Thursday, July 21, 2016

Going Tribal

When I saw its brightly colored tribal print on the racks at Thrift City, I knew this maxi dress had to come home with me. Unfortunately, the torso was a bit too tight, and I wasn't keen on the peekaboo waistline or the side slits either. And of course, as I've mentioned before, I just never wear maxi dresses. But, having fallen madly in love with my last dress refashion, I immediately knew I wanted another one like it.

Tribal Dress Refashion - BeforeTribal Dress Refashion - BeforeTribal Dress Refashion - Before

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Stripes and Flowers

So. Who wants to know what I did with the top portion of the floral dress used in this project from a couple weeks ago?

Floral T-Shirt Dress Refashion - Before & After

Yes, I thought you might. All that was left was the bust part and its ruffle, along with a little bit I had trimmed from the skirt to even out the high-low hem. So I brought in a striped maxi skirt (already refashioned once) to create something new for my summer wardrobe.

Stripes and Floral Dress Refashion - BeforeStripes and Floral Dress Refashion - Before

Monday, July 04, 2016

Red, White, and Refashioned

When I spotted this skirt at Goodwill a couple months ago, I immediately knew it wanted to be part of an Independence Day refashion. The navy and white stars and stripes would look cute with a number of different colored tops and accessories, but would be perfectly patriotic when paired with red. So I rummaged through my refashionables and came up with a red tunic with lovely cross-stitch details, which I acquired from a clothes swap. Unfortunately, the skirt's elastic was completely shot and the length was a bit awkward. The tunic had damaged ties and a small ink(?) stain, and was a bit too tight around the chest.

Stars and Stripes Skirt - BeforeEmbroidered Tank Top - BeforeEmbroidered Tank Top - Before

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Floral T-Shirt Dress

As summer burns hotter and hotter each day, I find myself in need of more lightweight, breezy dresses to keep as cool as possible. I actually made this dress several weeks ago, but only just got around to snapping pics. It all started with this $3 damaged dress with the most adorable floral pattern and that silly high-low hem that was, for reasons still unclear to me, so popular for a while there.

Floral T-Shirt Dress Refashion - BeforeFloral T-Shirt Dress Refashion - Before

For a quick conversion, I decided to simply join the skirt to an existing t-shirt. So I rummaged through my dresser and came up with this purple tee, which I very seldom wear. It coordinates perfectly with the purple flowers in the dress' pattern.

Floral T-Shirt Dress Refashion - Before

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thrift Style Thursday: Wedding Bell Blues

Happy Thrift Style Thursday, everyone, even though I just barely made it! I have a wedding to attend this coming weekend, so I thought I'd give you a sneak peak of the thrifted duds I plan to don for the occasion.

Thrift Style Thursday: Wedding Bell Blues

Thrift Style Thursday: Wedding Bell Blues

I picked up this cheery floral dress a couple months ago with the intention of refashioning it. I didn't even try it on at the time. But as the day approaches and my nothing-to-wear-ness grows more urgent, I decided to give this baby a whirl. Why not, right?

Thrift Style Thursday: Wedding Bell Blues

Thrift Style Thursday: Wedding Bell Blues

As luck would have it, the dress fit marvelously! And for an outdoor wedding... in June... in Texas... yeah, I needed something in light-weight cotton. This dress will do quite nicely. Since heels could pose a problem at an outdoor wedding, I'm going with my turquoise leather Nine West flats to be safe.

Thrift Style Thursday: Wedding Bell BluesThrift Style Thursday: Wedding Bell Blues

Thrift Style Thursday: Wedding Bell Blues

For an extra pop of color, I added my purple leather Fossil bag and some jewelry in shades of purple and blue as well, which I gather from the invitation will be the color theme for the whole affair.

Thrift Style Thursday: Wedding Bell Blues

Thrift Style Thursday: Wedding Bell Blues

So I've got my "old" dress (well, old to the previous owner), which also happens to be "new" (new-to-me!), and I've got my blue! Nothing borrowed, but then, I'm not the bride, so who cares!

Thrift Style Thursday: Wedding Bell Blues
Dress: $3 Thrift City // Shoes: $5 Yerdle // Bag: Free from a friend // Tanzanite necklace: gift from The Dude // Cherry quartz earrings: $26 Etsy // Sapphire ring: $32 Etsy

Don't forget to check out the other TST ladies' outfits this week, or you can even add your own thrifted goodness to our linkup!


