Friday, 25 May 2012

Anthropologie Inspired Tote.

My mantra is thrift so I wanted a good strong tote that would serve a multitude of uses. I want a tote that I can use as an overnight bag, a tote for thrift shop purchases, a tote for my grocery shopping, a magazine carry tote, a gym tote...and my list goes on and on. I want my tote to be pretty, retro and feminine. I want it to have a vintage aesthetic and I want to use recycled materials to make it.
I spotted Anthropologie's Wallpaper tote on the internet and decided to make my own version. Anthropologie's Wallpaper Tote retails @ $168.00. My version cost me $6.00 in materials and I love it.

So here is Anthropologie's Wallpaper Tote. Very nice but I can't justify spending $168.00 to buy it.

Here is the idea. Now all I have to do is create it.

Start with a large strong canvas tote. I found this one @ a local thrift store for only $2.00

I am loving the surprise environmental message stamped on the inside.

To get a good finish for your tote, it is essential that you remove the carry handles.

This dress cost me nothing as it belonged to my daughter. After two babies it no longer fits her.

Close up of the roses pattern, The material is polyester so I need to firm it up with iron on interfacing.

Nice vintage linen tea towel. This I found @ a thrift store approx 1 year ago. I love the colours and it only cost $2.00. I did need to cut this down to fit the front panel of my tote.

Close up of the rose. Being linen it is very thick and does not need interfacing.

1950's-60's pretty rose apron. For my bag refashion all I need is the loose tie section. This is already trimmed with bias binding. I have had for a couple of years and it cost me approx $2.00

This is the tricky step. I wanted it to have the same theme so each piece of fabric has roses. The fabric portions are up to you. Play around with it until you get a look that you like. The tea towel already had two finished edges. I had to hem one edge of the linen tea towel and hid an unfinished edge under the apron tie.  The black roses needed hemming all around. I sewed each portion individually onto the bag.

Oh dear I have made a mistake. I have cut the black rose fabric too short and it does not reach the top of the tote. The solution to this is to create a strip of bias binding from the leftover tea towel and sew it to the top of the tote. Now comes the time to sew the handles back on. Put them back exactly in the same spots they were originally. Take this step really slowly. I bent a needle in the process, so I would recommend turning the sewing machine wheel by hand on the thickest sections. 

Back of finished tote.

Front of finished tote. Pretty happy with my new $6.00 tote.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Ten Second No Sew Skirt

Seriously, this no sew refashion only takes 10 secs. Blink and you will miss it.

Start with a thrift store dress. I found this in a big chain thrift store that had just opened up in a new location so they had their very very very best stock on sale. Having been a thrift store fashionista for all my adult life, it is now rare to find thrift stores with high end fashion stock. So boy was I surprised when I found this brand new Danish designer label. Tried it on to ensure that the waistband fit(which is did), but the dress was less than flattering and not my style.

Look carefully and you will see the gaps in the stitching that relegated this expensive dress to the thrift store. There is a lot of detail( with lace and beading) in this dress. The attention to detail has come at the expense of the basics, like ensuring that the seams are neat and complete.

Ten seconds starts from now.. Oh blinked and this refashion is over! Since you missed it I will let you in on my ten second secret. I grabbed my pinking shears and cut a half inch seam allowance above the elasticated waistband.

I now have a cool high waisted skirt.

Look is completed with my "well travelled rock chick" jacket

And a western pair of boots.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Anthropologie Refashion

"Waist Not...Want Not" Top
This love affair begins in America. Anthropologie and I met....we fell in love.Bliss.... a match made in heaven.

Here is the back story to this refashion.....
My younger daughter( affectionately known as Bemily) is a world traveller. If I want to spend time with her, I need to travel to where ever she is in the world. In March 2011 we met up in the California. The U.S.A is such a long long way from Australia so we agreed to meet in San Francisco as we both love all things retro. We rented an apartment in Ashbury and spent hours in the thrift stores along Haight St.
Also spent time downtown where I discovered Anthropologie.What an amazing concept store! Upon my return to Australia decided to mail order quirky clothes for myself from Anthropologie. This was fraught with danger as I could not try on the clothes to ensure that the fit was going to be correct.

