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Bold on a Budget: Quick Tip Tuesday

Insignia Go Go Dress
We are going to let you in on two secrets about three of us. One, we really aren't the tutorial type and two we are all broke. No really, no joke, broke as the lamp that we hid behind the couch when we were kids.  We will always tweak some part of every project we do to make it fit, be amazing, or fill a closet need.  It is an artistic over a scientific approach. We have a philosophy over here at Shaffer Sisters.  Never, Never, Never quit until its a masterpiece.  Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel took 4 years to paint.  So, don't feel like you've failed on a project, just keep going until it is complete!

One of the biggest frustrations we usually hear from our friends about sewing is that it is too expensive. It is hard wanting to justify spending a ton on fabric that your kid will only wear for a few months or in some instances weeks.  You also don't want to spend the time on a project only to have it look homemade or be worn less time than the time you put in to it.  As we tried to figure out what our "how to" post would be, we decided- "Go Bold on a Budget" was pretty fitting for what we seem to always be doing.

Fabric paint is a great way to get a custom look.  Craft paint with textile medium is the perfect way to get just the right color. Depending on the texture of the fabric you may not want to follow the ratio on the textile medium, you may need to mix it thicker so your design doesn't bleed. For dark fabrics and light colored paints we have found a premixed fabric paint to be the best ( Martha Stewart paints example). For a custom stencil project, freezer paper (found in most grocery stores, next to the tinfoil) is an awesome tool. Commercial stencils are also a great option. Fabric markers work well for detail work, currently we are experimenting with Crayola markers. 
Surely Scarlet - Pok-a-dot Jeggings - Common Axis Top
End of season sales on adult clothing are an awesome way to pick up cheap fabric.  We have found some neat prints and fun colors by searching these racks, and we usually get at least a half a yard of fabric for a dollar or two.
Peplum Striped Top - Underwater Tee - You Drive Me Crazy Pants

Up-cycled Clothing, Vintage linens and trim often leads to incredible jewels. With thrift store finds we have been able to find dramatic color schemes and unique fabrics for great prices. I especially love looking at the curtains, sheets, table cloths, and yep even shower curtains.  You can get quite a bit of yardage for a great price from a thrift store.
Thank Goodness Dress - Madame Principal Dress
Using a punch of color One of the most budget friendly ways to add interest to a design is to sparingly apply a color that is sure to get noticed.  With this project, I used bias tape, piping and top stitching to add visual interest and that cute definitions of details.

Blue Skies Jumper - Surely Scarlet Skirt - Valentine's Date Tee

Using contrasting colors and textures:

We love being bold in the way we combine fabrics: I used quilting here on the bib and back ties.  My sisters have done an amazing job with fabric and design combos.  I am still in the beginnings of getting brave with combing prints, so I hope you will check out some of their stuff.
Susanna Shap Inspired Woven Dress - Rainbow Pillowcase Dress - Concentric Circles Dress - Leaf Monster Suit - Shindig Chevron - Tangerine Poppy Tunic - Waves of Summer Tunic

In honor of our Bold on a Budget post, I got busy creating a look for Rouge that used as many of these techniques that we love as possible.  I picked a few colors from the 2013 spring color collection.  When I got home, I looked at my stash.  I had nothing that matched our color scheme.  But, as my husband asks, "Is nothing safe from a refashion in our house?"  Nope, nothing.  Who needs a top sheet anyway?  Yep, I refashioned a twin sized sheet, with some notions, some fabric paint, a stencil  and for the first time in 15 years, a pattern.  I tried to incorporate all of the different "bold on a budget" themes, for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Pattern:Simplicity 1742 - with alterations for the back cuff and ties.
Stencil: Purchased at Micheal's
Fabric Paint: Apple Green Martha Stewart
Piping: Purchased at Joann's
~With love,

As you can tell Rogue is happy with bold on a budget.


  1. I love this post! When I started sewing, I imagined that...oh, good, I'll be able to sew stuff for really cheap!! When I bought all my supplies and saw what it came to (because of course I wasn't paying attention as I bought), I felt like a record player just screeeeeched to a halt. What!???!?! This 'hobby' (although, let's face it, it's so much more than that), just may cost more than I can afford. It went from an idea to save us money, to costing us so much more. Even the items I decide to purchase from stores now cost more, because I pay attention to the quality of construction, ha! That is all a long winded way to say, I love some of those creations up impressive. I will have to experiment more with fabric paint! Thanks, ladies!

    1. Thanks I know that sticker shock at the cash-register is a killer!
      I hope you love the paint! I thought it was fun. This fall I will be turning some of my husbands work shirts into "cool" shirts for my boys. I am excited to use some different techniques for that.
      Thanks for your comment- good luck
      with love,

  2. Great post on how to sew and make beautiful creations on a budget! I love the outfit you created from a top sheet. How amazing. It looks so cute and she looks so happy!

    1. Thanks KC! she loves the pockets!
      Have a terrific day!
      with love

  3. So true!! I can be very expensive to sew your own clothes... But I also try to do it all for cheaper than what I can buy it for at the store (and not look homemade!). I have found some super amazing clearance price fabric at Joann and like you said, repurpose!! It is so much fun to make something awesome from something no longer wanted. Great post!
    Heidi @


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