sewing http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6697/all en-US 11 Life Skills That Are Now Completely Obsolete http://www.wisebread.com/11-life-skills-that-are-now-completely-obsolete <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-life-skills-that-are-now-completely-obsolete" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_reading_map_000040537316.jpg" alt="Woman using life skills that are now completely obsolete" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just 30 &mdash; heck, even 20 &mdash; years ago we had to do most things using our hands and our brains. Some would argue that life is more convenient because of our technological advances since then, but somewhere along the way we lost a few <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-life-skills-you-must-learn-in-your-40s">valuable skills</a>. From reading paper maps to balancing a checkbook to resume writing, take a look at all the things we used to know how to do that &mdash; for better or worse &mdash; are now becoming obsolete.</p> <h2>1. Reading Paper Maps</h2> <p>I remember riding to West Virginia when I was a kid for a weekend getaway with my parents who were using a paper map to navigate. As was common back then, we got lost, my dad's pride wouldn't let him ask for directions, and it took far longer than it should have to arrive at our destination. That's the upside to having GPS systems show us the most efficient way to get someplace nowadays. The downside, however, is that nobody &mdash; myself included &mdash; knows how to read a map anymore; it might as well be an abstract drawing of a fictional land.</p> <h2>2. Cursive Penmanship</h2> <p>Most of us know how to write in cursive &mdash; it was a big deal back in the day. Everything had to be in cursive from grade four onward, and if you didn't do your swirls or hooks correctly (or if you made your lowercase Ds look like lowercase Cs &mdash; and maybe still do), you got points taken off and a letter sent home to your mother explaining how if you didn't become a master of cursive by age 11, you would essentially fail at life. Ah, the good ol' days.</p> <p>Yet as obnoxious as it seemed in elementary school, today the nostalgia of cursive reminds us of how important it is to writing correspondences (well, the one correspondence we send per year anyway; more on that coming up), plus it's just easier to beautifully blend all your letters together instead of writing them out individually like a weirdo. Personally, I don't trust anyone who can't write in cursive (I'm suspicious of people who didn't have cable as a kid, too, by the way), and you shouldn't either.</p> <p>Alas, if you're hoping against hope that cursive will make a comeback, put on the brakes. Headline after headline is decreeing the death of cursive penmanship &mdash; &quot;Cursive handwriting is disappearing from public schools,&quot; &quot;Cursive writing is obsolete; schools should teach programming instead,&quot; &quot;Cursive handwriting will no longer be taught in schools because it's a big, old waste of time&quot; &mdash; which probably means that the government will make the replacement of our useless human hands with voice-activated smartphones mandatory by the year 2025.</p> <h2>3. Letter Writing</h2> <p>It wasn't long ago that I was in college dating a guy several hundred miles away, and we wrote letters to one another. We had email, but that was fairly new to the mainstream world, and it was still common to sit down and write your thoughts on paper and take them to the post office. Seems like a whole other life now, doesn't it?</p> <p>As such, today's youth not only lack the wherewithal to form coherent sentences that they'll write using opposable thumbs, but they also have no idea how to properly format a letter (ask your child to do that and see what kind of look you get). How do I know this as a non-parent? Because as a small business owner, I sometimes receive letters from recent college graduates that I swear were plagiarized from cave people seeking employment in the Bedrock.</p> <h2>4. Writing Checks and Balancing a Checkbook</h2> <p>I learned how to write checks in 8th grade as part of a Junior Achievement class, and it made me feel like a boss. From that moment I embraced adulthood, and I wanted to buy everything by writing out checks with the zero dollars I had in my fake bank account. Now 20 years later, I still prefer paper checks to pay my bills and for accounts receivables because it feels like tangible money in my hands &mdash; and that's psychologically important for me whether it's coming or going. Talk about being a weirdo, eh?</p> <p>Can't say I miss the old days in this regard, but as a personal-finance expert I do wish people took their bank accounts more seriously and monitored them more closely. Millions of us teeter on the edge of broke because, partly at least, that money is just numbers on a computer, not ones that we're logging by hand as a representation of our actual funds. Those two distinctions subconsciously affect how we regard our cashflow, according to the School of Because I Said So.</p> <h2>5. Telephone Etiquette</h2> <p>Have you heard a teenager answer a phone call recently? Traditional and acceptable greetings like &quot;Hello&quot; and &quot;How are you?&quot; are all but dead, having been replaced with more modern equivalents like &quot;Sup,&quot; &quot;Yo,&quot; and &quot;What's poppin'?&quot; And that's if they even pick up the phone. It's not just the youngins who have an aversion to calls though; increasingly, our society is transitioning to communication completely by text, and I'm not exempt. Much to my mother's chagrin, I rarely answer my phone, instead preferring short messages. Because why do we need to have a 20-minute conversation that can be accomplished in a few quick clicks? I know, I know, I'm part of the problem.</p> <h2>6. Proper Grammar Skills</h2> <p>I feel like I can serve as an authoritative voice on the value of proper grammar skills and the impending disaster that is our future since I'm an observant writer who has solid grammar skills. As one of the last living bastions of hope, I can tell you that the problem didn't just start a few years ago. It started <em>way</em> before that, somewhere around the time of the tail end of the Boomer Generation who were school age in the 1970s. How can I be sure? Because based solely on the speech patterns of most of the adults in my life growing up, they wouldn't know a past participle if it was stuffed in their cigarettes.</p> <h2>7. Sewing</h2> <p>I could sew a button back onto my shirt if my life depended on it, but everything else is a job for my tailor or my mother. Though I do envy people who can work a needle and thread like it's their magic wand. My grandmother in particular was a boss on her Singer, making whole outfits, quilts, curtains and more like a pioneer who just got off the Oregon Trail. Her prickly prowess saved me a lot of money when I was starting out on my own, too. Thank you, lady.</p> <h2>8. Ironing</h2> <p>I have an old college friend, who I love for her incredible sense of humor, who said that she's successfully navigated her whole life without ever ironing a single article of clothing &mdash; and she wasn't kidding. She's sadly not alone. My observation is that the majority of Americans in this new millennium are now split into two factions: Those who have only seen an iron on a classic TV show, and those who get their clothes pressed by a third party (significant other, mom, lady/gentleman at the press-and-fold, etc.). Me on the other hand, I hold my head high as a member of that third party. I iron everything I pull out of my closet, and I'll iron your clothes too if it means we don't have to go out in public looking like you pulled your outfit from a ball on the floor. It only takes five minutes to look pressed and put together.</p> <h2>9. Resume Writing</h2> <p>When I first moved to New York City, I was jobless. I left Baltimore with about a thousand dollars to my name, banking on getting hired once Manhattan met my awesome personality. Stop laughing.</p> <p>Of course, I didn't land a gig immediately so I had to find work wherever I could. One of those places was on Craigslist helping people write their resumes. Notwithstanding the irony of the situation (a boy who couldn't get a job was writing resumes for professional candidates), it was the single most exhausting thing I've ever done. Based on what I was provided by the clients, you would have thought I had posted an ad offering magician services. Nearly every resume I received was abominable. Zero formatting, spelling and grammar errors throughout, hardly any real skills to speak about, and I was supposed to turn it into a glowing testament of their work ethic that Donald Trump himself would endorse.</p> <p>I'm so glad that's coming to an end. Personally, I want to see what a potential employee has done in the past &mdash; actual work that they've completed, whether it be in a portfolio, on a website, via photos, whatever. Show me &mdash; don't tell me &mdash; what you can do. The rest of the information I need to make a sound judgment on the person comes via social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Some of you may roll your eyes at that, but there's much more value in learning about people where they're being real opposed to the BS they cram onto a single sheet of paper. I haven't hired a lackey yet.</p> <h2>10. Driving a Manual Transmission</h2> <p>Why would I want to drive around town grinding gears when I can put the car in one gear and go about my business? The manual transmission isn't 100% obsolete yet &mdash; though its <a href="http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a6308/whats-really-killing-the-manual-transmisson/">death is on the horizon</a> &mdash; so it still may not be a bad skill to learn. Ya know, for those times you're trapped in the desert with your friend who drives a Jeep and he gets bitten by a rattlesnake and you're his only hope for survival. Everyday occurrences like that.