Tag Archives: thrift

What I Wore: Back to Front Frock

What I Wore (posh) headerb2f no jacket what I wore

I was scrolling through my phone and I found these photos from back in November of my birthday….so muchos apologies for the photo quality… it is entirely due to it being shot on my phone at Clapham Junction and not the fact that it was cheaper to buy posh fizz by the bottle than gin….

I was whisked to London by my wonderful husband and our friends to a burlesque club in the City. It was truly marvellous and of course, the actor in me wanted to feel like I fitted in…

I was most proud of this outfit because I wore the dress backwards…. and before you look at me like I’m a mental case…I do this quite often.

Sometimes I really don’t like the drop of a neckline or it’s too revealing for my taste and this particular dress that I bought in my first year of university has a SERIOUSLY low v neckline…so low that even in my uni days (*cough* 10 years ago) I used to safety pin it together else my lady front would actually be out on full view….and not even in a tasteful way.

b2f rear view what i wore

I unpicked the stratchy label and also folded under the pointless little sleeves to make them a more pronounced cap sleeve. I quickly secured them with a few stitches by hand to ensure they didn’t come unfolded during the evening. This actually changed the whole feel of the outfit and meant I hadn’t had to buy something new.

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I also got to wear my super towering high heels and feel glorious about it!

Have you ever tried wearing something the wrong way round? Intentionally of course!

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How To: Make a Wall Planner

Running a business can be very expensive, especially when you run one of those ‘kitchen table oh-my-god-all-my-time-and-money-is-poured-into-this’ like mine.
I have managed to step up from my kitchen table and have rented out a little workspace with the lovely Lucy from Lucy Made Me.
We have managed to furnish it on the cheap, using furniture from our own homes and a few bits bought from charity shops….and being creative types we have come up with a few other solutions too.

We don’t always work together at The Dairy (our workspace) as Lucy works 9-5 in London and I work shifts, so we needed some sort of world domination wall planner, and I wasn’t willing to pay for one.

Luckily I watched enough Blue Peter as a child to have a few tricks up my sleeve…

How to make a wall planner (1)
I had one of these super cool freebie calender from a magazine. Normally the calendars I manage to get for free suck, but I love the quirky crochet drawings on this one.

I took it apart and laid all the months in a 4×3 square and then reached for my secret weapon…dancing Pug tape.

 

How to make a wall planner (4) My husband bought me this tape for Christmas….he knows me soooo well.How to make a wall planner (2)I simply overlapped the pages of the calendar slightly and stuck them together. Funky Pug tape makes all the difference.

Now Lucy and I can plan out when all our fairs are and when we will be holding open studios too, and we can mark when we are away on hollybobs so the other knows.

I popped it up on the wall using washi tape so it didn’t mark our rented walls!How to make a wall planner (3)

Have you got a good use for a free calendar?

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Don’t Throwaway Threads

Fashion has become so fickle. And it’s boring the pants off me. Quite literally.

It’s looping and looping around,  and age-old ‘staples’ that I claim as fashion have slid back into the ‘popular’ stream, meaning that all the lumberjack shirts and leggings I’ve been wearing since…well since I pinched a couple of Papa Pigeon’s old shirts aged 14… are finally back ‘in’. I’m not saying the most fashionable bird around…far from it…I know that some of my clothing choices are down right ridiculous, but I like how they make me feel…and that my friends is what clothes are for. They are meant to work for you…not the other way round.

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I’m not saying that fashion is a bad thing, but we need to see this beast for what it is. A money-making churning machine. I am appreciative that disco pants came back in…I’ve been aching for a pair of skin tights shinys since I saw Sandy in that last scene from Grease as a little girl….I know…issues…but I’m not willing to buy plastic ‘futuristic’ see through high heels, when we all know that tweed and english heritage will be back in this winter… just you mark my words (EVERY YEAR!).

So to help myself step away from this big churny machine and to save pennies…I’m not buying any new clothes for 365 days. Don’t fret clothing hoarders… I will get some new-to-me clobber, but you’ll find me making it a mission this WHOLE year to only buy from carboot sales, charity shops, clothing swaps and to upcycle things I already have lurking in the back of my wardrobe. Women on average have over 3,000 items in their wardrobe (I think mine is about that…glup) and 60% of us whine about having nothing to wear for a night out…. that is insanity.

