Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


1 Comment

Sewing tips to make a vintage dress fit

I am forever spotting gorgeous vintages dresses when I go for my weekly rummage in the charity shops but I am often put off from investing in an outfit because it is far too big for me. Last week, I tried on this vintage shirt dress from Oxfam, which was around 3 sizes too big for me, but I loved the (so on-trend!) tropical pattern of the fabric that I decided to give it a new home and see what I could do to make it fit me.

The dress didn’t have any labels in it, so it may well have been handmade in the first place so I didn’t feel too bad making adjustments to it, although that first cut is always difficult, because I don’t want to ruin something that has survived so many years! At least it will be worn if I can make it fit me, whereas it would be relegated to the back of my wardrobe if wasn’t brave enough to make any changes, so I got my scissors out and set to work.

before and after vintage dress

  1. First of all I put the dress on to see where the adjustments needed to be made. The shoulders were too wide, the side seams could be taken in about 6 inches and I wanted to make it into a knee length dress, otherwise it would be too long for me. So I pinned down the sides to make it fit, pinned up the shoulders and measured how much fabric would need to be removed in order to make it knee length.

  2. I began by stitching up the side seams by following the line of the pins to create a more figure-hugging shape, trimmed off the excess fabric and zig-zag stitched over the seam to prevent it from fraying.

Cassiefairy - sewing tips for shortening a vintage dress

  1. Instead of taking up the hem of the dress, which already had a perfect blind hem stitched in place, I decided to shorten the dress at the waist. So I cut the dress straight across at my waist point (a very scary moment – I needed to be brave!) which left me with a ‘top’ and a ‘skirt’.

  2. I used the measurement for the right length that I noted down whilst trying on the dress, which was 4 inches shorter, so I cut a strip 4 inches deep from the top of the skirt – cutting straight across again.

  3. I then reattached it by pinning the skirt around the bottom of the top, with the right sides of the fabric together. I zig-zag stitched around the middle to join the dress back together.

Now my vintage shirt dress is 4 inches shorter and about 6 inches smaller and fits me perfectly. After I tried on my new dress, I realised that the sleeves would look better if they were a little slimmer too, so I took in the sleeve seams by about an inch too. So next time you find a dress that you love which is too big for you, don’t dismiss it straight away. Think about what you can do to make it fit, and give the dress a new lease of life!

 

 

 


2 Comments

My little vintage caravan ~ Pillows & cushions

Before the summer holidays were out, I fully intended to sleep in my caravan and camp out for a couple of nights while the weather is good. In fact, it’s sometimes a little too hot to sleep indoors so I thought that a night in the caravan would be ideal to cool off. I started looking for bedding and I was lucky enough to snap up this vintage Paddington Bear pillowcase at a table-top sale in a village hall.

vintage Paddington Bear pillow slip cushion cover vintage Paddington Bear pillow slip cushion cover-2

I really like the retro design and the fact that Paddington is beside the seaside – it makes me feel like my caravan could be anywhere. Plus the design reflects the lighthouse in the appliqué cushion that I’d previously made. Yesterday was the ideal night to camp out and we decided to stay in the caravan, watch the stars in the clear night-sky and fall asleep under the glow of the my pretty purple solar-powered fairy lights.

Retro Paddington Bear pillow slip cushion cover

It was very comfortable to sleep on the cushion pads that I’d re-covered and now all I need is a vintage-inspired duvet cover for the cooler months and my caravan will be a great place to sleep out all year round!

Also today is the last day to vote for Cassiefairy.com for the Best Lifestyle Blog award in the Cosmopolitan blog awards EEK! So please hop onto the Cosmo website and cast your vote TODAY – thank you SO much!


1 Comment

How does your garden grow? DIY plant markers

Now that the plants are starting to grow in our new garden, I’m beginning to lose track of what’s what. This happens particularly often with the herbs in my raised planted, because I’m not very well trained in recognising herb leaves. Okay, I know what the difference between basil, chives, parsley and rosemary but all the small leaves and different varieties seem to merge into one and I can’t be sure what I’m picking. Considering how the garden used to look (check out my first garden blog post here), I think I can be forgiven for not knowing much about plants yet! So I decided to make some markers using pebbles and permanent pens. It was a simple as writing the name of the plant onto the pebble and putting it in place. Hubby and I got a bit carried away at times, drawing little cartoons of the plants and using funny text, but it certainly does the job – now I’ll never get my marjoram and oregano mixed up again!

As you can see from these photos, the herb garden is really ‘blooming’. I’ve had to trim back some of the plants already because they were getting a little leggy! We’ve planted chives, thyme, lemon thyme, mint, basil, coriander, marjoram, sage, oregano, rosemary  and tarragon and we’ve already been enjoying fresh chives in our potato salad! Plus we’ve got some courgettes on their way finally, woooo!

 I still can’t believe that Cassiefairy.com has made it onto the Cosmo Blog Awards 2014 shortlist for Best Lifestyle Blog! It would mean the world to me if you would vote for my blog before voting closes tomorrow on 29th August – thank you SO much!


Leave a comment

The Great Blogger Bake Off ~ Apple Crumble two ways

The theme for this week’s Great Blogger Bake Off was (as always) inspired by The Great British Bake Off, and I’m pleased to tell you that it is one of my favourite things to make; desserts!

I went for a stroll this weekend and picked some blackberries that have ripened particularly early this year. There was a good handful that were already ready to be picked but not enough for my yearly jam-making session, so I decided to make the most of this early crop by adding them to one of my favourite puds of all-time – apple crumble.

I actually made two crumbles this week; one apple and blackberry and one apple with cinnamon and sultanas. It was such a simple recipe that I didn’t even follow a recipe to make this dessert, I went more on how the crumble topping looked rather than by measurements. Here’s a photo of my approximate meaasurements which were about 2 tablespoons of butter (or margarine), 4 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of sugar, which makes the topping for a crumble for approx. 2/3 people in my deep oval dish.

Similarly, with the apples I just filled the dish with peeled, sliced apples until it looked like there were enough in there for the base, threw in a handful of blackberries with a couple of tablespoons of caster sugar. In the second crumble I added a sprinkling of cinnamon and a few sultanas along with the apples and sugar. I then added the crumble topping and sprinkled each top with sugar (brown or white, either is fine!) and a bit more cinnamon on the sultana crumble. I always feel like Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle when I peel apples because she peels a whole massive apple in one long curly strip and I try to recreate that!

apple cinnamon and sultana recipe for the great blogger bake off-10

apple cinnamon and sultana recipe for the great blogger bake off-9

The crumbles took approx. 30 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees and I enjoyed them with a scoop of ice cream, although when I watch tonight’s Great British Bake Off, I’ll probably add a blob of extra thick cream to the cinnamon apple crumble instead!

 I still can’t believe that Cassiefairy.com has made it onto the Cosmo Blog Awards 2014 shortlist for Best Lifestyle Blog! It would mean the world to me if you would vote for my blog before voting closes THIS WEEK on 29th August – thank you SO much!


Leave a comment

Weirdest place to sleep

Are you one of those people who can sleep anywhere? Where’s the weirdest place you’ve fallen asleep? Do you enjoy a good daytime nap? I have many pals who can nap sitting up, can grab some zzzs on a bus and who have even fallen asleep into their lunch (during our late-night student days). I’ve never really been one of those people. I’d like to nap while I’m on public transport and enjoy the benefits of not having to drive, but I worry that I will miss my stop and end up in Scotland! Even a sleep-deprived me would soldier on and not nap – I was more likely to cry from being over-tired than put my head down for forty winks during the day. But recently things have started to change…

cats can sleep anywhere - wheres the weirdest place you can sleep

Whether it’s due to getting a little older or having a more active lifestyle something is tiring me out. I don’t know what it is but one thing’s for sure; I’ve started to nod off in cars. I get a happy sleepy feeling when it’s warm and cosy – when someone else is driving, of course! I never really fall asleep though, because I like to keep a look out for traffic or hazards even when I’m not the driver. Even so, I’ve started to realise how my cats feel when they simply can’t stay awake any longer, their eyelids get heavy and their breathing slows down. It can be quite funny watching my cats fighting the urge to fall asleep and it’s the same with babies too. How nice it must be to just be able to sleep anytime, anywhere!

cats can sleep anywhere - wheres the weirdest place you can sleep-2

I’ve just heard about a competition by Carpetright to win a £700 bed or a luxury glamping holiday with the family which you can enter by sharing photos of your friends or family sleeping in the strangest of places. Just tweet @Carpetright, tag Carpetright in a Facebook status or use @Carpetrightuk in your Instagram captions along with the hashtag #WeirdestPlaceToSleep. I’m pretty sure that no one will be posting photos of a sleepy me; unless my husband snaps a photo during the night – but I’m not sure that ‘in bed’ is a particularly strange place to snooze! Even so, I’m going to be making hot chocolate for all my friends and offering family a blanket to snuggle under when then come to visit in the hope of taking a sneaky photo to enter the competition – of course I would share the prize with them if I were to win, it’s only fair!

cats can sleep anywhere - wheres the weirdest place youve slept

Let me know if you can sleep in an unusual place and I look forward to seeing your photos for the competition! The competition closes on 3rd September 2014 so get your entries in now!