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Posts Tagged ‘cheap’

Y’all know from my previous post that I’m constantly scouring magazines for of-the-moment pieces to copy…er, um…sew myself. Well, my latest project centered around three trends on the runway this spring and summer:

Floral + Pastels + Maxi skirt

Like this Alice + Olivia skirt from Neiman Marcus .. which sells for $698! Oh that's reasonable for my grocery shopping excursions!

Like this Alice + Olivia skirt from Neiman Marcus .. which sells for $698! Oh that’s reasonable for my grocery shopping excursions!

With this in mind yet wanting something waaaaay cheaper…aka. more casual … I came up with this……………………

My version: $27 … and took about 20 minutes to sew!

My version: $27 … and took about 20 minutes to sew!

And in case you’re wondering, here’s how YOU can make one too:

Grab some lightweight fabric and 2" elastic. The fabric should be the length from waist to hem + about 5". The elastic should be long enough to go around your waist comfortably.

Grab some lightweight fabric and 2″ elastic. The fabric should be the length from waist to hem + about 5″ x 2. (you’ll be cutting two identical rectangles – one for the front and one for the back.) The elastic should be long enough to go around your waist comfortably.

It's ideal to have someone else measure you..but let's face it - 8 year old boys aren't exactly the most reliable source. So, here's how I estimate the length.

It’s ideal to have someone else measure you..but let’s face it – 8 year old boys aren’t exactly the most reliable source. So, here’s how I estimate the length. PS: it’s a little known fact that messy rooms make for more accurate measuring.

Fold your fabric over, lining up the folds. Measure where you'll cut.

Fold your fabric over, lining up the folds. Measure where you’ll cut.

You'll have something like this. Two identical rectangles.

You’ll have something like this. Two identical rectangles. (The sparkly Tom’s are not necessarily going to occur…)

With right sides together, sew up both sides - my photo shows how a serger seam will look. Remember, if you use a sewing machine, your sides will look a little different

With right sides together, sew up both sides – my photo shows how a serger seam will look. Remember, if you use a sewing machine, your sides will look a little different.

Now you're going to make the elastic casing at the waistline. (It doesn't matter which end you use - they're both the same…whew!) You don't want the excess seam allowance creating bulk around your midsection, so I suggest making the casing just wide enough to cover the elastic and hold the seam…not too much longer.

Now you’re going to make the elastic casing at the waistline. (It doesn’t matter which end you use – they’re both the same…whew!) You don’t want the excess seam allowance creating bulk around your midsection, so I suggest making the casing just wide enough to cover the elastic and hold the seam…not too much longer.

I serged the raw edge of the casing; however, if you use a sewing machine, remember to have enough width to tuck under about 1/4" …like this.

I serged the raw edge of the casing; however, if you use a sewing machine, remember to have enough width to tuck under about 1/4″ …like this. 

Press the casing. Sew all the way around EXCEPT - leave a hole to thread your elastic through. Thread your elastic… and before you close up that hole - make sure the waistband fits! I was worried that I'd get the elastic too tight and then it would push out my muffin top, so I cut my elastic huge, then kept cutting away until I liked the fit.

Press the casing. Sew all the way around EXCEPT – leave a hole to thread your elastic through. Thread your elastic… and before you close up that hole – make sure the waistband fits! I was worried that I’d get the elastic too tight and then it would push out my muffin top, so I cut my elastic huge, then kept cutting away until I liked the fit. (yes, it’s inside out right now!)

My length was just right, so I simply used a rolled hem from my serger for the hem. If you're using a sewing machine, just hem as needed.

My length was just right, so I simply used a rolled hem from my serger for the hem. If you’re using a sewing machine, just hem as needed.

And you're done! Bam! Look at you!

And you’re done! Bam! Look at you!

I really really love this skirt! It’s super fun to wear, very comfortable, very forgiving of the figure, and even sexy if you ask me!  I’m wearing it to an Arcade Fire concert tonight…I’ll share photos of this little ditty in action tomorrow!

