Sourcing: Notions & Fabric
Based on the questions I've already received via email, a good number of folks would like to know exactly where to find the various supplies I use to create my dresses. I plan on writing up my vintage pattern strategy in a later post so this is more focused on notions and fabric.
As I mentioned in my introductory post, I try to use vintage and second-hand supplies whenever possible. I also try to be as thrifty as possible. Those two requirements equal more time spent, a trade-off I'm willing to make. The greatest source of my real deals and finds are estate sales and flea markets. I love antiquing and finding hidden gems so the time spent doing all of this is actually quite enjoyable. Estate sales tend to depress me a bit, however, since you're usually dealing with the belongings of a recently-deceased elderly person. My finds are often bittersweet since I imagine the person who never got to use them. On the other hand, I'm giving life to something that was once important to someone else.
The secret to sewing is to save a stash of stuff that you'll need later. If I'm somewhere like an antique store, I'll always grab a vintage zipper or button card if the deal is right. I may not have a use for it now, but I will eventually.
I made a bunch of good garage/estate sale finds this weekend. It took be about 45 minutes total to go to two sales and find what I needed.
- 25 Vintage (a couple new) zippers for $1! Yes, $1.
- 61 spools of thread (pictured above) for $8
- 6 yards of a woven (but scratchy) green fabric from the 1950s for $6.
- 3 yards of a vintage reproduction cotton – $1
- 3 wools/tweeds fabrics (~2 yards each) for $6
- 1 1/3 yard of an orange cotton $2
- 1 yard of a vintage novelty print $2
- 2 yards of red linen $2
- 2 1/2 yards of calico $2
- 3 cards of vintage snap closures
The grand total? $30. I estimate that I'll be able to make eight articles of clothing out of these items. That's $3.75 per item! I have to factor in the cost of patterns, but that shouldn't add more than a couple dollars to the cost.