Archive for I thrift. A lot.

Before and After



Dog sold separately.

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Winterizing: The Boy

Hot off the press are these 5 new long-sleeve raglan tees for The Boy.  This effectively increases his long-sleeve winter wear by approx. 250%.  Not too shabby for a day’s work.  This one features a lovely screenprinted image I got at the Procession of the Species Solstice event two years ago.    The bowtie is mine.  The sleeves are made from a lovely wool knit, the body from a sweatshirt type fleece that I thrifted some time ago.

This is a little trout block print I did.  I was so proud of myself…until I realized I printed it on the back panel of the shirt.  I decided to turn it into a little joke.  Here’s the front:

Again, the bright blue wool knit.  A fun technique for adding more linear elements; you can see the dried fabric glue stick I used to both lay out the writing and stick down the applique.  As it’s a fabric glue stick, I trust it will wash right out.  Haven’t gotten that far yet.  You’ve already met Witchard.

Even a thin-gauge sweater makes a fine candidate for these shirts, if you can use the hems of the original sweater to prevent fraying.  This sweater will have to be very carefully concealed from the sheep, however, as it’s entirely acrylic.  Blech.  Apparently the softness of it and stripes momentarily overtook my better judgement when I was shopping.  Because it’s not nearly as warm or fabulous as wool.

Need to winterize your own Little?  There’s space left for both the Embellish it! Workshop  (all this printing/applique/collage goodness) and the Raglan Tee Workshop.  Drop me a line and register soon.

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Instead, Halloween came straight from the dress-up bin.

A warm thank you to the loving soul that handsewed this lovely prairie dress, no doubt for another Laura Ingalls of Halloween’s past.  I found this gem at a thrift store, snatched it up for the dress-up bin, and in a huge sigh of relief, retrieved it when all Lofty Halloween Plans came crashing down.  The sunbonnet was already in said bin, and, while the wide brim was cumbersome for trick-or-treating, we remarked on how well it kept the sun off her eyes from her vantage point in the covered wagon.

And The Boy?  His costume also came from the dress-up bin.  He had been slated to be a mini version of Lumberjack Andrew (what a huge departure from every day, right?) but threw a fit at the last minute and demanded we dress him in a cozy dragon costume.  I’ll be damned if I had the presence of mind to take any pictures of him.  The Tomten garb is still on the knitting needles and I’ve (conveniently) decided it’s a look more befitting Solstice than Halloween.

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Come on in! (finally)

I should have known better than to promise I’d be done last Friday.  What am I – a rookie?  Whatever the case may be, here is my studio – reorganized a bit, freshened up, and bursting at the seams.

The yellows and blues have exploded beyond their designated cubes and have mounted an invasion on the meager Green Territory.  My anal left brain is not pleased with this, or the fact that there is a ramshackle overflow shelf (conveniently not shown) where a whole rainbow of colors are commingling with absolutely no regard for order.  My looser right brain told the left to shut the hell up and get busy making something.  Lefty is still skulking in the corner, whimpering from time to time, but otherwise subdued.

In what may be the biggest triumph of this whole re-do, my robust collection of bias tape and seam binding is now safely out of reach of the chubby little hands which took so much pleasure in pulling the irresistible packages out, unwrapping the brittle plastic enclosure of each, and throwing them in the garbage.  I have no idea how we will spend our days now that this activity is out of play.  I might be a bad mother.

The lighting in this room, the most spectacular studio space I have ever inhabited, is sublime… until the sun shuts off and I’m left with some paltry task lights here and there.  I shall be delegating a portion of future Etsy proceeds to fund a proper fixture install right above my worktable.  I suspect that would rock my world and double my productivity.

And that brings me to my big, exciting news.  All this cleaning and organizing and New Year planning and subliminal thinking and in-the-shower brainstorming has given me an idea.  I shall tell you all about it tomorrow.  I promise.  (really)

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Still working on it.

I guess I misjudged the scope of my studio-arranging project. (you think?)  I’m still working at it, after having more than a full day without man or kid distraction to pound through it.  I worked and worked and worked, organizing and scrubbing and vacuuming and purging just a wee bit and still I have not reached the bare tops of my work tables.  The floors are clean, the storage above and below my tables and shelves are done.  I can see the finish line but am not quite there.  Tomorrow?  Hope so.

Until then, enjoy these shots of what greeted me out my back door the morning after I tossed out the cornmeal dusting from my bread peel.  I might make a habit of that.

I guess I made no reference of the scale of those little feet – they are bird, not chicken, in case you can’t tell.

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Let’s not forget about Reverse Applique.

This little sack, happily stuffed to the gills with dirty laundry, is the love child of a single visit to the thrift shop.  That is black linen, Ladies and Gentlemen!  I got a whole whoppin’ pile of it too.  The crewel birds were set free from a dime store 5×7 frame and carefully appliqued to the inside of the black linen, thus qualifying themselves as Reverse Applique.  It’s a technique I love for unstable things like the loose weave linen who don’t take kindly to being cut out, unraveling at the very thought.

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Switch out the buttons and call it good.

Second Installment of handy design + sewing tips:

Don’t underestimate the design power of some good buttons.

From ‘Crusty Old Professor’ to……

…well…less crusty.  I’m shooting for ‘hip’ here.

And ‘Little Mrs. Proper Housewife’ becomes…

…Clever Housewife with a Knowing Smile.

Sweaters provided by Goodwill and Savers, respectively.


Yesterday’s Installment: Tagless size tags

Stay tuned for another gripping episode tomorrow when we return.



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