‘Member how I told you on Tuesday that I couldn’t wait to show you what I did with that pretty mint zipper?

Well I can’t show you because the zipper is barely in the picture. Nice work, Allie. It’s there I promise.

But I can tell you about it!

My sister brought Made by Rae’s adorable wristlet pattern to our Sew Weekend. And I just happened to have some of that graphic vintage fabric with me.

And so a vintage wristlet lined with seersucker was born. With a mint zipper.

Check out my sister’s version!

Now go make one!

Pay attention folks. Today I’m offering you some advice from which I have no experience to speak of.

You’re really going to learn something today. Something that will have your guests ooing and ahhing for hours.

Today you will learn the intracacies of being a top notch brunch host/hostess, from an avid brunch party attendee/nonhostess.

Be sure to pick some dainty wildflowers on your morning jog. Carefully arrange four small vases of said flowers, and place equally spaced on the brunch table.

Carefully set each place with adorable, vintage milk glasses rescued from a Connecticut dairy farm. Don’t forget the matching vintage dishes and cloth napkins.

Fresh cherries must be present.
DO NOT FORGET THE BACON! If you remember only one thing, this is it.

Bake not one, but two savory quiches with a buttery homemade pie crust.

Do all of this after working until midnight the night before.

Isn’t my boss the best?

Yup, my growling stomach and I think so too.

About a week after I began my year of nothing new I had a small panic attack. I had enthusiastically undertaken this project knowing that I would have to get to make most of my clothes for the coming year. I was giddy to get started on my merry way, thrifting fabric and repurposing my current wardrobe.

That is until I realized that sewing always requires thread, and sometimes things like zippers and elastic.

Like I said, panic ensued. Without much research, I hastily decided that my project was doomed. I pictured me wearing my last year’s styles (god forbid) and holey jeans, all because I ran out of thread, and there was no way I was going to find that used.

I’m so happy to say I was every so wrong. My favorite shopping locales pulled through for me. Just in time to avoid a theoretical throwing-in-of-the-towel. I never said I’m not a quitter.

I present to you my haul. From one thrift store trip.

Yes folks, that would be ten zippers. Most were 50 cents, some were 25 cents. Some are metal vintage zippers and some are polyester. All of them are pure thrifted goodness.

Colors/types from left to right: grey metal, two yellow polyester, 2 white metal, 1 white polyester, 1 mint metal, 1 mint polyester, 1 orange metal, 1 cranberry polyester.

The mint polyester zipper has already been put to use in a project I am absolutely dying to show you.

The grey zipper was manufactured in 1955, and had these great graphics on the back. I am now constantly thinking about how I can incorporate zippers into sleeves. It will happen.

My mom actually gave me this vintage thread she had lying around because it was old and “not good anymore”. Apparently thread goes bad? I tugged on a strand and it seemed fine to me. I’ll take it. Besides, mini spools are heartbreakingly adorable.

Next up, snap fasteners. After looking at this pictures, I’m not sure these are the two sided snaps I presumed. Oops.

And finally, some hook and loop enclosures for dresses or skirts. I’ve never actually sewed with these, but I do realize they require hand sewing. Hand sewing is not one of my talents. Hence, these may never get used. I’m okay with that.

This last month has renewed my hope that beyond sewing supplies, almost anything can be obtained second hand. What’s more, the process of finding and acquiring the most random items is actually totally fun, and allows you to appreciate some of the craftsmanship and vintage graphics from yesteryear. While I’m aware that after six or nine months, the convenience of buying new and quickly will be enticing and totally tempting. But right now it completely turns me off. I’m okay with that too.

21. July 2012 · 5 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

Being a Beagle is hard work.

Especially when you’re surrounded by five girls. All day. Every day.

Five loud, talkative, shrieking girls. Five females who are rarely quiet and calm.

Being a Beagle is tough when your velvet ears get tugged on, day in and day out.

And when needy girls wake you from an afternoon slumber to smother you with kisses.

Being a Beagle is hard work when five females refuse to share a morsel of human food with you.

Being a Beagle is hard work, until you find a quiet gentleman man who has a lap that’s perfect for a 25 pound canine.

A quiet gentleman who doesn’t tug on your ears and shriek about how adorable you are.

Being a Beagle isn’t so bad when you find a gentleman who lets you lay your head on his shoulder, just five minutes after you’ve met him.

Being a Beagle is easy when you can peacefully dream about chasing rabbits with no fear of waking to a face no more than two inches from your own.

The tiny pocket tank has me craving something flowy and sleeveless. Like, all of the time.

One could attribute that to the 100 plus degree temperatures in Montana right now. If they wanted.

Attribute away I say, I’m still going to scour the thrift stores for too-big, sleeveless numbers to appease my craving.

Meet Big Red.

And boy is she big. A 1XL Notations tank (that makes me look 8 months pregnant) would be perfect to turn into a tiny pocket tank, I thought.

I put it on and quickly called for my sew-talented mom to assist. She grabbed a bit of fabric from each side to see what it would look like if we merely brought the sides in a bit. The result was a long, flowing cap sleeve. A basic piece for lounging in skinny jeans or tucked into a skirt for more cleaned up look.

