Where to Buy Cheap Fabric

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Want to be a seamstress but are shocked by the high price of fabric? Here’s where to buy fabric so that you can make the most of your crafting budget.

Want to sew some clothing or make some fun crafty projects? Here's where to buy cheap fabric that won't break your budget plans! #fabric #cheapfrabric #savemoney #sewing

Cheap Places to Buy Fabric

I’m not a big-time sewer but I do like to buy fabric occasionally for certain crafting projects and for miscellaneous mending needs. The trouble is that most of the time the fabric you can get at regular fabric stores is way too expensive to make it worth buying and making anything out of! Now I’m sure that many of you that are bigger sewers than I am and you have more tips than this so make sure to share them with the rest of us in the comments section as well.

As far as price goes, I’ve found that your non-traditional fabric buying options are best, however, as far as selection goes you may need to stick with a regular fabric store and just rely on the coupons they provide. Here is a list of cheap places to buy fabric to check out.

–If you are new to sewing, first check out my list of 7 Tools Every Beginning Seamstress Must Have!


Where to Buy Cheap Fabric

While this is not an exhaustive list of where to buy cheap fabric, these are some of my favorite places to look. Be sure and read through the comments from other readers for even more ideas and leave your own comments as well!

Cheap Fabric at Garage Sales

This doesn’t happen all the time but occasionally I will be able to find fabric (mostly scrap) at garage sales. I’ve noticed that if a sale is going to have a good amount of fabric it is generally advertised in their newspaper ad.

If you don’t see any ads that speak directly about fabric, look for garage sale ads advertising a “nick-nack” or miscellaneous sale or sometimes even craft items. Garage sales that are advertising children’s clothing and similar items are generally not the place to look for fabric. If you find a large amount of fabric that you want to buy, don’t forget to ask for a bulk price!

–How to Make the Most of Rummage Sales

Cheap Fabric at Senior Center Sales

This one is similar to garage sales above but one put on in a senior center. We have one of these sales yearly in my area at a large senior center and it usually has a huge table full of all kinds of fabric!

If you like to repurpose old fabric for projects this is also a great place to look for that. Many older clothing garments were made of a more quality fabric than you can find on clothing now and it works well for repurposing projects. Many of these senior center sales can be offered on a donations basis which means you might be able to find a great deal!

Free Simple Sewing Patterns


Cheap Fabric at Thrift Stores

This is usually a fairly reliable source of inexpensive fabric. All of the local thrift stores I can think of have a nice “crafting” section that usually has at least a dozen of bundles of fabric.

These bundles are a little more expensive than the previous 2 options, but as I said, if you have a good local thrift store, you have a pretty good chance at getting fabric whereas rummage sales and senior center sales can be hit and miss. I’ve even found some fairly large amounts of fabric at thrift stores not just scrap pieces.

Thrift stores (and garage sales) are also a great place to find old sheets which, if you think about it, is an awesome source of fabric for crafts! You get a large piece of fabric that is usually priced pretty low. I love making Rag Rugs out of old sheets.

Free Printable Sewing Patterns

Cheap Fabric at The Fabric Store

Wait…didn’t I just say that fabric stores were expensive? Well, they can be, but like in all stores, there are always ways to find a deal! Look for clearance racks of discontinued patterns.

Some fabric stores also hold sales were you can find half price deals on the “regular” fabrics, however the best luck I’ve had at finding deals is shopping the clearance. Check online at the store you are going to first for coupons.

 Cheap Fabric at Big Box Stores

Yes, even stores like Walmart and Hobby Lobby have good deals on fabric! Search around until you find the remnant bin and you can get deals on scrap fabrics. I’ve even found some remnants that are several yards long, enough to make a large project with!

Also as I mentioned above, if you need a very specific type of fabric this is going to be your best option since they will have the largest selection. Hobby Lobby always has a weekly coupon (that can be used on up to 10 yards of a single fabric) that you can print and take with you to the store.

I’m not much for buying fabric at Walmart for several reasons but I do like to get my notions like elastic and ribbon there since it’s a pretty good regular price.

Sewing Projects that Take Under 1 Hour


These are just a few of the places to buy fabric that I’ve regularly been able to find a deal at for my little projects! Since we don’t live very near any of these places I’ve also started ordering fabric online from stores like Fabric.com. They often have sales going and it’s a cheaper option than driving all the way to the store for what I need.

Some of my favorite projects that I’ve been making lately with my cheap fabric are:

What are some of the places that you buy cheap fabric from? What projects are you working on right now?


This article on where to buy cheap fabric was originally published on Little House Living in October 2012. It has been updated as of January 2019.

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  1. I like to look at the plus sized dresses at thrift stores too. Jumpers especially are a great source of fabric for smaller projects. Just be sure the dress doesn’t have too many seams, which make the overall pieces of fabric smaller.

      1. I other words, if i buy a sheet to make night gowns for my kids, i shouldn’t because someone might need it to sleep on that night. HUH????????

    1. Please do not buy up the plus sized clothes at the thrift store just to cut up. There is a documented and very real issue of shortages of plus size clothing at thrift stores; poor women tend to be plus size, who tend to not have a lot of spare garments to surrender to thrift stores, and who rely on thrift stores for basic clothes security, which are short on fitting clothes for the aforementioned reason, and it’s a recurring cycle.

      Upcycling is really cool and noble and you totally should do it, but please leave the plus size clothes for the plus size women if you don’t need them.

      1. So we should put aside what we want to buy just in case someone else wants to buy it? Shove off on that nonsense.

      2. As a plus sized person and a poor person. I say I’m a grown up who understands the concept of first come, first served. Not intending to be rude but just saying.