</p> <h2>11. Finding Dates IRL</h2> <p>We swipe left and right, we &quot;friend&quot; each other, and we hook-up. But personally, I love dating and connecting with someone on a one-on-one level. I like organically discovering their idiosyncrasies, sharing experiences together like going to a ballgame, and feeling their hand in mine. I'm afraid I'm in the minority in that regard, but I wholly believe that there's no possible way that we can continue to shut one another out emotionally and survive as a species. It's not altogether biologically impossible to continue on that path, but it would certainly be unfortunate.</p> <p><em>Do you have other life skills to add that are now completely obsolete? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-life-skills-that-are-now-completely-obsolete">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-americans-were-better-at-in-the-1950s-than-today">8 Things Americans Were Better at in the 1950s Than Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-hacks-you-should-master-by-age-30">10 Life Hacks You Should Master by Age 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-reasons-besides-frugality-to-do-for-yourself">The many reasons--besides frugality--to do for yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/standout-stuff-to-put-on-your-resume">Standout Stuff for Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-basic-sewing-tricks-that-will-save-you-money">7 Basic Sewing Tricks That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks cursive ironing maps obsolete old fashioned resumes sewing skills Thu, 18 Jun 2015 15:01:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 1455422 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Basic Sewing Tricks That Will Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/7-basic-sewing-tricks-that-will-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-basic-sewing-tricks-that-will-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000023158354.jpg" alt="hands sewing button" title="hands sewing button" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know those <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CQR6C3O/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CQR6C3O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TX6XFCOGHQV62HNZ">little sewing kits</a> you can buy at the grocery store? They're definitely worth the money when you consider how they might save your wardrobe. Back in the day, when a button would fall off a shirt or a hem would tear, it didn't always mean buying a new shirt or pants. Instead, people repaired clothing by hand to wear for years to come. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-clothing-fit-perfectly-with-these-10-no-sew-fixes?ref=seealso">Make Your Clothes Fit Perfectly With These 10 No Sew Fixes</a>)</p> <p>Here are a few invaluable mending techniques &mdash; and specific clothing fixes &mdash; that don't require a sewing machine.</p> <h2>Running Stitch</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/k6657ZhHWgI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6657ZhHWgI&amp;spfreload=10">running stitch</a> (or straight stitch) is the easiest to learn, so it's worth adding to your repertoire. This stitch is basically under and over the fabric throughout the whole line of what you're stitching. You can use it to fasten most any two pieces of fabric together with good results. Under then over, under then over.</p> <h2>Whip Stitch</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/v9kGyZDWZcA?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>I first became familiar with a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9kGyZDWZcA&amp;spfreload=10">whip stitch</a> on <em>Grey's Anatomy</em>. Unfortunately, I won't be showing you how to use this skill in the human body, however useful that might be. After pinning together the fabric you plan to stitch, you drive through both and whip around the edge before come up again through the bottom at the same level where you first stitch rests. Continue until you've finished your piece, then tie off.</p> <h2>Tie Off</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AhEUqBSgwjI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Along with stitching, it's key to know how to <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhEUqBSgwjI&amp;spfreload=10">tie off&nbsp;sewing projects</a> so they'll stay strong and secure. The maneuver reminds me of <a href="http://www.offroad-ed.com/images/drawings/atv_turn_k_maneuver.jpg">making a K-turn</a>&nbsp;while driving. You'll stitch up through your fabric, then back down right next to where you started &mdash; leaving some loose thread. Then one more stitch through the back that you'll resolve back down through the loop you created to tie off into a knot before cutting free.</p> <h2>Sew a Button</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rQRq--7InTE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Learning how to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQRq--7InTE&amp;spfreload=10">sew a button</a> back onto a shirt is easy. First, thread your needle so you have a double thread to work with. Use a couple straight pins to create space for a shank. Stitching from behind your fabric, work through that first button hole and then choose either a straight or cross pattern through the button a few times before winding thread around the base to create that shank. Then, stitch to the back of your fabric again and knot to fasten.</p> <h2>Sew a Hem</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tMqK-fNrCrM?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>You'll find hems on most any piece of clothing you own, so it's good to know how to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMqK-fNrCrM&amp;spfreload=10">sew hems up</a> when they get loose. First, iron your hem flat back to its original allowance. Then &mdash; moving from left to right &mdash; use a catch stitch to work your way diagonally down the hem to fasten. This technique works well on most thick apparel fabrics, but you can also use a straight stitch if you're more comfortable. For a super easy fix, try <a href="http://www.amazon.com:80url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;amp;field-keywords=iron+on+hemming+tape/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YI7KFVGET6SCUJGL">iron-on hemming tape</a>, which I've use on anything from clothing items to DIY curtains.</p> <h2>Sew a Hole</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0sal9F4RXeY?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>I get tiny holes in my clothes all the time. To <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sal9F4RXeY&amp;spfreload=10">sew holes shut</a>, start by matching thread to your garment. Then knot the end of your string or fix to your fabric using a few loop stitches. Working from the top of your project, sew the hole shut by moving from one side of the hole to the other. It's actually quite intuitive, you're just closing it back up again. Tie off to finish.</p> <h2>Patch Jeans</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ohDDHxZ-a3w?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>You can iron a patch onto jeans to fix tears and holes, but this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohDDHxZ-a3w&amp;spfreload=10">sewn patch alternative</a> allows you to be more creative with fabric choices. Start by measuring your hole and cut your patch so it more than covers the area. Iron the edges of the patch so they're clean, then fix it to the jeans with straight pins. Using color thread that matches the patch, start sewing from a corner with a running stitch technique until you work your way around the entire patch. Knot to finish.</p> <p><em>What are your go-to mending techniques? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-basic-sewing-tricks-that-will-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men">13 DIY Clothing Projects for Men</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-clothing-fit-perfectly-with-these-10-no-sew-fixes">Make Your Clothing Fit Perfectly With These 10 No-Sew Fixes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-smart-uses-for-safety-pins">12 Smart Uses for Safety Pins</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Style mending needle and thread patching sewing Mon, 09 Mar 2015 17:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1324572 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Fix 18 Common Wardrobe Malfunctions http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fix-18-common-wardrobe-malfunctions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-fix-18-common-wardrobe-malfunctions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shoe-polish-144880382-small.jpg" alt="shoe polish" title="shoe polish" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It happens to me all the time. I've got an important meeting and suddenly my hem falls out or a button falls off in the worst possible place. It's no Super Bowl 2004, but it's still embarrassing and frustrating. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-clothing-fit-perfectly-with-these-10-no-sew-fixes?ref=seealso">Make Your Clothing Fit Perfectly With These 10 No-Sew Fixes</a>)</p> <p>But fear not, because we've got some life-saving (or at least, blouse-saving) tips and tricks when you're in a last minute bind before an important meeting or a potential date.</p> <h2>Zippers</h2> <p>Few things are worse than having a zipper go wrong miles from home.</p> <h3>1. Paper Clip It</h3> <p>If you've pulled off a zipper pulling on your jacket, use a paper clip or key ring as a temporary fix. It might not look amazing, but it'll get the job done until you can get a more permanent solution.</p> <h3>2. Glue It</h3> <p>According to <a href="http://shannonmakesstuff.blogspot.com/2012/03/fixing-broken-zipper-without-replacing.html">Shannon Makes Stuff</a>, you can fix broken zipper teeth with hot glue and a little patience. These are untested waters for me, but if you have this problem, it's worth a shot!