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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Have you got your festive knit ready for Christmas Jumper Day?

I know I have. Well, every day in December is Christmas jumper day for me… but I’m talking about the official Christmas Jumper Day with a capital C, J and D. This year, Save the Children’s annual Christmas Jumper Day is taking place on Friday 16th December. Silliness will be sweeping the nation as schools, homes and offices across the country will be ditching their day-to-day dress for colourful, garish, crazy knitted jumpers instead.crazy for christmas jumpersI’ve got my pink polka dot squirrel jumper (with sparkly sequinned acorn and fluffy furry tail) at the ready to wear on the big day. And the best bit is that all this silliness has a serious purpose – by sticking on a daft sweater and donating £2 to Save the Children through christmasjumperday.org you’ll be saving children’s lives and giving them a brighter future.DIY christmas jumper festive snowman-12

Here’s my step-by-step guide to DIYing your own snowman jumper

And that’s not the only way you can help. If you’ve finished with your festive jumper from last year why not take it to your nearest Save the Children store where unwanted Christmas jumpers will be resold (raising more funds for the charity) so that others can join in the festive fun on Christmas Jumper Day this year. You could also pick up an even sillier sweater at the same time to keep an eye out in stores this week.crazy for christmas jumpers-2All the money raised through woolly-wearing will help give a child living in a refugee camp clothes to keep them warm through winter, or set up a safe space to give them the chance to be children again. It could also help bring essentials like healthcare, education, protection and food to the millions of children around the world who are missing out on the most basic support. All this, just by wearing a daft jumper – it’s a very silly way to solve some very serious problems!christmas jumper DIY pompoms before and after

Here’s my DIY pom-pom Christmas cardi project blog post

I hope you’ll join in with all the fun on Friday 16th and hop onto the christmasjumperday.org website to donate. Happy Christmas Jumper Day all!


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Christmas Jumper Day & my animated gingerbread man!

One of the things I love about December is the fact that I can wear the 20% of my wardrobe that I can’t wear for the rest of the year: my festive jumper collection. You can just about get away with fair isle patterns in autumn and some snowflake prints can make an appearance in late November. But as soon as December hits, it’s time for full-on Christmas jumpers in garish primary colours with sparkly bits. And I love it!animated christmas jumper festive gift inspirationanimated christmas jumper festive gift inspiration-9You can probably tell from my Christmas decorations that I’m quite ‘into’ festive knits! And there’s even more reasons to pull on a festive pullover this year: The Text Santa Christmas Jumper day on 18th December. Money raised goes to three amazing charities; Make a Wish, Save the Children and Macmillan Cancer Support. Thankfully you’ve still got over a week to sort out your festive outfit before Christmas jumper day so there’s still time to order one of these fantastic animated jumpers. animated christmas jumper festive gift inspiration text santaanimated christmas jumper festive gift inspiration-10I got this gingerbread man “DigitalDudz” festive jumper from Morphsuits.co.uk for my husband and oh boy, does he love it! It’s quickly becoming his favourite jumper and I’m really chuffed that he’s already worn it a few times on trips to Christmas markets and to the pub for a mulled wine. It’s a size medium but it actually fits me as an oversize knit too, so we can both get some use out of it this Christmas. I wasn’t 100% sure how the animation would work, but I loved the gingerbread design so I ordered it anyway to give it a go.

I figured that if I couldn’t work out the technology behind the animated face, I could always make a badge with the face of a gingerbread man on it so the jumper would look cool anyway. Thankfully, downloading the animation app was as easy as adding any other app to my phone via the app store. Once it had downloaded, it was just a case of locating the gingerbread man animation within the app in the Christmas jumper section and pressing play.

