Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wooly Goodies

I'll be stocking my Etsy shop over the next few weeks with handknit wooly goodies.
These pink fingerless gloves are available here.

 I'll also be adding vintage sewing patterns as soon as I make sure that they are all complete!

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thrifty Finds

Oh, how I love a good thrift store! I would happily spend hours hunting its treasures than flipping through cookie cutter racks at an RTW store.  Value Village and Talize are two of my favourite thrift stores in Hamilton.  Talize is more geared towards clothing and Value Village tends to turn up a variety of treasures.  Now that I'm saving for a cargo bike, any frivolous shopping (including fabric shopping - woe is me) has been brought to halt.  Necessity is the theme for any shopping I do from now on.  This 'is another reason to add to my long list of why I prefer thrifting over RTW / new shopping.  RTW prices are getting shocking, aren't they?

Last week, Miss G and I went on our weekly thrifty adventure; she to look for Littlest Pet Shop (she is crazy for LPS!) and me to look for a lightweight coat.  I had some lightweight corduroy in my stash and was trying to convince myself up to make a coat with little success.  Sewing outerwear, unfortunately, holds little interest for me.  I ended up making some pretty snazzy pillows for our living room from the corduroy instead. 

Miss G and I hit the mother lode of LPS accessories, finding 4 grab bags stuffed full of everything from beds, to roller skates, to kitchen accessories.  She was well pleased to say the least.  I tend to bring Miss G with me when I go thrifting.  Not only is she a great companion, she has impeccable taste.  She knows what she likes and she has no problem telling me that something I'm only half in love with isn't a good buy. 

Well, the thrifting goddesses were certainly smiling on us that day! In the mile-long racks of coats upon coats, I found this beauty.  It's gorgeous, right?  Earlier I had tried on a Duchess of Cambridge-inspired cotton trench in a rather utilitarian shade of beige but when I saw this girl, I knew she was for me.  Miss G enthusiastically endorsed my decision, informing me that a hot pink coat was perfect for me.  I not only love the glorious colour (obviously!) but the roomy front pockets and the $7.99 price tag are excellent!

Check out those princess seams and the perfectly matched buttons! The Jones New York label reinforces that this is a quality garment that will last.  In addition to Miss Pink up there, I also found a bright red 3/4 length cotton canvas coat from Old Navy for $9.99.  Booyah!  We left the shop feeling very proud of ourselves, let me tell you.

Now, I know the coat looks big on Mrs. Singer but there is method to my madness.  All of my coats need to have room for me to wear a cardigan (or fleece in the coldest winter months) underneath or it's no good to me.  I swear, I am turning into Linus and his security blanket! It's quite rare for me to leave the house without a cardigan.

Do you thrift?  What have been your best finds?

Monday, September 22, 2014

FESA 2014: Betsy, Tacy, and Tib

One of my favourite book series of all time is Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace.  I often identified with Tacy, as I was quite shy as a child and tended to stick with a small group of friends.

As you know, the Washi Dress and I are quite fond of each other and I have been looking forward to making cold weather versions for quite some time.  I was puttering along making these dresses when it struck me how alike they are to Betsy, Tacy, and Tib; all rather different on the outside but fundamentally the same on the inside.

The Betsy Dress
Betsy is someone who has always intrigued me.  I don't have her natural outgoingness but sometimes wished that I did.  She was a natural adventuress and blue was her favourite colour.

This blue linen reminded me of Betsy.  The blue matched her eyes and given her penchant for climbing trees and The Big Hill, an easy care, slightly utilitarian dress was perfect for her.  Not to mention pockets for storing her writing things should inspiration strike.

The Tacy Dress
As I said above, I identified with Tacy the most, despite being an only child from a very small family.  I was quite shy as a child and am still quiet around people I don't know very well.  Like Tacy, I grew up on hand-me-downs and took steps to personalize them from a young age.

Thrifty Mrs. Kelly also relied heavily on hand-me-downs for all 10 of her children.  This navy linen/rayon dress must have come to Tacy from her older sister Katie and clever Mrs. Kelly would have added the tartan accents to give it a fresh, new-to-Tacy feel.

The Tib Dress
Oh, how I wanted to be like Tib! I am petite like her but cannot dance nor sing to save my life! I am far too shy to be a performer and am much happier unseen backstage or in the costume department.

This gorgeous fabric brought Tib strongly to mind, as it is so very different than the other two dresses.  If you know the books, you'll remember that Tib always had the prettiest and most colourful wardrobe of the three.  Being from an affluent family gave Tib an opportunity for spectacular clothes, in addition to living in the wonderful chocolate coloured house.

Have your read Betsy-Tacy and Tib?
Who is your favourite character?
Have you been inspired to sew from books?