Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Look Back: 2014

Time to take a look back at my first year of blogging...It was one of my New Year's resolutions last year to start a blog, and I'm proud to say I kept it! I am not good at making resolutions or setting goals, and then keeping them, in general. Fear tends to overwhelm any spark of motivation I may have and then I often give up before I've even begun. But I made it! I followed through, and discovered that I love having this blog, and want to do even more with it...but more on that later. 

I decided that for this look back at 2014 I'd highlight the blog posts with the most views, some of my personal favorites, and then ask for some feedback for the year to come. So here goes!

Here are the top 5 most viewed posts from 2014:

When choosing my own favorite projects/posts from this past year, I had a hard time whittling it down. But I came up with 5 (in no particular order) that I really like. I'd also say that my Interview Outfit post was another favorite, along with the #MMMay14 posts.

Now, its your turn! I would love to know if you had any particular favorites this past year. I'd also love to know what you'd like to see more of in the year to come! More tutorials? For men? Children? Outfit styling? More personal insights? Gift DIYs, giveaways, no-sew refashions? Anything and everything, give me your input! 

I'll be putting together a look at some new ventures I'd like to embark on for the new year, and your ideas will be so helpful :)

Here's to a Happy New Year for us all! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Thriftsyle: Work Wear

I've got a retail job that asks that I look like I shop there, without requiring me to. This is to their advantage, as I don't make enough to buy a work wardrobe from them, and mine, as I've found that my personal thrift style fits in perfectly with the clothing sold there. Perfect! :)

Here's a look at a few of my recent outfits with a breakdown on where I got each item and an approximate cost (can't remember what I paid for some, but I can make a good guess).

// thrifted chambray $5, thrifted pants turned skirt $4, thrifted bangles $3, F21 earrings $5, Franco Sarto riding boots from DSW ~$75: total cost $93 (I've owned the boots for 3 years and they are earning their keep ;) //

// thrifted cardigan and jacket $5/each, thrifted jeans $4, clearance chucks $25, UO striped top $10, thrifted bag $6: total cost $55 //

// thrifted jeans $4, thrifted belt $5, Anthropologie chambray $30, Franco Sarto boots $60, UO earrings $5, cuff ?: total cost ~$104 //

// handmade earrings bought in Puerto Rico ~$5, F21 necklace $3, thrifted belt $6, thrifted dress ~$8, thrifted boots ~$6, UO pants $15: total cost ~$43 //

// thrifted cardi $4, thrifted slip (not pictured) $4, yard sale dress $1, thrifted belt $4, thrifted boots ~$8, thrifted bangles $2, World Market abalone earrings ~$10, bracelet ?: total cost ~$33 //

This gives you a good idea of how I get to dress, and I have to say I'm enjoying styling these outfits! I've missed a few good ones, so I'll have to recreate the looks for some more outfit posts later this week :).

Hope you like what you see, and let me know if you have any questions at all! Thanks for reading, and happy thrifting!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Sleeveless Sweater

Finally back with another refashion! I've been enjoying my downtime watching old movies lately, instead of sewing, but after a poor night's sleep I felt motivated to refashion something. Strange, I'd have thought a nap or caffeine preferable, but hey, when one feels the urge... ;).

I started off with this thrifted sweater: size L men's seed stitch in a taupe/gray. I've had this inspiration piece pinned on Pinterest for ages now, and I've been keeping an eye out for just the right piece to use. Well, as you'll see my final piece isn't an exact replica. It started to take on a life of its own as I went, as many refashions do.

I started by cutting off the sleeves and up one side. I folded the back in half (to my measurements) and cut a new armhole. I wanted it to be fitted across the back and have some drape in the front.

Next, I trimmed up the back neckline and opened up one of the sleeves.

I grabbed some safety pins and started playing around with my pieces to find the right look. Here's a look at my first and second looks. I ended up liking this second (what I'm wearing, with a little trimming), so I pinned everything in place exactly where I wanted to sew.

I sewed along my pinned sides and in a couple of strategic points to create the drape I wanted, then got to trimming. I trimmed even more than pictured below, but my scraps are of good enough size so I'll be turning those into more cozy goodies.

Here's my completed piece! I left all raw edges raw, though I'll probably straight stitch around them to prevent fraying (so far, the knit is small enough and it hasn't frayed at all). And I trimmed up the bottom edge so that there wasn't any excess bulk along the side. I love it belted as you see below. Can't wait to wear this to work and see how many people ask if I bought it there ;). So far, I've had that question on several occasions regarding thrifted/refashioned clothes!

I put on a pair of clearance earrings and black pants that cost $20 together. The belt is thrifted.

I also love it without the belt and am currently cozied up in this number!

I still want to recreate my inspiration piece a little more closely, but I adore how this came out. Here's a look at the before and after.

Hope you enjoyed this one!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Scrappy Cowl

Today's refashion is the story of a mess-up turning into a great outcome. Sometimes while sewing I get moving too quickly and without thinking will put things together incorrectly...which usually means I have to unpick, sew the correct step, then move on to what I was jumping ahead to.

Case in point: what was meant to be an infinity scarf able to wrap twice around my neck...

I started out with this floral (?) print skirt that I'd picked up at the community swap. It wouldn't work as a skirt for me, but had definite potential as a scarf. The eggplant colored piece was a cowl neck I'd removed from a thrifted sweater and had plans to use as a scarf...for the past two years! Also, some bits of striped material leftover from this refashion.

I removed the waistband from the skirt, then the pockets. I'd thought that the waist, once ironed flat would be fairly equal to the hem, but I still had to straighten things up a bit. I then cut open the cowl along the seam and put together a grouping of the scraps. I sewed the eggplant knit to the stripy scraps to create a loop that matched the skirt circumference. But I'd already made a mistake. If I wanted it to be an infinity scarf that could wrap around, I should have cut open one of the skirt seams, and left the cowl/scraps in one long piece rather than a loop. Then, I would have sewn the two, right sides together leaving the ends open. Once I'd turned the scarf right side out, I could have sewn the two ends together overlapping them to create the infinity loop.

However, I put my two loops right sides together, sewed along one edge, then along the other leaving a 3 inch gap to turn it inside out. I didn't realize what I'd done until I turned the scarf right side out and it was a very tall cowl instead of a long infinity scarf ;). Here's how it looked upon completion. The openings are at the top and bottom.

Once scrunched down, however, it made the perfect cowl that was loose enough to put on but close-fitting enough to be just right! I love that I still get all of the options for showcasing the different colors/prints depending on how I scrunch or twist!

I'm home again today nursing a sick boy, and picked up what he's got, so I'll be nursing myself a bit as well. Perfect opportunity to wear my new cozy cowl! Here's a look at the different ways I can wear it:

Perfect with a chambray top and some leggings.

I guess the positive out of these past few days stuck at home is that I've been able to sew, blog, and spend lots of time with my boy!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Black Military Jacket

Today I've got another quick fit fix. I picked up this military style jacket from the thrift store thinking I could make it work, though it was a little big and the silver braid on the shoulders wasn't my thing.

So I hopped right in and removed it! Next I unpicked the sleeve hems and the hem of the jacket at both sides. Once I'd unpicked I took in each side from wrist to waist by about 2 inches. All I had to do to finish up was to trim the excess and restitch the hems in place!

Now I've got a fitted military style jacket that is comfy yet stylish. I paired it with my <almost> all thrifted outfit: slouchy white t-shirt, skinny jeans, boots, and ring. The earrings I bought retail a few years back...Forever 21 maybe?

Mixing metallics with my latest at-home manicure!

Just a couple of quick changes, but they made all the difference for me. This is my favorite kind of jacket/blazer because it is made with a cozy fabric that feels like I'm wearing a t-shirt or sweatshirt.

I actually started my photo shoot off with red lipstick and black on black with a camisole, but I shy away from lipstick after about 5 minutes, and then I wanted to translate this jacket into more of an everyday casual look, so I switched to the slouchy tee. If you follow me on IG <@little_didyouknow> then you've seen the pic with lipstick...if not, I'll share here as well!

Do you have any makeup that you are afraid of? For me it's lipstick and eyeliner...more fear of the unknown probably since I rarely wear either but also rarely experiment with them. It always feels like I have far too much makeup on when I do both, so the trick may be one or the other for me ;).

I also posted a preview of a refashion I'll be putting up later today or first thing tomorrow...here's that sneak peek!

It'll be a scrap buster and I'm so loving how the mix of colors/prints/patterns turned out! So, stay tuned!!!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Green Velvet

Need I say more? These cotton velvet pants were a very recent thrift score and though they weren't a perfect fit, I knew that it wouldn't take much effort to make them into my favorite pair of winter pants. First off, they're green...deep emerald or forest green *sigh*. So pretty! And they're pants, which are super functional for work, home, whatever! And don't forget velvet.

Now, these are a size 6 petite, which meant I knew there would be a length issue, and though I wear a size 6 in some brands, these ended up being a couple of inches two large around the waist and hips. They have no belt loops, which means they're meant to fit well (i.e. they don't slide down) and they didn't...fit well, that is.

I put the pants on inside out and marked with chalk how much I needed to pinch in on each side...but here's where it gets interesting. The zipper closure, for some reason, sat slightly off center. So, I ended up taking in both sides an even amount initially, then unpicking the side that the zipper tended towards and just took them in on the opposite side. Does that make sense? Essentially I centered the zipper while taking them in the necessary amount. I took the one side in from the waist down to the top of my thigh, to start. Then I tackled the the bottom of the pant legs. I marked how much I could take in on each side of each leg, giving them a skinny fit. Once I'd marked, pinned, and then finally sewed everything in place, I cut off the excess and finished off the insides. Sorry, no pics...I was transitioning from one phone to the next and did all of the sewing while I was without a phone/camera.

