Make your own dress ups

For christmas at the last minute I decided to make few dress up  bits or my youngest so thought I would show you and share the links! Happy Sewing.

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Click the picture for the pattern and tutorial. I found my markt felt sheets weren’t big enough so I pieced them together. If you don’t want to do this you will need to buy metre sheets of felt.

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The T-rex is actually a printable mask but is easily transferable to felt if you’re happy to leave off the texture or create it. Click the picture for the link.

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Top L-R: Dragon This link includes other animals  too, white dog and lion This is also the link for the lion aswell as other animals like tiger, bear and cat, wolf This is not in english but it’s easy to spot the pdf link for the mask. Triceratops you can access through same link as t-rex as well as a couple other dinosaurs.

Top tips for  felt mask sewing:

  • Make sure you have a full front piece to add smaller pieces to and a full back piece to cover the back of the front up. This also means you can trap your elastic
  • Don’t cut your back piece out instead layer up your front detailing and lay it on a full sheet of felt and sew round, then cut out. This ensures your front and back match and saves you time too
  • Sew around eyes last so you can secure all layers then cut them out.
  • Measure your child’s head and make sure the elastic int too tight or loose.
  • Print masks off at 100% no scaling to ensure they are the correct size
  • Think about your layering before start so you don’t end up removing parts or sewing over already sewn bits creating double lines
  • For small sections don’t feel ashamed to break out the fabric glue no-one wants to sew on tiny tiny parts especially t-rex teeth!

tracy

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Making a Bump Band

When you’re pregnant and nothing fits because your tops are too short a belly bump band is perfect! But at minimum of £10 especially when you sew it’s much cheaper to make your own.

First up measure around your widest part, usually hips whilst wearing your usual trousers. Jeans are best as tend to be bulkier. Next up measure your waist. If you don’t want your band to go up this high cut your top band about 80-90% of main band.

You also need to determine how high up you want it mine’s about 35cm, add 1.5 inch for a hem and 1/2 inch up top for adding top band. Make your top band about 3 inches thick.

Make sure you add enough so it can fit with growth and not just for right now. Although these are cheap enough to make for every month.

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Mine is single layer but if you don’t want to hem it then cut it double house and fold to sew top band on.

Sew up short sides of top band and main band. Fold over top band to create a folded band. Match top band seam and main band seam, right sides together and pin.

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Stretch top band to fit main band and sew into place. Turn up your bottom hem 1/2 inch then further 1 inch. Alternatively you can finish edge and just fold up 1 inch.

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Voila your band is done. I used cotton lycra for mine. Cotton jersey, rayon, spandex are all good choices or you could buy a cheap vest for couple pounds and use that with a tiny bit extra for your top band.

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Best part they only take about half a metre so you have the option to make lots of designs much cheaper than shop bought bands.

tracy

Big boy shorts to small boy trousers.

My eldest was given these shorts in age 9 but he’s not that into them however the youngest adores them. Only problem is he’s a very short nearly 4 year old who still wears some age 2 clothes.

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First I got my pattern sorted and measured him to ensure the pattern would fit. I used Domi Joggers which I haven’t enjoyed using before but it was best thing I had to hand for ‘free’.

I cut out the inner net at the waistband.

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A few hours of unpicking occurred. I undid the existing  hems and the waistband. This allowed me to work with the full width of fabric and the most length. As they had a pocket on one edge I pinned it down. So I could cut safely.

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I laid my pattern on top and cut. Now on one side this was easy peasey as it was just print but on the other side there was a picture my son asked to keep plus the pocket. Because of this I had to cut the leg wider than the pattern piece matching the other side.

If you are a regular sewer you will know the front and back pieces of most trousers aren’t the same. I got around this by using the front. I then opened out the shorts and cut away the back to match the back crotch on the pattern. This allowed me to bring in the width a little.  The main difference is the back piece isn’t as wide at the crotch area so if you can’t figure this out then  just use the front piece.

I also only cut from the crotch to hem leaving the existing front seam to place to save me unpicking to then resew.

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As these were shorts and I wanted trousers I had to add extra fabric to the hem. Remember to taper down to match leg pattern. I also added cuffs as per pattern but this depends on your pattern. Alternatively you can add extra waist fabric and less on legs.

