Cheapest of the Cheap

I’m not sure if I’ll make the top 50 for the annual Tennessean’a Ms. Cheap’s Cheapest of the Cheap contest but submitted my idea anyway.

Been making a lot of my own workout gear of late because 1) workout clothes are EXPENSIVE! and 2) custom always fits better.

I’ve made 4 pair of leggings so far and have enough leftover fabric to make matching shorts or even swim suits.

And my awesome super cheap armband with a POCKET!!!! 🙂

Definitely lots more planned in the future for shirts, etc.

Here is my submission of links and sources gathered from lots of research:

To source my fabric I keep an eye on sales and coupons. Jo-Ann’s always has a nice selection and if you are on their email list always a coupon plus coupons in their mobile app. I’ve made several pairs for under $10 including the fabric, elastic, and thread. Other low-cost sources are the onlinefabricstore.net and fabric.com who send out daily emails with whatever fabric is 10% off that day, hartsfabrics.com also has a mailing list. Or if you want the good stuff spandexbyyard.com and any of the other places located on this list by Fehr Trade: http://www.fehrtrade.com/article/748/where-to-buy-exercise-fabric-a-global-list. This is a great guide to deciding which fabrics are best: https://www.seamworkmag.com/issues/2015/01/a-guide-to-activewear-fabrics. You can sign up for the McCall Pattern Company email list to be notified of their many sales on patterns, always a nice selection of athletic apparel patterns. Part of my foray into making my own clothes has been due in large part to making quality fitted items for a fraction of the cost they would be in store. With all the sales and options out there, making one’s own athletic apparel is definitely a savings! Also checking out thrift stores has some great options.

Free Patterns:

Leggings: http://so-sew-easy.com/leggings-pattern-tutorial/

Armband: http://www.maidenjane.com/2012/08/diy-ipod-armband-case-with-window-tutorial.html/; http://shop.fehrtrade.com/collections/frontpage/products/running-armband-pocket; https://jaeboyd.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/trials-of-creating-my-own-iphone-armband/

T-shirt: http://www.randomlyhappyblog.com/2013/05/how-to-sew-make-your-own-t-shirt-pattern.html

Shorts: http://mellysews.com/2013/07/bias-trimmed-shorts-for-women-with-free-pattern.html

Sports bra: http://www.autostraddle.com/make-a-thing-sports-bra-and-wireless-lace-bra-227855/

Underwear: http://clothhabit.com/free-pattern-rosy-ladyshorts/; http://www.makebra.com/free-hipster-pattern/

Yoga pants: http://sweet-verbena.blogspot.com/2012/02/yoga-pants-tutorial.html,

Yoga mat bag: http://www.amybutlerdesign.com/pdfs/NigellaYogaBag.pdf

Patterns Sites: http://www.jocole.net/catalog/; http://www.simplicity.com/; http://www.jalie.com/; http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/;  http://kwiksew.mccall.com/; http://shop.fehrtrade.com/; http://papercutpatterns.com/; https://www.etsy.com/

Enjoy!

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Vogue 8888 Slip FBA

So I have attempted my first FBA, full bust adjustment. And I think it has gone ok. Usually I just go up a size and adjust the darts from there. I looked all over but couldn’t find anything specific to making a FBA on a slip top like this where the cup is in 2 pieces, so I used Gertie’s FBA for her slip as a starting point and just kind of slashed the pieces at the same level on both sides as can be seen in the following pics. I then spread the pieces apart by 1″. Basically using the guideline of adding 1/2″ for each additional cup size. Patterns are usually a B so I made this one aiming for a D, I’m really a DD so probably could have added another 1/2″.

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Then because I couldn’t find 9″ wide lace with a scalloped edge at Jo-Ann’s I went with lace by the yard and am basting the lace and fabric pieces together before sewing the pieces together as shown below.

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And voila, I have the top two bodice/cup pieces made for slip in View D. The pattern can be found at Vogue here. I seem to have lost my piece 15 so I haven’t decided if I will make the seam binding between the cups and yoke…wouldn’t be that hard to sort out the dimensions of the piece that would be needed so may still do it. So far I’m thinking this should be a fairly easy project, not too many pieces and already have the “top” made. Hope to finish the rest soon!

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Lacy and Luscious Scarf in Rust

I’m not sure if it’s really rust but that’s what I’m calling Lion Brand Heartland’s Yosemite, :).

Saw this free pattern at Michael’s and decided to give it a go. Other than counting issues it went pretty well, :). First time working a scarf lengthwise.

Pattern can be found going through Ravelry here.

I love the lacey look! Overall the pattern was fairly simple. My least favorite part was decreasing from 372 stitches back back to 188. Definitely purchasing bamboo circular needles next time!

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Plethora of Leggings!

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As is evidenced by the above image I have been making up a leggings storm! I discovered this do it yourself pattern tutorial a few months ago and find the leggings are super easy and quick to make! My first pair took the longest but now I can get a pair out in about an hour, :). Working on a 4th pair as I write this, ;). Still finishing up the 3rd pair of hearts fabric. Tried to make an inner waistband pocket but misjudged the width I’d left for the elastic so redoing the waistband using a 1″ elastic and a hanging attached inside pocket.

