Bargain Fabric

Once upon a day, sewing your own clothing was cheaper than buying it pre-made.


That’s not always the case.

At four or five bucks a yard for fabric plus notions, you can easily shell out thirty or more bucks for a dress–not to mention the time you’ve taken to put it all together.

Starts to make you wonder if sewing your own is a fanciful hobby for the comfortably-well-off.

Thrifty seamstresses, don’t lose heart.

It just so happens that I know JUST the place to find bargain fabric.

Goodwill. (Or Salvation Army. Or whatever your nearest second hand shop is. Garage sales are also great.)

Bedsheets. Tablecloths. Curtains. All of these are wonderful sources of large sections of fabric that can be obtained at a fraction of the price a fabric store would charge.

Fabric and yarn

My Goodwill charges $3.25 per sheet.

A twin sized bedsheet provides a little over four yards worth of fabric (it’s wider than a bolt of fabric, of course, so you’ll have to rearrange your pattern on the fabric a bit–but inch for square inch, it’s over four yards worth of 45″ fabric.) That’s less than a dollar a yard!

A king sized bedsheet provides a whopping seven and a quarter yards of fabric! And at my Goodwill, a king sized sheet costs the same as a twin. So that’s less than 50 cents a yard!

Garage sales often have great fabric sources for even cheaper.

I have grand plans for my newly purchased bargain fabric.

I’ll be using the white fabric on the left to make new pillowcases–using the pretty lace edging to also edge my pillowcases.

Edge fabric

I’ll be saving the next two for use as quilt backings or quilt components (can never get too much solid gender-neutral colored fabric!)

The blue check and pink stripe will become pajama/lounging pants.

Fabric and yarn

And the pink floral (jersey knit) will become a medium length summer nightie.

I also found the yarn for a steal ($7.50 for the whole lot). I haven’t made plans for the sparkly acrylic to the left, but the cotton on the right will make wonderful washcloths and face cloths.

Now…I used to be not at all queasy about used store stuff–whatever it was.

Then I learned about lice and scabies and bedbugs.

And frankly, it’s made me a bit wary.

But, as you can see, that doesn’t mean I’ve quit buying used store fabric.

Why not?

Because all it takes is a little space and a little time and you can wave goodbye to the little buggers that bite in the night.


Just dump your new (old) fabric in a trash bag, tie the top (so that the bag is airtight), and throw it in a closet for two weeks. When the two weeks are up, pull it out, open it up, dump the contents into the washer, and wash in hot water.

Voila. Bug-free fabric.


Come one, come all, come pick up some bargain fabric–coming soon to a used store/yard sale/second-hand shop near you!

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