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To attach the elastic either make a channel or make your elastic into a loop. Place it onto wrong side of fabric at waist. Pin at front, back and 2 sides. Sew into place with zig zag stitch stretching into place. Then fold down and using stretch stitch sew down.

Great tutorial here by Lladybird on how to sew an easy waistband. Alternatively you could so a separate waistband.

tracy

Christmas Presents to Crochet

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Trinity Stitch Hat by This Housewife Life . I followed the hat instructions as on link but there was no matching cowl. So I chained approx, 205 and followed the same principle. Starting with a chain then sc row I did the trinity stitch in the round finishing with sc row when I felt it was right height. The hat can have turned up cuff or not if you add a few extra rows it could work as a slouch hat too. I bought a faux fur pom pom and attached.

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Textured Fan Boot Cuff by The Lavender Chair.  I followed this pattern but missed rounds 3 & 4. as only wanted small ones. I did this to match the hat and cowl to create a set.

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Bath/Shower Pouf by Cottage Daisy Designs using Sugar n Cream cotton. Team with shower jelly or nice soap.

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Massage Soap Saver by Moogly. Team with some luxury soap. It has bobbles on one side and is like a mini drawstring bag for soap. Great for a nice scrub!.

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Fallen Leaves Slouch Hat by Moogly. This was a nice fast project to make and really easy too! I’m just sad there’s no matching accessories. I used a 3.5 mm hook in place of the 3.75mm.

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Morgaine Fingers Mittens by Blue Oceans Pure Skies to go with the above hat. I tried some mittens but the pattern turned out to be small and I couldn’t face redoing. These are a great quick project for someone who doesn’t wear them but you think would enjoy them.

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Dreamcatchers from various designs I found on Ravelry. I bought cheap rings from ebay plus feathers and pony beads to decorate.

Rainbow was made using the centre of the Dreamcatcher square

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White was made using a Flower Coaster Pattern

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Red was a Spider web pattern. I used thread to make it super small.

Green is the starts of a granny circle of which you can find many tutorials.

I used up all wool I had in my stash and bought other cheap extras to make these a super frugal gift collection.

tracy

Making Tab Top Curtains from a duvet set.

My son needed curtains but I didn’t want to pay min £15 for a pair of black out curtains so I decided to use a cheap thin duvet cover instead. I did need to purchase black out material but that cost me under £6 so was still a bargain project. If you use blinds and just  want an extra covering this project will be free!

I started by cutting off the popper strip from the bottom of the duvet cover. I plan to make one curtain that is double layered because it really is very thin. If you need 2 curtains you will need to unpick the seam along the other edges.

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You now need to determine how big to make your tabs. The curtain pole I’m using is fairly close to the top of the window so I needed them as small as possible but still allowing fluid movement so I settled on 3.5 inches adding on an inch for sewing together. I then chose to have 10 tabs approx 2 inches wide adding on 0.5 inch for sewing together. To decide on how many tabs work out the gap they will fit on the pole and ensure they aren’t all bunched up or you’ll not be able to open them

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To create less sewing I cut my tabs on the fold meaning I need 9 squares 4.5 x 4.5 inches. I used the pillowcase to make the tabs and again as it was thin I decided to make the abs using both layers.

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Once sewn iron flat. You will now need to sew your duvet cover up. Sew from the bottom about 2/3 wat up and fasten off. Starting from top sew about 5-10 cm down leaving a gap just enough to turn. Doing the gap part way down means you don’t have any fiddling corners to deal with.

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Turn right side out and iron the seam you just sewed. Tuck under raw edges and top stitch in place as close to edge as possible. You may wish to match your thread to hide this join and when hanging make sure this line is near the top.

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Next up cut out your backing. Most blackout materials don’t fray so you can get away with not hemming which I will as I hate hemming long straight edges. Cut the backing about 0.5 inches smaller than the curtain all around except top edge needs to be almost flush to top.

You need to now pin your tabs into place. Position the raw edge of  tabs max of 0.5 down from the top edge and spread evenly ensuring you have one near both edges no more than 0.25 inches from edge. I  wanted 3.5 inch gap between tabs but found 6 inches  better, as you can see 3.5 inches was just too close and I would have need twice the amount of tabs which wouldn’t have fit on the pole.

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Place backing over the tabs so they overlap min of 0.25 inches and sew into place along the top edge only. You may wish to do an extra line of stitching to secure the tabs.