A NOTE ABOUT THE FABRIC YOU CHOOSE: in order for this skirt to "work" be sure to select fabric that is: flowey, lightweight, etc. and also that is pretty wide. The reason it works so quickly is because I chose 57" fabric which gave me 104" of skirt…give or take. Something narrower will change the dimensions. Make sense?

A NOTE ABOUT THE FABRIC YOU CHOOSE: in order for this skirt to “work” be sure to select fabric that is: flowey, lightweight, etc. and also that is pretty wide. The reason it works so quickly is because I chose 57″ fabric which gave me 104″ of skirt…give or take. Something narrower will change the dimensions. Make sense?

Alrighty, here’s the breakdown:

TIME: Literally 20 minutes, maybe shorter!

COST: I bought 3 yards of $13.00/yd fabric that was 30% off, so a total of $27! That’s a little bit better than $700…but maybe I’m a weirdo!

I hope you’ll make one of these…. I’m confident you’ll thank me!

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Whelp, I really am hard at work with my very own personal SewWhatYouGot challenge. In fact, tonight, I’m going to cut out the fabric for this fabulous little number:

vogue bow dress

Don’t you just LOVE this!!! I squealed when I saw this on top of the pile. Jonathan and I are headed to a fancy concert next Thursday… SCORE!

But before then, I just couldn’t get my mind off a couple of garments I’ve been seeing all over the magazines for Spring. I pull out all sorts of magazine pages when I see something I like…and I decided that it really might be more fun to SEW them than to just STARE at them. Weird. I know!

Here’s what I’ve had my eye on from InStyle Magazine, People Style Watch and others…

Wide Leg Cropped Pants. Did you see that one of these pairs is about $3000!

Wide Leg Cropped Pants. Did you see that one of these pairs is about $3000!

BoxyEyelet Tops! These are SO perfect for Texas summers .. and do you see that one listed for $228!?!

BoxyEyelet Tops! These are SO perfect for Texas summers .. and do you see that one listed for $228!?!

SEW…in addition to my pattern sewing challenge, I want to also do a little regular “column” so to speak about how to make runway styles for WAAAAAY cheaper and using simple patterns. That’s the way I roll, right??!!!

Here’s what I came up with for my own version of this outfit:

I love the long boxy top and the simple go-with-anything cropped pants. Can we make this for cheap but still look expensive??? Insert Jeopardy theme music...

I love the long boxy top and the simple go-with-anything cropped pants. Can we make this for cheap but still look expensive??? Insert Jeopardy theme music…

I personally think so!

I personally think so!

Please keep in mind that I’m a horrible photographer… objects seen are WAY cuter than they appear!!! (Or at least my very biased opinion thinks so!)

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photo 5-2

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For the Boxy Eyelet top, I used Butterick 5463 view D. Because it’s eyelet, I was okay having sleeves. As you can see, I simply shortened the length of the front panel. I chose not to go as drastic as the runway length because I decided I like being stared at in  good ways not weirdo ways.

photo 1-1

photo 2-1

 

and now for the pants…

photo 5

For the wide leg cropped pants, I chose an old Stitch and Save pattern #3077. If those aren’t around anymore (this is one of the first patterns I sewed back in 2002!)… just choose a loose fitting pajama pattern – making sure to make the length hit about 1 or 2 inches above your knee.

I just really LOVE this look. I wish I was a better model because I’m convinced you’ll like it too!

photo 2

Sooooo… trust me, you can So Sew this!!!

Breakdown:

Time: The shirt took me about 25 minutes (yep!) and the pants took exactly 38 minutes! (I don’t lie y’all!)

Cost: The shirt cost about $16 because eyelet fabric is expensive…even with a coupon! The pants cost about the same. So total for my outfit:

a whopping $32!!!

So y’all …. SEW THIS!!!

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Hi friends!!!!

Yep…I’m still here, are you???

