Saturday, 28 February 2015

Dressmaking with stretch fabric

Hello Dear Reader,

I have lots of dress making pattern that I've got from charity shops or that you have sent me. I really must get on and use them. Dress making, like quilt making is a learning experience and there will be mistakes. This is the first item of clothing I've ever made from stretch jersey fabric. You don't need a overlocker/serger to do this. There are easier methods that going out and spending money on a new sewing machine.

To start, you need to use a walking foot to stop the fabric from stretching. You also need a machine needle especially designed for stretch fabrics. My machine has a walking foot attached that I just drop in place. 

You will also need even seams. The pattern needed 1/2" seams so I stuck some red card to the machine so I could easily see where the half inch was. By lining up the edge of the fabric with the card, then I kept my seams at 1/2".

You will also need to set your machine to zig-zag. If you sew stretch fabric with a normal stitch then it won't flex and move with the fabric.

A local fabric supplier sells knit fabrics for £3.50 a metre so that means I can make a new dress, with the pattern adapted to fit me for around £10. This simple dress took me two hours to make but my time is free.

I'm now off to pick all the bits of thread up off the floor.

Over to you Dear Reader, is anyone tempted to have a go at dressmaking? If you've got the pattern and you've got the fabric, then you've spent the money anyway!! If you've bought it and really don't want to try then give it away so someone else can do some sewing experimentation on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Modern shopping methods?

Hello Dear Reader,

I watched a programme last night which explained the methods super markets use to squeeze every penny out of you. I like to know what I'm up against. It then showed how the psychology of Lidl and Aldi make them so hugely successful and profitable. They only have small supermarkets but are outdoing the sprawling out of town megastores. I like them for the reasons that make them so competitive.

It's a quick shopping experience - in and out in record time.

The tills are lightening speed - pack on back shelf.

Little choice - you pick up what's there and don't ponder or linger.

Special lines are offered (e.g 'Spanish' week) so there is a rotation of variety.

It means, savvy shoppers can get what they want really quickly and get out. According to the research, I'm not a modern shopper. I do a shop once a fort night and rarely go in between. Shops work on the basis that people: have very little time, pop in and grab after work and can easily be tempted to spend more when shopping.

Here's how to beat the system.

1. Stock take - know what you have and use it up. We all gave meals in the house some how or other. Plan meals to use this up.

2. Make a three meal a day, plus snacks plan. Try and use up dry goods, for example oats, to make snacks such as flap jacks,

3. Buy milk and bread and put a week's worth in the freezer, you won't run out and it will stop shopping trips. We buy UHT milk and keep a month'so supply in the cupboard. We use a litre every two or three days. 

4. Use your freezer. We eat a mixture of fresh, tinned and frozen fruit and veg. Also, keep root veg in a cool dark place and it will easily last a fortnight. I also buy a month's meat from the butcher, portion it and freeze it. Look out for freezer bags and freezer containers in our local 99p store.

5. Make meals and freeze for another day, you'll have your own ready meals for when you might otherwise pick up a pizza on your way home because work has exhausted you on that day.

Finally, if I do need to pick something up then I root through the loose change pot and just take the cash in coins for that. I then can't buy anything else.

Let's collectively stick it to the supermarkets who will do anything, underhand or otherwise to get your money by making sure we give them as little as possible!!!

Over to you, who pops to the shops as and when and who's a shopper who preps, has a list and sticks to it?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Quilt book and magazine giveaway

Hello Dear Reader,

As you all know, I've read Marie Kondo's book and I'm really paring down and sorting everything in the house from top to bottom. I thought I'd de-cluttered. Her book suggests, you look at every item that you own, her words ask if it gives you joy? I have items that give me joy but I will never use. With that in mind, I've had another clear out, been to the charity shop again and now I'm enlisting your help in the clear out.

I'm giving away all of these books and magazines and I'm only keeping the ones I use all the time. I also find a lot of patterns, ideas and designs online. I 'borrow' magazines for free from the library and read them on my ipad. I've really reduced what I own and it sound all very hippy and tree hugging but it's really freeing up my mind too.

My floral boxes now house large pieces fabric according to category. It's all been folded and ziplock bagged to keep it dust free. I have housed all of my 'teacher's equipment' in a tool box by my computer and I've given myself a whole heap of space.


You can have these books but please read the conditions really carefully xxxxx

You will have to come and get them and I won't parcel them up, send them via courier or drop them round your house. Sorry lovvies but I don't need the stress of worrying about that. 

You need to enter the rafflecopter, which requires your email and I will email you when you've won. You'll then have to let me know when you will collect them and another apology coming up here, you'll have to come at the weekend. You're welcome to a cup of tea and slice of cake when you do xxxxx I'd like them gone by the 22nd of March please.  

The closing date is the Sunday 8th of March. It will be nice to meet who ever wins xxx

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx