Buy Nothing New October, Reviews, Second-hand Scavengers

A stylish lesson in how to make do: Flea Market Style

Most books on interiors encourage readers to buy in on a certain trend. Flea Market Style is no exception with its double-page spreads of what could only be described as Frankie chic.

For most of the book, stylist Emily Chalmers, interiors writer Ali Hanan and photographer Debi Treloar focus on how to recreate ‘flea market style’; after all ‘there are guidelines and quiet rules that any decorator wanting to attain that shabby-chic look must follow to avoid falling into the dreaded “anything goes” trap’ (Andrew Ritchie from Martha Moments). There’s sections like ‘Furniture’, ‘Pattern and colour’, ‘Lighting’, and ‘Collections and display’. Pictures and words are also grouped according to space: living, dining, sleeping, etc., making the book more user-friendly for those needing help with a particular room. Continue reading

Buy Nothing New October, Gardening on a Budget, My Suburb is My Gym, Second-hand Scavengers, Thrills without frills

Frugal thrills: spring in Melbourne

It’s past the midway mark for spring and the weather is finally warming up in Melbourne. Time to try 5 outdoorsy activities:

1) Bike it, hike it

Grab your bike, a mate or a date and pedal along the Capital City Trail, the Merri Creek Trail, or any other of Melbourne’s dedicated bike and pedestrian trails. For details on specific routes in and around the city, check out The Bicycle Network’s Melbourne’s Metro Trail Network page.

If you prefer a slower travelling pace, put on the hiking boots and explore one of the region’s many walks. I haven’t done Werribee Gorge yet, but apparently it’s a stunner.

Bike it, hike it, whatever you decide to do, don’t forget to take drinks and food so that you’re not spending a fortune on lunch along the way. Continue reading

Buy Nothing New October, Dress to Impress (for Less), Footnote Frivolity***, Gen DIY-er, Second-hand Scavengers

Second-hand rags to second-hand riches

Once there was a shirt from the flea market. Despite its lovely seventies floral print and one-dollar pricing, passers by would pick it up only to put it down because it was missing half a dozen buttons. Then a Mustbethrifty godmother came along. Even though she couldn’t turn pumpkins into coaches*, she saw some potential in the flea-market shirt and decided to give it a makeover.

Firstly, she moved what was left of the original cuff buttons to the central placket**. Old stitches were removed with a seam ripper. Some double length thread was secured to the back of the work. The needle was pushed through the fabric and the button shank until several loops were formed, securing the button to the shirt. Winding the thread around the shank added more support. The work was finalised with a couple of knots at the back.

The Mustbethrifty godmother then added some shankless buttons to the cuffs; these matched the blue of the shirt’s floral print. A couple of pins inserted into the fabric formed the shape of a cross, raising the button above the fabric like an actual shank as well as helping keep the buttons straight***. Continue reading