Tag Archives: saving money

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

Savings Made by Sewing: Sewing CAN Save You Money!

Have you ever wondered whether sewing can save you money? Or perhaps you’re not a sewer, but you are looking for new ways to save some money. This month on Sew Thrifty, bloggers have come together to share their successes, tips, and advice on how sewing can save money!

Savings Made by Sewing, a series  to show you ways to save money while sewing {Sew Thrifty | www.sewthrifty.org}

Saving money sewing has been a topic recently brought up by many bloggers lately. Check out these awesome resources here
and here for saving on fabric, notions, and patterns.  There are general tips for those leery about whether sewing can save money here, here, here, and here. Additionally, several bloggers have done cost comparison of store-bought clothes versus sewn clothes and store-bought toys versus handmade toys. And for those new seamstresses out there, one blogger posted advice on buying a budget sewing machine. Plus, this blogger conducted a poll to see how well people save while sewing and admitted her own budget sewing successes and failures.

That’s a lot of great resources already and you’re about to have 15+ more tips and tricks to save you money. Have I convinced you yet that sewing is the way to go?

At the beginning of each week, I’ll start us off with some of my tips and ideas on each of the topics and then hand it over to the other experts in the field of sewing and saving. Throughout the month, if you have questions, chime in! Leave a comment with your questions, suggestions, or ways you’ve saved (or not saved) money while sewing.

I hope you’ll join us this month; there are some amazing bloggers contributing to this series, so be sure to check them out!

Savings Made by Fabric

July 6: Save on Fabric by Sew Thrifty

July 7: Feather’s Flights

July 8: Mabey She Made It

July 9: Phat Quarters

July 10: Vicky Myers Creations

Savings Made by Patterns

July 13: Save on Patterns by 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

Savings Made by Supplies

July 20: Save on Supplies by Sew Thrifty

July 21: Bernina Representative

July 22: Pretty Practical

July 23: Finn’s Door

July 24: Lulu and Celeste

General Saving Tips

July 27: Saving tips for Sewing by 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 {Sew Thrifty| www.sewthrifty.org} Great tips for saving money and sewingGet ready for the awesomeness to begin next week! Or come visit me on Pinterest to see all the ideas I’ve collected on sewing and saving or check out some free patterns or tutorials.

Savings Made by Sewing: Sewing CAN Save You Money! was originally posted by Sew Thrifty