Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday Thrift Score: Sweater Weather

I love that it's finally sweater season! Unfortunately, I recently cleaned out a bunch of winter wear I haven't worn in a while, so it's time to restock! That's one of the best things about a thrifted wardrobe - if you're sick of last year's garments, you don't have to feel guilty about replacing them.

I stopped by my local Goodwill store a couple weeks ago and picked up a few necessities.

1. Grey Merona (Target) cardigan for $4
2. Turquoise J Crew pullover for $6
3. Grey American Eagle pullover for $6

Grey Meron CardiganTurquoise J Crew SweaterGrey AE Sweater

And yesterday I visited Thrift City for a few more solids...

4. Beige Gap pullover with button detail for $4
5. Charcoal slouchy Gap sweater for $4
6. Purple 100% cashmere deep-v dolman pullover for $4

Beige Gap SweaterGrey Gap SweaterPurple Cashmere Sweater

...and some stripes too!

7. Pink and grey Aeropostale sweater for $6
8. Navy and green slouchy Gap sweater for $6 (This one still had the original $45 tags on it, and it's exactly the same sweater as the charcoal one above but with stripes)
9. Coral and peach Gap cashmere blend pullover for $3

Striped Aeropostale SweaterStriped Gap SweaterStriped Gap Cashmere Sweater

As you can probably tell, I'm quite fond of v-neck and wide-neck pullovers. They're great for layering with tank tops or camisoles. Now into the wash they go so I can start wearing them!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Elementary, My Dear Readers

While I had capes on the brain this past weekend, I also came across this cute little skirt in my refash stash.  If it had been a hair larger, and if I were **coughcough** years younger, I may have worn it as is. But alas, it did not fit my size or my age.

Sherlock CapeletSherlock Capelet

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Sew-Day: Plaid & Velvet

My recent refashions have been fairly simple, so I was itching for a more involved project. I've made a skirt out of a jacket before - twice actually - so perhaps it's time I try making outerwear from a skirt, don't you think? I pulled these beauties out of my craft closet - an XXL black velvet blazer given to me by a friend and a green and black woven skirt from a couple clothes swaps ago. The plaid and the pleat on the skirt just screamed, "I want to be a cape coat!" to me, so a cape coat it shall be.

Green Plaid Cape - BeforeGreen Plaid Cape - Before

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hirsute Hat

This pattern has been two years in the making. In 2012, I had this brilliant idea to knit my nephews a couple of bearded hats to resemble their father (my brother).

Dad Hats

And now, finally, you can do the same for yourself or your follicly-challenged friends and family. I've experimented with different stitch patterns and yarn colors to yield nine completely different looks. I've even included interchangeability as a feature, so you don't have to settle for just one beard all the time. You can switch them out to suit your daily facial hair fancies.

Hirsute Hat

Buy, fave, or queue on Ravelry!

Head circumference = 18[20, 22, 24]in/46[51, 56, 61]cm
To fit = Toddler[Child, Adult Small, Adult Large]

Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted [100% wool; 245yd/224m per 100g]; color: 144W Limestone; 105[120, 135, 150]yds/96[110, 123, 137]m
Small amounts of worsted yarn in various hair colors and skin tone (see beard instructions for individual yarn requirements)
US6/4mm circular needle
Tapestry needle
Buttons (2 per beard)
Sewing needle
Thread to match beards

18sts/24rows = 4in/10cm in stockinette stitch

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sunday Sew-Day: Holey Moley!

Learning a new skill can sometimes take longer than one expects. Such is the cause of this post's delay.

This was my favorite sweater last autumn. I probably wore it once a week.

Embroider Sweater - Before

Then a tiny, little puppy came along, with her tiny, little, needle-like puppy teeth, and this sweater paid the price. It was nothing malicious, mind you, just an accidental snag, but still. My favorite sweater gone in an instant.

Embroider Sweater - Before

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Stitches

I've completed a couple knitting projects lately, and while the two patterns are very different, I really loved working up both of them and feel they each have their merits.