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You’re done.  You can now hang your curtains happy knowing you did it free or cheaply. Not best picture because when you block the light out it doesn’t work as well for pictures.

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tracy

Frugal Living

So further to my previous post about being Frugal when Shopping I wanted to tell you of more ways I’ve noticed to reduce cost or at least make the most of your money.

The other day we needed potatoes. There was a pack for £1.00 and a pack for 69p. The £1 pack looked bigger so thought I’ll get those but then I looked closer.

Both packs were 1.5kg both were british white potatoes and get this both were angus variety. The only difference one pack had bigger potatoes so unless you’re making jacket potatoes it makes sense to buy the cheaper packet. You may think for sake of 30p it doesn’t matter but look at that saving over say a year. We buy potatoes every fortnight and probably spend £20-30 on fruit and veg. Now 30p saving each time is 60p a month that’s £7.20 over the year. Imagine you buy weekly. You could cover a weeks or half a week food with the saving.

Now looking at labels. The kind that contain the pricing per litre, KG etc. 18 can packet of coke is 13p per 100ml not bad. But look at 4 bottles (1.5l) and its 8p per 100ml. Again may not seem much especially if like us you very rarely buy it but for £2.50 less I get 60ml more. £2.50 and it’s pretty much same quantity.

Again depends on your life. Cans may be more convenient bottles tend to be a little flatter quicker but hey I’m only telling you to look closer.

Another option which I did mention last time is cans. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy multipack and something especially if there is an offer on it isn’t. Heinz often have offers on with their soups so it’s always good to go with a calculator, look at the labels closely too it’s often a trick to believe we’re getting more for our money when we can’t be bothered or don’t have time to work it out.

If you do online shopping the option to search by price low-high isn’t always great because you still need to check the prices out and often cheaper things are smaller packets and not better value at all.

Own brands are just as tasty and cheaper nearly every single time. Try it just once.

Now onto christmas. Like me you’ve probably seen all these christmas eve boxes and how lovely they look, or the plates then you see the price and you consider can I factor that in because they are good prices for the work but they are a price you have to budget into the whole cost. Well I plan to wrap an old shoe box for mine it works, makes it exciting to open still and best thing I spent nothing as the shoes that were bought weren’t mine and I already have wrapping paper I bought in the January sales.

Another example I saw these funky toothbrush holders which were small but at £3.99 I couldn’t help think for 2  don’t want to pay nearly £8. Out of curiosity I looked at the packet that had toothbrush included. Same price! So I bought them as it was better value for money.

Let us know your frugal tips!

tracy

Last Minute Halloween Decorations round up

Halloween is tomorrow and sometimes you just don’t feel you have enough or maybe it’s the first time you felt like decorating well here’s some simple, fun and cheap ideas for you to do before trick or treating time.

  1. Monster Doors– Easy to do using binbags, paper plates, paper, craft foam and coloured tape
  2. Creepy eyes in the bushes– using glow sticks, paint and toilet paper tubes
  3. Creepy eye wreath- you will need to buy ping pong balls and eyes but maybe you could get creative with other round objects (cotton wool maybe)
  4. Spider Webs from bin bags
  5. Mummy candle jars– I made these and I love them. you could also use masking tape. You can also use tissue paper glued on with pva to create mummies or ghosts, orange to create pumpkins, green to create monsters, red for blood dripping, black for bats or combination to make mini scenes.
  6. Milk Jug Ghosts– you could get away with no lighting inside if had nothing to pop in but pound shops have glow sticks.
  7. Spooky Hanging ghost– with balloons and material you could also use white bin bags for cheaper option
  8. Glow stick ideas– great for kids
  9. Cup garland
  10. Hanging bats– great for inside and out
  11. Pebble Monsters– ok probably not a day before activity but if you do have stones you can paint this is great
  12. Spider paper lantern- if you’ve no lantern you could paper over a balloon to create the body.
  13. Bin bag spooky curtain and cardboard window silhouettes
  14. Paper Pumpkins- great for smaller kids
  15. Trash bag fun

Other ideas:

  • buy spiders from pound shop to hang anywhere you want to dangle down, crawl on the walls.
  • paper chain skulls, pumpkins or bats
  • pipe cleaners to make spiders
  • last but not least pumpkins! Then make some yummy soup after

Hope you’ll show us what you made!

tracy