May 24, 2019 5 min read 1 Comment
I've had a ton of people ask me over the years where they can find supplies for sewing, specifically where they can buy linen fabric. I wanted to write this blog post to list some of my favorite resources for fabric, notions, and machines. I'll explain each one below...
Online Fabric Stores:
Fabrics-Store.com : This is an awesome website to buy really nice linen fabric at a reasonable price without any minimums. They have a ton of colors and weights, and you can order swatches to see and feel it before you buy yardage. If you use the code ilovelinen it will give you 7% off your order, and if you sign up for their newsletter they have sale fabrics often. They also have a section with a ton of free sewing patterns. The only con is that their fabrics do shrink up a decent amount on the first wash, so make sure you wash it and dry it first!
Insta Linen : This website also sells many colors and weights in beautiful linen fabrics. They have a higher price point if you only need a few yards, but if you purchase at least 60 yards the price per yard comes down significantly. Their fabric doesn't seem to shrink up quite as much as fabrics-stores do, but if you can pre-wash and dry I'd still recommend you do. The con I would mention here is that I have had inconsistencies with their fabrics at times, so make sure you keep on them about that.
Pickering International : I just love Pickering, they have so many varieties of organic fabrics, from linen to hemp to bamboo. They have a minimum of 10 yards per fabric, and the price will go down the more yardage you order. They have high quality organic fabrics and great customer service. The only downside is that you aren't going to find as many color options as the first two sites I listed, but you will have more fabric varieties as well as more than just solid colors.
Kendor Textiles : A Canadian company, but from what I understand they can ship from a drop location just on the USA border to help with shipping into the US. They specialize in organic fabrics from linen to hemp to cotton to modal, and also have technical fabrics if you are wanting to make something with a lot of stretch.
Having machines you love to use makes ALL the difference! If you are just getting started and want to begin with something a little less expensive...
Brother makes some really nice machines that aren't intimidating, and can be found online for less than $200. They also make a decent serger that I used for a quite a long time. You can find a basic sewing machine from them on Amazon here. And the serger I used here.
When I decided to upgrade and wanted something much more heavy duty, but didn't feel ready for an actual industrial machine I went with a...
Janome Memory Craft. I don't recall mine being quite this expensive ($2000) but perhaps mine was an older version because I think it cost me more like $1500. Either way, it's a really nice machine made with actual metal for the body. It has all the bells and whistles if you want to do buttonholes and zig zag stitches. It's also a lot faster than the cheaper machines and will save you a lot of time.
The machine I now use daily has literally changed my working life. I love this machine more than anything, it has truly altered the way I work. It's VERY fast, which is why I was afraid to buy it. When you're ready and want to get crazy, I'd recommend getting an industrial sewing machine like the one I use...
Juki DDL 9000C. It only does a straight stitch, but it automatically trims your threads (life changer!) automatically back-stitches, and auto-lifts for you! It was certainly intimidating at first, but once I got used to it I've never looked back.
Juki also makes a nice serger that I currently use called the MO-114D (really exciting name right? :-) It's simple, easy to thread, and I've found the tension to be easy to set. But if you asked me which serger I reaaaally want though...
I've got my eye on this industrial serger from Juki next. Don't get it before I do! I'll be so jealous :-)
GoldStar Tool : I've purchased many things from this online store, they seriously have everything you need but fabric! Shipping is always really inexpensive, and if you have a question just call them, someone will answer and they're very helpful. They ship all over and have great Youtube videos for many of their products. I've found it to be really helpful to buy their thread color chart book for $40, because whenever you need to buy a new color of thread you can make sure you're ordering the perfect color match.
UPDATE: I'm now using an iron from the Canadian brand Reliable and it's amazing...
I've gone through a lot of irons over the years. I've heard many people say they rarely expect their iron to last more than one year (which is a bummer, and also my experience). I haven't taken the time to try out a gravity feed iron, but the latest one I've been using is a Rowenta Perfect Steam, and I really like it! It's been over a year and it still works (knock on wood :-) I should mention- the perfect steam doesn't have an auto shut off when you stop using it. So if you're worried you'll forget about turning it off, keep that in mind...Overall, I'd say Rowenta is a great brand to buy. You can also get this fancy one from Oliso if your wrists don't like the back and forth. The one I had only lasted a year, but I did use it everyday and really liked it.
I hate the though that fabric remnants will just go into the trash. I keep a stash of all of my fabric pieces and use them until I cannot cut from them anymore. I recycle my fabric scraps through these green bins called Gaia Movement. You can go on their website to see if they have locations in your city. You can also connect with quilters, I've given my fabric remnants to them many times and they are happy to get them for quilting projects.
Try looking on Craigslist or NextDoor to see if you can find used sewing machines or even used irons. Find your local sewing shop, sometimes they will let you trade in your old sewing machine if you upgrade and buy a new machine through them. I don't recommend always buying everything on Amazon, if you can buy machines through an authorized dealer it's going to be A LOT easier to get help directly from the manufacturer if something breaks and you need help.
That's all I have for you right now! I will add to this post as I think of more items that might be helpful. Please ask questions in the comments below! I'd love to hear your thoughts and see what else I can try to answer in the future.
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Laurel J Slatt
January 15, 2020
great, informational post! thank you