Monday, June 30, 2014

Cropped Leather Jacket

I've got a thing for going cropped lately...maybe I'll get my courage up and crop my hair while I'm at it. I've also got a thing for free clothes. You know, when people throw out unwanted apparel and your building just so happens to have a designated area for such items that are unwanted but not necessarily trash? Well, ours currently looks like a trash heap (may need to take it upon myself to straighten it up) but this leather jacket that I found was by no means trash.
I really like the cutouts, the simplicity of the design (no lining), and the color. However, this is what it looked like on: boxy.
I wanted a more modern look and immediately knew I would crop it, though I posted it on Instagram asking for other ideas as well. I started out by marking the new length with a large clothespin.
And then I cut straight across the folded layers leaving me with this as extra.
That, I'll save for a later project :). The new cropped length was great, but now I needed to tackle the boxiness of it all. I did so by adding darts in the back. Here's a view from the inside.
And here they are from the outside.
I'll have to find a leather adhesive to get the seams to lie flat as the center one does...but for now, it'll do! Here's the final result.
I love how simple the changes were and what an impact they had! I probably won't style it as you see here (I was just throwing something on I thought might work, but I don't love it), but it'll go great with a flowy top and skinny jeans or a little dress or almost anything! Perfect for cool evenings...not that we'll be having many of those anytime soon :). Well, what do you think? An improvement or would you have left it? I can't wait to get to work with the leftovers from this one...I'm thinking a clutch/purse, iPhone case...I'll combine the two!

I'm hoping that tomorrow's post will actually storage issues are making it difficult as it involves a homemade dress I thrifted back in March. (Also had to upload all photos on my phone which means poor quality...sorry!) Oh well, Happy Monday! Make it a great one.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tribal Dress...Crop Set...Peplum...T-shirt?

I started with this tribal 'dress' (though I would not have been able to wear it as one). Picked it up in Michigan for a couple of dollars and figured I'd do a simply refashion that I could post about while there...

so, I chopped it in half!

Then added an elastic band to the bottom section (folded inwards) to make it a skirt. It was still a little too tiny for my taste.

So, I brought it home with me. I cut the 'skirt' straight across the middle, cut away the side seams, then sewed each equal width section to another creating a loop. Here it is folded over, but the idea was to gather the top edge and reattach it to the cropped top portion to make a peplum. Which I did.

Gathered and reattaching it...

But I didn't like it. So, I thought, how about a peplum with pleats? I tried it. I folded the loop creating two large pleats in front and back, then reattached it.

And I didn't like it.

So, I reduced the size of my loop (after cutting it off from the now even shorter cropped top portion), and reattached it making this a fitted t-shirt.

But I also added thin elastic where I sewed the top and bottom that I can simply fold the bottom under smoothly and wear it as a cropped top!

Should've been simple enough to chop the length then add elastic at the ribcage to get the final product...but why do things the easy way? ;)

Whew! Now that I'm done with that, I can move onto some more complicated refashions ;). I've got a few fun things lined up, including a cropped jacket I've been posting about over on my ig account. Hope you all have enjoyed your weekend! I'm ready for week two of 'summer break'...well, I will be once we sign the boy up for camp tomorrow and pick up our pool passes!!!


Friday, June 27, 2014

June Thrift Scores: Enough is Enough!

My lovely local thrift store has been like my personal Neverland...a quick escape from wife and mommy hood, a chance for my inner child, aka fashion designer (read, hoarder) to burst free and dream up all kinds of fun possibilities with the clothes and fabrics I encounter. Even the entrance is somewhat magical, no? I love living on the East Coast for all of its ivy covered buildings and moody architecture.
Past the neatly manicured lawns, the roses creeping out over the walkway, down the stairs and through old wooden doors that lead you into...the basement of my local Presbyterian church ;). It's a small thrift store, and I love it. Upon first moving here, I was a little bummed that there were only two local thrift stores, and one seemed to cater to more 'name brand' 'high end' pieces. In Queens and Newark we'd been fairly close to much larger options filled with tons of clothing and bric-a-brac...not so much here. But I quickly found that I didn't need all of that and the treasures I've encountered have far outweighed any of my previous finds (minus shoes...not a great shoe selection for my size 9 feet! But if you have size 7 or below, this is the place to be for some sweet vintage shoes). I love my local thrift store!

