Monday, 27 January 2014

Kitchen cupboards makeover and some bargains

I thought I'd share a few of this weeks money saving bits that we have managed.  They did involve spending a bit of money but in all they have saved us quite a lot.  Firstly my husband came home last week with these fabulous bargains from the Tesco. They are selling off Christmas stock as they do at this time of year but I never quite understand why as they will be selling all the same stuff again next year.  Four rolls of wrapping parer at 10p a roll, three packs of Christmas cards and a pack of Christmas napkins, again all at 10p each.


Not bad for 80p, so now I just need to put them somewhere safe so I can find them easily later in the year. 
The next thing we did is to finally get around to changing the handles on my kitchen cupboards, I've never liked them and we have lived here six years but as I liked the cupboards I just kept putting off ordering any. Well this week I decided they were going and I found ones I liked on eBay at a pound a piece. My husband went one better and found them elsewhere at 80p each (there's that magic number again) so we ordered them. We needed 26 but my husband ordered 30 just in case we need spares.  He put them on in no time and I think it has transformed the cupboards.

These are the offending handles

Here are the shiny new ones




Now I'm not sure if I want to change the tiles later, they are ok but I would have chose something plain or a pale colour but not beige! Brilliant white or very pale aqua and none of the embossed tile bits. Any thought anyone?
I finished the book thief and it was amazing it had me in tears, I'm currently reading two books one with my son which is Ketchup clouds and he picked it up from the teen section and has now decided it has inappropriate bits in it (I agree) but we want to know what happened with the main character so I'm editing it as I read. (ha,ha).  I'm also reading The Woman in Black the sequel by Martyne Waites.



I just picked this up at the library and it is yet more WW2 stuff at the start so i hope I won't be all emotional at the end of this one, but if the original is anything to go on it's more of an eerie tale than a sad one.
Not a lot of sewing this week but I have altered some curtains for someone so that has brought in a little extra but as my little dog still has his sore itchy eyes (he is still at the vets every week) that little bit extra will probably be going to the vet along with a bit more.  






















Sunday, 19 January 2014

Fabric covered recycled belt tutorial

I finally got round to covering that belt I mentioned last week with the sarong fabric from years ago. I took pictures of what I did step by step so here they are below.  The colours as always look better in reality as I was losing the light again as I photographed it. I'm not sure about the gold on the buckle though and as there is some metalic craft paint in the cupboard I may change that to silver. My son doesn't like it and said you are not going to wear that are you! well! I know it will look different when put together with an outfit as things always do. Plus it is an exercise in learning to do something with something I didn't want as the elastic on the black belt was looking saggy. I also have enough black belts.

This is the original it's hard to see but the elastic has made it lose its shape

I cut the fabric 15cm longer than the belt, folded it then lay the belt on top I then hand stitched it around the buckle.


    

I stretched the belt and put pins in place so the fabric would not be too tight when stitched on. I then hand stitched it all the way along.



I machine stitched three rows  of top stitching on the right side while pulling the fabric so it would gather in the elastic. (You will not need to do this if your belt is flat and not elasticated.)
I used a zig zag stitch number 7 on my Toyota machine.
Here it is, it may not be to your taste but you can choose what fabric or style of belt you want to cover.
When I had finished that there was a bit of fabric on my table from a dress I hemmed the other day. It was just wide enough for a headband and I am fed up of my hair going in my face when I wash my face and take off my make up at night so this will come in handy.
I just folded the raw edge in and machine stitched it along, then measure my head making sure it was a bit smaller so it had to stretch a bit ( it is jersey) then sewed up the end.
You could use up lots of bits this way if you have girls to make Alice bands for them, you could add fabric flowers, leaves or a butterfly.
This week I have read Noah Barleywater runs away, with my son.
This is a really good book, it has lots of laughs in it and can seem quite bizarre in places which left us saying 'what?' a lot of the time but we enjoyed it. It is sad too, as you here about why he is running away. I will not say too much but definitely worth a read.
Right I need to go now and do some exercise. Xbox  fit game.




Thursday, 9 January 2014

Using up fabric, doll, notebook and gadget cover

I thought I would share today a couple of my favourite little things that I made when I was using up bits I had left. I said recently I would make some dolls soon but this is one I made a while ago when I was on holiday and using up some leftover fabric.  Now her face is a little odd shaped I think and I hand stitched the features, the hair is felt, the body an old t-shirt, jacket is from old jeans. Just bits and bobs really and she was my first attempt so she sits on my sewing table.

She is 30cm and like I said not perfect but I bet a little girl would love her mum to make her a doll that no one else has, she could choose the hair  colour, eye colour and maybe even have matching clothes. If you sew and have leftover scraps it wouldn't cost you a penny.  (Just an idea, I don't have girls myself, two boys).
Another thing that  I use all the time is my cover for my MP3 again it was made from leftover denim and cotton plus a little felt. I just lay it on top, cut around it, cut the same pieces again from felt, stitched it all together, turned it through and added a loop and button. 




As you can see I don't have an iPod it is a creative zen xfi, my husband bought it for me four Christmases ago I think it was, and it is really good, great sound and no problems and it cost less then the iPod too, always a good thing. 


Finally here is a little note book I covered for myself now the stitching is a bit crooked and if it was for some one else I would have redone it but as it is just on my computer table it's ok. I also put a little motivational piece I found online in the front to remind me to stay positive.

