Sunday, May 31, 2015

Addicted to Stripes

So, by now it should be no secret that I love stripes....LOVE THEM!!! Especially when black and white or navy and white (also gray and white). I recently came across two dresses at two of my local thrift stores and quickly bought each. The first was a definite refashion candidate for a couple of reasons: nasty armpit stains and a bleach spot on one of the sleeves. It's made of a heavier knit, and the skirt was absolutely perfect as-is, so I decided to just tackle the bodice.

I started by sewing up each side taking them in by about an inch apiece, then cut off the excess including the sleeves. Next it was time to cut off the collar opening up the neckline a bit.

Next I shortened the straps by first sewing across them while right-side-out, trimming the excess, and flipping it inside out to enclose the raw edges in the seam.

Now, taking up the straps effectively brought the neckline back up, so I trimmed it down, then again until I got the look I was going for. I left the neckline edges raw and simply let the knit curl under on itself, but finished off the armholes with a simple topstitch on the folded edge.

I love the way it turned out, and its actually reversible if I ever want to wear the buttons in the front! Oh, I also sewed the button placket shut as it was gaping a bit. Super easy remake, and so easy to wear as well! Here's the before and after of it in action:

This next dress is an Asos maternity dress that I grabbed without trying it on. If I were a bit curvier then I may have left it as it was, but it was just a bit too voluminous and belting it left it bunching weirdly. No good. So, I turned it inside out, sewed up each side using a lightning stitch (good for knits on a regular machine), and trimmed off the excess.

Next I tackled the waist by creating two pleated gathers at each side of the waist and reinforcing it on the inside with the scraps I'd trimmed off.

Another super easy remake, that will be versatile and fun to wear as the weather heats up more each day! Love this one too :)

I like it with or without a belt, and will be getting tons of wear out of this one. What do you think? Do you like one more than the other? I love the bold stripe of this dress, but adore the classic fit and flare of the previous dress over the overall fit of this one. Either way, I'm excited to be sewing again and can't wait to tackle the next project.

Happy Refashioning!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

// #thriftstylethursday // Stylist For A Day

I chose this week's theme of Stylist For A Day, encouraging us to give up styling control to someone we trust (very important) as a sort of exercise in seeing our wardrobes in a different light. I chose my 6 year old son for this most important task ;). And he did a great job! Take a look...

First, he started with these teal skinnies I bought at Marshall's 3 years ago. I've made adjustments to the waistband, but otherwise are in their original condition. They're definitely not the first pants I grab as I have 3-4 favorites (all denim), but with a couple of tweaks to the legs I may put them back in rotation...skinnier at the calves and add zips to the ankles? We'll see. His next pick was an olive green t-shirt, but decided the two greens didn't go, so he settled on the black and white striped t-shirt that I'd thrifted and refashioned over a year ago.

Continuing with the black trend (because its his favorite color and I told him it'd be cool today) he pulled out my thrifted black cardigan and Thredup black suede Nine West moccasins. Of course, upon seeing my purse collection this vintage tapestry knitting bag was the obvious choice for its black base and the castle. Obviously. This was an antique store purchase made while my boy was still a bun in the oven back in Michigan!!!

And then for the accessories! He asked to see anything with black and chose between a mixture of more modern and vintage pieces. The pendant was an ebay purchase from 5 years ago and this is my first time wearing it! It seems to be a piece converted from a pin to a pendant. The bangles are both thrifted, and the earrings are from Forever 21.

I have to say, I love this look! The August Silk cardigan is super comfy and I love the fitted silhouette it creates with this t-shirt. I love how he mixed up the accessories from different eras, and kept to a pretty basic color scheme. That's my boy! ;) After helping me put this together, he then asked my opinion on the outfit he was picking out for today...which included stripes and black as well. Lol! Hope you all enjoyed this post as much as I did, and be sure to see how the other ladies fared with their looks! We've got a new addition to the group, Alison, and you can check out her look as well. (She'll be added to our graphic soon).


