Thursday, October 23, 2014

Great Ideas: How to Get Free Sewing & Quilting Fabric & Buttons

     Sewing & Quilting Fabrics are so expensive now. Like everything else, the fabric industry suffers from the inflation we suffer from continual "digitizing" (or creating out of thin air) our federal government has done, to the tune of 14 Billion dollars in national debt. You only notice it when you go to purchase something, like a gallon of milk, a pound of hamburger, or a yard of fabric.  It is time to go back to the frugal ways that our Depression Era grandmothers used as a normal way of life.  Nothing, but nothing, should go to waste! With that in mind, I stopped the impulse to throw this blouse in the trash. It wasn't even worth donating because the front edge where the buttons go was fraying with age.  So I decided to salvage the rest of it, which was in good condition, for fabric and buttons.

Just cut out all the seams and cut off cuffs, collars, etc.,
until it can be flattened out for cutting later.

Look at all of the great pieces of fabric left. They will be perfect for quilting!
They would also work for making children's clothing or pieces of most anything.
I can imagine these pink stripes in an apron or a stuffed animal, too.

I also ended up with eight nice white buttons, which I just cut off the fabric.
Next time I'm sitting in front of the TV I will use a seam ripper to take out the threads.
Then into the white button jar they will go.

This is the way my Grandmother did it.
She struggled as a single mother to four children while working in a hot dry-cleaners
 back when there was no air conditioning.  Every penny saved was a penny earned.
What have you saved from the trash lately?


  1. Yup, despite the rise in cloth, I've always saved favorite shirts, dresses, etc. and buttons galore! I have old wood thread spools I've saved that our granddaughter is stacking, sorting and so on. My grandmother saved all manner of cards and bottles, cans and they were my toys at her I'm carrying on the tradition! It's not only frugle, but teaches our children our past. Look forward to photos of the apron or whatever beautiful you create with the striped material.

  2. That's so good. So many have lost sight of basic frugal living. Don't hold your breath, but that fabric will be in a quilt in the next year I hope.

  3. I woman after my heart! I do this too, mostly with my husbands shirts - they often become everyday cloth napkins. I do want to quilt with some, but I haven't found the time to get that started (someday).
    The first thing I saw in your shirt were heart sachets.
    Have a great weekend!

    1. Ooh, I LUV the hearts idea! Maybe I'd better save it for Valentine's Day? And men's plaid shirts make the most Gorgeous "Bears Paws" quilts--someday I hope to make one of those. (Someday.)