No Cost to Minimal Cost Solutions
Brand new fabric is sold by the yard. The fabric grain is easy to find by using the selvedge. Once you understand grain you can find the grain in fabric that is already made into a garment. Gowns are usually made of expensive fabric and worn once. The fabric will not show wear and there is a wealth of fabric in a used gown… usually sold for pennies on the dollar at thrift store. You can find the gain line in garments. The lengthwise grain runs the length of the garment. On a pair of pants the length wise grain runs parallel with the crease line. On a sleeve the grain line runs parallel with the length of the sleeve.
+Upholstery Shops, Furniture Stores And Factories
If you have any local sewing factories or upholstery shops, stop by or give them a call. Many will be more then happy to unload their scrapes and save themselves a few dollars on land fill costs.
Outdated fabric sample books are of no use to a furniture store yet the samples are large enough for many projects or can be combined to make an item. The black print purse shown here was made from upholstery samples with an order tag on them for $350 per yard. Making the purse from samples that would have been thrown away allowed me to have that purse for no fabric expense.
+Your Rag Pile
Do you think I’m reaching? What about the shirts that have a ripped sleeve? The back and front of the shirt are still like new but the elbow ripped, so the shirt went to the rag pile. Did you save all the buttons? Did you keep the front and back pieces of the shirt for appliqués and small projects. Did you save the pocket to put on a different garment? Never put buttons and zippers in the rag pile now that your children want to learn to sew. If you allow them to use the seam ripper, they can even do a bit of reverse learning in the process of removing the zipper.
+Good Will and Salvation Army Type Stores
We all know we can pick up clothing for a fraction of the cost, but have you ever explored the other possibilities?
-Gowns – a great source of velvet, satin, lace, beads, and trims for making doll clothes, sachets, or even a child’s dress.
-Fur Coats – Discarded coats are great for making stuffed toys as well as an economical source for trimming.
-Blankets and Bedspreads – Even with a few wear spots or pilling, these are a very economical way to obtain padding for pot holders and other padded projects.
-Shirts – Many times you’ll find shirts that are like new. Can you envision them with embellishment? Would the fabric they are made of be a perfect compliment or trim another project?
-Jeans – An economical source for worn denim.