DIY Projects are fun to do and a great way to save money in your budget. Here’s how you can get a designer look by making things yourself!
Design it Your Self
DIY Projects are fun! Everyone wants to learn how to do things themselves. There is something so satisfying about seeing a project come together that you have created with your own two hands. I prefer to call it “DESIGN” instead of “doing”. There is a designer in each and every one of us!
Learn life skills
Part of learning to do things yourself is sharing it with others. Whether you have kids or not, someone in your life probably wants to learn what you know. Our sons learned these life skills from us, now we are sharing them with you! Learn how to manage your home, do basic repairs, maintenance and even how to build a thing or two here on the blog.
More to come!
We are just starting our home renovations, so it’s a great time to get on board and not miss anything! We have lots more DIY projects coming soon! Sign up for the newsletter below and receive the FREE BUILDING PLAN to my MILK CRATE OTTOMAN.
Some families have a tradition of wearing matching pajamas for Christmas Eve. This pattern is great for making easy memorable pajamas! This is a sponsored post. Any opinions given are completely my own.
Men’s Hoodie Pattern
I loved this pattern the moment I saw it. Our adult children are way past the age of wearing matching pajamas, but this pattern seemed like it would work for all of them. It’s technically not for pajamas, but the casual style and trendy hoodie is something that they all love.
The pattern calls for knit and woven fabric which is rather unusual. The front of the shirt, the placket, pockets and front pieces are all woven material. The sleeves, back and hood are a cotton knit. Soft woven cottons and jersey knits make great sleeping attire and I love them together in this pajama set. I haven’t made the pants yet, more on that soon!
The cotton fabric is 44″ wide, but since the only woven pieces are in the front cutting the narrow width wasn’t hard. I added 2″ to the length at the waist for this McCalls M747 pattern. My system is to cut the pattern apart and measure the gap for the amount needed. The pattern seemed to fit well overall and was very straight forward to sew as per the manufacturer’s directions.
The placket and pockets were designed to be cut on the bias for the plaid fabric in the pattern photograph. I changed and cut them on the straight grain for this project. The only reason to cut them on the bias is to not worry about matching the plaid, and since I wasn’t using plaid there was no reason to cut them on the bias. I made the front placket and pockets out of the same deer print fabric.
Sewing with this high quality cotton is easy, it does’t stretch or shrink as you work with it. I always look for the highest quality goods, and prewash them before cutting. This fabric is amazing, it was easy to work with.
The deal was that I wasn’t supposed to show our son’s face on the internet. He’s rather shy. I sorta lied about that. He’s so cute, why not show it? You won’t tell will you? SHHHHH!
Don’t forget to Pin this post!
Our son was kind enough to model his new pajama top for this post. Now to make some more of them for the other family members!
Thank you to Hoffman Fabrics for sponsoring this post!
If you enjoyed this post, try some of these other sewing posts:
Saving money on water also helps conserve our natural resources. Here are 5 easy things you can do to reduce your water cost and consumption! This is a sponsored post. Any opinions given are completely my own.
5 Easy Ways to Save $$$
Our water bill used to be out of hand. We had 4 little boys who were dirty, messy and regularly needed their nightly baths. But as our kids grew, so did our water bill. It seemed the bigger they got, the longer they spent in the bathroom taking showers and bathing. Things got so bad, we had to make some new rules in order to keep our bills in check. Here’s the solutions that we have adopted over the years.
Top 5 $$$ Savers
Install a water conserving shower head.This shower head from Waterpik uses only 2 gallons of water per shower. Even though we live in an area that has plenty of fresh water, this shower head greatly reduces our need to use more. The best part? Just unscrew the old shower head and screw on the new one. Installation is that easy! The waterfall design is lovely, and it even has massaging Power Pulse jet spray options. We don’t notice any reduction in water flow and the kids are none the wiser. We plan to put one in each bathroom!
I love this video, it explains everything you need to know about this amazing shower head.
2. Teach your family members to take “SAILOR” showers. My father was in the Navy. During his time in the service the sailors took “sailor” showers. That is they only used enough water to get wet and rinse. He taught us to use the smallest amount of water possible in the shower. Turn on the water, get completely wet. Turn off the water and lather up with shampoo and soap. Then turn on the water again when you are ready to rinse. There is really no need to run the water the entire time. You can save a huge amount of water by using this technique.
Quick Showers take Discipline
3. Set a timer for 5 minutes each time you go into the shower. We are busy people. We don’t have time to lallygag in the shower every single morning. Our kids grew up with us knocking on the door when their 5 minutes in the shower were up. We strictly enforced this family rule. It just wasn’t allowed. We had one bathroom and everyone only got 5 minutes to get in and out. It’s amazing how fast you can shower when you know you are on a time clock.
4. Have the slowest person use the shower last. Our family has high standards for obedience. If you are in and out of the shower on time, you get to use it first the next day. Using the shower first guarantee you have plenty of hot water. If you are too slow, you are moved to the last place in the family lineup. After 5 other people have had showers before you, there isn’t any hot water to be had. Thus the boys learn very quickly to shower within the required 5 minute time frame or risk getting a freezing cold shower the next day (which makes them get in and out even faster, LOL!).
