Tag Archives: patterns

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 {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

Savings Made by Sewing {Patterns} with Sew Straight and Gather

Who better to tell us how to save on patterns than a pattern designer herself? Terri from Sew Straight and Gather is amazingly resourceful when it comes to patterns.  If you’ve taken the plunge and bought Ottobre, you’ve got to check out her great tutorial on tracing Ottobre patterns! Today she’s giving us tips on how to save when buying patterns.

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Savings-Made-by-Sewing-banner There is nothing like saving money when sewing! Most “non-sewists” think we sew clothes because it is cheaper than buying retail or it saves us money somehow….Well, we all know that is WRONG! So WRONG! We sew because we love it and we want to take the time to create something beautiful –just like most crafters. So between buying beautiful fabric, a great pattern, all the notions and tools and making sure our machines are working properly — it is not cheaper by any means!

Why buy a pair of leggings for 5 dollars when you can make them for $30…right?! LOL!

Saving money on patterns and really anything else is one of those essential skills we must educate ourselves on as we continue with our craft! This series is going to be jam packed full of tips and tricks — so lets all take notes together!!

Here are my TOP 5 for “Saving on Patterns”, I hope you enjoy!

5. Buy patterns with mulitiple options

Sew Straight for Sew Thrifty

Finding patterns with multiple options is a great way to save on patterns. With these kind of patterns you can sew something different every time or for every season and that is a wonderful way to get longevity from a pattern. My Uptown/Downtown has several options and is super fun & rewarding to sew — you can find more details HERE.

Another amazing multi-option PDF pattern is 5 &10! What a genius idea these ladies put together–REALLY genius! 5 pattern blocks and 10 detailed tutorials for 10 completely different designs. THIS is a great way to get bang for your buck! And if your a pattern altering creative–I’m sure the options are endless! Oh, and did I mention there are designs for girls and boys? Check that out HERE! There is currently 3 volumes.

AND until July 19th! YOU can get 10% off your 5&10 designs patterns using code SUMMERFUN. Thank you ladies for letting me share this today!!

4. Ottobre and other

DSC_0884Pages from 3-2015_alldesigns

OTTOBRE! I LOVE Ottobre! This magazine can be subscribed to HERE. There are two options for purchases, you can either subscribe to it directly from Ottobre in Finland or you can purchase it from individual retailers — which can be found on Etsy or with a simple google search. For me it works out to about $17.00 a magazine CAD and worth EVERY penny. You receive about 35 beautiful childrens patterns in each magazine, all of them are awesome designs. Three things you need to be aware of before you purchase — there is NO seam allowance added to the pattern anywhere, you will need to add your preferred amount to every pattern piece. Second, the patterns are nested together, so they need to be traced out – Check out my TUTORIAL HERE for a quick way to do that. Third, the instructions are all written, there are no photo tutorials for construction so you may need to read over them a few times — I suggest starting simple then moving up to a more complex pattern. I still feel the extra work is worth it. I LOVE these patterns. LOVE!

3. Books

DSC_0879Japanese pattern books are another one of my favorites! They are similar to Ottobre but these books gives you much more detailed & illustrated instructions for each pattern. The designs are clean, modern and have beautiful detail.

The patterns are also nested on the pattern sheet but not to the same extent as Ottobre — so they do need to be traced off. The seam allowance is included BONUS!

You can usually find these books on Amazon or at your local book store!

2. Learn to trace from RTW

SOURCE: Sweet Verbena
SOURCE: Sweet Verbena

This tutorial from Sweet Verbena is a perfect example of how to trace simple RTW garments. Tracing retail clothing takes a little practice but it’s worth it! Especially for simple t-shirts, leggings and skirts. It’s the perfect solution to recreating something you already own and love but want in EVERY color. Knit fabric is a great fabric to start with — it’s forgiving if you make a tracing mistake!

