amazes me that so many people are in debt. I’m not judging those out there who are, but my advice would be to never purchase something you can’t afford (except a house, and maybe a car, but probably not even a car). The thing is, when you buy on credit you’re paying more in interest over time than you might realize. Without going all math geeky on you, interest on credit cards is big. HUGE. You’ll end up paying more in interest than the item even cost in the first place. So that $10 fabric has now cost you $20 and it’s still not paid off. Do yourself a favor and only buy what you actually have money to buy.

Take Care of What You Have

This is advice I need to give myself time and time again. I’m still learning to be a good caretaker. I’m much better at being lazy and not dealing with taking care of my shoes, car, or house. But, as I try to be a better adult, I realize that taking care of what you have can save you thousands of dollars. When you oil your car, it lasts longer, and then you don’t have to buy a new one every 5 years. When you take care of your sewing machine, it lasts longer.  When you read the directions for taking care of that amazing fabric you invested in, your handmade clothes will last longer instead of pill…or shrink (gasp).

Buy in Volume

If you can get good deals on buying fabric or supplies in bulk and you know you’ll eventually use it, do it! I used to have an Etsy shop and I bought fabric wholesale because it was considerably cheaper and I knew I would be able to use it all and sell my products. The initial price will be more since you’re buying 15+ yards of fabric all at once instead of over time, but the overall cost should be less. However, be sure that it is actually less. At one point I had calculated that since shipping was more on my wholesale order, it was actually less expensive to order regular price unless I was going to order more than 20 yards of fabric at a time. Buying in volume makes sense for items that aren’t perishable, but be sure it makes sense for what you want as well – 15 yards of super-trendy fabric that is just for you might be a bit too much and will end up being wasted.

Minimize Waste

Whenever I’m cutting up fabric, I do my best to cut close to corners so that I have as much left for another project. Sometimes this can take more time, but later I am always thankful. I’ve cut fabric for projects and saved long strips of fabric – those strips ended up making great scarves and headbands. I’ve even used the selvages of knit fabric as a headband or bracelet. And if a scrap really isn’t salvageable, chop it up and fill up a bean bag!

Stay Organized

I know, I know, organization and creativity don’t necessarily go hand in hand. BUT, if you can be even somewhat organized you’ll save yourself time and money on everything. If your fabric is organized, you know what you have and what you might need…or don’t need. If your patters are organized, you’ll know that you already have 5 hoodie patterns and don’t need to purchase that new one just because it’s on sale. And if your supplies are organized,you’ll know that you need a few more buttons or zippers for that next project you’re planning and can pick them up when they are on sale next.

Do you consider budgeting or saving money on your sewing projects?

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The rest of this week promises to be amazing with NEW tips about how to save money sewing! And if you’re looking for more specific ideas, check out:

Savings Made by Sewing {Fabric} | A Series to Help you Save Money Sewing | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Savings Made by Sewing {Patterns} | A Series to Help you Save Money Sewing | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Savings Made by Sewing {Supplies} | A Series to Help you Save Money Sewing | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

Fabric:
July 6: Sew Thrifty | July 7: Feather’s Flights | July 8: Mabey She Made It | July 9: Phat Quarters | July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

Patterns:
July 13: Sew Thrifty | July 14: Sew a Straight Line | July 15: House of Estrela | July 16: Sew Straight and Gather | July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife

Supplies:
July 20: Sew Thrifty | July 21: Bernina Representative | July 22: Pretty Practical | July 23: Finn’s Door | July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Tips:
July 27: Sew Thrifty | July 28: From-a-Box | July 29: Willow & Stitch | July 30: Knot Sew Normal | July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty

Savings Made by Sewing {Supplies} with Lulu & Celeste

We are wrapping up this week on supplies with Ula from Lulu & Celeste. Just last month Ula hosted a Canadian Pattern Designers Tour; I love that she highlighted these designers to give us all some inspiration! Today, she’s here to tell us 5 ways to save money on sewing supplies:

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Hi! My name is Ula and I blog over at Lulu & Celeste. I mostly blog about the projects I’ve sewn for my two girls, and from time to time I even share some tutorials I’ve done. Today I’m here with 5 simple tips for helping you to save money on sewing supplies!

