Where to Save and Spend on Sewing Supplies
Sewing can be expensive! And that keeps a lot of people from starting the craft. However, there's a lot of things that you can do to help keep costs down, and still make high quality and fun projects. Here's my list of items you should save or spend on when purchasing supplies.
Sewing machine - SAVE!
Sewing machines can range in price from $100 to $1000, but there's no need to drop an entire paycheck on one! While high end machines have fun bells and whistles, like five different alphabets or programmable stitch patterns, most of us will never use them. Quality new machines can be found for around $200, and used or vintage machines can be even less (just make sure it's in good condition before you buy it)! Whichever sewing machine you end up buying, make sure you maintain it regularly so it lasts a lifetime.
Iron and Ironing Board - SPEND!
Ironing should be a big part of any project - and you good equipment really helps! Irons and ironing boards isn't the right place to pinch your pennies. Spending a little bit more on these items will make a world of difference, but no need to break the bank. Buying a good, mid-tier iron and board (think about $40 each), is a great investment that will last years. Make sure the iron you choose is heavy, has a non- stick plate, separate steam and spray buttons, and separate steam and temperature controls. And make sure your ironing board is sturdy - try and test it out in the store before you buy it!
Fabric Scissors - SPEND!
Most people think it's a joke till they experience it, but good fabric scissors are GOLD! Go for fabric scissors from a reputable brand like Singer or Gingham (I like the heavier, all metal ones), and use them only for fabric. And scissors are a great item to wait for a sale or coupon to get a great pair up to 60% off!
Patterns - SAVE!
Full retail price for apparel patterns can be over $30, but no need to spend that! Most fabric and craft stores will have home sewing patterns on sale for one or two dollars several times a year, so stock up then. Boutique and independent brands sometimes offer a "first one free" deal on their patterns as well!
Fabric - SAVE!
Fabric can be one of the most cost prohibitive factors in sewing - but there are lots of ways to mitigate this expense. Beginners shouldn't fork out big bucks for fabrics while learning how to sew (and making mistakes... so. many. mistakes). Online fabric stores are a lot cheaper than brick and mortar stores. And if you do buy fabric from a craft store, make sure to use a coupon! Garment districts are also great options, and they're in pretty much every major city in America, not just New York City. Unconventional sources of fabrics - thrift stores, old clothes, scrap exchanges - are another way to get good fabric cheap.
Rulers and Measuring Tapes - SPEND!
The old adage "you get what you pay for" definitely applies to these supplies! When you're buying rulers and measuring tapes, make sure to get versions that will last. Metal rulers and tapes made with fiberglass will not get bent out of shape over time, making your life easier and your projects better.