Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Free or Cheap Sewing Patterns & Fabric Ideas

Photo credit: cohdra from

Sewing can be extremely rewarding when you want to make that perfect fit or save some money. But buying everything at the fabric store is not always cheaper than just buying it already made. So here are some ideas on finding fabrics and links to some free patterns.

Fabric and Notions
* Search the Thriftstore. They frequently have remnant fabrics and notions.
*Think outside the box. Need to make a sample dress out of cheap fabric before you cut up the expensive fabric? Try a $2 sheet. Use old shirts to make new smaller ones for your children. People frequently refer to this as upcycling. Be creative!
*Try Craigslist, Freecycle, or yard sales.

Sewing Patterns or Tutorials
There are lots of free patterns online, this is certainly not an exhaustive list. So if you are looking for something specific, try searching around a little. I may add to the list as I find some new sites that I like.

Free or cheap PDF sewing patterns. Some free tutorials and lots of sewing advice.

This is a personal blog but she is really talented at patterns and gives plenty of picture tutorials. If you don't want to draft up patterns from tutorials, she also sells the patterns as PDF on Etsy very reasonably.

Amy Butler

She has some really great pattern for sale but these free ones are nice too. Many quilt patterns but there are some other good ones.

Sew News

The sewing magazines online patterns and projects. Wide range of projects and techniques.

Sewing Mamas

Lots of tutorials split into their various categories.


This is a webside for all crafty people to get together. I have included some clothing tutorials lists but they may have more sewing tutorials on the forum for other topics. You can search and enjoy to your hearts content!

Craftster clothing in general tutorials -this also includes accessories, embelishments, undergarments

Craftster kid's clothing tutorials

Craftster reconstructed clothing tutorials

Craftster free clothing pattern list -they have their own list of free patterns you can peruse.

Well that should get you started. Now find a great project and get moving!


  1. This is a very useful piece... I have recently gotten into sewing and it's kind of frustrating going to the fabric store and seeing all the patterns that are $20 or more...

  2. If you watch your sales, Hancock Fabrics and JoAnns regularly have patterns for $1 or $2. Vogues don't go below $4