Tag Archives: fabric

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 {Fabric} with Vicky Myers Creations

Today’s guest is an upcycling extraordinaire!  I’m pleased to welcome Vicky from Vicky Myers Creations.  Really, take a look at her Etsy shop; and she does commissions – taking your clothes and turning them into something amazing. She’s not just upcycling fabric either, check out her projects for reusing chip bags! And read on to see what she’s got for us today.

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Hi, My name is Vicky – I am so excited to be taking part in Savings Made by Sewing. I LOVE sewing, finding the process relaxing, challenging, absorbing, plus it nurtures my creativity. But, it is not always that cheap. In the UK fabric is often £14 a meter which equates to $20 a yard in the US. This can be prohibitive, and it is cheaper to buy new ready-made clothes (dependent upon the brands you buy!!)

Another passion of mine is upcycling and reusing so it comes naturally to me to reuse fabric whenever possible.

Sourcing fabric

I live in the UK and regularly use charity shops, car boot sales and jumble sales. In the UK charity shops are relatively small shops with a few racks of second-hand clothes per size and gender. I suspect they are similar to thrift shops.

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Car boot sales are held weekly; anyone can bring their car and set up a table to sell what they like. Jumble sales are the cheapest but are not as popular as they used to be. They are an event with tables piled high with clothing that you have to rummage through with many others doing the same, elbows at the ready!! Often at a mere 20p an item this is as cheap as it gets.

Other options include signing up to community reuse groups such as freecycle. Freecycle is community-led groups where people give away items they no longer need and search for items they do need. In the UK there is a similiar organisation called freegle.

What do I look for??

Check out skirts and dresses for fabric to reuse. Full skirts once washed and unpicked can surprise you with the amount of fabric. Jersey dresses are perfect to transform into children’s clothes.

Cotton Skirt

This size 14 skirt gave me 74″ by 23″ of fabric for £3 ($5)

Fabric

But you don’t need to stop there; it doesn’t have to be all about making adult clothes into children’s clothes. I love making bags. So I always check out the bedding – sheets and duvets are brilliant as lining fabric for bags, or to make pillowcase dresses for young girls. Plus curtains are a fabulous source of fabric.

fabric sheets

Trousers can be transformed into man bags. These make unique fabulous gifts.

Messenger Bag
Messenger Bag

Or how about a tablet case?
Denim Mini IPAD Case  Free tutorial

Consider the jumper section. A 100% wool jumper with handwash only label can be placed in the washing machine at the hottest setting and felted.

felted jumper

Always consider the quality of the fabric before purchasing the item. Is it worn in an area? Check the whole garment. Is it machine washable? It is no longer a bargain if you have to pay for dry cleaning before you can upcycle your garment!

What are your top tips for second-hand fabric shopping? If you also loving making items out of old, check out the free tutorials on my blog for inspiration.

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These upcycling tips are wonderful! That finishes us out for the week on fabric, but next week we’ll be ready to save money in another area of sewing – patterns. Have a great weekend!

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 {Fabric} with Phat Quarters

We are in for another treat today! Gemia from Phat Quarters is our guest blogger telling us how to save money on fabric. Not only does she have an amazing fabric shop (luckyyyy!), she also has a blog with dozens of tutorials and pattern reviews. Let’s hear what she’s got for us today!

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Hi! I am Gemia from Phat Quarters. I’m super excited to be here today and to share a little insider’s info with you today on how to save money when purchasing fabrics. I run a small online fabric shop with my friend Leah, also called Phat Quarters. My first tip for saving money when purchasing fabrics for your next project is to purchase the right CUT. So let’s start off with learning about the different cuts that you can find.

In this diagram you will see not only the cut sizes but an example of the cost of each cut (for the same fabric). Your checkbook is not reading this so let’s be honest with each other for a minute – how many times have you purchased just a half yard of a fabric and then three projects later you really want that print again? So…after resisting for a few hours, or if you are really good, a day, you make the purchase again. Not only are you paying for another half yard cut, because you only need a little…again, you are also paying for shipping again. Now, using this beautiful Art Gallery print Nisi Floral Oceanon, as an example, your two, half-yard cuts plus shipping comes to a total cost of $16.50. If you had purchased a one-yard cut to begin with, then you would have only spent a total of $13.95. That is a savings of $2.55 and every penny counts! I know what you are thinking, spend money to save money, not much of a tip, but trust me, I see it happen all the time! I never buy less than a one-yard cut anymore, especially if I have to pay for shipping costs!