This is a great article on how to trace more complex garments from Threads Magazine

1. FREE Patterns

Girls Sewing PatternDo I need to say more??? You can find FREE patterns everywhere! Do a simple Google or Pinterest search and you’ll be downloading all day. Some patterns are simple and some are more complex but most are patterns you will sew for years to come and there are plenty of them!

I hope that was helpful!! I know there is going to be much more to come, so keep your notepad out! Bye!

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How do you save money on patterns? Have you considered using books or magazines or even creating your own? I’d love to hear!

Tomorrow we’ve got Amanda from A Real Life Country Housewife sharing her advice for keeping all those patterns organized!

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 House of Estrela

Today our guest has an amazing collection of patterns that she paid pennies for! Magda blogs over at House of Estrela, and she is one amazing refashion queen. Every year she hosts a month-long blog series on refashioning – you really need to go check it out! But, back to patterns…she’s here today to show you her collection and how she’s stocked up without shelling out.
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Hello Sew Thifty readers. My name is Magda E. I am a SAHM of two, living in the south of sunny Portugal and blogging over House of Estrela. Today I will be telling you how I save on patterns. Believe me when I tell you I have a huge collection, but, if you’d asked me if I bought any of them, I’d have to say, no. When I became a SAHM, I knew our income would get a drastic cut down, and I knew I had to be more careful where I’d spend my money. I stopped buying new fabric, and I didn’t allow myself to buy any patterns because I had already a huge collection of pattern magazines, such as Burda, Patrones, Manequim…
So, how
do I get to save on patterns, and still have a lot of them?!
 
1 – I cut out buying digital and paper patterns – I only get pattern magazines from time to time, because they come with many different patterns for the price of one.
collection of a few of the patterns I’ve tested before.
 
2 – Pattern Testing – By committing yourself with a designer, and helping the best way you can to get that new pattern perfect before it is out to be sold, you get a free copy of the same said pattern. That’s actually how I’ve built most of my pattern collection.

collection of a few of the patterns I have reviewed before
3 – Signing for pattern reviews – Many designers often give away a few of their patterns to different bloggers in exchange of a review of the same one. You just have to sew it and blog about it. Most of them ask for an honest review, and those are the best to work with. If you’re ever given a pattern you don’t like, please respect the designer. Send them a private e-mail mentioning what you’ve disliked and give them your honest opinion on why you won’t blog about it, IF you don’t think you have any good things to say about it. Remember they
are all trying to do their best too.
 
4 – Alter a basic pattern – If you are going to buy any pattern, make sure you go for good basic ones. Those are the ones you will use over and over. Make sure they have a large size range and that it comes with many options and good instructions. When you have a few basic patterns, you can mix and match pieces from the different ones, or you can create new ones from those you already have. I think one of my favorite alterations I did to a pattern was turning the Rowan Tee shirt from Titchy Threads into a short leather jacket for my daughter. To do this, I have cut the front and back bodice pieces to the desired length, making sure I was cutting the same amount from both pieces. Then I cut the front in two vertically, added seam allowances, and extended the right side into the left to create the assimetrical look on the jacket. That was it, simple. And I got a new pattern out of easy changes. 
5 – Free Patterns – There are a huge number of free patterns all over the internet. I do have three of my own that you can use too if you’d like. It’s one for a 18-24m girl blazer, a newborn onesie and a big bag for sports or maternity.  I have also used free patterns from other people, and I have had good experiences with it. 
 
I did this one without an existing pattern and it turned out to be one of my favorite pieces.
 
6 – Copy the pattern from a pre-loved RTW piece – that’s what I did the most when I started, and when I feel like I need to, I still do it. It works better if you are sewing for kids, but you can do it for adult sewing too. You just have to be more careful. I am sharing a tutorial on my blog today on how to copy a pattern. If you’d like to check out my tips, please visit me, HERE
 
Dana, thank you for having me in this wonderful new series. It was a huge pleasure to me being part of it. I hope my post was helpful. 
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As you can probably can tell, Magda and I share so much in common – I love her sense of using what she’s got and never buying patterns. Do you think you could save money by not purchasing patterns? Or are you just starting out and wondering what base patterns to invest in?

