One of our readers, Anne, asked us where we find affordable fabrics for our sewing projects described in Madoline’s post Save Money by Sewing Your Own Clothes, so here we will share our favorite sources. Our information on physical fabric stores dates back 1-2 years, as we have moved to a remote area and no longer shop for fabrics in physical stores. However, online fabric prices mentioned here were current at the time the post was written (March 7, 2008).
Our Favorite Sources for Discount Fabrics
Some Walmart stores have discontinued their fabrics departments, but if a store in your area has not done so, it is the best source for affordable fabrics. While they carry many “fiber content unknown” fabrics, they also have many good quality fabrics suitable for clothing in the $1.00-$2.00 per yard price range. When some of their pricier fabrics run low on the bolt, they often lower the price to $1.00-$2.00 to clear it out – usually with between 1-3 yards left on the bolt, which is ample for making a regular sized outfit. Even the “fiber content unknown” fabrics can be used for some projects such as home decoration and miscellaneous crafts.
- Jo-Ann Stores
The physical Jo-Ann stores, especially the superstores, carry a huge selection of fabrics for all sorts of purposes – clothing, costuming, upholstery and crafts. While regular prices are often in the $3.00+ range, they often have large sections of quality fabrics on clearance for $1.00-$2.00 per yard. Joann.com often has free shipping promotions for orders $35 and above; just do a search on RetailMeNot.com for a coupon code.
Our preferred online fabric supplier is Fabric.com. They carry a wide range of fabrics at reasonable prices, and often have a lot of good fabrics on sale or clearance from as low as $1.50 per yard and up. Be sure to check their clearance category frequently and check out the Fabric.com Coupon Corner for current promotions. We have ordered from them several times and been pleased with the quality of the products as well as the service. Their warehouse is located in Georgia, so shipping via UPS usually takes a week to the West Coast, and we usually receive our orders within 9-10 days of our order. (Prices quoted in our original article Save Money by Sewing Your Own Clothes were obtained from this site.) Fabric.com also offers free shipping on orders $35 and above.
Joann.com carries a variety of craft supplies and fabrics, though I find their online selection of fabrics limited and not as well priced. However, they sometimes do have very good sales on fabrics with prices as low as $2.00 per yard. Their sale fabrics often sell-out very quickly, so you have to act quickly when you see them. They also frequently offer Free Shipping promotions for orders over $35, but they can be a little slow to ship. (We once waited over 2 weeks for them to ship an order.)
New source (added October 4, 2009):
- Hancock Fabrics
We have yet to purchase from Hancock Fabrics, but it seems like a reputable company and they have good prices and offer free shipping on orders $75 and up.
We haven’t purchased as much fabric lately as we have stocked up a lot of fabrics over the past few years. When purchasing fabrics, it is best wait to buy them on sale as it is rarely an urgent matter. With fabrics, when you see a good deal for a fabric you have a plan for and are certain to use, then snap it up before it is gone, because it most certainly will be gone very quickly. Just don’t snap up every bit of fabric that catches your eye. If you can’t think of a good use for it in the immediate or near future, or if you already have a lot of fabric sitting around waiting to be used, then it is best to let it go.