Monday, April 29, 2013

Tunic Upcycle

A beige linen was so dull and boring I dyed it a rich dark brown. But... it never did fit properly thanks to  generously endowed, um, assets. Love the color, but I'd never wear the darned thing.

Remembering the two-tone skirt made mid-April, I dug out the bottom chopped hem of the blue knit. Then I chopped, pinned, and sewed a new tunic for myself! Woo-hoo! What's so great about it is that I can wear it any season, with or without a shirt underneath.

As a show of mercy, I promise to always wear it with shorts, leggings, or sweater tights because no woman my age should wear anything that short!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Tale of Two Levi's, Part Two: The Quasi-Prairie Skirt

So who wants doggie friends? I don't, not when I'm eating bacon! Trust me: you do not want your dog's snout hovering near your bacon-bedecked plate. Grrr...

Friday's post tells the tale of how I made like a serial killer and vengefully wreaked havoc on two pairs Levi's with a pair of scissors: Slash, snip, and rip! You can see "before" photos of the virgin and unsullied innocents prior to the desecration.

Then I made an A-line skirt with one pair, and saved the other pair for today's more complicated (for me) project: A quasi-Prairie skirt. It's the Prairie skirt technique I'll be using, but the combination of cloths I chose are not "country-style" prairie. But hey, the photos will hopefully serve as a tutorial of sorts.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Tale of Two Levi's, Part One: The A-Line

Two pairs of Levi's I purloined from the Pack-Rat Husband Extraordinaire. These old Levi's have been patched, re-sewn, and patched again; the fabric is too weak for bleaching and dying: they're from the late 1970's!!
Now he cannot wear them any more because each is shredding at the crotch (and I fed and put weight on my husband so he won't fit into them ever again, anyway). What to do? Answer: One A-Line skirt and one Prairie skirt, woo-hoo! Forget about your cares, it is time to relax and join me in a cuppa joe as I get started.
Fuel via the re-fashioned Chemex (messy stove - oops! Mybad).

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I Purloined My Husband's Jeans!

My husband's job buys work clothes for him annually; he has more work jeans than a body can wear! So I stole, I purloined a pair yesterday. They were hideous, anyway, and must have been several years' old because they are too small for him now. I feed him that well.
So I bleached the life out of these things, following the excellent bleaching and dying guidelines by The Little Giggler.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blouse refashion & FAIL for fun

I've held on to this blouse (from a thrift shop) for several years because I liked the dark color and its small pattern.  But its cut makes a girl look too much like General MacArthur, what with the shoulder pads and sharpened sleeves:
Shoulder pads. Poofy sleeves. NO!! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Upcycled maxi to top

You know, I cannot seem to break my depression. The Abilify fattens me - so far I've gained a whopping ten pounds and I'm up to 150 from LAST WEEK. This is NOT acceptable. It's bad for my blood pressure, which goes up with weight gain (not rocket science). Time to quit Abilify because I won't be able to fit into my clothes if I keep taking it. Damn it all, the Abilify works but there is this trade-off, which just isn't worth it. Maybe with the Springtime sunshine the depression will lighten on its own. We shall see...

This was a VERY quick and easy 'upcycle'. The word works better than "refashion" because the maxi-dress was truly trailer-trash tent-like. So it classes it up a bit, chopping it at the waist and hemming the top. The bottom part I've set aside for another skirt, which I'll write about at a later date.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sweatshirt to cardigan with my morning coffee

My 19 year old daughter bought me some lovely, fragrant coffee beans!! She visited my 22 year old up in Mt. Holyoke, Ma., where my eldest is a student in Russian. Those girls make me such a proud Mom. Brewing coffee begins my week with a huge grin, a delightful Sunday morning it is.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

What I'm Wearing Today

Just a quick post on a linen skirt I dyed. I find I am actually wearing clothes I refashioned! Held on to this skirt for years, and rarely wore it. Now I love it!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What I'm Wearing Today

Earlier in the month I posted about this two-colored skirt.

