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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Drape myself in velvet: it's a dress

 It's what I would be wearing for New Years if I actually had a place for which to party.
Why yes; I will drape myself in velvet. George Costanza was so right, velvet is luxurious, fancy, even cozy. Especially when made in my favorite color, dark blue-green. Teal maybe?
That looks like an easy dress to work with, right? Got it back in October at Savers and couldn't wait to cut it/sew it up. Especially, when some of the little girls wore their favorite velvet frocks to school, looking all cute.
But-did you know that sewing velvet is quite difficult and requires some special sewing machine foot and patience? Go ahead and Google it, like I did. You'll make that face I'm making.
I had the dress, so I had to try. I figured I would keep the sewing to a minimal. Hem it up, maybe shorten the sleeves and hope for the best.
By the way, if you're sewing and your machine starts making unusual sounds; best to stop sewing and check it out. I did a lot of the hem with an ugly, tangled, knotted stitch.
Here's the result of taking off some length and shortening the sleeves. I'm sure the hem isn't 100% straight and I'm 100% ok with that. In this state, the dress looks fine, but I wanted to do better than that.
When I want to fancy up a boring bodice, I go to my old, easy trick that I've employed a hundred times.
The gathered bust. Pinch up a little fabric at the center of the neckline and pin, then hand sew into place. There's probably a more official way to do that with elastic and such, but let's not get in over our heads now.
As with so many (or all) of my dresses, I like to add a belt. Given the relative shapelessness of my garment, I would have to find a no-sew method for shapifying and embellishing it a little bit. So, I tried on 50 belts and sashes and none were satisfactory. Until the last one, of course. I liked this one:
It's a wide belt with yellow and silver stripes. You might notice the area where the belt seems to be stitched together. That's because this belt was intended as a hips belt from those low rise pants we did in early 2000's. Therefore, the belt was too long to fit my midsection and don't you hate when there's a bunch of slack hanging out from one side of the buckle? Clever me, I just cut some length from the middle of the belt and sewed it back together...
Yup, I did that instead of just MOVING THE DAMN BUCKLE! That would have been much easier and wouldn't have left me with a weird seam. Whatever, guys. Here's the final result, all staged with heels on and everything.
Oh, hi there. I'm just standing around all proud and shit because I have legitimately nailed this refash.

In this pic I'm all suspicious looking. I'm like, "I always feel like somebody's watching me..."
Here's another picture...
...and that's the last one. Oh, except the B and A.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

School freebies that were not stolen

I'm aware that I've been neglecting my blog, Because holidays. Which is also why I'm on vacation and finally picking up where I last left off.
Items that are free! Specifically, school items! They were not stolen from my place of employment!

I picked up these sequence cards back in September. A preschool teacher was switching rooms, and paring down her stash. When teachers do this, they often leave things in a box in case someone needs outdated materials. It was in this box that I found that picture-hole-lotto game from my last post.
Ooh nature! Stages of plant growth. On a sad note, the teacher who left these behind broke her leg a couple months ago. Can't teach preschool in a full leg cast. I used one of these plant cards to make her a card.
Look at that nice 70s couple sharing household chores, being all progressive and such.
These items are less exciting to me. Block things, just not nearly as aesthetically pleasing as the books!
Old timey library books for children! Books like these are like works of art with their retro illustrations. I got these in the hallway of the school where I worked a summer program. So, since it's almost New Years...look at these!
Find Out by Touching is  from the "Lets read and find out" series of which I collected a few.
Look at those beautiful colors! That little pine tree branch with the bird...freakin' adorable.
I love the font, but the Tattooed Man wasn't as good a read as I had hoped.
Over the weekend, I found some other things of interest. So, stay tuned I guess.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hell yeah, freebies: fashion mags

I can't explain why, but I've been busy..I think? I haven't had time to do any blogging or much sewing, so I must have been doing something else.
Let's keep it simple. Rather than lay out the treasures of my recent thrift store trips, I will instead show you some things that I recently acquired without the exchange of money.
Le Magazines!
Family friend, Diane (who often gifts me with awesome stuff, as she is a career seamstress and clothing DIYer) gave me these awesome old timey magazines. Those three are from 1958-59 and are en Francais. Pardon moi, I took Spanish in school and don't know how to spell French words.
These 13 slim volumes come from 1965-1970...
Guess what specific wearable item is the subject for all these mags.
A magazine all about hats in fashion and how to make fashionable hats (that's called "millinery" btw, I say with a know-it-all smugness). Look at the cool cover on that one up there.
The last magazine, I actually thought was 100 magazines crammed together.
There are some English words in here. It's actually a catalog for ordering patterns and fabric from 1973/74. OMFG
Little fabric swatches! Those explain the catalogs bulkiness.
They keep calling those actual pieces of cloth "photos." I don't thing that word means what they think it means. The colors, prints, and styles of these looks from the early 70s are incredible. I'm going to share more.
My first thought was to use these magazines for "art", but that would certainly mean cutting them up with scissors. I will probably see what they go for on the interwebs.
I was going to continue this post and show pictures of books and learning materials, but zzz...
Linking up at Sir Thrift A Lot.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thrift Hoard: these are a few of my favorite things (I guess)