It’s been quite a while since I put my shop on vacation and all but forsook my little blog here. I’m bowing my head and slumping my shoulders in shame. Will you forgive me??? Okay, I get that. How about a quick little tutorial to warm our friendship up again… and better yet… it has POM POMS!!!!  Just typing the word “pom pom” gives me glorious goose bumps!

Here's what I'm talking about - glorious garland made from what else but dollar store pom poms!

Here’s what I’m talking about – glorious garland made from what else but dollar store pom poms!

Here’s the tutorial…free and fast…perfect for our friendship!

photo 1

Start with something good on TV – my choice was the ladies figure skating short program. Go Team USA!

In your lap, gather lots of loose pom poms, scissors, thread/embroidery floss, and a sharp needle. (a long one is best)

In your lap, gather lots of loose pom poms, scissors, thread/embroidery floss, and a sharp needle. (a long one is best)

 

Pull out a long line of your string - preferably as long as you'd like your garland to be; however, you can always tie two ends together to make it longer. Thread your needle and pass it through the center of the pom pom. Bam. You're almost done. I do NOT kid.

Pull out a long line of your string – preferably as long as you’d like your garland to be; however, you can always tie two ends together to make it longer. Thread your needle and pass it through the center of the pom pom. Bam. You’re almost done. I do NOT kid.

Just keep pushing them down the line and watch them form one long jolly line of garland. It's majestic and delightful. I felt like an Olympian myself!

Just keep pushing them down the line and watch them form one long jolly line of garland. It’s majestic and delightful. I felt like an Olympian myself!

When you've finished, wrap it around something you love…and experience a greater love you never thought possible.

When you’ve finished, wrap it around something you love…and experience a greater love you never thought possible.

I mean, seriously!!! I want a million of these all over my house!

I mean, seriously!!! I want a million of these all over my house!

Last look at what could very well change your life…and your view of television!

Last look at what could very well change your life…and your view of television!

As always, here’s the breakdown:

Time: My garland is about 3 or 4 yards long, and it took me 3 short programs. I mean, it took me about 15 minutes, including being distracted.

Cost: 3 bags of 80 pom poms – $1 each. I already had the thread and needles…so a whopping $3. Insert smiley face doing cartwheels.

Tomorrow, I hope to have a big surprise… which could include another curtain tutorial… Oh the suspense… see you soon!!!

 

 

 

 

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Despite the crazy cold weather we’re having, I’m feeling pretty confident that summer is just around the corner.  I would love for my afternoons to be filled with linen ruffles, pique fabric with strawberries, and all kinds of new dress patterns.  I’m pretty sure  that my afternoons will more likely consist of water bottles and kid conflict resolution.

In light of that – I should probably cram as much sewing in this month as I can, right???!!!

$35 Strapless Dress Revolution…hollah!

Here’s how it’s gonna work:

All dresses will be this style.  Some will have a matching sash if no coordinating fabric is available.

All dresses will be this style. Some will have a matching sash if no coordinating fabric is available.

Here are the rules:

1. Purchase HERE via the listing in my Etsy Parsimony Shop.

2. all dresses will be the style you see here.  Dress and matching sash.  You may request a coordinating sash…if possible I will accommodate, but not necessarily.

3. I pick the fabric.  You may give me some guidance (i love cool colors, no black please, etc, but I get to choose.  Don’t worry – I don’t like ugly fabric!)

4. yes, I’ll make it your size.

5. all dresses will be approximately 30″ from underarm to hemline.  This fits pretty much every size/height.  If you need it shorter, let me know.  I cannot, at this price make it longer.  But I still love you.  =)

If you’d like something more custom, please feel free to purchase one of the regular listings in my shop – I’d be happy to create something very unique just for you.  However, if you’d like a darling, versatile, breezy strapless dress for summer – I think I’ve got just what you need!!!

Offer good from May 2, 2013 – May 12, 2013.

PS: I reserve the right to end the sale sooner if my load gets too full.

LYLAS y’all!

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Gosh y’all… how are you doing???  I’m sort of living in chaos right now, and I love it!

