Thursday, 28 January 2016

The 'make your own stuffing guide': From a frugal cheapskate with love

I have a confession to make....I'm a total cheapskate. I feel like these days the term 'cheapskate' has negative connotations that make it an undesirable label to have. In this day and age of disposability, cheaply made and cheap to buy imports, fast fashion and extreme consumerism, throwing things out just isn't a big deal. It's not a big deal because replacing things is relatively easy; there are no wartime restrictions and rations like our grandmothers before us had and advancements in technology have made things quicker and cheaper to make than ever. However something about this bothers me, kind of like a itch that is just there and won't go away. 

When I read wartime magazine articles or see posters declaring on ways to save I aways think 'why didn't I think of that?', some of those tips are brilliant! Some to be fair are complete and utter rubbish that goes far beyond being frugal and thifty and delves deep into the realm of 'somebody really didn't know what to fill that column up with and got really desperate'. I guess really, I just love the concept of making use of what is already is available. After all, as a unemployed, chronically ill, full time student with an expensive hoppy I need ALL the help I can get and so does the planet. Throwing stuff out all the time can't be good for it....... right? 

I have so much admiration for the wartime women and the little shortcuts they created to make every little thing they had go the extra mile. I've tried to incorporate many of these little tips into both my sewing and craft projects and I must admit every time I save a dollar or two I feel like giving myself a high five.....because you know, saving money is great and I'm a huge dork. One of these little tips and tricks is how to make stuffing out of fabric. It is also great for saving space as you don't have to buy a gigantic bag of poly fill the size of a small child and store it in your sewing room (which to be honest if it's anything like mine NEEDS that space). 

To show you how this is done I just cleaned up the seams on one of the dresses I was sewing and waiting to hem. You can do this with scraps of fabric and you'll be surprised how much you get if you cut up even the smallest bit.

You WILL want to put something under the area you are working on, something like a placemat, plate or piece of card will do. As long as you can pick it up and tip the cuttings into a container you will be A-Okay. I used a pack of cardboard because I had it laying around the house and the flexibility makes it easy to pour.

You will also need pinking shears! Gosh, I do love pinking shears. 

Note: I forgot to take a picture of the fluffing process (it was too fun) so this is pre-fluffed

Basically you just want to cut and cut and CUT with your pinking shears. Make little zig-zaggy pieces. This is extra fun if you are frustrated, angry or have an epic playlist. Make sure you fluff 'em! This can be done by pulling them apart and making them all fuzzy. It's pretty fun, time consuming but fun and oddly satisfying. Once you are done you can put it into a container and keep for super fun future projects. I like to keep them for small projects so I don't have to buy a big bag of filling when I only need a handful or too. 

What frugal tips do you have? Whats the WORST tip you've ever been given (beside this one)? 

Alecia xx

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year to you all!

First of all, I hope you all have a fantastic year! I hope this year is better than the last for each and every one of you. Let us all be kinder, happier and healthier human beings, let us all try new things, spend time with those we love and strive to be better. Let all our loved ones be in good health and close to our hearts.

 I feel like the new year is a great time to reflect on ourselves and the people we want to be. I don't view resolutions as a concrete set of 'must do' things that involve failure if you don't complete them. I see them as things to strive for, if you fall down thats okay, but you get up and keep going. I made some resolutions for 2015, some of them I achieved (yay!), some of them I did not, but thats okay. I read MORE than 10 books! For some this might sound like so few, but for a student who reads so much for a degree it is hard to find time to fit in reading for fun. I tried joining a sports team in an effort to be more active but this affected my health terribly. For those who don't know, my thoracic and lumbar spine is almost completely fused so getting active can be so hard on my body. I tried yoga, but it is difficult when you can hardly do any of the moves! So I may not achieved that one this year but I learnt what NOT to do and that will help me find a way to make it work in the future. My limited time for sewing made making 10 garments hard and I feel that looking back that might have been a tad too optimistic, but thats okay because now I know to go easier on myself. Also, spotlight sales definitely got in the way of my hope to sew five existing patterns before I buy a new one. That I think was again far too optimistic! Sometimes you just have to go with it an make the most of the opportunities (like sales or eBay bargains) while they happen. It's okay. I didn't get to bake once a month, again my time for activities was limited and I feel like looking back on that resolution it made the idea of baking more of a chore than something to be enjoyed. Because I really do enjoy it! Create a study routine that works, ha! Well, I made one that works but sticking to it is another thing so I'm not sure how to feel about that one!

For 2016 I hope to

  1. Spend more time with friends and let them know how much they mean to me
  2. Spend more time in my home town with my brother and nanas who I do not see enough of.
  3. Find more time to sew and put less pressure on myself to make 'perfect' garments
  4. Be 'present' more often
  5. Read more books than I read last year (15)
  6. Be a better blogger!
  7. Look after my health and stop ignoring it or prioritising it lower than it should be
What are your resolutions or hopes for the new year? Did you complete any of the ones you made for last year? 

Have a wonderful new year! 
Alecia xx