Fabulous Thrift Store Finds

Since I may be making a trip out of town in the near future, I decided to make a trip to the thrift store in search of the perfect outfit. It’s not 1/2 price day and I already have gone to the thrift store once this month so I’m breaking my thrift store spending rules but damn it is the thrift store and that was a dumb rule! At least I didn’t go to the mall in search of the perfect outfit.

I found some really exciting items and 1 or 2 not quite sure if they’ll work kinda items.

I found 4 skinny belts, for .99 each. Much better price than the $20 I spent on a skinny belt at Macy’s back in Dec. (I did end up returning it.)

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A gray skirt from H&M for $4.99

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This is actually a black v-neck t-shirt (the flash made it look washed out, but its not) for .99

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A heavier black, Jones of NY t-shirt for 1.99

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Oooh I love this little fishing vest for my niece, 1.99

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Gray Newport News silk, cashmere, angora blend sweater 4.99

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I’m not sure about this sweater dress, I thought maybe I could do something with this. It’s actually 2 pieces, the next pic is with the jacket, 1.99 for both pieces

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the flash makes it look washed out and kinda frumpy so I’m really not sure.

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Jones of NY skirt .99

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I loved this red jacket, it has 3/4 length sleeves 1.99

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Ooh this was exciting a Halston vintage coat (I’m really not sure if its vintage but it sounds so much cooler to say that) 2.99

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I hate to say a sweater vest but I guess that’s what this is, either way it cute .99

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This is so cool, it’s a BCBG Max Azria top (I’ve never noticed that line at the thrift store before)  .99

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Brown, 100% cashmere sweater 1.99

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And the crème de la crème, a Louis Vuitton clutch for 8.99. The jury’s still out on whether this is real or not. I couldn’t find any pics online that match the design.

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All said the total was $39, more than I like to spend but I think I got some really fun items.

Upcycling a sheet for your quilt backing

As I was lamenting how narrow and expensive flannel is from the fabric store, it occurred to me that you could use flannel sheets for the backing instead.

Beth just made a T-shirt quilt (using all of her favorite t-shirts that she doesn’t really wear but didn’t want to get rid of) since she wanted it to be a light summer quilt she is backing it with a jersey knit sheet. The kids don’t use top sheets on their beds so the top sheets always end up in our fabric bin and we just happened to have a big gray one that she could use. These sheets are inexpensive at Target but they would be even cheaper and better for the earth if you were to buy them at the thrift store. I know it’s a little creepy buying sheets at the thrift store but if you just dump them in the wash right when you get home maybe it won’t seem so bad.

The measurements for top sheets (with the hems opened) are approximately:

Twin: 66 x 96 which equals 1.8 yds x 2.6 yds

Full: 81 x 96 which equals 2.25 yds x 2.6 yds

Queen: 90 x 102 which equals 2.5 yds x 2.8 yds

King: 108 x 102 which equals 3 yds x 2.8 yds

Which would make for much less expensive backing than buying new material. Also you can always use RIT dye to change the color of a sheet if it looks to drab, which I plan on doing with a sheet that I just picked up at the thrift store for $.50.

Ta-Da the quilt is complete

Yesterday’s snow day was the perfect day to spend sewing. Plus I had received the fleece blanket in the mail that I was planning on using for the back of the quilt. Kohl’s was having a sale (go figure) I got the fleece blanket with shipping for $3, that’s cheaper than buying material so I figured I’d give it a shot.

I laid out the quilt, batting, and fleece blanket, then used large safety pins to hold it all together. I then attempted to sew around the edge. That was a little tricky since the sweaters kept stretching. Things moved around a little bit, but it all came together in the end.IMG_6795

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I did have to cut off some of the sweater layer since the fleece wasn’t quite the same size. I saved the scraps and will reuse them in other projects.

Instead of using flannel to do the edging, like I had planned, I decided to use a zig-zag stitch and just sew the perimeter a couple times. It would have been handy to have a serger but I don’t. I liked the way it stretched the edge giving it a scalloped look. I thought it fit better with the design than doing a solid border.

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I think the super soft fleece was a nice compliment to the wool sweaters. For the actual quilting I used my sewing machine and just did a crosshatching at the corners of the blocks. (Man that sounded technical, I have no idea if that is the right way to phrase that.) I had planned on hand sewing using colorful embroidery floss, but in the end decided that the sewing machine would do a better job.

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Voila a completed project, and I think it turned out awesome!

The making of an upcycled wool quilt

I LOVE reusing wool sweaters! I buy them up at the thrift store for $1-$2 each, then bring them home, wash them in hot water with detergent and put them in the dryer. Most the time they shrink (felt) into a miniature much thicker replica of the sweater they started as. Sometimes they don’t shrink very much or even at all. It must have to do with how much wool is in the sweater but I haven’t worked out which ones shrink up the best yet. Beth and I go through the pile, keep some to wear and use the rest.

My initial plan was to make arm warmers (fingerless gloves) and hats. I love how they turned out but when my BFF saw them she wasn’t impressed. And when I mentioned I was making them for Xmas gifts she said she didn’t want one. Hmm well to heck with her. The arm warmers only used the sleeves of the sweaters so I still had all the guts to use.

I decided to make a wool quilt with some of the remains. I picked out colors that complimented each other than sat and pondered how I was going to do this. Finally I decided to just start cutting and see what would happen. My dilemma’s were: should all the squares be the same size or should I try to ago all willy-nilly? Also should I use the ribbed bottom of the sweaters or cut it off. Too much indecision leads to nothing being accomplished so I just started cutting. I prefer for things not to be perfect since my finished product never is. So I cut squares that made sense for the sweater. I tried to get as many pieces from each sweater as I could. I decided to cut off the ribbed bottoms, but then ended up using those pieces to fill in when a row was short.

I did want to make the squares a little more decorative so I added some whimsical touches by layering smaller squares on to the bigger pieces.IMG_6654IMG_6655IMG_6656

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Then I tried to lay it out somewhat cohesively, or at least so no two of the same color were touching. Somehow in the final sewing I did end up with some overlap. Sweaters (especially ones that don’t shrink up as much) are still stretchy so I did have some play on the lengths. But that also caused things to not match up exactly.

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I just finished the fun part, getting all the squares sewed together. Now comes the work: adding the batting, backing and edging.

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Here is Thomas trying it out while doing his schoolwork. Beth also tried to lay claim to it, but no, I have this planned for a Xmas present for someone special. Not the BFF who is unimpressed with my creations!

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