One of the things I admire most about the “Greatest Generation” (besides their amazing fashion sense, of course) is their frugality, their “make-do-and-mend” approach to money and possessions. They knew that banks fail, economies go through major depressions, and it’s better to have a coffee can full of money buried in the yard in case of a rainy day or a dustbowl decade.
In that spirit, I thought from time to time I could share a few things that I’ve found to be a reliable source of a few coins for the Folgers can. There might be an affiliate links to some items, but as you know, I only recommend items I trust and believe in.
Swagbucks is a sort of gamified reward site. You can earn points (“Swagbucks”) for using the search engine, watching videos, taking surveys, and click-through shopping.
You can redeem the points for various stuff, although I have only ever bothered with Amazon Gift Cards and PayPal cash.
Since 2009, I’ve earned $189 in Amazon GC and $235 in PayPal cash, mostly for searches I do anyway. I’ve recently gotten into the SwagIQ app, which offers live trivia contests most weeknights and extra games on holidays.
I’ve been meaning to write about replacing a coat lining for months–I’m either very late, or very early!
J has a now-vintage winter coat from Structure (the former men’s line from Compagnie Internationale Express) that has held up to much abuse over the years. The lining finally gave out though (and was hanging from the hem in tatters not unlike a tail!), but J didn’t want to give up on it.
You’ll find many vintage coats at thrift stores and estate sales have this same issue–the lining tends to be the least durable part of the coat’s construction. Thankfully, though, replacing a lining is something you can do fairly easily and inexpensively.
Fabric: For this project, I bought some nice cling-free poly lining from the late Hancock Fabrics. I bought 3 yards just to have some left over. You can use many different fabrics for linings–silk, polyester, even quilting cottons! It can be so fun to add a funky patterned lining to a classic trench or peacoat. The sky is the limit!
Thread: Go for good quality, since coats take strain at the seams.
Needles: With thick fabrics like wool, make sure you have the appropriate size needles for your machine–they can get dull quickly. There will also be some hand-sewing to finish, so make sure you have a needle for that too!
The black fabrics didn’t photograph terribly well, and I always forget to take in-progress photos, so I can just briefly explain the process:
Take a seam ripper and carefully remove HALF of the lining. Go ahead and cut it away from the half you are leaving intact.
The half you cut out will become your pattern for the new lining. Just cut on the fold for the main interior piece, cut two sleeves, etc., until you have all the pieces.
The half of the fabric you left in will show you how to re-construct the garment. Assemble the sleeve, and then start sewing the lining into the coat. Work around until you hit the sections of the old lining that you left in, and begin to remove them and sew in the new lining.
Bridal gowns, prom and bridesmaid dresses, evening wear– formal clothing can be some of the most expensive items your closet. It can also be hard to find a good fit or a true expression of one’s personal style. Sewing your own dress can be a way to save money, tailor the garment to your own shape, and create something truly unique… you just need to have a lot of patience with slippery fabrics and fiddly pattern pieces! Making a muslin or toile first out of old fabric (even an old sheet!) can help you to work out fit before you cut into pretty fabric. To get started, you can download a modern pattern–many are free–or find a lovely vintage pattern, and even shop for fabric and notions online as well. Ain’t the Internet grand?
PATTERNS $10 OR LESS
Ahem… we’ve got many nice dress patterns in our shop…
Fabric Mart is our all-time favorite online fabric store. So many great sales!