thrift store finds

{ thrifted } tiny happy gingerbread shakers

So I was going to try and write a post about my weekend trip to Austin to see Jade and her clan, but she's already done a wonderful job on her own blog(Thank you, dear friend, for good conversation and such warm and comfy accomodations.  Your nest has that special touch that makes it hard to leave.  Hugs to you and yours this holiday season.  xoxo)

Yesterday, while Fidget visited her preschool for a quick Thankgiving feast, the one for which we made those delicious and easy cookies, I popped around the corner for a sprint through the thrift shop that is practically next door.   

thrifted gingerbread goodness

And there, wouldn't you know, sat this darling little pair of silver gingerbread salt and pepper shakers, awaiting a new home for a grand total of 75 cents.   They got a little polishing up this morning and are quite ready to party this holiday season.

On this Thanksgiving eve, I am so very thankful for all the blessings in my life.  Every year gets better, even when I think it cannot.  Friends and family and experience all roll up into one giant delicious cinnamon roll kind of goodness and I find my forearm bruised from all the pinching I do to make sure it's for real.  I hope you have days like that. I really, really do.

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday weekend full of warm memories and yummy goodies.  Take care, friends!

miss chris

{ thrifted + modified } The Pile and The Boots

So, part of my Need to Clean and Purge includes attacking the pile of mending and alterations that has been collecting in my studio.  It's not going anywhere if I don't address it, right?

And it's largely stuff for me, which is fun. 

Thrifted_refashion-017Case in point, this pretty little vintage skirt. (The sweater is vintage + thrifted, too.  However, the sleeve cuffs were too tight.  I just snapped them off and now I can push the sleeves up.  Much better.)

I bought the skirt years ago for $8 and loved it, but rarely ever wore it because of the length.  It is A-line and cut on the bias, which are both universally flattering, even if you think oversized plaid isn't. But I totally had this Librarian thing going on.

I just insulted librarians.

I meant the matronly shhh-ing types.


I just insulted them again.

I hope you know what I mean.

It just wasn't working for me.


So, scissors, thread and about 25 minutes later....

I cut off about 6", hemmed it by hand -- such a nice touch on garments, don't you think? -- and used some of the extra fabric to make a detachable flower.  I would never dare to wear this length without tights or leggings, but it's an acrylic woolish blend that needs leg wear anyway.


And now I love it.

And yes, those are The Boots I picked up in Seattle at a flea market.  Where Jade was holding them up for me across the store and I could swear there was a gentle glow and a choir of angels.  I had been looking for vintage Frye Campus Boots for two years. 


And there they were.  I quickly discarded the stack of olive green Texas-Ware I had been admiring and ran across the store in that underwater kind of haze you have in dream sequences. 


She was saying 'size 6, right??!!'  Yes, yes, yes!

And as I got there I saw that, yes, they were exactly what I had been searching for. 

I'm not going to lie.  It's ridiculous to get this excited about boots.  And I'm pretty sure there is a Peter Cetera song that would aptly describe my joy at that moment.  It was kismet, me and my found boots.  All worn in and aged.  Scuffed and softened and teeming with character. 


I took them home and after a trip to the cobbler for new soles and a cleanup they are thrilled to be back in action.  (If that is what you call the grocery store, library and dance class. )

And all we lived happily ever after.

Next up: Dottie'd up funeral wear.  Happy weekending!

miss chris

{ blushing } thank you!

Well, gosh.  I'm so glad you like it, too!  I've been blushing with every sweet comment. 


Also pink?  This jewelry box thrifted today for just 1.98 at a local DAV Thrift.  My sister has been in town and we ran out for a morning of hoity-toity shopping.  Nothing says welcome-to-my-home better than, hello, would you care to go run about town and sift through people's discarded belongings, does it? 

No matter, sis is a thrifter as well.  We bond over dusty trinkets and practically new cashmere sweaters that might or might not get turned into cardigans.  

