Here are some ways you can save money and supplies when sewing by reusing things you already have, along with general ideas to help you save time and money.
Sewing Ideas And Tips – Reusing What You Have
- Use a dust ruffle for a valance.
- Use flannel sheets for quilt backing or for batting.
- Flip your rotary blade over in its cutter instead of replacing it. You can get twice as much use out of it.
- Use old CD towers to store fat quarters.
- Cut down cat litter boxes to store magazines or patterns in. You can paint them or cover in fabric.
- Cut off the top of an old sock. Fold it down and slip on your wrist to use for a pin cushion.
- Use wide tongue depressors to wrap with ribbon and store.
- Necklace trees are great for hanging things like scissors, rotary cutter, tape measures.
- Use a Pringles lid for pin cushion. Cut a magnetic business card or something similar to the size of a Pringles lid. Glue or tape (double sided) it to the inside (lip side up) of a Pringles lid.
- Old hard suitcases make a great carry bag for sewing and crafting retreats.
- Don’t have a small ruler handy? Then use an emery board to mark diagonal lines on small squares and such.
General Sewing Ideas And Tips
- Use magnetic strips everywhere in your sewing room to hold sewing supplies (except, of course, on your sewing machine if it is computerized).
- How to get inexpensive blades (The last I checked they were 2 for $1.99 at Harbor Freight Store if you have one near you). Look in the section with carpet cutting tools. You may also want to check out other tool or hardware stores in their carpet cutting sections. I saved $5 per blade doing this. Same blades from the sewing store and they work great.
- If you like magnetic bowls for pins, check out an auto supply store. They have the same thing there for holding nuts and bolts, but at half the price of sewing stores.
I find that people will give you fabric if they know you are interested…my cousin has been working 2 jobs and decided she was too busy to quilt anymore. she gave me all the pieces and some were quite large, I won’t have to buy anything for quite a while.
also, high quality men’s shirts go for next to nothing at the thrift shop. they make really good squares and can be used for children’s clothing if you like.
There are many things around our home that I have re-purposed fabric for… I recovered some yard sale chairs with old curtain panels from my mom’s house. Our kitchen curtain is made from an old bed sheet. I’ve used old shirts to make curtains, too. One time this frugal trait didn’t end up so well–I accidentally used our good sheets to make pirate sleeves for a costume (whoops!).
But over all, re-purposing fabric has saved us a great deal of money. :)
That is too funny Mrs. D. Don’t feel bad though. I think we have all had a few of those whoops happen to us. : )
Hi Jill: along the lines of this sewing article, a LONG while ago I promised to let you know if those self threading needles really work. I got a package of 48 (I think from Harriet Carter catalogue)for about $6. I LOVE THEM. they have this strange U shape at the top. you just pull the thread down through that, you can feel it snap into place. the thread stays in the needle. since I have one eye nearsighted, and one farsighted, (I know, more than a little strange, LOL) these really helped me. They are pretty sturdy, too, none have bent yet. not sure they would work on heavy denim, but for everything else they were quite a winner….
Oh thanks Donna for letting me know. I really have been wondering about them plus I have a couple of ladies at my quilting bee that have are really hard time with their needles so I will pass the info on to them. Thanks much. Hope you are having a super day.
I would like to add that taking good care of your sewing and serger machines by regular lint cleaning and oiling and using the right size of needles for your machine will save you in the long run in replacement or repair costs!
I like to re-use blouses and shirts to make yo-yo and rag quilts,you would be surprised how many yo-yos you can cut from a single shirt and even the most garishly colored or printed fabrics can blend together and make a really nice yo-yo coverlet.
Rag quilts,especially made from men’s plaid shirts make a great gift for little boys (and girls too) as well as being an easy and quick quilt-as-you-go project because your front,back and batting are sewn together all in one operation so made from recycled shirts they are an easy and inexpensive gift option.