Improving Your Impressions For Less than a Pizza

I am reposting favorite helpful posts each Monday throughout March, April, and May.

A couple years ago, I wrote an article/post called “Pizza and the Piggy Bank” that looked at which items to save up for and which items could be had for less than the cost of a pizza. It was a fun article to write and helped put some perspective on the cost of things. Since writing that article, I’ve often compared items to the cost of a pizza. (I also price life expenses in comparison to the number of bonnets it will take to cover.) I thought I would revisit the “Less than a Pizza” list with some revisions.
When I wrote the initial list, I could get a medium vegetable covered pizza for about $25. That price has gone up a little to about $30. So, this list will include items that can be had for $30 or less.

For the Price of a Pizza (or less)

  1. Drawers and chemise in linen. I have recently been converted to a linen chemise lover. A linen chemise is comfortable, soft, and cooler. Subscribe to to receive their regular sales offers. In doing so, you will see their light, handkerchief linen come up for $6-$7/ yard. This fabric is 58” wide, so you only need 2 yards for a chemise and 2 yards for drawers. Prewash the linen for shrinkage and to soften it.
  2. Petticoat – I am of the opinion that once can never have too many petticoats to choose from. Most of us within a few inches of average height can make a simple petticoat from four to five yards of cotton. Quality premium muslin can be had for $3.99 at certain craft stores. Using a coupon/code to save 50%, this brings a petticoat to $20. Poplin at Dharma Fabrics is $6.50 for a 55” width. A three panel petticoat would be about $26 (4yards), while a 4 panel does tip us over the pizza price at $32.50 (5 yards). I am assuming you have mother of pearl buttons laying around. If not, add $.25-$.50. But, pick these up when you see them.
  3. Wool Petticoat. While we are talking about petticoats, I will add a wool petticoat to the list. Two yards of tropical to light weight wool is plenty for a warm wool petticoat. You may also want a yard of scrap cotton from your stash for a yoke and waistband, minimizing the bulk at the top.
  4. Personal Linens. New personal linens can spruce up a wardrobe for little money, be it cuffs, collars, or pelerines. Purchasing a few yards of cotton lawn from Dharma ($6/yard) can result in several sets of cuffs and a few collars, or a few pelerines. These will give you a chance to practice your rolled hems too.
  5. A Pocket. I am a big advocate of pockets, both set into the skirt and under the skirt. A pocket will get things out of your hands. It will also eliminate the need to have something to carry your things in. A simple pocket can be made from a half yard of linen or cotton.
  6. Wool Shawl with fringed edges. This will take 2 yards of light to medium weight wool in an
    appropriate plaid, check, or solid. This can be found at discount fabric shops like
    http://www.fabricmartfabrics . I suggest waiting for wool to be under $10/ yard to keep this under the pizza limit with shipping. Or, watch for someone destashing wool. Plan on two movies during a rainy or snowy weekend to fringe the whole shawl, or do one side per evening. Check out my earlier post of fringing.
  7. Work Pocket. I am a little bias here. But, I think everyone should have a work pocket, or sewing case, or housewife. This little roll can tuck away needed sewing tools as well as be a great interpretive device. It can act as a story all rolled up in fabric.
  8. Sunbonnet. A sunbonnet is essential for protecting your head and face from the sun and elements. As much as we love the pretty, fancy bonnets and hats, some times, many times, a sunbonnet is needed. I recommend checking out the remnants or end cuts of your local quilt shop for small period prints that will work for a sunbonnet. You will want a yard and a half of 45” fabric. I also love white semi-sheer weaves for corded sunbonnets. Since this often comes 54”-60” widths, a single yard is enough. Hop over to for directions on how to make your own corded sunbonnet.
  9. Cap. If you interpret an era that wore caps, a new cap can be made from a yard of voile, which is currently $6.87 a yard at Dharma.
  10. Hair Dressing Kit. I will make a point to do a video on my favorite hair dressing items in the future. The whole kit can be made for less than a pizza.

Helpful Hints

  • Create a sewing plan. Note where common fabrics will need to be purchased from (ie: Dharma or Fabrics-Store) so you can save up and purchase in sets.
  • Optimize shipping costs by pairing up with friends nearby. Plan similar projects together (all do
    personal linens or caps) or let each other know when you are ordering from a particular place.
  • Subscribe to online stores with essentials. Practice self control with their sales.
  • Know your local shops. Get on their mailing lists if they have sales.
  • Join a couple destash groups if you are on social media.

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Published in: on May 2, 2022 at 6:04 am  Leave a Comment  

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