Now that I've sung the praises of my local thrift shop, here's a few things I picked up while in Michigan! Hehehe ;) I've already cut into this first 'dress' but have decided on a new path and will hopefully finish it up today, the skirt might need a slight pinch at the waist, and the dress needs a major change...I just couldn't walk away from all of that airy floral fabric!!!
Tribal print 'dress' $2.50 + floral skirt $2.00 + floral dress (to be refashioned) $2.50 = $7.00.
I'm not completely sure where I'll go with this blouse...probably keep it a blouse, but I'll have to do some looking at my Pinterest boards for inspiration.
Polyester 'granny' shirt with interesting pattern (to be refashioned) $2.00.
I so can't wait to work on this bathing suit...either making adjustments for myself or just tightening up the elastic in the lining and reselling it!
Vintage bathing suit $1.50.
And here are some of the things I picked up back here in New Jersey: The lace slip will stay as is and become a layering piece, the tribal print dress will probably become a skirt, and I need to change up the hem of this blue blouse...there are two pleats at the bottom front and back! So weird.
Lace slip $3.00 + tribal print dress (to be refashioned) $4.00 + blue blouse (to be altered) $4.00 = $11.00.
I haven't worn white shorts or jeans in a long time...basically I've felt too fat, but that's silly and I'm over it. I found these two and they fit great! The floral pants are too big and HOPEFULLY I'll be able to do with them what I plan to do with them...hopefully.
White shorts $2.00 + white jeans $3.00 + floral pants (to be refashioned) $3.00 = $8.00.
And what can I say? I've been a Star Wars fan since it came out when I was a little girl...and I couldn't pass up this t-shirt when I saw it! I've wanted/needed a black zip hoodie for a while and found one, and my obsession with stripes continues as I add these two striped t-shirts to the mix!
R2-D2 shirt $2.00 + black zip hoodie $2.00 + striped t-shirt $1.50 + striped v-neck $2.00 = $7.50.
That's $37, though there are actually more items that are not yet pictured...yeah, that self-imposed ban didn't go over so well. So, it's on for July! Some other items I picked up include sewing notions (a whole bag of salvaged zippers!!), clothes for my son, a new set of saucepans after I ruined the two that we had (these are made of tempered glass and clean up so well, great find!), and a few other clothing items that are in the wash.

I'm on the verge of a pretty major purge as I decide to start selling some of my previous thrifted finds and refashions, so keep an eye out for info on that. Which leads me to this question: what are the best online ways of selling thrifted/refashioned items that you've come across? Do you have any experience that would prove useful as I look to set up shop? Thanks for reading and hope to hear from you on some of your thrifted finds from this can always send me an email or message me on the Little Did You Know Facebook page if you'd like to share pics. I can even put together a collage of reader's favorite thrifted finds as a monthly feature, if anybody is interested :).


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Floral Giveaway Shorts: Lengthening

I posted about this thrifted outfit I won through a giveaway this past Friday, then showed how I would wear the crop top. Now it's time to tackle these too-short shorts :).

This was a really simple change. I unpicked the hem and found that I could lower the shorts by two inches as long as I used a tiny hem to finish them off. In fact, these were a longer length (shorts, capris or pants) at one point! Someone else had cut them off and shortened them.

I ran the raw edges through my machine using an overlocking stitch to finish them off and snipped any bits of frayed fabric.

I then folded over a tiny hem and straight stitched all the way around each leg.

The last step is to iron them, but for now they are sitting in a pile of things I'll iron later this evening when it isn't so hot. Here's how they look now...much better! Normally I will change things up by bringing the length up, but if you've got enough of a hem allowance, there's always the chance to bring the length down as well!

I'm still not completely sure about these shorts, to be completely honest. They aren't my style, so I think I'll play around with them a bit to see if they start to grow on me. If not, I'll pass them on to someone else who would love them!


