Thrifty August


I can’t believe the month is almost over, time really is just slipping away from me at the moment! Anyway I thought I’d add a new feature to the blog to share all my bargain buys over the past month. Times are tight for a lot of us at the moment, but I don’t think that has to mean we can’t have nice things, just that we have to try to be a bit smarter about where we find them.


(Yes another terrible selfie! I need to buy a proper tripod!) This skirt is from a car-boot and it was new with tags for 50p, there’s a nice man there every week who sells old dead stock, it’s pretty hit or miss, but I did get a really jazzy 80s cardi off him a few months ago, so it’s always worth having a rummage to see what he’s got. The elastic is totally dried out, so I put it away to be fixed at a later date, but when I got this top in the H&M sale for £2 (plus a £5 off voucher) I knew it would be the perfect match and with a belt the skirt stayed up fine (I’m still going to fix it though!).


I love it when I find hand knit clothes for the girls, they wash and wear really well and you can tell that so much effort has gone into making them. I bought this bright yellow vest for Rosie for £1.50 from our local salvation army charity shop, they had loads but this was the only one which fit her, it’s perfect for layering when the weather turns cold. I also couldn’t resist this 80’s giant snakes and ladders board game for £1.50 (pictured above), the box is just to funny.


These wedge boots are from the Simply Be sale for £14 reduced from £35,  unfortunately I’m not great with taking care of shoes especially suede type ones so I can’t see them lasting more than one winter.


Lastly this isn’t really a thrifty find, but I enter a few give-a-ways each month and I finally won one!! This gorgeous goody bag arrived yesterday from Penni at Sew Smitten. I’ve been following her brand on Facebook for a while and love seeing all the things her and her partner (who I went to uni with!) make, now I own some!! It’s well worth checking out, the screen printed teas towels are amazing!

Hawthorn – Take Two


I finally got around to making my adjustments to the Colette Hawthorn pattern (you can see my first attempt here). This time I decided to make view 3, which is the sleeveless dress variation. The fabric is from a slightly faded vintage bedsheet I got at Wimbledon car boot for £2 with my dad (yes I treat him to the most glamours London hot spots when he comes to visit!)  a few weeks ago.

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I used a chocolate brown as an accent colour as pink and brown is one my favourite autumn colour combinations. I’m really happy with the fit, it’s a little lose but I like my clothes to be comfortable and to be able to sit down without them bunching everywhere because they’re so fitted.


For me it’s always a bit of a nightmare to get a smooth finish on a really curved hem, there are a number methods I’ve never tried so I used this project as an excuse to try one out. I used an elastic lace to hem the bottom, this seems to be a really popular at the moment and although it gives a pretty finish to the inside, it didn’t work as well I was hoping. I think that might have been my fault, perhaps I pulled the fabric through the machine a little too much? It does look cute though!

IMAG0161 IMAG0163IMAG0200(Struggled again to take good full body pics of the dress, might have to ask my mum to help out next time!)


Ooh and I just wanted to share a new sew-a-long announced today which I’m really looking forward to joining in with called ‘Fall for Cotton‘ hosted by Rochelle from Lucky Lucille and Tasha from by Golly by Gum (both brilliant blogs!). It’s all about embracing fabrics made from 100% cotton and making something with a vintage vibe. I missed out Rochelle previous 1940s sew along ‘Sew For Victory‘, but loved looking through the flickr pool, it was really inspiring! So even if you don’t want to join in sewing its well worth just following along and seeing the amazing things I’m sure people will make.

A Day In The Sun

The weather has been amazing in London today! It’s days like this I can’t help but put all the housework, sewing, knitting and whatever else I think I should be doing aside and just have fun with the girls. I wanted to post about all the great bits I hoped to find at the car-boot we went to this afternoon, but it was a total fail so I thought I’d just share a few snippets from our day instead.Riding bikesIMG_2169Jam tartsCar bootIMG_2185DrinksIMG_2188IMG_2200IMG_2203sunburn1. Morning bike rides / 2. round-a-bout. / 3.Making jam tarts and a mess! / 4. Ice-Lollys at the car-boot. / 5. Huge mural on the side of a pub. / 6. Nothing better than San Pellegrino Limonata in the summer! / 7. Playing at ‘Eat-Play-Love’ / 8. Being a pirate in Sainsburys /9. Finished Jam Tarts. / 10. Sunburn & a relaxing bath.

