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Saturday, May 31, 2014

I'm only wearing it ironically: flowery refashions, part 2

I made a second post. The other one was somewhat long, I figured I could pad up the blog by splitting these up. I'll start this post tonight, if I can't finish it, I will tomorrow. I was supposed to do this during May, so it's gotta be posted today!
This skirt:
Goodwill, $2.50. Not that old, probably 80s or 90s. Big size. 

But, how ya like that retro print? In daytime natural light it looks black, at night with the flash on and it looks dark blue .And you can't really see, but it's got a nice ruffle at the bottom. It really works as a dress.
The mind-numbingly simple step by step:
 Pull the dress up, without zipping it, (bra hider worn in this pic, in case anyone in the school district is watching.) and fold one side over the other side until the top fits securely. Safety pin in place.
Not sure why, but I was still able to button it. And you can't even see the safety pin in that picture. I did think that the top of the zipper looked a little weird.
So, I added that round brooch over it. Brooches fix everything. Brooches and belts.
See how it looks with no belt? It just hangs there. I guess it's not that bad, but I scored a plain black elastic belt that works for fixing baggy things. Now, look at my pics!
Oh my god, I'm so freakin' cute. I think. Fuck yeah, there are more pics...

 It's super hard to smile in these pics! Besides, this is super serious modeling work, not a fun flower dress selfie.

It's cool, I'm only wearing this ironically: flowery refashions.

"Would you be caught dead in this outfit?" I asked my inner self. My inner self is the me that I've been for most of my teen years and adult life. Inner self likes black.
Also, I half-heartedly declared  May "skirt month" so I assure you, on this 5/31, you will see a skirt.

 Ha ha. Look at this ugly-ass dress. It's all flowery and stupid.
Look, people; I'm not putting on makeup and fancying up to take "before" pics. Sometimes I edit my head off. What is with that dress? It's got that thick waistline that doesn't seem to be at the waistline. Is this dress supposed to be a drop waist (those suck, btw) or was I supposed to pull it up and have a huge ass top?
Sometimes I don't know what draws me to an item so unlike the stuff that I normally like to wear. Perhaps my love of vintage clothing led me to appreciate the bold retro print. Maybe; because the weather is warming up, I feel the need to "dress the part" and do brightly colored florals.
I feel like this dress is somewhat of a costume for me. If I'm gonna wear summer stuff, I'm gonna go big; you'll goddamn know it's summer when you see me coming.
It was at the Goodwill for $2.50 and I thought it could make a nice summer "costume." The selling point? That waist. It's got a ton of shirring at the waist. I like that. OK, off to the cutting board.

The first thing I did was take a lot off the top. For some reason, I folded over the raw edge before taking the picture. Kinda like that teal Grecian disco dress, this one had a bodice that would not quit. I knew what I wanted to do. (I'll find a picture to show what I was going for, later) I wanted this to look like a 50s party dress. The top was going to be like a pouffy tube top held up with elastic and spaghetti straps.

That is too pouffy. I would have to take it in a little. Ugh... another step. I figured it would work best with two darts in the back.
I took it in in two places, like so. On the right, you see how much I took in. On the left, look! I got shears! Can you see? That's gonna make things easier. I just cut off that excess material, I'm sure it will work fine. Now, the top is still loose fitting, just not huge.
I folded down the raw edges of the top, about 2 inches. No damned idea why, but I used a turquoise colored thread and a zig zag stitch. Then, I sewed a not so straight line because I've got no skillz.
Looks ok, right?

Do you see the stitching? Are you sure?  I left a one inch section unstitched so I can add the elastic. I did the old safety pin thing and pushed it through.
Yeah, there's both sides of the elastic meeting up. I guess I felt that needed to be included. I put the dress on and pulled the ends of the elastic to fit properly and pinned them. Then I sewed the ends together. Duh.

In case you were wondering, this is how I made straps! I cut strips from the leftover material I took off the top. Then, I did a quick fold over and sewed it down. Riveting, I know. Here it is.

