Sunday, October 9, 2011

The best time of year to buy sewing stuff

When is the best time of year to buy sewing supplies? 

Quite possibly right now, during September/October.

Lots of people will consider buying fabric for a Halloween costume even if they've never touched a sewing machine before in their life. They'll wander into a fabric store, check on the prices and weigh whether it's cheaper to make a costume or to buy on off the rack. If they think they can make it within their budget, they'll try it and maybe continue sewing in the future. But if it would clearly be less expensive to buy a costume off the rack, they'll march right out of the fabric store never to return.

The fabric stores are well aware of this, so they do everything they can to get people into their stores leading up to Halloween. I watch the sales fliers all year long & I've been amazed at some of the recent deals, sales, and coupons.

For example, the monthly sales fliers usually have one or two coupons good for 40% off a single (non-sale) item. Sometimes it has a coupon for 50% off a single item. It's rare to get coupons for X% off your total purchase. In the past year, I have gotten one coupon for 15% off total purchase coupon (Labor Day weekend) as well as one or two coupons for 10% off total purchase (one was for Memorial Day). I may have also gotten a 5% off everything for a particular random weekend, but I'm not sure. Either way, you don't see them often.

However, in the past two months I've been sent not one, but TWO coupons for 20% off my total purchase. One was in honor of National Sewing Month (September); the other was for Columbus Day Weekend. This is 20% off everything, including things that are already marked on sale. This is a great deal, and if I weren't already stocked up to the gills with fabric, I'd definitely be checking out the local fabric store right now.

Moral of the story: if you're planning to make your Halloween costume, make sure you're on the mailing list for your local fabric store starting in August so you can get the September and October fliers.

When is the best time of year to buy sewing books?

Now isn't a bad time for that either.

I've known for some time that fall is a good time of year to buy fabric and supplies. However, I hadn't given much thought to sewing books until yesterday when I received an gift card to celebrate my birthday. The first thing I did was check my wish list. Unsurprisingly, there are quite a few sewing books on it; I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were all on sale.

Lots of sewing books seem to go on sale
leading up to Halloween during Sept. and Oct. 
Frankly, I shouldn't have been surprised all all. It make sense for sewing books on sale for the same reasons that fabric is on sale this month. Lots of people are willing to tackle special sewing projects during October in preparation for Halloween.  Presumably, they might also be more interested in getting a book for tips on how to sew, so why not entice them with a sale?

It certainly enticed me. I was originally planning to only get as much as my gift card would cover. However the prices were better than anything I'd seen over the course of the past year, so I got an additional book.* I'm now impatiently waiting for the following:

*The Costume Technician's Handbook 3rd edition by Rosemary Ingham
*Blackwork (Essential Stitch Guide) by Becky Hogg
*Couture Sewing Techniques, Revised and Updated by Claire Shaeffer

I'll write reviews on them once I've had a chance to look them over. Each of these books is for intermediate to advanced sewing level. I already have one or two books that are focused on beginners, which I'll also try to review at some point in the future.

*If I had anyone on my holiday gift list who's interested in sewing, I might have gotten something for them too. It's not unusual for me to buy gifts months in advance and then save them until Christmas/their birthday/etc.

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