Between out-of-town trips, the kids at home all summer, a dead computer/recovering hard drive/new computer, and Hurricane Isaac (we fared fine, though without power for 4 days), I have been somewhat MIA from this blog. My apologies! But I have been getting dressed, sewing, and taking notes, so I hope you’ll follow along with some of my recent projects!
Here is one I am proud of. I found these capris at the thrift store, and loved the embroidered cherry print, but hated the frumpy way they fit me.
Years ago I had some adorable high-waisted shorts with cuffs, probably from the ’40s or ’50s, and decided to recreate that look from these pants.
Basically, this project is not much more complicated than sewing a regular hem, but you need to do some measuring to figure out how you want them to look. I have checkered shorts from Land’s End that I like, so I used them as a model. I wanted to be able to cuff them or leave them uncuffed, so I used the checkered shorts as a model for that too.
First, I measured the inseam, the length from crotch to hem, of my checkered shorts. These are 5 inches cuffed, 7 inches uncuffed. I added two inches to allow for hemming, so I turned my capris inside out and marked them 9 inches from the crotch.
In order to get the legs even, I measured from the bottom of the capris to the mark: 11 inches. Then I measured and marked on the other side of this pant leg, connected the dots, then did the same on the other pant leg. Now there are lines to cut along.
After cutting off the excess fabric, it’s time to hem. First, I ironed about a quarter of an inch up (still inside-out), using a measuring tape to keep the hem even. Ironing meant I didn’t need to pin before stitching.
Here’s how it looks stitched. If you like, you could leave them just like this, without a cuff.
But I like the cuff. In this style of cuffing, you will be able to see the stitching along the bottom; it’s not a blind cuff like on fancy trousers. But that’s OK with casual shorts, I think. My checkered model shorts are the same way, and it allows me to wear them cuffed or not.
I tried them on and determined I wanted the cuff to be 2 inches. I took them off, turned them inside-out, and folded two inches up, pinning as I went.
I stitched a straight line very close to the upper edge of the cuff, then turned them right-side out, turned up my new cuff, and ironed. I think they turned out cute!
Ta-da! I feel like da (cherry) bomb! Bonus: These have elastic along the back waist, so I can actually sit down in them with minimal muffin top. Yay!
Let me know if you try this! It took about an afternoon from beginning to end–with great results. My other capris and pants are now on notice…
Hope all of you Mamas out there had a delightful day! Mine was just what I asked for: pancakes, then quiet time to myself, then more pancakes! I seem to take the Mother’s Day Brunch idea to extremes…
I used to feel guilty asking to be Not-Mom for Mother’s Day–at least for a little while–but I find that it’s usually just what I need. And luckily, my DH agrees. He took the boys to the Aquarium, and they were thrilled. And I had the whole house to myself for hours! HOURS!
Mostly I played in my closet, trying things on and deciding what needed alteration and what was ready for donation. I’ve got a stack of sewing projects now (just what I needed, ha) and actually finished one project, the results of which I hope to post sometime soon.
One funny thing I noticed was that some of my sundresses (unworn since before I became pregnant with my now-2-year-old) now seem too girlish–cute and funky, but somehow not…sophisticated? enough for my tastes these days. Yet I don’t feel too sad about moving on from them. Especially if I can sell them and buy something new! (I should say “new” since they’ll be coming from the resale shop!)
So here’s the outfit I finally settled on for my forays into the world today. I love this wrap skirt, which I thrifted years ago in Wisconsin. The straight A-line style is flattering to my body shape (apple-ish), and the colors and batik pattern make me think of a costume I helped design & create for a fire fairy in a college production of The Tempest.
I don’t mean Etsy or Ebay or all of the fabulous vintage sites out there–I mean local brick-and-mortar thrift stores reselling cheap used stuff that for some strange reason now have a meaty online presence.
Why is this so strange to me? I suppose the whole point of thrifting, to me, is sorting through the piles/racks of discarded clothes or goodies to find what I might consider a treasure. Vintage sites, Etsy, and Ebay have already done the sorting for you and offer up their treasures–a great resource, but different in my mind.
So when my friend sent me the link to Wisconsin chain Value Village (a store I have frequented growing up and pretty much every time I go back to visit) I was amazed–not only do they post the expected info, such as Red Tag day or Half Off Clothing day, but they sell items from the stores AND have an “In Season” section, where the latest fashion trends–and how to find them at the thrifts–are discussed (and here I thought that was MY idea!).
When I was visiting Missouri recently, I stopped in a Red Racks Thrift Store, also a chain with a website. The store was nicely arranged, a good size with reasonable prices, and I found a couple of good treasures (as did my son!). The website is charming, and covers most of the basics: Super Sunday Sale, .98 cents days, and where new stores are opening up–not much else.
Goodwill and Salvation Army have sites that are more like I’d expect, discussing the organization’s goals, job opportunities, who they serve, store locations, a few thrifting tips–more-or-less business-oriented. (Though I was intrigued by a Goodwill blog post by Jenna and went to check out her fun-looking site/project, All Thrifty States, where she visits thrift stores across the country in order to learn more about America. I’ll definitely be checking it out more!)
Is this a trend? I know everybody’s on the web these days–I was just surprised at the depth of the presence from some of these shops. Has thrifting become trendy? Is online thrifting a “thing”? What has your experience been–would you do your thrifting from your couch?
The April issue of InStyle magazine has about a thousand photos of white blouses, shirts, and shirtdresses. Somehow, the hot new thing is a classic old thing.
I am a third-generation thrift-store hound. My family has thrifted goods out of necessity–but they have taught me how to do it with an eye to quality and style. My mom, grandma, aunts, and great-aunts believed that just because you shop at thrift stores doesn’t mean you should look like you shop at thrift stores. They always looked pulled-together, stylish, and classy. I added my own spin to their advice and enjoyed looking a little more rag-tag, retro, and funky, particularly seeking vintage items.
Nowadays, I like to find items that reflect the latest trends at thrift stores (as well as special vintage finds). Easy to do when so much of what’s hot is an echo of styles in the ’70s and ’80s! Of course, there are pitfalls–what’s hot now may be a version of what rocked 20 or 30 years ago, but you don’t want to look like you’re going to a costume party.
So here are my picks for what to look for at the thrifts (or discount stores like Ross and Marshall’s) for Spring 2012, and what to watch out for that might turn that piece from trendy to tricky. (Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and if you can work neon blue sequined leopard print leggings into your day-to-day wardrobe, more power to you!)