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

Continue reading “Top Winter Hat Tips – We’ve Got You Covered” »


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 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 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.


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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