The Showering Truth
5. Restrict the number of daily showers and baths. This may be tough for some folks. Perhaps you will disagree. But, let’s be honest. Most people do not need to shower every single day. Every other day or every 2-3 days will do in most cases. Our sons who are mechanics need daily showers. Our son who is a writer, not so much. The number one rule is to always be clean for Sunday (my rule!). Other than that, you can pinch a bit here and there. Better yet, if you regularly go to the gym to work out, take your showers there!
Don’t forget to Pin this post!
Being on a tight budget requires some creativity! Using a different shower head is an easy way to start this journey! The Waterpik shower head is a great way to start and won’t break the budget. If you aren’t sure how to install your shower head properly, click on this link for a complete tutorial: Thanks to Waterpik for sponsoring this post!
If you enjoyed this post, try some of these other money saving ideas:
Christmas is here! It’s hard to believe it’s less than one month away. Whether you use your Christmas stockings as decoration or you fill them with goodies, they are a staple in most holiday decor. Here are a few easy DIY Christmas stockings to hang on your mantle this year.
These fun stockings require minimal sewing, in fact you could probably even accomplish them without a sewing machine! Room for Tuesday used a pre-made stocking as the form for these stockings, making it so easy to achieve the perfect shape.
Who says all stockings have to have traditional Christmas designs? Add an unexpected surprise to your mantle this year with these adorable ice cream stockings by My Poppet Makes.
You could already have everything you need to create this stocking! Seeking Lavender Lane repurposed a dish towel to create a stocking perfect for her home decor.
You know you have a sweater lying around somewhere that you just never wear. Maybe it doesn’t fit, maybe it’s too itchy. An Extraordinary Day shares an excellent way to bring you neglected sweater back to life.
Houseful of Handmade uses a drop cloth to create these personalized stockings. This would be a great way to create a uniform look while keeping each stocking unique.
Although these stockings look more complicated than some, they are great for even the beginner crafter. Homemade Ginger uses a free (and super easy) pattern to create these colorful stockings.
Here is another way to use that old sweater lying around your home. Sustain My Craft Habit chose to combine it with festive flannel for her holiday stockings.
Every child (especially boys) goes through a cowboy stage. If you have a little guy who’s going though that stage right now, Dream a Little Bigger has a perfect pattern for you!
If you love everything Farmhouse, check out these beautiful stockings over on AKA Design.
Polished Habitat needed a quick solution to Christmas stockings. These are the easiest of all! Fabric and glue is all you need to dress up these cheap burlap stockings.
This felted sweater stocking from My Repurposed Life is so Christmasy. She shares some excellent tips & tricks on how to make your project as simple as possible.
Here’s one last upcycled stocking for you! You’ll never believe what DIY Candy used to create this colorful stocking.
Are you ready to create now? I know I am!
If you’re still looking for more holiday inspiration, check out these other posts:
This bathroom renovation project has been on the back burner for a while, but it’s time to get started on it. It’s been a long time since we tackled a big project like this, anything can happen!
Big Renovation, Tiny Budget
We have a leaky bath. This bathroom is on our second floor and is shared between the 4 upstairs bedrooms. When we bought this old house two years ago, we knew this would eventually be on our renovation plan. We had a vision to expand it, make a walk in shower and add a double vanity someday.
That day has come! Shortly after we moved in, we discovered the previous owners had cleverly concealed cracks in the shower surround by filling them with caulk. Over time, the caulk has peeled away leaving leaky cracks in it’s place. ARRRGHHH!
It is unfortunate that the inspector never found the cracks, we would have made sure it was fixed before we bought the house. However, it is too late for that now. We are sure the shower is leaking into the wall behind it, just not sure how bad the damage will be when we open it up.
To make matters worse, we have had a lot of problems with clogged drains lately. The plumbing is old, is not vented and needs to be replaced. How do you do all this on a tiny budget??
Bathroom Renovation Master Plan
We are not strangers to renovations. We have renovated houses for years and have a lot of experience with how things can go wrong once you get started on a big project. This is why we have chosen to carefully think through all the options before starting.
We have drawn several different design plans. The plans range from easy to difficult. We aren’t really sure which one we will choose until we open up that back wall behind the shower and see how much water damage there is. The shower surround will be the first to come out then we can decide on a course of action.
If the damage is minimal and the studs are not rotten, we can put up tile backer board and install subway tile and a few decorative tiles around the existing tub. A bit of grout and all will be well! This renovation will cost about $250.00 if we do all the work. The rest of the room would remain untouched. We already have the tile, here’s a peek:
We bought a case of this beautiful Mexican tile a few months ago, anticipating this project! Can’t wait to see it in the new bath!