    2. Please don’t do this with plus size clothes. It’s already hard for larger women to find clothing. When you’re poor it’s even more difficult.

      There are lots of places to find cheap fabric; there are not many places for women to find affordable plus size clothing.

      1. What you are saying here about there being a shortage of plus-size clothing makes sense. But what about plus sized dresses from the eighties or nineties that are very dated but have a lot of useable fabric? I don’t see anyone wearing them as is and it makes sense to up-cycle those ones rather than let them go to waste. Does anyone know of people wearing those dresses as is?

        1. I volunteer at a free clothing center. We give away lot of clothing to poor ppl. There are many very nice pieces of clothing ( fabric) that no one takes. I have taken velvet jackets and made stuffed animals from. We have passed on a ton of wool blazers and dressy dresses…all sizes, to a thrift that sells clothing. Poor ppl do not want a certain style of clothes.

          1. I agree Sandy. But it’s not so much that poor people don’t want a certain style of clothes as it is that certain styles don’t make sense for their lifestyle. Where would a poor woman wear a fancy dress, for instance? Or even a nicer dress? Those would require a certain type of shoe, maybe nylons, when there is no money for extras. Why would they purchase something that requires special care when there are no funds to pay for that?
            I once had a boyfriend gift me with a fur coat. It made no sense! Made much more sense to sell it. Where in the world would I wear it?
            So yes, it makes sense to recycle items that can’t be used otherwise.

      2. Well you said plus size woman are usually poor. Maybe they should consider spending less on groceries then they wouldn’t need to buy thrift store clothes because they would have more money. If something is for sale it’s up for anyone so your comment is completely ignorant just like my response

        1. Katie,

          That’s a CRUEL and unnecessary comment. You are implying that plus-size women are eating way too much when the fact is, the cheaper groceries are higher in calories and more fattening. Fresh vegetables are expensive while items like pasta, rice and beans are cheaper.

          And yes, your response is most definitely completely ignorant and hateful.

          1. How did this turn into a fat-shaming episode?!?!? There are also medical conditions that cause weight gain, such as someone that is on dialysis. That person DEFINITELY did not choose to have their kidney/s fail!! The is totally disrespectful to those who have health issues. How would you like it if you were being so despised by greedy/self-centered people who just feel entitled????

          2. I was poor the entire time I was raising my kids. I often chose to fill up on starches or skip meals entirely so that my kids had a more balanced diet. For months, I took popcorn to work for my lunch so that I could feed my kids dinner.
            And yes, I’m disabled and have chronic pain/illness so those things affected my options as well.
            I’ve been out of poverty for 2+ years now. I can afford healthy foods. I’m actually eating more; no skipped meals, etc. And eating more, I’ve still lost more than 40 pounds!
            People need to take their assumptions, then take the first three letters of that word, and shove them there.

        2. Are you an idiot? What she said was most poor women are plus size, not that plus size women are usually are usually poor. There is a distinction that you apparently don’t grasp. Many poor women have families to feed and are on food stamps. There’s a lot of carbs on their grocery lists because they are more filling. Look into what poverty really means and its causes. I am stunned.

          1. Sentence structure people. Using the correct grammar is vital when communicating. Feelings wouldn’t necessarily get hurt if you were to write grammatically correct sentences. Just a thought

        3. You’re a horrible person 😦 I’m so shocked to even find such a cruel and ignorant comment on a frickin craft blog comment section 😭 goes to show that cruelty and idiocy are everywhere I guess

        4. Katie, you’re assuming that plus-size equates to a large appetite. Not necessarily! Starches are cheaper than healthier options, so a small budget means fewer healthy foods. And if a woman is working (yes, poor people do work), getting back and forth on public transportation, etc she likely has less time and energy to cook from scratch so relies on processed foods – also a much less healthy option. Eating poorly is still a better option than going hungry! Check your assumptions!!

        5. Ohhhh yesss—-your comment IS totally ignorant, and even your saying yourself that it’s an ignorant comment does not take away the meanness, judgment and body-shaming aspects of your comment.

      1. So, you are saying that big women need to wear need to wear men’s clothes? That’s like saying small skinny women need to wear children’s clothes. An expecting woman should also wear men’s clothes?

        1. I am a skinny women that thrifts in the women’s and children’s clothes. They are not saying that you “need” to, they are saying that it’s an option if you usually can’t find clothes that fits in the intended place. It’s a very useful tip for people that have trouble finding clothes.

  2. I can add to your list! I sew for a living and am a bargain hunter, so I’ve been learning the ins and outs of this.

    Estate sales can be a great place to find fabric and notions, especially vintage stuff. Not many people are in the market for that kind of stuff and they usually price the stuff very cheaply to get rid of it.

    I’ve had some luck at church rummage sales as well. I get the sense that a lot of it is leftovers from estate sales, hence – vintage fabric and notions, and even some great books and pamphlets for projects.

    Also, if you don’t need a lot of fabric, check out the remnant bins at fabric stores. These are the ends of bolts that have less than a yard left on them, and they are usually marked down by at least 50%. They’re especially great for pieces of polar fleece and quilting cottons, and even piece of interfacing.

      1. I come from a large family with many blue-collar workers. We use the old stained jeans to make quilts and things like that. You get a chance to pass on grandpa’s jeans to more than one grandchild. I also use my scraps to make dog quilts. They are smaller quilts and I take them to the humane society. I am not throwing the material away and the baby (dog or cat) are getting a comfortable place to lay. Just remember no stuffing in the dog blankets. They like to pull it out and make their handlers job harder.
        Happy sewing.

