Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thrifted Clothing For One Week

There are some who say good clothes can't be found at a thrift store. They want name brands, clothes that fit and/or are the right style. I am here to show you that all of those things can be, and are, found in thrift stores. I've put together a whole week's wardrobe from my recent thrift store purchases (and a few new items).

I have a specific style right now... tunics, cardigans, leggings - all in gray, brown and black. I love the ability to reach (nearly blindfolded) into my closet, pull out three items and have them work together. No matter what.

I have great difficulty finding what I want at a conventional store. I almost always find items of clothing when I thrift. Take the above outfit, for example:

tan tunic sweater dress $5
navy Land's End cardigan sweater $4
gray leggings $6 new
white fur scarf $2
navy leather purse .55 cents

Outfit Total = $17.55

black tank dress $3
gray cardigan top .55 cents
black leggings $6 new
mustard yellow scarf $2 new on clearance

Outfit Total = $11.55

navy dress $4
white t-shirt - already owned
gray leggings $6 new
plaid scarf - made by me in the last post

Outfit Total = $10.00

perfect condition gray cashmere sweater $3
gray Banana Republic wool blend lined skirt $10
teal ruffle scarf - gift from this friend

Outfit Total = $13.00

khaki green skirt $5
white t-shirt - already owned
Forever 21 white sleeveless lace up shirt .55 cents
khaki green cowl - made by me here

Outfit Total = $5.55

beige tunic sweater $5
beige skirt $4
dark gray leggings $12 new
tan basket weave purse .55 cents

Outfit Total = $21.55

white tunic dress .25 cents
beige skirt $4
leggings $12 new
white crochet cardigan sweater $3
light blue pashmina - already owned by me

Outfit Total = $19.25

Regardless of your style, I know that your local thrift store has something for you. Enjoy your search!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Plaid and Lace Ruffle Scarf

For months I had a vision of this scarf, but no time to make it. Then, a month ago, I made it but had no time to post it. Time's up!
Using homespun cotton, I cut two sections of navy plaid in 19"x 36 1/2" rectangles. I then sewed them together, using a french seam to seal any frays, creating a 19"x 72" rectangle.

Next, I hemmed the edges.
Then I sewed a long running stitch down the middle (without backstitching to secure it) and pulled one thread to create my ruffle. I wanted the length of my scarf to be 36", so it's got a lot of ruffle.

Next up was applying my vintage thrifted lace. I used a multi-stitch zig zag to attach the lace, to the center gather, with nearly invisible stitches. One seam down the middle and two more - one along each edge. *Note: I used scalloped lace which requires you to line it up evenly on both sides before stitching. It would be much quicker to use a straight trim.

Final product... a ruffley, lacey scarf. So far, it's been very versatile. I can see changing up the colors a bit and wearing this right into the spring.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Outfit

So I snapped this pic as I was walking down the hallway tonight (thus the poor quality.) It's a shot of my new khaki green thrifted coat. The price was a steal, at half off, for $3.50. It's lined and in brand new condition. I was already wearing an army green colored sweater, then the khaki jacket... so I decided to quickly (seriously, like 3 minutes) make a matching cowl/neck wrap from here. (These would make great gifts!) Did I mention that I love green?

This is the second pair of jeans I've worn today. Unlike my daughter who changes her clothes, on average, 7 times a day, I try to wear only one outfit.

But a colicky baby can have other ideas. After burping him, my low back felt damp. Somehow, my baby managed to spit up on the back of my jeans - under my sweater, which was dry. Maybe we shouldn't have named him Henry, but Houdini.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Slipper Bootie Tutorial

We were searching for slippers for my daughter (a toddler). But, post-Christmas there are tumbleweeds in the slipper aisles. Nada. So, I used what I have to make her comfy, cozy slipper booties. Here's how:
First, I gathered my supplies - a thrifted vinyl tablecloth for the sole, fleece for sole padding, scrap fleece (from this project) for the bootie, thread, elastic, scissors, paper and a pen and any embellishments I wanted to add, such as ribbons or buttons.
My next step, which was actually a challenge, was to trace my jumping/dancing/kicking toddler's feet.
Adding my seam allowance (about 1/2",) I then cut out the soles from the vinyl tablecloth and two layers of fleece for each foot. I baste stitched them together. The sole is now three layers thick.
Remember, none of this has to be exact because fleece (and bows) cover a multitude of sins ;) I roughly cut out two profile bootie shapes for each foot.
Next, I sewed the right sides together of the top of the foot and from the heel to the ankle of the bootie. (Confused? Just leave the sole open and the foot opening at the top open.)

Pin the upper of your slipper to the sole, right sides together.
Now, trim any excess fabric. This is what your inside-out slipper should look like.
Next, turn the slipper right-side out.

This next step I forgot to photograph, but I took a narrow strip of elastic, 1" less than my daughter's ankle circumference, and sewed it to the inside of the ankle part of the slipper. This helps to keep it on. I just pinned the elastic in a few places and let it gather naturally as I secured it with a zig-zag stitch for stretch. Be careful not to sew the slipper shut. Not that *I did* the first time or anything.

I tied a couple of bows and stitched them onto the fronts for custom appeal. (Pics were taken before I sealed the fray on the ribbon.)
Remember, it's ok to not have it exact. The first time I sewed the top portion of the foot, my slippers had noses. Um, not what I wanted to see. So, I just stitched it again in a smooth sloping line. Better!

They passed the test because my daughter slept in them the first night. She loves 'em! That's all that matters to me. But, I'm also glad they no longer have noses.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thrifted Owls, Acorns and Famous Australian Children

So I went thrifting, but did not thrift famous Australian children. More on that in a moment...

See my new jammies? I own nothing like them. But when I saw them, they made me laugh, so I had to *splurge*. It's funny because they're actually a children's size, but I knew holding them up that they would fit. In perfect silky turquoise condition, the pants and shirt fit indeed. Extra bonus: all children's clothes were 30% off!
Look at those prints... it reminds me of this owl. I am loving Seattle thrift stores!

Just days ago, I mentioned to my dear H that I wanted salt and pepper shakers. What a curious item for me to want to own, seeing as how I never use salt or pepper. Ever.
Accidentally turning down the wrong aisle, led me to more squirrel/acorn goodness. Behold these simple wooden acorn salt and pepper shakers - unused. Score!

I also bought Charlotte 22 books. At .79 cents a piece, we can go a little crazy. Ok, a lot crazy. I've always maintained that I'll never skimp on books for the children. We don't mind being the "book people down the street with no t.v." ;)

Speaking of books, my husband recently announced the birth of our son, Henry, to an acquaintance. She asked about any older children. Yes, there's Charlotte. "Wow," she replied, "just like the Australian tv show!" WHAT?!

We thought we dodged that bullet by not naming our son Wilbur.

A quick google search helped us find the series of books by author Bob Graham. His series that was turned into a hit tv show. (With no tv, we just didn't know!) See more here. My dear H surprised us by secretly purchasing a copy for us to keep. Yep, more books. We just can't have too many...
And Charlotte (in the book) wears glasses, just like my Charlotte. Gotta love it!
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