Thursday, June 09, 2016

Thrift Style Thursday: Summer Lovin'

We're continuing with our theme-free Thrift Style Thursdays for right now, so I thought I'd share one of my most recent thrifted, and shockingly not refashioned garments.

Thrift Style Thursday: Summer Lovin'

Thrift Style Thursday: Summer Lovin'Thrift Style Thursday: Summer Lovin'Thrift Style Thursday: Summer Lovin'

This thrifted dress, originally from Old Navy, just makes me so happy! It's so bright and cheery, and it's gonna be super comfy, even when it's a billion degrees out. We're only up to a million so far this summer, but give it a month or two.

Thrift Style Thursday: Summer Lovin'Thrift Style Thursday: Summer Lovin'

Thrift Style Thursday: Summer Lovin'
Dress: $3 Thrift City // Belt: $2 Old Navy clearance // Sandals: $5 Yerdle // Bracelet: gifted // Ring: $4 Yerdle

Don't forget to check out what everyone else is up to this week by clicking on the other TST ladies' posts in the linkup below. You can even join in by adding your own link to show off something you've thrifted!

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

The Beginner's Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns

With a little more free time lately, I was finally able to finish perusing Kate Atherley's newest book, The Beginner's Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns. While I may be a bit more than a beginner by now, I certainly don't fancy myself an expert either, and this book has plenty of knowledge to impart to all levels.

I've actually had the pleasure of corresponding with Ms. Atherley personally in her duties as tech editor for Knitty, and reading her book feels just like chatting with her one-on-one. Her writing style is laid-back and conversational, a very easy read.

The Beginner's Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns

I've often said I need to go back and re-issue all my older patterns from when I first started designing, and now I feel even more strongly that I should do so. For one thing, a lot of them are only available as blog posts, which are difficult to print nicely, of course. Even the most popular blog patterns, which I converted to pdfs a few years ago for easier printing, could still stand to be overhauled. I made some classic mistakes back then, mistakes which Kate addresses in her book, things like "continue in pattern as set." Not every knitter is going to recognize the pattern of increases/decreases or cabling or whathaveyou. On some of my patterns, I still get the same questions over and over again. For example, "I don't know how to knit in the round. How would you modify your preemie hat pattern to be worked on straight needles?" While that's not technically a mistake, it's still a simple modification that I could incorporate into the pattern to make it more accessible to more knitters.

These are things I would think are common sense now, but looking back at my newbie stuff, that clearly wasn't the case. I suppose reading and writing so many patterns over the years, I've just absorbed some of this knowledge. Kate's book smacks you in the face with it though - gently, of course - and makes you realize just how differently all our brains work. Time to get cracking on some pattern updates and implement some of the things I've learned in my upcoming designs too!

Looking to score some awesome craft books for yourself? Checkout the Annual Interweave Book Sale going on right now!


Sunday, June 05, 2016

I've made a huge mistake...

When Laika was a puppy, just five months old, I made her a lime green bean bag-ish mattress to go in her crate. As I mentioned at the time, she had gotten better about only chewing on her toys and not furniture, shoes, windowsills, etc. Well, she'd gotten better, but was clearly not completely broken of the habit. A couple weeks later, we came home one evening after dinner out to find Laika looking simultaneously guilty and proud of herself, surrounded by bits of green fleece and foam. Sigh. Yep, that's puppyhood for you. So we went back to another folded up old blanket in her crate after that, and she only nibbled on it a couple times.

Flash forward a couple years, and she hasn't chewed anything up since then, so let's try this again, shall we? This time, I used remnants of old jeans and other denim bits (I have two big plastic bins of just denim). I cut long rectangles from the legs of several old jeans and pieced them together into two large rectangles, about a foot longer and wider than her crate and in order from light to dark for a sort of ombre effect. I laid the two rectangles down with right sides facing. Then I took apart an old floor cushion we never use to salvage its foam, which will fit perfectly in Laika's crate. I plan to make flaps on each side that will fold up like a bumper in a baby's crib, so I cut a square out of each corner of the denim pieces and evened up the edges.

Denim Dog Bed - In ProgressDenim Dog Bed - In Progress

Next, I serged all the edges and snipped up eight pieces of elastic, each about 2 inches long.

Denim Dog Bed - In ProgressDenim Dog Bed - In Progress

As I sewed the two large pieces of denim together, leaving a hole for turning right-side-out and stuffing later, I sandwiched a piece of elastic in between the layers at each outer corner. Then I went back and added a large black button to each corner as well.

