Second Hand Reinvention – Long Cardigan

I was recently on Pinterest and saw an amazing tie-dyed, long cardigan.  I loved the way it looked with a pair of jeans and thought why not give it a try?  I went to my local Goodwill and checked out the long dress section looking for something with buttons that I could simply unbutton and pair over a simple tank.  There were plenty of dresses with buttons all the way down; but none of them seemed right.  The majority had elastic or cinching at the waist that looked odd when unbuttoned.  I was about to leave when I saw the long robes.  I hit the jackpot.  A long, satin, floral robe.  It was a winner!!  This project will require a sewing machine and beginner skills.


You will need:

  • robe
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • iron



I didn’t photograph this step, but, you first want to try the robe on.  You want to see wear it needs to be edited.

After trying mine on, I decided I wanted the sleeves shortened and the sides taken in about an inch on each side.  I could have taken in more on the sides and lifted the sleeves up some, but, I wanted to achieve a relaxed, oversized looked.DSC_0127

First cut off all belt loops and other things that may be attached.  They will only get in the way and make the finished product still look like a robe.  Next, to shorten the sleeves, decide how short you would like them.  Cut at a mark that is about one inch longer than the sleeve you want.



Once you have cut the first sleeve, fold the robe in half vertically so that you have matched up both shoulders.  This will help you find the exact line to cut on the other sleeve.  Once lined up, the cut sleeve should lay on top of the other, cut across the other sleeve at this line.


(after first fold that has been ironed)


(after second fold that has been ironed)

Once both sleeves are cut, plug your iron in and turn the robe inside out.  Find the sleeve, and roll about 1/2 of an inch over and iron to create a seam.  Fold over again about 1/2 of an inch and iron down.  This will help you when you go to sew.  Complete these steps with the other sleeve.

DSC_0145 - Copy


(Here is a view of the stitch when the robe is turned the right way)

Head to your sewing machine and do a simple stich around the sleeve.  Make sure you are paying attention and don’t sew the sleeve hole together.  Once the first sleeve is completed, do the same with the other.


(sorry for the yellowish tint; next time, I’ll take the picture with the sewing machine off)

After the sleeves are complete, keep the robe inside out.  To take in the sides, I found the side seam and folded in vertically at the crease.  I lined the inside of the sewing foot up with the crease and used this as a guide.  Stitch all the way down the seam until you have gotten to the end.  Do the exact same with the other side.  You are done!



I thought it gave off a boho vibe, so, I went with it.

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Fiesta Dress

This past weekend I had my bridal shower and it was fiesta themed.  I had known for a while it would be a Mexican fiesta; so, (me loving a good theme) I scoured eBay for a Mexican wedding dress and I found one.  After winning the bidding war, the dress arrived and I tried it on.  It was way too much dress.  But,  I knew I could edit/alter the dress to look more modern and more me.  This post is not necessarily a DIY, but, it is a reminder to make you think outside of the box when looking at things second hand.




You will need:

  • dress
  • scissors
  • seam ripper
  • sewing machine
  • pins

First thing I did was try the dress on.  I wanted to see how it looked.  I decided that the bell sleeves were too much for me and with the high neck, I wanted to show a little more leg.  So, while trying the dress on I folded the bottom of the dress where I wanted to cut it and pinned it so I would remember where to cut.  The fold was about and 1 inch longer than the length I want the dress to be.


Next, I took a seam ripper (you could use scissors) and I removed the sleeves at the seam on both sides.


I then turned the dress inside out and folded about 1/4-1/2 inch of fabric and pinned it.  After pinning both sides, I ran these parts of the sleeve through the sewing machine.  Now, I have a sleeveless dress.


Then, I turned the dress inside out and I cut the bottom of the dress where I had previously pinned it.  To ensure that it was relatively straight at the bottom, I folded the dress in half vertically and cut that way.  You could easily draw a straight line in pencil or pen since you will be finishing the bottom of the dress later.  After cutting the dress, I did the same fold and pin technique that I used on the arm sleeves except I folded the bottom over twice so it would create a better finish.  After folding it twice and pinning, I ran it though the sewing machine and that was it.


This is the final product.  I paired a black skinny belt and bloused the dress over so it created a two-piece effect.  I also kept the sleeves with the beautiful embroidery for a future project.

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Blonde vs. Brunette – 5 Thrifting Tips

Blonde vs. Brunette

This Friday our challenge will be “Tips for Thrifting.”  These are tips that we have acquired along the way and feel are essential to not only surviving a trip to the thrift store, but making it a successful one!

5 Tips from Kristin – THE BLONDE

1. Try everything on – If you didn’t know it, sizes and shapes have changed drastically over the years.  If you’re currently a size 6, chances are you would have been closer to a size 10 a few decades ago.  So, try things on; don’t trust the label.  Also, try on things you think may be too big, you can always have it tailored, but, remember tailors can’t work magic.  If its too big, leave it.  Plan on ignoring my advice?  Know the store’s return policy.

2. Don’t EVER go on a empty stomach or full bladder – If you are really going to look, make sure you eat something and hit up the bathroom before leaving because the bathrooms are either non-existent or gross and you aren’t going to leave treasures behind to go eat or find an acceptable restroom.
3. Shop the men’s section – I personally love menswear inspired items; so, why not hit up the men’s section?  T-shirts, sweaters, button ups oh my.. size small or xsmall can usually fit a medium sized woman.  You’ve looked through the clothes, be sure to check out the men’s section for accessories too, like gloves, hats, suspenders, etc.
4. Think outside the box.. Be creative – Try and view things as more than they really are!  A necklace could be a fun belt, or a long skirt can be shortened or even worn as a dress.  Beyond looking at items as versatile, look at everything as a raw material.  I tend to shop patterns; if I love the pattern, I will figure out some way to use it.
5. Learn the thrift stores schedule – Some thrift stores offer discounts on certain days; so, either go those days and be prepared to brave the storm for a discount or avoid those days like you would the plague.