Ta da. I'll spare you a tone of "after" pics, because unfortunately, they didn't come out all that great. Also, I decided that shirred waist needs to be tighter. I wasn't staying where I wanted it. Another seam or two, and I'll be good.
It's not like I'm trying to look like a villain in these pictures...I'm just evil? Probably? I lied about sparing you on pics.
Add filter; fix self
Another adequate refashion!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

This post is about design: Alfred Shaheen

I think that's what this post is about... I forgot what this whole blog was about. But, as it is mine, I guess I can do whatever I feel like doing. I'll try not to alienate.
Design. I'm not down with this feeling of inferiority that I get when I admit that I appreciate and like fashion. Fashion is an art, or something...I take interest in styles and the periods in history which they came from. Colors, fabrics, techniques, etc. are all interesting to me on an aesthetic level.
What if I told you that I liked architecture or sculpture? You'd be like, "ooh, you're so cultured and sophisticated." However, if I made the claim that fashion is an interest, you be all...
Oh, you're into fashion? Do you also watch E and drink non fair trade coffee?
 For the record, no hipster barista has ever given me any sort of flack like that. I just put words in his mouth. I'll just tell this damn story.
The other day, I hit Savers for the Memorial Day 50% sale. Don't worry, I totally forced kids to sing "Yankee Doodle" for some veterans at our school assembly. It balances out. I was checking out the vintage frocks, dropping them in my cart as if they were hot. This one didn't seem all that special at first. It looked older...polyester, Mandarin collar, novelty umbrella design. I tried it on, even though I was buying it as merchandise. It looked good. Shut up and take my $3.50.

Sorry for the crap pictures, it was dark and I just needed this for this post
The label said Alfred Shaheen and Hawaii. Never heard of it. I didn't think this dress was a huge money maker. I typed the designer's name into the Etsy search box. Then I was like this:

Why in hell have I not heard of this damn Alfred guy before? Apparently, he was some pioneer of fashion, bringing clothing manufacturing to Hawaii and popularizing the goddamn Hawaiian shirt! No shit, huh? Good for you, Alfie. 
What's interesting is that although I am a fan of Hawaiian/Polynesian looking kitsch, it wasn't Shaheen's awesome tropical stuff that appealed to me. I was enthralled by the 60s-70s style maxi dresses and novelty designs. Here are a few that I pinned to my inspirational items board, so please there's a source to find sources.

That gray one on the left was the first to really catch my eye.

Beautiful, 60s style prints!
The left one is so tailored, and the right one is so (uh...opposite of tailored).

 I really like those stripes.

Aw, no way. Sweet patterns.

Use of trim! Look at the wide band around the waist and sleeves! Hold the phone, that one on the right has that Greek key design. I bought ribbon like that awhile back, just waiting for the chance to use it.
One again, I know I probably shoulda linked individual sources, but click here instead! Please don't be mad if I stole your pic, k?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Thrift Hoard: Tiki and yarn related

I love it when there's a theme. Let's start with these things:

These lovely vintage Tiki mugs and cups possess an ancient curse which makes them photograph terribly. They're just so cool and they're minis, and therefore adorable. From the Savers plastic bag wall. I love a good "lot" of items. I spent about 5 bucks, may have been too much for these 9 pieces. Oh, I'm sorry--10.
This sake cup doesn't match with the rest. What the hell? Is he lost? It is, because when I looked up "Gekkeikan" I found this kick ass sake set, featuring a Buddha shaped bottle. Alone, that thing is useless to me! I digress. I listed my mini Tikis here, here, and here. Now, I shall smoothly segue way into this Hawaiian dress.
 Oh, aloha there. I'm just standing around my kitchen, gazing down at my lovely vintage, tropical looking dress. As you see, I've paired it with red maryjanes, so this doesn't look posed and unusual at all!

But seriously folks...This dress is incredible. Got it Savers, so it was 30% off $4.99, I think. Not to strut like the peacock featured in this dress's print; but this thing looks good on me. I think it's just a flattering style. Another one I didn't want to sell, but I don't go to many luaus these days. Ok, I wore it on "beach day" at school. Now it's for sale: my blue Hawaiian dress
Anyway, the last time I listed a lovely, 70s crewel art thing, it sold right away. Now, I'm always on the lookout for good ones, because not all of them are awesome. Look at this:
 Woah! Cool, it's a Viking! You'd totally buy him and hang him up on the wall, right? Not the usual Hummel children or flowers that one usually sees in embroidery, this guy's a damn Viking. Wait for it...

