5+ Tips for Saving Money on Sewing Supplies



This post was originally shared on Sew Thrifty. I’ve decided to “bring home” the post and update it with a couple more related tips.

5+ Tips for Saving Money on Sewing Supplies

1.      If you’re on the hunt for a sewing machine, whether new or vintage, doing your research is probably the most important tip out there.

While you’re looking for a machine you may come across what seems like a fantastic deal on a sewing machine that turns out really was too good to be true. Here are a few links to get you started:

Consumer Reports – Sewing Machine Guide

Vintage Singer manuals

International Sewing Machine Collectors Society

Vintage Singer treadle.
I bought this vintage treadle machine through a local garage sale Facebook group for just $40 CDN. Came in a gorgeous cabinet and has a puzzle box full of attachments! (Just missing the treadle and pedal though)


2.      After you’ve done a bit of research, check out online sites like Craigslist, Freecycle and eBay.

As well, search for yardsale/garage sale groups on Facebook for your area as well as destash fabric groups if you’re looking for fabric. People don’t always have the time to hold garage sales and will sell their items online instead. You can often find people destashing fabric, supplies and sewing machines in these groups for good prices.

Also, check garage sales and estate sales. If it’s garage sale season, it might be worth your while to spend some Saturday mornings going around to garage sales. I’ve found fabric and buttons in the past for good deals. Along that vein, my hubby once found a sewing machine with a table out by the curb once.

Check out thrift shops for fabric and machines. The local Value Village has a small fabric section and the prices there are good. I once found 4 meters uncut of vintage (late 70s) cotton woven fabric for just $3. The clothing they sell is overpriced (like really, why would I buy that slightly stained used kids’ Walmart brand tee for $5 when I can get it brand new on sale for $3?!) but the fabric is a good deal.

3.      Repurpose.

I often cut up my now too big tops and pants to make clothing for my girls. I don’t just use the fabric, I also remove the zippers, buttons and any other embellishments to be reused for other projects.

upcycled projects
Some projects I’ve done using upcycled fabrics and notions.

4.      Keep an eye on the remnant bin at your fabric shop.

At my store they will sometimes put together these small packages of notions for cheap. They might include packages of buttons that are missing one or two, a package of twill tape that was opened. Basically things they can’t sell at full price anymore. They also have remnant fabric for sale and often times for a very good price. Even better is when my local store has an extra sale of 3 remnants for $5, sometimes the remnant is nearly a full meter!

5.      Become a member of your local fabric store.

Many stores offer special discounts for members and/or will even have member-only sales. Sometimes there is a small yearly fee for membership but it might be worth it if you make lots of fabric purchases.

6.    Use a laser printer (and this hack!)

If you’re printing out patterns, you know that you’re going to go through lots of paper and ink! The best value for ink is of course using a laser printer in black toner only. (The downside being of course that you can only print in black and white). But did you know that the toner light goes on long before you actually run out of toner? Yep, until I discovered this website with their simple trick of resetting the printer I was going through at least 3 toner cartridges a year. At about $50 CDN each, that adds up fast! Now it takes a year to finish one! (Luckily I hadn’t sent the older cartridges all back to Brother yet!) This ‘hack’ works only on Brother monochrome printers though. If you have a different brand you might want to try googling “reset cartridge” and your printer name.

Have fun! I hope these tips help you out!

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link to image credit in cover photo: Damian Gadal //cc

I bought this vintage treadle online through a local garage sale Facebook group.

Ula writes for Lulu & Celeste
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