I've got the solution, go to your local sewing stores that carry the patterns and higher quality fabrics. Support them. Don't compare their prices to the Big Chain stores, it is very different quality. Pay the extra dollars, it is so worth it. If you want 100% gorgeous cotton than go to a quilting store. You need not be a quilter because many of the quilting stores carry children's fabrics and more types of cotton themed fabrics that are suitable for garment construction. Specialty stores consistently have great quality which can be purchased for an average of $8.99 per yard. (This really is the same price as the chain stores without coupons...and again with consistent great quality). Solid fabrics can often be found at $5.99 per yard and they will last through repeated washings and stay soft.
This outfit has fabric purchased at one of my two favorite local sewing machine dealers, and the pattern was also purchased there. I pre-washed it before sewing it, and the hand of the fabric is beautiful. Cheri Collins had made a store sample just like this. Because of her delightful sample, I picked the pattern and fabric at the store. Quality samples do sell fabric and patterns. Anything that Cheri sews I want, because she has an eye for color and fabric. I bought everything she used, however, I didn't take into account the direction of the lady bug fabric and fell one piece short on the bloomers. I returned to purchase more and they were sold out. Sure enough Sarah, who works at the store, called Cheri and she had just enough to save the day. Would I get this kind of help at a chain store?
Another positive is that shopping at a Sewing Machine Store or Quilting Store has the advantage of having staff who sew beautiful things wait on you with wonderful sewing skills & knowledge!
Sewing for me is not about cost cutting but rather the joy of seeing fabric you hand picked turn into something of I am happy to give as a gift or to custom make for myself. End of story.End of story? well not really as I am waiting for that little grand daughter to arrive very soon! I will go sew something else for her! I have beautiful white fabric with black polkadots to make a dress and I had Cheri & Sarah check my measurements this time... Even those who sew for a long time enjoy going to a store and having them grab exactly what you need. It is a sewing vacation.
Cookie ~ Soon to be Mimi :)
PS: Almost forgot to mention the newest link added to the Links, it's the last one there. It's a very useful Arts & Crafts show directory.