Tuesday 26 January 2010

Frugal gal

I saw this cute skirt (favorite color: violet stone) on the J.Crew web site but, with my little budget, I didn't feel comfortable spending that much money.

Oh, little side story before I write about the skirt. I'm still unemployed and I feel bad about it since Dan has to pay for pretty much everything. To feel less guilty, I turned into frugal mode and I honestly like it...especially the cooking part! During the day, I see what we already have at home, then I get recipes on Internet and, in theory, it should cost no more than 10$-15$ for a 4 portion meal. The food has to be tasty and healthy so no Kraft Dinner (even if I like Kraft Dinner but don't tell anybody!!!). So if you have frugal recipes, let me know.

Back to the skirt! As a frugal gal, I was looking for sewing projects that do not require a pattern. I was so happy to find a skirt tutorial that looks a bit like the J.Crew skirt. According to the tutorial it should only take 30 minutes to make since it is just a rectangle with an elastic. Perfect!

Well, sewing is a trial and error science. It took me 3 days to make it!

Day 1: The elastic got all twisted. I got better quality elastic.

Day 2: I don't think that 71'' circumference is appropriate for a size 0 or an xs. Potato bag!

Day 3: The skirt is too long and is still too big. I look like a toddler in a potato bag!

End of day 3: It is not J.Crew but it is better than nothing. And it looks pretty cute :)


jen said...

looks super cute! what sort of fabric did you use? i have similar plans with the j.crew nico skirt.

Anonymous said...

Oh Claudia, you inspire me so much with your sewing skills! The new skirt looks fantastic!

nicole said...

I have to say, it looks pretty close to me! Very pretty!

When we go in frugal mode, we eat a LOT of eggs. Cheap, filling, healthy, versatile. One of my favourite things to do with eggs is frittatas. You'll find a million recipes online. I especially like recipes with potatoes. Another frugal food.

sew nancy said...

love the skirt. it looks great on you and i'm really into that violet stone color as well. i found myself quite addicted to the j crew catalog this fall

Montse said...

Claudia!! Love you skirt! And even more that you are posting more!! :)
Keep enjoying and cooking ! Good Luck!

melissa said...

the skirt is adorable! i love the color! i made some in black fabric and it was one of my favorite skirts.
something frugal would be tuna and making different things with it!
you could do tuna fettucine - sautee tuna in garlic and butter, add 2 cans of mushroom soup (no need to get campbell!), a can of milk, a bit of cheese. make a big batch and it should give you at least 2-3 meals! you can also fry some tuna with chopped onions and celery in butter/olive oil (to get rid of the stinky fish smell) and mix in some hummus. this will be good with salads or a sandwich!
pork chops, when they go on sale are also versatile...gosh, i can go on and on!

Jessica said...

that's such a cute skirt! you did a great job! i'm unemployed right now too, so i know how you feel. i hope we can both find jobs soon!

anabela / fieldguided said...

The skirt is lovely!

I don't have any frugal recipes but Geoff and I only spend about $60/week on groceries. We've stopped preparing meat at home (only eat it when we eat out) and eat a lot of chickpeas and pasta sauces from canned tomatoes!

Emmy Lou said...

growin' up with mennonite cooking means I've been eating frugal most of my life.... here's one of my favorite recipes from when I was a full time volunteer on a tight budget

Honey Baked Lentils
from "More with Less"

Serves 8
Bake time 1 hour

Combine in a dutch oven or saucepan:
1 lb. (2 1/3 cups) lentils (I use brown)
1 small bay leaf
2 t. salt

Bring to a boil. Cover tightly and reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes.

Do NOT drain. Discard bay leaf. Preheat oven to 350.
Combine separately and then add to lentils:
1 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. powdered ginger
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup water
optional - 4 slices of bacon cut into 1 inch pieces, if you omit the bacon add a dash of salt

With all combined ingredients in a baking dish pour
1/3 cup honey on the top.

Cover tightly, bake 1 hour, uncover last 10 minutes.

Serve over rice. Yum.

Jessica said...

i just gave you an award on my blog :)


Jen said...

You inspire me! I am going to make a skirt today, but with a floral pattern. Nice for spring.
And you are definitely right about the circumference - it seems like too much. Take 30 inches off (or more) from the original measurement for a small size?

emma wallace said...

Super cute! Congratulations on your brilliance!


Janie Kamenar said...

ooh, pretty! I think I will make one.

Mary! said...

That skirt is fantastic! 3 days is still pretty good... I don't know if I could whip up something that cute in three months!

BTW: I was unemployed for quite a bit last year and one of our faves was spinich pasta (the green kind) with lots of veggies, garlic and olive oil as a lite sauce.


Soy tacos!

liz said...

What measurements did you end up using for your skirt? It looks so cute!

Nancy Isabelle Labrie said...

really pretty! way to go!