First there was the Petal Cowl by Xandy Peters. This was an impulsive cast on, which is rather rare for me. I'm usually a fairly monogamous knitter, and I like to spend hours planning what my next project should be. But one day last month, I saw Xandy's Fox Paws pattern on the Ravelry home page and went browsing her designs. I was intrigued by the dramatic waves in these two patterns, and I knew I had several color-changing yarns in my stash that would be ideal.

Petal Cowl

So I immediately dug out my Lang Mille Colori Socks & Lace yarn and cast on. The technique employed to create those extreme stripes is a little fiddly, but well worth the effort. For each pattern repeat, you increase from 300 stitches up to 550 in one round and then decrease back to 300 again a few rounds later. The pattern was definitely involved enough to keep me interested, but not so difficult as to be intimidating.

Petal Cowl

Then I had a doctor's appointment this past week and knew from past experience there was likely to be some hardcore waiting in my future. With the epic scarf becoming more and more epic by the day, it's also becoming less and less portable. So I needed a small, mindless project to make me feel productive in the waiting room. After seeing a couple of friends make the Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure, I knew it would fit the bill nicely. Not to mention, I have sock yarn coming out my ears.


I chose a hank of yarn I got at last month's Yarn Crawl - Two If By Hand's MCN High Twist in the colorway Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock (many of their colorways are Big-Bang-Theory-themed). I opted to use a long-tail tubular cast-on, as demonstrated by Ysolda Teague, rather than the regular long tail method. I just like the way a tubular cast-on looks with ribbing; it's a personal preference. Other than that, I remained faithful to the pattern. This hat was exactly what the doctor ordered - repetitive ribbing followed by simple stockinette stitch. It's the perfect pattern to stick in your bag for an unknown amount of waiting room time.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Just a Quickie

All I had time for this week was a super quick take-in, but sometimes, that's really all a garment needs to be rejuvenated. Take this argyle cardigan given to me by a friend (who just hit her 100-pounds-lost mark this morning!!). As I've said, I totally heart argyle, so I knew I had to salvage this one somehow.

Argyle Cardi - Before

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Sunday Sew-Day: Simple Fixes

Over the last week, I've taken care of those half-dozen clothes swap garments that only needed a little tweaking. Let's start with the simplest and work our way up, shall we?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Vested Interest

We all know I love to knit and I love to refashion thrift store garments. So why not combine the two passions? I picked up this little pullover a couple years back (it may have been at one of the first clothes swaps I attended - I can't recall). I adore argyle, but sadly, this was only worn once, maybe twice.

Sweater Vest Refashion - Before

It's the short sleeves. They're weird. If I'm going to wear a sweater, I want an actual sweater. Like, one with long sleeves. Plus, the ribbed band at the bottom always turned up, no matter what I did. I do like to layer up in the winter though, so an argyle vest would be perfect!

Sweater Vest Refashion - Before

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Baby, it's cold outside

When the weather turns cooler, I tend to yearn for yarn more and more.

Mini Mania Scarf - In Progress
Mini Mania Scarf in progress, worked in lots of sock yarn leftovers

I can spend entire days camped out on the couch, needles in hand and Netflix on screen.

Mini Mania Scarf - In Progress
600 stitches cast on, 150 rows and 11 inches wide thus far.

It's the perfect way to pass a lazy, chilly Sunday...

Mini Mania Scarf - In Progress

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday Thrift Score: Fall 2014 Clothes Swap

Monday evening, I was so excited to be able to attend the semi-annual Echo Theatre Clothes Swap once again. And with good reason! I always come home with fabulous treasures, as well as ridiculous refashionables. This swap was no exception! Here's the list...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Sew-Day: Think Pink

Hey look, it's another one of those unflattering, strapless, shirred dresses I always fall for and then never wear. Whatever shall I do with this one...

Pink Print Tee - Before

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Meet Rosy!

Yesterday, my friendly neighborhood FedEx man brought me a present - a big one!
Laika gave it a thorough sniffing to make sure everything was on the up-and-up.

Meet Rosy

Once she gave the all-clear, I sliced it open to find my beautiful new dress form! I'm calling her Rosy. She came in a few pieces that were very easily assembled by one person - wheels, base, pole, and body.

