Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thrifty Thursday

I know lots of people do Thrifty Thursday on the Blog land. There is #tbt on Facebook.

I have a thrifted outfit that I really like. It has the 60's vibe that I really like. My hubby calls this my "Peggy Olson" outfit.

The dress I found at Saver's for $7.99 and the shoes were $5.99 and I got 50% off because of a sale. The cardigan is one that I have had forever.

I just found a red belt to wear with it and the hubby really likes it as it gives me more of the hour glass figure and he thinks it is sassy.

I hate how my selfies-in-the-mirror turn out, but I was at work and snapped it while I was still 'fresh' looking :)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

It wasn't meant to be

I had gotten an email from Savers that on Wednesday there were having a sale for club card members. 25% off $25 or more and 40% off $40 or more.  I really didn't need anything and really shouldn't be spending any money.  I picked up a few skirts and some pants and hit the dresses. I found one that I fell for. I mean hard.  It was a green nubbly material and from the 60's.  It still had a tag on it regarding the material. It was my size. I had my doubts.  I always thought that the sizes from that era were sized on a larger scale. My Mom said she wore a size 8 back then but it was actually a 12 in today's sizes. I couldn't even zip the darn thing.

It had beautiful beading around the neck and sleeves. It came about an inch above my knees. The bottom picture is pretty close to the actual color. It is hard to get a good photo in a teeny tiny dressing room. I didn't use a flash because I didn't want to be that crazy lady in the dressing room!

I was so heartbroken, I just left the store.

Some day I will find a real vintage dress I can buy. Until then-I hope you find a good home, pretty green dress.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Is it time for a reality escape?

It has been busy around here. Our eldest daughter moved home this weekend. We have a wedding this weekend. Then we have our youngest daughter's baby shower.

Sewing, baking, cooking-everything has been on hold. Trying to fit 4 adults and a soon to be born baby (and a dog) into the house has been challenging.

I have started making the bumper pads for the crib. She is decorating in elephants.

After discovering that I was short about 1/3 of a yard, I needed an alternative plan.  I had some yellow blizzard fleece so for the two end bumpers we will have 2 tone bumpers.

Still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we will be grandparents in less than 2 months. There are so many unanswered questions and problems. The only thing we are focusing on now is that there will be a sweet little baby here soon.  The rest will just have to work itself out.

We did find another Goodwill that is close to our house and is very clean and well laid out. It even has a designated section for Women's sizes.  Found some great deals, like this:

On top of this, it was 50% off. It fits great, it is light weight and really well made.  It was my best find yet!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Honestly, I only stopped in to browse.....

I was going to Joann Fabrics to pick up some muslin and a pattern for a shirt.  All the patterns I had many years ago are long gone-and way out of style.  I had a coupon for 40% off 1 full price item, plus a 25% coupon off of my total purchase.

However, Savers is right next to Joann's so I stopped there first. Sigh. Not good for the pocketbook. Huh, pocketbook-sounds like my Mom talking.

I found some books for the soon to be born granddaughter and was just browsing around.

I found patterns hanging on the wall in plastic bags. There were 4 patterns in each plastic bag, and they were stapled shut with a price tag.

Now, to be honest, most of them I won't use (the bags were so tightly closed, you couldn't see what was in each one). I did find three that I will try to use to make for my vacation to Portland, OR in the middle of August.  The Simplicity one shown directly above-oh my goodness, I love it!  I love 60's fashion. The pattern was listed in my dress size, but being that it is probably 40 years old, I don't know how it will correspond to current day.  The pattern is cut out and doesn't look to have been used a lot. It is such nice, heavy tissue with bold lines and the directions are so clear.

There is one for a longer tunic top that I want to try to go with some leggings I bought and another for a simple pullover top.

I couldn't stop myself from running through the apparel and shoe department. Darn it-of course I found things.

I found a denim Tommy Hilfiger dress for $10.  I usually try to only buy clothes and shoes when they have their 50% off sale, but it looked brand new.

I thought maybe I should take a little, teeny bit in by my natural waist.  One thing made me quite sad-I can see how much weight I have gained. I have had a stressful past 8 months, and I have always been a stress eater. This is visible proof that it has gotten out of hand. It is the motivation I need to get back to the gym and for making better food choices.

I also found a couple pairs of shoes. The black ones are a half size larger than I normally wear, but they were so comfy and they look brand new. When I turned them over, there was very little dirt and no scuffs or gouges. The brown ones have been worn a bit, but are in good shape. They both have chunky heels that work better for me. I'm not entirely graceful and my feet always hurt in stiletto's and pencil thin heels. 

I also found 2 more dresses that I like that will be great for vacation. So easy to throw on and go.  Those will show up later.