Crafty Sunday

My weekly craft post to share what I’ve been up to!rosie coat

I started the week by making Rosie this vintage style swing coat, I was making it to sell, but I’ve totally fallen in love with it! It’s not particularly waterproof, but it’s perfect for summer and autumn. I have enough of the same type of fabric in a different print to make another one to sell and now I know how to make it, so it’s not a total loss :/ (I’m going to have to get better at parting with stuff!)


This super hero outfit happened one evening when I picked my daughter up from school to be informed that they were having a superhero picnic the next day and she would need a costume! ugh they really gotta give parents more notice than that! Anyway I couldn’t have her be the only one not dressed up and I couldn’t convince her to be a princess superhero (that’s a thing right!?) so I cut up an old bed sheet my mum gave me and made her a cape and fleece backed mask. Super lily to the rescue!

Lily upcycle skirt

I picked up this mango skirt from the £1 rail at my local RSPCA, the print is just so 70’s and I love the brown and purple together, it had a pulled thread at the front which is probably why no one bought it. It was a really simple refashion I just cut the skirt in half, gathered the bottom section (hiding the pulled thread!) and then reattached to the shortened waistband elastic.


So if you read yesterday’s post you’ll know that my mum brought me back a ton of fabric from Texas where she was visiting friends. It’s all half meters and meters so perfect for clothes for the girls, my niece and nephew and small sewing projects. There is so much I could do a whole post on it! (I won’t though!)


Yesterday I went to the car-boot again on the look out for more retro bed sheets as it really is the cheapest way to buy them and my stash was looking a little bare. I picked up two for a £1 each and what I thought was a vintage brushed cotton baby sheet (£2.50), but actually turned out to be a nightdress! (it’s huge so I can still make a pair of children’s pj’s out of it and maybe even a matching teddy!).


I also scored these great patterns, the style one is from the 40’s and the other two are from the mid sixties at a £1 for all three and this amazing 1942 knitting magazine they were a real bargain!

womens weekly

It’s crazy that so many of these flimsy paper magazines survived the war, its amazing though and full of romantic fiction, once I’ve read it all I’ll do a post on it.


I’d actually gone to the car-boot with the hopes of being able to pic up some 40’s magazines as I’m on a bit of a 40’s kick at the moment inspired by this AMAZING book the lovely people at Carlton books sent me to review. I know I say every book is amazing (honestly it’s only because I only review books I like!) but this one is stunning and the essay at the start is fascinating, anyway proper review to follow soon!

Crafty Sunday

Crafty Sunday

Sorry there was no crafty Sunday last week, but I hadn’t made much so at the time it seemed a bit pointless, but now I’ve got loads to post so maybe I should have done!


Anyway I spent most of the week doing embroidery trying out the projects from ‘Little Sew And Sew’ by Christine Leech, I really loved it and you can read my review here.

Colette - Licorice

Yesterday evening while my boyfriend was watching Avatar for like the hundredth time, I made a start on the ‘Licorice’ dress from Sarai Mitnick’s ‘Colette Sewing Handbook‘. I cut the pattern pieces ages ago, but I’ve just not been motivated to actually sew it together probably because I wasn’t sure if it was my style and now that it’s almost finished I’m still not sure. I haven’t made any major modifications to the pattern, but I left out the zip as I found I could get it on and off just fine without it, all that’s left is to add the elastic to the arms and sew together the matching belt. There are some really cute variations and modifications of this dress on flickr and I really wish I’d seen these before I started sewing mine!


A little while ago I also made the ‘Meringue Skirt’ also from ‘The Colette Sewing Handbook’ I haven’t really found anything to go with it yet, but you can see a picture of me wearing it in my last ‘Me Made May‘ post. I love the bright colours, but the inside waist facing starts bunching when I’ve been wearing it for a little while so I’m going to have to hand stitch it down. I think maybe this is down to the interfacing I used?