This post is going to be brief and to-the-point … I know, I know, you don’t believe me.  That’s fine.  I’ve earned your distrust.  However, tonight I’m serious.  I’ve been missing you and missing writing tutorials.  So, despite my chaotic chaos, I wanted to share with you the fastest, easiest headband I’ve come up with yet.  Know what else????

I. Saved. THIRTY DOLLARS!!!  $$$$$$$$

I was shopping lusting  browsing around Anthropologie the other day and I saw these gorgeous headbands.  But are you kidding me right now???  $32????  For something I’m going to put on my overprocessed, frizzy and most likely dirty head of hair?  I’m way too cheap smart for that!

So I ran out to Hancocks.  I found some embellishment ribbon on clearance for $2/yd.  Then, I made myself a cheaper…but I think just as fabulous version.  Judge for yourself…

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So, yes, it’s missing the rhinestones. If that’s important to you, you can pretty much buy a Bedazzler for the $29 you’re saving. I purchased the whole yard, but only used 23″.

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Besides a needle and thread, the only other thing you need is a pony tail elastic.

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It’s incredibly hard to photograph the back of your head by yourself… but what I’m trying to show you is that I used the length from the back of one ear, around the top of my head and over to the back of the other ear. Then give yourself a couple of more inches for the seams. I have a large head, so I used 23″.

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Now wrap the ribbon around the elastic forming a casing.

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As much as I hate saying this – the next step is to hand sew the casing closed. Maybe your machine can take the width of the ribbon. I’m jealous of you. If not…I can say with honesty that it only takes about 1 minute to sew each side. Repeat with the other side. (I love this photo b/c it shows how I’ve finally stopped biting my nails.  progress!)

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I used white thread so you can see it … I just used very simple but sturdy stitches. Nothing time consuming at all. The only real “trick” I used was making sure I had several layers of thread in my needle.

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Once you’ve completed the other side, you’ll end of with this little doozie. I love it. Fancy and Casual all in one.

And now for my feeble attempts at photographing the finished product on my head, all the while trying to make sure my craft room looks as clean and cool as possible.

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Okay  y’all – here’s the lowdown:

Time: literally THREE MINUTES!  (That includes hand sewing… crazy wonderful)

Cost: $2 … that’s a savings of $29.  Hurry out and get you some matching shoes with that money!!!

Try this….please!!!!

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I know you’ve heard the addage, “never trust a person who says ‘Trust Me!'”  And for the most part, that might be really good advice.  HOWEVER …. TRUST ME!!!  Today I want to show you how easy it can be to make LINED Curtains …I’ll even go so far as to add Pom Pom fringe and the project still remains EASY!  Trust me.  You can read it  in a creepy voice if you want, but I’m saying it as a true friend-to-friend-who-doesn’t-carelessly-use-the-word-EASY!

Here is what I'm talking about!  I used Summer Totem by Anna Maria Horner for my sewing room.

Here is what I’m talking about! I used Summer Totem by Anna Maria Horner for my sewing room.  Sorry, I didn’t know you were coming so I didn’t clean up for you! (actually, I am lying about this…I had a housekeeper yesterday, so SHE cleaned up for you!  But from now on… trust me!)

Let’s get started, shall we?  Here’s a little something to keep in mind if you’re new to my blog.  Most of my projects are designed to be FAST, EASY and INEXPENSIVE.  This means that I cut corners where necessary and possible, and I don’t get bogged down with crazy things like “standard hem lengths.”  Let’s face it… who in the world will ever look behind your curtain and wonder if you used a 7″ hem or a 2″ hem…right???  You can save a lot of money and time by using small/short hems wherever possible.  This is casual sewing, for sure…but the end result looks the same…TRUST ME!!!  Let’s get going…

First you'll need your main (outer) fabric.  There is no rule what kind of fabric you need - I love using quilting cotton because it's so soft and hangs beautifully.  The downside is that it's only 44" wide - but that's never worried me.  Measure how long your finished curtain will be.  Then add only about 2 - 4".