</p> <h3>3. Unstick It With Graphite</h3> <p>If you've ever gotten stuck in a jacket, you know how frustrating it can be. Find a graphite pencil and rub it on the teeth of the zipper. If this doesn't work, grab some lubricant &mdash; windex, bar soap, or lip balm. And most importantly: be patient and slow. The more frustrated you get, the more the zipper becomes a Chinese finger trap and you're stuck in there forever.</p> <h2>Stains</h2> <p>You need to act fast to keep a stain from holding fast if you want to save a favorite piece from losing its place in your wardrobe.</p> <h3>4. Carry a Stain Remover</h3> <p>Yes, it's obvious, but purchase <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0037KMI0K/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0037KMI0K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SGJQCLVV7AHHXUHP">Tide To Go</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000DIWIK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0000DIWIK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5OL3UJADGIA6MDZE">Shout Wipe &amp; Go</a> and keep them in your bag, desk drawer, or car. You never know when you might need them, and they're worth having just in case.</p> <h3>5. Sprinkle Baby Powder to Remove Oil</h3> <p>If you've ever had oily spots, baby powder is great for removal of oil, wine, or makeup stains. Sprinkle some on and take a white cloth to remove.</p> <h3>6. Use Baby Wipes on Deodorant Stains</h3> <p>If you have deodorant stains at random times and ALWAYS when you're running late, grab some baby wipes. They'll get the stains off and they won't come back after the spot dries.</p> <h2>Hems</h2> <p>Hems come undone from time to time, but you can fix them on the go quickly and easily.</p> <h3>7. Fix It With Double-Sided Tape</h3> <p>If you're in the office, ask around for some double-sided tape to quickly fix your pants. I've also used packing tape when I was out of options.</p> <h3>8. Try Stitch Witchery</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0001DSIHI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0001DSIHI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4J2B5C6LG7UHCGZD">Stitch Witchery</a> has saved my day more than once. Once you put the tape around and fold up, grab an iron (or flat iron if you don't have an iron around), press the hem and you're good to go! Stitch Witchery is washable and dry cleanable.</p> <h3>9. Safety Pin It</h3> <p>You can also use a few safety pins to put your hem back together. These also work for pretty much every other problem.</p> <h3>10. Sew It Yourself &mdash; It's Easy!</h3> <p>Last option, <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Hand-Sew-a-Hem">sew it yourself</a>.</p> <h2>Buttons</h2> <p>Maybe the best way to replace a button is to keep it from falling off in the first place.</p> <h3>11. Secure With Clear Nail Polish</h3> <p>To prevent buttons from falling off, use clear nail polish to help secure them. This will keep the thread from unraveling.</p> <h3>12. Sew It Back On</h3> <p>If you have a sewing kit handy (or someone in your office does), follow <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-sew-on-a-button/">this guide</a> to sew on a button.</p> <h3>13. Twist Tie It Back On</h3> <p>You can also use a twist tie to temporarily attach a button back on. <a href="http://howto.menshealth.com/fix-popped-button-hurry">Men's Health</a> has a step-by-step guide that shows you how to quickly and effectively put the button back on.</p> <h2>Shoes</h2> <p>Don't let scuff marks on your shoes spoil a great outfit.</p> <h3>14. Polish With Improvisation</h3> <p>If your shoes are scuffed up, but you don't have any polish handy, you can always use bananas or vaseline to remove the scuffs. Use the inside of the banana peel, and then wipe with a paper towel.</p> <h3>15. Remove Odor With Rubbing Alcohol</h3> <p>If your shoes are stinking up the office, grab some rubbing alcohol wipes from the first aid kit and wipe down your feet and in the inside of your shoes. For a more permanent fix, use your washer and dryer, a machine deodorizer, and new insoles.</p> <h2>Static Cling</h2> <p>When the weather gets dry and windy, our clothes get close and clingy!</p> <h3>16. De-Ionize With a Wire Hanger</h3> <p>Static cling can be a nightmare, but luckily someone still makes wire hangers out there somewhere. Just use the wire hanger and rub it on the material causing the cling. If you've thrown away all your wire hangers like your mother always taught you, use hairspray or another metal object, such as a thimble.</p> <h3>17. Deploy Static Prevention Devices During the Wash</h3> <p>To prevent the cling from happening, ball up tinfoil in the washer (but not the dryer!), use fabric softener, or a dryer sheet. They can all reduce static cling.</p> <h3>18. Stick Your Skirt Down With Moisturizer</h3> <p>If static cling is causing your skirt to ride up, dab some moisturizer on your legs and it'll solve it right away.</p> <p><em>What are your solutions to these &mdash; or other &mdash; common clothing problems?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fix-18-common-wardrobe-malfunctions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tricks-that-make-you-look-skinnier-without-being-skinner">12 Tricks That Make You Look Skinnier (Without Being Skinnier)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-in-your-closet-you-can-throw-out-today">15 Things in Your Closet You Can Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men">13 DIY Clothing Projects for Men</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-clothes-shopping-hacks-that-save-time-and-money">9 Clothes Shopping Hacks That Save Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Style clothes clothing clothing fixes fashion quick fixes sewing Thu, 16 Oct 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Jennifer Holder 1235390 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 DIY Clothing Projects for Men http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sewing-accessories-453017147-small.jpg" alt="sewing accessories" title="sewing accessories" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've already covered <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-simple-and-stylish-diy-clothing-projects-for-women">20 Simple and Stylish Clothing Projects for Women</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cute-and-frugal-diy-clothes-you-can-make-for-your-kids">Cute and Frugal Clothing You Can Make for Kids</a>. Though men's clothing projects are much harder to find online, they're well worth seeking out. Any time you can bring new life to the duds you already own, you're saving money.</p> <p>So check out these 13 cool projects for DIY men's clothing and accessories and feel free to add your own in the comments!</p> <h2>1. (Re)Dyed Jeans</h2> <p>Have a pair of faded denim jeans? This <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-redye-your-jeans/">smart tutorial</a> will show you how to refresh them for just $3. Grab a box of RIT dye at your local grocery or drugstore. You can go with traditional navy or blue, but there are a wide variety of colors from which to choose.</p> <h2>2. Cutoffs</h2> <p><iframe frameborder="0" width="605" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pP49xtThaUo" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>If you have a comfy old pair of jeans, turn them into cool cutoffs with this <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pP49xtThaUo">simple tutorial</a>. It's really as easy as cutting the jeans and cuffing them. The author also uses a standard razor to create a naturally distressed look.</p> <h2>3. Pocket T-Shirt</h2> <p><iframe frameborder="0" width="605" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zivXK2yda68" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>A printout pattern and piece of your favorite fabric jazzes up a plain t-shirt with a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zivXK2yda68">new, useful pocket</a>. There's a bit of basic sewing involved, but it's nothing a novice can't handle.</p> <h2>4. Skinny Tie</h2> <p>Need a unique tie for a special occasion? Skip the store and try <a href="http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2012/04/mens-skinny-tie-diy.html">making your own</a>. You'll need a vintage tie to act as your pattern, but once you get going &mdash; you'll want one in every color.</p> <h2>5. Bow Tie</h2> <p>That's right, you can also create your own <a href="http://crafts.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-make-your-own-bow-tie&mdash;craft-15098">stylish bow tie</a> for special events or, well, just because. This tutorial requires some basic sewing, but you can use whatever fabric matches your theme. And making the bow tie might be easier than tying one!</p> <h2>6. Leather Belt</h2> <p>Create a custom <a href="http://www.mrlentz.com/2013/10/how-to-make-a-leather-belt/">DIY Leather Belt</a> that will last you years and years. Find an old belt to serve as your pattern, as well as a long strip of leather, some hardware, and a few leather-working tools. You can dye it whatever color you like and then condition using olive oil.</p> <h2>7. Tank</h2> <p><iframe frameborder="0" width="605" height="340" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/woIWuKzWcjE" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>All you need is an old t-shirt, a sharp pair of scissors, and a marker to make this casual <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woIWuKzWcjE">Tank Top</a>. This piece would be great to wear to the beach or at the gym for lifting weights. Plus, it's a good way to reuse an old shirt that might have pit stains!</p> <h2>8. Screen Print</h2> <p>This specific tutorial features a women's shirt, but the same <a href="http://www.collegefashion.net/fashion-tips/diy-fashion-screen-print-tee/">basic screen printing process</a> applies for men's (and kid's) shirts as well. Choose a design you wish to print and draw it onto freezer paper. Iron it onto your shirt on a flat surface. Then paint over the design using fabric paint and remove the freezer paper to let set.