Thursday, 10 July 2014

frozen eyelashes and staticy hair OOTD

Whew!  Summer has finally come to northwestern Ontario. The temperature is in the balmy 20s, my dog is panting up a storm and ice cream stands are doing brisk business.  It was only 8 weeks ago that we had snow, soon it will be unbearable hot. Welcome to Canadian weather :)

I am still scrambling to get my summer wardrobe out of storage. Although I don't have any summer outfits to show you, I do have OOTD pics from December and January. 

The winter weather was super-dooper cold.  And I mean COLD!! There were Arctic blasts of cold air which resulted in sub-zero temperatures in Canada and the States.  We suffered through weather that dipped to -51 Celcius with windchill.  Brrrr!!  After work, I would go home, take care of my dog, then crawl into bed to try to get warm.  Even when I dressed warmly, it seemed like the  cold weather tried to burrow it's way next to my skin.

It kinda reminded me of the "Long Winter', by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  It's a good book, if you haven't read it.

Here are various thrifty outfits that I wore during the winter.  Enjoy.

Check out that staticy hair!!!

This outfit makes me feel very medievalish.  I think it's the combination of the tunic, and the knee boots.

Normally I'd flatten down my hair and make it look more presentable.   But I wanted to show you how the dryness can affect hair.  This is how staticy my hair gets in the dry, cold winter, plus I'm wearing silk.  

I'm wearing:
silk blouse ($5, thrifted)
tunic (Mac N Jac, clearance at Big Lots $15)
grey cords (Old Navy, sale about $20)
knee boots (DSW, about $80)
gold chain necklace (People's, store closing clearance $15)
Yowsa, lookit that hair!!

This ensemble features a long, wool cardi.  It's kinda like a blanket.  

I'm wearing:
long cardigan ($6, thrifted)
print top (Val Village 50% sale, $3)
black dress pants (thrifted, about $3)
sparkly rhinestone broach (thrifted, about $10)

Now I understand why Linus liked his blanket so much. 

Because if you can't stay in bed, you may as well take your blanket with you while you confront the cold weather.

My uniform is a cardigan, over pants and a top (sometimes over a layer of thermal underwear).  This is the cozy mohair cardigan, layered over a men's flannel shirt.  I wore a neon yellow, blingy necklace.  Then we went bowling.

Blingy necklace

LL BEAN mohair cardi (Val Village 50% sale, $5)
burgundy men's shirt (Val Village 50% sale, $3)
jeggings (TJ Max, $20)
neon yellow necklace (Joe Fresh, $14)
window shopping
I was at Winners checking out winter boots. I couldn't afford new boots (nor did I need more boots).  But I found some nice ones, check them out.

Thrifting on the weekend

Here are a couple of weekend OOTD - clothing that I threw on for running various errands, dog walking, shopping, etc.  I remember balking at the idea of wearing another flipping winter coat in the picture above.  So I layered a warm vest, over an alpaca cardigan, over a t-shirt.  Worn with neon green cords.  The vest and cardigan were thrifted...did I mention that the cardigan was unbelievably thick and warm??  It's about 1" thick!!

I'm coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs!!

I bought a white parka last winter...with our record snowfall, I was worried about getting mistaken for a snow bank :)   Thrifted United Colors of Benetton argyle cardi, neon cords, white parka.

Before outer layers.

After adding outer layers...can you believe I was still cold??

White snowbank parka and FAB thrifted Pendleton purse.

happy thrifting everyone :)

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Happy co-incidences, Bart Simpson's head, and buying material from thrift stores.

Whew!  What a day.  I got up early hoping to bag some great deals on fabric at a yard sale.  It was advertised as a mega-craft sale with all manner of materials for sale.

Sadly, once I arrived, it was obvious that the prices were wayyy too high.  So I left empty-handed.  Still being in a fabric buying mood, I popped by the Sally Ann and where I found that some kind soul had donated a whole whack of fabric.

This large grey piece came home with me.  I can't tell if the pattern is Bart Simpson's head, a funny-looking pineapple, or a tree.  This fabric felt like cotton canvas, it had a nice sturdy feel to it.  I could use small bits of this in a quilt block, but it's not soft enough for a quilt backing, nor is it pliable enough to use in a quilt block with small, intricate pieces. This material is suitable for totebags or something that requires some stiffness and structure.

