My fingers hurt, but I still sewed!

If this looks like the face of evil, that’s because it is.Image

This furry-faced feline, who I adopted two-and-a-half weeks ago and just happens to match the sweater I’m wearing, sunk her fangs into my fingers!  The left index finger and the right thumb, to be more precise.  And now they’re all hurt-y.  That’s okay, though.  I still love my cat.Image

(Look!  A muslin-covered pillow form I have yet to sew a cover for.)

See?  This photo was taken after I came home from the urgent care center.  This finger is much more ridiculously swollen in real life.  Still, even with a puffed-up index finger that doesn’t bend much and feels painful when anything so much as tickles it, I managed to sew.

This.

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(Oops, I forgot to get rid of the iron and the cat toy from the picture!)

Okay, okay.  To be fair, I got this apron from a thrift shop.  It was made for a 7-foot tall person and went down to my ankles, but when I saw this, I thought, “That’s okay. I have a sewing machine now!”  So I took it home and cut out maybe a foot from the middle, into these two parts you see here:

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I used my pinking shears for probably the second time ever.  I LOVE THESE…Image

…SO MUCH.

Look at how I managed to iron this double-fold hem in preparation for stitching.  It’s really hard to iron when two of your fingers are sensitive and virtually useless.  It’s even more annoying when you thumb touches the part of fabric that was just freshly ironed, so it gets even more sensitive and touchy.  But I still did it!

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I did have this minor issue, though…

When I was finished stitching, I flipped the fabric over and realized there was a pile of thread in an otherwise nice, straight stitch.  No matter!  I cut it out and stitched out it.  Then, I reattached the straps on the sides at a more flattering location.  Previously, since the apron was made for said 7-foot-tall person, the straps went around the middle of my butt.  That was neither flattering or comfortable.  I sewed on the straps near center of the apron so they would wrap around my lower back. MUCH BETTER.

And, in case you’re curious why the cat bit me – it’s because I picked her up from the kitchen countertop she jumped on, and I was trying to get her away from the heavy duty cleaning products I just sprayed around the kitchen.  She got scared, especially getting too close to the stove exhaust fan which was on “high,” wanted to get out of my grasp, and bit me.  Boo.  Next time I’ll use a spray bottle as some people have suggested to me!

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Vintage & Antique Discoveries

Today was the first time I ever browsed a real vintage store!  I was lucky to be able to visit two within the same block.

I found so many amazing things!

This was the first thing I saw and picked up.  I think it’s lovely.  Unfortunately, like many of the items in the store, this was deceptively small!  I could only zip it up halfway.  It was a small.

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I also quite liked this vest; it looked adorable on, but I don’t typically wear vests.  Back to the rack it went!

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I’m in love with this black mini dress.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.  It’s adorable in real life!  They would go great with a certain pair of black lacy heels I just purchased from the consignment shop.

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I also found this plaid wool skirt.  I’ve never been terribly fond of plaid, but I LOVE this so much! The beige, the brown, and the grey work so well together, and the material is such nice quality.  The fringe detail on the pockets is fun, and speaking of pockets, who doesn’t love a skirt with a pocket or two?! They’re practical!

I would hem this to above the knee, however, since the length is overwhelming on my petite frame.

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There were many lovely vintage pieces, but these are the only ones I thought fit my style best!  The sweetest part was that everything was 30% off.  Great deal!  I also got a pair of boots, which I’ll be sure to wear in a future outfit post!

And plus, isn’t the fitting room so retro and cute?  This is the romper from a previous thrift store shopping expedition.  🙂

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The second vintage shop also had some great things.

This nautical dress isn’t my style, but it’s certainly adorable!

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I thought this maxi dress was adorable, but it was about a foot too long for me!  I didn’t feel like it was particularly worth hemming or fixing up, so I passed this up.

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I also passed up this beautiful green maxi dress.  It comes with a matching shawl, which I wasn’t too fond of. The length was perfect.  The color looks amazing on tan skin tones!  I figured I wouldn’t wear too frequently.  Someone else will love it. 🙂

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I ended up buying these items instead!

I found the shorts first, then I walked around the store and discovered this top, which I felt would look great with the shorts.  So I tried it on… et voila!

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I love the high waisted shorts. It’s very comfortable.  Got to work on those legs more, however!

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Check out this brown bag! It was only $24, great quality, leather, and looks very similar to the J Crew Edie satchel, which I used to pine for.

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The J Crew Edie purse in many colors:

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I also found some amazing things at the antiques shop.  It was a treasure trove for jewelry and mid-century furniture pieces.