        1. The dog and cat shelters never have enough supplies. Also homeless shelters. Thank you for reminding us all.

        2. I never thought about senior citizen rummage sales so thank you for that and or estate sales or the way I do enjoy a vintage and antique Linens and that type of thing

      2. I just wasted 30 mins of my life reading the ridiculous comments…. although some of them were funny. I did have a take away…. if you find some fabric that you can use to make something… then get that fabric. The where and the how are irrelevant.

  3. I’m a homeschooling momma blogger working her way through life on one blog and Little House on the Prairie school curriculum on another. Was fun to be guided to your blog today!

    I rarely buy fabric at a fabric store. It was originally because I couldn’t afford to, now I realize I rarely have to, unless I need a very specific piece for a project.

    Last weekend I was digging through a huge pile of fabric and the woman was so desperate to get rid of stuff, she gave me the WHOLE pile for $3. The pieces were 3-6 yards each, cotton, flannel, lace, it was amazing. I am teaching my last child, a ten year old girl, to sew, so it’s wonderful having a lot of material to enjoy without worrying about making a mistake and “wasting it.”

    I use thrift stores for buttons, as well. When they clearance clothes out for really cheap, I look for clothes that have buttons I like. Cheaper to spend $.99 for a shirt full than $4 for a card with 4.

    This was a fun blog to find this morning!

      1. Out of season sheets are always on sale. Flannel and cotton and provide lots of fabric..also curtains and even shower curtains.

  4. Try substituting sheets, either bought on clearence or at a thrift store. You get a ton of fabric (Especially if you are looking for Jersey Knit) for a much lower price!

    1. This is great! I have been using sheets for a long time and irks very well. Curtains and shower curtains and so much more. Also I have used table clothes for a lot of things.

  5. Does anyone remember sending away for a “scrap assortment” from Coats & Clarks?, I think? I can still remember that they would send you zippers, lace, buttons..anything that they make..it was quite an assortment & it was FREE!..you just had to send a stamp..it was enough to fit inside a large envelope. I was only 10, but I can still remember opening it & examining everything..it was WONDERFUL to a little girl just wanting to learn to sew! 🙂

      1. I know this was a few years back, but just in case you see this or someone else does who figured it out, what was autocorrected to “rapings”? I’ve tried to figure it out but can’t, and I’m interested to know what they asked for. Thanks!

        1. wrappings from the products that you had already bought…I guess they could figure out what you had purchased?

    1. I remember doing that, too! I would get so excited when their package came. I would get all kinds of things from them— Rick-rack, bias tape, buttons, zippers, etc. I sure wish they still did it!

    2. I remember getting those…wonder if anyone still does this. It was great fun, like getting little Christmas surprises.

    3. I ordered the scrap assortment one time when I was young, thinking I could use it when making Barbie clothes! And guess what? I’ve still got it packed away with my Barbies!!

  6. I live near Los Angeles. Downtown, there is a ‘fabric district’.
    I’ve gotten really great bargains there. I go early so I can find parking, and only take as much cash as I plan to spend, plus a couple $ for a hot dog from the street vendor 🙂 otherwise, I’ll go a little crazy! (I’m a fabric junkie!)
    If you live near, or are visiting a large city, ask around to find out where the fabric district is.

  7. I sew all my kids’ clothes and am always on the look out for great fabric. One place I have found that you can find some really cute fabric is online at Connecting Threads – their clearance section often has fabric for as little as $1.95/yd. It is geared towards quilters, but I have found some very lovely fabric that was neither cheap looking nor cheaply made. Be cautious of some of the big bulk stores because they have a tendency to sell cheaply made fabric – which if you have to replace often or redo, can be more costly. I also shop around at Fabric.com where they will occasionally have nice clearance and then I stock up to take advantage of their free shipping. Ebay is another good place to hunt for speciality fabric that can be costly elsewhere, just watch out for high shipping prices! Sometimes when you live so far from town, it’s more economical to do your shopping online, like us; that being said, nothing beats spending some quiet time strolling through a large fabric store!

    1. Thank you for letting us know about Connecting Threads. Just checked it out and there is FREE shipping on orders of $50 or more. And their clearance section is full of stuff. Bookmarked this page because I’m sure I’ll be going there often.

  8. I love to sew. I love to get wool men’s suits at the thrift store. I have taken those apart and made beautiful pillows, quilts, and even other clothes from the suits.
    I brought a set of new curtains in a thrift store….It has about 20 yards of fabric.(these are commercial drapes from an office building) I will use the backing of the curtains for a quilt backing. For the sum of $8.00 I got almost 40 yards of fabric.

    1. I always check the clearance section at Joanns fabric. They also offer coupons if you download their app. Unfortunately they are the only fabric store besides Walmart in my area. I also look for fabric at yard sales and thrift stores. I recycle clothing for some of my projects. Estate sales are great for this.
      Some of our local thrift stores are becoming “pricey ” on their fabric and craft supplies so I watch for their sales as well. Dollar tree sells buttons in little jars. I grab 2 or more of the same jar to get better chance to match buttons.
      Auctions are another opportunity to find fabric being sold in lots.
      Good luck and happy sewing

      1. I always shop for buttons at thrift stores, usually never spend more than $1 per shirt or sweater (end of season, back to school, etc) some shirts have beautiful ceramic or metal buttons, for sewing or crafts; some sweaters have very large buttons, and many, 8-12, all matching! (Needed 8 large buttons for a duvet, found a sweater with 12, perfect size and color!)

  9. Oh, and don’t forget some online places. Sometimes folks get rid of fabric lots on Ebay, you’ll have to take what comes with it.
    I like Gehmans Country Fabrics, online store, very good prices and the Tropical Breeze fabric is literally a breeze to sew!

  10. Find the wholesale distributers in your town, they usually have “open to the Public” times and you get to buy at the wholesale price.