I've wasted my day (well, not wasted as I did learn quite a bit from watching some sewing Youtube videos) and now need to go sit at the machine and do something.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Maybe if I was Laura Ingalls Wilder.....

When Savers had their big President's Day sale, my daughter and I found some great deals.  The granddaughter has a closet full of clothes and she isn't even here yet!  I have to admit-I was pretty happy when we found out she was having a girl. It is terrible to say-but they are so much more fun to dress up!

I also lucked out. That pile of clothes I posted last week has several things I am working on now.

One item I picked up was a long brown skirt. Between the regular price and the 50% deal they had that day, it only cost me about $2. I love skirts and dresses-I would wear them all the time if I could find a bunch that fit me well. My shape looks funny in a lot of them, so when I find one that fits, I pick it up.

I liked this one as it has some seaming down the front and back-helps with my curves. I was not, however, digging the long length and the hem. It looked like they used an overlock stitch just on the edge.

I cut about 7 inches off the bottom. I then laid the bottom portion I had cut off on top of the shortened skirt to line up the seaming so the curve of the hem would be correct.

It now hits at a more flattering knee length. I pouches at bit at my stomach, but that is because of my tummy-working on that :)

The hardest thing I'm dealing with is what to pair the skirt with. I have it with my beige owl sweater above, but I would like to find something a little brighter to wear-but I never know what color I should wear with brown.  Any suggestions?

I also mentioned that I attempted my first blind hem. I tried it on this skirt. I think it turned out pretty good for my first attempt. It didn't catch in a few places so I used some fusible hem tape. I think it may have happened because I didn't iron the hem first. I was apprehensive to iron it first in case it didn't lay right or if it would pull while hemming. Learned my lesson-iron it flat first.

Off to watch the 100th episode of Glee and watch the snow fall. It is the winter that won't end.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Like a Kid in a Candy store

When I came to the realization that my money would go further if I shopped in thrift stores, it was like the proverbial light bulb went off.  Most things I have bought have needed some altering or I went in with the idea to refashion/make it over. I could get my craft vibe on and if it was dreadful, I wouldn't be out a ton of cash. If it turned out-well, new threads for me.

I had bought a new sewing machine about 6 years ago when my 20 year old one bit the dust.  I bought one with a larger sewing surface as my eldest daughter was taking a quilting class. Fast forward and she took it off to college with her.  I bought a cheap one just to have in the event I need to hem something or take up some straps on tank tops.

After finding many different blogs about people and their refashioning ideas and tutorials, I realized my cheapy machine couldn't stand up to what I wanted to experiment with.

I read many reviews and this one seemed to really fit my needs.  While it isn't a top of the line machine by any means, it sews like a dream compared to what I had.  I love the drop in bobbin-my old, old machine had it and I never had any trouble with it. My cheapy has the one on the front of the arm. It was a pain-especially because I couldn't see what I had left on the bobbin.

It is so easy to thread-I'm amazed.

I attempted my first blind hem :)

I think me and the Curvy will get along nicely.

I've finished a couple of easy re-do's, I just need to find a day to try them on and take pictures.  I didn't get out of my sweats from Friday night until I had to go back to work this morning. It was heavenly!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Pile to Do

I found some great deals a couple of weeks ago at Savers. A few disappointments as things I thought would fit didn't, but trying to think of things to do with them.

Let's see what we can do with the pile........

Friday, March 7, 2014

If I close my eyes really tight....

I swear I can almost hear the water lapping against the side of the boat. See the sun glistening across the water. Feel the fish nibbling at my toes, wanting to know if I have some bread for them today.

We started renting a cabin after our 5th wheel was totaled due to water damage.  Just the two of us for one week in a cabin from the 50's.  A bunch of windows, no air, and hotter than all get out. The second day we had to go to town and find a fan. And it came with a double bed. Now, I love my husband, but that bed was way too small when it was 95 degrees and there wasn't any moving air except for the small fan.

We spent part of every day on the boat, beaching it on the sandbar by the island. We floated, drank beer, had snacks, fed the fish and grilled.

Trying to think ahead, I was looking for light weight clothing to take with this summer.  I had found a cute skirt that was about 4 sizes bigger than what I wear. It was $3.50 plus 50% off. Figured I couldn't go wrong.

I couldn't get a shot of how wide it was because the fabric kept drooping because the hangar is only so wide

I just pinned it, ran a basting stitch to see if it fit okay and then sewed it up. I'm glad I was smart enough to do the basting stitch as it was a little tight. I tried to curve it some around my hips so it looked a little more fitted.

(excuse the really white legs-they haven't seen sun in 6 months)

This will be a cute skirt to pack for a day we run into town to browse the shops (yes-he will actually browse on vacation) and hit up the burger spot. Some flip flops and a a white t-shirt and I will be all set!