First you’ll need your main (outer) fabric. There is no rule what kind of fabric you need – I love using quilting cotton because it’s so soft and hangs beautifully. The downside is that it’s only 44″ wide – but that’s never worried me. Measure how long your finished curtain will be. Then add only about 2 – 4″.

Then, cut out your lining fabric...I cut mine a little bit shorter than my outer fabric.  Saves money!  Something to note: it's way easier and faster to choose a lining fabric that is the same width as your outer fabric.  This way there is no cutting down the length to make it narrower.  All you have to do is cut the length.  I used Symphony Broadcloth fabric.

Then, cut out your lining fabric…I cut mine a little bit shorter than my outer fabric. Saves money! Something to note: it’s way easier and faster to choose a lining fabric that is the same width as your outer fabric. This way there is no cutting down the length to make it narrower. All you have to do is cut the length. I used Symphony Broadcloth fabric.

Now place the two fabrics on top of each other with right sides facing ... like your making a pillow... align the top edge and the sides remembering that your lining fabric will be shorter than your outer fabric.

Now place the two fabrics on top of each other with right sides facing … like your making a pillow… align the top edge and the sides remembering that your lining fabric will be shorter than your outer fabric.

Now sew the top edge of the curtain together.  Stitch all the way.  As you can see here, the selvege of my outer fabric sticks out a little further than the lining.  If this happens to you, just position the lining so that it's centered on the outer fabric.  Make sense?

Now sew the top edge of the curtain together. Stitch all the way. As you can see here, the selvege of my outer fabric sticks out a little further than the lining. If this happens to you, just position the lining so that it’s centered on the outer fabric. Make sense?

Okay, now let's continue sewing this up like we're sewing a pillow by sewing down the two sides of the curtain.  Begin about 5 or 6" down from the top and stop at the end of the lining.  (You start further down so that you will have a casing for the curtain rod to go through.)

Okay, now let’s continue sewing this up like we’re sewing a pillow by sewing down the two sides of the curtain. Begin about 5 or 6″ down from the top and stop at the end of the lining. (You start further down so that you will have a casing for the curtain rod to go through.)

Now, hem the casing edges by pressing them inside and sewing a straight stitch.

Now, hem the casing edges by pressing them inside and sewing a straight stitch.

 

 

Here's what you'll get.

Here’s what you’ll get.

Now, go to the bottom of your curtain and fold in the last few inches of outer fabric that extend past the lining.  (You  may be wondering...I choose not to hem the lining because it takes time and is uneccesary.  If you prefer a nice hem, you'll want to do that BEFORE sewing the sides...better late advice than no advice, right!?)

Now, go to the bottom of your curtain and fold in the last few inches of outer fabric that extend past the lining. (You may be wondering…I choose not to hem the lining because it takes time and is uneccesary. If you prefer a nice hem, you’ll want to do that BEFORE sewing the sides…better late advice than no advice, right!?)

Almost done y'all!  Put the bottom of the curtain on your ironing board and press a small seam...about 2 inches.  Sew that hem up!

Almost done y’all! Put the bottom of the curtain on your ironing board and press a small seam…about 2 inches. Sew that hem up!

If you're not adding fringe, then you're almost done...woohoo!!!  All you need to do is sew a straight stitch across the top of the curtain about 5 or 6" down from the top ... I always make mine plenty wide so that any size curtain rod will fit through...and it also helps the curtain slide more easily.

If you’re not adding fringe, then you’re almost done…woohoo!!! All you need to do is sew a straight stitch across the top of the curtain about 5 or 6″ down from the top … I always make mine plenty wide so that any size curtain rod will fit through…and it also helps the curtain slide more easily.

You’re finished!!!! Unless……………… Like Me………………. You’re still wanting more!  Go for FRINGE!

I love this stuff.  Especially bright yellow!  It will up the cost of your project but it's so worth it...even for a cheapie like me!

I love this stuff. Especially bright yellow! It will up the cost of your project but it’s so worth it…even for a cheapie like me!