We also throw out soooo much fabric in this country and it drives me batty. NO fabric leaves this house in a binbag. All my old clothes are either shredded and used as stuffing for a multiple of things or the fabric picked apart at the seams and turned into housewares or items for my shop. I don’t actually think we have even thrown out so much as an old dishcloth… (they get boil washed multiple times and reused before I shred them and put them in the composter)… since we moved here….

So I’ll also be trying to show you what I do with all my old stuff that is honestly long past dead.

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My biggest fear is basics and jeans. I already know that my black ballet pumps have had it and that I need another white vest, so they are going to be hard to find second-hand. Jeans for me are my holy grail. They have to be long enough and fit me both around the waist and the bottom…a seriously tall order that only Uniqlo has been able to fill recently…argh! My biggest weakness is going to be when all the jumpers come back into the high street….oh gawd I love a jumper. I’m however excited about trying out new shapes and things out of my comfort zone as I will have less choice.

Wish me luck!

wpid-signoff2013.pngI will be instagramming and tweeting with the hashtag #dontthrowawaythreads if you want to follow or join in! 😀

 

REVISIT: Is it Worth it?

I spent a recent weekend away with friends for my birthday, and whilst our hotel room was lovely, our bathroom was the size of a teeny tiny wardrobe for dolls. Of course, the MILLION skincare products I am currently using to attempt to clear my face of what I fondly call ‘plague’, littered the itty bitty sink, and one of my lovely girls ended up spotting the hand-written date in Sharpie on the back of the bottle.

Why on earth do I DATE my beauty products? Oh…. I don’t JUST date my beauty products…I DATE EVERYTHNG.

Washing powder, washing up liquid, nail polish remover, dog food (ours comes in humongous 15kg sacks)….everything.

Why you ask? Well…last year I made this video and I feel it needs a repost, because it is the BEST tip I have ever been given.

My lovely stepmumma has been doing this for years, I never truly appreciated her actual genius until this past year, and now I have jumped on her bandwagon loud and proud.

Work out if what you are spending your hard earned pennies on is worth it….and keep a handy eye on when your make-up/skincare has reached the use by date…so then you can sniff it a bit and check it is ok to use…. just joking Miss Lauren….

I am pretty ramble-tastic in this vid…sorrrrry!

If you are finding it hard to view these vids, pop over to Youtube and visit my channel!

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How To: Scrimp & Save on your Big Day: Venues

Where you have your marital shindig is often a big deal to most bride and grooms. Whether you fancy a big glamour-filled Georgian hotel or a rustic barn (ooo you hipsters you), there is a way to save cash at all turns….if you are willing to remember that THIS IS JUST A PARTY….yes…I am banging on about that again…your wedding is just a glorious party to share your love with your family & friends…it is not a film/OK magazine/a chance to outdo your sister/cousin/friend.

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If you must have the big Georgian hotel….how about getting married out of season? March or October would be considerably cheaper or during the week. Be warned that you often can’t bring your own catering, which for us was a deal breaker as I knew I could make our own food work really hard and cost much less than a hotel would charge. (But hey…that’s a WHOLE other blog post).

If the rustic barn is more for you…do you know someone who owns a farm or has a family member got a massive garden you can pop a marquee in? We have had quite a few friends get ‘married from home’ in their parent’s gardens/tractor barns and they have been some of the most lovely weddings (and much more stressless as they have time to set up/clear out) I have been to. When it comes to venues on the cheap you need to be ready to think outside the box and rethink your ‘dreams’….you know….the one where you marry the one you love and live happily ever after…way way after your wedding day…

I actually arranged both venues (ceremony and reception) without P seeing either…because you know…I’m naughty and controlling like that. I only had one request from him, that they were light enough for photography…his main concern… le sigh.

Before we moved the wedding forward by 12 months due to my Grandmother’s health, I fell in love with a converted railway station where we could have held our reception. It was mostly wheelchair accessible for my father, it was perfect for my Hornby-mad husband to be (a hobby he inherited from his grandfather), it would be so photogenic….the thing that wasn’t perfect? The whopping £4,000 price tag to just get in the door. That was without catering, without furniture for the marquee, without a flipping dancefloor…. it tore my heart to realise that I just couldn’t let myself pay that for a ONE DAY party.