Plus it's grey.  Did I mention that I love grey?

Over 2 metres for $5!!  Woo-hoo!!
If you are thinking of buying material at a thrift store (or a yard sale, or wherever), check the selvage.  Sometimes the material content will be printed on the selvage.

Another thing you can do is a burn test.  Please be cautious.

Another source of fabric at thrift stores is other people's craft projects.  I found a quantity of homemade potholders that someone had donated.  They were made from flannel, and the batting inside was much too thin.  I think someone made these potholders as gifts, then donated them.

I bought a bunch of these potholders for 49 cents each. After washing and drying these potholders, I picked them  apart.  Each potholder yielded a 10" block, a 10" square of backing, and a piece of batting (which was flannel).

Reclaimed material in pretty colors!!

A visit to Value Village yielded a nice large piece of cotton flannel.  This piece is over 2 metres and it cost $5.  I washed and dried it (that's why it looks wrinkly)

Soft purple goodness!!

I plan to use the picked apart pot-holders for the top of the baby quilt, and for the quilt batting.  I'll zig-zag stitch the squares of flannel batting together to make a large piece of batting (large enough for a baby-quilt).  Then the 10" blocks will be sewn together for the quilt top.  

The purple flannel will make a nice, soft flannel quilt bottom.  
It's a happy co-incidence that I found the makings for a baby quilt for less than $20!!!

Don't forget to check the housewares and fabric/linen sections at thrift stores.  Sometimes you'll find everything you need to create a project.

happy thrifting everybody :)

How to cut up a shirt for material

Hello everyone!  I hope all my fellow Canadians enjoyed a fabulous Canada Day (147 years old!  Woo-hoo!).  I hope all my American friends enjoyed a fabulous July 4th!!

I'd like to share one of my pastimes, snipping up clothing for  fabric.  My latest obsession with Netflix means that I spend too much a lot of time watching TV.  I can't sit there with idle hands, so I'd prefer to snip up clothing, or knit, or mend.

Behold, here is how I repurpose clothing into quilt material. 

Rolls of reclaimed fabric and buttons!!!

 The equipment you'll need is a pair of scissors, and a pair of manicure scissors (my preference), or a stitch ripper. 

Manicure scissors and scissors.

The scissors will be used to cut along the seams of the clothing - so it should be of fairly good quality (hint - hide your good sewing scissors from your children, otherwise it will become dull from inappropriate use).

The manicure scissors or stitch ripper will be used to snip buttons off of the shirts (save the buttons!!) and to pick off sewn in labels.

Start by snipping off the buttons.

Cut off the bottom seam, it will leave a nice ribbon-like piece of material.  Cut off the collar.

Take a minute and examine the shirt for stains, rips, worn spots etc.  I use a Sharpie to circle this type of damage.

Cut along the sleeve seams.

Once the sleeve is off, cut along the seam as shown in the picture below.

You will be left with a piece like you see in the picture below (look at the piece on top).

Once you cut out a sleeve,  the body of the shirt will look like the pictures below.

Snip off both sleeves, snip off the seams too.

Cut off the yoke of the shirt.

The body of the shirt will look like the picture below.

Fold and stack the pieces on top of each other.

Roll the pieces up and use the long seam to tie up the roll.

Now you are left with a nice tidy roll of reclaimed fabric...and buttons!!  Here is a stack of fabric that I cut between errands (pardon the sideways shot :).

Reclaimed fabric!!

There are a lot of benefits to using reclaimed fabric.  Textile manufacturing uses a tremendous amount of water and it has a significant impact on this planet.  

This is one of the reasons why I try not to buy new fabric (plus I'm cheap).  I'll try to use what I have, or go to thrift stores first.  I admit that I break down and buy fabric - especially if I'm craving a change.  I am proud to say that most of my quilts made of at least 50% reclaimed fabric.

If you know of any fabric stores that sell ethically produced material, or manufacture material with the smallest carbon footprint possible, please let me know.

happy thrifting :)