To quote Fidget at the children's farm yesterday, 'Well, anyway, it has been a wonderful day.'

Indeed it has.


{ thrifting } making me smile

whose face is happy?

Mine.  (FP desk, all pieces, $2)


(preschool-sized chair, 75 cents)

I have had wonderful luck garage sale-ing and thrifting lately.


(3 yds designer bambook print home dec fabric, $2.50)

Terribly good luck.

I even rescued this pony.


Who has a liking for vintage fabrics and linens as much as I do.


Her name is Pearl.


She likes these two very much.  It was hard to get her to step away.


I do believe Pearl quite fancies the camera, as well.

Silly filly.

{ home } Wonderbaby's Room

15 months ago I had a baby.  Since we didn't know for certain (although Hubs 100% suspected) that our newest little bundle would be yet another girl, the nursery sat unadorned for many months.  

Many months.

And then I started picking away at it. 

Knowing that by the time it was complete, she would be quite past the new-baby stage (sigh.  Do not let me go There.), I didn't want to incorporate anything that we would have to switch out again for a few years.

Also, there was the color palette. Deep Red.  Aqua.  Bright yellow.  Pink.  An overscaled Heather Bailey Pineapple Brocade!  I could even do it from my stash, as there was serious yardage left over from a project for the teengirl that took a u-turn long ago. 


Honestly, when I shared this with others, there was often a courteous smile and nod. I am positive they thought I was creating some kind of circus-like nightmare. Giant pineapples in a baby's room. Heavens to Betsy!


Neveryoumind.  I knew what I was doing and marched on, albeit with some trepidation.


There is a mini down comforter for which I made a duvet.  Wonderbaby likes her blankets and coziness.  The bedding is simple.  I made a pink bedskirt and added coordinating ties to a simple pink yard-sale bumper.  The framed crewel piece is one of my favorite finds from a local thrift.  I've had it for years and it works perfectly in here.


The window faces east, so it is lit up with the most gorgeous sunshine in the morning.  Makes getting decent photos a bit tricky for some reason... seems like there is either a lot of light in there, or not.  At any rate, The exposure meant that the floor length curtains needed a heavy duty lining.  I tried pleating the curtains for the first time, and they are quite far from perfect, but I like how it reduced bulk at the rod.  And it gives a playful print a more tailored look.


The dresser was picked up for $25 and given a new life with paint.  I love love love this color.  It's not too bubble gum or cadillac.  The hardware is original.  I know, it was perfect.   I say it all the time, but  they just don't make furniture like this anymore. They don't.  It is so solid!  (Do you like the finger smudges on the mirror?!  Good.  I'm just keeping it real. )

crib corner and wall art

There are plenty of blankets that get moved around and used all over.  One is a gorgeous quilt made by Beki, another is a red baby blanket from miss laeroport, one was picked up in the nie-nie auction in 2008, and a couple others are vintage finds that I had to rescue.  They take turns in the crib and out and sometimes covering up with white rocker that has seen years of constant use.  Jade made us one as well, but babygirl has adopted that as her snuggly favorite and it is never around for a photoshoot. 


My favorite corner of the room is this, which is directly in front of you when you are walking up the stairs. The print is from Elsie, and I picked it up at the Red Velvet Art brick and mortar store when home in Springfield last year.  The red shoes are from Jen.  I made the green dress in a last minute mad dash for St. Patty's wear.  The deer was picked up antiquing with my mom in Florida two years ago.


I still love embroidery.  The simple stuff especially.  I'm breaking tradition and by putting it up there, but I really like how her name became art so easily. 


My mother in law made a cross stitch birth announcement for the wall, and it hangs by my rocker with this felt circle garland (from the Craft Hope for Haiti fundraiser) that I love but for which I can't seem to find a home.  That moves around the room and sometimes comes downstairs for parties.  Lucky garland!

The nursery is not finished, of course.  What room ever is?  I have a vinyl cuckoo clock decal on it's way from Etsy to go over the mirror, and some day I would love to replace this carpet and/or get a pretty area rug.  But for now, it's all good. 


