Archive for the ‘ Thrifted it ’ Category

Baby faves = t-shirts

Mr. Baby’s favorite book is The Dark. Lemony Snicket. Like if he’s crying, reciting the first line of it snaps him right out:

Laszlo was afraid of the dark.

A few months ago, I thrifted a new package of opaque iron-on paper we needed to make a birthday present. Took another sheet to cut out and iron some Laszlos and a Phillie Phanatic onto Old Navy clearance T’s.


the dark




Dang! Wish I’d seen this one…


Also in the queue, some Gerald and Piggie.


Damn damn damn tiny waist!

Look what I found.

gone dress Mollie Parnis purple

Purple, rustly party dress.

gone dress Mollie Parnis purple

Dropped waist, square neck, little  cap sleeves, back straps I’ve never seen before.

gone dress Mollie Parnis purple

Feels and moves and sounds like silk taffeta.

And it’s made by a talented designer, sold originally in an exclusive shop.

gone dress Mollie Parnis purple

But damnit! The tiny waist! The teeny tiny waist.

I can’t risk hurting it. I love this dress too much to harm it. Someone else should have it.

Sweater fix: the neck (a how to?)

purple pearl sweaterI loved this silk cotton purple sweater with the pearls all over the front and the sleeves.



But the original crew neck was such an ugh. It was so ugly, I never photographed it at all.

Picked at this sucker over months, trying to figure out the best way to fix it and then getting up the nerve to cut into this baby, too.

Finally I unraveled the knitted crew neckband. Pinned the fabric back into a bateau neckline.

IMG_6566Picked off the couple pearl beads in the way.

IMG_6561Then I cut bias strips from the back side of some old irridescent purple taffeta because it was a pretty close match to this lilac color. The taffeta’s light enough that it doesn’t add bulk, and the bias means the neckline will give a little.

IMG_6569Pinned them in place, wrong sides together, sewed. Pressed them back out, pinned pressed and sewed.


purple pearl neckAnd neckline. Now the question remains: Should I leave the sleeves long or cut them to cap? Which will I want to wear more? (Am leaning toward CHOP.)

Can you change a turtleneck?

Stunner of a silk sweater. Perfect color. Love the little sleeves. Beads on one shoulder.

purple turtleneck before

But turtleneck?!

I’m wondering if it’s possible, without wrecking the sweater, to turn the turtleneck into a crew neck or jewel neck.

purple turtleneck before

Because this beauty’s going to waste as is…

purple turtleneck before

Could I stay-stitch the neckline I want, then gently and invisibly bind it?

Why thrifting is essential for sewing

Ironing is half of great sewing, right? I’d argue that thrifting is a decent percentage, too, and an important way to get better, especially if you want to sew vintage, especially if you sew to save money.

Thrifted clothes can be deconstructed so you can rip off all kinds of professional techniques. I like to see how the pros do it. I learned to finish waistbands for pants and skirts with a little bias tape based on some Ann Taylor pants. I understand why you use grosgrain ribbon to finish the front of a cardigan. And it’s more ethical to buy things outright to deconstruct than to buy new out of a real store.

Thrifted goods can be chopped up for parts: Muslins, buttons, zippers, trims. All that stuff can be reused. I feel bad about buying brand new fabric to experiment on, and I’m a little bit c-h-e-a-p, too.

And thrifting lets you try out ideas and styles: Today I’m wearing a giant long wool-blend dress in black with short sleeves and an A-line. I already took the sleeves up, but that’s it. I never would have thought to sew up this kind of long long dress, but now that I have one on, I’m thinking how I could extend a t-shirt pattern into another one or three.