5tips

 5 Tips for Saving Money on Sewing Supplies

1. If you’re on the hunt for a sewing machine, doing your research is probably the most important tip out there. While you’re looking for a machine, you may come across what seems like a fantastic deal on a sewing machine that turns out really was too good to be true. Here are a few links to get you started:

Consumer Reports – Sewing Machine Guide

Vintage Singer manuals

International Sewing Machine Collectors Society

Singer sewing machine. Photo by rickpilot_2000 // cc
Singer sewing machine. Photo by rickpilot_2000 // cc

2. After you’ve done a bit of research, check out online sites like Craigslist, Freecycle and eBay. As well, search for yard sale/garage sale groups on Facebook for your area as well as destash fabric groups if you’re looking for fabric. People don’t always have the time to hold garage sales and will sell their items online instead. You can often find people destashing fabric, supplies and sewing machines in these groups for good prices.

Also, check garage sales and estate sales. If it’s garage sale season, it might be worth your while to spend some Saturday mornings going around to garage sales. I’ve found fabric and buttons in the past for good deals. Along that vein, my hubby once found a sewing machine with a table out by the curb.

Check out thrift shops for fabric and machines. The local Value Village has a small fabric section, and the prices there are good. I once found 4 meters uncut of vintage (late 70s) cotton woven fabric for just $3. The clothing they sell is overpriced (like really, why would I buy that slightly stained, used kids’ Walmart brand tee for $5 when I can get it brand new on sale for $3?!), but the fabric is a good deal.

3. Repurpose. I often cut up my now too big tops and pants to make clothing for my girls. I don’t just use the fabric,  but I also remove the zippers, buttons and any other embellishments to be reused for other projects.

upcycled projects
Some projects I’ve done using upcycled fabrics and notions.

4. Keep an eye on the remnant bin at your fabric shop. At my store they will sometimes put together these small packages of notions for cheap. They might include packages of buttons that are missing one or two, a package of twill tape that was opened. Basically, things they can’t sell at full price anymore. They also have remnant fabric for sale and often times for a very good price. Even better is when my local store has an extra sale of 3 remnants for $5; sometimes the remnant is nearly a full meter!

5. Become a member of your local fabric store. Many stores offer special discounts for members and/or will even have member-only sales. Sometimes there is a small yearly fee for membership, but it might be worth it if you make lots of fabric purchases.

Have fun with it! I hope these tips help you out!

link to image credit in cover photo: Damian Gadal //cc

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I LOVE these tips! It wasn’t until this series began that I really thought about using thrifted notions and why not?! How do you save on your supplies?

That’s it for this week. Come back next week for some general tips on saving money and some inspiration!

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

Fabric:
July 6: Sew Thrifty | July 7: Feather’s Flights | July 8: Mabey She Made It | July 9: Phat Quarters | July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

Patterns:
July 13: Sew Thrifty | July 14: Sew a Straight Line | July 15: House of Estrela | July 16: Sew Straight and Gather | July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife

Supplies:
July 20: Sew Thrifty | July 21: Bernina Representative | July 22: Pretty Practical | July 23: Finn’s Door | July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Tips:
July 27: Sew Thrifty | July 28: From-a-Box | July 29: Willow & Stitch | July 30: Knot Sew Normal | July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty

Savings Made by Sewing {Supplies} with Finn’s Door

It’s great to have a fresh new perspective and today we have just that – Rebecca from Finn’s Door is a crafty blogger re-entering into the blogging world. She’s already impressed me with her thrifting skills and I’m excited to show you what she’s sharing with us today… a craft room makeover!

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This one is for P. Stowe. See it’s not always clean!

Hello everyone! I am so excited to be here. Thank you Sew Thrifty for having me along for this awesome blog series. I’ve been having fun following everyone and their wonderful tips to save with sewing.

I am always on the lookout for that big sale, major thrift shop score or even a yard sale that boasts, “I’ve given up sewing so I’m selling all my stuff super cheap!” I have been fortunate enough to stumble across all three!

Not too long ago I made a major decision to leave a very stressful and demanding job to return to stay-at-home mom, blogger, crafter and more. I have to say I am much happier. I now have time with my family, time to sew and create, and time to blog. Cutting out my salary was a bit tough to live with, but if I wanted to really make a go at my passion, I needed a studio. And I mean a real it’s-all-mine-no-kids-allowed studio.

