7 Places to Find Cheap Sewing Supplies

7 Places to Find Cheap Sewing Supplies - If you are afraid to start sewing, because you think it is an expensive hobby--think again! Many of these places to find fabric are also eco-friendly and offer more beautiful, textured options than your local conglomerate craft store! #sewing #fabric #beginnersewing #sewingsupplies #haberdashery

Here are seven places where you can find inexpensive sewing supplies for your sewing stash! As anyone who loves to sew can tell you, collecting fabric and actually sewing that fabric are two totally different hobbies!

"I'm looking for a new blog to read--but not crafting or decor or gardening or anything--because I have no money. No mom stuff either, just something witty or something surprising."

Reading this post recently on one of the online groups I frequent, I found this statement a little bizarre.

Beyond not really offering any specifics on what she was actually looking for, the poster seemed to think that crafting, decor, and gardening are "expensive" hobbies. I suppose they certainly CAN be.

Glittering craft stores and online purveyors and designers of various haberdashery goodies can absolutely run up a bill, but these hobbies don't HAVE to accrue credit card debt!

Since sewing is obviously my personal jam, I wanted to show you that there are plenty of things I do to keep my budget on track. For the record--our family is very average! My husband works outside the home at a job he loves (thank goodness) and I am primarily a homemaker.

I garden, cook, clean, hang our laundry to dry, mend old clothes--or turn them into something else--raise backyard quail for meat and eggs, and mother my 3 and 5 year old kids.

This blog and my handmade shop are the only monetary supplements I bring to the house. Although most things I do save us money or directly provide food, that doesn't mean we have much left over at the end of the month.

Basically, this blog and my shop have to be self-sustaining--and then some for profit--so stretching the creativity to materials is just par for the course!

Funding small artists and businesses--which is always a good idea to do--can even be done by saving monies on simple supplies, so you can splurge on those patterns or zipper pulls you really want from a designer Instagram friend! Here are some fantastic ways to get started sewing that are perfectly affordable.

How to Save Money on Sewing Supplies

Grandma's Stash

Many of us have living grandmothers. Mine in particular loves to sew and quilt, but as her other family obligations keep her from the hobby she loved so much when she was younger, she's been purging her fabric stashes!

Since I'm the grandkid who also loves this pastime, I've been inheriting vintage fabrics and notions every few months from her. Many of the fabrics are starkly 1980s and 1990s folk red, cream and blue, pastel abstract, and bold jewel tones--not my usual fabric choices, but striking gold with this beautiful number:

means that I have nearly a bolt of fabric for all of my handmade dolls and textile art to travel to their new homes in!

If your relatives were not dedicated stitchers--never fear, hand-me-down clothes, table linens, curtains, and bed sheets can all be deconstructed and upcycled into useful, beautiful, and unique project fabric!

I did a quick tutorial on my Instagram about upcycling a bed sheet into bathroom curtains! I added a little embroidery (from my favorite embroidery and cross stitch book) and now have lovely, cottage-y half-curtains in my ultra-retro bathrooms (home renovations are taking a bit longer than just curtains I'm afraid 🙈).

Your Closet

Like mentioned above, many of us haven't Marie Kondo-ed our closets in a while. As much as I like watching "Tidying Up" to motivate myself to clean and organize--I'm a borderline hoarder.

I save old tea boxes, because they have beautiful art on them.

I save old glass bottles for turning into vessels to hold homemade elderberry syrup.

I save old peach jars for storing dry beans.

I save old jam jars for drinking glasses and left-over containers.

I save toilet paper rolls to make toys for my hamster.

And I save old clothes for fabric scraps!

You wouldn't know it from the outward projection of my family life growing up, but we were very house poor.

Everything was reused. Everything got a second, third, fourth life.

We got hand-me-down clothes from neighbors and cousins.

My dad fixed EVERYTHING--and what he couldn't fix he turned into something else.

I like to think the trait is inherited--but honestly--anyone can cultivate this habit! It saves money, it saves the planet, and it's FUN!

Having new things is also fun and special, but I get a piggy-bank shaped satisfaction from fixing something or making something myself.

This includes using a beautiful shirt I bought in France for making a nightgown for a handmade doll (because babies means my rib cage will never be that small again)!

Old velvet 1990s slip dresses become fabric mushroom caps.

Clean out your closet. In your "doesn't fit/out of style" pile--see the garments as fabric, not clothes.

Thrift Stores

I've found some great steals on actual yardage at some thrift stores (over 5 yards of tulle for a costume for $3!!), but beyond the bulk fabric section--many thrift stores don't even have these--there are other places to find great deals on fabrics.

First, check the bedding section. There will be vintage sheets, flat pillows, and old quilts. Cut these up for some larger yardage to make robes, curtains, flowing sun dresses, or recovering furniture.

Clothing like sweaters and old coats make great softies and plush animals and old costume jewelry is a great place to find interesting embellishments and buttons.

Linen and 100% quality cotton can be painfully expensive when purchased by the yard--not to mention it's stiff and smells like a manufacturing factory. All of the linen and quite a bit of the quality cotton you see in my projects on Instagram are from clothing I've purchased second hand (two suits-worth of linen for $6 a piece!). They are soft, worn-in, and usually just smell like washing detergent--much better!

It takes some hunting, but that makes the find more special.

7 Places to Find Cheap Sewing Supplies - If you are afraid to start sewing, because you think it is an expensive hobby--think again! Many of these places to find fabric are also eco-friendly and offer more beautiful, textured options than your local conglomerate craft store! #sewing #fabric #beginnersewing #sewingsupplies #haberdashery

Clearance Sections

Obviously, clearance sections and end-bolts at crafts stores are a good place to start your shopping trip. I've found some really wonderful cross stitch and gardening books in these sections too--plus you never know what kind of notions you might find!

Garage Sales

Another obvious place to look for deals is garage and estate sales. Again--old clothes may be an easier place to find fabrics than actual yardage, but that offers possibilities in it's own. Its like looking at a house--and hating the paint and linoleum floors--but once you see past the ugly cut of a shirt, and see the proverbial "bones of the house" your creative options are unlimited! 

Remember to check for curtains, sheets, and costume jewelry too!

Watch for Sales on Instagram

If you are an Etsy artist or Pinterest shopper--wanting all of the pretty, unique things--for all that is good and holy--follow those people on Instagram! Even if you're not crazy about using it yourself, the best shops, small businesses, artists, and handmade or small-batch sellers update and post sales on their Instagrams before anywhere else!

Etsy's constant changes and pandering to cheaper audiences also means legitimate handmade artists are leaving Etsy in droves to begin their own websites or find new places to sell their work (I know I'm on my way to this too). Instagram lets you follow the artist or seller directly--and they won't send you as many emails as conglomerate websites. They also give first-dibs of their best work and discounts to their social media followers!

Follow them, like their stuff, comment when you like it--otherwise the dreaded algorithms won't show you their best posts!

Go for Fat Quarters

I like small projects--if you couldn't tell--which means, I often don't need much fabric. Sometimes I see something that really speaks to me, and I'll buy yardage, but most of my stash is unprinted fabrics (muslin, faux suede, microfiber) or printed fat quarters--because I like more organic looking work than printed, but oh with quilted projects! 

Printed fat quarters are the way to go without braking the bank!

That's it! Those are how I stay under budget with my materials (and find some really unique supplies). I hope these help give you the confidence to get started sewing! Feel free to browse my pattern archives and start stitching with your savvy scores <3

Do you have any tips to add to this?



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