Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thrifty, Frugal Sewing Fun! (and a random cat dress)

I'm a huge thrift store freak.
I mean, I love shopping and clothes, but I hate spending lots of money. Plus, I love the rush of adrenaline that comes with finding a particularly good deal. I love being thrifty and frugal (and you'd know that I come by it honestly if you knew my mother). I talk a good bit about how I ought to teach classes on this stuff. :)

I also like sewing. Sometimes if I'm working on a big project it gets stressful, but most of the time I do it for stress relief. It's actually really enjoying, fun, and distracting (which can all be good things!). There's a blog that I've admired for a few years called New Dress A Day that really inspired me. I've wanted to do a dress refashion for a few years now, but I was just waiting to find the perfect dress to start with. I'm still a beginner sewer (or is it seamstress?), so I needed something simple for my first project- preferably something that just needed hemming. 

Then-one day at the thrift store, I struck a goldmine. 
Thank you dear brother for posing. Sorry for not telling you that I was going to post it on my blog. 
No, it wasn't this homemade cat dress (even though I really did want it- I mean, cats, pink polka dotted ribbon, what more could you want?). You see, when I was in fourth and fifth grade, I went through a phase where my favorite two dresses that I wore all the time were these little cotton GapKids numbers (or they might have been Lands End, I don't remember). I tried to find a better picture, but this is the best I could find. You get the idea.

It was a really awkward time in my life. I loves these two dresses (a purple short sleeved one and a long sleeved blue one) mostly because it felt like I was wearing pajamas (or rather a nightgown) all day. They were really super comfy, and I was really upset when my mom told me that I had outgrown them.

So, imagine my joy when I found this little number at the store! It was nice and soft (probably because it's so worn) and reminded me of the dresses that I used to love to wear.It just had a small problem- it was kind of long. While I love the maxi-dress look, the style of the dress was a little too Duggar for me. I kind of felt like I was stuck in the 90s- and that I really would need that cat lady shirt if I wore the dress as is. Since my favorite dresses were knee length, I thought that would be a good length to start with. (I'm also going to apologize for the messy bathroom with a fire hydrant...I share a bathroom with two boys, but it's the best place lighting wise for full-body pictures at nighttime- my best crafting time). 
Please note, I have nothing against moms who home school. I totally want to home school my future children someday...I just don't want to dress in frumpy clothes. Just going with the stereotype here. :)

This project was really simple. All I did to the dress was hem it- but it made the dress so much better (and more practical and wearable!).
I used a dress that I already owned to get a basic idea for length. Then, I pinned a hem onto the bottom. And then- I realized that it was still too long. So, I got frustrated and put the project away for a few weeks.

Tonight, I picked up the project again and I decided to cut a few more inches off. I didn't use a guide this time, I just put it on and then eyeballed it. Since the dress has a rounded/circle hem, it was really difficult to pin. So, since it is made of a t-shirt kind of material that shouldn't fray easily, I just rolled it up as I sewed on my machine. I may end up having to fold it over again and re-hem, but it was worth it to not have to fight with the hem and sharp pins. :)

Now I have a nice "new" cute dress! I really like the fact that I can wear it year round. Since it's short sleeved, I can obviously wear it in the warmer months (80% of the year in good ol' Alabama). But, I can also wear it with a cardigan and tights in the winter months. It also looks pretty cute over jeans as a tunic. :)

For three bucks, I think this one's a winner! :)

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