  11. Bag Sales at Church Rummage Sales…. in my town consistently the best place for extremely inexpensive fabric.
    For $1 or $2 for the paper Grocery sack, I can neatly roll up 12-15 warm bathrobes. Lots of fabric in a bathrobe! For $1 bag, a laundry washing, and used elastic for waistlines, I made NINE pairs of warm fluffy pajamas for my grandkids one Christmas…. plus, with old pillow stuffing, matching little teddy bears to go with 🙂 Awesome frugality 🙂

    1. Absolutely, rolling is the KEY when buying by the bag! You can fit a lot by using a tight roll, rather than stuffing or folding (also the key to fitting more trash in your bin, rolling paper and plastic)

  12. Awesome tips, thank you! I’m just learning how to sew, and hate to waste money on expensive fabric.

  13. I frequent the remnant bins at Joann’s Fabrics…they are always 50%, but that is not a huge deal since Joann’s often has 40% or even 50% coupons. However, it’s 50% off the current price so if the fabric is on sale that week, you get 50% off the sale price and that’s where I find the deals.

    For example, this week it’s 60% off snuggle flannel prints. They are normally $6.99, onsale for $2.80. So a yard of flannel remnant would be $1.40! Obviously, the downside is that remnants are hit and miss, or you find something but only 10″ of the fabric…but I always make sure to look thru them for the occasional great deal ;0)

    And a couple of weekends a year, they have 75% off remnants!

  14. I like to hit up the remnant bins at JoAnn, but I try to know what fabrics are on sale – the sale carries over to remnants! I just got about 3/4 of a yard of minky dot fabric that was about $11 regular price, $5.40 on sale, then 50% off because it was a remnant! I also love stocking up when they have 50% off red tag fabric.

  15. Sheets can make very nice fabric. My kids and I like to attend Civil War re-enactments; they love the clothes. Percale sheets make wonderful dresses and pantalets for the girls. Thrift stores usually have lots of used sheets, in patterns and solids. Lots of fun for little money. 🙂

  16. Hey in my neck of the country the yard & garage sales are not “little old lady” stuff. Nor “nick nack ” crap. ! Thrift stores are great for fabric from comforters, clothing, craft stuff also to make quilts, blankets and wool for beautiful rugs.

  17. I’ll put in a plug for auctions here, too! Fabric is often included in “other items too numerous to mention”, rather than actually listed, but a listing for a sewing machine means there is likely fabric to go with. Auctions are also the BEST source for vintage linens, which can often be repurposed beautifully. At one auction, I spent $6 (yes, six dollars) and brought home a perfectly working sewing machine, in good shape, including cabinet and chair, a bunch of thread, both sewing machine thread and serger cones, some trims and elastic, and about 3 banana boxes worth of fabric, most of it quite nice stuff. Definitely, all of my daughter’s summer dresses came out of that bunch of fabric that year. Another time, I got two huge boxes of cotton knits for $20…but that was a very odd auction.

    Also, if people around you know you sew, fabric will often find you. Be grateful for it all, and pass the icky polyester doubleknit from the ’70’s on to someone who will appreciate it (or use it for weed block?) and more good fabric will find you

  18. One more auction possibility: last winter, I bought an auction box of linens because there were a couple of good wool blankets in the box, and the whole box was $5. When I got home, it turned out that there was a bunch of vintage linens and assorted tablecloths under the blankets, including a pilebof those round tablecloths that it used to be in style to have hanging all the way down to the floor, hiding a small round endtable sized table. Well, my 6 year-old was asking for “Laura and Mary” dresses and pinafores, to wear as summer playclothes. Those already-ruffled tablecloths made up into very nice little girl pinafores!

  19. Small town thrift store prices are much better than the bigger towns and cities. Also, don’t forget about sheets! Lots of fabric there and often times we find new or nearly-new sheets at the thrift stores. Our local thrift store sells them for a dollar each. That’s one dollar for a whole dress 🙂 or a few aprons.

    1. One of the thrift stores I go to has a cycle–their prices are color- coded, and every week one color is 1/2 price, the other color is 75% off. (50% this week is 75% next week). I have about a dozen suede and/or leather coats that I plan to make purses out of. Most of these leather/suede jackets were less than $3.00!! My selection includes various colors, so the options are endless!!

      1. I have done the leather/suede purchases at thrift store also. Even the smaller size leather pants make excellent doll shoes and boots.

  20. OHGOSH!!! I am kicking myself now since I just got rid of the majority of the stuff but – thank you, thank you for the idea of using the old polyester knits for a weed block layer! I now have a use for any more that finds it’s way to my house!

  21. I go to Goodwill on quarter day and buy dress shirts for $.25 each.
    Just watch content. Looking for the color tag that marks if it’s a quarter
    Makes shopping take less time. A real score for me is a XLT men’s shirt with long sleeves! 😉 I use cotton and flannel bed sheets for quilt backs a lot if the weave is not too tight. Sometimes Bed, Bath and Beyond will have bedding on clearance and I just get picky so I don’t overdo it. Use the bottom (fitted) sheet for piecing, and the top (flat) sheet for backs or clothes. I usually end up keeping pillowcases as they are; great for giving and storing quilts in.

    1. I have had problems with using sheets for quilt back, because the weave is so tight. Flannel might work better. Thanks for the idea.

      1. I limit myself to 500 thread count or less. Yes, flannel always works because it’s always less than that. 🙂

        1. Fabric wholesale direct has great solid fabrics for around $2-5 per yard and they always have sales on pattered and sequin fabric.

