Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Baby Lamb for a Baby Girl

Knitting Review
This adorable little Lamb was created for a close friend who was blessed with a new baby girl.  I found the knitting pattern via Ravelry.  But here is a direct link to the pattern at Petite Purls designed by Susan Anderson.

Set of Size 4 double pointed needles $8
1 ball White Teri Cloth Yarn $6.40
1 ball Tan or Beige Yarn (something extra soft) $6.50
Yarn Needle
Poly Fiber Fill $3
*Make sure the gauge of the yarn fits the pattern!

Total cost $12 - 24  
(Depending on what supplies you have on hand)

Review: The pattern is fairly easy to knit for a moderate skill level.  You should be familair with knitting in the round with double point needles.  The littly Lamb is really fun to make but it is on the small side so take breaks from knitting, your sure to get some cramps.  The 'fill as you go' method make for easy construction and closure ensuring that any Kiddy playing with the lamb wont be able to get at the Fiber fill.  The only change I had was the knitting of the ears, I simply made additional I Cords, instead of knitting in the round with few stitches.  All in All it was a fun pattern and I am really happy with the result.  

The back end : ) 

The pattern uses an I Cord,  wasn't familiar with technique, here is a video that I used to learn how.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Someone Else on a Different Budget

We've all felt the crunch of the economy on our wallets.  And while I don't want to be another person spouting advice or commiserate on how difficult it is because I can't drop $$$$ on clothing each weekend I was humbled today reading a fellow blogger's budget crunch.

Reed lost his job last December and instead of cutting back on expenses he added a new one.  Handing out $10 a day to a total stranger.  Sounds simple, and generous, and too easy.  So the reason I wanted to share is because his philanthropy goes beyond the $10 he hands out.  Reed will actually spend anywhere from 20 min to 3 hours getting to know someone, learn their story, and lastly find out what they plan to do with $10.  They are not always people who look needy, mostly they are average D.C. Residents like himself.  Each day he blogs about the person who received the ten bucks and what they plan to do with it, I've started following his blogs just for the stories, to hear about average looking people with more than average stories.

I'm not going to lie and say he has inspired me to do the same, because I have always donated my time and in a future post I will share that organization.  But today, if your interested, i encourage you to check out his blog Year of Giving
image of Reed borrowed from his blog.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The most comfortable shoes in the WORLD!

Lucky Brand Parisa Sandal

These are by far the most comfortable Heeled Sandals I've ever owned.  They go with everything, and I wear them everywhere.  When I first saw them I thought they would fit right in my Anthropologie catalog, but at a much more reasonable price!  I've been getting so many compliments on these shoes I just had to share.  They are avaliable at Endless.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Floral Broach Necklace

Two things I love, the color Coral and large statement necklaces.  To get the best of both worlds I took one of my old bracelets added some new beads and got a great new summer necklace.

- Broach from a Target Bracelet
- Lobster Clasp, stolen from an unused necklace
-Coral glass beads from BeadMonkey 3 strands for $24

Project Time: 1 Hour
Total Cost: $24

Strands:  Thread the strands 1/3 full, then thread through the broach.  Complete adding beads, the strand closest to your neck will require fewer beads, 2 more for the middle strand, and 2 more on top of that for the outer strand.
Clasp: Using needle nose pliers I stole the lobster clasp and chains from an un-used necklace and attached with the thread ends.  I'm planning to wear this necklace with turquoise and purple for a great summer look.

New Feature: ReStyled

This is a new Feature called ReStyled.  I take something Old, add a little something new to update your wardrobe in a budget conscious way ... because as always it's on a BUDGET!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Knitting Review: Formal Boot Bag from Bag Style

Pattern: Formal Boot Bag by Laura Irwin
  • Pattern $0   Visit your local library to borrow the book!  Or the Bag Style book can be bought at Amazon for $14.
  • Yarn $44.55 from Yarnmarket 3 skeins 183yds/100gms each  (Suggested brand Takki Donegal Tweed Homespun, I choose Light Olive.
  • Size 13 circular knitting needles (20'' long)
  • Size 11 straight knitting needles
  • 14.5'' Handle from Etsy $6.80
  • Scrap fabric for lining & matching thread
Total Cost $ 65.35

Knitting Pattern Review
I applaud Laura on this pattern.  It was exceptionally easy to knit!  I'm a moderately advanced knitter but this bag was super fun and a beginner could easily conquer it.  This was my first time felting a bag and after following the directions in the book i had a felted bag Little Time with No Tears.  The yarn is more costly because it is 100% woll and nicly colored but the pattern was so pretty I couldnt resist.  Laura woked the hourglass shape and styleled a modern and soft casual bag for every day use.