</p> <h2>9. Elbow Patches</h2> <p>Again, this <a href="http://www.brit.co/elbow-patch/">DIY Elbow Patch Sweater</a> tutorial features a women's shirt, but it's just as stylish for men. Plus, you can buy leather or fabric elbow patches if you want to skip the stitching for less than $10. Otherwise, you need an old sweater, iron-on adhesive fabric, and an iron.</p> <h2>10. Button Up Shirt</h2> <p>This manly sewing project creates a <a href="http://mellysews.com/2013/05/mens-shirt-pattern-tutorial.html">button-up shirt</a> for a fraction of what it would cost at the store. You can use whatever fabric you might have on hand or choose something specific, but you'll need two yards in all. The pattern is free after you sign up for the blog's email list.</p> <h2>11. Card Holder</h2> <p>These awesome <a href="http://cailamade.com/leather-card-holders-tutorial-made-for-man/">leather card holders</a> come together quickly and require minimal stitching. You can also play with the pattern a bit to get the look you want. A great place to find leather in all textures and colors is on <a href="https://www.etsy.com/craft-supplies?q=leather">Etsy</a>.</p> <h2>12. Paracord Bracelet</h2> <p>I see these <a href="http://stormdrane.blogspot.com/2009/01/woven-paracord-bracelets-one-strand-two.html">Paracord Bracelets</a> everywhere, and I never thought to make my own. Though the images might look tricky, you can click them for a closer view. It's a lot of figure eight weaving, but after a while, you should get the hang.</p> <h2>13. Hoodie</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.craftstylish.com/item/30695/how-to-make-a-mens-fleece-hoodie/page/all">DIY Hoodie Project</a> surely requires some sewing skills. However, it doesn't look out of the realm of possibility. And the pattern is loose. You can use an old t-shirt &mdash; just make sure to leave a seam allowance.</p> <p><em>Alright you manly DIYers: what projects are you getting into?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-basic-sewing-tricks-that-will-save-you-money">7 Basic Sewing Tricks That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fix-18-common-wardrobe-malfunctions">How to Fix 18 Common Wardrobe Malfunctions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Style clothing crafts men's clothing menswear sewing Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1215197 at http://www.wisebread.com Make Your Clothing Fit Perfectly With These 10 No-Sew Fixes http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-clothing-fit-perfectly-with-these-10-no-sew-fixes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-your-clothing-fit-perfectly-with-these-10-no-sew-fixes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/clothes-5061125-small.jpg" alt="dress" title="dress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="170" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a bummer when your favorite clothes no longer fit right, or what was once a perfectly good piece now has a big flaw. But don't give up and head to a pricey professional, or worse yet, toss that item. There are some surefire ways to get your clothes and accessories working for you again just by using a few economical fashion fixes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-sew-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe?ref=seealso">No-Sew Ways to Update Your Wardrobe</a>)</p> <h2>1. Tight Pants</h2> <p>Whether you bought a snug pair or put on a little weight, a tight waistline is an easy fix. Pants expanders, like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005PH9TE6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005PH9TE6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">The Button Waist Extender</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=hollywood%20fashion%20hem%20tape&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps">Easy Fit buttons and hooks</a>, come in various sizes and easily fit around your existing waistband to give you extra room. You can also <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/new-clothing-care-uses-for-old-things-00000000030347/page26.html">make your own button extender</a> with a simple rubber band, which works great in a pinch, or when saving money on maternity pants.</p> <h2>2. Loose or Constricting Shoes</h2> <p>It's no fun when your shoes get stretched out. To keep shoes from slipping off your feet, you'll need to fill the gaps in the insole and heel areas. Try any of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EPQ2DO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001EPQ2DO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Dr. Scholl's sole inserts</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00099E8W8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00099E8W8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">heel cushions</a>, which you can layer for your desired fit. Or, try similar loose shoe solutions from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;pageMinusResults=1&amp;suo=1393304732069&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps#/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=foot%20petals&amp;sprefix=foot+p%2Caps&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Afoot%20petals&amp;sepatfbtf=true&amp;tc=1393304734179">Foot Petals</a>.</p> <p>For those whose shoes are running too tight or need to quickly break in a new pair, you can purchase your own wooden <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OB3LQ0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000OB3LQ0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">shoe stretcher</a>. These devices can be found at big box retailers and shoe stores, with some models running under $20. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/on-your-feet-for-cheap-the-best-discount-shoe-retailers-on-the-web?ref=seealso">Best Discount Shoe Retailers on the Web</a>)</p> <h2>3. Scratchy Tags</h2> <p>If you rip out uncomfortable clothing tags, you run the risk of tearing seams, losing valuable care instructions, or not being able to resell your item someday. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001N7HNNG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001N7HNNG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Braza's Tack-Itz</a> are small adhesive patches that cover annoying tags and don't irritate your skin. Or, for a DIY approach, cover your tags with an adhesive bandage or similar first-aid item that sticks to your fabric and protects your skin.</p> <h2>4. Slipping Zipper</h2> <p>The <a href="http://removeandreplace.com/2013/12/06/fix-zipper-jeans/">key ring zipper fix</a> is a quick and easy way to keep a loose zipper up. Simply insert a key ring in the zipper pull and loop it over your button. I have even used a small hair band to do the same thing, although you usually have to loop it around the button several times.</p> <h2>5. Frayed Hems</h2> <p>Don't keep pants out of circulation due to length or a ripped hem. Removable hem tape, like those from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=hollywood%20fashion%20hem%20tape&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps">Hollywood Fashion Secrets</a> or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=bristols%20hem%20tape&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abristols%20hem%20tape&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps">Bristols</a>, is a no-sew, no-iron fashion fix that works like invisible double-stick tape to keep your hems in place at any length you desire. It's also handy for fixing ripped cuffed hems on suits and dress pants. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-ways-to-use-duct-tape?ref=seealso">Use Duct Tape to Hem Pants</a>)</p> <h2>6. Pilling Sweaters</h2> <p>If all those unsightly fuzzies mean your favorite sweater just sits the shelf, then it may be time to <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing-care/easilyremove-pills-sweaters-10000000694963/">depill your sweater</a>. One of the cheapest ways to do this is to use an ordinary disposable razor to gently shave off the fuzz balls. You can also buy an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RCL050/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000RCL050&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">electric fabric shaver</a> for $10 or less at many drugstores and big box retailers.</p> <h2>7. Popped Shirt Buttons</h2> <p>To <a href="http://howto.menshealth.com/fix-popped-button-hurry">fix a popped button quickly</a> without sewing, try using the metal wire from a twist tie to hold the button in place temporarily. Or, you can try the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KVZ9W8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000KVZ9W8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Buttoneer</a>, which is a no-sew device that uses fasteners to re-attach buttons, although the reviews are somewhat mixed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-reuse-buttons?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Reuse Buttons</a>)</p> <p>If you are constantly on the verge of a wardrobe malfunction due to button positioning (think large gaps between buttons or plunging necklines), try a little <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=hollywood%20fashion%20tape&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ahollywood%20fashion%20tape&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps">fashion tape</a>. Like hem tape, this double-stick tape will help secure your openings to act as an invisible button where you need it most.</p> <h2>8. Broken Drawstrings</h2> <p>You don't need to ditch your sweatpants or hoodie when your drawstrings get stretched out. First, remove the string entirely and knot one end to create an anchor. Attach a safety pin to the non-knotted end and thread it through the drawstring hole. Push the safety pin through the drawstring channel, scrunching the fabric as you go until it comes out the other side. Remove the pin, make another knot, and you're back in business.