Being restricted to a very tight budget, I did what any woman would do when she wants something…I went shopping! Yes I did, at home. I already had the basics that I needed, and with the help of Pinterest (check out what I’ve found) I knew what I wanted. So I started with some shelves, inherited from a relative. They were solid and the right size but needed some updating. Luckily I had paint left over from trim and a sample paint I scored for a few bucks and it was golden!

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What was old and outdated became new with a touch of paint.

Next up was the desire for a larger (ok, not my dining room table) cutting\drafting table. I already had 2 shelves stuck out in the garage, so I hauled them out, slapped on my leftover paint, and voila, instant table base and storage for fabric! The table top I was lucky enough to have around also. Another free score.

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My new perfect sized work table

Finally, I knew I wanted a larger top to house my machine and all the extras I need around when sewing. We took apart the run-down broken cabinet in our closet, and I was able to paint and repair with little difficulty. Now I have tons of room.

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I added a few more touches, and I am pleased to say that my total cost on this great space was under $100!! Way under.

So take a look around; I hope something sparks your imagination.

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Remember to always think outside the box, use what you have, and create something new.

Now go and create!

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What a great use of supplies to make a craft room! Even though not all sewers have a craft room (you don’t need one to sew!), there are so many ways to build one with thrifted finds or re-working other pieces of furniture that you already have. Do you have a craft room overhaul you’d like to share?

Come back tomorrow for our last guest on supplies – Ula from Lulu and Celeste!

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

Fabric:
July 6: Sew Thrifty | July 7: Feather’s Flights | July 8: Mabey She Made It | July 9: Phat Quarters | July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

Patterns:
July 13: Sew Thrifty | July 14: Sew a Straight Line | July 15: House of Estrela | July 16: Sew Straight and Gather | July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife

Supplies:
July 20: Sew Thrifty | July 21: Bernina Representative | July 22: Pretty Practical | July 23: Finn’s Door | July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Tips:
July 27: Sew Thrifty | July 28: From-a-Box | July 29: Willow & Stitch | July 30: Knot Sew Normal | July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty

Sewing Machine Maintenance: Savings Made by Sewing {Supplies} with Bernina Sewing Etc.

Have you ever been in a store that treats you like a friend even when you never buy anything? That is my experience with my local Bernina shop. I stop by the shop to swoon over all the amazing fabrics and machines and even though I hardly purchase anything, the ladies there always make me feel welcome. They know me by name and offer to play with my children (and they really do entertain them!) so I can browse their amazing collection of fabrics. They let me know when they receive more knits (my fav!), and one time they gave a $10 gift card for email subscribers!

I’ve particularly gotten to know Cindy through the movie nights hosted by the shop, as well as a t-shirt class she taught. I knew Cindy would be the perfect person to ask about this topic – she works for Bernina and has been sewing and teaching for a long time.  And, just like she is when I’m in the shop, she’s more than willing to go the extra mile to share with all of you about how to take care of your machine.

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Hey, this is Cindy Hampton bringing you information on maintenance and tips on your sewing machine.  I currently work for Bernina Sewing Etc. in Ridgeland, MS.  I have been sewing 46 years and I love to sew children’s clothes, purses, bags and home dec.

Tips for Maintaining Your Sewing Machine. Savings Made by Sewing {Supplies} a series by Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

Save money by maintaining your machine

If you take care of your machine, it will take care of you! This is so true. A few simple maintenance steps will help your machine last longer and in the long run will save you money.

Here are a few things you need to do at the end of each project or once a week if you sew regularly (2 to 3 times a week):

1.  Clean your machine

After turning off your machine, clean under the stitch plate (Refer to your manual if you do not know how to remove yours). Using a small lint brush, clean the underside of your stitch plate and around the feed dogs, removing any pieces of thread and lint in these areas. DO NOT use canned air to blow out your machine! This could eventually cause rust because of the condensation and can also blow lint farther into your machine as well as add moisture to your machine.

2. Oil your machine

Oil your machine often. You may need to refer to your manual for the placement and type of oil to use.

3. Change your needle

Again, do this often, not just when it breaks. Your needle should be replaced after every 4 to 6 hours of sewing time. This task is probably one of the most inexpensive parts of your project and one of the most important!

