Sunday, February 13, 2011

Some Vintage Goodies...

Just had to share some cute finds from this weekend! I got these two pairs of vintage heels in a junk shop for $5 each, and they had probably 10 more pairs, many in my size, but some as small as a 5 and others up to an 11. Many with original boxes! They were all shoved under a bench, I had to get on my knees and dig them out. I will be going back soon...

I also got these two super cute bakelite rings at my favorite antique store, they were $5 each as well. My husband and I figure we have easily spent over $500 there in the past 9 months, haha.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thrifting Scores

I took a trip to the big Value Village thrift store and found some AWESOME stuff, I am super excited about it.

Score #1 (and 2)

Two pairs of Converse for the kiddo, $3 each. I am still in the process of cleaning them, but every time H outgrows his Chucks, I go to this store and find 1-2 pairs. I think this makes 5-6 pairs I have found at this store in the past 9 months or so. The best part is that right now he wears an 8, and the green ones are 10, the black ones an 11. He grows like a weed, so now he has two more pairs, and I'm sure I will come across a size 9 somewhere in the meantime, tee hee.


Nine vintage sewing patterns, all my size or near it! There are shorts, pants, hats, dresses, lingerie, even a men's vest pattern. One of them is a Betsey Johnson pattern! And I know, the stupid price stickers on the patterns are a crime against man...I need to talk to the store manager about at least putting them on the back of the pattern or something. But at 69 cents each, who can complain? My favorite of all:

This blouse pattern from 1945. I don't know if you can see, but the waist is actually gathered and has a band that buttons in front! So cute. The price tag took off the pattern number and size, but once I peeled it off I could read the back of the sticker, and it's my size as well. Yaay!

Score #12

This vintage 60s day dress! Complete with matching belt!!!!! You never find dresses with the belt, and this one is so cool; look at that bow! It is my size too, I can't wait to wear it. The best part was that it was only $5!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cheap Shoe Makeover

So I bought these shoes for $3 at Walmart to go with a dress, and ended up not wearing them. I would never wear plain white flats otherwise, and these looked so cheap...probably because they were. I have seen painted shoes before, and I didn't have much to lose, so I decided to try a makeover. They turned out so well that I decided to share how to make them!

Large flat paint brush
Small flat detail brush
Acrylic paint
Paint sealer
Ugly pleather/synthetic shoes
Bows/charms/whatever to decorate

Make sure your shoes are clean before you start, so the paint will stick.
I just used some plain acrylic paint I had from Joann's:

And this great multi purpose sealer I got there as well.

I also had a flat tip paint brush, about 3/4" wide, and another about 1/4" wide. I used the large brush over most of the shoe, and the smaller one for the edges so I didn't smear paint on the fabric edge or the rubber.

Ok, so start with one coat of paint. Doesn't need to be even, and you can spread it thin. The first coat doesn't stick well, but that's why we do more than one.

Next, add another coat. You can put it on a little thicker this time, since it will stick better. It might look good enough, but we will do one more coat for insurance.

Finally, do a third coat. This should give you an even color all over.

Let your paint dry completely, and then move onto the sealer. It comes out white, but it dries clear. Brush it on thin, and go slow. It might bring up a little of the paint and look like it will be uneven or bubbly, but just brush in long, even strokes and it should look ok when it dries.

Next are the bows. I had a rectangle of wool felt, and I cut it in half to make two 3"x4" rectanlges.

Put two folds in your rectangle and pinch to make a bow. Take a 1/2" strip of felt and wrap it around a few times, stopping in the back.

Run a few stitches through the back of your bow with some embroidery floss (floss is made up of 6 strands, but I only used 3), making sure to catch both the bow and the strip.

If you want to sew on a charm, you can do that, too.

To sew your bow onto your shoes, use a needle with a big eye and a sharp point. You may want to grab a thimble to push the needle through. Starting on the inside of the shoe, go out through the pleather, catch the back of the bow, and go down and back through the pleather. Put about 3-4 loose stitches in, and carefully pull all the stitches taut and tie a few knots in your thread, and cut.

All done with your new shoes! I am really pleased with how these came out, and now I am going to scour my closet to see if I have any other shoes I can paint!

I wore these today to see how they held up, and despite rubbing them together and running into things, they have no scratches. That sealer is the key, it really makes them look nice and durable.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Toddler Sweatshirt To Hoodie Refashion

My son has a lot of ugly clothing. There are several hand-me-downs that just sit in his closet because I can't stand to put them on him unless they are to be used as pajamas. This sweatshirt is one of those things.

It's just so icky. I hate sweatshirts like this anyway, on anyone. They look so frumpy. But this one is even worse, because of my deep dislike for typical gender stereotypes. I'm pretty sure boys like things besides sports, construction equipment and licensed Disney characters...but I digress. Back to the tutorial!

I decided to turn this into a hoodie, because I have seen other people do similar projects that turned out great, and I bought a bunch of knit solids on clearance a while back and I wanted to see what I could do with them. I think I started with a 1/3 of a yard of red interlock knit, maybe 1/2, but I didn't use all of it, so I think 1/3 should be just fine. This is a 4T shirt, but it fit more like a 2/3T.

