Sunday, August 23, 2015

I can resist anything - except temptation!

Ahhh, sweet temptation. That siren song that lures you to your doom. Actually, I’m hoping my temptations won’t be my doom – it’s hard to imagine how the current, shall we say, obsession could spell doom. Unless it all fell on me at once and I smothered. Could happen, I suppose.

Talking about clothing to upcycle here. Found more this weekend, and last weekend. It’s just so available…and SO inexpensive. I tell you, I can’t help having a bit of a superior chuckle when I read how much other people who are refashioning pay for their raw materials. “It was only $8.99 at the thrift store!” or, “a mere £4.50 in a local charity shop!” they enthuse. (Google tells me that at today’s exchange rate that’s a little over $7.00.) I’m not sure I could cut up a $7 shirt!

I just had a look at my spreadsheet for this year, and wow, I really have brought home a lot of pieces of clothing. They range from scarves to coats, sweaters, pants, shirts, dresses…a whopping 111 pieces. Yikes, I really could smother if it all fell on me at once! And the outlay? $76.25. Less than 70 cents each on average, with $2 being the top price for any one piece. Less than $10 a month for hours of fun (both the buying and the remaking!), and the resulting unique pieces of clothing and other items.

Okay, I feel better. Yes, I succumb to temptation on a regular basis, but my gambles are small and my wins are big.

So here are my latest finds. Friday morning Judy and I headed out, our first stop being in our second favorite midcentury neighborhood (our most favorite being our own!). They were still unloading boxes and boxes of clothing. I overheard someone ask what size a pair of pants might be, and the answer was, “I’ve been every size over the years from a 10 to a 22, so they could be about anything. But they look like about a 12.” Evidently she bought lots of things at every size, and any piece was a dollar. I actually did resist most, but brought home a heavy wool blazer, more of a coat really, to embellish

blazer to embellish

a short dress of 100% linen

blue linen tunic

and a rayon border print shirt and skirt. I’ve already figured out how I’m going to combine these two pieces.

border print shirtborder print skirt

Judy found a shirt in heavy plaid rayon that’s way too big, so we’re going to play with refashioning it for her. I don’t usually get to do any smallifying, so this will be fun.

plaid rayon shirt

She had a bunch o’ shoes available as well (also a dollar a pair) and most were too small for me, but I gambled on this pair of boots.

green bootsgreen boots toes

Green boots! How could I not? Not sure they’re going to work though – a bit tight, and I don’t do hurty feet. I wore them for a while yesterday, and they may be okay for short periods. Or I may get over my yen for minty green boots and give them to Judy, whose feet are a bit smaller than mine. (Sigh.)

My other finds of the day were a dog brush for Zoe and a ream of very old stationery, which I have made into a pad by smearing hot glue on the top edges. Handy scratch paper for my desk.

old stationery

And at our last stop, a 50¢ pair of heavy linen slacks that were just what I was looking for

linen slacks

to make into a bath towel. A nice quick project!

rustic linen towel

I like the one I made before from a couple of linen pillowcases, but wanted to try another with heavier linen. The finished result is rather rustic, but I don’t mind a bit.

linen towel

Last week was similarly clothing focused. I was garaging alone, so there was no one to tell me to stop (not that my usual companions do that anyway). I only went to 4 or 5 places, and found nothing until I arrived at my final destination. Oddly enough it was just around the corner from where I found this week’s scores. Something about that neighborhood?

This lady had very high quality stuff; she told me about buying one of my items at Nordstrom “In that expensive department they had, you know the one I mean.” I agreed, but I was lying! The really expensive department at Nordstrom would not be my natural habitat. But her shopping habits paid off for me. I picked up a couple of wonderful print skirts like this one  blue floral skirt      floral skirt

that I will probably combine with this silk shirt.

silk velvet shirt

Silk lining, and the top fabric is not a print but rather cut velvet. Amazing to the hand.

cut velvet

Got a couple of pairs of silk slacks (cream and midnight blue), a Carole Little skirt

vintage Carole Little skirt

and this Sixties-vintage velveteen skirt that I’m thinking of making into a cape.

Century of Boston maxi skirt vintagevelveteen skirt detail

Also two matching silk pieces, a long skirt with an interesting waistband (complete with clip for your keys or something)

long silk skirt

and a jacket that I think will become a vest.

80s silk jacket

Just couldn’t resist the butt pockets. What WERE they thinking?!

vintage butt pockets

If that weren’t enough, I spotted a basket of textiles sitting on the ground with a little sign saying “Scarves 25¢.” I’ve been thinking about ways to combine scarves into garments so I picked up the basket and started going through the riches therein. Picked out a dozen! A few were silk

square silk scarveslong silk scarves

and the rest are tissue-thin 100% wool.

wool scarvesvintage wool scarves

Her husband saw me selecting scarves. “She used to buy a scarf just about every day,” he told me with a nostalgic smile, “and then she’d usually wear each one once and put it away.” Some husbands would say that with ire, but not this guy. I can see I should have asked him to adopt me on the spot.

So I must be off to my upcycling, my little chickadees. It might be a good idea to use up some of that stash before it DOES fall on my head!


  1. I tend to buy every 25p sale item from the thrifts that is my size or bigger, then see what I can create from them. it's no great loss if it goes very wrong , there's always the duster pile

    1. Isn't it great having really good fabric to experiment with, for pennies?

  2. What amazing finds! I wish I could sew and refashion things. Such a great talent to have. ( I love your word "smallify" ).

    1. Thanks! Smallify of course is the opposite of embiggen!

  3. I can just hear you cackling merrily as you run your hands through all those goodies! Can't wait to see what you come up with for them!

  4. Scarves?!
    Any VERA?!
    If so, PLEASE don't cut them up!!!
    ...and if you do, PLEASE don't show us pictures ;-) !!

    1. I can pretty much promise not to cut up any Veras. I love them too. In fact I need to find ways to use most of these whole!

  5. I love the poppies scarf! Great finds, as usual.

    1. That's one of my faves too. I keep taking it out to drool over!

  6. Hmmm, if Judy can't use the green boots, i'm pretty partial to the color. :-)


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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