I begun to search for other unique wedding venues, as a hotel really wasn’t for us. One thing I did realise was that a good old village hall was the cheapest option for our reception. I searched the local areas for small and quaint village halls, and I struck gold with the tiny village of Damerham. The grounds had a river, complete with picturesque bridge and some gorgeous willows…and it cost us £425, from 6pm the night before till midnight on the day of the wedding and it was fully wheelchair accessible! BARGAIN.

Damerham village hall family wedding willowsOur ceremony venue was a little bit more expensive, at nearly a quarter of our budget, but as we aren’t religious, we decided that a village church really wasn’t for us. Yet we wanted something a little fun and a little different…and MY dealbreaker….to be able to walk next to my dad down the aisle.

We found the Medieval Hall in my hometown and booked it as soon as I had had a viewing. It felt so much like a church due to being built at the same time, but I got to have Bruno Mars ‘Marry You’ on my descent down the aisle and a song from The Muppets on the way out! And come on…it looks SO COOL!

1265724_10153182038730524_1806008068_o bride groom medieval hall salisbury

My advice….have a look at weird venues…. not ‘oooo that’s a bit odd…a barn’…..type of venues…have a look at museums, local landmarks, quirky pubs, cool restaurants if that is your thing. Do have an ask around if your family has a biggish garden and you think you could get a decent sized marquee in there…and a big tip… DON’T invite the world and his wife.

The more guests you have, the bigger the venue has to be, the more food you have to serve. We had a strict guestlist, which shrunk and shrunk. We only invited friends and family who made a difference in our lives. I wasn’t about to invite people I never see/talk to just to show off….that is completely the opposite of why you get married. We invited people who we thought would truly love to share our day with us. People who we didn’t care if they turned up in jeans and flip-flops, as long as they were there. People who would still think our day was great/magical/beautiful after I had cried my make-up off through THE ENTIRE CEREMONY and the fact we served crisps instead of canapes….you know the VITAL people who make us happy to be around. Our vitals ended up coming to around 85 people… mainly because my family is HUGE and P has about 300% more close friends than I do. It was a great number and we were able to fit medium-sized venues.

Salisbury Medieval Hall weddingMy next tip is to choose a venue that you don’t need to decorate (like our ceremony venue) or that you can decorate yourself (like our reception venue). Granted my reception venue may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I needed to house eating and dancing…that was it really….the fact that it was alright looking was a win!

Damerham Village Hall wedding receptionDamerham village hall wedding receptionI will be doing a BIG post of decor, as that is what I spent a LOT of the time running up to the wedding prepping….but for very little cash.

My FINAL tip is DON’T say it’s your wedding if you can help it. It bumps up the price threefold. Say something like ‘family party’ or ‘family celebration’.

Please, brides…I beg you…just remember your venue is to house the happiness…it is not the be all and end all.

Hope this has helped! Any questions? Pop them in the comments below!

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Lasting Till Payday: Is it Worth it?

Now you know me, I love a good tip, and this one of my favourites. My lovely stepmumma has been doing this for years, I never truly appreciated her actual genius until this past year, and now I have jumped on her bandwagon loud and proud.

Work out if what you are spedning your hard earned pennies on is worth it.

I am pretty ramble-tastic in this vid…sorrrrry!

If you are finding it hard to view these vids, pop over to Youtube and visit my channel!

REVISIT – How To: Make Beautiful Bunting

Hi folks, I am on my way home! I thought as a little treat I would show you one of my  popular older posts which makes me very happy. I love making bunting. I love it. If I could spend all day at my sewing machine making little triangles of glee I totally would.

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Ok…I’m months behind the fever of bunting making that occurred in the UK due to the Royal Wedding, but I have to admit how much I love these little triangles of joy.

Perfect for any kind of party, indoors or outdoors, having your own handmade bunting to string up for all your occasions is something I think every person should have. I also think all celebrations should be how Enid Blyton writes about parties in all her children’s books…but hey…that’s just me.