This Anthropologie mail order failure has now been rescued.

On me this is a midriff top...Scary! Love the mustard colour. Love the angled neck. Do not love my muffin top exposed under the short waist.

Close up of quirky label. Going to remove it from where it can't be seen and make it a feature where it can be seen. I also love the angled neckline with a lace ruffle and felted wool border.

Here is my original refashion concept. Have decided against using floral fabric as it was cotton and had no stretch.

Older daughter no longer wore this knitted dress. The lighter coloured area has staining.

Measured 4 inches, pinned the hem and then cut it with pinking shears.

Cut the existing waistband off my too short Anthropologie top. As I wanted to match charcoal ribbing to mustard ribbing, I ensured that I cut a seam allowance in the plain knit area. 

Attached new darker waistband in the mid section. Then reattached the existing Anthropologie ribbed waistband to the bottom of the new darker ribbed section.

To tie it all in, I added a ruffle of the charcoal knit on the angled neckline. I also detached the crochet and metal label to use on the neckline.

Completed Anthropologie refashion on me. Being curvaceous, the charcoal waistband is slimming and helps define my waist. I also feel chic and a little bit Frenchy wearing this now.The following pics are the completed refashion on my slim mannikin.

This top is now sweet and sassy. I am excited because I can wear it again.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Dreamy Diary

To keep track of my ideas I purchased a 2012 Diary(purchased it in May) from a mega chain store for only 50 cents. The diary is bland, boring and uninspiring. I have Bat Ma'am( see her blog @ )to thank for this refashion. She advised me that she too was going to start sketching her ideas in a fancy new journal that she had received for her birthday. This comment planted the seed and I knew that the time had come to change my uninspiring diary to inspiring and dreamy. Here is the journal journey........

The concept.

Uninspiring bland and boring diary. Bargain @ 50 cents.

Very sweet 1970's embroidery found @ a thrift store. When purchased I did not have a project in mind. I just thought that this was retro and pretty.

Back of embroidery. This was obviously ready for mounting in a picture frame and it remained an unfinished project.

Love that I can date this embroidery. Also love its used slightly dusty look. Look carefully and you can see that it is signed in embroidery too-this feature is very cool.

Place diary on piece of embroidery and move around until you roughly get the best fit. Use the diary to size the amount that you need to trim.

Cut around diary with pinking shears.

Cover diary with a glueing agent. I prefer Modge Podge as it gives it a nice finish

First part of glue work completed which means that you can attached your piece of embroidery.

Modge Podge on top of the piece of embroidery.

This is the tricky bit. You have to treat this project just like you would when covering a school book with contact paper.The excess corners need to be cut on a diagonal and then folded into the inside. These then need to be glued down. You also need to cut on a straight line the excess fabric down to the spine.

Close up of the face and hat which are pieces of felt.

Finished Dreamy Diary cover.

Now my diary is inspiring!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Parsimony Pants

Definition Of Parsimony-"extreme or excessive economy or frugality"..... Time to rescue this term and refashion it to suit our tough economic times.

In days of old our ancestors knew how to "make do" They were the ultimate recyclers, repurposers and refashioners. With the Global Financial Crisis, times have once again become tough and many of us are turning back to the basics.
When my beloved and I first married we saved hard and were owner builders of our dream home out in the country. We lived on a bare concrete slab and I did not have a washing machine. I had two babies 2 years old and under still in nappies, so I had to wash all of them by hand. 
I cooked everything from scratch and I taught myself to sew. When t-shirts outgrew their purpose, I refashion them into underpants. Thrift stores were my best friend so I would pick things up for a song. This frugal living meant that were able to live a simple life on one income and we lived within our means.
"Parsimony Pants" are dedicated to those times. 

Begin with an old 1970's chenille bedspread

Add a small piece of 1950/60's bark cloth curtain fabric.

Close up of the bark cloth. This is an English hunting scene so the pants are being made for a 3 year old boy.

Retro 1970's pattern. Cool flared pants that will suit a boy or a girl.

Finished pants-front.

Finished pants-back.