I love looking at other thrift blogs; when I see a link roundup and get the chance to check out the loot other bloggers have snagged, I'm totally there.
But, it looks like I'm the only one not grabbing up the holiday themed stuff. Maybe, I'm just not patient enough to look often and look closely through those sections or maybe I'm just not that into it? I have a headache. Lets get on with the Christmas-free (although possibly gift-y or wintery) finds.

Little Mexican themed figures on sticks. I looked, but I could not find an official name for things you stick in your plants to decorate them. Potted plant decorations for sale that you can add to any plants you might gift!
First, I saw those lovely 70s colors. Then, I bought it, washed it, and set it up for pictures. That's when I finally noticed those little cat figures knitted into this afghan. Score. Afghan on Etsy
If I may wax poetic for a moment...my Nanny used to crochet (diff between crochet and knit?) these blankets. She made one for each person in my house. Mine was yellow, sister's was blue/pink/white, Dad's was manly neutral colors, and Mom's was a blend of pinks and maroon. Her's had a name for some reason: "Roses." As in, "Hey, I'm cold on this couch, pass me 'roses,' would ya?"

Faux wood grain file boxes! I usually pick these up, whenever I find them in good shape. (You wouldn't believe the deal I got on that one.) There are many 70s Porta-files to be found, but this one is different. This one's a jumbo. Big ol' metal file box in shop

Look at that cute little lamp. Kinda reminds me of an eggplant. I kept looking for a shade to go with it, but I got nothing. I'll list that this week.
I just found this planter when I was doing some organizing around here. I knew I had it, but don't remember buying it. And look:
Why have I not listed that? Soon.
Here's a dress. Not sure why I'm showing it, but I just got it and was pleased to have found a slightly warm sweater dress. It's from the 70s. It looks ok, but I had to chop this thing. I already refashioned it into a smaller garment and wore it today.
Last thing: while I'm obviously obsessed with dresses, I don't usually find and/or purchase very old ones. I usually stick to 60s-80s. An old 40s gown is rarity for me, especially one in good condition. They must be hard to sell, too. Anyway, gaze upon this beauty:
...and the dress is nice, too.
It's a thin, crepe material I think. Let's get a close-up:
I wish I could keep it to wear to all my fancy balls and galas. I'll try and list that this week.Maybe someone will want it for New Years.
Linking up Sir Thrift A Lot.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

I still do this. Here's my triangle dress.

It's been over a week since I posted, so I better hurry and crank out a new post. You see, last week the annual WAW Wrestling anniversary was celebrated. Last year, I agonized over whether I should attend or not, and of course I did attend and all was enjoyable. I was surprised to be invited to the 16th Annual Awards show, as I haven't actively been involved in quite some time, so I'm assuming my Hall of Fame status puts me on the VIP list to all events.
Once again, I could not stay away and showed up for both the awards ceremony (where I sidled in on the presentation of this year's HOF inductee), and the wrestling show. I knew I wanted to make an appearance, but without an official booking, I went with a "fuck it, we'll do it live!" plan. I don't have any official pictures from the event, but I wore this:
This dress is available in my Etsy shop. That picture, by the way was taken in late August and my face was sweating and my hair was full of humidity. I looked much more awesome last Saturday with my metallic gold leggings (the dress has a side slit) and satin gloves (it's a fancy event). Much to my dismay, none of my ex-boyfriends, (whom I'd planned on sidling in on) showed up! Several good people offered me a spot for their match, but I wasn't sure.
To end this long story...I decided to sit out for the evening, figuring I should save my rare appearances for ones where I had a good reason to be there. I wanted my presence to make sense. Then at the last minute, one of the guys in the main event asked me if I would walk out with one of his opponents...
That one. (circa 2010)
Acting as a manager to that former client makes the least sense. We've been "frenemies" at best, since my great WAW fallout of 2012. I agreed to accompany this scoundrel to the ring for the sheer ridiculousness of it. It was fun as hell and it always feels good to take a name off your shit list. 
Am I still typing? This post seems to have derailed, quite a bit. Anyway, when I catch up with people that I don't see often, I'm sometimes asked if I still do this blog. Yes, I still do it.
I've pretty much exclusively stuck to dress refashions, because that's what I like. Of course, they're not always fun to look at. It's cold out this time of year, and I find it most practical to have clothes I can wear to school, as opposed to the wrestling ring. 
Look at this big dress. There's too much of it; the length and sleeves are too long. Why were the bodices of the 80s so huge?!
But (and I know...sentences shouldn't start with "but", however; I think it's allowed on a personal blog) do you see the print? No? Well, it's composed of triangles. It's an adorable triangle print. I got to work on making this fit. 
I'll walk you through, but I didn't feel like taking photos, k? I took in the sides a bit. I took up the sleeves to elbow length. Then I chopped some off the bottom and hemmed it to the knee.
The waist was just too low. Here's how I fixed that:
This picture isn't as telling as I had hoped. So...I turned the dress inside out, and then folded the top part of the dress into the bottom. Then I pinned off that section you see there. Then I sewed it. Look, I'm pretty sure what I'm saying makes no damn sense, but if you're looking to learn sewing techniques; this is not the blog for you. Because I don't know what I'm doing, ok!
To my absolute surprise...this actually worked. My new waistline was a little shoddy, but the dress fit and I always end up wearing belts. Without further ado...
Ta da. Once again, I'll agree that; yes, I'm rarely smiling in these photos, and yes; I'm terribly sorry! I set up my camera on a tripod and set the timer. In those awkward seconds before the click, any attempt at posing usually looks kinda strained/weird. Despite my satisfaction with the triangle dress, I somehow managed to look annoyed in a majority of these pictures.
Oh man, look how mad I am. Those red shoes are my favorite addition to so many outfits. Like many a dress in my closet, this is a dark blue and I'm not sure how many colors actually work with it. Sadly, I really can't wear those shoes to school and not end up with footache. I'm in the market for slightly more comfortable red shoes.
None of my necklaces seemed to match very well either. I try to put together the best representation of my look for these blog pics, so you people think I'm good at outfits.
Blog post complete, I'm out.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sad songs say so much

A short time ago, the blog, Jezebel featured a post titled, "Which Sad Songs Do You Listen yo When You're Sad?" The author and the commenters listed and shared the songs that they considered sad.
I was underwhelmed. None of the songs mentioned were mine, and many of them weren't even close to mine! "Don't Let Me Get Me" by Pink? "Wonderwall" by Oasis? No thank you!

So, I obviously had to make my own list. I think the Seasonal Affective Disorder ("SAD" lol) is kicking in, because I've been more miserable than usual lately.
Interestingly enough, the song for which my post's title came from, "Sad Songs (Say So Much)" by Elton John is not on my list. It's such a positive little tune, it doesn't make me sad. But, HOW RIGHTEOUS ARE THESE LYRICS!
If someone else is suffering enough to write it down
When every single word makes sense
Then it's easier to have those songs around
The kick inside is in the line that finally gets to you
and it feels so good to hurt so bad
And suffer just enough to sing the blues

Nevertheless, my list:
1. Of Monsters and Men- Little Talks
 There's an old voice in my head that's holding me back
Well tell her that I miss our little talks
Soon it will be over and buried with our past
We used to play outside when we were young
And full of life and full of love.

I've been told that these lyrics are about elderly people and dementia. It makes me sad because the comforting male voice reminds me of how my ex, John spoke to me when we were friends.

2. Carly Simon- Comin' Around Again
(honorable mention: That's the Way I Always Heard it Should Be)
I know nothing stays the same
But if you're willing to play the game
It's coming around again
So don't mind if I fall apart
There's more room in a broken heart

The opening chords are just so sadly beautiful. This woman just speaks to me and I guess the simple use of the term "broken heart" seems fitting in describing my own mindset.

3. Amy Winehouse- Back to Black
You went back to what you knew
So far removed from all that we went through
And I tread a troubled track
My odds are stacked
I'll go back to black 

When things started getting dark for me, I remember identifying with Amy Winehouse, for whatever reason

4. Michael Penn- No Myth
Why yes, this singer is the brother of Sean Penn. I can't put my finger on what I find sad about this haunting melody. I like the mention of Heathcliff, the brooding soul from Wuthering Heights.

5. .38 Special- Caught Up in You
 You made me realize the love I'd missed
So hot, love I couldn't quite resist
When it's right, the light just comes shining through

Dude, what? Those guys that did "Hold on Loosely" in the 70s? You'd be right to question my inclusion of this happy-in-love song. Well, sometimes happy tunes remind you of a happy time that you'll never experience again, and thus; sad song.
In the sad Summer of 2013, right around my birthday...I was driving around with my then bf, Falcon. It was a shit year, but when I was with him I felt good. It was a hopeful feeling I had on that Summer day. I remember comparing .38 Special to Foreigner and Falcon said that there was no comparison because "every time you hear Foreigner, it feels like the first time," and I thought that was adorable. Only a week or two later, he was gone. "Caught Up In You" instantly brings me back to when I felt that joy that wasn't meant to be.

6. Iggy Pop and Kate Pierson- Candy
 Candy, Candy, Candy I can't let you go
All my life you're haunting me
I loved you so
Life is crazy
Candy baby

I've totally mentioned this song on this blog before. The line that says "I can't let you go" speaks to the part of me that can never let go of the past.

7. The Killers- When You Were Young
And sometimes you close your eyes
And see the place where you used to live
When you were young

I find a lot of The Killers' songs to be somewhat melancholy. This one reminds me of my advancing age and the sadness of missing days of youth.

8. The White Stripes-Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground
I didn't feel so bad till the sun went down
then I come home
no one to wrap my arms around

Oh, god...the pain of loneliness and missing those lost loves. That video is perfect.

 9. Kansas-Dust in the Wind
  Now, don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It's cool, I'm only including this song ironically. I know that I've hummed this song before in a joking sense, probably like Will Ferrell sang it in Old School. It's still pretty damned sad though. Like, when I reminisce about my days in WAW. Nothing lasts forever, indeed.

10. Tori Amos-Winter
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses have gone ahead
I tell you that I'll always want you near
You say that things change, my dear

I've mentioned and probably posted this song before. It's about my unwillingness/inability to grow. Things changed but I couldn't change with them, and now I'm left with nothing. I never wanted John to be out of my life, but like everything I held dear, things change.  

Well, I'm now sufficiently depressed! With the exception of number 1, these are all old or older songs, as if they get sadder with age.
I guess 10 is enough, but should I feel like adding more, I'll share some Foo Fighters, Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, Beck,  Kate Bush, Cyndi Lauper, etc.
Ooh, maybe "Somebody That I Used to Know!" by Gotye. Remember that one? That was a tear jerker.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thridt Hoard: more big-ass art

Last week, there was a a 50% off all clothes, accessories, shoes, bedding, etc. at Savers. Despite using my day off to check out two Savers locations, it was not a successful haul. A few dresses (not yet photographed), a nice looking afghan (left on my parents' washer) and this awesome bag:
It's a red vinyl bag with a card from a Mexican game called Loteria! El Diablito! You know I listed that thing right away: El Diablito bag Stuff like that is totally my bag.
I managed to find something worth paying full Savers price on
 I love these vintage sewing baskets by Wilson Wil-hold or whatever. (By the way, pardon my lame pics, I lose sunlight insanely early.) That one looks like an actual basket. And it's got the trays in it!
I just tossed a few buttons in, I'm going to destash and fill this thing. It's just really hard parting with buttons that I totally might need someday!
Hey, you ever regretted a cheap thrift purchase because now you're burdened with something you don't know what to do with? I was doing a quick Goodwill run after dropping off some clothes for donation and I spotted this old timey clock radio:
I added a vintage photo filter to make it look cool. It's got those rolling numbers, wood grain, and I like it. Also, it was $2. It was right next to this one:
This one set me back another $2. I didn't feel like plugging them in and fooling around with them, as I was low on time. So, I gambled $4. Here's what I got; the Zenith bedside alarm clock/radio can definitely tell time! But, the "circle of sound" mentioned on it has gone silent. No radio. The cute, little box thing by Juliette has a working FM radio; aaand no clock.
Maybe I can sell them for for $4 each. I will double my investment!
Last Thursday, having not made any big money scores, I made a stop at Outfitters on my way home from work. 50% off housewares, hell yeah. Here's where I hit gold.
Look at that sweet little bathroom cabinet. White metal, with the punched detail, and two little plastic doors... I think it cost me $2.50 because of the sale! I listed it on Friday night, then sobbed myself to sleep after spending a Friday night describing an old bathroom fixture. I sold it Saturday for $50. Pardon me, whilst I roll around in dolla bills.
Also at Outfitters...it didn't take me long to spot this big-ass wall hanging. How could I miss it?
Oh. My. God. It's awesome. It's a large, 70s, orange-and-brown, mod, swirl design on canvas. How big is it? 4' 8" long and 2' 10" tall.
It's in great shape and it's signed. Sadly, the "signature" is just an unintelligible scribble and the year '77. So, I can't exactly look up the artiste. I've see some of these mod looking things listed for a proverbial shit-ton, but I have no idea if mine is valuable or not. For all I know, it's crap. I'm sure I can sell it on "cool factor," but damn it, how much?
I appreciate any tips.
Linking up with Sir Thrift A Lot.