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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Upcycling and the Hawaiian shirt hoarder

Each year I challenge myself to complete a sewing project.  This year I have chosen to make a quilt from Hawaiian shirt material. Over the Memorial Day weekend, I encountered an estate of a rather large gentleman, a thrifter hoarder who had passed into the great beyond.  I was able to purchase numerous 2XX to 5XX Hawaiian and hunting/fishing themed shirts to salvage for the material, buttons and labels.  

After I have pieced together the Hawaiian shirt squares, I will hand stitch on the labels to the final quilt top.  

Some of the freshly washed and processed material.

Usually, it wouldn't make sense to try and scavenge enough material from men's shirts, but the cost of this project and the size of the available material inspired this upcycle attempt. 

I will cut the fabric into 8.5" by 8.5" squares using an acrylic template and a rotary cutting tool. At first I thought I would use dressmaker's scissors to cut the squares and later learned, after viewing some YouTube tutorials, that the cutting tool is faster and more accurate.

Over the three days of visiting, chatting and purchasing with the sister and girlfriend, I discovered that their departed's name was Gordon Prosser, a Vietnam veteran.  So, in honor of Mr. Prosser's service to our country and his impeccable taste in Hawaiian shirts, I begin my re-creations of his collection. 

In addition to the shirts, there was this eclectic collection of books and CDs.  

I will keep you posted on this project's progress.  I will start small with a baby quilt for an expectant lady at work. 

Hawaiian shirt material $29 thrifted
The following purchased retail
Cutting mat $30
Rotary cutter $20
Dressmaker's scissors $18
Acrylic template $10
Quilting pins $3

Total cost of project to date:  $110

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Feeling Groovy

I really did not appreciate the 70s era the first time around. These recreated 70s memories are so much more fun.

1970s ML Studio suit $50 from Thrift Town

I have been holding on to this suit for the perfect time to showcase it.  I finally found these banging BCBG high heels to go with it ($8 thrifted). I could not find period shoes in my size and believe me, I tried. 

Updating this post to link up with Anne at spygirl-amb.blogspot for her 52 pick-me-up prompt of "Best Foot Forward."

If you are in the 70s mood, visit Melanie at Bag & Beret for her 
groovy-bell-bottoms-two-ways and Vix at Vintage Vixen for her purple-haze 70s maxi.  Moving my groove thang on to Patti and the clan at Visible-monday.

Thrift shopping produced a 2 CD set of reggae dancefloor grooves 1968-1974.  I will be shaking my booty to this one!

I am on vacay for the next few days AND I have finished my Macroeconomics class (pretty much, online final in a few days).  Should be receiving my degree in the mail soon.  

Adding in some tunes ~

Far out some Patterns of the Day!




Thrift shop finds included a 1945 Sewing book, a girl tool set (I know the Mr. will leave intact because they are all PINK), a Japanese ceramic of a gardening girl with a hat and a birthday stuffed animal. 

A hippy chic summer dress, 1977 Peasant Chic publication, a black Preview linen maxi dress and a teal Coldwater Creek shirt NWT.

Can you dig it?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy mommies like sparkly, shiny jewelry

What better day to talk jewelry than Mother's Day?  I have an assortment  of costume (thrifted and retail) and fine jewelry.  The image above is a thrifted pin real gold with costume jewels. One reason I cherish this particular piece is that my mother's name Phyllis is engraved in tiny letters on the back.

My mom has been more of a costume jewelry fan choosing the non-fussy styles like Marjorie Baer. I was surprised to learn that some costume jewelry pieces hold their value and even increase in value.  This Marjorie Baer necklace could list at auction for $50.  An online auction site to check out for jewelry and more is www.invaluable.com

While I love to wear pierced earrings, they don't love me and have given all of my pierced earrings to my daughter. 

I recently splurged on the purchase of a Le Vian exotics ring. It is the only ring I wear.

Pearl strands are one of my fashion mainstays, I have at least five of various lengths and colors, two of which are Tahitian pearls.

1960 Pattern of the Day

I will be wearing my Mom necklace and spending time with my daughter this weekend.

What jewelry traditions do you share in your family?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Children's Day

May 5 is Children's Day, a Japanese national holiday celebrated especially by boys and their families, in contrast to March 3, which is the corresponding holiday for girls.  Many homes are decorated with a samurai's helmet and paper or cloth carp are flown from tall poles set up outside.  The iris shows the straight lines and colors of the flowers are considered masculine.  (Information gleaned from Japanese Flower Arrangement: A New Illustrated Guide to Mastery, pub. 1968)

Koinobori : The black carp (Magoi) at the top represents the father, the red carp (Higoi) represents the mother, and the last carp represents the child (traditionally son), with an additional carp added for each subsequent child with color and position denoting their relative age.  (Wikipedia)

Showing a slew of children's patterns from the 1960s.




This is my favorite of the bunch, reminds me of this Seinfeld episode.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Visible Monday and Fast Fashion

Joining the crew for Visible Monday at notdeadyetstyle.  The hostest is flaunting her florals and at work on Friday we floraled up for May Day. This was a recent thrifted ensemble.