4. Carefully change thread

When changing thread , cut your thread at the top by the spool and pull it out from the needle. This saves wear and tear on your tension disks.

5. Get your machine cleaned

Take your machine in for regular cleanings.  If you bought your machine from a dealer in your area, take it in to them for regular servicing and cleaning. If not, you will need to look for a local repair store. Not all stores repair all brands of machines, so you will probably need to call and ask if they service your brand of machine.

A few additional tips:

  • For better sewing results use good quality thread and needles. I recommend using Schmetz or Bernina needles and Mettler or Gutermann thread.
  • Match your needles to your thread. I normally use a universal or microtex/sharp needle for woven fabrics and a ball point needle (Jersey, Stretch) for knit fabric. The universal needle can go from woven to knits.  I tend to use the 80/12 universal needles on my serger for most fabrics. A good rule to remember is the smaller the number of the needle (example 70/10) use on finer fabric. The bigger the number (example 90/14) use on heavier fabric. An example of heavier fabric would be denim or heavier. On thread it is the opposite.  The smaller the number the thicker the thread, and the larger the number the finer the thread.  (Use 100 weight on batiste and 50 weight for general sewing) I also like to use the polyester thread for my knit fabrics and the cotton threads for woven fabric. There is some great information on the Schmetz website about what needles to use on which fabrics.

Doing all of these things on a regular basis should help extend the life of your machine and over time, save you money.

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Wow, I definitely struggle with maintaining my machine! I am so fearful of having a day without my sewing machine that I hesitate to take it in for maintenance. And I definitely need to clean and oil more often! What about you? Have you taken your machine in for repairs or maintenance? How do you handle the separation?

Check back tomorrow to hear how Michelle from Pretty Practical made her own cutting table!Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

Fabric:
July 6: Sew Thrifty | July 7: Feather’s Flights | July 8: Mabey She Made It | July 9: Phat Quarters | July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

Patterns:
July 13: Sew Thrifty | July 14: Sew a Straight Line | July 15: House of Estrela | July 16: Sew Straight and Gather | July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife

Supplies:
July 20: Sew Thrifty | July 21: Bernina Representative | July 22: Pretty Practical | July 23: Finn’s Door | July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Tips:
July 27: Sew Thrifty | July 28: From-a-Box | July 29: Willow & Stitch | July 30: Knot Sew Normal | July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty

Savings Made by Sewing {Supplies}

Another week begins and another great group of bloggers with their tips on saving money! This week is all about saving money on supplies – machines, notions, organizational systems, tables, and all the things you need to help you sew amazing things.

Savings Made by Sewing {Supplies} | A Series to Help you Save Money Sewing | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}

If there’s anything out there that prevents people from sewing or thinking sewing can save you money, I believe it’s supplies. The upfront cost of a sewing machine, table and other basic supplies can definitely send someone running. But I want you to consider thinking of these costs in a different way.

Rethink the cost of Sewing Supplies

When you think about going out to eat or cooking at home, what factors do you consider? Cost of the meal? Transportation? Cost of the electricity to cook the meal? Time it takes? Cost of tools used? Most of the time we compare the cost of the meal out and the cost of the food it takes to cook the meal if we cook ourselves. For example:

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We don’t include the cost of the knife to cut the potatoes or the refrigerator to cool the soda or the gas to heat the grill to cook the burgers. So then why do we think about the  cost of scissors, pins, or a sewing machine when factoring how much something costs to make? In cooking all these supplies are a given. Kitchen cabinets, ovens, and knives are all investments one must make in order to cook or bake something at home. Likewise, sewing machines, pins, and scissors are all investments a seamstress must make in order to sew their own clothes and accessories.

Supplies are Investments

For those out there thinking about investing in a sewing machine or another tool to help you sew better, consider it like you would a kitchen tool or appliance. Does the tool provide any new or better way to get the job done? Or can you get by with a tool you already have? Chances are you have something you can use until you find the tool on sale, or wait to have it gifted to you. Beginning to sew doesn’t have to drain your savings. Purchase one or a few supplies at a time and you’ll slowly build up your sewing tools. Just like you do when you rent your first apartment or home – you slowly purchase the gadgets you need as you cook.

