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Save Money With Sewing: Tips and Tricks to Sew Your Way to Savings (2024)

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does sewing save moneyAre you looking to save money and develop a skill? Sewing is the answer. It’s an activity that has been around for centuries, allowing people to create garments and other items with their own two hands.

And while it may seem like an expensive hobby at first glance, sewing can actually help you save money in the long run – if done correctly! From fabric sourcing strategies to pattern hacks, this article will provide tips on how sewing saves money so that you can use your newfound skills responsibly.

Key Takeaways

  • Sewing is a cost-effective skill that can save you money in the long run.
  • Thrift stores are a great source for affordable fabric and sewing supplies.
  • Vintage sewing machines can be better made than modern ones and are a good investment.
  • Customizing and sewing your own clothing items can save money and allow for creativity.

Is Sewing an Expensive Hobby?

Is Sewing an Expensive Hobby
You may think sewing’s an expensive hobby, but with thrifty fabric finds and a stash of hand-me-down notions, it can save you bundles compared to ready-to-wear.

Hitting the local thrift store for curtains or bedsheets is a fabulous way to score quality fabric at clearance costs. Don’t turn your nose up at well-loved equipment gifted by granny either – a vintage machine is often better made than modern models.

And accumulating bits and bobs like thread, buttons, and zippers over time beats forking out for pricey all-in-one kits.

With savvy sourcing, altering, and refashioning, your creations cost just a fraction of shop-bought while giving you the power to customize.

Sew and Save Money on Fabric, Notions, Tools, and Machines

Sew and Save Money on Fabric, Notions, Tools, and Machines
Welcome to the cost-saving side of sewing! Take stock of your stash before buying more fabric – you likely have unused pieces you can repurpose. Watch for sewists selling remnants and visit nearby factories for discounted fabric, but skip impulse fabric purchases even during sales.

Sew Your Stash

Dig through your treasure trove of fabric scraps and remnants to breathe new life into forgotten fabrics. Salvage zippers, buttons, and other notions from thrift store finds. Get creative by combining fabrics and repurposing old clothes.

With some simple sewing techniques and clever upcycling ideas, you can create beautiful, budget-friendly projects from items already in your sewing stash. Planning projects around the fabrics you have on hand allows you to save money while exercising your creativity and resourcefulness.

Don’t Buy Something Only Because It’s on Sale

Even if the fabric is calling your name, resist buying on impulse during sales if you don’t have an immediate project planned. The deeply discounted clearance sheets may seem like a great deal, but impulse purchases often end up unused.

Stay strong and remember that sewing saves more money when you thoughtfully buy quality materials for planned projects, not fast fashion on clearance. Support local shops and online indie brands with ethical, sustainable practices for the most cost-effective and earth-friendly sewing.

Watch for Other Sewists to Sell Their Stashes

Hit up friends or join local sewing groups to score remnants and fabrics others are destashing. My neighbor gifted me her unused quilting cottons last month, saving me a bundle. Monitor social media sites for sewists selling their stashes. Home decor and quilt fabric often get purchased in excess.

Fellow makers will pass along quality materials they haven’t used at reasonable prices. Connect with your local community to discover handy supplies and thrift store finds.

Search for Nearby Manufacturers or Warehouses and Ask if They’ll Sell You Remnants

Consider visiting nearby fabric manufacturing facilities or warehouses to inquire about purchasing discounted remnants. They often have overstock fabrics and surplus yardage available for a fraction of the retail cost.

  • Check listings for warehouse sales.
  • Call local apparel/home decor companies.
  • Search for fabric outlet stores.
  • Scout donation centers and thrift shops.


Hand over some savings – scout your local thrift shops for discounted fabric, notions, and more. Thrift shopping isn’t just about saving money; it’s a sustainable sewing practice. You’ll discover fabric remnants perfect for children’s clothing or exciting upcycling projects.

Plus, thrift stores often hide treasures like zippers, buttons, and even sewing machines at budget-friendly prices. Elevate your sewing skills by embracing thrift shopping as an essential part of your wardrobe planning and sustainable sewing journey.

Sew and Save Money on Patterns

Sew and Save Money on Patterns
When it comes to saving money on patterns for your sewing projects, there are a few strategies you should consider. First and foremost, avoid the temptation to buy PDF patterns on sale. Instead, keep an eye out for discounted paper patterns, explore the world of free patterns, delve into pattern books, and invest your time in learning how to alter and combine patterns to create unique and cost-effective designs.