Tomorrow Terri is going to share her Top 5 Ways to save on patterns – so be sure to come check it out!

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 Sew a Straight Line

Can I be honest with you? I’m a bit starstruck with today’s guest blogger. OK, got that out of the way…now let me introduce Sabra from Sew a Straight Line. She’s incredibly inspiring in sewing for boys and she has mastered the art of sewing up Ottobre patterns. And that is all about what she’s going to share with us today. Let’s read!
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Hello, my name is Sabra, and I sew at Sew a Straight Line. I sew almost all of my own clothing and a large percentage of my children’s clothing. Over the past 5.5 years of sewing, I have amassed a huge collection of patterns in all forms. I sew a lot of independent PDF designers, a few Big Five enveloped patterns here and there, but my go-to source for patterns for my children is Ottobre Designs, a sewing pattern magazine. Because I sew most of our wardrobe, I don’t mind spending a bit more for quality fabric. I am under no illusions that sewing in 2015 is the cheapest way to clothe a family. But I do try to save money as much as I can, and buying pattern magazines, though the upfront cost can be intimidating, has been the best value I have found for patterns that give me clothing my children actually want to wear.
dungeons and dragons cartoon hank ranger sew a straight line-10
I don’t remember when or how I first heard about Ottobre magazine, but I do know it wasn’t long after I first started really getting into sewing for myself and my children. I scanned through the magazine online, marveled that there were patterns available that actually looked like clothing I would buy my children ready-to-wear, then looked at the price and clicked off the page. But I kept coming back again and again. I checked eBay, hoping to find a deal, but the prices for used were within a dollar or two of new. Almost $20 for a magazine? I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. But the designs! The styling! The fabric pairings! Finally, I decided to suck up the price and ordered a single back issue.why I ottobre sew a straight line-3
And I was hooked. Within a month, I had signed up for a subscription, and ordered two more back issues. I’ve been a devote and outspoken Ottobre fan for 2.5 years now. More than half of my kids’ mom-sewn wardrobe are Ottobre patterns. And I’m currently trying to decide between two other pattern magazine subscriptions to add to my addiction. So why am I so okay with paying that much for pattern magazines now?

sew in tune sew a straight line stolen dance milky chance-1639 *hat pattern is Heidi & Finn

How much are you generally comfortable paying for a single pattern? Times that amount by 30. Is the total still less than $20? The average Ottobre has anywhere from 30-40 patterns in it, which means you’re paying at most .67 cents a pattern. And that’s only if you’re buying issues individually. Subscribing saves you even a bit more than that. I have not had experience with other pattern magazines yet, so the breakdown won’t be the same with all of them. But the concept is the same. You’re buying patterns in bulk and saving quite a bit as a result.

easter 2014 sew a straight line-14

Patterns aside, magazines are great inspiration. Pattern magazines double as lookbooks and fashion spreads. They are fun to look at. They are inspiring. From fabric pairings to styling ideas, to just plain entertainment, I enjoy browsing my pattern magazines. They give me ideas for clothing and photo shoots that don’t even have anything to do with the patterns in the magazines, at times. Other times, I want to copy the looks exactly: the pattern, fabric, all of it. And it’s not just me; my kids will flip through the pages and point out things they want me to make them. And when they ask specifically for something, I’m guaranteed they’re going to wear it.