My favorite tip for saving money on fabric however, is to use a project budget rather than a fabric budget. I tend to shop sales, buy from the remnant bin, and see a fabric and think I can use this for multiple projects; and so I purchase without a specific project in mind. While this style of fabric shopping might seem to be a budget breaker, what works for me is to label all my fabrics with their price so that when it is time to complete a project I can set a budget at that level and then turn to my stash. This helps me to understand the cost of each project better and keeps me from spending a lot of money on one dress or shirt. This also makes me use my fabric stash for projects rather than finding a project and going shopping for fabric. It is kinda along the same lines of advice as ‘Do not go grocery shopping when you are hungry!’

To keep me within my project budget I use the rule of thirds in regards to fabric prices and color proportions. Most often we think of the rule of thirds as a visual grid but, for color proportions and your budget, it is better explained as the gallon/quart/pint approach. As an example I made the Extraordinary Girl Shirt by Filles a Maman using these three knit fabrics; Paparounes by Art Gallery ($16 per yard), a solid Coral ($10 a yard), and a solid Hot Pink ($4.99 per yard). First, we are going to categorize the fabrics based on price to fill up our budget. Paparounes is the most expensive so we can only afford a pint of it in our budget. The Hot Pink is the least expensive so we want to use a gallon of it. That leaves the Coral for the remaining pint of our budget. This allows us to use all of our desired fabrics but also maintain a balanced budget.

Next, we need to think of the project piece. In a limitless world I would use the Paparounes for as much of the shirt as possible because I love this print so much. But for my budget I cannot, and so I have to choose how to highlight this fabric to get the best bang for my buck! So I am going to use this fabric for the Front Bodice & Sleeves which I feel is a good compromise between what I want (a gallon of it) and what I can afford to use (a pint of it). So I will use this fabric for a quart of the project. Now based off my budget, the fabric I have the most of is the Hot Pink, which was the least expensive. Therefore, I will use this fabric in the gallon amount. To do that I will make the shirt Back and the Lower Front Bodice all out of the Hot Pink. That leaves the coral, which will be used in an pint amount for the shirt – the Pocket.

As I work through this process with my budget and my project, I am able to clearly see the difference between what I want and what I can afford. Sometimes I will cheat a little on the budget (if it is a really special or cool project). Like for this shirt after cutting it out, I decided that I did not like the little bit of pink on the top of the shirt, so I took the shirt apart and upped my budget for this project a little and used the Paparounes on the back as well. I did not scrap the original back piece; however, I just trimmed it into a smaller size and made another shirt, well two more to be exact. I am admitting to this because we all know it happens! And that leads me to my last tip for saving money on fabric that you fall in love with and just have to have.

It is a simple tip, but sometimes a scary one…ASK. Ask if your favorite shop has any remnant cuts that they would sell. Ask if they will give you a discount on price if you order ‘x’ amount of yards. Ask if they would exchange fabric for promotion. I ask everywhere! Fabric stores want fabric to sell, so as long as you are asking for something reasonable and are kind in your approach, the worst that can happen is that they say no. It is worth the try! I hope that you learned something today or at least have a new angle to think about. I would love to hear any tips you have on saving money when purchasing fabrics. Be sure to stick around for the rest of this series! There are going to be many valuable bits of information that can help you stick to your budget and still create beautiful projects! If you want to keep in touch with me, you can find me in our shop, Phat Quarters, blogging at Phat Quarters, on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Thanks for visiting with me today!

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I’ve definitely used my  most expensive fabric for the smaller sections of the pattern, but today Gemia made it all make even more sense as to why I do this.  Thanks for breaking it down graphically for us! Of course, I’ve also been known to just hang on to those quality fabrics I have purchased because they are so nice and I’m afraid to use them. Do you sew up your most expensive fabric or are you too fearful?
As we round out this week, we’ll hear from Vicky Myers Creations tomorrow for an international perspective on saving money on fabric.

