Free Patterns: Not all patterns can be found free on the internet. There are some free clothing patterns on the Internet but your choices are limited. There are ways to save on printed patterns at the store. How does 99cents or 50% off hit you?
Major chain sewing stores such as Joann Fabrics and Hancock Fabrics as well as many smaller fabric stores, have mailing lists. SIGN UP!!! Those flyers let you know when the deals can be found and if there are any restrictions on the deals. 99 cent and 50% off sales will be advertised in those flyers so be sure and sign up for their newsletters.
I don't have a Hancock Fabrics near me but I do have a Joann Fabrics.I receive their email and their snail mail flyer (because I signed up for them). I regularly use the coupon on the back of the flyer to receive 40 to 50% off an item, and can honestly say I would not have the supplies, tools and notions on hand that I do, without those coupons.
I watch the flyers for 99 cent pattern days and mark my calendar for those days. I have never paid more than 50% of the retail price for a pattern! One tip I can offer is to make it a point to keep the flyer in your purse or car so you have it on hand for the times you weren't planning on being in the area.
I cringe at the idea that something could cost me more to sew it myself than to buy it ready made… and hate the idea of buying things that support slave labor wages in other countries. So my option is to find fabric at bargain rates.
Any department store that has fabric usually has a bargain section. Shop the clearance and bargain isles first. Pay attention to looking for flaws and imperfections when you are shopping those isles, but most of the time, the fabric is in that area due to the change of seasons or to make room for new stock. Buy for the next season.
Wal-Mart is not a reliable source for fabric but is rumored to be bringing fabric back to their stores. If you find one with fabric it is worth while to browse the selection.
You may also notice that the fiber content is not on the end of the bolt. When in doubt and concerned about the fiber content, use a burn test to identify the content.
More on Economical Fabric Sources
Newsstand prices are not the best bargain. Buying a magazine on the newsstand is a great way to discover if you like what the magazine has to offer, but getting a subscription is the best way to save money on the magazine. Find sewing magazines here.