IMG_9631*Tee shirt is store-bought

There are few things more frustrating than spending time, money, fabric, and energy on something that the recipient only wears once, or never at all. My kids wear the magazine clothes because they look like store-bought clothes their friends are wearing.

ottobre tank and shorts sew a straight line-6

And when I sew clothing for friends and family, I almost always go to my magazines because I know the results will look store-bought, and likely to be better received.

ottobre toffee dress nosh organics dogs sew a straight line

When you have a subscription, you get a steady stream of up-to-date, on-trend looks delivered right to you. The magazine is doing all the research and brainstorming of what’s in this season.

ottobre jumpsuit 32015 sew a straight line-1811

If you enjoy buying patterns, you know you’re going to be getting a whole new collection to add to your stash every few months. If you have a problem buying too many patterns impulsively, knowing you’re going to be getting 30+ patterns every few weeks may help curb your spending. It does mine.

why I ottobre sew a straight line-4

I have my favorite issues, with patterns I go back to sew my children a half dozen times as they outgrow things and as inspiration hits. Some of my issues are well-worn and taped together.

I also find new things to sew all the time. Frequently, I’ll buy a fabric I love but don’t have anything too specific in mind to make with it. I’ll start flipping through my magazines, marking down which patterns would work with my new fabric. Or I’ll have a specific something in mind I’d like to make, and I’ll grab the stack and check to see if I have a similar pattern already drafted, printed and ready to go for me in the pages. I almost always do.

retro uniform sew a straight line-10*Cap pattern from Urbandon

The magazines give you a great variety of patterns. I subscribe to the kids’ Ottobre, and there are patterns for everything from underwear and swimsuits to basics like jeans and tees to formal wear to full winter-gear outerwear.

ottobre camisole sew a straight linedays of the week ottobre undewear 6 2013 sew a straight line

Sometimes they throw in accessories like ties or purses, or even toys to make.

ottobre hoodie and aviator 42014 sew a straight line-3-2

I have made things I have *never* even considered making before, simply because the pattern was available to me and I figured, why not?! When someone else is curating your patterns, deciding which go in the magazine you will receive, there is a risk and the reality that there will be things you just don’t have any interest in sewing. But there is also the excitement of trying new things, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and being introduced to new styles and techniques you wouldn’t have found otherwise.

why I ottobre sew a straight line-10

One thing to be aware of, if you’ve never sewn from a pattern magazine, is that the layout of the patterns and instructions is different than you are probably used to. In order to cram so many designs into one magazine, the patterns themselves are printed “stacked”, one on top of each other on large, folded pull-out sheets.

why I ottobre sew a straight line-7why I ottobre sew a straight line-8

You need to trace out the pattern you want, following color-coded lines for each design. It can get really confusing at first. Also, the instructions are usually much more abbreviated than what you find from independent designers, and even a bit less detailed than the Big Five pattern companies. You rarely get illustrated instructions.

why I ottobre sew a straight line-6

Ottobre includes a section with some trickier-to-explain techniques that are illustrated, that all the designs using those same techniques will refer to. But overall, don’t expect many pictures to help you along the way. I have found that I like to use sewing technique books when I sew, anyway, no matter what patterns I use. I use a fashion design textbook that covers pretty much any and every sewing technique I’ll ever run across, explaining how the fashion industry does things. If I run into something I don’t understand in my magazine, or any pattern at all, I refer back to that book.

why I ottobre sew a straight line-5

But being so abridged and condensed is also an advantage. Not only is the pattern magazine fitting more patterns for you into each issue, but it makes things much easier for you to store. I store, in magazine form, literally hundreds of patterns in the same space I can fit maybe a dozen printed PDF patterns, or a few dozen enveloped patterns. I trace the patterns onto thin tracing paper, then store the magazines, the pull-out pattern pages, and my traced patterns all together in gallon-sized, zip-top bags. I save on shelf space and the hassle with my magazines.

why I ottobre sew a straight line-2
Hundreds of Ottobre patterns in one-foot box
vs
A few dozen PDFs in two-foot drawer unit
 why I ottobre sew a straight line-1

I have a large collection of patterns: enveloped, PDF downloads, magazine. I sew from them all, and each have their advantages. Though I have favorites in all mediums, the magazine patterns win out overall because of how easy they are to store and find individual patterns, the variety of items to sew and the current trends they follow, the inspiration and enjoyment I get out of looking through them, and the sheer amount of patterns I get for my money. And when I no longer feel I need my pattern magazines, I know I can sell them on eBay for a pretty decent price.
a*tie is self-drafted