...or he will be a Viking. Ha ha, it's a yarn embroidery kit. I wasn't sure how well these sold, or if it was worth it. I listed it, thinking this guy might get purchased for his unique-ness. I was correct. Sold this dude overnight! I only sold it for $15, but I paid $3. Tiny profits are better than none?
Let's see if I can move this sweet piece of feel good togetherness...
Three little playmates of different races? So 70s "Free to be you and me", multi-culti, retro. I loved this thing as soon as I saw it. No tag, and the woman at the counter at Outfitters charged me next to nothing. The thing that drew me in was the inclusion of other fabrics besides the yarn. The dresses are made out stuff one might add to an actual vintage dress.
Oh, don't look to closely to the white girl's face. It's kinda scary. I think they went a little heavy on the yarn eyes?
I really liked how well the blue frame matched the light green background!
Then, I got home. That frame isn't painted blue-it's got painter's tape on it. Nice job they did, I didn't even realize it was frickin' tape until I dusted it. After removing some of it, I figured I'd get lazy and leave some on. Now, you can see how nice it looks with blue. Might be getting cocky about my crewel selling skills with this price, but I think it's worth it. Vintage crewel wall hanging on Etsy
I also bought one of those latch hook rug dealies. I think I just like light houses and cheap stuff.
I'm a lot less confident about this one. I guess I liked it better in the store. I didn't list it yet, but after I laid it out (te he) I remembered this other rug that I bought about a year back...(flashback)
Savers only wanted a handful of pesos for this beauty. I remember thinking it was good as new and underpriced. Oh my god, I love this Mexican fisherman so much! But, he's not a rug. Neigh, his colors and craftsmanship are too great to be walked on. This piece deserves to be hung up like a tapestry. Alas, it just doesn't seem to have a spot for it. I should find a forever home for this...Mexico woven rug on Etsy.
I may or may not have brought home more clothing to list (that won't sell) or for me to refashion/wear as is. Ok, here's a preview:
Oh no, my camera cut my head off in this muu muu picture! Well, it was a late sweaty night, maybe my face looked bad and I just needed a "before" picture before I cut the thing up.
I've got way more. But that's it, more later. Linking up at a living space and Sir Thrift a Lot.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I think it's skirt month: dress to skirt and skirt to dress

15th of the month, and I'm just now seeing the missed opportunity to do another theme. I didn't realize that I was doing skirts, but it appears that I am. I'm always kinda disappointed when I look at dress refashions and the dress is transformed into a skirt. Even though dress to skirt projects are usually lovely and make an item more wearable, I think my obsession with dresses makes me feel the need to preserve the them as dresses.
Sadly, for me; sometimes a dress just has to be a skirt. I got this one last fall, and thought it would be perfect for layering up, with it's lined, full skirt portion. I love stuff that ties in the back I liked it in the Goodwill fitting room.

What's interesting is that I don't hate it in these pictures either. The problems: bodice too small with little triangles that caused either a flattening effect (like in the pics) or extreme push up (the top looked odd no matter what); empire waist too unflattering; large print giving it a "too much" look for a short gal.
I had no choice but to make this poof  dress into a poof skirt. That way, I could lower the waist to the waist. Also, I could pair it with a tiny black top to balance it out. You know, big-ass skirt+tiny little top= good, I hoped.
I carefully removed the boob part of the dress. And...that's about it.

See how there's an inner layer there? That tan color? I just folded and pinned, then stitched around the edge there. I didn't add elastic or anything, because I figured that I would wear it old timey vintage style and high on the waist, like I always do. Then I just tie those two side sashes in the back and it could work. See?
the back
Guess what's helpfully keeping that skirt up.
All butt jokes aside, here's the outfit. I wanted to wear one of my bird brooches, because...I can't remember why. I tested how it would look on a tank top strap. Behold:

I don't care, I freakin love this high waist poof skirt. I think it's retro-tastic, and I want to go to a fancy garden tea in it. And drink an energy drink or something, not tea.

Earlier this spring, I attempted to do this in reverse. You know, the skirt to dress. You can see that here and see that I was not all that satisfied with my results. Undeterred, I tried again with some other skirts that I thought would be easier ton work with.
I took a long black skirt with some sort of nature items as a pattern. BOGO sale at OUTfitters, so I'll say this was the free one. Sized large and made of that cheap fabric that I think we were supposed to twist up and wrinkle for wearing in the 90s. Remember, they called them "broomstick skirts"? I think. Anyway, this skirt had buttons all down the front. That was key for making this thing work.

 I added some straps left over from a previous project, but this was not really necessary. Check this; that piece right there are the triangle boob covers that I removed from a dress similar to the one above. I can't find what I did with the straps that I had literally just removed.

See that? The skirt's got straps on it now. Wow, I'm such a damn talented seamstress, I attached straps. Then, I put a thick belt on! Let's see the big reveal!

Pull a big skirt up over your boobs and belt the waist; no talent required. How about that bodice?
The top button didn't button and I'm ok with that, because that made it more awesome. I think it does. You know I didn't get any compliments on this cute little dress. Is it possible that only I think it's all awesome and everyone else thinks it's shit? Well, shut up, I think it's cool!
 Yes, filter. I'm all classy and such with this old looking pic style.
I took these pictures over the weekend and I already made another dress to skirt to show you. So, you better look at it!