Now, I feel, the fit is much better and much more flattering in the legs. I still don't like how these pants look on my butt, however. They have pockets and I'm considering sewing them shut and trimming away all of the excess fabric to see if that helps them to look better, but it may be an issue of the cut and type of fabric of the pants and I'm not sure how I'll fix that. Or its my butt....... nah! ;). If I decide to play around with that I'll let you know and post an update with pics. And hopefully better quality pics with better lighting!!! Winter is so dreary.

Anywho, this is how I wore the pants to work on Sunday, and I got compliments on both the pants and my cropped kimono jacket!

Thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for another post on making your clothes fit better...


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Some Recent Thrift Scores

As I attempt to get myself back in the blogging game, I figured a thrift score/haul post was in order as it simply requires photographing items and not remaking them before photographing them ;). Here's a look at just some of the items I've thrifted through November and this past week!

One word sums up my thrifting luck lately: SHOES!!!

From left to right: not thrifted but bought when clearance was an extra 50% off at UO, these vintage style leather heels are comfy and only cost me $10!!!, men's italian leather shoes that are just my size and super fly at $12, fugly men's winter boots in my size at $6 (who cares what they look like if they're functional!!! ), and these lovely brown tall leather boots are like new and cost $20!

Today, I picked up these next four items.

A 'toy' dish rack that I'll use for notions or jewelry ($2), a softie homemade Christmas tree ($2), a fleece ear warmer for my son ($1), and a button-up shirt with a fun print ($4) TBR (to be refashioned).

Now, the tree's bows are in poor shape and a couple are missing, so I figure I'll use these miniature ornaments I picked up for a total of $.50 earlier this week to replace the bows!

I also picked up a bag of little angels at $1 for four and may use one as the new tree topper for this softie tree :).

I'll share more later on about my Christmas decor this year, almost all of which is thrifted or hand-me-down!!! Hope you enjoyed seeing some of my recent scores...have you found any treasures lately??? I'd love to hear about them...


Thursday, November 13, 2014

ThriftStyleThursday: Hats...and catching up on Halloween!

Ok, so granted it's been a couple of weeks, but after I show you this week's thrift style theme I'll catch up on a thrifted costume I'd put together and never got to posting for Halloween :) First off, I kinda slacked on this week's theme, though I had the perfect piece to share, then couldn't locate it...so I just gave up on it, threw on something else and snapped a couple of selfies by our building's mailboxes. Yep. Next week will be better, I promise!

I was going for a no-makeup, red-nosed, chilly day kind of look ;) It was pretty cold today, and this ear warmer/headband was the perfect piece that still allowed me to wear my hair up...yet again. I thrifted it last year as I loved that it was a wool knit lined with fleece. It actually was a hat, then I chopped off the top to make it into a headband instead as I needed a nice warm one to wear when running in the winter. And it works really well! Unfortunately I'm wearing it upside down...not that that matters too much.

The remainder of my outfit was actually all thrifted, minus my boots. This wool coat was a great find at a Manhattan Salvation Army, my t-shirt, super-warm cardigan, and jeans were all thrifted here in New Jersey.

Ok, now for the Halloween costume...which I didn't get pictures of me wearing, but I'd put together pics of the flat lay beforehand with a couple of variations.

First, I made myself a simple witch's hat out of black card stock (actually a file folder!) and some ribbon. I attached a long length of ribbon underneath to tie it under my chin. It's mini and more like a fascinator hat.

This first look is the one I like the best, mostly because it incorporates a striped silk blouse that I love and purple fleece-lined tights. Essentially, I hope that you'll see how different pieces from your wardrobe can be mixed and matched to create a simple but cute diy costume! And not just a witch, but so many other possibilities exist here...so get planning for next year ;).

Everything here except for the hat and tights were thrifted: on the left is a velvet cape I picked up for $2, my striped blouse, a pair of black booties, a pleated black skirt (scored at Housing Works on the West Side of Central Park) and a polka dot ribbon as belt (salvaged from a gift).

This second look is even simpler, and even more versatile depending on the 'prop' you include: a thrifted vintage dress (the bottom I recovered as there were a few holes), high-heeled tall black boots, and the witch's hat finish this look off!

And following the black theme, here's another sweet option: a thrifted empire waist black dress, polka dot ribbon as belt, witch's hat, and either black peep toe heels or sparkly black flats!

Color can be added in the form of tights (patterns, too!), fingerless gloves, belts, etc. One thing I would have loved to include in my costume this year is this incredible felt spiderweb cape I came across on Pinterest (I linked you directly to the blog post at Delia Creates)...it's on the list for next year ;).

Anywho, Halloween being over, I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving, my two loves' birthdays, and hopefully a chance to relax after it all! I've got things I need to photograph and post for you all, so keep an eye out for that over the weekend!

Also, don't forget to check out the other ThriftStyleThursday gals' posts here: