Thrifted Thursday: Getting Started

This is the first of [*hopefully*] many future posts that I’ll try to save for Thursdays. I can’t promise I’ll have enough for every Thursday, but wouldn’t that be fun?

Long ago I worked at a thrift store which ignited my passion for thrifting. I’ve never been afraid to dig through trash to find treasure because I have seen the reward! One time someone donated a brand new (tags still on it!) mustard yellow “The Lauren” Hobo wallet. At the time I didn’t know it was as valuable as it was I just knew I loved the yellow leather and all the pockets (I’ve always had a thing for functional bags) so I snagged it for myself. A friend googled it and informed of the value so of course my dog ate it a few weeks later.

I’m going to use these posts to tell you all about what I found while thrifting – be it really stellar furniture, weird knick knacks or vintage clothes! I hope they’ll inspire you stop by your local thrift store for an upcycling project.

Last Friday I dropped my dog off for a bath and shots (a double whammy – I did not get elected for Mom-of-the-year that day) and headed in the direction of the craft store to pick up a few pieces of hardware for a purse I am planning to make for my sister.

Welp. Next thing I know my car had skidded (literally.. it was a snap decision plus it was raining..) into the Goodwill parking lot. Brian Williams did a Nightly News report not so long ago about how little Goodwill was paying their disable employees (they found a loophole in the Fair Pay Act and decided to exploit it) so I’ve been on a Goodwill strike. I’m ashamed to admit that’s where I ended up for thrifting, but I’m trying to be honest here. At least the staff at this store were super friendly (thus, I’m justifying that I like supporting this store’s staff 😉 ).

First, I saw this amazing vintage love seat sized sofa:

Even with the ceiling fan cluttering my picture, you can tell this is a BEAUTY!

Even with the ceiling fan cluttering my picture, you can tell this is a BEAUTY!

The green crushed velvet literally made my heart skip a beat. {I admit that I petted it for a minute or two…} I so wish I had a good excuse to take that sucker home with me because it was only $55. Aside from the slightly droopy cushions, it was in perfect condition. It was even a sleeper sofa with a fold-out mattress inside.

I’m sinking into not-buying-guilt so let’s proceed on.

Last week my friend and former (if we don’t work together can he still be my current? Because he’s awesome) Work Hubs sent me an email titled “6 grandma trends you want to try TODAY” (he knows me SO well!). Enclosed was a link to a Refinery 29 post justifying my desire to become “old lady chic” as Markessce (Works Hubs) puts it.

My favorite quote from the list of Old Lady Style Tricks: “One important style lesson worth learning is old folks sacrifice their comfort for no one” – YES.

My closet is primarily made up of elastic waist skirts and loose dresses so I’m half way to living this fashion rule in my mid-twenties {and I don’t hate it.}

I was so inspired to embrace my inner old lady I almost went for it with this polyester stretchy workin’ girl outfit:

suit

Imagine this: shoulder pads & lace collar embellishment removed. Plus, my promise to never wear the top & bottom at the same time. Wouldn’t be so bad, huh?

The black and white floral print was a little busy, but the super soft light weight fabric, elastic waist of the skirt and sweet scalloped bottom of the blouse had the pair riding around in my buggy until I decided at last minute to leave them for the next lucky shopper.

I did take home 2 dresses that won’t require much (if any) refashioning.

The first is this mint polyester, stretchy dress with a slouchy bust line.

I think my tennis shoes really bring out the color. Don't you?

I think my tennis shoes really bring out the color. Don’t you?

I appreciate the fact that this dress came with a matching tie to add some jazz to the waist. (And I love bows.)

I’m trying to get behind the slouchy neckline, but it’s possible I may have to figure out how to change it because I’m still not totally feeling it.

One of the shoulders has 4 buttons and hoops that hold the dress closed. Only one of the buttons still maintained the original fabric cover so I picked up a pack of 4 plastic pearl colored buttons to replace them. A few of the hoops were a little loose so I’ve got a bit of repair work to do, but otherwise this dress is not in dire need of refashioning.

Second up is this adorable mint colored house dress!

mint house dress 1

Mint is fast becoming my favorite color (and all these years I thought it was pink…).

If it has a zipper down the back, is it really a house dress? That seems a bit fancy for something one lays around the house in. Doesn’t matter either way because I’m going to pretend it’s fancy enough to add a belt + a few snazzy accessories and wear to work. 😉

The sweet ruffled neckline and cinched shoulders are my favorite part! (Of course they are because there’s really not much else to this simple number)

Here's a close-up so you can appreciate the ruffled detail :)

Here’s a close-up so you can appreciate the ruffled detail 🙂

If you follow me on Instagram, I already ruined the surprise of my first refashion.

BUT – next week I’m going to reveal the [almost] step-by-step on how I performed the surgery (err…I mean: refashion).

Plus – I’ve got another refashion coming down the pipe line that involves one dress and TWO totally revamped closet staples.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Advertisements

What I’m Lovin’ in July

Guess what happened again?!

