Cutting Corners

    Back in high school — I graduated like...half a decade ago; it's been forever —  I took a textiles/sewing class. A wonderfully brisk, sarcastic, and brilliant lady taught me and several other high school students how to make clothes, pillows, bags, and other projects, usually with a sewing machine. However, college and real life have happened since then, and I've forgotten most of what she taught me. (Sorry, Mrs. Garwood.). So, I've decided to re-learn. I found some inexpensive and adorable patterns as well as some bargain fabric at Wal-Mart. Now I'm waiting for the correct time (read: guts) to go at it again.
    In the meantime, I've decided to share some ways to save money when you're into sewing.
    • Go bargain fabric — There are fabrics which will cost you upwards of $20 or $30/yard. As most projects require multiple yards of fabric...this can get expensive. Bargain fabric is a great way to get unique fabrics at low prices. The fabrics I picked up at Wal-Mart were $1/yard. Not joking. Not everything you find in the bargain bin will be first-class, but there are definitely some good things to be found.
    • Get remnants —  Remnants are very inexpensive because they're basically leftovers, but that doesn't make them useless! Think patchwork. Or smaller projects like coin purses or hair bows.
    • Sign up for mailing/e-mailing lists — Craft places like Jo-Ann Fabrics have free newsletters that you can sign up for. They often will send you coupons. This is a good thing.
    • Stock up — If a fabric or buttons you love are on sale...get them. Because what if you find the perfect pattern for them in a couple of months and they're either full price again or gone altogether? I mean, you could play it cautious and wait, but where is the fun in that? Besides, most fabrics and notions can be used in a variety of patterns.
    • Be patient — On the other hand, if you fall in love with a wonderful silk or velvet, don't buy it right away. Chances are it'll go on sale or you'll get a coupon for it because you signed up for the store's newsletter (aren't you clever?). It might take months, but love and saving money are worth the wait.
    • Google it! — There are tons of inexpensive or even free patterns online, if the ones in Wal-Mart (which, for the record, are about $3 each) don't strike your fancy. Fun fact about patterns: They are reusable, which make them a small investment that more than pays for itself.
    Go! Learn! Create! Enjoy!