Friday, June 20, 2014

I Won A Giveaway!

Ok, so I actually won the giveaway on Mother's Day last month, and was so surprised and stoked because it was an added surprise to an already lovely day. Leelue Drew (Leah) hosted this Thrifty Outfit Giveaway and informed me through Instagram that I was going to be the lucky recipient of a 'Leelue Drew Style' outfit! Well, early the next morning, I learned of my grandpa's passing, and I went home to Michigan. I had difficulty getting a message through to Leah as my cell service was terrible and had no internet either. Eventually, I was able to let her know what was going on and send my sizes, measurements, address, etc. The package arrived back in Jersey just a day before I did and this is what I came home to find!

I tried everything on, and it all fit perfectly...except the shorts are a bit short for my personal comfort. Super cute choices, and VERY Leelue Drew (just check out her outfit posts on Instagram and her blog for all the cuteness she's able to pull off). I love the color of the crop top, will have no trouble letting the hem of the shorts down to give them the extra length I want, and the sandals are so comfy. I love what you chose, Leah!!!

I decided to separate the pieces a bit, as this outfit shows a lot of skin, and played around with styling the cropped top first. My (thrifted & refashioned) high-waisted polka dot pants made an appearance...

Then I quickly hit the jackpot...midi skirts! Duh ;). I love this color combination. And the skirt is thrifted, of course. Oh, and POCKETS!!! Can I just say that skirts with pockets are kinda my jam...yep. I'm okay with this look and the sandals, though I think I'd actually wear a different pair (think metallic or camel-colored).

I also love the crop top with my new wrap skirt that I posted over on Instagram yesterday. Again, the midi length and the perfect shape.

I pretty much stopped there, because to be quite honest, I will probably wear this top with a midi skirt every. single. time.

I'll be sure to highlight the shorts, sandals and earrings when I get a chance at lengthening/styling/wearing them :). Thank you again, Leah, for hosting such an awesome giveaway!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cropped Kimono

Since Friday's post, I've been determined to refashion this piece that I thrifted before leaving in mid-May for a few weeks in Michigan.  It's a beautiful silk robe of the one-size-fits-all variety. It has pockets, so I had to decide how I'd work around them.

As you can see in these bad photos, I decided to go above the pockets, leaving me with a cropped length. I started my cut just below the existing collar/lapel thingies, curved up slightly as I reached the side seam, dipped back down for a rounded back hem, and repeated the same curve on the other side. I finished off the raw edge with a baby/rolled hem.

I started playing around with how I'd style it and was having some difficulty...I wasn't liking it at all! Here's my first go with a me-made knit pencil skirt and a neon crop top I won in a giveaway (more on that tomorrow!!!). It's ok, and if my hair wasn't a greasy mess and my belly a bit puffy after 'cheating' on my diet this past month, maybe I'd like it better.

 So, I decided to try some different things. Here I put on a shorter (thrifted & refashioned) skirt, and made my kimono into a blouse by cinching it closed with a (thrifted) gold belt.

Then I thought, how about tying/wrapping it and tucking I did that with the pencil skirt and my bathing suit top (I could have used a bustier/crop top as well). Then, I figured, hey, I'd totally throw this on at the pool if my back and shoulders were getting too much sun, so why not tuck it the same way into my high-waisted bottoms?

This last look is a bit too much, for me, though I think with a smaller polka dot it could be really cute. I'll simply switch out these high-waisted (thrifted & refashioned) pants for a pair of skinny jeans (highwaisted & etc.).

So, though I was at first skeptical, I'm loving it after all! AND I still have the whole bottom part to use up in other fun projects...I already have a few ideas from some blouses I've seen ;). But, I'd love to hear if you all have any ideas. I could even put together another kimono from what's left over to put up for sale! We shall see.

