Want to Be a Frugal Fashionista? I Get My Crafty from My Mama Writer Marissa Nielsen Shows You How

Good afternoon, frugal-living lovers! I hope you’re having a fantastic week, snipping coupons and accumulating huge savings, whether you’re out to grab a quick, delicious lunch, sipping iced coffee with friends, or shopping for summer sandals (and your dream bikini).

I’ve been working on my closet these last few weeks while we transition into summer and I prepare to hit the Caribbean for a cruise! (How does a frugal girl justify it? Check out how simply SnipSnapping your daily cup of coffee could pay for your next vacation, too.) In order to clear out some of my winter clothing clutter, I’ve donated a few bags of clothes to charity. But I love the idea of refurbishing and/or restyling some of the pieces I’m not quiet yet ready to part with. Which is where some of my favorite fashionably frugal living bloggers come in.

Recently, I can’t get enough of I get my crafty from my Mama, an inspirational wellspring for women who like to look good, while exercising their inner Martha Stewart. The blog is written by a super-stylish and expertly frugal mother and daughter trio: Sheryl (the mama) who writes about thrifting, garage saling and re-crafting, Marissa (the oldest daughter), who writes prolifically about sewing and creating upscale crafts, and Krista (the youngest daughter), who writes about crafting for college folks and allergy free cooking.

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I’m a huge crafting fanatic. Many years ago, I swore to drastically reduce my holiday spending by making many of my own holiday gifts. Not only is crafting the best way to give the most thoughtful gift ever on a dime, I can reduce my spending by up to 50% more, no scouring for print coupons necessary, with my SnipSnap app. I regularly save a landslide of money at craft stores like Jo-Ann, Michaels, and A.C. Moore and that makes me a very happy crafter indeed.

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The boyfriend got hand-knit slipper socks this past Valentine’s Day. They cost about two bucks to make!

By I still need inspiration! And that’s where bloggers like Sheryl, Marissa, and Krista come in. Currently, I’m obsessed with reading about how Marissa refashions fabulous thrifted finds and even sews her own garments completely from scratch. The best part? She always looks amazing! I was fortunate enough to interview Marissa about where she gets her inspiration and how we can all learn how to stay chic with a little homegrown craftiness. Here’s what she had to say:

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MM: Hey, Marissa! Tell me a little bit about yourself – what do you do for work/fun and what are your passions in life?
Marissa: I’m Marissa, older sister to Krista, daughter of Sheryl, and granddaughter of Helen. I work full time in a professional office setting and love to sew and craft in my free time. My passions include my faith, my family, and getting creative!Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 1.42.13 PM
MM: How did you develop your talent for sewing and upscale crafts?
Marissa: My first memory of sewing is when my Grandma Helen helped me hand stitch a small pillow with Minnie Mouse on the front and a star on the back. I still have that little pillow in my sewing box and think of her every time I see it. My mother continued to teach me to sew through 4-H. I sewed for over 10 years as a 4-Her. Each year I had a new outfit to show at Spring Achievement and the county fair. At Spring Achievement I modeled my fashions and at the county fair my workmanship was judged. I also learned to upscale/refashion clothing in 4-H through an entry called “Recyclable Wearable.”
MM: How did you get started writing your blog? How do you hope your writing influences your readers?
Marissa: My sister Krista started our blog as a fun way to stay connected with each other and share of craft ideas. We hope other readers gain inspiration through our blog.
MM: How do all of you inspire each other and work together?
Marissa: I find that we each have different strengths. My strength is sewing, Krista’s photography, my mother’s sewing and gardening, etc.
MM: Do you think anyone can learn to be more crafty? What’s the best way to start?
Marissa: I absolutely believe that people can learn to be more crafty. All you need are good instructions, pictures, and good company. I would suggest you begin crafting with a simple craft and a friend.
MM: How important is being thrifty to your life? How often do you re-purpose/recycle materials when sewing/crafting?
Marissa: Being thrifty is VERY important to my life. I can’t imagine paying full price for anything that isn’t a necessity (and even then I try to coupon!) Almost all of my craft/sewing projects have at least one element that is recycled, re-purposed, or vintage. I like to find materials at thrift stores, second hand stores, free stores, and garage sales.Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 12.46.35 PM
MM: How much money do you think you’ve saved over the years by thrifting and/or sewing your own clothes? What do you do/plan to do with your savings?
Marissa: I can’t even begin to imagine the amount our family has saved by being thrifty. Krista and I learned to be thrifty from our mother who learned from her mother. For our Grandma Helen, who grew up during The Great Depression, being thrifty was a necessity. For me, making my own clothing ensures their fit and I enjoy the process. My closet would be much more bare without the possibility of sewing my own clothing and purchasing nice clothing and secondhand shops.
MM:Do you have any other great money-saving tips you can share?
Another good way I like to save money is to trade services. For example, if I had a friend who needed sewing I could trade sewing for something she could do, like cook dinner for me! I love trading!
I’m so thankful to Marissa for sharing her DIY inspiration with me and for writing such a fabulous blog. Make sure you check out I get my crafty from my Mama to grab some of your own style ideas – and don’t forget to snip a coupon before you head to that craft store!