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 {Fabric} with Mabey She Made It

When Lisa joined in on this series, I was thrilled! She’s amazingly creative and she likes to save money, but have quality outcomes.  Check out her series on Recreating Kate – all about mimicking the royal wardrobe of Princess Kate without the large price tag. Today Lisa is going to tell us all about when to buy or not buy fabric. Take a look!

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

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Hi, I’m Lisa Mabey from Mabey She Made It, a sewing, crafts, and home decor blog with classic flair. I’m excited to talk a little bit today about saving money when it comes to fabric. It’s something I’ve thought about over the last little while, and my thoughts have actually changed on the topic over time.

I’m frugal by nature. Find me a good deal, and I’m all over it. I learned to sew using things from the remnant bin at 50% off the sales price. But as my skill has increased, so has my philosophy on buying fabric.

It used to be all about cheap prices. I didn’t care what it was, if it was really inexpensive, I would buy it. I’d sew with it, and I’d be satisfied with the results–for about two washings and I’d notice strange shapes, pills, and poor drape. Since I was learning, I attributed it all to my sewing skills, but as I look back now, I don’t think it was ALL my skill. I think some of it was the quality of fabric. So my first tip for saving money is:

Buy Quality Fabric

But wait, you might say, isn’t higher quality fabric more expensive? Yes, but it’s worth it. Since I’m taking the time to make clothes for my kids and myself, I want them to last and look nice for a long time. I want those clothes to last through more than one child. I want the reason I get rid of a garment to be because styles have changed, not that it looks old after a few washes. Another thing you realize when you start sewing with higher quality fabric is that it’s easier to sew with, your results look better, and it’s a better experience all around.

Lower quality knits peel or develop holes easily; cheap cotton wrinkles like crazy. I don’t have time to remake an item or to iron it every time it comes out of the wash. And since time is money, that’s just one more reason to buy quality fabric.

I’ve also been thinking about how to know when you should buy a fabric so that you’re getting good quality. Trust me when I say I’ve had some bad experiences ordering fabric online only to realize once it got there that it wasn’t anything I was going to use. It was a total waste of money, which brings me to my second tip:

Read the Descriptions Online

I see a print I like, I see a price I like, and often I’m tempted to just add it to my cart and check out. But those product descriptions are really important. What are the care instructions? What weight is the knit? Does the fabric type match the project it’s intended for? These are all questions I ask myself before purchasing. I know that I don’t like sewing with lightweight knits, so I avoid them. If I can’t tell from an online description whether it’s a medium or heavy weight knit, I leave it. It’s not worth wasting money on.

This does require that you know your fabrics–something I’m not so great at still. I prefer to shop in a store most times because I sew by feel and drape most of the time. But learning more about fabric types is something on my to-do list as I know it will help me better understand product descriptions and know what I’m getting.

Ask Others Before Purchasing

If you’ve never bought fabric from a source before, use those Facebook groups and your sewing circle to see whether others thought it was quality. If you can’t find anyone who has used that vendor before, consider only purchasing a small amount or swatches so you get a feel for quality before investing in more. It might take more time and possibly extra shipping charges, but at least you won’t have 3 yards of a knit with no stretch or recovery that will sit around forever without being used.

Only Buy What You’ll Use

I’m also learning what fabric I ACTUALLY use on a regular basis. I might like a print, but if I’m not actually going to use it for a specific purpose I’m learning to leave it. This doesn’t mean all the fabric in my stash has a project slated yet; it just means that I know I’ll use it and have a general idea of the type of project it would be good for. I also have learned to match yardage with a general project idea so when the perfect pattern/fabric combination appears, I have enough for the project (vs. not having enough so it sits on my shelf forever wanting to be used).

With these tips, I think you’ll be better prepared to make great fabric choices that lead to amazing projects. And don’t forget to look for sales–quality fabric is even better when you can get it at a killer price! Happy fabric shopping!

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Oh man, what great advice! I know I’ve been a sucker for a great deal – I make something for myself and not 2 washings later the shirt is pilling all over. I LOVE Lisa’s advice for buying quality fabric so your garment stands the test of time. Anyone else have a story to share about fabric shopping failures?!

Tune in tomorrow to hear from Phat Quarters and the rule of thirds for saving money!

