April Sewing Budget

April budgetWhat it comes down to is that I’m nosy. Okay? I love to hear/see what you are making, what your stash looks like, what your sewing room looks like. What is going on behind everyone else’s sewing doors? Let’s take this a step further, shall we, and talk about the expense of our beloved hobby.

I got this idea from some of the fashion bloggers I follow. I found a link up and could just hop from 1 blog to the next, peering into their fashion spending. So fascinating! Some of these women are very clever with their purchases. You would think that they would all be buying trendy, trendy everything to throw up on their blogs, but no. Many of them made very versatile, classic and  thoughtful purchases after they had waited for a sale. I was super impressed  and it was so fun to read! And I naturally started thinking I wonder what my sewing friends spend on a monthly basis…

Fashion Illustration TechniquesBefore this month I didn’t really have a budget. This was both good and bad. Good that I could grab something wonderful when I saw it or needed it, whether that be fabric or a new pattern. Bad that I would often feel guilty for my purchases, because very rarely were they a necessity.

So the idea of a budget gave me an amount each month that I could and should spend on sewing supplies without guilt and with maximum fun. I based my budget dollars on a simple earned allowance system that helped me move towards some other, unrelated goals. That made me feel productive. It was a fun experiment and one I will continue with, but I’ll be changing up the “chores” I earn sewing dollars for depending on what I need motivation for that month!

My budget ended up being $155 this month. So, what did I spend it on?


 Leather Cord  $5
 3 yd. white quilted fabric (thrifted super score) $4
 3/4 yd. piece of boucle  $6
 Patterns (Paper)  $20
 Pink Serger thread  $4
 Fashion Illustration Book (always learning!)  $16
 2 Blaverry PDF Girl’s Patterns (made one already)  $16
 1/4 rolled hem foot off ebay  $26
 Lace and batting (both for Wardrobe Contest items) $11
 Colette Seamwork (finally subscribed!)  $6
 Several pieces of thrifted knit  $18
 Total spent  $130

PicMonkey Collage1Regrets– I ended the month with an unused $25, and yet I still managed to miss the StyleArc PDF sale that I was so excited about (I even instagrammed it!) My excuse was simply that I forgot. I meant to sit down with a nice cup of coffee and peruse the new PDFs they have put in their Etsy shop and the month just slipped away…Wah! But it is nice to end the month with a surplus because I just booked a trip to see my mom down near San Diego and we are going to the LA garment district, baby! I’m bringing 1 outfit and an empty suitcase to fill with fabric.

unnamed (8)So, what do you do about the sewing budget? Do you have a set allowance? I would love to hear. This hobby can get expensive pretty easily. How do you react to temptation?


15 thoughts on “April Sewing Budget

  1. Our purse strings have recently had to tighten up quite a bit so I don’t really have a fabric budget anymore. When I have money left over at the end of the week or month I can buy some fabric but I’d say I’m down to maybe $25 a month or so. Luckily I have a decent stash so I’m still chugging along. I tend to accumulate fabric gift cards for Christmas and birthday so I spread those out over the year. In the past nine months (since the aforementioned string tightening), I’d estimate I’ve probably spent about $250 on fabric, but $150 of that was gifted to me in the form of gift certificates. As for temptation … I try very hard not to peruse fabric web sites, and I agonize for days, if not weeks, before making a purchase.

  2. I have 7 pounds 50p disposable income per month, so I usually try and save as much as possible and go on fabric shopping outings in the half term holidays. Luckily, being a part of Minerva Crafts Blogger Network definitely helps. I do have a fairly substantial stash already (which is mostly donated by people), so I won’t run out of things to make any time soon.

  3. I have a $100 a month budget every month. I wish it was more-ha ha! But it keeps me honest and accountable for what I spend and if I didn’t have a budget, I fear I’d spend wayyy too much because it’s just so tempting.

  4. o!M!G! you have stirred up the hornets’ nest there… I don’t really have a budget because I’m lucky enough to have enough disposable income to just buy what I want (fabricwise, I don’t get to splurge on other stuff, unfortunately, or, maybe, fortunately). But because I do very little RTW shopping these days I end up with more money than before I sewed a lot. 🙂
    As far as resisting to temptation goes: I don’t…

  5. I’m lucky enough to not have a budget, but realistically probably should. I have enough in my stash to sew for years but I figure I rarely buy rtw anymore and don’t have any other vices. In my opinion it’s all relative.

    • I also have enough fabric in stash to sew for years. It is a nice feeling, and yet can be oppressive. I’m hoping a budget will help me a bit with that!

  6. I don’t really stick to a budget for my sewing, I remember the poor student times rather well and love my sewing too much not to buy all the pretty things… I should probably watch it a bit more though as the fabric stash and patterns are getting a bit out of control!

  7. This is so interesting. It feels like most of our family incomes goes on the kids – I’ve never had a set budget for sewing, my spending tends to fluctuate with our income. This year I thought it would be good to keep track of my purchases and I have to say I’ve been quite shocked by the monthly totals – I would never have thought I spent that much! I need to go through my stash – my kids have outgrown fabrics I bought for them and I’m trying hard to focus on buying fabrics that I’ll wear, not just ones that I love. I hope that makes sense!

  8. I don’t use a budget but I do track my spending. Id guess I average about $30 per month. I’m planning to do an assessment at the end of the year. I include the time a project takes in my blog posts and have been thinking about including cost too.

  9. I really should have a budget and I might start this summer. The past 9 months or so I consciously made the decision not to buy any more quilting cottons. I had a habit of buying them for my two girls and I have plenty now- a lot given to me- so that flow of fabric spending has dried up a good bit. I mostly buy the big four patterns on sale at Hancock fabrics (admittedly I have too many patterns). As far as spending on apparel fabrics I shop “spot the bolt” sales often at Hancock fabrics and wait for the fabrics to go down in price, like usually 80 to 90% off. But if there is a fabric I love and have a pattern that would go perfectly with it I will buy it with a coupon. I have thrifted some really nice pieces of fabric as well and use those too. I pretty much loathe shopping for clothes at any store so that fuels a lot of my sewing. Plus I’d rather sew my clothes than chase my two girls around a dressing room stall while half dressed- ha ha!

    I agree that too much fabric can feel oppressive, so I’ve been trying to curb some of my apparel purchases more and think I do pretty well. Thanks for starting this discussion, I think its a great one, its given me good food for thought!

    • Oh one more thing, I guess I should say my husband does track my spending but he is a reallllyyyy smart man and never acts disapproving and is encouraging saying things like “you always make pretty things.”

  10. I’ve never had a budget, but I do know that my spending is pretty cyclical. I buy patterns and notions when there’s sales and fabric on sale if I can manage it. I’m mostly a project buyer, so I tend not to have a gigantic stash, though that’s changed recently. I keep my pattern expenses to a minimum by sewing mostly Ottobre and Burdastyle patterns, though I’m adding a few choice indie patterns in here and there. I don’t think I’ll ever sew 100% indie; learning the quirks of everyone’s pattern sizing and PDF printing keeps me is too overwhelming at times.

  11. I aim for about $100/mo. I don’t have much of a stash and tend to buy for projects as I’m in the mood. I pretty much just sew what I feel like wearing. 😉 Now that I’ve been sewing for a couple years I’ve started building a stash. When a favorite fabric is available on sale or as a remnant I scoop it right up!

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