Saturday, December 22, 2007

Should I Feel Guilty? Or Just REALLY Clever?

Tip Of The Day: Cloth scarves, as opposed to knit or crocheted scarves. Pick up a lovely and cheap piece of fabric from SR Harris, where fabrics are always 50% off, and get sewing. Or do as I do, and get someone ELSE to sew them for you (thank you Larue).

Tip For Tomorrow: Pick a theme and see it through (…that’s what Brian Boitano’d do!). Thank you South Park.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: On last night’s news, they reported gloom and doom for retailers, saying that sales were down 9% in December from last year. Granted you CAN make statistics say anything you want them to. That’s what makes them fun.

With a slump in sales, I kind of feel guilty encouraging you to make gifts instead of buying them. But not guilty enough, apparently.

Last year, my friend Larue gave me a gorgeous silk-velvet scarf for Christmas. She had found two fabric remnants at SR Harris, and had made our friend Swimmer and I each a scarf. This year I though, ‘I should do that for my friends. Or better yet, con Larue into doing it for me.’

The construction couldn’t be easier, if you own and operate a sewing machine. If you don’t, bribe a friend or relative that does. I recommend copious amounts of booze and chocolate. If you (or they) can sew a straight line, you (or they) can make a scarf.

First, I bought two yards of silk velvet for $20 at SR Harris. With this, I had enough material to make 3 two-yard-long scarves. Second, I went to Larue’s house to have her show me how to make the scarves, a.k.a. make them for me.

Using a cutting board and roller-cutter-thing, she cut the fabric into three even pieces. Then, she folded them in half, inside out. Next, she sewed two of the three sides shut, and most of the third side, leaving a hole big enough to turn the scarf right side out. And then, she turned it right side out. I know, dur.

Last, she handed me the mostly finished scarf and instructed me to hand-stitch the opening shut, and press the scarf flat. WARNING: if you are making any sort of velvet or fur scarf, sandwich the scarf in a towel when you iron it. Otherwise, you’ll crush the material.

Now, I had intended to just make ONE scarf, for my friend Lou. Instead, we (Larue) ended up making 11 scarves, with material left over to make a fur stole for me. This is what happens when you shop at SR Harris (anytime) or Jo-Ann Fabric (during a sale, which is also anytime). You end up with more fabric than you ever needed. And you chain your best friend to her sewing machine to get the project done before Christmas.

So, everyone who gets a scarf from me for Christmas this year be sure to send a big thank you out into the ether to Larue. For, you know, actually making my homemade gifts.


Martha "Larue" Stewart said...

Larue would like to state that it is helpful to have a tube turner ( to turn the scarves right side out. It saves a tremendous amount of time. AND! It is under $20.

Also, using a Velvaboard ( helps to keep the velvet looking plush. A towel will do in a pinch, however.

Also - you can design your own velvet scarf by buying plain acetate velvet and a rubber stamp you like, putting the velvet plush side down onto the stamp and ironing on top. It embosses the velvet with the stamp and looks quite nice.

A good place for fairly inexpensive silk (and blank silk scarves for those who like to dye and decorate their own) is

MOST IMPORTANTLY! Do NOT sew angry, and do NOT sew drunk/tipsy. Straight lines don't always stay straight lines, if you know what I'm saying. And change your needle when it gets dull. For God's sakes, do it for me. Please.

And make sure that you file away that favor you did for your Cheap Chick buddy for use later (i.e. rescuing your children when you are stuck in traffic, or buying you a fab gluten-free flourless chocolate torte). That is all.

Cake [> said...

Cheap Chick you are awesome! I love your blog. And you on T.V. wearing your "jacket of doom" was so cool! I missed you on the radio but it must have been great.

Cake [>

Cake [> said...

Cheap Chick, me again. I just thought of the best idea. I got it off T. V. this moring, but here it is. "Don't charge it, change it." post back.

Cake [>

The Cheap Chick said...

I missed the show, but do they mean re-use what you have, or pay for it in the change you've saved up. Either idea is frugal and fabulous!

Thank you for the kind words - I was SOOOOOOO nervous on TV. Did you know, the film cameras are robotic now, not operated by people. Weird.

Cake [> said...

It means that what you have, you can change. You are welcome. And again YOU ARE SOOOOOOOOO COOL!!!

Cake [>