C'mon July......


Monday, March 3, 2014

I thought it was matronly. I might be changing my mind

The weather here in Minnesota sucks. Plain and simple. It has been a long, cold, snowy, icy mess of months. We are hardy stock. It is cold here in the winter but we don't let that stop us from living our lives. We have theater, music, a happening restaurant scene. We have 10,000 lakes we can ice fish on. Miles and miles of trails to snowmobile and cross country ski on.

But, we are through. It snowed in November and pretty much hasn't stopped. No one can park anywhere because there is so much snow, there is no where to put it. 2 lane roads are now a lane and a half at best. Snowbanks are so tall, you take your life in your hands when you try to turn onto a street because you can't see what is coming. We are SO over this winter.

People are now just staying indoors and hibernating. I've been reading blogs and shopping at the secondhand stores.

We have Savers here in Minnesota-I don't know if they are nationwide, just in the Midwest, or just here in MN.  We had such nasty weather that the President's Day sale had to be extended a week and a half later.  They had a deal for card holders for another day of 50% off clothes, shoes and something else I wasn't interested in. I scored pretty big. For myself I found 2 dresses, a skirt, 2 shirts, 2 sweaters, a blazer and 5 novels. For my daughter (the pregnant one), I found a pair of maternity jeans, a scrubs top and scrubs bottoms. For the baby, I found 5 onsies, a pair of jeans, a skirt, a sweater and 2 pairs of jammies.


I picked this one because I liked the dress portion. Basic black. Thought that if it needed any alterations, it would be minimal.  I picked it up off the rack because I saw the jacket. Though it would be something worn to a holiday party by an older middle management woman who drank to much cheap champagne and kissed her intern and sang bad karaoke. It was something I would never wear.  I didn't try the dress on (I won't try on items from second hand stores until I wash them), but it was a size larger than I normally wear. I washed the dress and tried it on. I may be changing my mind about the jacket. It is so comfy and has great stretch and is really light weight. Just looking at the pics it looks really heavy. The shoulder pads and buttons have to go. The dress needs to be shortened. What do you think I should do with the jacket? Put some funky buttons on it? Try to shorten it, plus the funky buttons?



Sunday, March 2, 2014

First Refashion. And it's a failure.

One day in January, my baby Mama daughter and I were hitting up a local mall looking for some clearance sales to see if we could find some clothes to get her through her pregnancy. She is a little over 5' 8" tall and about a size negative 2. She DID NOT get that from her Mama! I had just found a couple of blogs that were about refashioning and when we went into Old Navy, I found a cream and light brown t-shirt on clearance for $2.50.  I had read a post about making a knit shirt into a cardigan, so I scooped that baby up. I also found 2 dresses and a blouse. $34 bucks later, I was walking out with ideas swirling in my head.

At this point, I hadn't thought about recording my purchases or even starting a blog.

I have no before pics.

Women's Perfect Tees
It is similar to this, only it is cream and brown.

I folded it in half, cut up the middle front. I Cut out some satin material in to strips, sewed and pressed and then took strips of a type of tulle, burnt the edges with a flame so the wouldn't fray and sewed them on.

It looks horrible. I didn't cut the satin long enough to compensate for the knit stretching a bit.  The ruffly tulle didn't turn out the same width, so one side sticks out way too far. It is heavy, so the front flips open and yo can see the horrible sewing job.

I am going to pick the satin and tulle off and see if maybe I can use material to make a bias tape to add at least a little interest to it.

Failure is how we learn. Man, I have a lot to learn.


Friday, February 28, 2014

Meet Mabel

This is Mabel. Yes, yes that is a pillow case stuffed with quilt batting, on a reused broom handle stuck in my yoga mat with a belt on.

I learned to sew in 7th grade. I made a stuffed animal pillow. That was it. Other than how to thread a machine and a bobbin and sew a straight line. When it was offered again when I was in high school, it was an elective. In my mind, the only elective I wanted was Yearbook. In 10th grade I had to take Basic Journalism and in our last semester we got to 'try out' for either the Beacon staff (our high school newspaper) or the Saga staff (our yearbook). I loved English-because I loved to read. The whole punctuation, pronoun, eloquent writing-it didn't matter. All I wanted to do was work on the yearbook. I dreamed about it since I was in Junior high. I didn't want popularity....well, I did. What 13 year old girl didn't? But I wanted to portray what life was really like in high school. My class had 424 students-if I remember right, but only about 399 of us actually graduated that night. We were big. So were many other inner city schools. But we were the Knights. The mighty, mighty Knights. We had spirit and pride. I wanted to show everyone the pride I took in my school. We had to write a story for our school newspaper to be considered for both the paper and the yearbook. I wrote about the Aqua Knights. It was a synchronized swim team that was making a comeback after almost a decade long hiatus from our school. I only had one critique of my writing (which surprised the heck out of me), but my story was published and I became a member of the Saga team. During my Junior and Senior year, I was the co-editor, then full editor of the Clubs and Activities section of our yearbook. I think it was the highlight of high school for me.

