We craft to live!

Month: May 2018

Fashion Challenge: “Jresses”

Fashion Challenge: “Jresses”

I am admittedly a vintage denim addict. It’s not just the name brands or current hipness that attracts me. I love the softened feel and super utilitarian vibe of these pieces, as well as their availability at thrift stores! This addiction sometimes leads me to purchase pieces that I love, but later find challenging to wear. One example is the vintage jean dress, or “Jress” as my hubby calls it. I love how a jress is casual because it’s denim, but not totally casual since it’s a dress. Jresses are, however, more than a little funky… Here’s what I’ve learned about wearing these thrift-store-scores!

Break up the denim-ness when possible. I love the easy midi length of this jumper/dress, but that IS a lot of denim! I brought in the striped shirt and patterned scarf to mix things up a bit. I wore my outfit on a Goodwill shopping trip and, while I didn’t find more vintage denim, I did eye those animal print purses!

Speaking of demin, this midi dress has lots of it! However, the striped pattern and big, industrial buttons, break things up a bit. A belt really helps too, because it defines the waist and interrupts the column of denim. Shopping note: search thrift stores for cute and comfy belts! Never know when they’ll come in handy.

I love how this jress has kind of an industrial Rosie-the-Riveter-meets-1990’s vibe! I put the belt and scarf tricks to work and added another favorite accessory- boots! If in doubt, try putting a vintage dress with modern boots and see what happens. The boots should help pull the dress into the present!

Admitting you have a problem is the first step to dealing with addiction. However, I already have garments lined up for another vintage denim posts! *Sigh* Stay tuned…

Basic to Trendy- Patches!

Basic to Trendy- Patches!

The patch trend has gotten us pretty excited!  We love a good excuse to make our wardrobe basics unique through the addition of small embellishments! Lindee and I discovered, however, that our patching plans required research, shopping, and much stitching. To start with, lots of time went into finding and obtaining the elusive patches. The hunt was made more challenging by our avoidance (where possible) of the expensive patches at craft stores. I found many of my embellishments at a favorite fabric thrift store, called Legacy. ( Check it out here.)  Lindee, on the other hand, discovered the joys of online patch shopping. Army Surplus stores proved to be great places to shop for military and nautical themed patches, while souvenir shops provided travel patches. While on the hunt, we also sourced garments to be embellished. We looked for items with moderate weight fabric and multi-season wearability. Finally, the time for patching arrived! Here are some of the results!


One of my first projects was a hoodie sweatshirt that needed a touch of preppiness. I ironed the patches onto the sweatshirt first. I then made tiny stitches around the edges of the patches, securing them to the fabric. The thread I used matched the patches, making the stitches barely visible.
















Comfy sweatshirt + cute details = lots of wardrobe potential!




Next came my denim jacket re-do. Since I had more jacket than patches, I decided to use fabric paint and foam stamps to paint some large background shapes onto the jacket first. I then ironed and stitched patches among the painted shapes to add texture and details! (For instructions on fabric stamping, check out this tutorial from our Nifty Gifties posts!)




Here are some close ups!


Denim jackets are my go-to layering piece, and the patches make this one special! (Check out this tutorial for making a coordinating summer necklace!)




Lindee went to town with her projects, adding embellishment to jeans, jackets, and accessories! For her first project, she searched for months for the perfect jacket. Once she found the style she had in mind, she realized that the material posed a unique challenge. The jacket’s nylon material was heat sensitive, which prevented her from ironing the patches to the jacket. Instead, she pinned each patch in place before stitching around the edges.





Lindee’s denim projects took lots of time, but turned into showstoppers! Although she was able to iron the patches to the fabric in some cases, she was always careful to stitch down the detailed outlines of the patches. Denim is such a heavy fabric, that delicate patches could easily peel up from the fabric and rip during washing. Note to crafters: Floral patches are beautiful, but each bloom and leaf has to be secured to the garment! Note #2: Floral motifs look super cute mixed with patches from the army surplus store!















Next, Lindee turned a simple sweatshirt into an adorable one-of-a-kind! She highlighted the British flag patch by surrounding it with lace appliques. Her finishing touch was a tiny crown patch on one cuff!




No patch post could be complete without accessories! One great travel patch was all Lindee’s cap needed to become unique! She discovered that this was a great way to make her own souvenirs from a favorite trip!  Note to crafters: hats have a curved shape, which makes it difficult to pin and stitch flat patches in place.



Our quest for patch perfection was quite an adventure! We have yet to run out of patches, however… More patch-tastic projects are sure to be in our futures! Stay tuned!

Thrift Store Style: Blooms and BBQ

Thrift Store Style: Blooms and BBQ

It was Sunday and it was raining. I wanted to look cute, but was willing to invest minimal effort into an outfit that also had to be comfortable. Surprisingly, I found my outfit answer in a dress that I had previously worn all gussied up for a vintage post! I looove multitasking dresses like this, especially when they are thrift store scores! Soon, I was ready for the drizzle… and some local BBQ!

Here is the dress when I styled it for a Vintage a la Thrift Store photo shoot. (You can check out that post here.) I love the stretchy material, retro cut, and crazy daisies! I styled it with vintage accessories and vintage-inspired shoes and basket purse.



This time around, I was feeling a bit more lazy. I paired the dress with a comfy sweater and knee boots, but couldn’t help adding vintage earrings and a scarf for easy pops of color. Everything, with the exception of my socks, had been thrift store finds! Even the boots were bought new from Goodwill, whose stores sometimes get donations of new, clearanced items from retailers! I set out with Hubby to check out a local barbeque place we had been dying to visit!



The super friendly people and vintage decor boded well for our future meal! While we waited for our order, we snapped a few photos.


I ordered the pork ribs, while Hubby got lamb. With our bag of yumminess in tow, we could hardly wait to get home! I had to persuade him to take the last photos…



I wish I had pictures of the meal, but by the time I thought about it, my hands were covered with barbeque sauce! It was a lunch too delicious to interrupt! You can check out the restaurant, Pack Jack’s Old Style Texas Bar-B-Que (here), to see for yourself!


Fashion Challenge: Vintage Blouses

Fashion Challenge: Vintage Blouses

We love vintage blouses, especially when we find them at thrift stores in great condition! Although bright and sometimes flamboyant, these blouses are just begging to be paired with neutral wardrobe staples. This is a great way to create vintage-inspired looks for today!

We had a lot of fun styling our vintage blouses against some “vintage” backdrops!  For our first outfits, we went pattern crazy, adding hats and scarves to our vibrant looks. Tea, Anyone?





Our flowered blouses just had to be photographed outside! Flower power!





And now back inside for a bit of music! Although the white vintage blouses were our original outfit inspiration, we loved the addition of colored jackets! Iya the cat liked being a fashion model.





We had to let these wild blouses loose in the open! Dots and spots = so much vintage pizzazz!




 Vintage blouses, we salute you!