Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thrifted for $7.23

I got a few things at a couple of thrift shops for a total of $7.23. I got three sewing patterns for 25 cents each. The first is a reprint of a 1952 dress and overdress pattern that I think is adorable.

Then I got a couple of patterns that look to be from the 1970s (and from Hawaii). I don’t know if I’ll ever make it, but I got a muu pattern.

And I got a cute Chinese top pattern.

I also bought a black pleated Liz Claiborne skirt for $3.50.

And finally I got a black and white Coach belt for $2.99. I think it’s super cute, the only thing is it’s large, so I’ll have to punch some holes in it so I can wear it.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Measure and Serve

I went to an estate sale and got three items, each for $1, for a total of $3. First I got this small 8-foot long tape measure. I thought it was cute and liked the design on the front. I’ve been wanting a tape measure for a while since it’s a useful tool—and because it’s so small, I can easily carry it with me if I want to measure an item at a thrift store or estate sale.

I got this metal serving spoon; I like the little grip lines on the handle that add some comfort and stability when holding it.

Finally I got measuring cups in that oh-so-popular 1970s yellow. For many years I hated this color, but over time I’ve grown to appreciate a wider range of colors. If I’d been given a choice of colors, I would not have selected this yellow, but as I didn’t have a choice, I can live with it. I love that the measuring cups are stackable and I like that the numbers are raised rather than inked on (since ink can deteriorate over time). And it’s a complete set: ¼, 1/3, ½, 2/3, ¾ and 1 cup. I think the design is interesting (with the indent in the handle) because it’s different than the smooth flat handles of many newer measuring cups.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Two Vintage Children’s Books

I got these two vintage children’s books at an estate sale for 50 cents each. I didn’t need them (and probably shouldn’t have bought them), but they were so cute and cheap.

The first book is Harry the Dirty Dog from 1956. I love the illustrations. The story’s pretty cute as well.

The second book is The Little Mermaid from 1966. I like the color palette and drawing style of the illustrations.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Silverware and Stuff

I got a few things at an estate sale and thrift shops. First is a set of 31 Oneida silverware; it’s missing some pieces, but there’s six of everything (except there’s seven knives). I don’t really like fancy patterns because it just seems like overkill on silverware. I liked this curvy line design (although if I chose from a wide selection of silverware, I’d probably choose something even simpler), but I thought it was a pretty good deal for $7.50.

Next up is a Swingline staple gun I bought for $2 (and staples for 25 cents). I’m not sure if it works (or if I’d get around to using it) but I thought it could be useful. And it’s so cute. I love the red.

I also got a red toolbox for $2. It’s slightly damaged; you have to close it in the “right” way and even then it doesn’t quite close all the way down on one side. This was also an utterly unnecessary purchase but I always seem to find myself wanting utilitarian items—even though I may not be able to utilize them. My tentative plan is to take it to work to be my snack box.

I got this Banana Republic gray sweater at a thrift store for $8. I won’t be able to wear it for another few months, but summer is generally a great time to get winter clothing at thrift shops.

I was pretty disappointed in the red cropped pants I made, because I really wanted red pants. I’d been searching for a pair for quite some time (mostly at thrift stores) and never found a good pair that was the right red, the right size and the right price. But luckily, I finally found a pair that I can live with. They’re Banana Republic pants and I got them at a thrift store for $2.50 (which is awesome).

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I Could Just Make This…Maybe

When I started sewing five years ago, I wasn’t sure if it was something that was going to stick, because often interests and hobbies just dwindle away over time. However, sewing is a hobby that has stayed with me and I’m glad it did because I find it a very useful skill to have.

Sewing is empowering. (Yes, I’m using the word “empowering” even though this word often annoys me as I think it’s overused and cheesy.) I say it’s empowering because I feel like I have an ability to make things that I wasn’t able to make before. Thus, it gives me more options and the ability to choose if I want to buy something already made or if I want to make it myself.

Nowadays, when I go into a store (selling new items) I often think, “I could just make this.” Yes, when you consider how cheap most items are, it is cheaper and faster to buy something already made, but those things generally don’t spark my interest because they’re often ugly, expensive (for what it is) and low-quality. I usually feel like I could do better than the mass-produced crap that’s flooded the market. And even if it’s not perfect, there’s a sense of joy and ownership I have when I’ve sewn something unique.

Now, while I can’t make everything and I certainly don’t make things perfectly, I do think I’ve improved with time. Things are easier now than when I first started sewing. It still takes me a long time to sew things, but I don’t feel as frustrated as I once did. And I find making simple garments, like skirts and loose dresses, to be a fairly relaxing experience.

But sometimes I fail to make something as I would like—like these red cropped pants. I tried to make these pants earlier this year and they didn’t turn out great. They fit…oddly. I’d never made pants before (other than pajamas—which don’t count as they lack the same fitting issues), so I’m not really shocked that the fit is weird. The success of these red pants is solely that I finished them (which is not unlike my first skirt that wasn’t cute but I also finished). Things often don’t turn out well when you're new at doing them, but improvement is inevitable with time and practice (and practice).