Cultivating a Creative Mindset

by Katy on August 31, 2014 · 16 comments

The weather here in Portland made a sudden and not necessarily welcome switch over to autumn this week, which led me to crave warmer clothing including pants instead of shorts and skirts.

I came home from work yesterday and indulged in a hot bath and then really wanted to slip into pajamas. Unfortunately, I needed to head out close to midnight to pick my son up from the Kumoricon convention in Vancouver, Washington. (Anime, manga, cosplay.) I didn’t want to wear P.J.’s in case I needed to get out of the car and hunt down my son like I had the night before. (No phone signal in basement of Hilton, dammit!)

But then I remembered that I had a pair of black velour yoga-style pants in my mend pile, which only needed a replacement drawstring. (These feel exactly like pajama pants, yet don’t scream crazy-lady-who-wears-sleepwear-outside-the-house.) I’d been sewing and crafting cosplay costumes for my sons all week, and realized that the crappy quality Old Navy T-shirt we’d bought at Goodwill was would provide everything I needed. The top had already been deconstructed as fabric, so I cut a long inch-wide strip along the bottom of the shirt. I then hooked a safety pin into one end and threaded the fabric cord through the drawstring channel at the waistline of the pants.

Perfect new drawstring for my favorite yoga pants! (I don’t have a big wardrobe, so when a single item is out of commission, it’s really missed.)

Cultivating a creative mindset is an important component to frugality and simple living. I could have gone to the fabric store and bought a product to use as drawstring. But instead I figured out a solution using something I already had on hand.

Not only did this mindset save money, but it also led to not having to drive across town and buy made-in-China packaged goods.

Simple, cheap and easy. And need I say it? Comfortable.

Ahh . . . .

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon H. August 31, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Nicely done. Very nicely done.


Lynn D. August 31, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Very timely. I have a pair of cropped pants that need a drawstring as well. I also have a small wardrobe.


Bellen August 31, 2014 at 3:05 pm

good job. How did you finish the ends – large knot? T-shirt material is wonderful for jobs like that as it will naturally curl into a drawstring shape.


Katy August 31, 2014 at 3:49 pm

I did tie knots at each end.


Carla August 31, 2014 at 5:23 pm

My cat has a little mouse toy that is well loved – which is to say, rather shredded. She had torn off its tail and both ears. When the hole grew large enough that the rattle came out, I decided it was time to do something. I used a small amount of the strap from an old bra for a new tail and part of an old sock for new ears. Now, the toy is ready for use again!


Jane F August 31, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Clever idea! I’m curious what color drawstring you have now 🙂


Katy August 31, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Black. NO reason to draw attention to my midsection. 😉


Jane F September 1, 2014 at 6:00 am

Haha! I totally understand. I was wondering just how far your “make do” was going. 😉


Lee Ann August 31, 2014 at 6:33 pm

I don’t have much of a creative mind. I think I lack that gene however I am working on that. I get wonderful ideas from blogs such as yours.


Linda August 31, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Like the title of Katy’s post says, a creative mindset can be cultivated.


Katy August 31, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Thank you!


Kristin September 1, 2014 at 5:58 am

I have NEEDED a new wallet for several months. The idea of going shopping for this is not appealing, even thrifting. Also, I carry a very small purse, so it’s hard to find a wallet small enough. Yesterday, I made one out of duct tape! My sister’s best friend made one when she was in high school, and she still has it in her 30s. I figured it was worth a try, and it looks better than my old beat-up wallet. I am hoping it will be a conversation piece.


Roberta September 1, 2014 at 7:24 am

Can you share what your son’s costume was? I’m terribly curious what you made!


Markie September 1, 2014 at 7:57 pm

My daughter’s hiking pants had a hole in the cargo pocket. I was so happy to hand sew that hole shut.

A couple of years ago hubby got a nice bonus and I needed a wallet so I bought a Coach one. What a mistake! While I love the color it’s hard to get paper money back in and it’s hard to pick out change, too. I’d be better off with a duct tape wallet. My local high school is having an adult ed. class on making duct tape wallets. I think I’ll go.


Lisa September 4, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Ahhh….autumn temperatures. How I long for it. We are in the mid 90’s in Ga.

And I completely understand the temptation to wear P.j.s when going on a late night pick up of the kids! Gotta love yoga pants.


What's Linda Cooking September 11, 2014 at 3:56 am

A long shoe lace makes a really good drawstring. I have used them when I did not want to sew one!


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