Sewing On A Budget: 10 Tips From The Great Depression

Sometimes your budget can't stretch in enough ways to purchase everything that you always wanted. By the time you get all the necessities for the home, you barely have enough money for your sewing hobbies. Yet you will be surprised at what fabric you can have and projects you can make from the items that are already in your home by taking some tips from your grandparents and great-grandparents who lived during the Great Depression.

During the Great Depression, everything was scarce and hard to come by. Being frugal became a way of life as they learned to make do with what they had and come up with smart budget-saving ways to create the items that needed but couldn't buy. You can use these same frugal methods today with your sewing when you are on a budget by adopting these 10 smart tips.

10 Tips To Sew On A Budget

1. Fix Instead of Toss Out

One of the top things people did during the Great Depression was to reduce the amount of waste they created. Instead of throwing out that old shirt or pillow, you can use your sewing machine and fix your clothes and home decor items. Don't just toss them out if there is a small rip or hole. Your sewing machine was made to mend the clothing.

2. Repurpose Fabric Scraps

You will have tons of scraps from projects. Instead of tossing them into the garbage bin, consider making something from the scraps. There are a ton of small kids' craft projects that can use small scraps of fabric to make bookmarks, embellishments, toys and school projects.

3: Make Something New from Something Old

You probably have some old drapes or curtains stowed away in the closet. Instead of having the items collect dust, make clothing from them. Curtains, large tablecloths and old blankets can be made into new quilts, dresses, shirts and home decor. Don't forget that if you have old clothing that you don't wear anymore, you can upcycle your old garments to make new clothes for your small child.

4. Save Buttons and Zippers from Old Clothing

When the clothes are just too beat up and are destined for the rag bin, don't toss out the buttons or zippers. They will often still be in good use for other new garments that you make with your sewing machine. You can also use the old buttons and zippers to replace broken zippers or missing buttons on existing clothing.

5. Make Your Own Cloth Diapers

Speaking of repurposing blankets and table cloths to make table cloths, you can also make cloth diapers from many of the garments sitting neglected in your linen closet. You can save tons of money in your budget by skipping the expensive disposable diapers and just making your own that can be reused again and again.

6. Hit Garage Sales

Garage sales offer more than just old kid's toys and beat-up electronics. These places also offer tons of fabric and garment choices that you can change into great craft projects with your sewing machine. You can even find things that have hardly, or never, been worn as the person hosting the garage sale is trying to clear out their closet of old things.

7. Get Fabric Remnants

Even if you are keen to purchase fabric at your local fabric store, you can save money and get great fabric choices by buying remnants. Fabric stores have bins that hold fabric remnants, which are pieces of fabric that may have been cut wrong. Most of the remnant pieces will be sold at half price or even in bulk at great prices.

8. Shop at Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are another ideal spot to find inexpensive fabric and garments that can be transformed into craft projects. Thrift stores also sometimes have craft sections where you can get the necessities and notions you need to place into your sewing supply case.

9. Look for Coupons to get Discounts

Look for the sales at fabric stores and your favorite online sites. During certain times of the year, you can find a wide range of sales and promotional coupons that you can cash in on to get a wide range of sewing supplies. Don't pass up on getting newsletters from craft stores that can provide you with discounts.

10. Perform Maintenance on Your Sewing Machine

A very important tip from the Great Depression is to make the things that you owned last for as long as possible. Perform scheduled maintenance on your sewing machine so that it functions properly and will last for a long time. There is no point in wasting money buying a new sewing machine because your old one broke down because you failed to service it.

The Great Depression has taught us that by being frugal and looking at what we have to sustain us that we can make a good living while saving money. By using the following tips, you can make a ton of craft projects, purchase fabric and maintain your sewing machine while you are on the tightest of budgets.

About the author

Sandra McConnell

My sewing journey started when I was 7 years old, with my grandmother as my first teacher in her sewing room. I went from a career in teaching to professional seamstress and from stressed out and tired to happy and contented.

Leave a comment: