For those that want to make your own costumes instead of modifying what you purchase at Goodwill you could try looking at JoAnn’s Fabrics. Be warned though, she’s a bit clingy.
Part of my start up costs included all the incidentals for running my sewing machine and creating other items I might need. Extra needles, thread, patterns, etc. None of which should come as a surprise. If you get started in this hobby thinking you can get things done with just the manufacturer included items then you more help than this blog can give you. Some of these “incidentals” hardly have an incidental cost. The self healing cutting mat ran about $40 and I needed to buy a second to cover the entire card table I use for measuring my fabrics. Of course you’re certainly welcome to run your blades over your table and mar the shit out of it but why not do things right?
As I have already mentioned, I wanted to cut costs but clearly wasn’t very good at it. One thing I did do to keep costs down as much as possible was to sign up for JoAnn’s mailing list. They mail you coupons about2 or 3 times every hour it seems. Most of which, you’ll want to keep around. You’ll frequently get 40% off of a regular priced item, that includes a single cut of fabric, and 25% your entire purchase. The fun of this is that these coupons stack. Remember, you get plenty of them. Check the dates because they will send some out well before they are active. Also check the bar codes to make sure you’re not trying to use the same one multiple times, and I have yet to see any of them repeat. While the 40% or 50% off coupons will not work for sale items, the 25% off coupons do. As I said, they stack also. If you’ve got five 40% off coupons and a 25% off total purchase coupon, you can use them all. An added bonus is that the coupons will automatically discount the highest priced item it can. Just about anywhere else you go the exact opposite is true. How cool is that? I’ve walked in and purchased $110 worth of items and fabric and paid only $65. Not too shabby.
Why is this important? Now the following may not apply to everybody. But sewing is addictive! The more that I do the more that I want to do. And all of it is practice. Where I first started out doing something simple to become familiar with the machine I have now gotten to the point that I can make some pretty decent clothing pretty quickly. I muddled through a quick and dirty swag bag and then progressed to some novelty vests. The first two vests took about 4 days to complete. The second two vests took 1 day. On top of that, the second set I modified the designs so that they are reversible. My first swag bag was basic to the point of laughable, the second two were badass creations of my own doing! I took an idea and ran with it. No patterns, just a concept and some quick references. Needless to say this has fueled my desire to sew and that has fueled more fabric purchases than I would care to admit.
As I’ve said before, PRACTICE! These are the tools of your new trade, or hobby at least. Get some time behind the wheel and make sure you’re comfortable with it. Yeah, I still have a lot to learn but I never expected to have everything down in the first couple of months.