So, you've got a sewing addiction. That is why you popped over, no? Honesty can be the first step in recovery. *Shhhh, though* This article isn't about recovery. It's about...finding your next fix...on a budget! *ahem.*
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "addiction" as:
compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful
Let's begin by talking openly about addiction and start by replacing the elicit drugs in the dictionary definition with something more soothing such as the likes of: drapey lawn linen, organic cotton voile, or a few yards of a silky charmeuse. I am almost sure vintage Vogue patterns, antique lace, and beautiful jacquard ribbons, could sooth even the edgiest of cravings. But please do jump in if your preferred *fix* isn't just listed out right here.Perhaps we can bend the rules a little about that harmful part. Does spending hours on those narrow rolled hems and leaving late for appointments count as disruptive? Does cutting patterns take the place of cutting carrots for dinner? Does an obsession that overtakes bathroom breaks, favorite TV shows, and vital sleep count as an...addiction?
So, you've got a sewing addiction, and one that requires cash on a regular basis. It's a habit you've have a hard time kicking. So let's start kicking it now. (I mean kick the "requires cash" part, not the sewing addiction. Does this mean I'm an enabler?)
For starters, I'm sorry; I don't have time to scour the Internet looking for the best sales at 13 on-line outlets. I don't have time to cut all the coupons for the local stores nor rack up "frequent, preferred, VIP, elite, gold-member, buyer" points, for a $5 coupon off my 300th order.
I do have time for these few tactics which are usually how I get my cheap fabric fix. Do I come away with the most gorgeous this-season print hot off the line? No, most certainly not. Are any of these easy-peasy methods? No, some take time going through the racks, weeding out the bad stuff, the ugly stuff, and the no-way-under-the-sun stuff. But some of these adventures are way more interesting than cutting coupons and I can almost always come away with some fine fabrics, ribbons and notions I feel confident will feed my need.
**These ways may not all be applicable to you. And please use these methods with caution. A sewing addiction is nothing to play around with.**
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Community SalesYard sales, church sales, estate sales, rummage sales, garage sales...do you notice a trend here?
Salvation Army, Goodwill, Unique, thrift stores...look for big yardage in the form of linens, curtains, bedding, towels, etc. Sometimes I find kits, notions, and regular yardage here too.
A Sewer You Know
Mom, your aunt, your grandmother...who ever in your family, or circle of friends, likes to sew and is willing to share. My mom first sewing teacher. 40+ years of sewing; yeah has lots to share! *Ask first!*
The Closet of Someone You Know
My husband's closet. Shirt has a hole? Pants aren't in style any more? Make corduroy pants for a toddler. Make a hoodie vest for a four year old. A hint here; it helps to have a larger husband. Also request permission before you take.
Bedding and Linens
A discount sale in the bedding/curtain/table linen aisle of Walmart, Target, Bed-Bath and Beyond, Ross, Marshalls...and any other department store with a good selection of woven cotton prints. Remember to look for quality and thread count here!
Did you know you can request items in addition to offering them?
Wanna know how these work? This thread does a great job explaining. Some posts in the thread say that the discounts aren't all that good after shipping and cutting fees and waiting months for your order, and I agree to an extent. However, from personal experience, I've found I can get fabrics like PUL from a co-op that I can't get from my local JoAnns. Or anywhere else retail in my area for that matter.
Discount Fabric Stores
My favorite store in New Hampshire is actually called Fabric Fix. They buy wholesale, sometimes discounted, from distributors and sell it all in their bare bones store front. You may have a strictly discount store near you.
Last Resort - Retail
If you can't resist those retail fabric stores, after-the-holiday-sales are your best bet to not get into some heavy budget trouble. Remember to venture in cautiously, with a coupon.
Keep your fabric fix healthy. Wash everything right when you get home. Use the hottest water allowable, dry it, press it, fold it neatly, and stash it.
The next time the sewing monster in you gets itchy and needs to bust out, peruse your stash and make something for charity, or something to give away, or a gift that says simply, "thank you kind person!" Or yes, you can make something for yourself too!