Jul 27, 2018
When I was still in kindergarten, my mom taught me a big word that describes me to the core. Frugal. I don't like to spend money if I can help it and even when I was tiny, I was already bossing my mom around letting her know she is spending too much of her money. Now that I have my own money and I need to be more frugal, I find it a bit more difficult to stick to my frugal nature. In Japan, it is even harder because it is so easy to spend that extra hundred yen for the one with a cute face on it instead of the ugly one at the bottom of the shelf. But when it comes to craft supplies, this is where I still find myself trying to save a yenny rather than spend it all in one go. It is a good thing because craft supplies in any country are pricy. Japan can be especially so. Often quality comes with the price tag which is nice but when the end product costs three times the price of buying it ready-made, I start to question why I am spending the time to make it. So here are a few ways I cut corners to save some money in my sewing.
I use old kimono for my muslin, ie practice runs, when sewing. You can find really cheap kimono at recycle shops like book-off. The fabric may not be the cutest but there is plenty there and it is often cheaper to buy a used kimono than a yard or two of fabric. Also, I have found several kimono stores that put out old kimono scraps for free or at an extremely reduced price. They are all old mom and pop style stores, but who can beat free fabric.
Another way I save some money here is on pattern paper. Most pattern paper costs a thousand yen or more for barely even 2 meters of paper. Instead of wasting my money on professional pattern paper, I buy the cheapest rolls of shoji, the paper used on interior doors and windows. It is lightweight yet durable. The slight translucence of the paper makes it easy to copy the pattern onto. But the best part is the price. 400 yen at Cainz home for 7 meters. It is fantastic.
Lastly, patterns themselves are stupid expensive. At least any of the ones I have seen. And they are really simple designs that I could probably recreate just watching youtube videos. Instead of buying patterns here, buy sewing books. They have unique designs and the patterns are included with the books. Cheaper still, go to the library and pick up a few books. You can copy the patterns on your shoji paper and you are good to go.
I hope this helps any other sewists out there so they can save their money and spend it on what is truly important, that scrub brush with the cat face and tail.
American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too