Sewing can be an expensive activity. When you start adding up the cost of patterns, fabrics, notions, and knowledge (books, classes, workshops), you realize that buying your own clothes can sometimes be cheaper.
But hold that thought. Clothing that you can buy for cheap is cheap clothing—it is cheap because of cheap fabric, poor construction, and exploited labor. Even though sewing your own clothes can be more expensive, you are creating quality garments that fit your body and celebrate your style.
There are ways to keep sewing costs down. One is to use what the sewing community provides us for free. There are lots and lots of resources provided by designers, stores, and sewing peeps that are FREE.
NOTE: Most of these resources require that you enter your email. Just wanted to be upfront about this.
All Things Sewing
So I’m going to pat my own back and start with my own freebie, the Sew Simple Sew Better Sewing Guide. These are some of the best lessons I’ve learned since I started sewing in an easy-to-consume-and-implement format.
This guide has it all: a template for your measurements, a guide to ease, a list of supplies, a a super helpful wrinkle chart that will help you identify the most common fitting issues.
This ebook will help you manipulate princess seams to fit your body. It is meant to be used with Closet Core’s Fiona Dress pattern, but the knowledge can be transferred to any pattern with princess seams.
A very detailed pdf tutorial on how to do a full bust adjustment.
This ebook is a companion to the Closet Core’s Jasika Blazer, but you can use it as you sew any fitted jacket.
This is a nice template so that you can have all of your measurements in one handy document.
Another great sewing magazine. Peppermint focuses more on sewing topics as they relate to lifestyle and sustainability.
You can access all articles from present and past issues from the website. Many of the articles cover specific sewing techniques and can be quite handy when you come across something you need help with.
There are SO many free patterns online that it is hard to keep track of them. I’m listing my favorite sites, but I urge you to explore all that the Internet has to offer.
Many pattern designers offer one free download when you sign up for their newsletter: Closet Core Core T-Shirt Free Pattern, Deer and Doe Plantain, By Hand London Polly Top, Helen’s Closet Luna Tank, Forget Me Not Vera Top, Friday Pattern Company Sports Shorts, Hey Jude Handmade Mountain Pose Pants to name a few. Go to your favorite patter designer’s website and see if they have something you can download for free.
In theory, you could spend your whole sewing life creating garments from Mood’s free downloadable patterns. There are soooo many! They are beautiful and size-inclusive, and… FREE!
The only drawback is that there is no copy shop option for the downloads—which means that you will be cutting and taping them yourself. But make a game out of it! Play music, drink your favorite beverage, and enjoy a puzzle of sorts!
Peppermint collaborates with designers to offer a pattern per issue. Some patterns are free.
Resources and Supplies
Look for free fabric in FB groups like Buy Nothing or the NextDoor app. You might get lucky and find someone destashing beautiful fabrics.
Most (if not all!) fabric stores will offer a discount when you sign up for their newsletter. Yup, I get that’s not free, but it will save you some money. Joann and Mood have sales all the time, and your local fabric store might run sales on special dates. I was able to score 40% off on fabrics at Sewing Arts in Los Angeles on their pre-Black Friday Sale.
Lots of tips to keep your sewing room organized and your creativity flowing.
Super cute templates for you to keep all of your sewing notes organized and easy to access.
If you are new to sewing, you have many questions. What sewing machine should you get? What supplies do you really need? And what fabric will not drive you crazy? This guide has these and many more answers.
Quick and to-the-point resource to help you tailor clothes.
Whole Lotta Free Goodness
Just like the name says, lots of free sewing stuff.
From free patterns to stash-busing projects, you will have access to a library of freebies full of fun and useful resources.
Lots and lots of great sewing videos.
Access a library of quick and easy sewing projects. There is even a tutorial to sew a refillable catnip mouse!
You can use these resources to start your sewing journey or stretch your sewing budget.