There are ways to rotate the animation and change the placement of the face on the screen so it appears in the right place in the hole, and even adjust the brightness so that it blends into the jumper background seamlessly. I was impressed that the animation actually had a knitted pattern background so it really does look like part of the jumper. The cutest thing was the gingerbread man’s happy little face, which turns to a worried look when he’s being eaten!animated christmas jumper festive gift inspiration-4 animated christmas jumper festive gift inspiration-5Initially I was worried that my phone might slip out of the pocket in the front of the jumper (nightmare!) but when I put it into the face hole, it was a tight fit and hubby could even jump around without it popping out, so I was confident that he’d be able to wear it and not break my phone, even after a couple of sherries! Unfortunately his phone is so ancient that he couldn’t get the app on it so he’ll have to continue to use my phone for the time being. At least I always know where my phone is now!animated christmas jumper festive gift inspiration text santaWhat do you think of this animated jumper? Would you wear something like this for Text Santa day on 18th December? Order one for yourself at Morphsuits.co.uk where you can find lots of different festive animated jumpers, including a blazing fireplace, santa getting stuck in the chimney and even a cute Christmas cat! Let me know if you get one and tell me what you’ll be wearing this Christmas by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me a photo to @Cassiefairy.


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My top 5 winter wardrobe essentials

As I’m sat at my computer writing this blog post there is actually frost on the ground, I needed to defrost my car this morning, and I’ve got the fire blazing in the living room. It’s definitely feeling wintery out there and that can only mean one thing; time for some new winter essentials.

I try not to splash out too much on new clothing during the year. My thrifty nature ensures that I always ask myself ‘do I really need it?’ before buying something new and often the answer is no. I can go for months without buying myself something new and my jeans usually get holes in them before I consider upgrading! Even so, there are some essentials that I can’t live without each year, and it’s usually around autumn/winter that I start thinking about adding a few cosy items to my wardrobe.

Firstly, I picked up a couple of jumpers from House of Fraser. Every year, when the temperature drops, I look in my wardrobe and say to myself ‘I have no jumpers’. I don’t know where they disappear to during the year, but all I can find is 3/4 length sleeved cardigans and they just won’t cut it on chilly winter mornings. So I decided on two fail-safe cosy jumpers to add to my winter wardrobe.

Continue reading “My top 5 winter wardrobe essentials” »


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DIY sew-your-own snowman Christmas jumper

Take one plain pullover and make it into a Christmas jumper for less than £5. What a challenge! I was inspired to create a snowy scene on this knitted blue jumper so I popped out to pick up some supplies for my sewing project and now I’ve created a thrifty DIY project for to give your long-loved winter woollies a makeover. DIY christmas jumper festive snowman-12
Continue reading “DIY sew-your-own snowman Christmas jumper” »


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An early morning walk in the frost

You won’t believe it but I’ve already been out and about in the ‘fresh air’ this morning for a walk in a frosty winter wonderland. Although it was freezing cold, I love chilly mornings when you open the curtains and see a white-out of sparkling frost on the ground. At least I know that I’ll have a nice quiet walk with my husband, because who else would be out and about in the cold, this early in the morning? We didn’t even see any dog walkers, but we did get to see a gorgeous pastel sky and take some snaps of the beautiful countryside covered in glittery frost. Here are some photos:

frosty morning la mere layering fashion brag vintage jumper

For my frosty morning outfit, I’ve had a go at my blogger pal Janelle’s La Mere layering technique, which helped me to keep warm without adding too much bulk. It’s all about adding different lengths, textures and accessories to create a stylish look at this time of year – so check it out! For my longest layer I chose a long-sleeved white t-shirt, my ‘cropped’ layer was a gorgeous vintage striped jumper from Brag Vintage and my structured top layer was a grey blazer from Primark. I’ve added my husband’s striped scarf (yes, he got a little cold after I pinched it, but hey, he’s a gentleman!) for the long accessories layer. Let me know if you think this layering technique works and get in touch with Janelle at Confessions of a Fashion Stylist if you give it a go yourself!

