I often get asked how I can afford to sew.

If you need fabric and have a bit of money, today is your lucky day.

This weekend Joann’s Fabrics is having their annual Founder’s Day sale (today and tomorrow; it started yesterday). I find the best deals at Joann’s shorter weekend sales. This weekend has some particularly good deals, especially if you get their mailer (if you don’t, sign up at the store to get future mailers; extra coupons come in the mailers to customers).

The best deals I see on the sale:

Broadcloth: Poly/cotton solids for $1.99 a yard. This means if you use 4 yards to make a little girl’s dress, you’re only out $7.96 for fabric. Depending on the size and style of dress, you could use less fabric. I make most of the girls’ dresses from broadcloth, though I have also repurposed sheets as well.

Buttons: 50% off. Look for the buttons that are 6-7 for a card that are $1 regular price, and you’re only out .50 for buttons for a dress.

Embroidery thread: $.33 a skein. This means you could get 3 colors of embroidery thread so that you can embroider flowers on that dress for $.99.

This makes a pretty (and modest!) little girl’s dress $9.45 plus tax.

If you get the mailer, however, it gets better.

There is a 25% off your entire purchase coupon, including sales prices.

This makes the fabric $1.50 a yard ($6 total), the buttons .39, and the embroidery thread .74.

Now you have a dress for $7.13.

I’ve been making my dresses from the same pattern, so the cost of a pattern is not a continual expense for me, but if you don’t have any patterns, you will need to add in the cost of a pattern to the first dress that you make.

Other great deals in the ad that are this weekend only:

Scissors are 50% off. If you’ve never bought scissors, a pair of Ginger sewing shears is a great investment.

McCall’s patterns are $1.99 and Vogue Patterns are $3.99. You can browse the patterns online before you go.

Home Dec Fabric: 60% off. This normally goes on sale for 50% off. The extra 10% is a rare thing. If you have the mailer coupons, you can use your 25% off purchase to make this an even better deal. Home Dec fabrics at $26.99 regular price is $10.79 a yard; with the extra 25% off it is $8.09 a yard. Remember that this fabric comes 60″ wide. (Prices vary by fabric, but most were around $26.99 regular price).

Do you remember the Rapunzel dress that I made for my daughter’s birthday last year for pennies? I found an online tutorial to make a Rapunzel dress here.

You can use broadcloth to make a beautiful smocked bishop’s dress. There are some tutorials on smocking bishop dresses here.

I liked this cute apron tutorial. Since linen is $27 a yard, and is a delicate fabric, you could make this with osnaburg or a drop cloth instead.

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  1. Did you know that as a homeschooler you can get a teachers discount card for 15% off your entire purchase? You need some form of ID showing you’re a teacher.I used my HSLDA ID card but I think you can also use your school registration paperwork.You can also use this discount with a coupon and it’s good for your entire order including sale stuff.

  2. JoAnn’s also has their remnants for 70 % off this weekend. I picked up one to make pillow covers for my boys’ room and a couple to make a fall table runner.

  3. I did! Last year they said I could not combine the 25% off entire purchase coupon with the 15% teacher’s discount; it was one or the other, so of course I used the 25% off coupon!Also, the 40% off one regular priced item coupon that is in the ad cannot be combined with the 25% off your entire purchase coupon.

  4. Hi, I think there is a typo on the math in your “home dec fabric” section of this post. 60% off of $26.99 would drop the price down to $10.80/yard before all of the other discounts. Thanks for sharing these great deals!

  5. My grandmother bought me some Gingher scissors when I was in high school. I am now 45 and have used them all these years (including today) and they still cut beautifully! I’ve used them only for fabric, but they’ve never even been sharpened. I’m planning to make drapes for my dining room and to recover the chairs, so it would be a good time for me to buy the fabric. I have some money I had been putting away for a grain mill, but the fabric may be a better choice for now. Hmmm….

  6. If you have little ones that wear pajama pants/shorts or simple skirts, always check the remnant bin! I don’t know how many times I’ve found 35″ pieces of flannel or cotton for $1 or so. I’ve found home dec fabric, fleece (for hats) and corduroy, too. Depending on the fabric, you could also use it for cloth napkins, face cloths, diaper wipes, tote bags, doll clothes or any other small project.

  7. In my early 20ies (a long time ago), I wanted pinking shears and my mother bought them for me for my birthday. My father was literally disgusted that I got a pair of scissors for my birthday and asked my mother what she was thinking. I told him they weren’t just scissors, they were pinking shears and I asked for them and my Mom told him he would understand when he saw the bill! I still use them and my good sewing scissors and keep them for fabric and nothing else. They are great!

  8. It is expensive here in Finland too! My best source for material are thrift stores and flea markets. I have mostly bought sheets (with hand-crocheted lace too) etc for cheap material for my quilting projects, aprons and so on. I have found even new material there, wool-blend enough for a long winter shirt, black-and-white toile, tulle etc. Zippers and buttons are really cheap and you can find vintage zippers if you like them and special buttons etc. Ihave bought petticoats because of the lace and so on, I no longer see clothing when thrifting but cheap material :-)For thread and new fabrics Ikea is the most inexpensive place to shop, especially for real linen (7,95€/m -> 4,62 USD/yard -> 5,93GBP/m) Colors are usually few.

  9. I love your style, Miriam! I need to adopt that practice myself. I recently purchased a sheet to make my own dress but that was a one-off. I need to do it more.Ikea is far enough away to make it a special trip instead of a swing by and check it out sort of shop, but I will definitely keep an eye out for nice fabrics when I go again.

  10. If you’re looking for small amounts for quilting or to add to other projects, there are fabric swapping groups on Flickr. I’ve swapped things from my stash with women overseas. If you swap a yard or less, shipping is usually reasonable. You might be able to find some things on Etsy as well. Search for “destash fabric”–you never know what you’ll find.

  11. I agree Joann’s had a great sale. I was able to get scissors for 1/2 price. I was able to get several pieces of material for a charity quilt for next year. I’m going to start my Christmas gift sewing next month. I would start this month but we have been blessed with extra money to do needed repairs at our home that will make it more energy efficent. We are so blessed. Next week we are hoping that our tomatoes ripen. Thank you for sharing.Tammy from Oregon

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