It's a happy little space and Wonderbaby wakes up cheery every day. 

{ thrifted } Supplies for the Dottie Weekend

Thank you so much for the sweet comments left about Rory's baby quilt.  It was a joy to make and design, but a girl still has self doubt.  I do. I don't often blog about blogging... it's a bit to meta for me, but I do think about it all the time.  The tiny impact that little comments and encouragement leave on a person. Or negativity for that matter. It's so much more than virtual.  I know you know what I'm talking about, so I'll get on with things.  In short, thanks.  It means a lot.  xo

Jade called me out (on FB) when she said the Rory quilt was Dottie Angel-ish.  I do have her aesthetic on the brain, as we are getting ready for our weekend retreat on the 24th. (With Beki too!  Look out, Seattle.  You have no idea what havoc awaits.)

Amassing the supplies has been terribly fun. So far they have all been found thrifting.  This is my stash of trims and binding and hem tape. 

supplies! for dottie angel wkshp

There is talk about refashioning a slip and making all sorts of lovely things from a variety of scraps and grannyish doohickies we were told to bring along.  I'm quite sure everyone in my day to day life who has heard me rambling on about this is hoping they don't end up with some stranger's upcycled undergarments for Christmas this year.

supplies! for dottie angel wkshp

I have had very good luck finding the doilies and trimmings. Pillowcases and whatnots.

supplies! for dottie angel wkshp

The stool, not so much.  I thought I could fashion one myself.  One with removable legs that I could fit into a suitcase.  There is still time.  It will involve power tools.  Hubs doesn't like it so much when that happens.  I'm clumsy.  I don't have to bring one, but I love a challenge. 

There still are two weeks, after all.

supplies! for dottie angel wkshp

Until then, I have some crochet videos to watch. Apparently the needles have not yet seen the last of my lame attempts at blanket-making. Need I remind you what happened last time? The giant ruffle that would. not. stop. Miss Dottie Angel has her work cut out for her.

miss chris

{ thrifting } destined for the shop

I still have an etsy shop.  I really do.  Still thrift a few times every week.  And I am still amassing a pile of goodies to share. 

part of saturday's thrift haul

This weekend I hit a jackpot of vintage handbags.  And there is no way I can use them all.  I already have a fairly impressive collection of vintage going-out clutches.

  part of saturday's thrift haul

These beauties are just waiting for another night out.

Soon, dearies.  I will list you in my little shop as soon as I can so you can once again be out on the town!  (Apparently I have to squeeze a rather lengthy photo shoot into this week.  I'd hate to disappoint them.)

part of saturday's thrift haul

Sometimes I can't believe my luck.  When I saw this little stack of sparkly coasters sitting, untouched, on the shelf, I couldn't believe my eyes.  They must have just been put out. Tiny jewel-like coasters.  I'm going to have a hard time parting with these.  


That's about all I have today.  My mind is mush as Wonderbaby lost her pacifier in the crib around four this morning and spent so much time looking for it that she decided she might as well just get up.  This didn't bode well for mama, who stayed up late toiling in her studio, gambling on a 7am wake up call.  Oy. 

How about you?  Any fancy luck at the Thrift lately?

Happy Monday!  xoxo
~miss chris

{ sewing } another pillowcase nightgown

It cracks me up every time I arrive at a shop counter with an armful of linens.  Most of the thrift shop keepers where I find my best stuff are quite familiar with me, my gaggle of girls, and the stacks of florals and embroidered pretties I bring to the checkout counter. More than once I have been asked, "Do you actually use all of these?"

Well, yes.  Of course I do!  Just not always on my bed.

it is as soft as it is pretty.

Vintage sheets and pillowcases can be so very soft if they are of good quality and condition.  Hundreds of washings add another dimension of softness that just can't duplicated with new fabric.  

And then there is the nostalgia factor.