Faded Glory overblouse
Liz Claiborne print shirt
Cream boucle pants (unlabeled)
TicTacToes shoes
(Thrifted, less than $10)

Treating you to two Patterns of the Day that are just begging to be shared. I have heard rumblings that 70s flares are coming back in style, those boucle pants in the image above inspired me.



On the opposite end of the spectrum is the consumption of low quality, sweatshop-produced clothing.  Link to John Oliver's take on http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/27/john-oliver-fast-fashion.  His diatribe is funny and thought provoking.

My thrifting bonus of the day was this DKNY embroidered and beaded suit and a Lands End long sleeved cotton spandex shirt, the three-piece set sold to me for 3 dollars. 

I may not be reducing my wardrobe but I am reusing and recycling. I have been keeping to my one bag, one bag out rule.  A group of women from work who thrift are hosting a clothes and accessories swap.  Have you been to a clothes swap?  If so, what was your experience?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Zipping to Ze End and I'm IFJMing

Zipper is ushering out the last day's post to the 2015 A to Z Challenge.  A German Wirehaired Pointer, she is a highly trained bird dog.  

Winter cut

Summer cut

Links to previous posts about Zipper.  
Where-streets-have-no-name and Pheasants-and-such

I settled in at number 111 on the a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2015, can't complain about that.

I visited many, many blogs this past month. I start at the bottom of the AtoZ list since the heavy hitters are usually gathered at the top (heavy hitters = the hosts and those who woke up early to place high on the sign up list).  

Each year I see challenge blogs that start out with A, then B, maybe even C, then they stop. I think they have a great premise then I wonder what happens?  Does the full import of the challenge sink in? The real troopers know what to do with the letters X and Z.  

Newly discovered and I-am-now-following blogs include an eclectic mix I am delighted to have found.

Cluckcluckbuzz - A little bit of farm life and gardening tips.

Dena's Ramblings - a Southern California attorney with a sense of humor.

J.H. Moncrieff - Official website of this horror author. 

Of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax and Cabbages and Kings - a long title for a wonderful site that focuses on Art of the American West.  Even though she stopped at the "U" prompt, her posts were a delight.

The Mane Point - A haven for horse lovers.

Weekend thrift shop finds included fill-a-bag for $5 with books.  I went WILD with some retro and recent children's books, two of note being the 1962 A Big Book of Satellites for You and the 1952 The Biggest Bear.

My big kid books included some cookbooks, a Larry McMurtry western and an embroidery book.

Sharing a precious pattern with you, a 1958 McCall's 2257. The cashier said she had just put that pattern out. Late 1950s graphics, the bomb *sings the last two words*!

I found a treasure trove of late 1960s, early 1970s patterns that will find their way onto my upcoming posts, one of which appears below. 

Weighing in for a last day of the month post in celebration of International Fake Journal Month.

April 30, 2015

The Plaza del Signoria in Florence Italy, one of the many places we will be visiting on our summer Italian tour.  

Rescued slide dated Feb. 1966

We will be heading to Milan for shopping at Missoni.

A pop in to Prada.

With money no object, I intend on filling my shopping bag to the brim.



Pattern of the Day from 1968. 

This fall I will be taking an online class Fashion Analysis/Clothing Selection.  I finally get to take what I consider to be a fun class, still a requirement toward my degree. I will be sure to post relevant fun facts related to the course. 

A big thank you to the Challenge hosts and to all that visited me for this romp.  Stay tuned for more.  Please post a link in comments to any upcoming challenges or hops. 

European Swamp Orchid

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You Get One Free Pass to the Weird and Wacky

Try as you might, sometimes there is no inspiration for certain letter prompts.  On this round for me, it was the letter "Y." Therefore, I am claiming the little known challenge rule of "You Get One Free Pass,"  and it gives me a chance to do a miscellaneous post.  

Pre-planned posts are key to surviving this challenge. I spent the better part of Easter day visiting many of the blogs.  I will highlight my favorites for this year on my wrap up "Z" post.  

Recent thrift shop finds were not one but two cashmere (sings the word) sweaters, two hardcover books of American Junk by Mary Randolph Carter and Japanese Flower Arrangement (pub. 1968). Not shown are 10 sewing patterns from the late 1960s.  Thrift shop total $28.

And this Ty Punkies giraffe, I just couldn't resist him.

On to the weird and wacky.  I usually don't run into special items like the following.  This dragon lizard weirdness was discovered at a downtown Sacramento thrift shop. As for the price, I didn't ask.  

Then HE showed on my fav shopping site.

The Many Moods of Farrah doll head art piece sold on shopgoodwill.com for $30.56. 

These kids look a little unsettled, I'm guessing the record is to help them fall asleep.

No bidders on the Voodoo doll with tags.

Even alligators made a showing this month.

Labeled as Made in Cuba

If decorated skulls, antlers and horns intrigue you, they can be purchased at Dragons Lair in Ukiah, California.

Babydoll mugshots just for good measure.

Sympodial orchid

We are nearly through with one more day to go in the challenge. How well did you fare?  Did you claim your Free Pass? Anything weird or wacky happen to you lately?