How to Find Cheap Fabric for Sewing Projects

How to Find Cheap Fabric for Sewing Projects

Sewing can be an expensive hobby, and fabric is one of the main culprits driving up the cost. Here’s a guide to finding cheap fabric for your sewing projects. Sometimes you’ll find fabric that is just as nice as what the fabric store sells, and sometimes you’ll find pieces of fabric that you can experiment on without feeling guilty if you mess up.

I’ve seen a few posts on finding cheap fabric, so I’ll try to add to what’s out there without repeating too much, and I’ve included a list of other fabric-buying guides at the end of this post.

Antique Shops/Flea Markets

I haven’t seen a lot of people mention this one. I think people are afraid that antique shops will be pricey, but I’ve gotten some of my best hauls from antique stores. You can find cool vintage fabric, sewing machine attachments, and notions. However, stay away from vintage thread because it often degrades over time. I’ve gotten entire bolts of fabric, lots of sewing notions, multiple yards of fabric, and cool scraps, all for a few dollars each.

This bundle of fabric was only $2!

How to Find Cheap Fabric for Sewing Projects

These were all less than $5 each and were 1 to 3 yards each.

How to Find Cheap Fabric for Sewing Projects

The next two were $1 each, less than 1/2 yard.

How to Find Cheap Fabric for Sewing Projects

How to Find Cheap Fabric for Sewing Projects

All less than $5, up to 5 yards each.

How to Find Cheap Fabric for Sewing Projects

And an entire roll for $8!
How to Find Cheap Fabric for Sewing Projects

Thrift Stores

These are my next favorite places to look for fabric. Salvation Army often has a section with crafts supplies and fabric in their home goods section. They get donations of fabric, but they also cut up unusable clothing/bedding that they receive. These were all only a couple of dollars.

How to Find Cheap Fabric for Sewing Projects

You can also keep an eye out for cool tablecloths, sheets, pillowcases, curtains, and plus size/maternity clothes. These can be cannibalized for other projects, and sometimes you can even keep the hem intact, so some of your work is already done! You can often find pillowcases for as little as a quarter, and you’d be surprised at how many small projects you can get out of a pillowcase.

How to Find Cheap Fabric for Sewing Projects

When you buy used fabric, be sure to wash it right away. If it has a musty smell, try adding a little distilled white vinegar to the wash. Especially with used bedding, you want to carefully wash and dry it in the dryer to avoid any possibility of bed bugs. I’ve never had a problem with this, but I wash everything as soon as I get it home.

Here are a few more of my thrift store finds, all only a dollar or two each:


How to Find Cheap Fabric for Sewing Projects

Dollar Stores

You won’t find large amounts of fabric at the dollar store, but you can get T shirts, tablecloths, curtains, and placemats, which can work well for small sewing projects.

Fabric Stores

You’ve probably already got your coupons lined up for Joann Fabrics, but keep an eye out for their bigger sales a few times a year as well. For example, sometimes you can get fat quarters for less than $1 each. Start planning ahead for quilts and holiday sewing projects by stocking up during these sales.

How to Find Cheap Fabric for Sewing Projects

You can also  scour the remnants section for smaller pieces (usually less than a yard), which are half price.

How to Find Cheap Fabric for Sewing Projects

Lastly, you have to be careful with this, but some coupons/discounts will stack at Joann Fabrics. When in doubt, check with a sales associate before buying.

Further reading

Here are a few more useful guides with information on buying cheap fabric:

 

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