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#1 of 28 Old 12-30-2008, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there a way to find low cost fabric for sewing? I'm new the sewing world and have started to price fabric. The cheapest I've seen is around $5.99/yard and that seems very expensive to me, especially for a beginner who expects to mess up occasionally. I'd love to know if there is a cheaper way that I may be missing.

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#2 of 28 Old 12-30-2008, 10:08 AM
 
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Do you have a Jo-Ann's or Hancocks nearby? They often offer 50% off or more on their fabric. Jo-Ann's has a huge clearance section and they often knock 50% off the clearance prices during their big sale weekends. If you hit that up you can get quite a selection & variety of fabrics for $2 or $3 a yard.

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#3 of 28 Old 12-30-2008, 10:32 AM
 
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My favorite place to get fabric is the red tag section of JoAnn's. Just this past weekend I bought 8 yards of assorted cotton prints and spent under $20.

I also look at thrift stores and garage sales for yard goods. I have a fun collection of vintage fabrics going right now. : If you can negotiate, you can often get the garage sale fabric for a dollar a yard or less.
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#4 of 28 Old 12-30-2008, 12:33 PM
 
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Plus, if you sign up to get JoAnn's flyers in the mail, they always have a 40% off coupon which you can use for one cut of fabric.
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#5 of 28 Old 12-30-2008, 12:47 PM
 
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I second the Joann's w/coupon suggestions.

I've also found some interesting fabric at our local charity thrift shop for really cheap. A lot of the time they are sheets or curtains I might not make fancy clothes or gifts from them, but they've been great for kids playclothes or housewares or even just for practice.

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#6 of 28 Old 12-30-2008, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. I did visit the Joann's in town yesterday. I visited Hancock over this past weekend. Hancock had the cheapest prices but I had no idea what to buy at the time. I'm all new to this.

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#7 of 28 Old 12-30-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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Thanks everyone. I did visit the Joann's in town yesterday. I visited Hancock over this past weekend. Hancock had the cheapest prices but I had no idea what to buy at the time. I'm all new to this.
I personally have trouble buying fabric without a specific project in mind- except for the interesting looking thrift finds.

Maybe you could find one project to start with and just buy the amount you need for that project. As you get more accomplished you'll know what fabrics work for what projects and you'll be able to buy 'in advance' when you see something you like.

What kinds of things are you looking to sew? Maybe we could point you in the right direction!

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#8 of 28 Old 12-30-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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Don't forget to check the remenants bins. I often find ends of cordoury large enough to make bags for $1 or 2.

Thrifted sheets are a great source of inexpensive fabric and can often be excellent quality for things like little girls dresses, bags, kitchen accessories, backing or linings for projects etc.

hth
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#9 of 28 Old 12-30-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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You should be able to find muslin and broadcloth for $1.99 or $2.99 regular price at most fabric stores and at walmart or such. Also I love http://www.dharmatrading.com for large amounts of white natural fabrics cheap.
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#10 of 28 Old 12-30-2008, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What kinds of things are you looking to sew? Maybe we could point you in the right direction!
I'm going to try and make a small blanket for my DD and maybe a small pillow to match. That's why I think I'll have to spend more on the fabric I choose. I want to choose a cute design for her.

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#11 of 28 Old 12-30-2008, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You should be able to find muslin and broadcloth for $1.99 or $2.99 regular price at most fabric stores and at walmart or such. Also I love http://www.dharmatrading.com for large amounts of white natural fabrics cheap.
I tried one Walmart in town over the weekend and that store had one little section dedicated to sewing. Hardly anything at all! No fabric, just a couple machines, scissors, thread. I couldn't believe it. I'm hoping the other Walmart in town has more to offer. They used to have a dept full of fabrics and other sewing needs. Hopefully it's still there! I plan to go by there this week and check it out.

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#12 of 28 Old 12-31-2008, 12:39 AM
 
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Our Walmart is in the process of getting rid of all their fabric :

That was always my cheap fabric source!