</p> <h2>9. Worn Soles and Heels</h2> <p>You can skip a professional cobbler and fix loafers and sneakers yourself with <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002L9AL84/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002L9AL84&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Shoe Goo Adhesive</a>, which can help rebuild soles, repair heels, or secure loose insoles. Or, learn how to <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/m/beauty-fashion/diy-beauty-treatments-fashion-fixes-00000000037017/page2.html">replace a worn-out heel tip</a> on your favorite pumps or boots by searching <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00487UJNY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00487UJNY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">new heel tips</a> to find replacements that can be easily hammered on.</p> <h2>10. Tight Collar</h2> <p>If your collar is getting a bit hard to button, try <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005PF5ITS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005PF5ITS&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">collar extenders</a>, which you can find at men's stores, big box retailers, and pharmacies. These cheap little items have a button that you can place in your shirt's buttonhole and a small loop to extend your shirt collar size as much as one-half inch or more.</p> <p><em>What are some of your favorite economical fashion fixes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-clothing-fit-perfectly-with-these-10-no-sew-fixes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men">13 DIY Clothing Projects for Men</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-basic-sewing-tricks-that-will-save-you-money">7 Basic Sewing Tricks That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fix-18-common-wardrobe-malfunctions">How to Fix 18 Common Wardrobe Malfunctions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-make-your-clothes-last-longer-without-spending-big">16 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer Without Spending Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Style fashion fixes mending clothes sewing Tue, 04 Mar 2014 11:24:22 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 1128460 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Sewing Machines http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-sewing-machines <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-sewing-machines" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000014640679Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a number of reasons why someone would be interested in owning a sewing machine at home. Perhaps you're a serious sewer who has been stitching your own clothes and fabrics for years, maybe you're a curious amateur who is interested in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains">do-it-yourself design projects</a>, or maybe you just want to save money on tailoring costs. Regardless of whether you're a beginner or an expert, buying a new sewing machine can be a daunting task. Here to simplify your life is our top choice of sewing machines. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Shopping Calendar: The Best Time to Buy Anything</a>)</p> <h2>What Is a Sewing Machine?</h2> <p>A sewing machine is a machine that is used to stitch together fabric and other materials. There are many factors to think about when shopping for a new sewing machine. Among the most important is to consider your skill level and needs. You'll want a machine that can handle everything that you plan to throw at it, and maybe a little more &mdash; considering your skills will likely improve with practice. However, you don't want to blow several thousand dollars on features that you don't ever plan to use.</p> <h2>Best 5 Sewing Machines</h2> <h3>Singer 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VWXZKG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003VWXZKG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="200" height="171" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/Singer4411.jpg" /></a>A recommended beginner's sewing machine from Good Housekeeping, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VWXZKG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003VWXZKG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Singer 4411</a> comes in a heavy-duty metal frame with a powerful motor that can sew 1,100 stitches a minute. This particular model is recognized for its ease-of-use and can handle most basic tasks with little to no issues. Simple and straightforward, the Singer is perfect for those looking to do basic sewing. Currently $119.99 on Amazon.</p> <h3>Brother XL2600I Sewing Machine</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000F7DPEQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000F7DPEQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidewid-20"><img width="180" height="175" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/BrotherXL2600I.jpg" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000F7DPEQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000F7DPEQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidewid-20">Brother XL2600I</a> is considered one of the best affordable sewing machines on the market by hundreds of user reviews. With 25 built-in stitches, each with multiple stitching functions, most agree that this machine performs admirably for most simple sewing and decorating projects. Currently $85.00 on Amazon.</p> <h3>Brother CS6000I Computerized Sewing Machine</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JQM1DE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000JQM1DE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="230" height="182" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/BrotherCS6000I.jpg" /></a>A computerized, upgraded version of the previous Brother model, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JQM1DE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000JQM1DE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Brother CS6000I</a> is another user favorite that is lauded by most as the best computerized sewing machine available. With a selection of 60 built-in stitches, LCD display, stitch speed slider, automatic needle threader and oversized table, the CS600I is known for its accessibility and ease-of-use. Currently $154.97 on Amazon.</p> <h3>Singer 8770 Curvy Computerized Sewing Machine</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0027DP0QC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0027DP0QC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="230" height="169" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/Singer8770Curvy.jpg" /></a>A more advanced model recommended by Good Housekeeping, the most prominent feature of the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0027DP0QC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0027DP0QC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Singer 8770 Curvy</a> is the SwiftSmart Threading System, which allows sewers to spend less time threading and more time actually sewing. This machine also has 225 built-in stitches, including 207 decorative stitches for creative projects. Currently $299.99 on Amazon.</p> <h3>Brother SQ9000 Computerized Sewing Machine</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0047B8YQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0047B8YQU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20"><img width="230" height="171" align="right" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/BrotherSQ9000.jpg" /></a>Another advanced sewing machine recommended by Good Housekeeping, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0047B8YQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0047B8YQU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20">Brother SQ9000</a> comes with 80 built-in stitches for a total of 120 total stitch functions. The machine also comes with a backlit LCD screen for computerized stitch selection and an oversized table to handle larger projects. Finally, users state that it can handle materials of any thickness and through multiple layers. Currently $212.00 on the Amazon Marketplace.</p> <p>These are our recommendations for the top 5 sewing machines. Remember, there are a number of factors to consider when purchasing a new sewing machine, so be sure to do your homework before buying. Also, if possible, try to test out the machine that you're looking at before making a final decision. Hopefully, you'll be stitching your own clothes and designs in no time! Be sure to check out the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeffrey-pu">Jeffrey Pu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-sewing-machines">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-lip-glosses">The 5 Best Lip Glosses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mouthwashes">The 5 Best Mouthwashes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-indoor-tv-antennas">The 5 Best Indoor TV Antennas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hair-growth-supplements">The 5 Best Hair Growth Supplements</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hair-growth-products-for-women">The 5 Best Hair Growth Products for Women</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping product reviews sewing sewing machines Thu, 28 Feb 2013 11:36:38 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 968038 at http://www.wisebread.com 19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/525162040_61d10193ba_z.jpeg" alt="Child in a towel" title="Child in a towel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was a young lad in college, this article would have made no sense to me. I had one towel. I washed it often. The idea of having so many towels that I would need to find creative ways to use the old ones, well, that didn't occur to me.