Yep, I’m late on July’s What I’m Lovin’ post, but I figured it’d be a good way to kick off August 😉

resliced by Jordan

Here’s my list of what I was lovin’ in July (and maybe still lovin’ in August! 😉 )

1. Inspiration from the ReFashionista! Did you see that awesome post from BuzzFeed about her?!

I had already heard about the ReFashionista from my dear friend Shanika and have been hoping to run into her around town (she’s from Columbia too!). We haven’t met in person yet, but I’m following her blog like we’re besties.

Promptly after reading the BuzzFeed post, I skipped on over to Facebook and signed up to receive notifications from the ReFashionista’s page.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Now every time she posts, I see the link and become immediately infatuated with the magic she performs on sad, deserted thrift wear. The other day she posted about a seersucker house dress refashion which has since sent me into a tizzy looking for an abandoned house dress.

refashionista

Mind blown. She’s a genius.

And this one! It’s a no sew refashion that involves her tying the sleeves around her waist — I mean, who thinks of this brilliance?! Oh yeah, the ReFashionista.

I think my favorite part about the ReFashionista’s blog is that she includes step-by-step instructions (usually with pictures) of how she performed the refashion. A girl who shares her tricks – now that’s what I love! 🙂

2. Supporting my local thrift store! This is a double whammy.

First, I love a good purge (remember that time I told you about my mission to live small?). I’ve been on a kick this summer of simplifying which apparently means reorganizing my fabric collection a billion times and going through my closet filling donation bags…over and over.

Second, I love dropping donations off at Revente’s Second Chances because the staff is always friendly and they always have the best stock! (AND their sales benefit the local Women’s Shelter! Win. Win. Win.)

Example: I have been riding around with 3 bags in my car that I’d been meaning to donate (aren’t we all guilty of this?!). On my lunch break this week I decided to swing by while I was out and alleviate my back seat. Well – some purple polka dots caught my eye and next thing I know I had found this Boden dress in perfect condition for only $15!

boden

Seriously. How precious is the collar?!

Keep an eye on my Instagram because you know I’ll post a picture when I wear it! 😉

{Confession: I didn’t even try it on because…$15 for a Boden, y’all! I figured I could pull some of my ReFashionista inspiration on it if I have to!}

3. The fact that running for even 5 minutes a day can reduce your risk of heart attack. 

You’re doubting me aren’t you? Check out the very-dreamy Brian William’s clip from NBC Nightly News.

As a Public Health grad, I know that any physical exercise is healthy. BUT our standard was always 30 minutes, 5 days per week. Alas – we can all feel fine with the sub-half-hour gym visit after a long day at work (or is that just me?).

Looking for a quick run? Try this one from my friend Alex at Work Hard Eat Harder:

run

[Click the photo for more details on Work Hard Eat Harder]

 4. Matching handmade bags!

Keep an eye out for a post about my version of Melly Sews’ Favorite Purse (which may also be my favorite purse now!) that I sewed up just in time for Baltimore (also – more to come on that trip!). The cherry on top of this bag: it matches my Noodle Head Super Tote!

favpurse

Doesn’t every gal need a full set of matching bags? Up next: a wallet! 🙂

5. Rediscovering how much I love to read!

The Hubs started a new job a few weeks ago and has to be to work at 6:00am. In addition, I’m working our “summer schedule” at the school district meaning: a 10 hour days that start at 7:00 with Fridays off. I don’t have quite enough time to get by the gym before work like usual so that’s been rescheduled to after work (which makes for a very long day, but I’m not complaining because I rest up on Fridays and sew!). All that said, I’ve been trading morning news for some quiet reading time which has been so delightful.

Even the time the cat came and sat directly on top of the dog's head peace remained.

Even the time the cat came and sat directly on top of the dog’s head peace remained.

I’ve got a few summer books to recommend so keep an eye out for those posts soon!

6. Supporting my favorite non-profit with photos!

My very favorite local non-profit who tirelessly fights for women’s reproductive rights in South Carolina (oh heyyy TellThem!) invited me to participate in their photo-a-day challenge for August via Twitter. I’m always looking for an excuse to post more photos (I’m obsessed with Instagram) so obviously I’m in!

tellthem

I’d love it if you participated with me! You can read more about the challenge on TellThem’s blog, but here are the basics: post a photo that relates to the corresponding day’s theme (ie: August 1st we’ll all post something related to “celebration”), include the hashtag #SCrahrah and tag @TellThemSC in your post (find TellThem on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest).

*AND*

for the grand finale..

7. It’s my sister’s birthday month!!

kt

Words can’t describe my infatuation with my sister. She is EVERYTHING to me and I love love love her so much!

She’s not one for big birthday celebrations, but I’ve got some great crafting planned to make up for the fact that I was out of town for her birthday…again. Keep an eye out for that too – you bet I’ll share some pictures with you!

{Catch up on all What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts here}