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How to sew on a budget

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

In the early days of learning to sew, I definitely didn't have the extra cash to splash on luxurious fabrics, high end machines, and special notions. My solution was to go ask for a job at the local Sewing Shop 🤣. However, I also have a few more tips to help fuel your favourite hobby without breaking the bank.

✂ Look in op-shops for fabric, buttons, zippers and even a sewing machine or overlocker. Many people are gifted overlockers, never learn how to use them, and donate them. Always get the machine serviced first before using though.

✂ Purchase Duvet (Doona) covers on sale (like I did in this photo). The fabric is great quality and you get so much out of one queen size cover.

✂ Check on Facebook market place or look up the hashtag #fabricdestash on Instagram

✂ Buy only what you need to get started: I do not have a huge stash compared to most. I tend to have a specific project in mind and purchase with a purpose. I don't always stick to this rule, but when I was younger I certainly did.

✂ Start with one or two basic patterns. Get the fit perfect and then look to see if they offer tutorials online to hack them for different looks. When I am out shopping and see a style I like, I think, "What pattern do I already own that I can alter to make that outfit?"

✂ Opt to create a capsule wardrobe. When your fabrics and clothing you make can mix and match, you can see the gaps and create with a purpose. This means you are only buying fabrics you need to create a specific garment to fill a hole in your wardrobe.

✂ Don't rush. Make a mockup first using old sheets or fabric from the op-shops. Using cheap fabrics first and testing can help prevent wasting time and ruining your good quality fabric.

If you are new to sewing and just getting started, we actually put together two Beginner Boxes. This way you get exactly what you need to start working on a garment that you will love and make over and over again. You can check them out here. But first here's a quick look at the ultimate beginner box....

Do you have any more tips on how to sew on a budget? What's your favourite way to save some $$$ when getting crafty?


Hey y'all!

Welcome to Sew To Grow!
Our mission is to help you build a perfectly fitted handmade wardrobe, so when someone asks where you got your fabulous frock you can confidently say 'I made it!'. To help you on your sewing journey, here you'll find a range of tutorials about sewing techniques, garment fitting, notions and tools, fabric and more!

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