Ugly sweatshirt
Seam ripper
Thread (the color is up to you, I used black just for the heck of it)
1/3 yard or so of contrasting knit fabric (jersey, interlock, rib, it doesn't really matter, as long as it is somewhat similar in weight to your sweatshirt fabric)

Step 1: Grab your seam ripper and remove the sleeves, sleeve cuffs, and waistband, and open up the sleeve seam (you only need one, as it will just be a pattern piece). This will take a bit, so grab a drink, relax and take your time.

You should be left with the body, 2 sleeve cuffs, 1 opened sleeve, and your waistband.

Step 2: Fold your contrast fabric so that you are able to cut through 2 layers, and place your opened sleeve on top. Cut around the edges and you will have two new sleeves.

Step 3: To make the pieces of the hood, fold your shirt body up so that you have a side view (the shoulder armholes should be face to face on the inside). Lay your shirt on your contrast fabric, and mark the edge of the neckhole in back, plus a 1/2" or so seam alloance. Mark the edge in the front, plus a 1 1/2" seam allowance. Draw a curved line between your two marks to make the bottom of the hood.

I realize that a picture of this whole step would have been more helpful, but I'm sure you can figure out what I mean.

Step 4: Find a hoodie that fits your child, and lay the hood down so that you have your 1/2" allowance in the back, 1 1/2" in the front, and 1/2" at the neck. Trace around the hood, leaving the same 1/2" allowance. Cut your hood out.

Step 5: Fold your fabric so that you will be cutting out two pieces. Lay your waistband with the raw edge against the bottom of your contrast fabric, and mark the sides, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance. Pivot the waistband up, so that the raw edge is now facing the opposite direction, and mark along your raw edge, so you have two pieces that are double the heigh of the band. (Note: my waistband was sewn together pretty tight, so I had to do this to get double the height...if you take yours off and can open it up so that it is an unfolded tube, you can just mark along the top and bottom, and leave 1/2" allowance on the sides.)

Now you should have two hood pieces, two waistband pieces, two sleeves, and your wrist cuffs and shirt body.

Step 7: Sew around the curve of your hood.

Fold the raw edge of your face opening 1/2" over, toward the inside. Fold another 1/2" and pin, so that your raw edge will be encased. Sew your hem up 1/4" from the outer edge of the face opening.

Sew down your seam allowances on each side of the curve of your hood, about 1/4" from the seam on either side.

Step 8: Fold your sleeves in half and sew down the sides.

Grab the wrist cuffs you saved, and pin the raw edges to the raw edge of the sleeve, right sides facing together.

Sew about 3/8" from the edge, then fold the cuff up and point the seam allowance up towards the top of the sleeve. Sew about 1/4" from the sleeve/cuff seam.

Step 9: Take your waistband pieces and sew them together on each side. Fold your tube in half, so that the seams are on the inside, to form your waistband.

Align the raw edge of the waistband with the bottom of your shirt, side seams of the waistband lined up with the shirt seams. Sew around.

Flip the waistband open and point the seam allowance up toward the top of the shirt. Stitch the seam allowance down like you did with the sleeve cuffs.

Step 10: Flip your shirt body inside out, and your sleeves right side out. Place your sleeve in the armhole, with the seams aligned. Pin all around.

Sew your sleeves on, flip the shirt right side out, and point your seam allowance toward the neck of the shirt and sew down.

Almost there! You could stop here if you don't want to add the hood.

Step 11: Find the center back of your neck opening. Pin the RIGHT side of your hood to the WRONG side of the neck opening. (Note: Sorry, the shirt is facing right side out in this picture, and I flipped it inside out for the next picture. I should have just flipped it first and then started pinning, so the pictures would make sense. Oops!)

Pin the hood the rest of the way around, so that the edges of the hood meet in the front, but don't overlap. You may have to stretch the hood or the neck a bit to get them to align, but that's ok.

Now, set your machine to a zig zag stitch. IF YOU DON'T, YOUR NECK OPENING WON'T STRETCH! Remember, your kid needs to be able to fit their noggin through!

Sew a zig zag down the middle of your neck cuff, all the way around. I was lazy and just used some navy blue for my bottom thread and black for my top thread, so to have the black facing, I had to flip the shirt right side out and sew. Don't be like me; sew from the inside. It's much easier to keep your hood aligned with your neck hole if you can actually see the edge of the hood.

Done! If your child is going to wear a goofy sports sweatshirt, it might as well be as cute as you can make it, right?

This is my first full sewing tutorial, so I'm sorry if it doesn't make sense, or it's way too long, or whatever else. I welcome questions and comments!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

So I randomly decided to try my hand at breadmaking the other day. I don't have a breadmaker, and I ALWAYS seem to kill the yeast, so I have never really been into it. I discovered recently why my bread never is not a good idea to store your yeast in the cabinet above your oven, which gets hot enough to cook bread itself. I feel so stupid; I can't believe I never thought of that.

