Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sorta Sorbetto

Today's outfit started as an ill-fitting dress and a pair of awkward-length capris. The dress came from last fall's clothes swap. It fit in the shoulders but was clearly intended for someone much perkier than I, like maybe a 12-year-old. Seriously, the supposed-under-bust seam hit me right at the nipples, so I had these weird empty dress-boobs a few inches above my actual boobs. Not attractive.

Sorta Sorbetto Top and Pink PantsSorta Sorbetto Top and Pink Pants

And then I picked up these pink pants at Goodwill the other day for a couple bucks. They fit great, but I wasn't thrilled with the length. They'll be a super simple fix, so let's tackle those first.

Sorta Sorbetto Top and Pink PantsSorta Sorbetto Top and Pink Pants

Saturday, July 20, 2013

First Impressions

I feel like the first things you see when you walk into a person's house should give you a feel for their style. Our new dining room, just off the foyer, did not do that. It does now, but let's start from the beginning, shall we? Again, I offer you the before picture from the real estate listing:

Entry & Dining Room Makeover - Before

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pretty in Pink

I found this lovely fuchsia dress at the thrift store recently for just $3, and in my size even! Hey, sometimes you get lucky.

Pretty in Pink -  Before

Monday, July 15, 2013

46 Years of Yarn

My friend Brenda brought me a present on Friday - a stack of craft books from her friend's late mother, Edna. I had such a great time flipping through these treasures this weekend, and I would like to share with you some of my observations and thoughts.

My first impression: I love the smell of Grandma (even if it's not my Grandma), and I love the smell of books. Combine the two and I was in nostalgia heaven.

Crafting seemed to be a long-term love of Edna's. These books span five decades - from 1941 to 1987.

Edna's Knitting Books

Edna's interests ran the gamut of fiber arts. Though these books are mostly to do with knitting, you will also occasionally find crochet, sewing, tatting, macrame, needlepoint, cross-stitch, embroidery, hooked rugs, and even decorated eggs.

A number of well-known brands/publishers are represented, but Edna seemed to favor Bernat, Columbia-Minerva, and Spinnerin. Or this could also simply be an indication of the dominant brands at the time.

The further back you go, the more models you'll see with cigarettes in hand or mouth.

I guffawed at the atrocious patterns - those I hope never, ever come back in style.
I admired the true classics - those I could see being worn today exactly as the pattern pictures them.
I contemplated the near-misses - those I could see being easily altered in small ways to make them wearable today. For example, could we maybe nix those shoulder pads?

I marveled at the intricacies of the colorwork on men's golf socks.

Most of all though, I loved reading the little handwritten notes in the margins. I could easily pick out those patterns Edna had knitted, especially if she had made any modifications and scribbled her calculations in the white space.

On a sheet of custom stationary stuck between the pages of one book, I found a hand-written pattern for a dishcloth with a personal note on the back from someone named Noami. She hoped Edna would enjoy making the dishcloth. She described her current works-in-progress. And she lamented that she and Edna did not live closer to one another so they could share more knitting patterns. Just imagine how they might have felt about Ravelry!

I began to ponder what future generations would think if they peruse my craft book collection. For starters, the sheer volume I've accumulated in only nine years is a bit on the obsessive side. My fondness for sock knitting would certainly be obvious, as would the infrequency with which I make baby items. It actually makes me a little sad though to think about the complete absence in my books of what I loved most from Edna's collection - those scribbled notes. I never write in my books; I won't even dog-ear pages. And the only bits of paper you'll find between the pages are probably just the receipts for each book being used to mark a pattern I like. Am I depriving some future-knitter of the experience Edna gave me? Or maybe my books just tell a different story, one I'm too close to see.

Regardless, I'd like to thank Edna, and her daughter and Brenda, for allowing me to learn more about this woman I never met and letting me carry on her legacy in some small way.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Gone Refashin'

Hey, everybody! You may have heard about a little thing called Refashion Month happening over at House of Estrela. I was ever so flattered when Magda of HoE asked me to join in! Today's my feature, so pop on over to see how I turned this large dress into a flowy summer top.

Tie a Bow Around It - Before & After

And yes, those shorts are another pair of wide-leg trousers remade, using the same process as these.

Grey Trouser Shorts - Before & After

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Bad to the Bone

Right before we moved, I picked up this tee for $12 at Buffalo Exchange. That's more than I would usually pay at a thrift store, but have you seen this shirt? It has a skeleton on it. Riding a unicorn skeleton. How much more badass can you get?

Bad to the Bone Tee - Before

Unfortunately, there was just one big, huge, XXXL problem.

Bad to the Bone Tee - Before

Also in my refashion pile were these chocolate brown, wide-leg trousers I scored for $2 at another store. That's makes up for the cost of the shirt, right?

Bad to the Bone Tee & Trouser Shorts - BeforeBad to the Bone Tee & Trouser Shorts - Before

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Craft Cave

Yeah, that's right. If the Dude can have his Man Cave, then I get a craft cave. That was part of the deal when we started looking for a house. I agreed that it could serve a dual purpose as a guest room as well, on those rare occasions, but I wanted a separate room - with a door and a closet for storage - for my creative space. Here's what I got:

Craft Room Makeover - Before

This is the photo from the real estate listing. The previous owner was using it as a sitting room of sorts. It was a decent-sized space, with large windows for plenty of natural light and two closets (one medium-sized and one no wider than the door). Yeah, I could work with this.