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 {Fabric} with Feather’s Flights

Today, we are kicking off our saving-on-fabric series with Heather from Feather’s Flights. You may remember Heather from our Upcycled blog series we did last month. And, she is no stranger to saving money – check out her awesome post she wrote last year. She’s going to tell us all about how to re-think buying fabric. So, let’s get started!

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Hello everyone! I’m so excited to be in the sewing series! What a fun topic! I really love sewing, but I also love saving money by sewing. I know it is possible, and it has helped our family budget for a couple of years. I’d like to tell you some of my tricks. This family outfit cost us $9!

  • Check your stash first! There have been times where I have need of a certain color of fabric. I go to the fabric store and find the fabric, and I find other unnecessary things to buy only to come home and find the right color in my stash. If you keep your stash organized (one of my biggest struggles), then you’ll always know what you have, and you can be inspired by all your beautiful fabrics sitting next to each other.
  • Check your closet too! You might not know it, but I really love upcycling. Upcycling saves money and time, and time can save you money. We all have those pieces of clothing in our closet that never get worn. The item might not fit right, but you liked the item for the color or print originally, so upcycle it! You save money by not purchasing any fabric, and you feel empowered by cleaning out. Look through all the closets in your house, and you’ll be surprised at what you find! Don’t know where to start? Here’s a list of the best five clothing items to upcycle.
  • Don’t be shy about your hobby! Tell your friends and family that you sew, and you will be the recipient of lots of fabric. I have been gifted lots of fabric and hand-me-down clothing from people because they knew I would use it. I’ve even had friends of friends give me clothing because they wanted to give it to someone who would use it. I often have to get rid of some because I get way too much, but I always find something special. Because someone knew I sewed, I was able to make a connection with a manufacturing warehouse that sells me their beautiful knit remnants for a deal.
  • Only buy what you love! It’s so easy to get caught up in buying all the fabric or thrifting all the cool items. But then you spend a lot of money (even if it was on sale) on stuff that sits in your stash never to be used. Was it really worth it? I took a pledge to be a lot more thoughtful with my wardrobe, so that I only buy the colors of fabric that I love, and I only make and buy the silhouettes I love. I bought a sheet set for $20 which seems like a lot of money, it was about $3 a yard. I used it to make a button up shirt for myself and the fitted sheet and pillowcase are perfect for my son’s bed.
1. I thoughtfully only thrifted a gray suiting and navy blue rib knit on a 50% off day 
  • Thrift it or swap it! I have found some awesome fabric and clothes from thrift stores that only cost me a couple of dollars. You can find a lot of basic items to upcycle or really unique fabric that you’d never find at a fabric store! If it grosses you, just throw the items immediately in the wash when you get home. You have to wash fabric from the fabric store too, right? Need some direction in upcycling? Here’s a giant list of upcycling tutorials for kids.
  • Set a budget and stick to it! I know this may be hard, but you’re not going to save money if you can’t learn to not buy all the fabric. It will make you really think about everything you put in your cart, use coupons when you can, and shop sales.

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Have you successfully used any of Heather’s tips? Do you have a story to share or a project where you save money on fabric? I’d love to see it!

And stick around for tomorrow. We’ll hear from Mabey She Made It on whether or not to buy that fabric you’ve been eyeing.

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 {Fabric}!

Are you ready? I am beyond excited for this series! Today we are kicking off our month-long series, “Savings Made by Sewing” – a place where you can find helpful tips and stories on how to save money in all areas of sewing. This week we begin with saving money on fabric!

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

Fabric is my favorite! I may have been known to snuggle up with my piles of freshly received fabric or walk down the aisles touching each and every single bolt I can reach. Is that just me? Please tell me I’m not alone in my love of fabric…

BUT….

I’m not made of money.

I can’t buy every fabric I want.

And I do like to find good deals.

So, how do I do it?!

I upcycle. A lot.

I splurge when it matters.

I catch sales.

I give good hints on what I’d like for Christmas…and birthday…and Mother’s Day…and World Textile Day (it’s real, seriously).

I resist. I practice the art of delayed gratification. And that is probably the biggest tip I have for you today. I’ve been known to place fabric in my cart at my favorite online shops only to let it sit there for days, even weeks. I return to it later and realize I don’t really need it after all. I’ve done the same thing in the store.

