Sunday, July 10, 2011

Frugal sewing – can’t shake it off

For years I was a frugal sewist. Sometimes it was a case of not having much money to throw around. Other times I was saving as much of my money as I could. Anyway, I learnt a few tricks to get more bang for my buck:

• I reused the same patterns over and over. Patterns are pretty exxy in Australia, so if I used the same pattern a few times, I was spending less on other patterns.
• I borrowed Burda magazines from the library to read.
• Refused to pay full price for fabric or patterns.
• I chose patterns that did not use a lot of fabric and laid out patterns to use the least amount of fabric. I used to carry a list so that I only ever bought as much as I needed.

One discovery I made while laying out patterns from the same fabric was that I could cut out a knit top and a tee shirt in the same amount of fabric it took to cut out one tee. You just have to cut out one or two pieces at a time and refold.

While we are no longer watching the pennies so much, I am still careful with my spending and sometimes old habits refuse to die. I was able to cut out a long sleeve tee shirt, a knit shirt (Kwik Sew 3032 Top A) and a pair of undies all from 1.5 metres of fabric. I have just realised that I have made quite a few pairs of undies out left over knit fabric this year!

PS Shannon, thanks for the reminder - I had heard about them. I put in an order with Fashion Sewing Supply last night. Even with a massive postage quote of nearly $28 (yowzers) it works out the same price as the interfacing I have been using with less than stellar results. I think I had been putting it off because of the postage, but it works out if the interfacing is even a little bit better than the whisperweft.


  1. Marie, nothing wrong with being frugal. Oh I'm glad someone told you about Fashion Sewing Supply. I meant to when you posted about your interfacing woes, but am really distracted with my mom here.

  2. I think you are going to be really happy with the interfacing! Nicely done on getting three items out of 1.5 meters of fabric!

  3. Love frugal sewing! I don't think I'd get 3 items out of the 1.5m though - you're a wee bit slimmer than yours truly!
    I've just discovered Burda mag at our new local library - it's great!

  4. Using what you have to get the most out of it. I call that smart, not frugal! :-)


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