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#13 of 28 Old 12-31-2008, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our Walmart is in the process of getting rid of all their fabric :

That was always my cheap fabric source!
I hope that's not happening everywhere.

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#14 of 28 Old 12-31-2008, 09:35 AM
 
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Our Walmart is in the process of getting rid of all their fabric :

That was always my cheap fabric source!
I noticed two walmarts near me are fabric-less. Walmart really does have AWESOME fabric deals. The one here in Vegas isn't that great the lowest I find is 2.00-3.00 but in Florida they had a huge selection of dollar a yard fabric.
I really cant afford Joans, I make my clothes because I dont have money to buy new clothes, I use the cheapest fabric I can find.

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#15 of 28 Old 12-31-2008, 07:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
I hope that's not happening everywhere.
Two of the Wal-Marts in our town nixed their fabric departments, but the Wal-Mart in a smaller town about 10 miles away still has theirs.

Our JoAnn Fabrics sent out fliers in our community with coupons and the tag line was something to the effect of, "Wal-Mart is closing their fabric departments but we're still here."
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#16 of 28 Old 12-31-2008, 07:42 PM
 
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I'll be ticked if our Wal-Mart does that, as it's the only craft place in town! But since they just opened a Supercenter here, I doubt they will.

Another vote for checking the remnant bins! I'm always finding cute wovens & flannels & fleece pieces cheap!

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#17 of 28 Old 01-01-2009, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll be ticked if our Wal-Mart does that, as it's the only craft place in town! But since they just opened a Supercenter here, I doubt they will.
The supercenters in our town all switched over to very small sewing/craft sections. I just called the one on the other side of town this morning and they said they no longer sell fabric. They recently remodeled that store and sized down that department. So all three supercenters in my town got rid of the fabric and the majority of their sewing supplies. I have no idea why.

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#18 of 28 Old 01-06-2009, 02:23 PM
 
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Thrift stores. One XXL dress has several yards of fabric in it, enough to make several things for a child.
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#19 of 28 Old 01-06-2009, 04:37 PM
 
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Thrift store sheets or tablecloths are a great source of cheap material.

If you're just starting out though, I'd recommend buying the cheapest muslin you can find for practice. Be aware that muslin comes in widths from 24 inches to 120 inches, so take that into account. But it's great to practice stitching straight, following a curved line, etc. Use a dark thread on it to see what you're doing better.

Definitely check out the remnant bins at Joanns. I always find at least one thing to buy, and they're usually at least 50% off regular price. They're relatively small pieces, but for just starting out, that's okay. My first rule for fabric is 100% cotton, so pretty much if it's cotton and in the remnant bin, I buy it. I was bummed when our local Joanns closed, but my husband was thrilled (he's been trying to find storage solutions for my stash).

We also have a discount fabric store here. Kind of like a Grocery Outlet for fabric. You can never count on finding something in particular, but there's always something interesting and cheap. Look around and see if you have anything like that around you. Also keep an eye on Freecycle and Craigslist for people de-stashing - just be sure it's a non-smoking house or the fabric will reek.

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#20 of 28 Old 01-06-2009, 08:03 PM
 
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Yup, get on the preferred customer list at JoAnns, then, if you want to make a blanket/pillow with specific prints. You will get coupons to use on one cut of fabric. you can use one coupon, wait a few weeks, and use the next, and have gotten a deal on the fabric for your entire project.

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#21 of 28 Old 01-06-2009, 09:04 PM
 
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often times thrift shops have cheap curtains or table cloths that can be cut up for fabric

I agree w/ the pp about signing up for a joanns sale flyer. you get great coupons & will know about the sales ahead of time. I NEVER pay full price for fabric at joanns.

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#22 of 28 Old 01-08-2009, 04:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
I'm going to try and make a small blanket for my DD and maybe a small pillow to match. That's why I think I'll have to spend more on the fabric I choose. I want to choose a cute design for her.
I made all of the kids a small crib size blanket out of clothes they out grew. It was nice cuz I sit there and remember when they wore a shirt/pants. that are now squares.