These tips can help you make the most of your sewing budget and create personalized garments without breaking the bank.

This is Kind of Controversial, but Don’t Buy PDF Patterns on Sale

When it comes to PDF patterns on sale, you might want to think twice before clicking that buy button – here’s why. While discounts can be tempting, it’s crucial to consider the bigger picture of sewing costs.

Buying too many patterns, even on sale, can add up quickly. Instead, focus on versatile patterns that can be altered for multiple styles. Sustainable sewing means making thoughtful pattern choices that save you money in the long run, without cluttering your digital sewing library.

Do Buy Paper Patterns on Sale

Opting for paper patterns on sale during your crafting endeavors can lead to substantial cost reductions in your projects.

  1. Affordable Foundations: Paper patterns on sale often come at a fraction of their regular price, allowing you to build your sewing projects on a budget.

  2. Variety and Versatility: You can find a wide range of paper patterns on sale, from simple designs to intricate ones, catering to different sewing needs.

  3. Sewing Efficiency: Paper patterns provide clear instructions and templates, streamlining your sewing process and minimizing mistakes.

  4. DIY Accessories: With discounted paper patterns, you can create various accessories and gifts economically, adding value to your sewing endeavors.

  5. Bartering Opportunities: Having a collection of paper patterns can open up bartering possibilities, exchanging your sewing skills for other services or resources at yard sales or community events.

Use Free Patterns

To cut costs effectively, explore a wide range of free patterns available online and discover the financial benefits of this resource. The sewing community offers an abundance of free patterns for various clothing items and accessories.

These patterns can help you embrace sustainable sewing while saving money. Pair them with thrift store finds and utilize your sewing tools and supplies efficiently. Free patterns often come with detailed sewing tutorials and hacks, empowering you to create DIY fashion without breaking the bank.

There Are Books Full of Patterns

Explore the world of pattern books, and you’ll discover a treasure trove of design options for your creative projects. These books are a cost-effective way to elevate your sewing game while saving money.

  1. Variety: Pattern books offer a wide range of styles, from vintage classics to modern trends.

  2. Customization: You can tweak patterns to fit your unique preferences and body shape using altering techniques.

  3. Budget-Friendly: They often provide more patterns for the price compared to buying individual patterns.

  4. Sharing and Bartering: Consider swapping pattern books with fellow sewists to expand your options without spending a dime.

Learn How to Alter Patterns and Combine Patterns

Unlocking your creativity means not just following existing patterns but rather learning to transform and blend patterns seamlessly to craft unique, personalized designs. Mastering pattern alteration and creative combinations is essential. With sewing techniques at your fingertips, you can adapt and customize patterns to fit your vision perfectly.

This skill not only saves money on purchasing new patterns but also reduces reliance on costly notions and human labor. It’s a liberating way to express your style while staying within your budget, which is a crucial aspect of tips for sewing on a budget.

Making Money While Sewing (without Having a Blog or Business)

Making Money While Sewing (without Having a Blog or Business)
Sewing can help you make money in your free time without having an official business. Use Ebates when buying sewing supplies online to get cash back on your purchases. Install the Ibotta app and use it when shopping at big-box craft stores to earn rebates on your fabric, notions, and tools.

Use Ebates When Buying Online to Get Some Money Back

Check your email for Ebates cashback offers before shopping online for sewing supplies. With creative strategies like Ebates, you can reap money-saving rewards each time you shop for fabrics, patterns, tools, and notions.

Simply sign up, add the button to your browser, then earn cashback when you click through their site before purchasing. Get paid to shop while funding your craft! By stacking savings from Ebates, sale prices, and coupon codes, you maximize every dollar spent.

Use Ibotta When Buying in Big Box Stores

You’re practically robbing the big box chains blind with all the cash back you’re racking up on Ibotta every time you pop into Target or Walmart! The Ibotta mobile app connects to your store loyalty cards and gives you cash back when you buy featured products.

Just snap a photo of your receipt, and the savings get added to your Ibotta account. It’s an easy way to get cash back on groceries, household items, even sewing notions when you’re already shopping at those stores.

Let’s Look at the Numbers

Let’s Look at the Numbers
Let’s take a look at the hard numbers when it comes to some popular clothing items. We’ll compare the costs of making versus buying jeans, button-up shirts, jackets, leggings, and jumpsuits to see if sewing really saves money.

You’ll need strong sewing skills and knowledge of fabric and notions to make the most of homemade clothing.


