I was surfing the web recently, on the lookout for good ideas, when I saw someone’s blog about sewing in which she stated that sewing is not a frugal hobby. On the surface, no it’s not. Under the surface of things, however, it can be very economical. I’ve saved my family quite a bit of money on clothing.
For those interested, here’s what I’ve learned in six years of sewing:
Get on the mailing list for Jo Ann Fabrics if one is near you. There is always a 40% off coupon to be used, they come about every two weeks, and they keep you informed of what sales you can take advantage of.
Patterns purchased at regular price are mostly $11.00 and up (Vogue is around $20). Jo Ann’s often has $1.99 or $0.99 sales. Flip though the catalogs when you have time to do so, making a wish list as you go. Write down whose pattern it is (Simplicity, McCalls, etc), the number (that’s how they’re filed), and what the pattern is of (shirt for yourself, dress for oldest daughter, etc). When you find them on sale, you have your list and can take full advantage. Keep the list in your purse or wallet.
Have a wish list of what you want to make and how much yardage each item needs (you don’t have to already have the pattern – you can copy that info down). Next cruise the clearance aisle and keep going through it occasionally. Again to Jo Ann’s (my main source) mailers, the clearance fabric goes an additional half off every few sale cycles. I’ve gotten material for as little as $1.00 per yard. Be patient while watching the clearance aisle as well. A few years back I found a Christmas green velvety fabric with gold swirls which I knew my young girls would love. Original price was $16.00 per yard. Waiting for a half off in the clearance aisle got it down to $4.00 per yard, and being 60 inches wide, one yard was plenty for each skirt I made – with ruffles.
If you need to make something now, buy the fabric on sale or with a coupon. Only pay full price when you need to.
With thread, use a coupon if your fabric was on sale, or head to WalMart or a similar store. Be aware that a store like WalMart will not have anywhere near the selection of a fabric store, so basic colors are the best to get there.
If you think ahead and use patience, you can save a lot sewing for yourself. For me, it’s also a relaxing activity so I benefit twice from it. If you’ve never sewn, ask around and you’ll probably be able to find someone you know who is willing to help you get started.