  22. Don’t forget to buy canvas drop cloths at Lowe’s , Home Depot or Big Lots and Fred’s. Lots of yardage cheap, and you can dye it in a plastic storage tub! Very good for things that need to be durable…

    1. I recently made a purse out of canvas drop cloth fabric. I lined it with quilters cotton. It came out really nice.

  23. Hi I live in Wales UK,sewing is going out of fashion over here,and it is getting more difficult to find shops who sell fabric.When you do manage to find someone selling fabric it is so expensive,I have even tried on eBay but they are asking £13-£33 per mt,way out of my price range.
    Been looking in boot sales and church fairs ,but people know its worth quite a bit of money and they charge for it. No wonder sewing is going out of fashion, its become an expensive hobby.Sorry for going on like this but it gets very frustrating.

    1. I know exactly what you mean! Have you checked online fabric stores? I tend to find some good deals there but the ones I’ve checked are all US based sites.

      1. There are many, many sites on Facebook for fabric……throw out words like quilting, sewing, fabric, etc. and you will be amazed at what you find at reasonable prices all mailed to your door using PayPal.

        1. Excellent idea! I’m on facebook all the time, even joined a few of their clubs. Never thought to look for bargain fabric there. Thanks!

    2. I know fabric is less expensive here in the U.S., but it’s gotten way too expensive, and I feel the same way as you do about sewing. I used to sew my own clothes when I was younger, but it’s not worth it now. It’s a shame.

    3. I understand, and agree fabric is getting very expensive, I use to get good deals on eBay and etsy, but it’s been awhile, oh how I wish we could find good cheap fabric,, my home town, Marathon Texas

  24. I used to work at a fabric store and got some good deals on fabric. I then went to a new Walmart and helped set up the fabric and craft area. I got a lot of good deals on things there. My husband threatens to have a fabric and remnant sale all the time. One good thing about it he now helps me on making quilts and does a good job at it. He bought me a longarm quilting machine. I’ve also got good deals at yard sales.

  25. The Wal Mart where I shop just got in a bunch of Waverly fabric at a very good price, cheaper than Joann’s that is across the street. I picked up a few pieces, but wish I could get more. You have to be there when they get it in as it will disappear as the word gets out. I make aprons to sell on Etsy and at our local farmer’s market. I do well because I make all kinds of aprons for adults and children.

  26. All though it has been said to go to thrift shops… not only can you find just fabric but big dresses, shirts, pants, coats. I once found a long denim coat. I couldn’t decide to wear it or use it for patches on jeans… so I wore it until I needed it for patching. The backs of old jeans are good for patching also. I also save the pockets and zippers. I will use them someday. I still want to make a quilt out of back pockets of jeans someday.

    1. Speaking of old jean pockets–I have seen so many things on Pinterest that are made from denim. I also seen photos of organizers made of jean pockets and hung on a wall. Beautiful…especially if the pockets are ones that were decorated!!

  27. For larger inexpensive pieces of fabric, check second hand stores for sheets, So many people donate perfectly good stuff —

  28. JoAnn Fabrics remant bin has some really good deals on fabric. The pieces in the remant bin are always half and if the fabric bolts they came from are on sale then its half price off the sale price. Unfortunately the remants are no more than a yard but you can sometimes you can find several pieces of the fabric.

  29. Loved all these tips! I am a committed Joann fabrics shopper, but I’ll definitely have to try these other tips. If you do go to Joann’s definitely look in the remnants bin, I found some really amazing deals on Christmas theme fabric the beginning of December. Also, don’t forget to peruse the red tag section at the very back of the store. Sometimes the bolts are a little unorganized but they have all sorts of treasures. I found Halloween and July 4th themed fabric for $2 a yard. It was red tagged as $4, but all red tag was 50% off. Also, Joann’s does tons of coupons (a percentage off a certain item). Then if items are on sale you could still use a 20% off a total purchase coupon if they have them. And if you are a teacher or student you always get 10% off. I love deals!

  30. I remember my mother would take buttons off of all kind of shirts that was old. Reused them for other shirt or dress and skirts that she use to make by her self by had.

  31. My favorite place is the thrift store…especially sheets. Thank you for all your inspiring ideas!

  32. Our local Walmarts sell very good fabrics, including Waverly fabric which is excellent quality for 3 to 6 dollars a yard. They also clearance fabrics for $2 to $3 a yard regularly. Keep your mind open, check for quality, you shouldn’t be able to see through the fabric unless it’s the design, watch for sales, and you can get some good quality, inexpensive fabrics almost anywhere. cdahlgren at live dot com

    1. Try Marshalls Dry Goods located in Batesville, Arkansas. They are a manufacturing company for fabrics – all kinds and types of fabrics and also for quilt batting.


      Online, they have very inexpensive pricing.
      I have gone to the store in person and bought quite a bit of quilting fabric priced around $3.00 – $4.00 a yard.
      They also have a clearance section for fabrics that are going out of stock and they sell off what they have left over.

  33. Yes! All good ideas! I always like to look at cheap clothes. They provide a lot of fabric, and prom dresses at a thrift store are a really good choice. They provide TONS of gorgeous fabric for REALLY cheap!

  34. Merissa, “My what a wonderful thing you share with others”, your time away from your family and your knowledge which will leave a lasting impression on all the young ladies either beginners in sewing or young mothers.
    I can remember my Mom teaching myself and my little sister to sew…my sister is a master quilter/sewer. Myself, a tom-boy always out riding my horse and enjoying the outdoor life. I like to sew and really am into quilting. A beginner as I have always worked away from home.
    To this date, so many fond memories of my very favorite teachers in school was my Home Economics teacher and her husband was my sixth grade home room teacher. With my parents and my favorite teachers strong leadership of showing love, kindness, their knowledge, respect of others and belief in God has remained within all my life. I too, shared this with my son and with all whom I know.
    So, go forward young one and know that your sharing will always be remembered by someone’s.
    I respectfully send this “Thank You”…

  35. I found a beautiful 100% cotton name-brand duvet cover from Savers (a thrift store) for a great price. It’s twice the size of a regular sheet; I’ll be putting that in quilts for a while to come, and perhaps using it as a backing.