</p> <p>Then I got married. And the towels multiplied like Tribbles on the Starship Enterprise. That&rsquo;s why I&rsquo;m writing this article now. If you&rsquo;re like me, you have a cupboard devoted to towels.&nbsp;Beach towels, bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths &mdash; you name it. But on a regular basis, towels become a little too frayed and raggedy to be effective and comfortable. That&rsquo;s when you usually throw them out.</p> <p>But wait &mdash; why throw them away? Here are 19 different uses for old towels. You&rsquo;ll be amazed at what the humble towel can be turned into, if you use a little imagination. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-uses-for-sheets">11 Smart Uses for Sheets</a>)</p> <h2>1. Cleaning Rags</h2> <p>Let&rsquo;s start with the most obvious and the easiest to do. If you do a lot of work in the garage or just need a bunch of inexpensive cleaning rags for household chores, an old towel can save you a chunk of money. I recently bought a bag of 12 terrycloth shop rags for $6.99. I could have gotten the same 12 for nothing if I had raided the towel closet for an old towel. It takes seconds to cut them up, and they last a long time.</p> <h2>2. The Big Picnic Blanket</h2> <p>Old towels can be sewn together to make a huge picnic blanket. Take four to six bigger bath towels, and then using a sewing machine or an old-fashioned needle and thread, create a blanket two towels wide by three towels deep. Roll it up, store it in the back of the car, and next time you have an impromptu picnic, you&rsquo;re all prepared.</p> <h2>3. Dishtowels</h2> <p>The old towels may not be all that good for drying you, but they&rsquo;re still perfectly good for drying dishes. Cut them into dishtowel sizes, and hem the edges. They really soak up the water when you&rsquo;re drying dishes.</p> <h2>4. Spa Slippers</h2> <p>This one takes a little more creativity and requires a few more materials, but it&rsquo;s worth it. You also get to revive an old pair of slippers or flip flops that were destined for the trashcan. By tracing around the slippers and doing some careful sewing, you&rsquo;ll get a great pair of spa slippers for almost nothing. <a href="http://www.craftynest.com/2009/02/old-flip-flops-bath-towel-slippers/">Spa slipper instructions</a> are available over at Crafty Nest.</p> <h2>5. Ironing Board Pads and Covers</h2> <p>The ironing board in our home gets some abuse, and after a while, it gets stained and old. You can easily make a <a href="http://carolynkeenepseudonym.blogspot.com/2012/02/tutorial-ironing-board-pad-and-cover.html">new ironing board cover</a> by using towels and an old bed sheet. Cut the towels to size, then cut the sheet larger than the board so you have extra space to wrap around and create a drawstring pouch. It takes basic sewing skills and a little time, and it&rsquo;s way cheaper than buying a new cover.</p> <h2>6. A Child&rsquo;s Pool Robe</h2> <p>I won't lie; this one is not for me. My wife, yes &mdash; my sewing skills do not go too far beyond sewing in a straight line. However, if you have the aptitude, it is apparently &ldquo;quite easy&rdquo; to turn old towels into a robe for your child. Full <a href="http://www.sewmamasew.com/store/media/blog/childspoolrobe.pdf">robe instructions</a> (PDF) are available from <a href="http://www.sewmamasew.com">Sew Mama Sew</a>.</p> <h2>7. Baby Bibs</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s amazing &mdash; the food that doesn&rsquo;t end up in your baby&rsquo;s mouth could feed a small army. It instead ends up covering the bib, which is why it&rsquo;s good to have a decent supply of them. One towel can boast as many as 15 bibs. Just cut a bib shape, hem the edges (or sew a bias tape edge) and leave room for ties. Very simple.</p> <h2>8. Bath Scrubber</h2> <p>I personally have a manly scrubber made of plastic and something resembling blue concrete. It&rsquo;s not pleasant, but it gets the job done. If you want something a little softer, old towels can easily be transformed into bath scrubbers (also known as poufs). <a href="http://www.rufflesandstuff.com/2010/02/bath-pouf-that-um-looks-like-rose.html">Bath pouf instructions</a> are available from Ruffles and Stuff.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/dog_in_a_towel.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>9. Pet Shelter Supplies</h2> <p>Your local pet shelters are always in need of donations, and towels are very useful. They can be used for bedding, hand towels, cleaning rags, toys, bathing, and more. Keep a box in your basement or garage for towels that have outlived their usefulness at home. When it's full, take it to your local pet shelter, and they will love you for it.</p> <h2>10. Swiffer Sweeper Pads</h2> <p>A box of 12 Swiffer pads can cost you around $8-$12, and they are not reusable. You can cut old towels to shape, do a little sewing, and you have great Swiffer pads that cost you nothing and are also washable. <a href="http://www.saving4six.com/2012/01/homemade-swiffer-sweeper-and-duster.html ">Create a stack of Swiffer pads</a>, and you&rsquo;ll never have to buy new ones again.</p> <h2>11. Baby Wipes</h2> <p>New parents know how expensive supplies can be. Diapers, wipes, baby powder, formula &mdash; the list goes on. You can at least make a dent in that list by recycling your old towels and using them as baby wipes. Cut them into small squares and keep them by the changing table. When it&rsquo;s time to change a diaper, soak it in a little warm water, wring out the excess moisture, and wipe away. Keep a pail by the side of the changing table to drop the used wipes into. If you do cloth diapering, you can wash them at the same time as those. Otherwise, put them in a separate wash when the bin is full.&nbsp;</p> <h2>12. Knee Pads</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re a gardener or you do jobs that require a lot of kneeling (flooring, cleaning etc), then old towels can be turned into some very handy knee pads. All you need to do is cut them into six-inch squares, sew 4-5 of them together, and apply some strong elastic. Kneeling is no longer hard on your knees, and it&rsquo;s also easy on your wallet. If you really don&rsquo;t want to do any work at all, just fold an old towel several times and kneel on that. Not as handy, but still effective.</p> <h2>13. Draft Excluder</h2> <p>When the winter comes and the wind finds its way beneath your doors, stop it in its tracks with an old towel. Simply roll a towel along its longest edge into a sausage shape, and put it at the base of the offending door. No more draft, and it cost you nothing to defeat it.&nbsp;</p> <h2>14. Reusable Sanitary Pads</h2> <p>First, an obvious admission &mdash; I&rsquo;m not a lady, and I&rsquo;ve never had a need for these. The whole idea of reusing something for such a purpose seems to be pushing frugality to its limits, at least when I first heard about it. But it seems like there are many ladies out there who have transformed old towels and flannels sheets into <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Reusable-Menstrual-Pads">washable sanitary pads</a>.</p> <h2>15. A Great New Mop Head</h2> <p>If you still wash the floor with a more traditional mop (rather than the Swiffer varieties), then old towels can be turned into great mop heads. In fact, according to this Instructables tutorial, it's the <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/HOW-TO-MAKE-%22THE-BEST-MOP-IN-THE-WORLD%22/">best mop in the world</a>. Just cut your towel into lots and lots of strips of equal width and length, secure them together, and start mopping!</p> <h2>16. Pillow Covers</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s hard to throw away really good-looking, well-designed towels. If most of the towel is in good condition, but it&rsquo;s showing signs of wear and tear around the edges, you can still make use of the nice pattern. Simply cut two squares out of the towel, roughly 10-12 inches square, and stuff with batting (or put an old pillow inside). Then either sew up the towel, or add a zipper or buttons to close it up. This can be a great way to coordinate with your current bedroom/bathroom decor.</p> <h2>17. Dog Toy</h2> <p>I've talked about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-diy-dog-toys-you-can-make-for-pennies ">cheap dog toys</a> in the past. The old towel works great. Just cut it into strips about an inch or two wide by about a foot long. Knot them all together, and you&rsquo;ve got something tough that will last for months. Note &mdash; several readers in the past commented on some homemade dog toys not being good for dogs. As always, if you&rsquo;re in any doubt, don't do it, or keep an eye on your pooch when he or she is playing.</p> <h2>18. Packing Material</h2> <p>When you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-abc-s-of-diy-moving">move house</a>, old towels can really help you protect your fragile items. Wrap crockery in them, use them to pad awkward spaces in boxes, and or wrap them around furniture to prevent scratches.</p> <p><img width="286" height="350" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/towel_cape.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>19. The Superhero Cape!</h2> <p>Every kid out there knows that a towel's main purpose is for tying around the neck and being Batman, Supergirl, or any other hero of choice. Well, why not make it official with an old towel? You can easily modify an old towel by adding ties to one end, and perhaps a colorful insignia or patch from scrap material. It's cheap, and the hours of fun it will bring are priceless.</p> <p>There are 19 uses. I&rsquo;m sure you can think of more, and I'd love to hear about them. Leave your great uses for old towels in the comments, and let&rsquo;s see how far we can push the humble towel beyond the regular shelf life.