Saving the planet... one garment at a time!

... and one upcycle at a time... Welcome to my blog: A place to have an "over the fence conversation" about sewing, altered couture, upcycling, and all kinds of crafts using found objects, beads, ephemera and other vintage finds!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Love at First Sight

The book we've all been waiting for arrived in my mailbox on Friday (thank-you Amazon pre-order)!!!! Gertie (a.k.a. Gretchen Hirsch) is a heroine to many of us.  Her blog began to chronicle her process as she sewed her way through the vintage Vogue New Book for Better Sewing, and has become one of the most influential home sewist blogs out there. A woman with a real body and real curves and real attitude sewing awesome vintage lovliness! What's not to like? I have only grazed the surface of this beauty so far because I'm quite busy with another project (as you all know)... however, I cannot wait to read this tome cover to cover and to experiment with the lovely patterns included.  A full review of the book will follow... stay tuned!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Estate Sale Booty

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this to you before... I LOVE ESTATE SALES! I had to take a time out today and do something non-wedding related, so I hit an estate sale! and OMG! I came away with the most amazing haul!

First, it's important to note that I got everything you are seeing here, and more, for a total of $15! Yes, that's right, $15!  That high pitched noise you hear is me squealing in delight.

First up, a nearly mint copy of the Better Homes and Gardens Sewing book from the sixties... AWESOME!

The, a ginormous box containing hundreds of patterns...

as well as a few odds and ends.  There were a small collection of notions,

and a little pile of iron on embroidery patterns.

As well as about a half dozen cooperative extension publications on sewing.

The patterns are fantastic.  Most are used, so I'll need to go through them to be sure they are intact, etc.  Many I will put to good use myself, others, I will sell, and still others will be part of a really cool give-away in the not too distant future.  Not only were some of these from the pattern companies we know, like Simplicity, Vogue and McCall, but there were a fair number of Advance and Hollywood, and some awesome mailorder ones.  Best of all, most of these are close to my size, so, for the ones I keep, there'll be relatively little drafting up and down.

Most of the patterns were addressed to Miss Adorna Wheelock... Adorna... what a unique and interesting name, especially for a sewist!  There were some handwritten notes on some of the patterns, like these:

As I said, some of these may be missing pieces, and some have some tearing on the pattern envelopes, but what a find, yes?  Do any of these strike your fancy?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Simple Upgrade

Hi!  In the spring, Target was featuring designs in stationery and home goods from Privet House.  There was a really cute wire "birdhouse" I loved.  I waited until it was on clearance and got it for $12.98, marked down from the original $27.00.  I'm using it as a card holder at my wedding, with a tiny alteration.

Of course, I'll add a bow, and maybe one of our cute tandem bike stamps, but not bad, huh?  Gotta love Target clearance.

On another note, my favors arrived today (well, the part that requires no crafting).

If they print "FRAGILE GLASS" on the side of the box, does that somehow translate to "Drop kick me into the truck"?  Thankfully, nothing was broken!  These will be revealed after the wedding because I don't want to spoil it for my guests.  Thanks for looking in on me!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Another Wedding Accessory: Footwear!

Weather permitting, we are being married outdoors in a bucolic garden setting.  I don't wear heels often anyway, but heels would only aerate my hostess's lawn, and end up looking all muddy and nasty.  So, what would look great for an outdoor wedding and be comfortable?

Today I'm making something I saw on Pinterest some time ago, and just loved. Now I don't want to take anything away from the fine company that made the original, but I simply couldn't afford over $40 for these, so I decided to make a version of my own using elastic nylon beading cord, the same types of seed beads from my dress, and some glass crystal beads.

First, measure out enough of the elastic cord to go around your second toe, up the foot and around your ankle.  Then decide on your beading patterns and get to it!

When you have enough to go around that second toe, close the loop with a crimp bead.

Measure how long you want the connecter from ankle to toe to be and bead that in a showier pattern.

Then, place another crimp bead but don't close it.  Bead the stretch that will encircle your ankle and then bring the end through that crimp bead you placed earlier, and close it, and you're done!

Please excuse my lack of pedicure... my feet will get the full treatment before the big day!

Now, these were time consuming to make, but they consumed about $10 worth of materials.  If one were making them for someone else, one would need to add timed costs for the labor, but as a DIY, it was quite economical.  Let me know what you think!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Something Blue

We're not doing a garter toss or anything... we're a little old for all that.  But every bride needs something blue, so I decided to make a garter.

I had this lace from an earlier garage sale day.

And a spool of blue satin ribbon.

I made a casing out of the ribbons, added the lace, and a few little embellishments... voila!  Something blue.

I'm pleased with how it came out, and it was quite a bit cheaper than the store bought ones.  I would guesstimate about $3.00.  More accessories to come... what did you wear for something blue on your wedding day?

Monday, August 6, 2012

That Ultimate Restyle

My cold is mostly better now, and I'm still working on the finishing touches to my wedding dress.  The wedding is coming up very soon, though I'm sure it seems like you've heard about this dress forever.  I've been hand sewing lace and other embellishment to the dress.  Here are a few quick detail pics.

I can't wait to wear it at the end of the month!  Until then, there's lots more I'm working on... for instance, I did our invitations a few weeks ago.  I designed them myself and printed them on my printer at home.

The theme is tandem bicycles... popular, to an extent it seems.  I got a great tandem bike cake topper on Etsy from heatherboyd.

I have SO many more things to do, and I'm taking you all along for the ride (tee hee).  Hey, my dress needs to be pressed... have you ever used a dry cleaner just for pressing?  I lack the equipment I think.  Anyway, thanks for stopping by!