What does this have to do with sewing? I never took a Home Ec class again because I was to busy with Yearbook.

My Mom sewed a lot when I was young. She had to as we were quite poor.Back then it was economical to sew. The ready to wear fashion was way to expensive compared to today. Things ready made were quality products, mostly made in the USA.

When my parents were finally able to afford buying a house, my Mom went to work after I was in school full time. She found it so fun that we could take the bus downtown and she could afford to take us to Dayton's to buy an outfit. Dayton's was the epitome of high style. The stores were beautiful, the displays were exquisite and the prices were expensive-at least to us. Mom always preached that just because we were poor, we didn't have to look poor. This is why she sewed us cute outfits out of 'tent' dresses. They were always trimmed with rick rack and piping and ruffles. She ironed and starched. She set our hair in curlers. We always looked presentable.

She never believed in trends or had to have it styles. Classic and timeless were her goals. While I hated it as a child (I just wanted a darn pair of Gloria Vanderbuilt or Bill Blass jeans!), she was into jumpers, 'slacks' and sweaters. What she bought us lasted until we outgrew them.

When I got married, my husband wanted me to be a stay at home wife and mother. Well, 9 months and 2 weeks after we got married, we had our first daughter. Since we had one income and a baby, I bought a machine and started to sew simple dresses for our daughter. I made a dress here and there for myself. I bought a book and did some trial and error.  I was not going to be the next Calvin Klein.

We had a second daughter and things happened, and I needed to go back to work. Sewing took a back seat and then I found different things that helped feed my artistic side.

Our kids are now 20 and 23. One is about to be a mother-that is a different story altogether. We are feeling the pinch as I was laid off and when I found a job, it was making less than I had before. I love my job, but we can feel the purse strings tightening around us every day.  I had often shopped Goodwill and Savers for the girls because they grew so fast. It didn't make sense to spend $40 on a pair of jeans that they would wear for 6-9 months. The youngest couldn't wear hand me downs as a teen since her sister and her were shaped so differently.  I would never buy stuff second hand because I always thought that after growing up poor, I deserved to buy things I wanted.

Times change. Perspective changes. Life changes.  I discovered some refashion blogs just looking at Google about how to take in a pair of pants.  I started finding more and more people who were going to resale shops and making over hideous clothing into art.

I wanted to try my hand. See if I could do something like that.

My nicer machine went to college with our eldest daughter as she learned how to quilt her Senior year of school. I wasn't using it much, so I let her take it.  I bought a cheap Singer for myself. I need to look at a better machine. I waited for sales at Goodwill and Savers and purchased a few things. Cheap things that if I totally sucked, I wouldn't be out a lot of money.

Practically every blog I visited had a dress form.  I can't justify the money to buy one at this point as I don't know how this experiment will turn out.  So I measured myself, stuffed a pillow case with batting, put a belt on to pull in the ever so slight waistline I have, and stuck it on a pole.  For now it will help me at least with taking items in.

She isn't perfect, but neither am I. She is Mabel.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

It's time to try something new..

It is time for a new chapter. I have had a food blog for a few years, but haven't posted much in the last year and a half. We had some big changes-and small changes-and I wasn't feeling the food love anymore.  However, I still wanted an outlet. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram-I use them all, but there needs to be a place to chat, create, enjoy.

Our life is changing now. Our girls are grown; one is having a baby. We are moving into the next chapter of our lives. We get to slow down and enjoy each other. We get to leave at a moments notice and just go have fun. We get to sit on the couch and watch bad TV and be glad we aren't anywhere else.

While I still love to cook and bake, I'm looking for a new outlet.  I have found several blogs that cover refashioning, upcycling and re-making clothing.  My Mom did this back in the 60's and 70's.  She would go to Goodwill and the Salvation Army and find large 'tent dresses' as she called them, and cut them apart and use to make clothes for us.  When she started working, she delighted in being able to go and buy ready to wear items.  She still sewed, but for pleasure-not necessity. I learned a little from her, a little in school and now some on the Interweb.  I like the idea of keeping something out of the landfill, reusing something that still has life, and being able to have a large wardrobe but not having funds to buy all the stuff I would like.

I'm a beginner. I don't know all the correct terms. I'm making it up as I go along.  But I guess that is the beauty. There are no rules-there is only life as we make it.

If anyone comes along for the ride, that will be great. If not, I still have my place to come and be creative.

It's time to see what I can do.