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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.