If you want to see a lot of what I’ve sewn my kids from Ottobre (I haven’t documented all of it), you can start scrolling back from here, or type in “Ottobre” into my search on the margin of my blog, Sew a Straight Line.  Though the search doesn’t pull them all up, you still will see quite a few and can link to the Ottobre tag at the bottom of a post to see them all. There are quite a few! Also, all the pictures of clothing in this post are all Ottobre, everything tops to bottoms (unless otherwise noted). Click on a picture and it should take you to my post of that specific item with information on which issue each came from.

sewing for kindergarten sew a straight line-14

Thank you for having me, Dana and Sew Thrifty Readers.  Happy sewing!

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I, too, am a HUGE fan of Ottobre! While I haven’t sewn them up as much as Sabra, I love the cost savings, the styles, the sizes offered, and my kids love looking through the magazine with me. Have you considered purchasing Ottobre or have you sewn their patterns? I’d love to see and be inspired!

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

5 Ways to Get FREE Patterns: Savings Made by Sewing {Patterns}!

I don’t really have a problem buying a pattern, but lately I’ve been a bit more intentional when I do purchase one with my own money. However, there are so many ways to score free patterns, that I just have to share those with you today!

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

5 Ways to Sore FREE Patterns, Savings Made by Sewing {Patterns} | A Series to Help you Save Money Sewing | Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}{This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the links noted by an *, I will receive some compensation if you purchase something.}

1. Google/Pinterest

I wish there was a catch-all place for all the free sewing patterns in the world. There’s not. But, many crafters have made HUGE collections on Pinterest. Mine are here: baby’s, girl’s, boy’s, unisex, women’s. And then there’s tutorials too (which sometimes include patterns): baby’sgirl’s, boy’s, women’s, and housewares. There’s thousands (millions?) of tutorials on sewing tips to help you learn how to create your own pattern or hack a pattern or alter a pattern.

2. Subscribe to emails

Some pattern designers offer a free pattern when you subscribe to their newsletter or join their Facebook group. Others have sneak peaks or alert you when a new free pattern is available. My favorites are: Melly Sews, Brindille and Twig, Shwin and Shwin, and Maria Denmark.

3. Pattern test

Can I tell you how much I love pattern testing!? You definitely have to work for these potentially free patterns, but in my case, it has been worth it. A designer is getting ready to launch a new pattern, but they need to make sure it will fit all shapes, sizes, and age ranges.  That’s where pattern testers come in! They send out a call for testers and indicate the requirements: a time frame (usually a week), fabric requirements/suggestions, sizes needed, photographs needed, and experience required. Every tester call is unique, so be sure to read what the designer is looking for before signing up! I have been fortunate enough to test two patterns over the past two months. And I have missed some really great patterns as well, but I don’t let that stop me from continually looking and being ready for another tester call!

If you’re interested in being a tester, check out designer’s Facebook group and (if you sew for boys) the Sewing for Boys group, which is where I hear about most pattern tester calls.

Gumnut Dress by Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}
Gumnut Dress testing, pattern by WIllow & Stitch
4. Blog

As I have become a blogger, I have connected with pattern designers who are looking for sewing bloggers to showcase their new pattern. Or I have joined on a tour highlighting an eBook or pattern. Now, you may not want to be a blogger, but I want to be honest in that I have received quite a few free patterns since I started blogging. Now, that all comes with the “price” of promoting their product. For me, I only sign up for patterns and tours that I truly do like anyway. And, I’m not blogging for the sole purpose of receiving patterns, believe me! But, if you’ve considered blogging about your craft, that is one way to get some free patterns.