I suppose any of these things could be made as gifts and I have given friends phone covers before, you could make them more personal by adding themes that suit the recipient.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Feels like a new outfit for free

Well I said I was going to try and mix up my clothes a bit instead of wearing them in the same predictable way and also to curb any temptations to buy unnecessary new stuff.  Now my husband would probably laugh at that because I don't go mad buying clothes anyway and he's more of a 'if you like it get it' sort, whereas I will walk around a shop with something and then talk myself out of it. I think that is a good thing however so here is what I decided to put together and wear.  The skirt was from a charity shop about five years ago and was £4, I usually match it to a blue jumper,  long sleeved t-shirt £3 primark, a couple of years old, cardigan £2 primark sale last year ( I bought three) belt £1.50 Primark 2 year old, wool tights-  navy matalan, last year. Boots fly ( now these were expensive but in the sale and a present from my husband and I wear them loads I think about £65 but discounted about three times from something like£180 I love them, they are comfy and I will keep them forever ( I hope)

I think it looks better on.

It's a bit  difficult to take a photo of your self and I felt a bit silly.









I took the belt off the skirt that came with it that I usually wear, I think it looks better with the brown one. It did feel strangely like I had something new, just because it was different and it may seem obvious to wear things with lots of different things but we do get in a habit of wearing the same stuff or why would so many people complain of having nothing to wear when they have full wardrobes.  
I will try to post more different combinations but maybe not all with the dodgy self photo!
I have a purple and pink sarong thingy that a friend bought me years ago and has been never used, and when I say years I mean about 15! I love the fabric but it is sheer, It's folded in my fabric box I think I will try to make a belt or use it as a scarf with one of the purple layered looks I posted about the other day. I have another of the £2 primark sale cardigans in purple so I will see if it looks ok with that.
So anybody who thinks they need to cheer themselves up (by shopping because it's grey and January) you need to get stuff out of your wardrobe and have a try on session.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Recycled clothing

I've just brought one of my charity shop finds down to hem earlier which I bought in the summer. ( It was intended for the winter it's always good to get out of season clothes they are cheaper) I was wondering how I will layer it up then got to thinking about some of the other items in my wardrobe that I tend to wear with the same things. If we mix up what we have it gives the illusion of newness without the price tag. I like to look at refashion  ideas on the internet as someone else may have a new way of wearing clothes you hadn't thought of. For example I have been wearing long sleeved tops under dresses through the winter for years in different colours, a friend a couple of years ago said to me I'm going to do that so I can wear my dresses for longer.  I thought it was obvious but it just shows we can get ideas and not have to buy a load of new stuff.
I found this great blog recyclart (take a look) in which someone has made a dress out of upholstery fabric samples. It just show unexpected sources of fabric can be used for something original.
I love these looks below but I won't be dashing out to buy any of them, I love the colours and the use of scarves and belts.


So I have decided to try and mix things up a bit over the coming weeks and wear things in a new way, I will try to remember to photograph and post on this. Lets face it we all have enough clothes and if you sew they can be reinvented or updated. I personally don't like the whole capsule wardrobe thing as it means people tend to get rid of lots of stuff, buy items that supposedly go together and then you can bet in a few months when the novelty wears off they will be missing some of those items. ( Or I would, think of all the wasted fabric!)



Sunday, 5 January 2014

Five frugal things

Hello, so far so good with the resolutions I know it's only early days but they do say if you can stick to a routine for thirty days you have cracked it. I'm trying to be really aware of little spends as well this month because we have had a few unexpected pay outs mainly the vet. My little dog has had an eye infection which meant a costly trip to the vet, we went back this week to be told oh it's not gone he needs more antibiotics so another bill, then he needs to go back next week.  Also my husband's phone decided to just pack up on Christmas day so he had to buy a new one, really annoying as we don't go mad at Christmas just gifts for the children so I was disappointed at the  amounts adding up here and there.  Fortunately we are savers so we can cover these things but I do like to make sure I try to keep a tight reign on things so I remain positive that the way I live ensures these unexpected things are taken care of.
Here are five frugal things I have done this weekend.

1. I made a birthday card for my friend using card and paper I already had. I always save cards for the paper that can be recycled but use my own designs I also make the envelopes sometimes using magazine pages.  This one I used pink paper for the envelope.

I also made a retirement card for someone else. ( I sealed the envelope and forgot to take a picture.)

2. We needed a new calender for the kitchen and I really like the one I bought last year because they were all our photos on it but to buy another was £5.99 so just went online and printed off new months to stick on top. (You might be thinking it's only £5.99 but these amounts quickly add up.)
I thought I'd show April as this is a lovely image of Cromer    

3.  I made a lovely wholemeal loaf using ingredients I had in and also fulfilled a resolution at the same time. I'm really pleased with how this turned out just had some for sandwiches this evening and it's big enough that there is plenty for pack lunches tomorrow.

4. I listed some car seat covers on ebay, my husband bought them for me last year and they have never been used as I decided to change my car as my old one just needed so much doing.  My husband also listed a few things, hopefully if these things sell it will replenish some of the vet bill money!

5.  I exercised using my xbox game Your Shape Fitness Evolved. The good thing about exercising at home is you don't need to worry what what you wear. When I go to the pool I see some people going up to the gym looking like they are going to a fashion show, ( ladies not men)  that's great if you like that but I just like to wear the same old joggers to get sweaty in.  I've had my game for over a year so it's not new and I bought it on offer. You could probably get it cheap on ebay  now.

I'm keeping up with my reading and I have finished last weeks book and on to the next which is called The Book Thief. It started off a bit strange and dark so I will let you know.

Back to work tomorrow so it will be interesting to see if I can keep to all my good intentions when I have been at work all day.




Little Bird Black Dress

It seems to me that I may have a bit of a thing for fabric with birds on it, I don't know why I have only just realised this.  I pulled ...