    I’ve also found quilting fabric there for 50 cents or a buck a yard, and recently found yards and yards of Jumbo ric-rac that I’ll use in a quilt at some point.

    Also, let the world know you’re looking for fabric, and what types. People looking to downsize may shower it upon you!

  36. I went to an estate sale that had a large bedroom FULL of fabric, zippers, patterns, buttons etc. There were several of us that were in heaven that day.
    We have a thrift store near by that has a bag sale once a month. As much clothing as you can fit in a shopping bag for $5. I stock up buying large full skirts and dresses. I even buy clothes that can be restyled. I made several outfits for my daughter when she was in high school. I used old 60’s patterns and retro fabric from clothing to make her dresses that her friends coveted.

  37. For those of you that are interested in quilting fabric, desperatequilters.com has an area on there web site that has fabric for $4 a yd, All first quality quilting cottons. I have bought from them many times in the past & they are very nice if you need to call. If you don’t see anything you like, keep checking back as this section has a major shift several times a yr. Buyers go to Houston to “Market” & when they come back they clearance all the old stuff out to make room for the new. Good luck to all. If you happen to see a fabric/quilting store go out of business that is the time to do a major buy. I did that after Hurricane Katrina, now I have friends that prefer to shop out of my stash, as we have very few places to buy fabric in the state, or even neighboring states. If you are visiting FL make part of your vacation, fabric shopping–they still have lots of nice stores especially in the outlying Orlando area. Sadly, I no longer live in FL

  38. Don’t forget about table cloths especially after the holidays. I buy the biggest size to use for my project at a thrift store.

  39. This list has some great places to buy fabric but none of them are very specific. One of the places I have found myself going to very often is stash builder box. Almost every time I am on the computer I realize that I am on their site looking at fabrics. I love finding new fabrics for my projects and this has some of the best I have ever seen. One of my favorite things about this website is that they send 3 yards of fabric to my doorstep every month. This is my favorite fabric website and I suggest everyone go check this out and add it to their list of places to buy fabric.


  40. Thanks for the suggestions. Brand new to sewing and was overwhelmed with fabric costs, especially since I plan to make make items for a charity. Found our Goodwill store today and was almost skipping walking out the door!

  41. Last year, I finally was able to purchase a Singer Starlet Sewing Machine. Rather than be disappointed that it was mostly made of plastic, I was thrilled it
    was so light weight. As I am much older ad suffer with back aches. I make small dolls and sell them. I find most of the patterns online. I used to sew by hand now I can see straight with the machine, I haven’t graduated to putting on a zipper, I guess because I have so much elastic. I also was given craft supplies by a couple of friends who moved to other states. As the word got out to my family and friends that I wanted to learn to sew, some family, friends and neighbors gave me either clothes that didn’t fit them or scrap pieces of fabric. I have repurposed many items to usable things. I like cotton house dresses and I managed to make a few. I also altered several skirts for myself and others for giving to the needy. I even made three dog beds so my little dog can hang out with me in whichever room I am in. I love to learn crafts to make things rather than buy them, such as soap. I have felt better with homemade soaps and my dry skin is not bothering me these days. I made a gift for a woman repurposing a butter cookie tin. I had blue enamel paint, covered the cookies illustration all around. Then on top I painted some outline with blue. Then painted red and orange Flowers with some sage green leaves. I then use household cement to glue on flat back ornaments, like buttons, ribbon flowers and a plastic cameo. Inside I put the sewing notions I had been purchasing little by little…. Small scissors, tape measure, small fake tomato with straight pins, a few safety pins a small pack of assorted threads and a pack of easy thread on needles. My friend can’t see too well but she does things too. She was so happy about her gift.

  42. In the Austin Tx. area, there is a store called Austin Creative Reuse that takes in craft and fabric and other assorted reusable items with the mission to keep reusable items out of the landfills. They sell rolls of fabric for $2/yard.
    Another place to keep an eye out for cheap fabric is quilt shows.. Sometimes local quilt guilds will have a country store for members to sell their unwanted fabric, books, trims, etc., to the public.

  43. Just beginning to machine sew again, after a 40 year break; homeschooling, etc. I really need these tips on how to find inexpensive fabric.

    I have found that buying fabric around Sept 20th is smart. That is when a lot of the previous Summer’s fabric is being discounted to $1.99 a yard at Fabric Mart. I went there in person, as it is in PA. However, take heart!, they sell online. I am going to check if they sell Fall/Winter fabric on clearance around the beginning to end of April.

    Blessing for all that you do to encourage us/me!

  44. I met a lady in a thrift store who was looking for pretty printed bedsheets. She made kids’ quilts from them.
    I buy clothing, such as fleece and leaather items, to cut up for projects.

  45. I had to use Edge to access your site. Google said it had d a bad gateway. I know Edge has a problem and Google censors which means it should be like a utility. Thanks for this discussion am a quilter. Be well.

  46. For scraps or smaller projects definitely the thrift stores, plus Walmart sells large squares that are great for pillows, etc. I was shocked the first time I visited JoAnn’s for fabric and saw things as much as $18 a yard! Luckily I hunted around and managed to find some for $4.99 a yard and on sale for 50% off, but it took a lot of looking and the pattern’s weren’t that great. I think Walmart is a good place to go if you need yardage for like a dress or something. You can find stuff for $2 a yard and my local Walmart at least has a good selection of patterns. Otherwise you’ll need to relay on that 50% off coupon from the craft stores. I won’t spend more on fabric that it would cost me to buy a ready made dress!