5. Ask for gifts

Everyone knows I love sewing. And that’s all I do besides chase after my kids and feed them all day. So, when it comes time for my birthday, Christmas, and Mother’s Day or Monday (hint hint…hubby, want to get me a random gift? ), they know they can give me something sewing-related. Or come make dinner and clean. So, they usually stick with something crafty. Sometimes they ask for specific ideas, and other times I get so excited about something I might be a bit too bold and ask for it myself. Ok, that may have happened on more than one occasion. I mean, they were going to buy me a gift, and I just needed to let them know that you can only buy Pattern Anthology at certain times!

Other patterns I’ve received as gifts from friends and family are from books and magazines: Sewing for Boys*Reinvention*Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders*Growing Up Sew Liberated*, and Ottobre.

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

How do you score free patterns? Or would you rather invest in a good pattern? Or do you make your own?

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You won’t want to miss tomorrow with our first guest on patterns – Sew a Straight Line! She’ll show you how to get patterns for just 67 cents!

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

Eight Reasons to Invest in a Pattern

Today I’m going to talk about investments. Not the hardcore financial kind with stocks and bonds and all that. No, today I’m going to share with you my secrets to investing…in patterns!

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

As a beginnner seamstress, I rarely bought patterns. I relied on websites offering free patterns or tutorials on how to make my own pattern. Even now I still frequent free pattern sites like Melly Sews, Shwin and Shwin and others to see if something free will work before I invest in a pattern.

However, there are many good quality patterns out there that are worth having. How do you know if it’s right for you? And when should you invest your money?

{Note: I have purchased (or was gifted) all but one of the patterns recommended in this post. I am getting no kickback or benefits from these recommendations – I just love these patterns!}

Here are 8 reasons why I invest in a pattern (for kids):

1. It’s unisex.

If you have boys and girls, it’s great to have a pattern you can use for both, right? I have 1 boy and 2 girls, so I’m definitely in the category of needing patterns for both. Even if you only have boys or girls, chances are you have opportunities to sew for the other gender – nieces, nephews, grand-kids, friends, gifts, etc. My favorites right now are the Bimaa and Mini Hudson Pant.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}1. Upcycled Bimaa by Sew Thrifty  2. Bimaa Bimaa Bimaa by Sew a Straight Line

MiniHudsons1. Mini Hudson Pant by True Bias 2. Mini Hudson Pant by True Bias

2. It covers a wide range of sizes.

Kids grow. Fast! If you plan on making their wardrobes over the years, you’re going to need patterns that will fit them as they grow. Many patterns are offered through age 8, but there are some out there that span from toddler to teen. My favorites right now are several from Fishsticks Designs. Most of her patterns range from 12 months to 14 years!!

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} photos by Fishsticks Designs1. Downtown V-Neck 2. Hide ‘n Go Seek Hoodie both by Fishsticks Designs

And please tell me I’m not the only one out there who purchases a pattern and never gets around to using it until 2 years later. Anyone…? Bueller?  Well, if the pattern has a wide range of sizes, then I know I’ll get a chance to sew it up for my child, even if it’s not the same year I purchased the pattern.

3. It offers several pattern variations.

There are two huge benefits to pattern variations.  The first is obvious – the same pattern can give you totally different looks. I enjoy making my kids’ wardrobe varied. Plus, I get a bit bored making the same thing over and over. If the pattern already has built-in variations (short sleeve/long sleeve, square pockets/round pockets, zipper/no zipper), the second and third sews can be quite easy, but also fun to try one of the other variations.

The second benefit is that you can use the same pattern over and over again. This benefit is great since you know the fit of the pattern and can whip out some quick clothes without having to trace and cut new pattern pieces each time! My current favorites with loads of variation are the Recess Raglan and Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts and Skate Pants.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} Photo  of Recess Raglan, pattern by See Kate Sew8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} Photo of Fishsticks Designs' Sand and Sidewalk Board Shorts

1. Recess Raglan by See Kate Sew 2. Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts and Skate Pants by Fishsticks Designs

4. It provides good instructions and photos.

This one may be hard to know, but can be vital if you’re a new(ish) sewer. Step-by-step directions on the pattern is key to learning how to sew. Unless you already know how to do something or search for videos, it may be difficult to sew up a garment without step-by-step instructions.