A windy day, I want to dye my hair red, red, & more red!!
  • Granny boots: Thrifted
  • "Lagenlook" skirt I made 
  • Thrifted knit black top
  • My daughter beaded the necklace

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Re-newing a Re-fashioned Skirt

Did you ever have a not-quite "fail"? This overly long two-toned prairie skirt could have gone either way. Fortunately, with a little snipping and hemming it turned out even better than I thought it could - YAY!!
Way too long...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mean Greenie

My step-daughter Diana gifted me her lovely Italian silk plaid blouse when she visited me in the hospital in July 2012. (My depression was so deep I took an overdose and woke up in the hospital a few days later. I stayed for a month.) My husband's love and concern acknowledged, he had no clue as to what things to bring me, especially clothes. Jeans? "Here, honey... yeah, they were my Dad's but..."
So I begged my daughters & my step-daughter to donate to The Clothes Cause. Now, I'm a full-busted lady, a "full-figured gal" a la Jane Russell or Sophia Loren. Perhaps young, very slim girls in their late teens and early twenties have different visions of what the "Older, Full-Figured" style might entail... Diana got it almost right, but the blouse just would not adapt and I tore it. Oops! Time for a summery style skirt and a photo essay on how to make it:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Making A Two-Tone Prairie Skirt

A friend known since second grade is like my sister: "Miss Jenny" lives in a huge country house in the Heldebergs and I'm just starting to recuperate from the weekend. No booze - I don't drink, never have - instead, we spent the time cooking and eating. Have you ever tried reading a book with lots of tiny print and multi-syllabic words? Never mind the book I was catching up on had one page of footnotes for every page of text: I was reading the excellent and worth-the-time book The Open Society and Its Enemies by Sir Karl Popper. Do you have a list of books you "mean to" read but never do? I finally pushed myself...
And now, on to the Two-Tone Prairie Skirt project:

Friday, April 12, 2013

Made it! Another maxi-skirt

My friend Jenny grew up with me; she and her husband own a huge old country manor in a rural New York village. Guess who is going to visit over the weekend? Yes, that would be me.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What I'm Wearing Today

The $5 Macy's Clearance skirt used to be a bright powder blue with bright green palm tree design on linen... I used RIT Black & RIT Brown dyes mixed together and transformed the linen to a more subtle design. Easy!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Adding length to a short skirt

I adore this Ann Taylor cotton skirt because it fits beautifully at the waist and hips BUT it is too damned short! It is inappropriate to wear above-knee skirts with naked legs in the summer at my dignified age. Other women might be able to carry it off - and well, too. But I am no Barbara Eden or Joan Collins...
The Beast & I at play!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Yellow Maxi-Skirt

In an earlier post, I put up photos and wrote about dying old blue jeans to yellow, using RIT Lemon Yellow.

What I'm Wearing Today
Wearing my yellow maxi with
  • Thrift store white knit top
  • Sanita yellow clogs with wood heels

Monday, April 8, 2013

Adding length to an above-knee skirt

  • My kid's X-Small Charlotte Russe top 
  • $1.00 Goodwill black above-the-knee skirt, size 10 (my size)
Easy and cute "Upcycle" for this Mom whose knees are the
National Treasure hee he

Prairie Skirt, Pt. II

Wearing my new Prairie Skirt with my floral Doc's!!

I hand-stiteched my ribbon+fabrics through the Rear pockets,
by sticking one hand inside the pocket so
I didn't stitch all the way through it,

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Prairie Skirt, Pt. 1: "My Bad" In the Middle of the Prairie

I started taking Abilify again after ceasing the second week in. But the depression came back full force so it seemed wise to either take Abilify (which does pull me out of the Darkness), or just succumb to suicidal ideation.

Oh, Hell, one of Abilify's side effects is that it increases production of prolactin (aka the breastmilk hormone). Yes, my 40D's are larger and I got my period for the second time in a week. Good thing my OB/GYN appointment is Wednesday: Hello, checking estrogen levels! So here I am, peri-menopausal, drugged up on psychiatric meds, and scarfing down chocolates to satisfy cravings. Oy vey is right!!

On to the Prairie Skirt Process... The final photograph shows "My Bad" - where I will have to go back and re-baste the black cloths to the ribbon, and then pin the ribbon to the denim all over again. BUT at least it's easy to do, just time-consuming.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

What I'm Wearing Today

The Insomnia-Borne Skirt

*Not shown: Floral Dr. Marten's (what else?)*
Thrifted tee-shirt dyed from puce to dark lilac 
As a sort of "re-mix," I turn the tee around and wear it backwards: It looks like a 'boatneck' collar in front.
That floral design made of cheap polyester "lace" gives off a hairy-chest look when worn 'correctly'. 
My 19 year old daughter approves!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Rachel Recommends...