The tutorial I used can be found on So Sew Easy’s webiste in which she includes a how to measure video, downloadable excel sheet and complete instructions. It is also available through Craftsy for $2.95, or there is also a similar tutorial on One Little Minute’s blog.

My first pattern!

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The first pair I made were these lovely bright green and blue animal print leggings with silver reflectives all over it. Perfect for running! Purchased them from Jo-Ann’s. Waistband was a little loose and length a little long but overall turned out well.

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My next pair I made all the necessary adjustments and they are PERFECT! :). Purchased some wonderful athletic apparel quality fabric, :). It was the Zirotek black 7oz anti-microbial wicking fleece lined fabric from The Online Fabric Store. Used a 2″ wide elastic and my hand dandy pattern. Knocked these out in about an hour, :). You can’t see it very well but I used my twin needle stitching in the from seam, :).

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The current pair is a performance piqué fabric purchased from Spoonflower.com. Wonderful selection of fun fabrics! I got the hearts are wild in dark pink for my upcoming Valentine’s Day Hot Chocolate run. The fabric feels wonderful. The only negative is it is a 2 way stretch and not a 4 way, may try their Performance Knit for a future pair of shorts. So instead of being ankle length they turned out to be capris with the 2-way stretch.

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I had planned a 2″ wide elastic band for these as well like the others but I misjudged some measurements and can only fit a 1″ wide elastic. I had created an inner waistband pocket and was so proud and excited about it. But I’ll just had to create an attached inner pocket instead. Next time. But here is a photo of the attempt.

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For this pair because I only wanted to order 1 yard so I had to get creative with making the pattern into 3 parts: the main, the waistband, and the bottom cuff. My pattern measures about 39″, so close.

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Currently working on a purple/black zebra print with silver metallics like the lime green pair, unfortunately can’t post a link because Jo-Ann’s no longer has it available. And a 2nd fleece lined black pair of course, :).

Biggest discovery is: use 4-way stretch!!! 2-way works but isn’t as comfy and you loose some length. Also learned why my twin needle kept snapping, was using the wrong stitch. Oops!

Famous Frocks Twiggy Dress

I got this book as a gift for Christmas and I LOVE it! I’ve admired many of the dresses in here and now I can make them, :). You can purchase a copy at many places such as Barnes and Noble.

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For NYE I went to a 60’s themed party with my boyfriend, so I made the Twiggy dress from this book in a size Large. I chose the longer color block version with pockets. I think it’s fantastic when a dress has pockets. They were the perfect size for my phone. This is my first project using a book. So happy it came with traceable patterns. Took some time.

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Overall the instructions and pattern were easy enough to follow. The pattern was listed as being an intermediate. One part I found tricky was putting in the placket, first time putting in a placket. The instructions were a little hard to follow and ended up putting it in backwards even though I followed the pictures exactly, or thought I had. Just a little weird to button it on the wrong side. I also discovered why when seam ripping open the button holes you should put pins on each side…ripped one a bit too far but patched it up so it’s barely noticeable.

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The neckband was also a section where I had to pin it a few different ways to finally get it right but I did, :).

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Overall the dress required minimal fit adjustments, only decreased the side seams by 1/2″ on the sides in the top/bust area due to me being 38″ and the pattern designed to fit a 37″. I love how it turned out! As for the fabric I used scrap and donated fabric I had around the house. The blue was leftover from covering boards when I was a teacher, the gold/cream was gifted to me, and the white was scraps from a previous project. Worked perfectly together. My only purchase was the beautiful set of 1″ buttons.

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And pockets! Did I mention how much I love the fact that this dress had optional pockets? ;). They are even the era common circle pockets.

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And of course the obligatory Twiggy pose, :).

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Butterick 5953 Part 1: Muslin

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So excited to finally be making this pattern!!! Ever since I saw Gertie’s Butterick pattern for this retro dress I knew I had to make it. Pattern can be found here.

I’ve decided to make a muslin for this one since I want it to be fitted and wasn’t sure how much ease the bust had. I decided to make a size 16 for my 38-31-42 hourglass shape. Glad I made a muslin! Bust looks like it’ll be fine (I’d read how it had some ease) but I totally misjudged which side would face out and made my darts on the wrong side, oops! At least it looks like I’ll only need to take the waist in.

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This is where having a dress dummy is amazing! I have a Dritz body double from Jo-Ann’s. Makes checking out the sides and back way easier!

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Couldn’t find 1″ buttons to cover anywhere, very frustrating, so I’ve decided to go with 7/8″ buttons and will follow this tutorial I found on how to make my own instead of buying a special kit.

And using the following hunter green slightly stretchy polyester for the main dress and satiny animal print for the accents and buttons, :).

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Vogue 8890 Part 4: Finished Jacket

Yay! It took some time but the jacket is finished and all together, :). I made a few changes from the original pattern: welted pockets instead of flap pockets & no button closure on the inside pockets. I love the striking color differences of the inside blue lining and outer grey with the subtle blue stripe. And it fits my boyfriend perfectly! 🙂 Below are some photos of the jacket. I will post pics of the pants soon as I’ve also nearly finished those and working on a matching fedora. Attempt number 1 at the hat looked great but was too small so on take 2.

Here is the suit jacket:

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