If the pattern designer is new or you’re not sure what the pattern looks like before purchasing, you might not be able to answer this one. However, there are numerous Facebook groups, Etsy reviews and other places that you can check to ask others’ opinions of a specific pattern. Some pattern designers offer blog tours of their pattern, and you can read reviews from bloggers and see many variations of the same garment. Since those bloggers have received the pattern free, their review may be tainted slightly.

Gumnut Dress by Sew Thrifty {www.sewthrifty.org}Gumnut Dress by Sew Thrifty; pattern by new designer Stitch and Willow

Another great way to test out a pattern designer and get a feel for the way they make patterns is to use some of their free patterns (if available). Many designers offer free patterns as they get started, and others offer them only in one size. Those free patterns may not fit your exact need, but it will give you an idea about how the designer walks you through their patterns.

5. You’re going to make multiple versions of it.

It’s a bit expensive to spend $8 on a pattern if you only plan on making one item based off that pattern. However, the same can be said even if you only spend $1! Be sure you want to make multiples of the garment before purchasing a pattern.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}1. Colorblocked Tank by Sew Thrifty 2. Alligator Tank by Sew Thrifty

And don’t limit yourself to just the pattern and its variations. There are so many ways to hack a pattern. My favorite pattern is the Bimaa and I loved hacking it for spring.

6. It’s timeless.

You’ll never catch me purchasing super trendy things. I’m not particularly trendy in the first place, so you might discount this recommendation, but I like to know I can sew an item for my first child and for my last (and who knows how far apart they will be?). I won’t purchase a pattern for something really trendy, because I just don’t see the value in using it over time. There are so many great patterns that fit the timeless description, but my recent favorite is Heidi and Finn’s Slouchy Cardigan.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Patter {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}Slouchy Cardigans by twelve2; pattern by Heidi & Finn

7. It’s something you can’t figure out on your own.

This one is huge for me. I’ve been sewing for 7 years, but I’m definitely still not advanced. I’m beginning to learn how to adjust patterns and this year have actually made my first pattern available for public! But there are many things I’ve never done and just don’t want to waste my time trying to figure out. That’s why people are pattern designers, right?! If it involves zippers, linings, or an advanced technique I’m not familiar with, I’ll be buying a pattern rather than figuring it out on my own.

8 Reasons to Invest in a Pattern {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org} pattern by Fishsticks Designs1. Self-drafted trainers by Sew Thrifty 2. The Little Fishies Undies by Fishsticks Designs

Or perhaps there’s something you want to make, but don’t want to waste time on trying to get the right fit. This past spring I was working on making my daughter some cloth trainers. I made a few pairs based off her underwear and diapers, but I just couldn’t get the fit right. Luckily, I was using scraps and used fabric, so I wasn’t wasting anything, but it took a great deal of time. Then my friend mentioned, “Wouldn’t it save you more money (and time) in the long run to just buy a pattern you know already has the right fit?” Well, yeah! So, I did. And now I have an underwear pattern that I can use for the rest of my children’s lives. It’s the The Little Fishies Undies by Fishsticks Designs. And I love it!

8. It’s on sale!

Ha, you knew I was going to mention something about saving money, right?! But don’t just buy a pattern because it’s on sale. I can’t tell you how many times people tell me they stocked up at certain fabric stores when they have their big $1 pattern sales. And then never open the pattern, and it begins to clog their drawers. Hey, if you’re going to sew it up, by all means get ten $1 patterns. But I’d rather buy one $10 pattern knowing I’ll make it multiple times because it’s a great pattern, and I’m comfortable with it than a whole bunch of $1 patterns.

 

But, if I just haven’t convinced you to invest in a good pattern, check out these great links for hundreds of free patterns:

For Babies | For Kids | For Girls | For Boys | For Women

Did I miss anything? Why do you purchase the patterns you do?

Eight Reasons to Invest in a Pattern was originally posted by Sew Thrifty.