Back in 2013 I set a goal to not purchase any new clothes for myself or my two kids. I could purchase used, receive hand-me-downs or sew anything without restrictions. As you can see below, that saved me a tremendous amount of money on clothes! Going from spending about $450 to $112 – saving about $340 in one year! Since then I’ve added a child and gave myself a little leeway in 2014. But in 2015 I’ve been really convicted to not purchase anything new (except shoes), and have spent less than $20  all year so far for myself and my three kids.  I did purchase sewing supplies and fabric instead of clothing items (I’ll fill you in on all that later), but overall my spending was still less.

Saving Money on Fabric {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} Clothing spending from 2012-2015. Sewing can save you money!

 

And yes, I may have had more fun making that graph than sewing some of the clothes for my kids. I’m a math nerd at heart. What can I say?

And, I’m not the only one with amazing ways to score inexpensive or even FREE fabric, so I’ve asked four bloggers to share their experiences this week.

Grab your virtual notepads and get writing because these tips are going to be just what you need to get you started!

Savings Made by Sewing {Fabric}! was originally posted by Sew Thrifty

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

Upcycled: Maximizing Your Material

Ok, so I know upcycling is great and saves time and money, but adult shirts don’t offer much fabric, right? How can I turn them into anything substantial?

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights (feathersflights.com) and Sew Thrifty (sewthrifty.org)

Today is all about debunking the myth that clothes don’t offer you much in terms of yardage. If you’re sewing for your 10-year-old kid, yes, it will be difficult to use anything other than a XXL adult garment, but there’s still plenty of sewing to be done for younger kids and babies. Plus, I’m here to give you some fun ideas for using up those scraps – and those can be used for any age!

When I first started upcycling, I would shop thrift stores searching for XL or XXL shirts since those items do offer the most fabric for your dollar. However, as I have upcycled more for my kids, my shopping has changed. While I still look for the largest shirt, sheet, pant, etc., I have learned that even small garments can go a long way for kid’s clothes. Plus, if it’s a graphic or pocket I am trying to save, the smaller sizes work better when cut down to sew up children’s clothing.

Heather used one shirt to make three, yes three (!) kid’s articles.

UpcycleMaximizeMaterial

Later this week and next I’ll show you how to transform a size Small shirt into a baby dress and headband! Plus have a bit leftover for a fun applique or pocket.
Baby Lap Dress {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Still have some leftover scraps of fabric? You can put it to good use! Here are some ways I have used small pieces of fabric:

Put on a Pocket

If you have a 5″ square of fabric left from any project, you can save it to use as a pocket! My son helped me design these pocket tanks and tees for my Etsy shop and now that he knows I can add a pocket, he asks for one every. single. time. These are all done with knit fabric, but you can use most any fabric to make a pocket on your kid’s shirts (or shorts, or pants!).

How to use up upcycled scraps - Put on a Pocket! {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Accent with an Applique

I LOVE reverse appliques! This technique uses knit fabric (my fav!) under the shirt (or pants) to create a slightly different look than a traditional applique. Here’s Lioness rocking a reverse applique as she takes on bad guys.

Captainess America {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org|Her headband is also made with knit scraps from old t-shirts.

If you have leftover fabric from a woven garment – dress shirt, jean, or something else, you can use those for a traditional applique.

Fill a Floor Cushion

Ok, you have tiny pieces of your upcycled garment left, can you just throw those out?! They won’t be too bad for the environment, right? Now that you’ve used up the majority of your t-shirt, don’t feel bad about throwing some fabric away. But, if you want to take your upcycling a bit further, consider using all those unusable, tiny scraps to fill a floor pillow.  I like this free pattern from Living with Punks.

You’ll have to wait until the end of the month to see mine, but the secret is out…I filled them completely with knit scraps from all my projects over the years!

How have you used your fabric scraps for clothing or accessories for your kids?

Upcycled: Learn to Sew Your Kid's Wardrobe. A Series by Feather's Flights (feathersflights.com) and Sew Thrifty (sewthrifty.org)

Beginning tomorrow I will be sharing specific projects using upcycled material and free patterns.  I hope you’ll join me and don’t forget to check out what Heather at Feather’s Flights has for you today: basic tee hems and basic tee neckline.