Beat this Deal

I’ve gotten very much over the past few weeks into sewing clothes. It’s not something I have ever really done before but in the weeks since new years I have sewn two skirts, two dresses and a pair of pants. I’m currently in the middle of making aprons for my mom and I. I will be posting those soon!

I am a firm believer that if you hand make your clothes it should cost less than buying them ready made. Unfortunately this is not usually the case! I find that patterns are quite expensive and once you add in the price of fabric and notions you’re well over retail clothing stores. The best bet is to never…ever…ever ever…pay full price for a pattern. If you’re lucky you get a great deal on beautiful fabric as well and then you have not only something you’re proud to say you made yourself but also you’ve saved money by DIY economics.

I have scoured the internet for free patterns and for some reason I find a lot of of them are in languages other than English. As much as I am getting a hold of making clothes, I still think the wording of an English pattern is even somewhat difficult to translate. I won’t be attempting to Babel fish a pattern anytime soon.

For those of you into fashion design and sewing, I have to say one of my favorite new blogs is the Selfish Seamstress. Not only is she a talented seamstress and a bit of a fashion designer herself, She is a very clever writer and a joy to read. I have downloaded all of her patterns and have already made her “Coffee Date Dress” twice. She has generously offered her pattern for download at BurdaStyle as well as on her download’s page on her blog.

Coffee Date Dress by Selfish Seamstress

Coffee Date Dress by Selfish Seamstress

BurdaStyle is kind enough to offer a few patterns for free on their website which I have downloaded now just in case they decide to take them away from us cheap sewers.

Free patterns are hard to come by, and many require adjustments to your size or a translator. All of which add a fair bit of work to an already involved undertaking.

Which is why I am pointing out the INCREDIBLE discovery I had when I happened into JoAnn Fabrics today. All simplicity patterns were only 99 cents! I picked up around 20 patterns which should keep me happy for a good long while and significantly beef up my wardrobe.

Misses Dress with Jacket-Cynthia Rowley Collection

Misses Dress with Jacket-Cynthia Rowley Collection

Simplicity has a lot of my favorite patterns and at a discount from $16 to $0.99 this really can’t be beat. This Cynthia Rowley dress and jacket will be one of my first to sew for sure. If you have tomorrow’s holiday off, I suggest you go shopping!

Simplicity also features the Project Runway Pattern Collection. These patterns are especially great because they allow you to mix and match trims, hems, tops and bottoms to make a lot of really beautiful outfits from just one pattern kit.

And so, now that I have pitched JoAnn for their obviously wonderful sale. I’ll get back to sewing so I have something to show all of you.

If you have any thoughts on great ways to make sewing fashions a more affordable treat please share!

And for those of you that really like free things, Check this out!

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2 Responses to “Beat this Deal”

  1. Lydia, Clueless Crafter Says:

    Having just begun sewing myself, I totally agree that it makes it all the more worthwhile when you don’t break the bank. I just made a wall tapestry for my studio and was shocked how much fabric costs per yard. On average, what do you pay for fabric? Mine was over $9. Is that the high end?

    I have ruled out making clothes – ever. My reasoning is that it is way too difficult to do! Am I making a really bad assumption here? If I were to start, what would be the best piece to make?

    Looking forward to your finals and thanks for the budget sourcing!

  2. megnificentmade Says:

    Hi Lydia,

    I’ve always been afraid to jump into sewing clothes too. The structure of it really scared me…as did a bad experience trying it as a pre-teen. It’s really been a great learning experience. I still make plenty of mistakes but every pattern I pick teaches me a new skill and it’s all adding up.

    I started with a simple skirt with a zipper. From there I upgraded to pants (I was afraid of joining an inseam and sewing a fly) And now I’m working on dresses and jackets. Oddly enough…an apron thus far has been the most difficult project I’ve taken on. Each new pattern has something new that makes me go “aha! thats how thats done!” Different kinds of pockets, zippers, seams…all learned from different patterns.

    All goes well if you just follow the pattern and really take the time to understand the steps before you cut or pin a thing. I go through the instructions with a highlighter first and highlight in the photos what seams I am making and any important instructions. I often find at least one instruction in every pattern that baffles me…until I read it 1000 times or find somewhere down the page it comes clear. Its just good to work it out before any fabric is involved. I say go for it. I screw up lots but mostly its been fixable.

    $9 sounds reasonable. I usually find cottons for $4 or $5. Some of the fancier stuff I have used on clothes has been around $11. I do recommend grabbing remnants which are generally at a good discount. At JoAnn’s they go for %50 off. They also have a great clearance section in the store. Make sure you find it because there is always a good find in there!

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