If you have denim stashed away, a simple pair of jeans could be a great fall project for zero extra cost.

  • Customize the fit with tapering or hemming.
  • Dye them for a fresh look.
  • Patch holes and reinforce seams.
  • Upcycle denim scraps into accessories.

Denim is versatile for wardrobe staples or as a blank canvas for creative expression. With some basic skills, you can transform denim items into exactly what you want while avoiding unnecessary purchases.

Button-up Shirts

Boy’s plaid button-up costs as little as $10 at Target, so you’d need thrifted fabric under $5 per yard to beat that price sewing your own. Invest in quality shirting fabric with a nice drape. Perfect your collar and cuff construction.

Consider details like topstitching, buttonholes, and contrasting bias tape. Add style by using sustainable fabrics or unique prints. Customize the fit through pattern adjustment and tailoring techniques for that perfect silhouette.

With some effort, sewing skills make custom shirts affordable luxuries expressing your style.


Jackets require an investment of $50-75 in quality materials, but the piece can easily last over a decade with proper care.

  1. Collecting thrifted outerwear
  2. Repurposing winter wear
  3. Upcycling and altering coats

With expertise in assessing coat construction and fabric quality, I recommend investing wisely in durable outerwear you’ll wear for years. Thrifted finds offer potential for repurposing into stylish DIY projects with an experienced hand.


You’re staring at that smooth stretch suede fabric, determined to make those perfect leggings you’ve been craving. Skip the $50 price tag and sew your own activewear. With clever fabric choices and minimal pattern pieces, you can craft custom leggings for a fraction of store prices.

Upcycle old t-shirts or clearance athletic fabrics into fresh workout gear. Adjust the rise and length for an ideal fit. Add fun details like mesh panels or contrast binding for design flair. DIY athleisure satisfies your fashion cravings without blowing your budget.


Jumpsuits around town go by faster when you’re thrifty with fabric. Choose knit jumpsuits for easy wear. Polyester works well for this style. Seek free or discounted patterns to save. Buy them on sale.

Trace to preserve. Get creative using remnants and scraps for unique designs. Learn to fit and alter patterns for the perfect style. Make muslins first. Master techniques like taking in side seams and hemming pants.

What Do These Numbers Mean?

What Do These Numbers Mean
Sewing can seem like a budget-friendly hobby at first glance. However, when tallying up fabric, patterns, notions, equipment, and your precious time, those projected savings may dwindle.

Consider a simple dress – even with clearance fabric, the pattern, zipper, interfacing, and thread could easily top $20.

Unless the dress would retail for over $80, it’s likely cheaper to buy readymade. However, financial savings shouldn’t be the only factor. Sewing allows customization, quality control, and creative fulfillment that ready-to-wear simply can’t match.

In the end, embrace sewing for the process, not just the product.

Buy Vintage, Look Outside the Box, Keep Cutting, Never Buy Buttons (or Zippers, or Snaps…), if You’d Like to Support Our Site

Buy Vintage, Look Outside the Box, Keep Cutting, Never Buy Buttons (or Zippers, or Snaps…), if You
Thriftin’ and upcyclin’ can save ya a pretty penny if ya get crafty. Here are some budget-friendly sewing tips:

Buy Vintage:

  • Less waste. Cheaper materials. Unique finds.
  • Check measurements.
  • Expect some flaws.

Look Outside the Box:

  • Unconventional fabrics can be very affordable.
  • Test durability.
  • Prewash.

Keep Cutting:

  • Use all scraps.
  • Repurpose old clothes.
  • Plan ahead.
  • Be creative.

Never Buy Buttons:

  • Reuse and salvage closures and hardware.
  • Ensure quality.
  • Match colors.

Support Thrift Shops:

  • Shopping secondhand supports your community.
  • Ask about textile recycling.

Sewin’ on a budget takes resourcefulness and imagination. With a bit o’ skill and elbow grease, ya can craft unique pieces while bein’ kind to the planet and your wallet.

The thrill of the vintage hunt and sustainable style are priceless.


Sewing can be an intimidating hobby, but with the right tools and materials, it can be an affordable and rewarding experience. It can actually save you money if you’re savvy with your purchases. Just think, the average cost to make a pair of jeans is around $60, which is likely cheaper than the average $71 spent on a pair of jeans from a big-box store.

From thrifting materials to learning pattern alteration techniques, there are plenty of ways to save money and get creative with your projects.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.