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-uses-for-empty-cereal-boxes">19 Uses for Empty Cereal Boxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-berlin-style">DIY Berlin Style</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-sew-easy-to-save">It&#039;s Sew Easy to Save</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper">17 Ways to Use Old Newspaper</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY arts and crafts reduce waste reuse sewing towels Tue, 01 May 2012 10:24:19 +0000 Paul Michael 926046 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Smart Uses for Sheets http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-uses-for-sheets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-smart-uses-for-sheets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009674561Small.jpg" alt="Man sleeping" title="Man sleeping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You put them on beds. You store them in closets. What else can you use a fitted or flat sheet for, you might ask? As it turns out, these versatile cuts of cloth are becoming increasingly valuable in today's rising cotton market, and they are fabulous for assorted uses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/it-can-be-done-how-to-fold-the-perfect-fitted-sheet">It Can Be Done: How to Fold the Perfect Fitted Sheet</a>)</p> <h2>Painter's Cloth</h2> <p>When giving a room a fresh coat, laying down some kind of protective cover for your flooring is just smart. The plastic cloths that you buy at your hardware store aren't always the best choice, however. The paint takes forever to dry on them, leaving a greater opportunity to step in spills and track the paint all over. (The surface of plastic sheeting is also very slippery, making it dangerous to place ladders on top of.)</p> <h2>Furniture Covers</h2> <p>You could buy commercial furniture covers for your sofa and chairs, but in a pinch, sheets work very well (and cost much less). Just tuck the sheet around the cushions to keep it in place and cover with a nice quilt or throw pillows. Since they come off easily, you can remove it in seconds in case of a spill or stain and throw it directly into the wash. This is a great solution for a busy family room or for day-cares and homes with small children.</p> <h2>Berry Catcher</h2> <p>Not every yard will have fruit trees, but if you need a quick way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">harvest mulberries</a>, shaking the tree branches and letting the berries fall onto a spread-out sheet is the best way get the berries down safely (for you and the berries).</p> <h2>Tablecloth</h2> <p>Depending on the size and shape of your table, a flat sheet may fit on it with no alterations. If you have small, rounded, or custom-made tables, you will need to tailor the sheet to work. Either way, sheets are generally cheaper on a clearance sale than seasonal tablecloths, and you can pick from many more styles this way.</p> <h2>Curtains</h2> <p>You can, theoretically, use sheets as actual curtains, provided you adjust for length and create some way to hang them (either by sewing on tabs or affixing hooks). A more design-friendly and professional way to use sheets as window dressing is explained in this tutorial for <a href="http://www.freelancehomeschoolmom.com/drop-cloth-curtains-diy/"> drop-cloth curtains</a>, which combines canvas painter&rsquo;s cloth and a patterned sheet for one fabulous curtain design. Use more sheets for more flair. They are much more affordable than custom curtains.</p> <h2>Emergency Ladder</h2> <p>You will only want to do this with sheets in good condition (and having a real commercial ladder is preferred), but in a pinch, sheets can provide a way for older children or adults to <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Escape-from-a-Second-Story-Fire"> escape a 2nd story room in a fire</a>.</p> <h2>Plant Cover</h2> <p>In the case of hail or an unexpected hard freeze, you can protect rose bushes or garden vegetables with a sheet. Just drape over them lightly (or place over clothesline that has been strung over the plants). We keep a few in our garden supplies for just this purpose.</p> <h2>Animal Bedding</h2> <p>Living on a farm, you never know when you'll need extra blankets or cloths for a birth event or medical purposes. You can also keep sheets that are stained, holey, or otherwise unusable for actual human bedding as a comfy material for your dog house or pet carriers. (Never throw out sheets. Most animal shelters would love to have them for their foster pets.) If your dog likes to chew, however, be careful to keep sheets with tears out of its space.&nbsp;They make tasty (and dangerous) snacks!</p> <h2>Clothing</h2> <p>I don't sew, but I've seen some adorable creations from pillow cases and sheets that I would wear myself. Sheets in great condition can be sewn into dresses or accessories like head coverings or scarves. Much like Fraulein Maria used the nursery drapes for stylish outfits for the Von Trapp kidlets, you can find patterns for all kinds of clothing made specifically from sheets. (Of course, if you find sheets on clearance that are actually more affordable than custom-cut fabric, you can adapt any pattern to use with the sheets.)</p> <h2>Quilts</h2> <p>Sheets aren't always sturdy enough to be used in some quilting designs, but they make a great backing or patchwork component for many quilts.</p> <h2>Baby Gear</h2> <p>Nursing covers can be very expensive, and considering that they are essentially sheets that have been cleverly sewn to cover a mother's body during breastfeeding, you could make one yourself with the <a href="http://www.handmade-adelaide-baby.com/nursing-cover.html">right pattern</a> and a pretty sheet. (Better yet, make two or three!) Other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-a-new-baby-really-needs">baby necessities</a> that you can make from sheets include stroller covers and burp cloths. Sheets for baby cribs and playpens are also very expensive, given the amount of fabric used. If you are handy with a sewing machine, why not create your own from an adult-sized sheet?</p> <h2>Hay and Cow&nbsp;Movers</h2> <p>This bonus tip will fit a very small portion of our audience, but sheets are one of the most versatile and accessible tools for moving heavy objects on the farm. We've used them to move hay bales and cows when we haven't had machinery for either. Google for specific examples, but when a cow is down from illness, a few strong adults and a sturdy sheet can save the life of your <a href="http://www.thefreelancefarmer.com/2010/03/maggie-cow-moos-for-camera.html">bovine friend</a>.</p> <p><em>Regardless of your lifestyle, everyone can benefit from a good sheet.&nbsp;What have you used them for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-uses-for-sheets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/another-36-uses-for-tin-foil">Another 36 Uses for Tin Foil</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/52-uses-for-rubber-bands">52 Uses for Rubber Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-places-to-stash-cash-in-your-home">The Best and Worst Places to Stash Cash in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-a-skunk-without-losing-your-dignity">How to Get Rid of a Skunk Without Losing Your Dignity</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home painting pets reuse sewing sheets Wed, 20 Apr 2011 10:36:11 +0000 Linsey Knerl 528190 at http://www.wisebread.com It's Sew Easy to Save http://www.wisebread.com/its-sew-easy-to-save <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/its-sew-easy-to-save" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/633158834_697ba9bb8a-1.jpg" alt="Sewing Machine" title="Sewing Machine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Unless you're particularly crafty, sewing might seem like it's totally out of your league. And it IS intimidating, especially when you've never touched a sewing machine before and you take your first look at the instructions for getting the thing threaded. However, learning to sew some basic items can also save you a lot of money, so it might be worth spending the time to learn. </p> <p>Luckily, there are some easy projects that don't require very much know-how to complete. All you need to get started is a sewing machine, someone to teach you how to use it or a good instruction manual, and some cheap fabric.<br /> <strong><br /> Primary Considerations</strong></p> <p>If you're not quite sure sewing is the thing for you, see if you can borrow a sewing machine before you purchase one. You might be surprised how many people have them sitting around, packed away somewhere and never used. Make sure you get a good manual with any borrowed machine, and that it has all the working parts (check particularly for bobbins, bobbin covers, and a foot pedal).</p> <p>Make sure you don't spend too much on fabric. Remnants are always good, as is fabric from Wal-Mart. Think creatively when it comes to getting cheap fabric. Old sheets can be reused, or you can purchase some when they're on sale. In addition, you can use fabric from old clothes. Don't even throw away your scraps. Small pieces of fabric can be used for pillows and quilts.</p> <p>It's usually easy to find patterns for free, particularly for the basic items listed here. Check the internet, or look up one of the sites listed at the end of this article for some places to start. <br /> <strong><br /> Basic Mending and Alterations</strong></p> <p>One of the easiest things to practice your sewing on is your own clothes. If something gets a hole in it, don't automatically throw it away, use it as a rag, or throw it in the back of your closet. Instead, try to fix it. If you fail, it won't be in any worse shape than it's already in.</p> <p>You may not even need a sewing machine for this type of stitching. If there's not a good way to get the machine to the place where the hole or tear is, don't hesitate to sew it by hand.</p> <p>Basic alterations are also a great place to practice. Many professionals charge quite a bit to make your clothes fit the way you want them to, but you can do it yourself without a hassle. Depending on the type of material you're working with, it's easy to hem pants or skirts, change sleeve length, even add a zipper or some buttons. Look up your particular project and material online to find specific instructions if you're not sure where to start.