Monday, February 28, 2011

Thrift Store Finds – The "Dodged the Snow Bullet" Edition

On Thursday, I was being threatened with snow (in San Francisco, for pete’s sake!). By Sunday, it was sunny. Today? Flipping freezing.

Nevertheless, while I understand the excitement of those who didn’t grow up with snow each winter, I’m glad not to have snow for the moment. So I’m sharing some recent fun finds that won’t be seeing sunlight for a while yet.

Mossimo Cardigan - $4.49 Mossimo Flats - $3.49

A totally Goodwill outfit at that!

  • Gap Black dress - $8.99
  • Mossimo Blue Open Front Cardigan - $4.49
  • Mossimo Black Flats - $3.49 (1/2 price during the Presidents’ Day Sale)

I’m definitely looking forward to weather that lets me wear this! Do you have any fun recent finds?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How to Sew on a Button

Sadly, not every piece of thrift store clothing is perfect when you buy it. Some items have easy fixes, some not so much.

This is the first in a series of pieces on what to do when a piece that’s to die for isn’t in perfect condition.

What to Do When You’re Missing a Button

Step 1: Gather What You’ll Need
Scissors, needle, thread and button
You will need a needle, thread to match the garment, scissors and, of course, a button.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to recover the button from the garment. Many nicer pieces (particularly for coats and jackets) will have additional buttons sewn on to a tag. You can also check the pockets.

If you can’t find a matching button, you can try to find a button that matches at a local sewing store. You can also consider replacing all buttons, which enables you to give the piece a new look.

Step 2: Prepare your needle.
First, thread your needle. Then, you will want to leave approximately 12 inches on each side of the needle. 
Threaded needle
Knot your thread. A simple granny knot (double knotted) will work best here.

To form a granny knot, create a loop (as above), then thread the ends through the loop and pull tight.

Step 3: Attach your button to the garment.
First, you’ll want to check how the other buttons are attached. For flat buttons with 4 holes, the threads can appear as two straight lines (like so ||) or as an X. You’ll want to match that technique.

My button was attached with two straight lines, so I’ll use that technique. 
Insert your needle from the inside of the garment where the button was previously. (If you can’t tell where the button was previously, place it where the buttonhole meets.

Next, insert your needle through the opposite hole on the button and down through the cloth. Make at least three passes on this side of the button.

You’ll now want to come up through the other side of the button and make 3 passes on this side.
Now you have this: 

Step 4: How to Make the Shank (Not like that!)

Pass the needle through the cloth, but not through the button. Now circle the thread around the button 3 times (so that it rests under the button and creates a space for the buttonhole to lie flat).

Step 5: Finishing up
Pass the needle back through the cloth. Knot the thread on the inside of the garment. Using the needle to create a granny knot, triple knotted, will create a strong knot.

Trim the thread close to the knot and you’re done! 

All finished!

Additional tip:
1.     Now is a good time to check the piece for loose threads and to trim them. If you’re anything like me, you pull on loose threads rather than finding scissors to cut them. That can (as I know from experience) ruin an otherwise perfect piece by causing a snag or ripping a hole.

What kinds of flaws do you typically find on otherwise perfect thrift store finds? 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Secondhand Wisdom: Fashion History Primer, Save on Gas & More

Photo from Of Another Fashion
  • Cintra Wilson writes for the New York Times about the evolution of secondhand shopping and a no-boys-allowed vintage store – More
  • Fantastic history project, Of Another Fashion, chronicles the history of fashion for women of color. The photos Minh-Ha T. Pham has collected are worth a look on their own, but the history lessons in the captions are incredible! – More
  • Good primer from SavvySugar on what to do to curb pain at the pump – More

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thrift Store Finds - Goodwill Presidents' Day Sale

Goodwill was running a sale this weekend for Presidents' Day, 60% off all denim (more on that later), 50% off selected women's tops and bottoms and 50% off shoes. I found some fun stuff that I might not ordinarily have decided to bring home. 

That inspired me to go digging through my recent finds to put together some cute outfits rather than letting them languish. 

I bought the black flats about 2 weeks ago, but hadn't yet tried them out with anything. The sweater is another in my quest to leave no grey sweater unturned. I do rather like it though, and it's just worn enough to be snuggly. 

Xhilaration black 
studded flats - $8.99 
Grey Mossimo Oversize
Cardigan - $2.74 (on a 50% off
sale at Goodwill)

Those two pieces, combined with black skinny jeans and a black cami, put together an outfit not unlike what I wear when Goodwilling, but this should also make a good option for switching into after work to go out. 

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