Designer on a Budget add-on's
I decided to line the purse with a cool Japanese Umbrella patterned fabric, I found some imitation leather handles via Etsy and added floral buttons i found at JoAnn.  Here's how you can personalize this bag.

Designer Knit Bags   
Average Designer on a Budget savings $208
Happy knitting : )

NEW *Knitting Review*

What is a Knitting Review?  This is a new feature I've decided to add to the blog.  I'll knit a pattern and review the ease, cost, and success of the final product. 

More than that I add my own personal touches to each project and show you how you can do the same.  And to stay in tradition of the Designer on A Budget, I'll show you what others are charging for a similar item. 

Leave feedback so I can hear what you think of these installments.  

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Inspired by Anthropologie Corsage Tee Tutorial

Inspired by Anthropologie's Secured Corsage Tee 
Anthropologie price: $58
Designer on a Budget: $15
Savings: $43
Project time: 5-8 hours
  • 1 Turqoise tee from Target ($9)
  • Less than 1/4 yard of each (aprox $6)
    •   Turquoiseorganza
    • White or cream organza
    • Green jersey fabric
  • Candle or Lighter

1. Cut out Circles
By taking a pencil or fabric marker free hand various circles.  I focused on 3 different sizes; 1.5'' 3'' and 4'' diameter.  I organized the circles by size and color so it was easy to assemble the flowers.  Begin stacking circles in the desired pattern.

2. Curl the circles or "Petals"
To construct flowers to mimic Anthropologie's corsage I curled the petals with my candle.  (instead of using  a lighter I used a candle, that way you have both your hands free)  To curl the circles with heat, hold the edges 2-3'' above the flame until the heat curls the edges.

Be careful not to burn yourself or light the fabric on fire.  It took me a few tries, the first few I melted because I held it too close to the flame.  Another tip is to ensure that all the sides curl in the same direction, this comes in handy during the next step.

3. Assemble Flowers
To create the flowers stack the petals inside each other.  Like I said earlier if the petals curl the same way they will now stack like little nesting bowls.  Once the petals are all stacked, take a thread and make a X stitch.  This way when you pull it taught it will gather the petals into a ruffled flower.  Add as many stitches as necessary to get the look you desire.

4. Attach Flowers.
To attach the flowers separate petals and to hide your stitches under neath.  I liked to place the stitches in a perimeter about an inch from the center.  This held the flowers securely in place.

Tip: When sewing together leave enough thread so that you can attach it to the shirt without threading your needle again. 

5. Assemble Center of Corsage
Continue to build the flowers and attach to shirt.  I attached each flower as they were built so I could gauge how big to make the next one.  This is what it will look like when the 4 flowers are attached.

6. Ruffles
There are 2 sets of accompanying ruffles around the flowers.  To create the ruffles I cut a strip of fabric 1-2'' wide and 10-12'' long.  I then drew a wavy dashed line down the center, this acts as my guide when creating a gathering stitch.  Making a wavy line will help create a more dynamic ruffle.

Pin the ruffle in the desired position.  I placed the pins down the center line (gathering).  I then folded the ruffle in half and stitched on one side, this held the ruffle in my desired vertical position, instead of lying flat.

Tip: Start with the outermost ruffle and work inward.  This helps you establish a perimeter to fill.

7. Thought I was done.
There is one ruffle near the center V of the shirt and one smaller one on the right shoulder.  Here is my completed shirt. 

However when I excitedly tried it on it wasn't the effect I was going for.  The corsage was a little too large and consumed my right breast.  So after some conference with a friend I moved one of the flowers and trimmed down the ruffles.

8. Trim
After moving the lowest flower to the upper right shoulder I took my scissors and trimmed EVERYTHING. I was careful to keep the look of the corsage with decreasing some of the volume. 


Please feel free to leave questions and suggestions.  Enjoy your new inspired by Anthropologie duds.
Not much for sewing, here is a link to the Anthropologie original

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Inspired by Anthropologie - Torsade Tee

Anthropologie Price: $48
Designer on a Budget Price: $12 
Savings: $36
Project Time: 1-2 hours 
Before you begin

1. CUT.  Use the the 2nd tee and a pencil to mark out the cut lines as seen below.  Cutting the shirt this way will give you a nice long strip to make the collar
The strip is 6'' wide with a 3'' angle rise, continue the lines around the back of the shirt.  You are cutting one large 'spiral' of fabric.  It should look like this when your done.

1a. GATHER I omitted the center gathering because I don't want to attract attention to that area on me :).  But if it is something you like simply use your sewing machine to make a center gathering stitch.  Slightly bunching the fabric as you go.

2. TWIST.  You will end up with some seams in the strip from the side streams of the shirt.  Find a seam near the center and pin it about 4'' below the V on the front of the shirt.  Twist the two tails moderately tight; then twist the tails around each other.  There are 3 center twists.  Pin the tails to hold in place.  Continue to wist and pin the tails around the neck of the shirt until they meet at the center of the back.  Pin and trim off remaining tails.

 3.  STITCH.   Using red thread separate the folds of of the twist to hide your stitching.  Work your way up the twist tacking down the fabric.  My stitches were connected underneath and about .5'' -1'' apart.  I used a generous amount of stitches because I wanted to make sure it was held down tightly.  Remember: you can keep working the twist as you sew. 

4. CLOSURE.  When you reach the back of the neck line tuck the edges under and stitch them down.

Please feel free to leave questions and suggestions.  Enjoy your new inspired by Anthropologie duds or check out the Anthropologie original

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cat Hair to Chic Chair

I love going garage sailing in the summer, and this was a $5 purchase on the curb.  I saw it and was like ... Yeah with some new fabric and a little paint that could be a sweet chair.  And I love rocking chairs!

After my purchase we skillfully squeezed it into my back seat (transportation was an after thought) and off we drove with my new treasure.  My girlfriend Ashley and I got about 3 blocks when we noticed a faint Cat Pee smell.  The smell grew to a stench as we drove ... all windows down ... the few more miles back to the house.  (no wonder it was only five bucks) I quickly pulled it out of my car and asses the damage ... If I was going to do this I would have to strip the chair entirely!!!

Budget Break Down:
  • Original Chair $5
  • Staples & Furniture Tacks $8
  • Jute Webbing & Batting $20
  • Gray Suede (Clearance) $14
Total Cost  $47
Project Time: about 30 hours

Luckily my boyfriend was out of town so i could make a mess in our back yard pulling all the minute and rusted upholstery tacks out and (while wearing a mask) rip off covering 1 to find red floral print underneath, and then a layer of advertising burlap under that, then rotten padding.  Off it all came.  Pliers, Hammer, Screw Driver, Safety Goggles and Mask required!  Tip: Put down a tarp when disassembling, it made clean up of all the rusty nails easy, don't want those lying around.

Once I was down to the wood (real wood!) i was lucky that the original varnish was the only thing there and I didn't have to strip off paint.  I took a foam sanding block and smoothed out some of the dinks.  You could use wood filler and some time to get perfect surfaces if desired.

Using 2 cans of Satin finish Black spray paint I covered the necessary areas.  To paint in the garage I swept and laid out an old sheet.  Pick a day with no wind or find a wind block, otherwise small bits of dust and what not will end up blowing into your wet paint.  I completed 2 coats, lightly sanding in between.
I purchased about 8 yards of Jute webbing.  Using a staple gun I wove and tacked the webbing around the under most corner.  It is important to pull the webbing extra tight.
This is the Foam and Batting.  I purchased 2'' thick green foam from a fabric store and cut to fit the seat and back.  I purchased batting and applied it over the foam and Jute.  Note: Since you end up using a lot of staples to secure each layer it is important to put each layer of staples on a specific side so you don't run into them later.  Since these methods are my own I always plan for mistakes.  The foam didn't provide enough cushion, so i used some stuffing i had on hand and pulled up one side of the staples on each the bottom and back panels.  This ended up being a great thing, I pulled the stuffing and packed it between the foam and batting, it hid the edges of the foam and created a nice stiff padding. 
Lastly was the covering.  I used a stretch fo-suede in medium gray.  this easily stretched over all the under molding, be sure the top layer is sturdy enough to hold staples, if you choose a thin fabric or something that tears easily it will not be held in place tightly with staples and will rip.  The top was completed by taking a strip of cardboard and wrapping the fabric around it to keep a crisp edge, it is held in place with decorative silver upholstery tacks (found at JoAnn's).  This took a few tries but it was important to make sure it looked neat.
Finished Product.  Fits right in with our other furnishings and it no longer smells like cat urine. 
Also: I apologize for a minimum of detailed construction images.  This too was an older project i documented but wanted to share it.  Please leave comments about what you would like to see during the making of items.

Max "Where the Wild Things Are"

Welcome, I'm glad you found my blog and I hope this is what you were looking for.  If not check back for future posts and projects.  Otherwise happy hunting. For my 1st Post I'm sharing an older project.

Here is my fully-hand-made-from-scratch MAX costume.

Unfortunately I created this costume before i created this blog, so i don't have process pictures.  But i can give a run down of how it was completed.  
Project Budget:  $30-40 for fabric & pattern.  
Time to complete: 10-15 hours

1. Sew a body suit of white felt made from a Simplicity pattern 9983 Adult Animal Costume.  I maintained a few modifications - no elastic on hands or feet and a zipper down the front with only a partial hood. 
2. Using fake fur sew a 2.5' long by 6'' wide tail that tapers at the end.  Attach to suit as you sew the back seam.

3. Hands were made by creating a elongated palm shape and attaching five 1.5'' long triangles acting as claws.   Note" the fleece was stiff enough for me but you could stuff it with cardboard or batting if your looking for a larger effect.  I attached a small 3'' long elastic strap to keep them around my hands (you can see it in my left hand in the photo) and sewed the bottom of the 'hand' to the top end of the sleeve.

4. The Hood.   Ears were constructed free hand and I sewed a channel along the top ridge so i could insert a pipe cleaner for form and stiffness, they were then attached to the hood by cutting a slit, inserting, and sewing the seam.
5. The crown is canvas.  I laid out 2 layers and measured the circumference i wanted for the base.  i then divided it by 5 (five points) and created a peak for each.  I sewed the 2 layers and turned them right side out.  I used the pipe cleaner method (like the ears) for the rib in each peak.  i sewed a thin channel and ran a pipe cleaner into each.  When finished i took Gold paint and hand painted the fabric.  I wanted a rustic feel, but you could use gold fabric instead, just make sure there is some stiffness so you may need a backing.  I hand stitched the crown to the hood.  Then curl over the tips of the crown.
6. Scepter.  The stick is the center of a plastic coat hanger, i cut off the ends and sanded the bottom smooth, you could use a dowel if you have some on hand.  The Ball is a child's foam ball, i cut a slit in the ball, applied hot glue to the plastic rod and inserted it.  I used Bronze craft paint to cover the plastic rod and foam ball.  I then cut soft diamond shapes from craft foam sheets, and painted them bronze as well.  I attached them with hot glue, and to add more details i took gold pearl sewing pins (had some on hand) and tacked the foam diamonds to the foam ball, you could also do this with painted beads or puffy fabric paint.

7. Finishing touches were 3 foam circles for buttons that i attached with fabric snaps to help cover the zipper seam.  I used brown pipe cleaners cut in half for the whiskers.  I punctured a hole in the side of the hood, inserted the pipe cleaner and make a L bend so i could sew it down.  then twist and bend the ends for the MAX look.

8. Yes I'm an Adult, and Yes i wore this costume to the bars on Halloween.  I got lots and lots of questions as to where i found the costume and even more compliments when i told them i made it by hand.  Bonus:  I was really warm and comfortable all night!