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Check out this old Singer sewing machine!  Only $300-ish. 🙂

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Remember when people used to use these?

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I adore this necklace.

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I was trying to be good and not wipe out all their jewelry displays (they had quite the collection from estates), though, so I only bought this. 🙂

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If there’s anything I learned today, it’s that antique and vintage shops are dangerous for my wallet!  But at least I have a nice new [secondhand] bag in which to house that wallet. 🙂

Santa Rosa has so many amazing vintage, thrift, antique, and consignment shops. I wish I could’ve spent the whole day looking through all of them!

Fabric shopping day!

I woke up to a grey, rainy day.  Normally, I’m pretty fearful of clouds and rain, but I was feeling pretty optimistic today because I got to go to the fabric store!  It wasn’t as overwhelming as my first shopping experience at Jo Ann’s (so, so many fabrics, aisles and aisles of them!!)  but there were still some fun, different fabrics I haven’t seen at other places yet.

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I love how everything is organized by color!  And there were so many pretty floral patterns, though I didn’t pick those up.

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You see, I’m trying to come up with projects I should start instead of doing what I keep doing, which is buying pretty fabrics and trying to come up with things to do with them.  I’ve started to accumulate quite the backlog of fabrics!

So I tried to stay practical…

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Got my threads…

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Then, I unwittingly selected a couple fabrics that matched up with the threads!  I wasn’t planning on it, I swear!

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Aren’t they pretty together?

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These are 440 yards each, if I remember correctly.  This is great for avoiding moments like this:

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How many times has this happened to you?!

cosmetic bag attempt

I created this cosmetic pouch using scrap fabric pieces and a 9″ zipper. This is my first time sewing on a zipper! I didn’t use a pattern for this bag; I thought “winging it” would be a good way to learn so I could trouble shoot things on my own.

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This only cost me $3 to make!

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I lined the inside with a colorful striped fabric as well.

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Next time, I will try making the bag more structured and stiff with fusible interfacing or batting, or maybe using oilcloth instead of regular cotton fabric! I think inner or outer pockets would be useful for small items such as lipsticks and lip balms, too!

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In the end, I’m happy with how this project turned out. Now I have a makeup bag that can fit extra big items like that Lorac Unzipped eyeshadow palette, which my other makeup bag could not accommodate due to its shorter width!

thrift and consignment shopping finds!

It was definitely a fruitful shopping day for me at the thrift and consignment shops!

I found this amazing bag (and all the goodies in it!)

Bag full of goodies!

Pretty prints and colors!

I love this red floral maxi skirt!  I’ve been looking to add maxi skirts into my wardrobe.  The red floral print is cheery!  I could take in the waist a bit, however!

Floral Skirt

I don’t typically go for rompers myself due to the awkward bathroom situation, but I’m a sucker for ditsy floral prints.  I couldn’t help myself with this one.  The fit is great, but I do need to reinforce the buttons and add a hook-and-eye closure between the bust to stop gaping.

Floral Romper

I also scored a great tweed skirt.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good picture because my kitty kept attacking it.  She loves attacking anything with an interesting texture.  This skirt needs to be taken in at the waist!  I hope my Singer will be able to handle this.

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And here’s the outfit I wore!  I went for something ultra feminine with the lace and crochet dress, my comfortable 3″ raffia wedges, and my vintage Dooney & Bourke find from a thrift shop in Calistoga (love this bag so much!).

Lace Crochet Dress

Some of my finds I’ll definitely have to patch up, however, like this paisley maxi dress.  It’s a size medium, but a couple stitches to the backside will make the bodice fit much better and fix the sag!

paisley maxi dress

Needless to say, I’m pretty thrilled!  It’s always a good idea to stop into thrift or consignment shops at least once a week.  You’ll never know what knew goodies will turn up!

My Newfound Love

I made the best decision one day when I decided to close my eyes and “pull the trigger” on my first ever sewing machine, despite my lack of sewing skills at the time.  When the UPS man dropped off my sewing machine at the door a few days earlier than expected, I was ecstatic.  I left it alone for nearly a week before I even attempted to sew.  It took me five hours to get the hang of it, but once I reached that “ah-ha!” moment, I enjoyed every minute of my time with my new best friend.

 

Eventually I couldn’t stop sewing and planning what to sew next.  Then, I realized that I don’t love sewing… I’m obsessed.  Sewing is, by far, the most exciting thing for me to do.  Sure, there’s painting, cooking, reading, exploring the outdoors and such, but there’s something about sitting down and sewing that is so satisfyingly delightful, unlike anything else.

 

Hello.  My name is Ida, and I’m a sewing addict.