  47. I love checking out the remnant bins at Hobby Lobby! Need to start looking at more yard sales. Great tips!

  48. I just love to sew and also love to hunt for bargains. At my favorite thrift store I have found great sources for larger pieces of fabric. I look through the sections with shower curtains and regular curtains, the collections of long, gathered skirts, the long dresses, especially in extra large sizes, and long dresses made of linen. I also like to make long necklaces with beads or pendants at the bottom. For these, I have bought real leather jackets or skirts so that I can cut my own long leather strands for the necklaces. I sew my own summer dresses and tops when I find beautiful Hawaiian print men’s silk shirts in size extra large. Have fun hunting for treasures!

  49. I live in a remote area and do most of my fabric shopping online. If you watch descriptions carefully and are familiar with the high quality manufacturers, ebay can be an excellent source. Also marshalldrygoods.com has excellent prices and good quality.

  50. Online stores are the better option to buy fabric. There you can get lots of collections. I found Felt fabric is typically made with wool but synthetic felt using synthetic fibers is also available these days. Fabric Warehouse is a store where you can get all types of fabric collections at a reasonable price.

  51. I purchase my fabric online. I get name brand fabrics for $5 shipping always and also under $4.99 a yard. The service is fast and it is packaged neatly. http://www.quiltedtwins.com They are a great place to purchase larger amounts from they have wide backings like 100 of them for $8.49 a yard.

  52. I want to humbly admit that fabric has been my downfall in frugal living. I have not always bought the cheapest. Sometimes, I wanted sturdy denim or a more expensive color or print for a specific project. I just bought a new all purpose sewing machine after twenty years of homeschooling. I am just enjoying the thrill of sewing again. Loving the creativity!

  53. I’m lucky enough to live in a big city which is socially conscious, Vancouver, BC. We have a non-profit store where clothing designers and others donate excess fabric. You can get really high end fabrics really inexpensively and they even have a room with free fabrics, usually in smaller pieces, less than a yard, of less expensive types of fabric like cottons. In Vancouver it is called Our Social Fabric.

  54. I love this article and the comments! I’m a fabric junkie and am always looking for good fabric. But here’s the thing – be so careful about buying poor quality/cheap fabric. Know your fabrics and know your craft projects. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if the fabric is cheap but sometimes it does. My very first quilt that I ever made was a large project and I labored over it with love and determination. The fabric was pretty but it was a low quality brand from JoAnn’s. After a couple of washings, it was destroyed. All that work, only to see it disintegrate!! Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but be careful.

    I also made fancy aprons from not-so-inexpensive quilting fabric and that, too, was a mistake. Apparently I am really hard on my aprons! Shredded after 6 weeks of use or so, and that was the good quality quilting fabric. Duck cloth is better for aprons but if you want to do anything with ruffles or a style beyond the standard barbecue style, then you need cotton. There are heavier weights of cotton that can drape nicely, but I’ve had a hard time finding it since most fabric stores sell quilting cotton, which is lighter weight.

    When using a sheet as a quilt back, use only 100% cotton sheets with a lot of wear still left in it. If you use polyester blends, which is what most sheets are made of, it may be experienced as “hot” by the sleeper. It also doesn’t wash up the same as 100% cotton quilting fabric, which is presumably what you are using for your pieced top, so you can get puckering.

    I watch the sales at a local fabric store that is a wholesale warehouse type store and can get quality fabrics for less than $7 (which I know is not exactly a terrific bargain!) but sometimes I can get yardage of name brand fabrics for around $3/yard.

    Other sources for me for fabrics, which I see others have also mentioned:

    Ebay, thrift stores, 100% cotton sheets and duck cloth shower curtains at drastically reduced prices in outlet stores like TJ Maxx, garage sales, and sometimes sewing machine repair shops will carry fabric selections that they have gained from estate sales or business closeouts. Also tell all your friends that you are “open to receive” fabrics, because you never know when someone’s grandma left a stash that no one knows what to do with!

    I’m hoping to identify a good online fabric store and see a couple listed here!

  55. My family’s has recently undergone a myriad of hardships and it has come to the point that I am needing to learn to make our clothes. I’ve always sewn(simple things mostly: pillow cases, throw pillows, non-quilted throws, and a lot of cross stitching) but I’ve never made clothing before. The biggest problem isn’t that with our hardship I can’t exactly afford the price of buying fabric. We all need new clothes pretty badly and ive managed to recycle some of Mine And my husbands clothes for the kids(mostly dress clothes). But the thrift stores in my area rarely if ever have sheets or fabric. Some don’t have them at all. It’s a struggle. What’s more is patterns. I have been looking all over for patterns but everything free is printable. That’s all fine and dandy but if we can’t afford fabric it should go without saying that printer ink Is off the list too. And printing at the local library isn’t at all cheap, not cheap enough to be printing page after page with just a few lines on it which I’d have to piece together later.

    What is a person to do in a situation like this. I realize it’s not the usual kind. But it’s real.

    1. Could you ask around and see if anyone has any sheets or fabric that they are getting ready to toss? You could try asking friends or family first and then could also post on Facebook or Craigslist to see if you can find anyone.
      And as for patterns….you could try sewing without them by making your own patterns out of clothing that you already have. Read my post here —> https://www.littlehouseliving.com/make-your-own-skirt-pattern.html for ideas on how I do this.