frosty morning walk fashion brag vintage jumper

I love the snuggly, cosy jumper I picked up from Brag Vintage – there’s always something different popping up on this website and I was lucky enough to scoop this piece of vintage knitwear last week! I’ll be keeping an eye on the website for more vintage arrivals in my size, especially as they offer free delivery – one of my favourite phrases on  a website! I wore my new favourite piece of jewellery too – a wishbone necklace that my husband gave me for Christmas and that I’ve hardly taken off since. I now have a lovely collection of necklaces that all really mean a lot to me (maybe I’ll share them in a blog post soon) so I really don’t need any more jewellery – but don’t want that to stop my husband from treating me to more if he really wants to 😉

Today’s walk was a bit of kick-start to my ‘get outdoors more’ resolution for new year and even though it was a bit brisk, I certainly felt refreshed afterwards and really enjoyed that steaming-hot cup of tea when we got back home! It’s got to be good for me to get outside more often, whether the weather agrees with me or not, and I’m going to try to investigate local walks and footpaths near to where I live to see parts of the countryside that I’ve never been to before. At least I’m spending some quality time with my husband and just imagine all the lovely photos I’ll be able to take at different times of day and in different weather. Watch this space!


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Thrifty Fashion ~ New season trend & DIY the look for less

Pink is going to be a big trend for this Autumn/Winter – it’s in all the magazines and on all the best fashion blogs, so it must be true – blush, rose and coral is here to stay. It’s an unusual choice for autumn and I always think that pink is a spring/summer colour, but if it means that I can carry on wearing my summer tops, I’m happy with that! However, I’d like to jazz up my spring cardigan so that it at least looks like a different top from the knitwear that I’ve been wearing all year, so I’ve decided to add buttons.

Button Up header image

This also reflects the pink trend because I’ve chosen to add buttons in lots of different rosy hues and have thrown in a couple of darker maroon and red ones to make it just a little bit more festive and autumnal. You can use any jumper or cardigan for this project – pick one up from your local charity shop or online in the Oxfam Online Shop knitwear  section . Choose some coordinating or contrasting buttons (easy to find at carboot sales, or in haberdashery stores) to create two very different looks on your winter knitwear. And here’s how it’s done:

 Button Up You Will Need

You will need: Jumper or cardigan, buttons of different sizes and colours, needle, matching thread

1. Choose your buttons and roughly lay them out on your jumper or cardigan to decide where you would like the different colours and sizes to be to create a pleasing and balanced design around the neckline.

2. Thread your needle with the matching thread and begin stitching the buttons to your top

Button Up Step 2 sewing

3. You need not tie off each button, but you can simply attach each button with a couple of stitches then take the needle along the back of the fabric and come up wherever you’d like your next button to be.

4. When you’re sewing your final button, take the thread behind it and finish with a double knot to stop the buttons dropping off.

Button Up before and after image

Don’t forget that you can add to anything else that takes your fancy – bows or different embellishments – it all adds to the handmade look and will ensure your winter knitwear is completely unique. This is one of my DIY blog posts for Oxfam Fashion, so please have a look at my Oxfam blogger profile and check out my previous DIY fashion posts too 🙂

OXFAM


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Fashion for frosty mornings: Knitted leggings

And I should know – as the first frost of the year has happened; when I woke one morning in mid October the grass was hidden by frozen dew. Now, there are two ways of tackling this problem: 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 snuggly knits.

Unfortunately, staying in bed isn’t always possible – even though it’s getting ever darker in the mornings, so I’ll be blogging about the top trends in toasty knitwear all winter. I wrote about knitted dresses here and 80s funky jumpers  plus a post about animal knits last week. So here’s the fourth trend I’ve already been sporting this autumn/winter:

The catwalk shows from Issa and Bora Asku featured cosy leggings in crazy prints and I’ve been looking around the high street for some lookey-likey versions for this autumn/winter, including these fairisle knit leggings above from New Look , Issa-esque floral leggings £12.99 and these on-trend brocade black & white leggings from Boohoo.com for only £10. I have some multi-coloured fairisle striped knitted leggings that I was given last Christmas and haven’t yet had a chance to wear, so I’ll be putting these on underneath my knitted dresses to keep myself snuggly in the cold weather.

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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