So take in the sides we did. Literally the quickest sewing fix available. And when you’ve resized about a hundred button-ups, this is a no-brainer. I promise you’ll think so too.

First, we placed a pin in the armpit where we wanted to take the shirt in. Then I used a quilter’s ruler and chalk to draw a diagonal down to the hem of the shirt, making sure to leave more room at the bottom of the shirt than at the top.

Then, I made sure the slippery fabric was laying absolutely flat and I pinned along that line.

Normally, I would cut the fabric off the side, pin it up, then sew. But this time I just sewed down that white chalk line, and cut the extra fabric off after I knew the fit was right. It worked like a charm!

Finally, I serged up the sides to prevent fraying.

This project took a total twenty minutes from start to finish. My kind of sewing indeed.

I wore this shirt the same day to the Vintage Whites Antique Market and sewing all day. It was totally comfortable, and breezy to boot.

There are many more Sew Thrifted posts to come! Check back each Thursday to see all the crap I’ve accumulated from thrift stores in the past 30 days.

A Year of Nothing New Update:

My year of nothing new has been rather uneventful thus far, besides a slight moment of panic when I was told I’d need work boots for a workshop I’m taking. I quickly scoured eBay, added several used items to my watch list and then forgot completely about the work boots that I’m required to wear…on Monday.

Today is Thursday.


Yesterday, I asked each of the girls I work with their feet size and my favorite coworker told me she’s exactly my size and has an extra pair that I can borrow! I will admit that it’s a little anxiety inducing asking people if you can borrow random items, but I’ve found that, in general, people are more than willing to help a friend out.

If nothing else, this year of nothing makes me appreciate the generosity of my friends and family, and drives me to be equally as willing to give the shirt off my back. Life is good and people are good. Amen.

The first annual Sew Weekend was a huge success!

But, honestly, there was no other way it could’ve turned out.

When you’re surrounded by the most inspiring people on earth, in the most beautiful place in the world, on the rainiest weekend of the year, life doesn’t get much better.

Until you have to leave.

Then, you might shed a tear on the drive home.

It could happen.

A two day downpour at Swan Lake in July is odd. Completely out of the normal.

The sewing gods were shining down on us through those showers. Because creating on a rainy day is a million times better than creating on a perfect-weather-to-be-sitting-in-a-tube-on-the-lake day.

Five little sewing machine presser feet humming along at a constant pace and the hiss of the steam iron created a lovely soundtrack for the weekend. My mom’s amazing ginger cookies and fresh berries were our weekend snacks. And early mornings with several cups of hot coffee were a time for quiet and peace.

I have so much to show you. I can hardly wait.

But for now, I’m still living in last weekend. Give me another day.

Flannels are in!


Long live flannel.


Let’s pretend the skimpiest possible jean shorts and toned and tan legs are NOT in. Agreed? Agreed.

For ideas for what to do with flannels, check out this post.

All thanks to this post by A Beautiful Mess I will now freely call myself a photographer. I would highly recommend following their instructions step by step.

And then go wild on your entire library of photos! Please someone come and pry this overheating computer out of my dead, lifeless grip.

Here are two of my edits. Don’t tell me if they still look horrendous. My photographer ego is prone to rapid deflation.

Very obviously too dark. Which I didn’t notice until I started tweaking it. A true photographer’s eye, I have.

Stark contrast, soft light

A bit dark, among other things that are obviously wrong that I can’t articulate.

All ethereal and dreamy…and stuff.

Try it. Now. And book me for your next chicken event!

Last weekend I ventured to Bozeman for a birthday party and some much needed sister/friend time. We talked, we laughed, we attempted to go for a jog. And we thrifted.

My sister and I were discussing our distinct preferences for secondhand shopping. I prefer to hit the large thrift stores and look through each and every clothing item shoved tightly into those racks. The junkier the better, in my opinion. She prefers to visit antique stores; the ones with mounds of interesting old iron stuff sitting outside and amazing Danish furniture inside.

We visited both thrift stores and antique stores this weekend, and I scored big at both.

This amazing vintage fabric was at the bottom of a huge basket of zip lock bags of random fabric clippings. For only $7.50 I got nearly a yard and a half.

My only worry is whether this beautiful canvas-weight cotton can be machine washed. And whether it would be considered total sacrilege to make a little zippered wallet pouch out of it. Please, somebody help me decide.

This light and breezy table cloth was only $1.00, so it was basically begging to be purchased. I’m thinking about cutting it in half to make a nice spring/summer scarf. The fabric is rather thin, so I’m not sure what else it could be used for.

Did you know that where I currently live there are chickens?!

Buckley is so intrigued by these little ladies. Sage, Thyme, Rosemary and Basil are four very brave, finicky, and vocal fowl.

This coming weekend we’ll be having a little sewing retreat at my cabin. Lots and lots of pictures to ensue. I am apologizing in advance.

It’s been a patriotic five days.

So much red, white and blue.

A small town 4th of July parade is full of tractors and horses. Obviously.

And a surprise 30th birthday party is full of personalized sweatsuits.

With your age on the back, obviously.

Fun was had by all.

Including, three very well behaved pooches.

 Life is good.