    2. Matt, are you aware that JoAnn’s fabrics has one day a month when all patterns of a certain brand are only $2? Go into your local JoAnn’s and ask about that and write down the dates. Sometimes it is all patterns but usually it is just for one or two brands, like Simplicity and McCall’s, and then the next month it might be Vogue and Butterick, etc. Look through the pattern books carefully and locate patterns that offer many variations in one package. Get a basic top, basic skirt, basic pant, and make all your clothing from those patterns. I assume you must know about Goodwill, too. They have gotten ridiculously expensive, but every day there is a sale on a particular color tag, and then you can really get things quite cheaply. That would be my strategy for every day clothing, rather than trying to sew. Sewing is just not cheap even when you do find bargains.

  56. I do flag dance, prophtic dance at church. I buy sheer curtains from threft and garage sales to make flags and dance cloths. Just tug fabric to be sure it didn’t get sun damage. If it did it will RIP easy when tugged. I buy dye for the type of fabric to get other colors.

    I also buy used cloths and make something else. I bought a skirt 4 sizes to big and made palazzo pants and a scarf to dance with.

  57. My mother is the queen of cheap shopping. I can ask her for anything and she’ll find it cheap. One place we like shopping is the goodwill outlet store (my mom and I call it the dig because they throw everything into big bins and you have to dig to find them). It scares some people, but if you bring a pair of gloves, it can be really fun. Everything you buy is priced per pound so if you find fabric it’s going to be $1 per pound or less… while they dont sell many stricktly fabric material things there are all sorts of drapes and clothes and sheets and such to pull apart into virtually free fabric.

  58. Thank you for all your awesome ideas. I enjoy your bog/ emails plus the recipes.
    Have a fantastic day.

  59. Ok 1st thing is didn’t your Momma teach you guys if you can’t say something nice don’t say it. Wow.
    Now if you need a large amount of fabric cheap I buy sheets. I’m making mask for the children’s hospital & having a hard time finding children material cheap so I bought children flat sheets at the Goodwill so for around $5 I can make around 75 or more mask.
    Love your post & have a blessed day.

  60. I shop for cotton flannel baby receiving blankets at the thrift stores. They can range from $.25 up to $1, but you can get quite a few squares out of those

  61. I found great sheets…. cotton… flannel… what ever… in thrift stores that provided me with a lot of fabric for crafts and I also bought table cloths there for the same reason. And I have a never ending supply of ribbons for decorating hand towels from these stores. And they’re clean.

  62. When I make thrift store donations I never include anything with stains, tears etc. Instead, I recycle the fabric for crafts or other projects; save the buttons and zippers for the same.
    I love finding older sheets to use. Not many patterns available in newer ones.
    And they are awesome for so many projects! Recycling lace from thrift store finds is also a good thing. I’ve even recycled embroidery from clothing into patches to add to projects.
    Back when I had no money for gifts, I’d recycle fabric into balls for my toddler, dolls and doll clothes for my daughter, a special pillow, a backpack, small quilts, bags to store toys, etc.
    I’d even recycle wooden things found at the thrift store – a jewelry box became a doll wardrobe; a game board sanded and repainted into a chess board for my son; a piece of wood became a tic-tac toe board with bottle caps painted for the pieces. Even old teacups which I would use to create small fairy gardens or candles.
    Creativity and ‘thinking outside the box’ can add so much to our lives!

  63. I am a plus size woman. I do not donate any clothes to thrift stores or plus sized friends when I lose weight. My thinking may be wrong and horrendous however, I feel passing on my plus sized clothes just encourages a person not to make healthful changes in their life.

  64. Hi Merissa:
    I had used pretty much all of the above to obtain cheaper fabric sources. Another way is to link up with fellow crafters and do a swap out of each others fabric stashes. I’ve done the same with knitting yarn. I have often been a reuser of fabric. As someone mentioned cutting pieces out of old unusable clothing is another way to gain fabric swatches. A long time ago I made matching quilts for my two youngest out of flannel swatches cut from old flannel shirts, crib sheets, boxer shorts etc. I cut the squares from the older clothing and stitched them together to create the top. I used an old comforter from our queen sized bed that the outside fabric was worn but the batting was still good. I cut it in two for the two quilts. That became the middle. I used old sheets for the backing. The boys loved them. They turned out to be very warm. We still have one of the quilts. I have also used old blankets that are still usable as “batting” for quilts as well. I have also followed my mother’s example of repurposing some things like tea towels become aprons, old bath towels get cut down for dish clothes, cleaning rags or baby butt wipes. Old table cloths (depending on the fabric) can be used for quilt backings, aprons, tea towels you name it.

  65. My added suggestion is freecycle let them know you are looking for fabric or sewing notions or patterns….i did this once and some one was thrilled to end on fabric from her grandmother who did a lot of sewing but no one else in family sewed…sometimes people clear thru fabrics in a sewing room clean and reorganizing. I watch a podcast called rosery apparel she goes to thrift stores and hunts for sheets and makes wonderful dresses she did coats out of blankets it really is fun to see how this turns out. I am a rug weaver so sheets I have collected for that but she has me looking at them differently. She also has a free beginning sewing videos. Just passing along this as I enjoy watching her she is Australian but right now they are in Japan for a few months….

  66. Buy quality. You do not want “cheap” for most projects. I think a better title would be haw to find great fabric for less $$$

  67. I strip our old clothes of buttons, appliqués, lace and trim, and zippers. Then I cut the fabric down into usable pieces of fabric. I also save old sheets, tablecloths, and other linens if I think they can be used. During the lockdowns, I used my fabric stash to make face masks for family and friends. I also use it for quilting, mending, making doll clothes for my granddaughters, and any other miscellaneous craft items.

  68. I do buy fabric for quilting at thrift stores. I have also gotten great deals at farm auctions. If you want fabric from a store, I have found that Marshall Dry goods online have good prices.