Before you sew, make sure you tuck the edge inside because this will really unravel on you otherwise.  Simply start at the top, and with a wide zig zag stitch, sew it all the way down.  Don't forget the double tuck at the bottom too!

Before you sew, make sure you tuck the edge inside because this will really unravel on you otherwise. Simply start at the top, and with a wide zig zag stitch, sew it all the way down. Don’t forget the double tuck at the bottom too!

You'll end up with a little something like this!  (I can NOT describe how hard it is for a horrible photographer - aka. ME! - to take good photos in the daylight!)

You’ll end up with a little something like this! (I can NOT describe how hard it is for a horrible photographer – aka. ME! – to take good photos in the daylight!)

Another shot!  Oh how these make me giddy!  Don't you seriously want to sit down and sew something!?

Another shot! Oh how these make me giddy! Don’t you seriously want to sit down and sew something!?

Last shot ... feeling pretty good you've got the picture of how my curtains look!

Last shot … feeling pretty good you’ve got the picture of how my curtains look!

So there you have it.  It’s a little difficult to capture photos of every step – please email me if you’d like further instructions.  I am a true believer in handmade curtains … I’ll do everything I can to make that possible for you!!!

If you make some – please send me photos …. TRUST ME – I love them!!!

xoxoxoxoxoxo

robie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This project is exactly a sewing project …but I’m hoping you won’t mind – it does include some buttons, so that counts for something, right???

My middle daughter Ellie, who’s 5 years old, is quite a crafting officianado.  She is always looking for something to make, draw, bake, sew, you name it.  So the other day, while Rosamund was sleeping and the boys were totally disinterested otherwise occupied, Ellie and I sat down to make some BOBBIES! These are all over the hand-made scene, and some can be super expensive.  Ours, however, were NOT expensive … but you shouldn’t be too surprised by that. =)

Here is what we made in about 15 minutes – and for $8. (Sadly for us, nothing was on sale when we purchased these supplies … so realistically, you could make all this for $4 if you get the pieces at half off.)

I keep these supplies on hand because I like to send them to my Parsimony customers who’s dresses get delayed.  Of course, that almost never happens (cough cough)!  They’re really fun to receive so it’s super nice that they’re so easy.  You can ask the Austin Craft Crowd folks, and they’ll concur – easy breasy fleezy!

You’ll need flat topped bobby pins and items to glue on. At our Hobby Lobby, the bobby pins are $3 for about 12 or 16 pins. These flower dealies were $4 for 6 – you can find them in the scrapbooking section.

See the round disk that’s attached to the top of the bobby? These are SO much easier than trying to finagle something around/on top of a regular bobby pin. There’s only one store in Austin that sells these, so if you can’t find them in a store you can find tons on Etsy. Just search under supplies for bobby pins.

Since the disk makes the bobby pin fall on its side, I like to anchor my pins onto a piece of paper before gluing. This way everything stays upright and the embellishment goes on straight and clean. Plus, it gives them a nice spot to dry.

Yeah, so, this was a mommy-daughter project, but one of us was distracted. I won’t tell you who.

Now, just take your heated glue gun and dab a dollop of glue onto the center of your embellishment – or you can put the glue directly onto the bobby pin. Same results. Turn the embellishment over and push onto the disk. Let dry. Done. Bam. Bang. Finished. You’re awesome.

You’ll get something like this! Ellie refused to have her photo taken, but she did pretty well as photographer.

When we completed the six flowers, we broke out a button jar and glued buttons together then onto the bobby pins. I love these too!

So seriously y’all, don’t delay.  Go get these supplies and make these – then give them away!  Grown ups like them just as much as kiddos.  Just sayin’.  These are really fun to take to a woman who’s just had a baby – what an easy way to look cute without being clean!

Here’s the lowdown:

TIME: We made all 16 in about 15 minutes..and that includes figuring out our button combinations.

COST: in a word CHEAP!  We made 16 for $8 so that’s FIFTY CENTS a piece…. applause please.

Okay – please, if you make these, let me see your work – that makes me sooooo happy!

 

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