I heard through the grapevine that a friend of a friend was clearing out her sewing studio, and giving away lots of fabric for free. Yummy! I almost felt a little greedy, but the studio-holder said it would just be thrown away if nobody took it home with them, and who am I to argue when encouraged to grab free fabric? There must be some major karma coming her way.
Click the picture to get a better look at the stash.
A couple of the fabrics in the picture came from a different studio-clearing day though – the plaid cotton is perfect for a new shirt for the boy, and a shiny, silky, wine-red fabric may very well turn into a pillow-cover soon. The rest was all from the same swoop, and there are some real goodies there! The mustard colored chiffon on top of the center pile would look wonderful as a breezy cocktail dress, and some of the patterned textiles I’ve already placed around the apartment as curtains, tote bags, and for reupholstering chairs. Some pieces are just remnants, but being thriftily inclined I usually find a use for them anyways!
The less tidy pile to the left is my to-do pile. It is higher than ever, chock full of things to mend, things to hem, and things to plain finish after having abandoned them for longer period of times. Good thing the end of the semester is soon upon me!
While April is trying to decide between being winter and summer, I can pretend I finished these mittens in the right season.
I started them back in December, and over the Christmas break I worked on them a lot – on buses, trains and planes. Well, perhaps mostly while waiting in airports actually. I used the first pair of mittens I made as my pattern, just counting my way on the mittens to get the numbers and stitches right. I’m not even sure I still have a xerox of the original pattern, but I’m no stranger to winging it when making things. Since I changed some patterning as I went along on the first pair, I had to do the same thing here. I also reduced the space between the pattern and the edge-band by one stitch, and that meant some fudging and mathematical tweaking. I won’t point out where, but yes, there are some wonky spots on these mittens.
The main part of the mittens came together nicely over the Christmas break, but then it just came to a halt. The thumbs has taken me perhaps a couple of hours each to make (including ripping out silly mistakes), but space the making of the thumbs a couple of months apart, and it’s April and I’m making merino wool double layer winter mittens.
I comfort myself with the thought that mittens are always useful, and these will wait patiently until the weather turns chilly again. Until then my mittens!
I went thrifting today with a friend, and man, was it successful! Between the thriftstore and the yard sale we went to, I got two dresses, a couple of sweaters, a couple of belts, a bag and a pair of shoes. I was very impressed with the selection, and with gorgeous weather to boot, it was one nice day. A couple of things need a little tender loving mending-care before they are ready to be worn, but in the meanwhile, I’m ready to step in as an extra on Mad Men in my wholly thrifted outfit:
Even the chair in the picture is thrifted (but not today, I got it many months ago. It’s waiting for new upholstery), and the glasses once belonged to my mom, back when she had barely turned twenty. I had new glass lenses set into the frames, and I keep them around to use when the fancy strikes. I realized the dress must be fairly old. I found several labels inside with old fashioned fonts, one reading Int’l Ladies Garment Workers Union. I also found a couple of cotton armpit-patches, safety-pinned in! The dress unfortunately has a couple of spots with moth damage, but otherwise it fits like a glove.
The patent leather belt set me back a mere dollar. I’ll take that.
The yard sale we went to was more of a closing sale, I guess, than anything else. A couple of women who did styling/costuming was closing their warehouse space, and held a sale in the backyard of a coffee-shop. It was lovely, and jam-packed with cheap goodies, among them, the handbag and these shoes. I loved my new shoes so much I changed into them at once. The heel-shape is so nice, and the detail on the front really makes the whole shoe.
More thrifted goodness to be shown later! And real April weather – welcome.