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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

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  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?