This plan is worse case scenario. If the studs and floor behind the shower surround are rotten, we will need to remove the entire tub. Then replace the 2 x 4 framing, sub floor, and add tile backer board. We are able to do this work ourselves. If this is the case, and we have to do that, we will also replace the old plumbing and add needed venting to bring the plumbing up to code (probably will have to hire a plumber for this). When we started thinking about our plans, we decided we could even expand the entire bath since we have to take out a wall out anyway. Here’s our thought process:
By moving the shower back 4 feet into our master bedroom (which is behind the shower wall), we can get an extra large walk in shower in this bath. We can also move the sink to accommodate a double vanity and move the toilet over to get a full size toilet fixture.
As you can see in this photo, there is zero storage in this room. I used to love pedestal sinks, but the complete lack of storage just isn’t worth it. When we moved in, my husband built these shelves above the toilet for storage. However, when he went to put them up, we discovered that the studs in the wall are almost 30″ apart. What??? There should be studs every 16 inches. Some do it yourself-er cut a lot of corners when they installed this bath! We can’t hang much of anything on the wall because there are no studs to anchor anything. Not good!
The toilet in this room is also a problem since it is a mini-sized one. I call it the child size toilet. What were they thinking when they installed that?? No one wants a mini sized toilet!
Plan B expenses will run considerably more, even with us doing a majority of the work. Here’s a quick estimate:
Tile, grout and backer board supplies about $350.00 (We already have the tile, same as plan A)
Estimate to move shower plumbing back 4 feet, move toilet and add additional sink hookup $3000.00 (I am guessing here, it could be considerably more. We will have to hire a professional plumber for this work.)
New sink and shower faucets $500.00
Double vanity $500.00 (we may be able to save some money here)
Double Sinks $500.00
New full size toilet $300.00
Electrical work $300.00
Summing it Up
We can install the vanity and sinks ourselves, but the plumber would have to install the shower base and toilet to guarantee no leaks. Wowzers, we are looking at a $5000-$6000 renovation. This is a lot of money, however it would be so much more if we hired all the work done, we will do as much as we can ourselves. One of the estimates we got for the entire project was $30,000. No way! Ideally we would like to get the entire job done for about $4000. We will see how that goes!
The good news is that this renovation will add a lot of value to our home for resale, but we may have to compromise in some areas to get the job done within our budget.
Lets hope we can stick with plan A! We will be gutting this room very soon and I will keep you posted on our progress!
If you need more bathroom ideas, check out these posts:
Planning this Sew Along Masterclass for next year. Now is your chance to give me your opinion on what you want to learn and help me find the dream!
2018 Sew Along Masterclass
I have been working behind the scenes for several months planning my blog content for the next year. It’s been a whirlwind battle, one that I have finally won and mastered.
It hasn’t been an easy journey.
At first I wasn’t even sure I would be blogging next year. Growth on the blog has been slow and I am frustrated with the way things have been going the last couple of years. The millions of followers that I expected to have when I began blogging 8 years ago just aren’t there despite the considerable time and effort that I put into this business.
I even started looking for full time apparel design jobs, which I haven’t done since 1994.
There were even full time job interviews. Several of them. However, in the long run I decided that I just can’t go back to working for a large corporation just yet.
Finishing the Blogging Dream
It’s hard to give up on a dream. This blogging dream isn’t finished yet. When I started this blog so long ago I always had the thought that I would go back to my fashion design roots at some point and become a fashion blogger. At the time I began writing in 2009, it seemed like growing my following through home decor would be the hard part, and becoming a fashion blogger at some point in the future would be an easier thing to do once I was established. Fashion is something I understand.
Now is the time to see where this dream goes,this blog journey is beginning anew. As a lifestyle branded blog, Designers Sweet Spot has the potential to not only be a home decor brand, but also fashion brand as well. A few months ago, I launched a new pattern shop called Chambray Blues.com. This domain is where you can purchase my original sewing patterns, sewing supplies, fabric and video sewing tutorials (coming soon!). See the Link in side bar and in header of this page or click on the link below:
My sewing posts are some of my most read content. Thousands of page views over the last 8 years have proven this content to be valuable and what people really want to learn. I am excited to offer an entire 12 months of Sew Along Tutorials and accompanying patterns in 2018.
But,I need your help.This is a huge year long commitment for me. I need to know if this is what YOU the reader REALLY want to learn about here on the blog. You will have the option of sewing one project, several projects, or all of the projects as you choose during the 2018 year.
The 12 Month Sew Along Masterclass will Include:
Funnel Neck Knit Sweat Shirt
Knit Fit and Flare Tunic with Variegated Hem
Unisex Sleepwear Flannel Pajama pants
Spring Floral Sack Dress
Little Black Party Dress
Loosely Flowing Caftan
Men’s Boxer Shorts
Home Decor Rag Baby Quilt
Home Decor Duvet Cover
Home Decor Pillow Shams
Japanese Knot Bag
Unisex Fleece Robe
These 12 projects have been selected for their simple design and require only basic sewing skills. You will learn step by step how to choose fabrics and supplies, print and assemble the patterns, alter patterns to fit your body type, properly layout/cut each item, and sew each one like a BOSS.
Could you take a few minutes to complete this short survey and give me your opinion? It will take less than 5 minutes of your time.
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