Image found here.

Please, please, please for the love of a deity, don’t BUY bunting. With a little scrounging and putting by, you can make bunting for under £3. FACT.

Things You’ll Need

Fabric & Hemming Tape/Ribbon

First things first – you need fabric.  Got an odd pillowcase that doesn’t match anything else? An old t-shirt with a stain on one side? That shirt of his that you really can’t stand?

All my fabric is reused, rehashed, recycled and/or scraps donated by understanding and yet highly confused friends and family. The only thing that I have paid for when making my bunting is the hemming tape which cost me under £2 for 3 metres. You don’t have to use hemming tape, you can use ribbon or fabric cut to size. I simply used the first thing I grabbed from my haberdashery that looked like it would do the job.

Pinking Shears

I have a running stack of fabric cut into bunting triangles, thanks to my pinking shears. Pinking Shears are honestly a crafty girls best friend (after sticky dots of course) because they save you having to hem all the edges of each little triangle…which is very boring and very time-consuming, and I’d rather be drinking tea from tiny cups and talking to my bear….sorry…seems to have stepped into another Blyton day dream.

I got my lovely shears from eBay.

Pins

Don’t try to cut corners, you will need pins. Don’t think you won’t.

A Template

Decide how big you want each triangle to be, and cut yourself one out of paper.

I find the best method is to fold a sheet of paper in half, and then cut your ‘half’angle and then unfold it into a triangle. This means both sides will be symmetrical. You can get all bogged down with rulers and angles if you wish – it’s just not my cup of tea.

You can also find templates here and here. (They also do teddy-sized and doll house size – Mr Growly is going to be in for a treat!)

An Iron

Things are just more manageable when they are flat….

A Sewing Machine or Time & Patience

If you don’t have a sewing machine, never fear, you can do this by hand. It just might take you some time. If you know someone who does have a sewing machine – it’ll take about 5 minutes to whizz it through, so ask very nicely.

Now you are ready to get going!

Firstly, pin your template to your fabric.

My fabric is an old Primark t-shirt that I had managed to splash with oil.

Then, cut around your template.

I managed to get over 16 triangles from half of this top, and the other half went in to P’s ‘useful rags for the garage’ bag.

The other spotty fabric you can see in the background of this picture was taken from some old pajama shorts that had long required binning.

Once you’ve cut enough triangles for your ribbon/tape begin pinning them in place. Fold your tape or ribbon over both sides of the fabric before pinning right through, encasing your fabric inside.

REMEMBER – Leave yourself enough ribbon on both ends to hang it up!

I ALWAYS measure using human measurements (like three fingers width) to measure between the triangles. I find it’s quicker, as I don’t have to keep reaching for the measuring tape. (That is also my excuse for doing three fingers of gin and then topping it up with tonic.)

How far apart you measure your triangles is up to you. It also depends on how much ribbon/tape you have and how big your triangles are. Lay them out first on the floor or large table before you pin, to save yourself un-pinning and re-pinning several times – like I did.

Once everything is pinned up together, it is time to start your engines. Also known as the iron. This is about the only action our iron ever sees.

Iron a crease into your tape/ribbon as this will mke it easier to deal with on the machine/in your hand. Mind the pins as you go.

This is also a good chance for you to iron your fabric too.

And then plug in your machine…

In a small straight stitch, in a suitable thread colour (I used white as my hemming tape was white), sew down your tape/ribbon from tip to tip, ensuring you keep your machining neat, removing all pins as you work and catching all the fabric triangles inside the tape/ribbon. (So your triangles don’t fall out when you lift it up!)

If sewing by hand, with the patience of a saint, keep your stitches small and neat as they will be on show.

I don’t hem the ends of my tape/ribbon, I use the pinking shears just to snip the ends of to ensure they don’t fray.

VIOLA!

As you canny readers will notice, this bunting is not the same as the one I have been cutting out and pinning previously. I finished this blue bunting (made from old jeans, fabric from an old satin lining and cotton scraps) 20 minutes before I realised I could do a How-To, and promptly began another string that will be given as a gift to a certain little lady at Christmas.

So here ends my first How To…. how did I do? x

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I hope you liked this REVISIT!