5 Tips from Alex – THE BRUNETTE

1.  Have an idea of what you’re searching for.  If you walk in hoping to just magically come across a cool item, you MIGHT get lucky.  I always like to have an idea of what I’m on the hunt for; ie. jean jacket, gold watch, red blazer, old concert tee.

2.  Don’t forget to check out the jewelry and purses.  I don’t think I’ve ever gone into a thrift shop or Good Will without buying a cute pair of earrings.  It is the ultimate 80’s earrings Mecca.  It is also a great place to take an old cross-body bag and add some studs, spikes or fringe. Or all 3.  Bitchin’.

 3.  When September hits, start looking for costumes.  I didn’t realize how cheap I was until I graduated college, started making money and still went to the thrift store to make a Halloween costume.  I suggest going around mid-late September before all the really good pieces are taken.  Find a pink dress with shoulder pads and wham; you’re an 80’s prom queen.  Find a top and pants, shred them and dirty them up and boom; you’re a zombie.  You get the picture.

4.  Go with a friend!  I suggest taking a pal with you on this adventure.  It can be overwhelming and sometimes having 2 sets of eyes comes in handy.  What you may find looks terrible on you, could look great on your friend and vice versa.

5.  Take a gander at the dishware.  Thrift stores are a great place to find retro glasses or mugs, plates, bowls, etc.  They are always super cheap and a great way to take a vintage piece and turn it into a modern, personalized gift. What appears to be a set of plain, white plates, could easily be turned into a personalized set for a friend’s birthday, by simply using a marker and creativity.  

Any questions, just ask (!  Any comments, type away!

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DIY Cut out Maxi

For the past year or so, I have seen the cutout trend become more popular.  But, I don’t really want to spend a lot on something that I can’t wear to work and something that won’t transcend time.  So, why not transform a comfy maxi that you already own or one from the second-hand store?  I got the Gap maxi, in this post, from Goodwill for $5.


You will need:

  • Maxi/Dress/Shirt
  • Double Stick Fusible Webbing
  • Iron
  • Scissors (accidentally left out of picture)


First you want to turn the dress inside out.  This is the best place to find the exact place to cut along.  Cut about 1.5-2 inches horizontally across the lower bust area.  This dress had a seam to cut along; so, I used that as direction


Then, cut about an inch above your horizontal cut and below it.  These two cuts will allow you to create the diamond shape cutout.


Next, iron the four different points down to create the diamond cutout.  After ironing each side down, then cut a rectangular piece of double sided fusible webbing and stick it under each of the ironed down triangular pieces of fabric.


Iron each of these pieces again, making sure to move the iron around the area for about 30 seconds.  You will need to do this four times on each of the sides of the dress.  I recommend running each side through the sewing machine to make sure the cutout will stay together for the long hall; but, if you don’t have a sewing machine or are not savvy with a sewing machine, be sure to air dry the dress after washing.


This is the shape you will see when you turn the dress the right way.




This dress has a small gap at the bottom and the cutout won’t rest right against you waist because the maxi I chose had elastic, thus collecting in the waist area.  I personally like that you have some space and it won’t be so tight.  If you want it to lay right against the side be sure to get one that isn’t empire waist and is just straight and fitted.

This dress is a fun way to showcase any body art that you may have hidden on the side!

Any questions, just ask (!  Any comments, type away!

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DIY Chain Pocket T-Shirt

I am always trying to come up with ways to make my t-shirts and comfy staple pieces a little more unique and fun.  That is where this post was born.  Why not have an oversized, comfy tank with a chain pocket detail?  I picked up the shirt at a second hand store for $2.99 and the chain from Michael’s (with a coupon) for under $3.  I chose to get an oversized tank to make the look even more edgy.  This project will take a little patience and a little sewing by hand skill!


You will need:

  • tank/tshirt
  • chain
  • needle
  • thread
  • sewing pins
  • piece of paper and marker/pencil (for a pattern)
  • scissors


First, you will need to draw and cut out the size pocket you want.  This piece of paper will act as a pattern and also help while you are sewing on the chains.  Then cut the chain to match the length of the pattern.  Lay it out on the pattern to make sure it matches up and is the size and look you want.


Then, pin the pocket pattern where you want it on the shirt.  Take this time to place it exactly where you want.  Nothing would be worse than sewing it all on only to find that it is too far left/right or too high/low.  It might also be smart to try the shirt on with the pocket or look at a shirt with a pocket for best placement.  Remember the pocket will most likely droop/dip a little in the center.


This is where patience and sewing is needed.  Each chain will need to be sewn to the shirt at the first link and the last link.  As you add more links, also connect, with thread, the first and last link the chain above it.

(I removed the pattern for the picture.)


Once you finish sewing each chain, you can go back and add any addition chains if you fill the pocket doesn’t look filled enough.


This is a picture of how the shirt looks on the inside.  Not pretty but this was the easiest and fastest way to have the chain stay.



The shirt will need to be hand washed to keep the chains intact.

Any questions, just ask (!  Any comments, type away!

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