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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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……
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.
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!