Buy What You Can Afford

For everything I purchase, I never go into debt. If I can’t afford it, I don’t need it and won’t buy it. So, when you start your sewing supply shopping, set a budget and stick to it.  Don’t purchase something you have to buy on credit. That won’t save any money if you end up paying for your sewing machine for 5 years plus interest. It will end up costing even more than the original price.

There is so much more to be said on this topic, but I’ll leave that up to the rest of the authors this week. This week we will learn all about how to take care of our sewing investments, how to save money through some awesome DIY projects, and general tips on saving on supplies!

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

Fabric:
July 6: Sew Thrifty | July 7: Feather’s Flights | July 8: Mabey She Made It | July 9: Phat Quarters | July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

Patterns:
July 13: Sew Thrifty | July 14: Sew a Straight Line | July 15: House of Estrela | July 16: Sew Straight and Gather | July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife

Supplies:
July 20: Sew Thrifty | July 21: Bernina Representative | July 22: Pretty Practical | July 23: Finn’s Door | July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Tips:
July 27: Sew Thrifty | July 28: From-a-Box | July 29: Willow & Stitch | July 30: Knot Sew Normal | July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty

Savings Made by Sewing {Patterns} with A Real Life Country Housewife

Today’s guest is not just a sewing blogger – she dabbles in lots of different topics.  Amanda from A Real Life Country Housewife blogs all about living our her family’s dreams in a yesterday-type style. And she’s got lots of tips on saving money in different areas of your life! Today, she is going to share her trick to keeping patterns organized.

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Hi! I’m Amanda from A Real Life Country Housewife! I’m so excited to talk to you guys today about pattern organization on a budget! This is something I used to particularly struggle with, and I’m sure I’m not alone!

When I started sewing a few years ago, I quickly began a never-ending battle of figuring out how to store patterns. If you are new to sewing, you are probably experiencing that overwhelming feeling of “buy all the patterns!” Then, before you know it, you’ll have a million patterns to sort through every time you sit down to sew. As a seasoned sewer, you already know my pain.

Pattern Organization

Each pattern in 12 different sizes, scattered all over the floor of your sewing room, and/or cutting table. For a while I was trying to keep them organized by keeping all the sizes of a pattern together in a stack, laid the opposite direction of the next pattern, all that pattern’s sizes, and so on. You can just about imagine how quickly that became unorganized.

I began researching ways to store my patterns, asking in sewing groups on Facebook, searching every inch of Pinterest, and I finally decided on using an expandable file folder. I know what you’re thinking, “those plastic file folders I bought for my middle schooler last year that fell apart after 2 months?” Actually, no!

Pattern Organization

I found this very well made file folder at Target in the School/Office section for $19! I absolutely love it; it was the best money I have ever spent on sewing organization! Finding a pattern is so much faster now!

I have yet to label my files because I haven’t quite got my process perfect, but I have decided that each pattern will have it’s own file with all of the sizes in each spot. I have been using paper clips to keep together pieces from each size, and it seems to be working out really well for me!

I know not everyone has a Target near them; in fact mine is quite a drive, but you can also find them at Walmart, Amazon, Office Max and Staples.

I hope my process has inspired you to go find a folder that fits your style and get to organizing!

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I need some pattern organization in my creative space! Thanks so much, Amanda, for sharing your tips. What have you done to organize your patterns? Or, are you like me and have them everywhere?

Have a great weekend and stop by next week for tons of tips on saving money on supplies – from buttons to sewing machines – you won’t want to miss it!

Savings Made by Sewing {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewing

Fabric:
July 6: Sew Thrifty | July 7: Feather’s Flights | July 8: Mabey She Made It | July 9: Phat Quarters | July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

Patterns:
July 13: Sew Thrifty | July 14: Sew a Straight Line | July 15: House of Estrela | July 16: Sew Straight and Gather | July 17: A Real Life Country Housewife

Supplies:
July 20: Sew Thrifty | July 21: Bernina Representative | July 22: Pretty Practical | July 23: Finn’s Door | July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Tips:
July 27: Sew Thrifty | July 28: From-a-Box | July 29: Willow & Stitch | July 30: Knot Sew Normal | July 31: Bringing it All Together by Sew Thrifty