Denim Dog Bed - In ProgressDenim Dog Bed - In Progress

I cut some foam into long strips and stuffed the first bumper flap. Then I sew through both layers of denim as close to the foam as I could to keep it in place. I repeated this process on the two shorter end flaps, then the center of the mattress, and finally the last long flap. Then I grabbed a needle and thread and sat down to watch some television while I hand-sewed the hole closed.

Denim Dog Bed - In ProgressDenim Dog Bed - In Progress

As soon as I was finished stitching, I looped each bit of elastic around the adjacent button to hold the flaps up, then set it on the floor and called Laika over to check it out. I think she approved. She even lay in it next to my desk while I worked the next day, looking out the window, keeping on an eye out for any critters in her yard.

Denim Dog Bed - AfterDenim Dog Bed - After

Unfortunately, sometimes, my sewing is just too good, you know? It seems Laika actually prefers her new crate pad to sleeping in the king size bed with us. Yeah, that smarts.

Denim Dog Bed - After

She even naps in her crate during the day now, or just sits there and stares intently out the back windows.

Denim Dog Bed - After

But at least this is my view in front of my desk as I work most days. And maybe, when it starts to get cooler again, she'll go back to snuggling with us at night. For body warmth, of course, not because she loves us or needs us around or anything.

Denim Dog Bed - After

Thursday, June 02, 2016

The Return of Thrift Style Thursday

It's back! Thrift Style Thursday is back! Have you missed it as much as I have? Are you interested in seeing everyone else's thrift finds or maybe even joining us? Read all the way to the bottom for a link-up to other TST participants and a way to add your own link to our little blog hop! There's no specific theme this week, as we ease back into things, so feel free to show off whatever thrifty goodness you like. I thought I'd just share with you some of my newest acquisitions.

I didn't actually thrift this awesome little dress with a Doctor Who print. No, this one came from Andrea, of Little Did You Know. She found it at her local thrift shop, posted a pic on Instagram (which may or may not have caused me to drool on my phone a bit - I'm not telling), and was kind enough to go back the next day and get it for me! Isn't she the bestest? It was way too short, but I've already refashioned and worn it - just need to get pics taken so I can post more details. And that sweet polka dot dress actually went home with a friend of mine a couple clothes swaps ago, but she decided she didn't like it and brought it back to the last swap just for me. A little short and tight on the hips, so there may be some refashioning in its future too.

Clothes Swap HaulClothes Swap Haul

Speaking of the most recent clothes swap, that's been about all the "shopping" I've had time for lately (let's not even talk about the lack of blogging...eesh!), but I did manage to find lots of goodies there! For example, this cozy purple pullover that will be perfect next winter, as well as a crazy jungle print tiered skirt, a lace tank top, and a gored floral skirt for refashioning.

Clothes Swap HaulClothes Swap Haul

I'm on the fence about this lace/knit/sheer cardigan. Granny-chic or just granny? One of the sleeves has a dropped stitch in the lace pattern, but I'm pretty confident I can repair it.

Clothes Swap HaulClothes Swap Haul

This sheer silk top is really cool, but I'm not sure how flattering it is. I'll probably wear it a time or two as is before I decide if I want it to stay that way or not.

Clothes Swap HaulClothes Swap Haul

This chambray shirt is perfectly wearable as is, but not so much for the shaggy tulle skirt. I have plans to turn into the perfect party dress by pulling it up over the bust and adding some sort of straps (currently just pinned to my dress form in the second photo).

Clothes Swap HaulClothes Swap Haul

I also acquired some wardrobe staples, like a simple black cardigan, a black tee, two tank tops in pink and blue, and two pairs of jeans. The tanks and jeans also came from the same friend who gave me the polka dot dress above.

Clothes Swap HaulClothes Swap HaulClothes Swap Haul

The swap also yielded a couple jackets whose destiny is as yet unknown. The yellow and black houndstooth wool was too good to pass up though, and the second one had me at polka dot lining. Those shoulder pads though!

Clothes Swap HaulClothes Swap HaulClothes Swap Haul

In the accessory department, I found a nice paisley scarf with beautiful autumnal colors and a hint of gold sparkle.

Clothes Swap HaulClothes Swap Haul

Even some jewelry came home with me, like these dainty little knuckle rings...

Clothes Swap Haul

...and this cute glass pendant, which only needed its dated ribbon choker swapped out for a long chain.

Clothes Swap HaulClothes Swap Haul