I have found some of my favorite fabric from yard sales -- especially estate sales where sometimes there are boxes and boxes of vintage fabric. When looking at yard sale descriptions, look for those who advertise craft supplies, or more specifically, fabric. I went to one yard sale because the advertisement said they were "cleaning out their craft room." TOTAL score that day. Yard and yards of fabric for less than $1 a yard.
Yes, I found all of this (pictured above and below) at one yard sale. She told me to stuff as much fabric into a grocery bag for $1 as I could. I did just that. I came home with upholstery, minky, cotton, fleece and flannel fabric.
Local Fabric Stores
- Never pay full price for fabric at a big-box store like Jo-Anns. They ALWAYS have a coupon for 40% off a cut of fabric. If you don't already subscribe to their emails, sign up. Almost every email comes with a digital coupon for 40% off a cut of fabric or one item. Sometimes I'll get 50% off coupons. Many local fabric stores put out similar emails with discount coupons.
I used my 50% off coupon to buy the fabric to re-cover this chair.
- If you buy the end of a bolt, a fabric shop will usually give you a discount. If I am looking for a few yards of fabric and one bolt looks like it's almost gone, I always go for that one and score a percentage off.
- Don't pass up on the clearance aisle of fabric either, you may just stumble upon something fantastic. I got the fabric to cover my office chair for $5 a yard (normally $20 a yard):
L.A. Fabric District
You can read about my full experience with the wonders of this place HERE.
All this fabric for $26? Yes, please!
Online Fabric Stores
If I need to purchase a ton of fabric, like I did for my chenille blanket and my chevron place mats, I will turn to online sources. Etsy and Fabric.com are my favorite stops. Fabric.com runs sales constantly on their fabric and you can usually find a free shipping code through Retailmenot.com.
Savers and Deseret Industries both have a fabric section. Savers sells theirs by the piece, usually $2-$3 for a large piece. DI sells theirs in grab-bags for $4 or so. These are the only thrift stores in my area, but I'm sure that others like Goodwill and Salvation Army have a fabric section as well with similar prices. I even stumble upon fantastically-priced notions.
All of these zippers were $0.25 each. Maybe not the right colors for a sewing project, but perfect for a zipper page in a quiet book.
BUT where I always score big is in the curtain and sheet section. Instead of thinking of them as curtains and sheets, think of them as yards and yards of fabric for $2.
Can you guess what my little girl wants to be for Halloween from these two fabrics? I'll give you a hint...I'm figuring out how to make a tail, fins and a seashell bra.