So, I got some new yeast, and tried a recipe I found online for plain white homemade bread. The recipe called for too much flour and too little water, so it took forever to get the proportions right, which meant that the dough was waaaaaaay overworked by the time I got it right (I decided to use the dough hook on my Kitchenaid, rather than knead by hand). I also had been keeping the yeast in the big pantry cupboard next to my oven, which I think is also too hot, as the yeast only partially activated. So, yeast in the fridge from now on!

This time, I used yeast that a friend brought over, and my new wet/dry ratio, and added spices, raisins and sugar, and ended up with awesome bread! The recipe is kind of trial and error; you start out with some general ingredient measurements, and adjust as you go. This can be made so many ways...herb bread, cheese bread, you can add dried fruit, or just go plain. Give it a try!

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Makes 1 loaf

3-4 C flour
1 C warm water (around 110 degrees)
2 1/4 Tsp active dry yeast
1 Tsp white sugar
1 Tsp salt
1 Tbsp melted butter

2/3 C brown sugar (this bread is mildly sweet; add a bit more if you want it sweeter)
1 Tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 C raisins

Fill measuring cup with 1 cup warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top of the water, add the white sugar, and stir to break up any lumps. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, until the top of the water becomes thick and foamy -- this means the yeast is working. If is doesn't foam, your water is too hot or too cold, and you need to toss it and start over.

Add the salt, melted butter, brown sugar, spice, raisins, and 1 cup flour to your mixing bowl (this recipe is assuming you are using a stand mixer with a dough hand kneading!). Add the yeast water and start mixing, slowly adding more flour 1/2 cup at a time, until it forms a dough that is dry enough to not stick to the sides of the mixer, but wet enough to be slightly sticky. You may need to add a touch more flour or water to get it right.

Let the mixer run on a medium speed for 10 minutes, checking periodically to pull the dough off the hook (it will start to work up and over the hook after a while and just spin in circles). The dough should be smooth and soft to the touch when done, kind of like your skin.

Lightly grease a large bowl with butter, canola oil, or shortening. Form your dough into a ball, and roll it around the bowl to coat it in your fat of choice. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in a warm, dry place (above the fridge is good, or in your oven if it is not hot). Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Uncover the dough and punch it in the middle, and it should pull away from the sides. Knead it a few times, and form it into a loaf shape. Place it back in the bowl and recover, and let it rise again for another 40 minutes or so.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the loaf on a greased, floured baking sheet, or use a Silpat, which is an awesome silicone mat used for baking. Cut a few slashes in the top to keep it from tearing as it cooks. It won't hurt if you forget, but it looks nicer with the cuts on the top.

Place in your oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until it is big and fluffy and lightly brown all over. Let the bread cool before slicing, or it will get crumbly and fall apart.

Spread with butter and eat, or use it for french toast, or pop it in the toaster and cover with peanut butter...anything, really!


Sorry for the lack of pictures in progress; I'm working on remembering to take them :P

Friday, February 4, 2011

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies

I am usually a big chocolate person...if I have a choice of desserts, I am going to choose the one with chocolate. That being said, I got bored and decided to go to my favorite recipe website,, and find some inspiration to make cookies. The first recipe I found was for plain cookies with jam in the center. Never being able to leave well enough alone, I thought the cookies would be so much better with peanut butter! I adapted the recipe I found a bit to suit my tastes, and here is what I came up with:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen

6 Tbsp Crisco
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C peanut butter
1 egg yolk
1 Tsp vanilla
1/2 Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp baking soda
1 3/4 C flour
Grape jelly

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the first 6 ingredients with a stand or hand mixer until creamy. Sift dry ingredients and add slowly, mixing just until fully incorporated. The mixture will be somewhat crumbly but should easily roll into a ball. Take pieces of dough and roll them roughly the size of a bouncy ball. Place on a baking sheet, spaced 2" apart, and make a well in each cookie with your thumb. Fill with a small amount of jelly, about 1/4 teaspoon. Do not overfill, the jelly will boil in the oven and you don't want it to spill over. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the edges just begin to turn brown. Place on a rack to cool.

These cookies turned out so rich and buttery, and sweet but not too sweet. I buy reduced sugar jelly (no artificial sweeteners added), and without all that sugar it is more tart and not so overpowering. I think it really makes a difference. Overall, I think the recipe could be changed in many ways and is pretty foolproof. And they received the toddler Seal of Approval, so that has to mean something!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thrift Store Finds

I went to the Navy thrift store the other day, where everything is SUPER cheap. They might as well give it away, really. I always leave with a big bag of goodies. Here is a sample of my score...

Black flats, $1

Baby shoes, $1

Vintage patterns, 10 cents each. The one on the left will look neat with the skirt a lot shorter.

Vintage baby blouse, 20 cents

Vintage baby dress, 20 cents

Vintage baby dress, 20 cents

Appliqued pillow, 20 cents

Toddler girl's nightgown, 20 cents

Old Navy swing pea coat, $3

Cute potholder, 30 cents

Not pictured are the shirt I got for myself for 80 cents, Yo Gabba Gabba hoodie for a friend's daugher, 20 cents, and a REALLY nice shirt and pair of pants for the husband, which probably cost about $100 new for both, I paid $5.80. I love going to this place every week!