Stay tuned for an initial look at the awesome giveaway I won, and some styling of one of the pieces! Can't wait to show you :)


Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Quick 'Fix': DIY Kimono

I've got a quick post today highlighting an easy DIY tutorial care of Merrick of Merrick's Art. Her super simple DIY was featured on Babble here. I followed her instructions and finished in under 30 minutes! I call that a win...and a quick 'fix'. :)
Image c/o Merrick's Art
I started with this thrifted piece of vintage polyester fabric:
I cut it to the correct dimensions, folded it in half widthwise, cut, then sewed halfway down right sides together. Next I folded it in half lengthwise, sewed down the two sides leaving approximately 10 inches for the sleeve openings, and cut the front corners in a curve. I decided not to finish off the edges, though a baby/rolled hem would give it a more professional look.
And there you have it! A fun kimono-style jacket perfect for a cool, rainy day :). I got immediate compliments when I decided to wear it just after finishing it...another reason I decided not to hem ;). I couldn't wait to put it on! Seriously, go check out Merrick's version, as the fabric she used is amazing and her styling is impeccable.
I'll explain the exceptionally poor photography by simply saying this: rain.rain.gray.gloomy.rain. Five days worth!!! Yup...but we're supposed to have sunny days this weekend, which makes me all kinds of happy. Oh, and my son took the pictures of me, and let's just say that my five-year-old is totally over taking pictures of his mother. (See how I blamed my preschooler? Yeah, better than explaining that I was too lazy to set up my tripod, iPhone and remote to take them myself...I won't be winning any mom-of-the-year awards, eh?) I'll do better next time ;).


Thursday, June 12, 2014

May Thrift Score

May's thrift score was a pretty hefty one... :-/ Self-imposed ban on thrifting, coming right up! ;) No, for real. Time to take a reprieve and get refashioning from my stash. And, hopefully start putting some pieces up for sale! Now, with the extended visit to Michigan and all, I've basically forgotten exact prices on these pieces from I'll estimate what I normally would spend. All told, I think I spent around $50 for this bunch.

I wasn't completely sure if I should nab this silk four-piece outfit, but at half off, I couldn't pass up so much silk! And I have to say I love the colors and ombre effect. I think I paid $8. The skirt fits, the top works like a loose blouse (perfect for tucking, and the jacket is very kimono-esque...and the scarf, is well, a scarf. I don't necessarily need to make any changes, but I probably will to at least one of the four.

Next is an extra-large sheer cotton top that I plan on refashioning for my sister. A violet colored zippered hoodie (cause it's cozy). An extra-large t-shirt (for the stash). A blue and yellow striped nightshirt (for the stash). I think all told I paid $9 for these pieces.

I got these jeans for $2 (:-0) and the pants for $2.50...yes, they are maternity pants, but they are super comfy...yeah, I have no excuses ;).

I picked up this tank top because of the print (will make it into something...). This pale pink/blush dress might stay as-is, though I haven't decided for sure, and the final dress will definitely stay as-is and has already become a staple in my wardrobe. $8.50 for all three.

I'm kinda in love with these next two, though I have yet to wear them...the striped blouse is perfect!!! The floral skort/shorts are a bit big, so a quick taking-in is required. Paid $5.

A couple more workout tops to add to my collection, and they only set me back $4 for the two.

And what can I say? Silk. Floral. Robe. I see a kimono jacket and a breezy top in my near future ;). $4.50!!!

Bathing suit halter tankini that fits me perfectly and only cost $2, plus a pair of floral bottoms (need to be sized down a smidge) for $1.

I picked these scarves up at a yardsale across the street for $1 apiece.

Straw bags...basket-style bags...I'm kinda obsessed, so I nabbed this beauty as soon as I laid eyes on it! $3.50!!!

Bangles for $1, and a patchwork pillow cover for $.50.

Okay, so we're up to just over $50. But I also picked up some fabric at a yardsale just before leaving, and that cost me $15...$10 for the one pictured on the top here (its a huge bolt of many yards) and $5 for the two lower remnant pieces.

As I said, it's time to take stock, organize my stash, and get to working on some pieces I'd like to make for sale on my Etsy shop as well as here at the local craft fairs. Gotta get that stash under control ;). June's thrift score post will be much more modest (as I was home and couldn't acquire tons of extra...not gonna bring home extra luggage!), though floral will be the main theme.

How about you? Have you had any awesome thrift scores lately? I'd love to hear about some of your favorites :)