The supply of denim in my home seems to breed. The piles of clothes left behind by my two beautiful daughters (college-ages 19 & 22), combine with baskets of jeans my husband wore throughout the course of his adult life - a male Pack-Rat. My husband's jeans' inseams runs between 34" - 36" longs and that means lots and lots of denim fabric for me to play with! Jim is 6'5", a former basketball player for Siena College in the 1970's. We are that old... 
Here are links to two recommended refashionistas:

Insomniac makes skirt

I quit Abilify and Ambien cold turkey on Sunday night; Thursday night (last night) I had wicked, wicked insomnia. Naturally those sweatpants just begged for a sex change! I did not take a "before" picture - you have all seen what an old, pilled pair of Hane's sweatpants look like. (If not, save your eyesight and don't bother... meh!) Without further ado:
Hand-stitched the inserts from a thin black tee... 2am!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Good Morning!!

"On the back-burner" is the next denim refashion, a prairie skirt. Sincerely, Kinsey posted a terrific Prairie Skirt DIY, a "for dummies" that one may follow with confidence. Oh, Prairie skirt, how charming thou art! I love longer skirts because they permit one to stomp-walk and to wear one's floral Dr. Martens with impunity. Short skirts allow the unforgiving lady-saunter which is to say, not at this stage in the game of life!

24 oz. Latte in a cobalt blue mug! Woo-hoo! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hair Affair III

Is this life full of exciting thrills or what?
This afternoon Husband & I hit Wally-World to smirk at its people and purchase hair dye. I wound up with L'oreal Excellence because I liked the name of the color: Dark Chocolate. So you-know-who's born to be wild spirit broke from its harness and that's right, shook up the L'Oreal Feria routine and went a little nuts with L'Oreal Excellence. If I drove, I'd run the yellow lights, too, because I'm living on the edge here.
See the "After" and "Before" pics below (yeah, in that order, because I'm a rebel).

Dancing with Albert, not having a seizure...

What makes this a "re-mix"? First, I wore this skirt in a recent picture, with a different outfit. Second, beside the skirt, everything else has been in my possession for years, plural. I started cleaning my daughter Betty's room, as it has become the 'elephant graveyard' for both her clothes and Miriam's. Such great finds, starting with a few things stolen from this Mom... always a pleasure to re-discover a favorite sweater!

Hair Affair: II

Sunday night, I stopped taking Abilify* (an anti-psychotic) and Ambien (a narcoleptic). My scalp's sebaceous glands were working overtime and the skin on my earlobes, of all places, started cracking and bleeding(!!) The medications surely must have initiated these mild dermatological annoyances. I'm an empiricist: I took new meds for a couple weeks then once I stopped, *voila* my skin cleared up.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Yellow denim fabric for a 'Maxi-Skirt'

Oh, for a lemony yellow maxi from old, oversized ManJeans!!  The Little Giggler's "Bleaching 101: Dark Jeans to Pastel Shorts" is a well-written and detailed tutorial — I followed her guidelines and started the bleaching process on 3/29...

Photo 1. What I started with:
"At the starting gate"

Upcycled cuteness

A white cotton Gap shirt transformed to a bright lemony yellow: RIT dye, I love you.
April 2nd and it's snowing... I needed some lemony cheer!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Embarrassing and Disgraceful Refashion: Pt. III

I've been in bed with bronchitis or something like it, and my dining room needs a proper cleaning. There's no table space for the sewing machine yet. I did this skirt entirely by hand:
Front of skirt - I am so pleased!

Sprucing up the Chemex coffeemaker

My Chemex coffeemaker was hand-blown in the 1960's. The wood collar is original but the traditional pieces
(wooden bead and rawhide tie) were long gone; a piece of white polyester twine had been holding the wood collar pieces in place. Springtime Spruce-up idea:
braided and beaded blue cord, with an old wooden Coates & Clark thread spool for the bead