Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Purple rain, purple rain

I have loved karaoke for as long as I can remember.  I recall being about 10 years old and shutting down a Shakey's Pizza while singing everything from Tiffany to Mariah Carey.  And it just so happens that once I got to high school I found a friend who shares this love with me.  Actually, this friend takes it to a whole new level.  And there's one song in particular that she sings like no other; Purple Rain by Prince.  She even choreographed a dance to enhance her performance.  She's been singing and dancing Purple Rain for a good 12 or so years now, so when she heard Prince was coming to town, she jumped on those tickets.  What kind of friend would I be if I didn't join her?

I knew that not just any outfit would do for a Prince concert.  Especially since we were getting the old gang together.  It was me and my two favorite girls from high school.  I was at Old Navy last week and found 3 purple tank tops just begging to be embellished for the show.  I was happy to oblige.

All three tank tops began like this:

To make them Prince-worthy I used the lace from this dress:

the embroidery from this tank top:

and the lace from the bottom of this slip:

Here we are together, just after the concert, showcasing our Purple Rain inspired tanks.

and inside enjoying ourselves

We had such a great time!  Prince is quite an entertainer.  Actually, I think he stole some dance moves from my friend.  He must have seen her on her karaoke tour in '99.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Making a grown-up dress

Remember this dress?

I bragged about buying it at a thrift store a couple of weeks ago.  I believe it was $3.00.  When I saw it, I knew I had to have it.  For some reason, when I bought it I assumed it would fit perfectly and I wouldn't have to make any adjustments.  I brought it home and tried it on and found out I was absolutely wrong.

Not that the fit was horrible, but I looked a bit too much like a 10-year-old girl.  The length was also a problem.  I learned a couple of years ago that anything below the knee just exacerbates my vertical challenge.  That is to say, it makes me look shorter.

I started the recreation by taking the little green bow off the front.  That moved the age of the dress wearer to at least 12.  Still I had a few more years to add before I'd be comfortable wearing this dress.  Next I took up the length.  The lace around the bottom was actually at the perfect length so I just pinned up the fabric and sewed along the yellow ribbon.

I also had to take in the sides of the bodice a bit.

I decided to take in the skirt around the waist area as well to give it a more feminine shape. When I was finished I tried the dress on with some heels and viola!  I can't say I look my age, but I'm told I never do. So let's just say I upgraded the dress enough that a woman in her 20s can wear the dress with confidence.

Hooray for unique thrift store finds!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


My lovely friend Sarah celebrated her birthday in December.  Last week, she finally received her birthday gift from me!  It's not that it took me five months to make it.  The problem is that we didn't see each other for five months.  That is a SERIOUS problem.  I'm happy to report that my life has slowed down a bit and I was able to visit my dearest Sarah last week and grace her with my presents :)

I'll start by showing you where this gift began.  It was once a dress that I bought for $0.59 at a thrift store.
Nice, huh?
I removed the shoulder pads first.  They were huge!

I was trying to keep it as a dress but it just wasn't working so I removed the sleeves, took in the bodice, and cut off the skirt.
My little helper
Remember these embroidered flowers?  They're the gift that keeps on giving.  I cut a few out and stitched them to to the front of the new top.  

Then this beautiful top hung in my closet for five months.  But last week it made its way to its rightful owner!

I forgot to bring my camera so I took this picture with my phone.  That's why the photo isn't terribly clear  but you get the idea.  I LOVE how this top came out.  Can't say I didn't try it on a couple of times during those five months :)

Happy belated birthday, Sarah!

Monday, May 16, 2011

If it ain't broke...

I bought this top at a garage sale Saturday for $0.67.  I realize that sounds like an odd price but I got 3 items for $2.00.
It was still wet from the washing machine

I bought it because I LOVE the color.  At first I thought I was going to have to take it in a bit and maybe do something different with the sleeves.  Once I tried it on I realize it's pretty much awesome the way it is.  So I threw a belt on it and got ready for a night on the town (Buffalo Wild Wings with my husband and parents).

In the interest of proving that cute clothes don't have to be expensive, I'd like to do a break down of this outfit.

Top: garage sale - $0.67
Belt: Forever 21 - $4.00
Jeans: Old Navy - $11.00
Shoes: Target - $5.74

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What to do with the green frame

Well, it didn't take me long to figure out what to do with this frame:

I went garage sale-ing this morning a came across this embroidered piece of awesome:

I immediately knew that not only would it be perfect in my Mexican themed kitchen but it would also fit inside my new frame.  I bought it for $1 and brought it home to find out I was absolutely right on both accounts!

I didn't wait five minutes before I stapled the embroidered fabric to the inside of the frame.

I flipped it over and was totally pleased.

Then I searched for a bare piece of wall in my kitchen and decided it would go great above my pantry door.

Oh the excitement of making use of my random treasures!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thrift store shopping!

It's so much more fun than shopping in regular stores.  You never know what exciting treasures you'll find. I went thrift store shopping a couple days ago and I was so pleased with my purchases that I had to share with you.

I bought a dress, a frame, a purse, and fabric all for less than $10.  Allow me to break it down for you.

This frame is so cool.  I love the bright green, retro color.  I realize it has no backing but there are still so many things I can do with it.  Besides, using frames only for pictures is a thing of the past.  This frame cost me $1.91.

Next, I'd like to present the fabric.  It's probably about a yard.  It looks kind of like a picnic.  It was just too cute to pass up.  I paid $0.99 for the fabric.

Now, the purse and the dress have me all worked up and excited!  They both remind me of things that are selling for lots and lots of money in stores.  Allow me to give examples of purses and dresses from Athropologie and Urban Outfitters.

These are my thrift store versions:
The purse cost $1.91 and is in perfect condition.  The dress was $3.98 and is homemade.  It just needs a little tweaking to fit my body correctly.  Come back soon to check out my refashion of this dress and take a trip to your local thrift store this weekend!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Floral skirts are all the rage

It's hot.  It was almost 100 degrees at work today.  The hilarious part is that it will be in the mid-sixties in about 5 days.  I've lived here all my life but I've never quite adapted to the drastic changes in the weather.  Anyhow, the fact that it's hot means that, once again, I'm looking at my warm weather clothes wondering what to wear.  Monday night I decided something new was in order for work on Tuesday.

I began with this dress:

It was another dress I could imagine your mom wearing in the 80s.  I actually think it was homemade.  There was no tag and a lot of the seams were...less than perfect.  I've had this dress for months and really could not figure out what to do with it.  The whole time I was thinking of creating another dress, but Monday I had an epiphany; I could make it a skirt!

First I cut the dress in half.

My original plan was to use the waistband from another skirt, but the other skirt had a zipper and I didn't realize until I attached the waistband that it wouldn't work on a zipperless skirt.  So in my frustration, I moved on to creating a casing for elastic without taking any pictures.  I was also incredibly determined to complete the skirt that night so instead of waiting until I could get thicker elastic, I used this:

For those of you who don't know, attaching a safety pin to the end of the elastic is a great way to push it through elastic casing.
Once I was done with that, I sewed the ends of the elastic together and sewed the casing closed.

The final product

Cute, right?  The lightweight fabric was perfect for a hot day.