Meet Rosy

The base is made of sturdy cast iron, so I don't have to worry about it tipping over like some models I've seen. Wheels are great for portability as well as spinnability while I'm mid-project. Her measurements are pretty darn close to mine - a little small in the waist and hips, but the bust is spot on.

I was so excited to see her, I had to give her a test drive immediately. So I pulled out a fleece jacket a friend gave me after weight loss made it too big for her. It was too big for me as well, but we can fix that!

Fleece Jacket - Before

There were also some weird blue-ish/purple-ish faded spots from where it was left out in the sun in my friend's car. No biggie since I plan to use this as my working-out/dog-park-going jacket this autumn.

Fleece Jacket - Before

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Sew-Day:Tie-Dye Top

I don't know why I do this. I see these adorable strapless dresses with the shirred busts and think how cute they are, how comfortable they'll be in the Texas heat, and how easy it'll be to just toss one on and go, without a care in the world!

Tie-Dye Top - Before

Then I remember how much boob I have and how strapless dress implies strapless bra. I mean, I couldn't even be bothered to put on my strapless bra for this before picture. What are the odds I'd do so any other day? Yep, pretty darn slim.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Yarn Crawl Yarn Haul

For the past three years, the fiber enthusiasts of the North Texas area - knitters, crocheters, spinners, all of them! - have banded together to celebrate my birthday in style with the DFW Yarn Crawl!

MadTosh Tosh Merino Light
MadTosh Tosh Merino Light Mini Skeins in Thistle, Vintage Sari, Log Cabin, Jade, Graphite,
Aquitaine, Mirth, and Fathom - Purchased at MadTosh Crafts in Fort Worth, Texas

For over a week, these intrepid tricoteuses trek around the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, visiting as many amazing yarn shops as their schedules and wallets will allow.

Vice Blurred Lines
Vice Blurred Lines in My Bloody Valentine - Purchased at Fiber Circle in Farmersville, Texas

But it's not just yarn shops. There are also farms, where you can see and pet the animals that produce that fiber.

Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace & Cascade Yarns Forest Hills
Top: Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace in color 2462 - Purchased at JenningStreet Yarns in Fort Worth, Texas
Bottom: Cascade Forest Hills in Silver - Purchased at Holley's Yarn Shoppe in Dallas, Texas

There is a knitwear manufacturer, where you can take a tour of the factory and watch the machines at work.

Fiber Lady Superwash Sock
Fiber Lady Superwash Sock in Chocolate Cherries - Purchased at The Fiber Lady in Lewisville, Texas

Many of these savvy stitchers challenge themselves to visit all 15 stores, spanning an almost 100-mile radius.

Dye2Spin Lace
Dye2Spin Lace in New Mexico Skies - Purchased at Wildflower Studio in McKinney, Texas

These noble men and women throw caution to the wind, abandon all pretense of a yarn diet, and amass considerable stashes beyond the limits of what one person could feasibly knit, crochet, or weave in a lifetime.

Two If By Hand MCN High Twist
Two If By Hand MCN High Twist in Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock
Purchased at Knitting Fairy in Grand Prairie, Texas

Those brave brandishers of hook and needle make such sacrifices and go to such great lengths to honor the anniversary of my birth. It really is quite touching.

Lotus Mimi & The Barbed Dragon Dragon's Wing & Dream in Color Wisp
Left: Lotus Mimi in color 18- Purchased at JenningStreet Yarns in Fort Worth, Texas
Center: The Barbed Dragon Dragon's Wing in Elba - Purchased at Jacob's Reward Farm in Parker, Texas
Right: Dream in Color Wisp in Absolute Magenta - Purchased at Yarn & Stitches in Dallas, Texas

Okay, so maybe it's not really intended to celebrate my birthday, but the timing is pretty convenient, don't ya think?

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Thursday Thrift Score: LBD

Yesterday was my birthday! We had reservations at a fancy sushi place downtown, so I needed to class it up a bit. I threw on this LBD I found for $20 at Buffalo Exchange a couple months ago.

