Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sewing Tips for Tuesday: How to buy fabric on the cheap

I have family members and friends who are amazed (or shocked) at how much fabric I truely own. Right now My fabric room is full and I have about 30 huge rubbermaid containers full out in a shed! A few years back, I hit a deal - the motherload so to say. I went to an estate sale and scored an entire 3 car garage FULL of fabric. It took two truck loads to transport all of it in garbage bags! I felt like I was rich that day, but truth being told...I paid $60 for the ENTIRE LOT!! No coupon at Joanns would have helped me purchase that! So I thought I would list some tips for those of you out there who want to score some good purchases of fabric.

Tip One: Buy used and shop around. I look everywhere for fabric and I usually find it. Some thrift stores keep it in with the linens and sheets if they have no place to put fabric. Some estate sales have fabric in the linen closet. Craigslist is always full of deals. I also subscribe to a local estate sale e-flyer. They take pictures of items in the sale and email them out. One way to look for fabric is to see if there are any sewing machines or notions in the picture. Don't forget yard sales as these are sometimes good deals too.

Tip Two: Buy the entire LOT! Ok, some of you are telling me that's not within your budget...well think again. I find that most people selling the fabric have no idea what it's worth is and secondly, they don't know how to sew! Most inherit the fabric and then WANT to get rid of it. So if you see some fabric at a yard sale..ask the question: "What would you take for ALL of it?" I always ask and then most of the time, I am pleasantly surprised at what the answer is. (Take for example the estate sale...I was thinking the guy wanted a few hundred for the lot and was prepared to buy it for just that...but he wanted to get rid of it and it was the last day of the sale! So $60 for him was what he expected to make just to get rid of it!!)

Tip Three: Ask around for fabric! I have friends at church who now know I sew for my family. In the past year, I have been blessed to have them hand me fabric at no cost because they didn't need/want it! Now granted, you never know what you get but I never seem to find a problem with having material to sew! And since the types of fabric I own are like the rainbow...I always seem to have material for each type of project.

Tip Four: Know a little about WHAT you are buying. (Ok, I probably should have mentioned this secondly as it is very important.) When you buy a lot of fabric - SORT THROUGH the piles. LOOK at the quality. Are their stains? Does the material have a smell or odor? Does the material look in good shape - no rips, etc.? I will say you do have to be careful and examine most of it before you buy. Bugs and other things can and will hide in fabric. This is the reason I bag fabric in trash bags first when I purchase them. If I feel I can wash the fabric with little or no problems - then I will ask the question. BUT if it doesn't look good, then it IS better to pass it up. No one wants bugs in their sewing room eating the fabric and causing issues in their homes. I also sort through the fabric on the porch before brining it into my home. I wash it and fold it, then insert it in my fabric room. This ensures I have no funky smells and more importantly no bugs!!

So that is my tip for today. Hope you are able to find more fabric for your stash. And always come back Sew Hungry For More.