crafts · Sewing · Thrifting


I have been super busy (in a good way!) lately.  My teaching schedule is pretty much full, and I’m in two, possibly three  performing groups this year.   In addition, I’ve been trying to fit in an hour of exercise every day, which cuts into my blog reading time – I’m about to have to declare  Google Reader amnesty and just start over!

I have been sewing, albeit a bit slowly.  I’m still working on the Vogue Vena Cava dress.  I did change my fabric – I decided the zebra print had a bit of a diagonal repeat, and it would have been noticeable in the finished dress.  Instead, I’m using this ITY print:

It’s a little more spring/summer than I really wanted, but it was the best option I had.  I wasn’t willing to order fabric for this dress without being certain it will fit!  I will say that the construction is challenging – I have never made  a dress that was put together this way!  Because of that, I find that I can only do a few steps each night before fatigue sets in (I really hate interpreting drawings.)  The instructions are good though – I have been following them to the letter and it’s working!  Last night I finished the bodice, so I’m onto the skirt now!  I think I’m going to have to use the pockets – I usually leave them out, but I don’t think that would work in this case.  I’m hoping to finish this dress by the weekend – I want to wear it before it gets too late in the year!

I haven’t posted about thrifting in awhile.  Actually, other than the step I bought a few weeks ago I haven’t really been!  My friend Sarah (my thrifting buddy) and I hit one of my favorites last weekend.  I find it very handy to thrift with someone else – she can talk me out of items that aren’t my style, and we wear roughly the same size, but prefer opposite colors (she loves warm tones and brown.)

Although I have been trying not to buy clothes than need alterations, I couldn’t help myself.  Except for one, I’ve already done the work!  Here is what I got:

I love animal prints, but I’ve never tried this kind.  I’m showing it with my trusty Kwik Sew obi belt – it goes with everything!  The dress was two sizes too big for me, so I took it in from hem to underarm (the sleeves were fine) and shortened it by 3 inches.  My 30 minutes of alterations paid off – I love this dress, and I can’t wait to wear it in the fall with boots!

Thrift stores are great places to take a risk.  This dress (don’t worry, despite appearances this is not a romper!)  has a slightly dropped blouson waist.  This would not ordinarily be my thing, but I thought “why not?”  As it turns out, I love this dress.  I wore it Monday with a pair of black flat sandals, and it was so comfortable (yet not sack-like!)  I like that it has a tie rather than elastic – I am coming to a point where I really hate elastic waists on dresses.

I love the fabric of this dress.  It’s originally from the Gap.  I don’t find that Gap clothing fits me well, but this is an exception.  I did shorten the dress by three inches – for some reason dresses from Gap seem to have long hemlines.  I wore it yesterday.

This is also black, not brown (my camera was in a mood.)  Made by INC, I am probably taking in the sides a bit, but other than that it’s a lovely summer/early fall dress.

Ok, so… I bought this because I loved the fabric (which is emerald green, not teal.)  It’s  3 sizes too big for me, but I think I can work it – I want to add some boning to the bodice anyway.   I will take it apart and consider my options – a bigger job than I would usually take on, but my emerald is my favorite color (and so hard to find!)

So that’s what I’ve been up to!  Hopefully I can finish and photograph my dress this weekend – I don’t currently have a tripod that works with my camera, so my husband has to be home for me to get modeled photos.

7 thoughts on “Busy

  1. Every time I see all your fabulous dress finds I always wonder why I am never successful at thrifting dresses. They are always 80’s long denim dresses, old lady dress & jacket combos or cheap evening strappy things.

  2. I really like both of the brown print dresses, especially the animal print one. I don’t see much in stores with sleeves, but they are very practical!

  3. i bought that same floral dress with the ruffles on the arms from old navy on super clearance a few months ago! i hated the way the drop waist looked on me, so i cut it off right above the tie and sewed a tube of lightweight denim to the bottom with an elastic waist that sits right at my natural waist. it looks MUCH better on me now! plus i can use the bottom of the dress as a miniskirt if i dared to leave the house in it!

  4. Great stuff! I just discovered your blog tonight- stumbled across it via I can see myself spending hours reading through your years of blog posts!
    I’m a musician/ teacher too (flute and saxophone) and I love sewing and ‘thrifting’ too (although we call it ‘op shopping’ here [I think the ‘op’ stands for ‘opportunity’?]).

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