The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

Hi

I'm fairly new at sewing and go to a sewing class which I love!!

I was just wondering where people get patterns and fabrics from to save money.  Ob as I'm new to sewing I don't have the patterns already and I don't have a fabric stash. And in my local area we have one shop that sells fabric but its aimed at upholstery fabrics - Not even a jersey in sight!!!

So I was just wondering what other people did!!!

Thanks for any help in advance!!!

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Hi, Sarah,
I find patterns, etc. at thrift stores, estate sales, and garage sales. I am lucky to live in a city with wonderful fabric stores, but I also purchase fabric online sometimes. Good luck!
I usually buy patterns during 99-cent sales at JoAnn or Hancock Fabrics. Most of my fabrics are hand-me-downs from my Mom/Grandma, from a local store (Fabrika, they sell online), or Fabric.com which is hard to navigate but sometimes has good deals and coupon codes.

I don't like to pay much money for anything, I just wait patiently for deals! Sometimes thrift stores have fabric too on occasion, as well as yard/estate sales and Craigslist finds.

99 cent sales at Hancock, Jo Anns, and Hobby Lobby are definitely the way to go with patterns.  They go on sale at these prices every month or so and I usually stock up then.  My city has a lot of fabric stores, but I can't really afford to shop at them as they're really pricey so I usually shop online.  I use Fabric.com, which has great sales, but as Aubrey mentioned, the site is hard to navigate.   

I'm gettingmy list ready for an assault on Hancock this morning! MLK day sale. I haven't found a cheaper source than a sale and a coupon!  I agree about fabric.com- great stuff, but hard to shop for me at least!

I love getting fabric and patterns from thrift stores. It will depend on the quality of thrift store in your area, and unless you are really really lucky you probably won't find silk or wool yardage, but you can get decent cottons, blends, and even the occasional jersey bedsheet. It does take some time to figure out which stores can be counted on for a well-stocked linens section, and patterns are even harder to find, but with a bit of sleuthing I manage to get most of my vintage patterns for less than $0.50 and yardage for less than $2/yd. Other than that, yeah, sales at Jo-ann's.

To be honest I didn't set out to have a stash, it just happens over time.... I think that you should buy the pattern you want and the fabric you want. You can get both very reasonably on the net, sale or not. If you buy one fabric you love and a pattern that inspires you that's better than loads of patterns and fabric you got cheap that you don't like that much, if you see what I mean.I have LOADS of patterns that I will never use - that isn't really a good thing!

I agree with all of the responses above. From thrifting to store sales, they're all great options. If you don't have these options available, you can always create your own patterns from existing garments. This is a great way for you to learn about clothing construction. For example, instead of throwing away or donating a well-fitting pair of pants, just remove the seams, iron the fabric out and trace onto sturdy paper. Make sure you take good notes when you deconstruct the garment so that you'll know how to put it back together. And mark your pattern pieces. There are lots of great tutorials on the internet. Just Google, "Creating patterns from existing garments".  And start off with something simple.  A pair of pants may not be the best place to begin if  you're just starting out (unless they have an elastic waistband), but a simple cotton short-sleeved shirt without buttons might be). And, don't worry about a fabric stash just yet.  Good fabric is like a magnet. Soon it'll be running out of your ears (smile). 

I buy vintage patterns from etsy and ebay - normally I have an idea of what kind of pattern I'm after, and just browse in search of the right one. Fabric I usually buy locally or occasionally on etsy/ebay (for the occasional yardage of vintage fabric), but as other posters have said you can buy from various sources online.

I agree with all the ladies here! I get all my patterns when they are on sale for $1 at Joanns and Hancock. I do believe you can order them online for that price when they are running the sale.

I also go to our thrift stores but I very rarely find anything worth a hoot, and when I do they are not my size :( (I buy them anyway to resize. On occasion they have some great fabric finds.

Happy sewing.

Thanks everyone I have a few idea's to try out!!!

I think I will just keep buying the pattern and fabric as I need it for now and my collection will grow!!! I have a simple lovely top pattern which I will def be making again.

The pieces I make at the moment I love and they take me ages to make!! I'm just about to start a lined jacket which is going to take ages!! Thankfully I have a great teacher!!!!

I trace most of my patterns from magazines like Burda which saves lots of money even if you buy them, but I get lot's of the magazines from my local libary so that saves some money too.

Hi Sarah - I'm in Essex and also struggle to find "proper" fabric shops nearby.  For the last couple of years I've been a regular visitor to local car boot sales, charity shops and also a few antique type craft fairs as often they have interesting fabric or sewing items.

You can get the Burda magazine in WH Smiths, and it always has loads of patterns each issue so very good value.  I also look for patterns in the charity shop.  If you have access to a printer it's also worth looking at burdastyle.com as there are a lot of free patterns if you can be bothered to print off the pages and stick them together!

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