Black Lace DressBlack Lace Dress

It's all-over black lace with a nude-colored layer underneath (except the arms - that's my actual flesh). I paired it with some black and nude wedges I got on the clearance rack at DSW a couple years ago. I don't recall the price exactly, but I believe they were around $20 as well.

It was a fantastic meal that was in no way thrifty. Good thing I saved money on my duds!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Sunday Sew-Day: Tie a Bow Around It

This is my sewing desk sans beading supplies.

Sewing desk

Yep, that's right. It's back to sewing, for now at least.

I recently picked up this nice black blouse with cream-colored bows all over it. It was $3.99 at Goodwill, it's Lauren Conrad from Kohl's, and it's brand new.

Bow Blouse - Before

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Thursday Thrift Score: Putting on the Ritz

Thrift scores come in all shapes and sizes - and prices. It's all relative really. You'll see what I mean.

This past Friday, my husband and I got all spiffied up for a charity gala for his company. He warned me weeks in advance how fancy it would be - that he would probably be in the minority by not wearing a tux. I hadn't been to an event that formal since prom, so I knew I had some shopping to do.

I was hoping to find a old bridesmaid/wedding/prom dress at the thrift store and refashion it. I really loved making my Cinderella costume last Halloween and have been itching to do something extravagant again. In fact, I was recently honored to be included in Paris Ciel's 55 Intelligent & Fun Ways to Refashion Prom, Wedding & Formal Dresses, and some of the other projects on that list are so inspiring! Makes me wish I had more excuses to go all out!

Alas, it was not in the cards. I went to all my usual haunts, searched high and low for the gown of my dreams (or perhaps nightmares), but I just didn't find anything suitable. My last resort was a consignment store in a pretty wealthy area of Dallas. I knew they would have something - maybe something that might only needed slight alterations since I was starting to run out of time to do a lot of reworking. I also knew I would be paying more for that luxury, but I figured, "What the hell! I don't get all dolled up very often. Might as well splurge a little!"

Not only did I find the perfect dress that needed no alterations, but the tag just happened to be the color of the day, so I got an extra 40% off the ticketed price. Behold, my Carolina Herrera black chiffon gown.

Carolina Herrera Gown

I can't find this exact dress online, but the least expensive CH dress I saw was about $2500. So I feel like my $171 post-tax price was well worth it.

And, of course, we can't talk about fancy outfits without mentioning the shoes, right? I picked up these Tory Burch strappy heels at Nordstrom Rack for a mere $75 (retail $399). Just so we're clear though, these are not dancing shoes. They are not even walking shoes. They are by no means gracefully-descending-the-stairs shoes, though I was forced to at least attempt the feat (after a few glasses of champagne to boot!). I'm proud to say I did not fall on my ass, though I was certainly not graceful about it either.

Tory Burch Heels

Now that I was properly clothed, we still had to address the hair and make-up. Being the cheapskate I am, I like to go to the nearby Paul Mitchell beauty school for all my coiffing needs. My thinking is, I could go to Super Cuts and get my hair cut by someone who just graduated beauty school, or I could get my hair cut by someone who is about to graduate and has an instructor there to fix their mistakes. Plus, I feel like my super thick hair offers the students a healthy challenge. Three hours later, I left with my hair styled and my face painted for just $50, including tip. So if you're keeping track, that brings the total for this whole night to just under $300.

Sadly, we were a bit rushed to get to the party on time, so there was no time for pictures. But as luck would have it, there was a professional photographer there taking complimentary portraits for the attendees. So here you go, probably the only chance you'll get to see me in full make-up. I threw on pale pink pashmina (thrifted of course!) to cover the tattoos, and accessorized with a handsome hubby.

All Dolled Up

In other news, tada!

Pearly Pink Peyote

That's right! The peyote bracelet is complete! I finished it Tuesday night, meaning it took less than a week - a lot better time than I thought it would be when I first started it. It was super tedious, but I really loved the process. I definitely see myself doing more peyote work in the future.

Pearly Pink Peyote

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, where I'll be posting something pink every day during the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Pearly Pink Peyote