Sewing your own clothing and home décor can save money if done wisely. Done without planning, however, sewing becomes just an expensive hobby. Follow these five tips for saving money on sewing supplies.
Buttons can be expensive if purchased by the card. Look for unusual buttons on thrift store or garage sale clothing. Recycle the buttons from worn clothing. If you need many buttons of one type, e.g. pearl buttons for bridal gowns, order in bulk bags from a dressmaker supplier.
Men’s dress shirts can be recycled into bias binding. The collars and cuffs wear out long before the rest of the shirt, so make use of the good fabric in the back of the shirt. Cut back of shirt off near side seams, sleeve seams and collar seam. Press flat. Lay fabric on cutting board and mark straight grain along one edge. Mark another line at a 45 degree angle to the grain line (true bias.) Draw lines parallel to the 45 degree line at two-inch intervals. Cut along the marked lines. Each shirt back yields enough bias binding for the armholes and neckline of a dress. This binding is more lightweight and flexible than standard packaged binding, often giving better results. Bias binding can also be cut from leftover dress fabric. Using matching bias to trim a dress gives a professional touch without added expense.
Zippers from gently worn clothing may be removed and recycled in a new project. Do not recycle worn zippers, however, since it is an effort to replace zippers-better to pay for a brand new one. Home Sew and Newark Dressmaker Supply offer grab bags of zippers in assorted sizes and colors so you can have some on hand if you do a lot of sewing. Rolls of zipper tape are also a good option, enabling the user to make zippers exactly the right length for each project.
Lace and Netting
Lace and netting are surprisingly durable, despite their delicate appearance. Using a single-edged razor blade or a surgical-style seam ripper, carefully remove lace trim from older formals and save for a future project. The netting in petticoats can be saved as well to be used for costumes or to make ruffled petticoats for little girl’s dresses.
Get on the mailing lists for your local fabric and craft stores. Many mailings include a 50% off coupon for a single item. Decide on the item you most need that month and use your coupon. Also watch for pattern specials. Once or twice a year certain brands of patterns may sell for a dollar each, so keep a list of patterns you like and wait to buy until the sale comes along.
Do more sewing and less spending using just these simple tips. Keep the fun, but lose the retail prices!