Friday, May 15, 2015


Finally! Here's that post on this really simple dress refashion I did this past week for Me Made May 2015. I started out with this long black thrifted dress. It's 100% cotton and a thicker knit fabric with a crocheted lace detail at the neck. I started by putting it on inside out and marking where I wanted to take it in. Initially I figured I'd want to have it nice and fitted, seeing as it was an otherwise very basic kind of piece. If I had it to do over again, I'd have simply skipped to shortening the length. I sewed along each side where I'd marked, trimmed off the excess, and put it back on right side out.
Obviously, there are some issues at the hips, but a quick run through the machine smoothed all of that out ;). Next I chopped some length. The choice at this point was to take in the bottom to fit more like a pencil skirt making the entire dress very fitted, or to go shorter leaving the skirt's shape as it was.
I ended up deciding to simply go shorter...again, at this point I kind of wish I'd have gone with the totally fitted nature and fit the skirt more like a pencil. It's like one of those books where you pick the ending by choosing one of two options at different points throughout the story...I kept choosing wrong!
So, though I'm not totally satisfied and feel this dress is too clingy at my tummy, and not very flattering (which limits how often I'll feel confident enough to wear it) I thought I'd show how I'd style this kind of simple dress. First up, let's hit up my thrifted belt collection! I love the embroidered rose belt for its colors and design. It definitely brings some life to this basic piece. The silver mesh belt dresses it up a bit more and with the addition of heels and accessories, could be a cute date night outfit. The third is most basic with a unique leather belt.
Now, the other way I'd most likely style this is with a button up shirt tied over top. Super easy, but changes up the look completely! I grabbed a thrifted Zara silk blouse with palm tree print, but didn't love how it looks in the pic. The thrifted J. Crew chambray in the center is definitely more my style and I can totally see me wearing this soon. My final option would be to simply let the dress be and style with simple jewelry and sandals.
Either way, I'll have to decide how I feel about this one. Maybe I'll simply reinsert panels down each side of the leftover fabric to make it more of a swing dress shape...time will tell! Anyhow, this is one of the easiest refashions and translates to simple knit skirts, t-shirts, etc. Put it on inside out, mark how far to take it in (I use chalk, soap, or pins), then sew up the lines and trim the excess!

That's that! Here's the before and after:

Friday, May 8, 2015

// #thriftstylethursday // Reflections of México

Mexico is a country that is pretty dear to my heart. When I went to college, I'd decided I'd go the easy course and take Spanish as my language elective. Little did I know that would be the beginning of changing my major, my first travels to another country, actually learning a second language, falling in love with a vastly diverse people and culture (especially food), and eventually learning to dance salsa, merengue, bachata, and cumbia which led to how my husband and I met. Whew!

Well, as I spent a semester studying in Mexico, I had lots of time to wander around the markets and plazas. I brought home some treasures, and these sandals were included. I wore them just about every day there and continued to wear them for a few years after. But they've been in hibernation now for several years and it's definitely time to pull them out!

I decided to go with reds, as they are a color I associate with Mexico. This silk blouse is one of my thrifted/refashioned pieces that will last in my wardrobe for years. I love the pop of color it provides, and it's nice and cool on a hot day. The chambray skirt is another thrifted/refashioned piece that was a slightly bigger, midi length skirt in its former life. Again, another one that'll get tons of wear. The thin scarf was thrifted in Newark 4 years ago, and adds just a hint of 'ethnic' flavor though I have no knowledge of it being from Mexico.

I didn't celebrate 5 de Mayo, nor do I ever, but that is what sparked the idea for this week's theme thanks to Beth of Bethie the Boo! I love this theme as it gave me a chance to reminisce a bit, and pull out some favorites for the look. Thanks, Beth :) Make sure to go see what the other ladies came up with by clicking on their pictures.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

April Instagram Recap

Just a recap of April as seen on Instagram... ;)

Thrift Style Thursday:

Work LOTDs:


Thrifting and DIY:

 Everyday <3: