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Creative reuse of unpicked shirt pockets. March 15, 2011

Posted by Sarah in bag, blanket stitch, clothes, fabric, felt, hand made, holiday, home made, recycle, refashion, reuse, sewing, thrifty.
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J and I purchased a shirt each for wearing while we travel through South East Asia.  We’ll be travelling very light, so we need to pack clothing that’s so practical it’s almost laughable.  Clothing with features that would be completely irrelevant in Sydney – like back vents for example.  Things that you can wash by hand in a sink and have it dry in just a few hours, ready to be worn for the 30th day straight.  My shirt is blue, long sleeved, and looks like my mother dressed me in chambray for a family photo in 1990.  But, it’s actually a really nice fit, and surprisingly comfortable.  J however was not so lucky.  Thanks to the Amazon sizing charts it’s a size too big for him.  That probably wouldn’t have been too bad if the shirt didn’t also come with two huge, incredibly unflattering chest pockets.  J and I took one look at the shirt on and decided that the pockets had to go.  They weren’t much use anyway – and since we’ll have daypacks with us there’s really no need to be carrying anything in shirt pockets.  I took to them with my quick unpick, carefully removing each stitch so as not to leave any visible marks or holes.  Now you wouldn’t even know that there had ever been pockets on the shirt, and it looks so much better!

The hoarding maybe-that-will-come-in-handy-one-day part of my personality decided to put the two removed pockets into my fabric stash until I decided what to do with them.  After pulling them out last night and having another look at them I decided that they would make great little pouches to keep our electronic cables in while we travel.  I cut out black felt for the backing pieces of the pouches and sewed around the edges with blanket stitch.  I incorporated the original pocket closure on one pouch by sewing it onto the felt, and with the other I added snap closures.  Each pocket took me about an hour to complete.  Now we can store all of our chargers in one spot, and we wont have to go rummaging through our bags only to find a tangled mess of cables at the botton of the pack!

 

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Hand stitched Netbook sleeve March 14, 2011

Posted by Sarah in backstitch, bag, buttons, cosy, cotton, Craft, fabric, hand made, home made, Letters, Pattern, recycle, reuse, Saponify, sewing, thrifty, wool.
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Finally – I’ve actually managed to take a photo of something I’ve made and post it on here!

This little Netbook sleeve was made by me last night while sitting on the couch watching television.  I stitched the entire thing by hand, as we’re in the process of packing up our house for a move and I can’t find the sewing machine.  Even if I could find the machine, finding a flat surface to use it on that’s not covered in curing soap for my business would prove to be quite the challenge!

I’ve held on to this piece of fabric for about 4 years, waiting for the right project for it.  It is a sample piece by Kvadart, called Letters.  It’s quite thick and strong – made from a blend of 50% cotton, 42% new wool and 8% nylon.  Perfect for keeping our tiny new Netbook safe from scratches and bumps.

I pinned the fabric right sides together with the Netbook inside, and then backstitched up the sides with embroidery floss.  I then used my pinking shares to cut off the excess fabric, turned it right side out and slid the computer into it’s new sleeve.  I added the button and tie to prevent any unfortunate accidents of the laptop-sliding-out-of-pretty-new-case-and-heavily-hitting-the-ground variety.

Fabric – gifted
Button – gifted
Embroidery thread – $0.15
Yarn tie – $0.01
Total cost for this project – $0.16!

It’s the little things… March 4, 2011

Posted by Sarah in Auckland, beautiful, blue, dining in, holiday, New Zealand, Op Shopping, recycle, reuse, Second Hand, Store, thrifty, vintage.
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Like a tiny coffee in a tiny vintage cup.

I picked up two of these pretty blue tea cups on my recent trip to NZ from a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it church op-shop.  I’ve seen this style of tea cup around in plenty of op-shops, but never in this lovely colour.  They have an imprint on the base of the cup that says Made in New Zealand.  I paid the princely sum of 20c for both!

Listen to this beautiful song today and think about all the little things.  You’ll be better for it I think.

Frocktober (day 26) October 26, 2010

Posted by Sarah in birthday, clothes, dining out, dress, fabric, friends, friendship, Frocktober, Fundraising, love, picnic, Second Hand, thrifty.
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Today is my lovely boyfriend’s 30th birthday, so I packed a picnic and met him in The Domain for lunch.

Dress:  This dress is new to me as of Saturday.  It was donated to the Frock swap by my friend Virginia.  It’s a very fine, soft fabric that drapes beautifully.  The top is a big big for me so I’ve improvised by pinning it together with one of my Nana’s brooches.
Belt:  A cheap leather imitation purple tie belt, picked up from some chain store in the specials bin ages ago.  The belt was actually much higher when I left the house, but after a rather rigorous cycle around town it’s made it’s way down to my hips.  It looks much better up higher, but I’m sure you get the idea.

 

 

If you’d like to sponsor me for my Frocktober challenge please head here to donate.  My registration number is 664999.

Fabric Backgammon Board Game October 26, 2010

Posted by Sarah in backgammon, birthday, buttons, fabric, game, gift, green, hand made, home made, Pattern, recycle, reuse, sewing, thrifty.
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If you had asked me a week ago if I’d ever played backgammon my answer would have been no.

This is what I said to the Mr when he asked me if I had played before.  I said that I’d like to learn though, so he downloaded an iphone app for it and taught me to play.  We both agree that it’s a great game.  It’s one of the oldest board games around.

Fast forward one week and we’re both slightly addicted to the game!

I wanted to do something special for J for his birthday this year.  He turned 30 today you see, it’s a pretty special day.

I had originally planned on buying a vintage set online, but after some searching I found them to be way out of my rather meagre current budget.

This is what made me decide to make my own backgammon board for him.  I remember seeing one on a blog many moons ago that someone had made.  I couldn’t find the link, or any free patterns online yesterday, so I decided to design it myself.

Yesterday afternoon I drew up a pattern, cut out my fabric, and pieced it together.  I made the board the exact size of our coffee table so that we can play while we sit on the couch at night.

I made the board entirely from things that I found about the house.  A very thrifty project indeed!

The green fabric came from a thrift store in Batemans Bay.  It’s very thick felt, like what you would find on a snooker or pool table.

The white fabric is a thin wool, perhaps from a blanket.  I purchased that from Reverse Garbage in one of my fabric gathering outings.

The backing fabric is a Japanese cotton, something that I bought from Tessuti ages ago.  I had been waiting for the perfect project to use it on, and I think it works really well.

The pieces/chips are buttons that I picked up from a local thrift shop ages ago.  I got about 150 of them for $1 I think.  I plan to sew or glue little circles of coloured felt into the tops of the buttons, but the white stickers are doing a fine job for now.  I found the organza bag in amongst my craft goodies, perfect for storing the pieces.

The only thing that I don’t have is the 4 dice, but they can wait.  In the meantime we’re using an iphone dice app!

I’m off to pack a picnic lunch for us to share today.  It’s a glorious day for a birthday picnic I think.  Happy birthday honey!

Frocktober (day 24) October 24, 2010

Posted by Sarah in clothes, dress, fabric, friends, frock, Frocktober, Fundraising, gift, recycle, Second Hand, thrifty.
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Today we went to our friend Noa’s 1st birthday party, which is why I’m wearing this party hat!

I nabbed this dress yesterday, in our afternoon frock swap.  My friend Virginia donated it, and I love it.  Thanks Virginia!

Dress:  Otto Mode stretch cotton tunic.  It’s so comfortable and soft, what a great dress!  I wore a black slip under it, which is what you can see poking out from underneath.

If you’d like to sponsor me for my Frocktober challenge please head here to donate.  My registration number is 664999.

Frocktober (day 23) October 23, 2010

Posted by Sarah in clothes, cotton, dining in, dress, fabric, food, friends, friendship, frock, Frocktober, Fundraising, me, recycle, Second Hand, thrifty.
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Today I hosted an afternoon tea and frock swap to raise some funds for Frocktober.  I’ve just looked in the collection tin and there’s $170 in there!  Fantastic!

We all had a lovely time eating cakes, drinking bubbles, and swapping our pre-loved threads.  It poured down right in the middle of our afternoon tea so we all had to move inside quick smart.  This photo was taken right in the middle of the hardest downpour of the day.  The things we do!

Dress:  This one is the perfect picnic dress, a breezy cotton Gorman sundress with silk ties.  Love it.

 

 

If you’d like to sponsor me for my Frocktober challenge please head here to donate.  My registration number is 664999.

Frocktober (day 21) October 21, 2010

Posted by Sarah in clothes, cotton, dress, fabric, flowers, frock, Frocktober, Fundraising, me, Second Hand, thrifty, vintage, vintage fabric.
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Another day, another foray into awkward self portraits.  This one was taken in a teeny tiny park around the corner from my house.  You could perhaps have a picnic for 4 in it, if you were really good friends.  Although I didn’t actually see anyone watching me it’s quite likely there was someone in one of the town houses wondering what on earth I was doing taking multiple photos of myself.  Poser.

Dress:  Vintage Muumuu!  I believe that this came from my favourite vintage store – Zoo Clothing.  It’s lovely and breezy to wear, and kinda cute I think.  Much more flattering than my other two muumuu’s (both of which you’ll see before the month is out).

 

 

If you’d like to sponsor me for my Frocktober challenge please head here to donate.  My registration number is 664999.

Frocktober (day 18) October 18, 2010

Posted by Sarah in bike, blue, clothes, dress, fabric, frock, Fundraising, me, recycle, refashion, Second Hand, Thrifting, thrifty.
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Today I jumped on my trusty old bike and we headed to Glebe together to see my friend Satomi.  Satomi gave my hair a much needed trim and tidied up my somewhat unruly fringe.  It’s amazing how much better I feel now that my bangs have been tamed again, thanks Satomi!

Dress:  Op-shopped, shortened, taken in.  Total cost $4.  This dress wasn’t always so cute.  You can read more about it’s transition from cast-away tent to much beloved frock here.

 

 

If you’d like to sponsor me for my Frocktober challenge please head here to donate.  My registration number is 664999.

Getting it done October 18, 2010

Posted by Sarah in black, blackboard, business, fabric, lists, Saponify, thrifty.
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Last week I went to the Better Homes and Gardens LIVE event with my friend Helen.  I scored some free tickets from the lovely Amanda at Calico and Co.  We had a fun day out, it always is fun hanging out with Helen!

While we were there I purchased a piece of chalk cloth from Me Too Please.  Already it’s been used at a menu board for the dinner party we hosted on Saturday night.

It’s now in use directly above my desk.  A totally useful, and environmentally friendly blackboard.  Awesome.

I just need to get myself some new chalk now.  I’m writing with tailors chalk at the moment, which isn’t really ideal.  I’m hoping to pop in to Reverse Garbage after boxing one day this week and pick myself up a box.  Fingers crossed they still have some available!