<br /> <strong><br /> Diapers and Baby Blankets</strong></p> <p>If you have a baby or want to give a great gift to someone who does have a little one, homemade cloth diapers can be made cheaply and easily. Note that these aren't useful only for someone who is diapering with cloth, as the diapers are useful as burp cloths and many parents keep them around for baby spills because of their absorbency.</p> <p>Not comfortable making the actual diaper? Buy some plain white cloth diapers on sale and add some ribbon. You can sew it on around the edges, make stripes across the length or width of one side of the diaper, or do something else entirely.</p> <p>Making a baby blanket can be as easy as buying a large piece of flannel and turning over each of the edges with your sewing machine. Add some ribbon as a binding and it's an even nicer gift. One great thing about these is that you can make them large enough to use as swaddling blankets, because many of the blankets sold in stores are way too small.</p> <p><strong>Curtains and Pillow Cases<br /> </strong><br /> Both of these are incredibly simple to sew. As long as you have a curtain rod, all you need to do to make basic curtains is finish the edges of your material, then sew a tube of fabric large enough for the rod to go through in whichever end you want to be the top of your curtain. You can use whatever material you want, and make the curtains as complicated as you desire.</p> <p>Valences are another easy-to-sew home accessory. Simply take a Queen or King sized sheet in a material you like, cut it in half long ways, and sew the short ends together. Make sure all your loose edges are turned under, and you've got a valance to drape over your curtain rod.</p> <p>Pillow cases require a little more time and skill, but are still relatively easy. Measure your pillow form, then go online to find a free pattern that's the right size. Cut your material according to the instructions, and the sewing is a breeze.<br /> <strong><br /> Green Shopping Bags/Tote Bags</strong></p> <p>These make great gifts, and they're good for your own use, too. Find some sturdy-but-cheap material (upholstery fabric that's on sale can be great for these) and follow any one of a number of free instructions available online. Note that these can be as complicated or as simple as you want them to be, so don't take on more than you're confident sewing.</p> <p>Green grocery bags make particularly nice gifts, as they're free to the recipient, sturdier than most of the ones you can buy in the store, and make a contribution to the earth. Again find a free pattern and get started.</p> <p>Once you've mastered the basics, you can take your sewing as far as you to go. Interested in making clothes? It's totally possible. Wanting to delve deeper into home decor? Go for it. When you're established and started, there's nothing stopping you.</p> <p>How have you used sewing to save some money? Do you have any patterns that you simply adore? Let us know in the comments.</p> <p><strong>Pattern Resources</strong></p> <p><a href="http://sewing.about.com/od/freeprojects/Free_Sewing_Patterns.htm">Free Patterns from About.com</a></p> <p><a href="http://tipnut.com/35-reusable-grocery-bags-totes-free-patterns/">Tote Bag/Grocery Bag Patterns</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.burdastyle.com/">BurdaStyle</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-sew-easy-to-save">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men">13 DIY Clothing Projects for Men</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-basic-sewing-tricks-that-will-save-you-money">7 Basic Sewing Tricks That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-dvd-player-region-free-in-seconds">Make Your DVD Player Region-Free in Seconds</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY sew sew to save sewing Fri, 01 Jan 2010 15:00:02 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 4397 at http://www.wisebread.com The many reasons--besides frugality--to do for yourself http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-reasons-besides-frugality-to-do-for-yourself <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-many-reasons-besides-frugality-to-do-for-yourself" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/antique-farm-equipment.jpg" alt="Antique farm equipment" title="Antique Farm Equipment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="185" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Doing for yourself--cooking your own meals, making your own clothes, growing your own vegetables, playing your own music, baking your own bread--is sometimes justified on the grounds of being frugal. This often leads to an analysis as to just how frugal it really is. I don't think that analysis is very useful, primarily because doing for yourself is often a wise choice whether it's frugal or not.</p> <p>Deciding whether it's better to do something yourself or to pay someone else to do it <em>on the grounds of frugality</em>, leads inevitably to the intractable problem of how much your time is worth.</p> <p>One reason it's intractable because it's hard to extend any particular earning rate for an arbitrary extra number of hours per day, or even to conjecture that you'd be doing that paid activity instead of something else. Just thinking about it leads immediately to humor:</p> <blockquote><p>This guy is late getting home from work and his wife asks why. He explains, &quot;I decided to save a dollar by walking home instead of taking the bus.&quot; His wife scoffs, &quot;If you were going to do that, you should have saved ten dollars by walking home instead of taking a cab.&quot;</p></blockquote> <p>The more fundamental problem, though, is that it's dumb simply to suppose that activities that are only worth doing if they're worth being paid for. It's especially dumb when there are other activities (called &quot;entertainment&quot;) that not only are not remunerative, but that we pay to do. It's wrong-headed to imagine a binary division between the things we get paid to do and the things that we pay to do. Most things in life are neither <em>and ought to be.</em></p> <p>There are many other reasons to do for yourself--reasons that are much better than frugality.</p> <p>For me, the really important reason for doing for yourself, is that it lets you <em>move a portion of household activities outside the realm of the money economy.</em> That can be critically important during hard times--whether your own personal hard times, due to a shortfall in income or an unplanned expense, or hard times in the greater economy due to inflation, recession, resource depletion, or any of the many ills that economies suffer.</p> <p>Aside from that, there are all the ordinary good reasons to do for yourself:</p> <p><strong>higher quality</strong>--If you do for yourself you can use higher quality ingredients or materials, do higher quality work, and produce goods (and provide services) that match your needs and your tastes. That's true of meals, clothes, home repair, house cleaning, child care, and so on.</p> <p><strong>more ethical</strong>--If you do for yourself, you don't need to wonder (or try to convince yourself that it doesn't matter) if your clothes and shoes were made by child labor, if your beef and pork came from animals raised in a feedlot, or if the jet that brought your fresh asparagus from Chile contributed to global warming.</p> <p><strong>deeply personal</strong>--A brief note will always say what you mean better than a greeting card. Only a fool outsources his love poems.</p> <p><strong>build and maintain skills</strong>--The time may come when it's important to be able to grow vegetables, repair a bicycle, knit a sweater, fix a leak, shingle a roof, plow a field, and so on. It's worth doing these things simply to know that you can.</p> <p><strong>more fun</strong>--I take great pleasure in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">making a loaf of sourdough bread</a>. It may even be a dollar or two cheaper than buying a loaf of good bread at the store, but that's not why I do it. I don't do it because I bake better bread than the bakery either, although the bread I bake is more to my taste. I do it because I enjoy it, and that's enough of a reason even if the result is <em>more</em> expensive and of <em>lower</em> quality. Doing a craft adequately yourself will often produce more satisfaction than buying something made by a master craftsman.</p> <p>There's nothing wrong with buying something made by a skilled craftsman. Free trade makes both parties better off. But &quot;being better off&quot; is the goal, not a mere side-effect. If you want to do something, do it. You don't need to conjure up a bogus rational of frugality. Most especially you shouldn't deny yourself the pleasure of doing for yourself just because the low-cost producer can squeeze enough productivity out of oppressed workers that you can buy the item cheaper than you can make it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-many-reasons-besides-frugality-to-do-for-yourself">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bake-sourdough-bread-and-save-a-buck-on-every-loaf">How to bake sourdough bread (and save a buck on every loaf)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pick-up-one-of-these-frugal-hobbies-this-weekend">Pick Up One of These Frugal Hobbies This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-spectacular-uses-for-that-lone-can-of-fruit">8 Spectacular Uses for that Lone Can of Fruit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/blood-gore-and-hairy-warts-a-diy-halloween-makeup-guide">Blood, gore and hairy warts; a DIY Halloween makeup guide.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks baking Cooking DIY frugality Home repair Homemade sewing Fri, 09 Nov 2007 14:50:34 +0000 Philip Brewer 1374 at http://www.wisebread.com