Yesterday my mum took me to the ‘Wimbledon Sewing Machine‘ shop, I haven’t been in there for about ten years but it’s just as I remember it, the staff were really friendly and there is a brilliant haberdashery. My mum treated me to a load of fabric and sewing bits, I think the boat fabric is just perfect for little girly summer dresses.

Boot sale

I also went to the car boot yesterday which wasn’t great for my stash-busting! I bought two pillowcases and a dress pattern, the women I bought the pillowcases from had loads of beautiful vintage bedding, but unfortunately she wanted an awful lot of money for them. I also picked up these cute wicker picnic baskets to store fabric in, at £6 for the pair they were a real bargain!

Head scarf

This isn’t really craft related but I bought this beautiful scarf at my local charity shop for £1.5o and when I got home and googled Jacqmar I found out how collectible they are. There are so many beautiful ones available on Ebay and they’re just the right size to use as hair ties, I’m seeing a new obsession coming along!

fashion crochet-diy fashionista

Lastly I just wanted to quickly share two books which the lovely people at Carlton books have been kind enough to send me for review, they haven’t arrived yet but I’m excited to see what they’re like! I already have ‘Knitting Vintage‘ by Claire Montgomerie (I’m still knitting my way through a cardigan pattern!) and I really like the variation of projects so I hope ‘Fashion Crochet‘ is just as good. ‘Diy fashionista‘ is by Geneva Vanderzeil who has the most amazing website called ‘a pair and a spare‘ where she shares really easy ways to update clothes and accessories.

Car Boot Swag

Car Boot Swag

A couple of weekends ago we all headed to Wimbledon car boot, it’s huge and thankfully the sun was shining so I could have a proper look round. There was a lot of junk, but also a lot of treasure I saw at least four vintage Pyrex bowls all very cheap compared to online prices (£2-£6), but terry wouldn’t let me buy one as they were all grubby (at times like that I wish I’d gone alone! lol).


So this bit is really image heavy! I bought this sewing box for £10 (the guy wanted £12 for the empty box, yeah right!) with all it’s contents as you can see from the picture above it was filthy, I’m guessing it had been in someone’s shed/garage for quite a while. It took ages to clean all the bits and I can’t believe how well the cotton reels came out after just a long soak in soapy water! I had to chuck a few bits away that were just beyond salvageable, the elastic below has died but I just don’t have the heart to throw it away. I use to own a box just like this but a little bigger and few weeks ago I mention in Friday Favorites Post that I really wanted another one so it was a great find! I love the randomness of some of the things stored in this sewing box, I’m a bit like that to, always hiding little bits and bobs from the girls in mine!

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I also picked up all these cute textiles to refashion into something else. There is a handmade single duvet cover with matching pillowcase (bottom pic) which was £2 and a lovely floral tablecloth with lacy trim at £1 (the guy was really nice and gave me the yellow floral one for free!).IMAG1522

I also got this little rag book for 50p. I didn’t spot the Golliwog at the time, I don’t really remember them being around when I was growing up so I can’t comment on the whole racism aspect, but I’m not one for owning things like this. So i’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with it now, but it’ll probably end up going to a charity shop (I’ve taken it to the charity shop since writing this post).


Last weekend we took a stroll to Battersea car boot which seems to have a lot younger crowd, there were quite a few proper dedicated vintage stalls. I went on the lookout for a nice tin to keep my ribbons in, but someone piped me to one I really liked and even more devastatingly it happened again with a vintage Tin Tin duvet set priced at £2!! I did manage to snag this lovely 80’s st Micheal’s knitting set for £2, it includes two sets of needles, wool, a stitch counter, a label, measuring tape, the pattern and a sewing needle.

IMAG1500lastly I bought these vintage trims there was a whole box of them and the women wanted £2 each, it was a real struggle to get the price down to £3 for both which is still more than I wanted to pay (yes I’m cheap!)