Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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Top Winter Hat Tips – We’ve Got You Covered

It’s time to bundle up for winter but first use your head about what’s covering your head. All winter gear isn’t created equally. Here is what you need to know to help you stay snug and warm this winter. Whether you want to keep warm during casual trips to shops, while exercising outdoors, or are addressing a special need like hats for thinning hair, here is what you need to know to keep warm and cosy this winter.pom-pom-hat-beanie-knitting-pattern-mollie-makes

Knit your own with this bobble hat pattern by Mollie Makes

Fit for winter

Headwear can make a huge difference in keeping warm during the winter. Even if you are simply dashing between your car and the store or from one heating building to another, staying warm is important. Even indoors drafts and irregular heating can make it important to keep your head warm. A large portion of your body heat can be lost through your head.

If you’ll be outside in the cold for more than a few minutes, it’s important that your headwear covers your ears. Ears are thin but have a relatively large surface area. This increases the risk of heat loss and even frostbite.

If you’ll be enjoying outdoor sports this winter, it is important to get the appropriate headwear. Hats for running, hiking, and skiing and other outdoor sports need to combine comfort, fit, warmth, and an ability to handle sweat. Choose a longer style hat that will cover your forehead and ears without riding up as you run. You want to make sure the headwear is snug enough to stay in place while you exercise without being too tight or creeping out of place. If you’ll be out in extreme conditions, consider wearing a balaclava. This style of knit cap covers most of the face and neck as well as the head. It can even be worn under a hat or beanie for added warmth. crochet-bobble-hat-pattern-mollie-makes-45

Here’s a Mollie Makes crochet pattern to make your own slouchy hat

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Thrifty DIY project – Quick Cat Hat

With blustery weather and April showers just around the corner, I thought that today would be the ideal time to share a super-simple, really fast DIY project to jazz up your winter hats for spring. I have a plain grey beanie hat (I think I got it from the pound shop) that I’ve never worn, so I thought about what I could do to it to make it more appealing. I’ve got it! Turn it into a cat hat, of course.cat hat diy-4Honestly, this is probably the easiest DIY you’ll ever do and you’ll be finished in minutes. It’s always satisfying to complete a craft project so sit yourself down with a cup of tea and great ready for some serious satisfaction as you transform your old unloved bobble hat into a cool cat cap.

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Thrifty fashion ~ DIY winter hat with bow & pom-poms

At this time of year the weather is cold, wet and sometimes snowy, and watching the Winter Olympics has got me thinking about wrapping up warm. So this week my thoughts have turned to making a nice cosy knitted hat to keep my head warm without having to spend a fortune on a trendy hat on the high street. You may already have the skills to be able to knit your own beanie, but I’m a novice knitter so I used a plain grey beanie hat that I already had in my ‘winter-wear’ box. Although it does the job of keeping me warm, it’s not particularly on-trend and, quite frankly, a bit boring for me.  A light-bulb pinged on in my head that I could just add a little knitted bow or a couple of contrasting pom-poms to my hat in order to funk it up and make it unique – and for a fraction of the cost of a store-bought hat! You could pick up a second-hand beanie hat from a charity shop or car boot sale to work your magic on or ask around to see if any of your family have an old one they no longer need that you could upcycle.

You will need: Wool, knitting needles, darning needle, hat, scissors

DIY thrifty fashion knitted bow accessory step by step instructions

To make the bow: Cast on a row of 10 or 12 stitches and continue to knit a length (like a thin scarf) which is approximately the width of your hat. Cast off and fold the length in half. Use the darning needle to stitch the ends together and turn the loop inside out. With the stitched ends in the centre of the bow, wrap a length of wool around the centre to make the middle of the bow and tuck the end in. Use more wool and the darning needle to stitch the bow to the hat. I wanted quite a big bow in a matching colour but you can easily make a smaller bow or recreate it in a brightly coloured wool.

I’d recommend watching a step-by-step video on how to knit this bow, which includes instructions for casting on and off as well as stitching the bow together, which my friend and fellow blogger Laurie’s has made – here’s the link to her knitting tutorial video on YouTube. If you would like to make a smaller bow (just like Laurie has in the video, which can be used as a brooch or hair clip too!) simply reduce the length of the knitting or choose a smaller size of knitting needle.

DIY thrifty fashion pom pom hat step by step

To make the pom-poms: Wrap the wool around your hand until it is thick and puffy. Slide the loop of wool off your hand and wrap a piece of wool around the centre, pulling it tight and knotting it in the middle, leaving the ends trailing. Use the scissors to cut through the looped ends of the pom-pom and fluff it out. Thread the trailing ends of the central piece of wool through the darning needle and stitch it to the hat, either on the top, or use a second pom-pom on the sides to create ‘ears’!

You can use matching wool or contrasting colours for your bows and pom-poms. Let me know if you have a go at making your own DIY woolly embellishments to make unique accessories – and why not give them as gifts to your friends? They will love to receive a personalized hat that no one else will have – plus the amount of time and love you have put into embellishing the hat will show them how much they mean to you!

I am a volunteer DIY blogger for Oxfam and I’m sharing this step-by-step tutorial over on the Oxfam Fashion blog too – plus there are plenty more excellent thrifty fashion projects by all the other lovely Oxfam bloggers so please check it out!


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Fashion for frosty mornings: Cosy accessories

Now that frost on the grass is practically an everyday occurrence there are officially only two ways of tackling chilly mornings: 1. Stay in bed until the sun has risen higher and has warmed up the world enough that the frost has melted. or 2. Wrap up warm and stay stylish with on-trend knitwear.

Although I’ve tried it many times, staying in bed isn’t often possible, so I’ve been blogging about the top trends in cosy comfortable knitwear since October. I wrote about knitted dresses here and 80s funky jumpers plus posts about animal knits cosy trendy leggings and chunky cardis last week. So here’s the essential accessories that you’ll be needing for keeping warm during the winter:

Here’s some inspiration from the catwalk at Marc Jacobs, Chanel and Dior’s Autumn/Winter 2012 shows and these looks can be recreated with this purple knit snood from Debenhams and the chunky hood-scarf from New Look which can be pinned in a Marc Jacobs style across the chest. Snuggly knit accessories are essential for keeping your extremities warm in the winter and are the cheapest way of updating your wardrobe for the season.

Let me know what you’ll be wearing this autumn/winter! And check back soon for the next hot knitwear trend & how to get the look for a fraction of the price :)

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