Doing what I can to make better choices every day!
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#23 of 28 Old 01-10-2009, 11:58 PM
 
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for practice fabric, i buy or sometimes get it for free used bedsheet from thrift store they are similar to sewing woven aka cotton without stretch fabric. i still do this before cutting into some of my expensive fabric, do a mock up of the real thing first to ensure fit and to see if i like it.

for stretchy fabric, i know some ppl are sensitive with the whole wal mart issue, but i found stretchy fabric, not necessarily my colour choice but they were for $1/meter (that is 1 yard +4 extra inches). they are great practise fabric.

now for clothing, for myself i personally go from $4.99 a meter and up, i havent paid more than $8/meter cause then its not really my goal aka create hip clothing without paying a high price. for the kids, i look in remnant bins of fabric store or even buying XXL adult tshirt from thrift store for dirt cheap and i can upcycle that into 2 tshirt for DS.
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#24 of 28 Old 01-15-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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For smaller projects, check the remnant bins at the stores. Usually they discount the fabric and sometimes there is even a whole yard in the remnant. I have found some cute and cheap things that way. I like to make dresses for my little girl, appliques, and doll clothes and that is the perfect size for making stuff like that.

I noticed Walmart is not carrying fabric at at least one of our local stores too. That sucks!

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#25 of 28 Old 01-16-2009, 09:30 PM
 
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I just ordered my first batch of fabric recently from J Caroline Creative [dot com]. The regular stuff on the site isn't cheap, but the sale stuff is. It's a varied selection of fabric, traditional and mod/funky stuff, including some Amy Butler, some as low as $4.00 a yard. For the fancy stuff, that is dirt cheap. The only fabric stores near me are boutique types that start at $12 a yard.

Great customer service too. They only had a limited supply of one of my original choices and I got an email right away asking if I still wanted what was left.
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#26 of 28 Old 01-18-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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I have a total love/hate affiar with joanns, but I continue to browse their clearance sections. I hate that they have very little good fabric for clothes, imo. but maybe thats just the joann's here. plus the whole prop 65 warning in front of some of the fabrics scare me. (for those of you who don't know, prop 65 in california says that they have to say when a chemical is present in a location or product that is known to cause cancer or birth defects. usually refers to lead, I beleive it refers to formaldehyde in certain fabrics however. Scary!!!)

And any time I ever go into a fabric store, I make sure to check out the remnants bins, as sometimes some really fantastic deals can be had (though usually never more than a yard or two. still, that can be used for lots of things.)

My big thing is that I make almost EVERYTHING first in muslin, at least when it comes to clothes. Muslin costs about 1.50 a yard (or sometimes 2.00), and that way, I can make sure the pattern fits me, and I know what I'm doing, without wasting expensive fabrics on mistakes

Remenants bins remnants bins remanats bins is really all I can say. I once got 1 3/4 yards of japanese cotton damask in a roses and stems on cream print (gorgeous!!) that retails at 26 dollars a yard, for 3.50 a yard!! of course, I've been so scared to mess it up that I still haven't made it into the apron I plan to, but I'm picking patterns for it now.

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#27 of 28 Old 01-19-2009, 12:49 AM
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subbing... I just got a sewing machine for Christmas and today make my first trip to JoAnn's... I was shocked at the prices of fabric. I love these ideas, ladies!! :thank you:

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#28 of 28 Old 01-19-2009, 04:53 PM
 
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Right now at the Hancocks in my area all of their cotton fabric is 40% off, and they're fleece is 30% off. Also, they patterns on sale for as low as $1 (the one I got for $1 is normally $12). You just have to watch for when things go on sale.

Also, if you have a hobby lobby near by they sometimes have fabric on sale. Usually most of theirs is around 6/yard, but I've gotten some for 50% off or more; you really have to watch here though, b/c everytime I've seen it on sale it only lasted a day or two and it's pretty far between the next sale.


ETA: does anyone know of a good place online to buy fabric? It seems like I can never find anything that has a large selection that's not outrageous in prices.
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