There was nothing like the feel of my grandmother's sheets in the upstairs bedroom that my mom and her sister had shared as children.  My sister and I would share that same room with the windows open, the sheers catching the night breeze. The twin beds just fit under the slanted roof and the walls were a pale aqua that is so popular these days.  After rubbing our fingers over the nubbiness of the the Martha Washington bedspreads, we would pull them back all the way.  The windows might be open, but it was still hot.  And then we would lie there, under the cool softness of the cotton sheets, whispering to each other until one of us fell asleep. 

Do you have memories like that? 

ruffle trim is way high up on that sweetness list. pretty 

Bedrooms were so different 'back then' before the invasion of licensed character bedding!  Who started that?  Was it Star Wars?  Hollie Hobbie?  Raggedy Ann? 

Anyway... at the risk of sounding like a broken record, (or a scratched CD, or an infected MP3, or what even works for that anymore?) this particular thrifted king size pillowcase was begging to be 'nightgowned.'    

nightgown - bias tape + trim

I cut a yoke out of white sheeting and edged with bias tape made from the pillowcase.  There is a keyhole in the back and it attaches with a simple button and loop.  You could double the yoke and self-line it, but I didn't want that much weight or stiffness on the top of the nightgown.  It's so hot, why add extra bulk?

Pre-made eyelet ruffle is my new favorite thing.

vintage pillowcase nightgown

And now Fidget has a new favorite nightgown.  I hope she and Wonderbaby will have sweet summer bedtime memories of their own someday.  Fidge already has plans for bunkbeds. 

fidge liked it.

I have a few more ideas, so prepare yourself for a few versions over the next few weeks.  If I'm not careful, I am going to become known as the crazy pillowcase lady. 

On the other hand, maybe I already am!  Oh well.  I'm okay with that.

miss chris

{ tutorial } tee-to-tot sundress

As promised....

That cute shirt in your closet?  The one that doesn't fit right or you're just done wearing or from that special vacation?  Don't put it in the Donate pile just yet.  Time for refashion. Tee-to-Tot Sundress style!

Let's go!


Tee?  Scissors?  Elastic Thread?  Coordinating Thread?  Check? Check! (click on any of these photos to enlarge.)

1. Lay your tee flat, keeping in mind the where the design will hit the shirring.  This was a fitted ladies medium.


2. Cut off the arms, and continue down to create an a-line from the body of the shirt. 

3. Stitch up the side seams & trim.  If I were one of the cool kids and had a serger, I would do that on the sides as well.  But I don't.  And that's okay. 


4. Time to Shirrrrr!  Wind your elastic thread around your bobbin -- not too tightly -- and thread it through the machine as normal.  I would switch your stitch to Elastic or a narrow Zig-Zag to keep the extra elasticity of the knit.  If it doesn't matter to you because the shirring will be enough stretchiness, you can do a straight stitch.  Totally up to you. 

I started at a side seam and went around and around until I had about 4 inches of rows, with about 3/8 inch in-between.  Some people mark lines; I use my presser foot as a guide instead because I'm lazy.  When you are done, iron the shirred part.  Wooohooo!  It shrinks up even more.  It's like a magic trick!  Fun.

5.  Resist the urge to shirr everything in your closet.  {I mean it.}   And I also meant what I said about the serger.  I do a lot of sewing and I have never felt I couldn't tackle a project without one.  That's all.


6.  You'll have these wonderful wonky pieces left over.  Cut the folded hemmed sleeves as close to the hem stitch as possible.  I decided to overstitch the sides of them with a pink zigzag, just for contrast.  I love to 'lettuce-edge' my knits for wee ones.  If you pull on the fabric as you are overstitching, it will create this ripply effect.  Really, it will rock your world.

7. I did not get fancy when I attached these new straps to the front.  I estimated where they should go, as Wonderbaby was sleeping, and stretched the shirred part out a bit while I was sewing them on.  I am lucky they did not end up entirely in her armpits.  I would recommend trying it on strapless first.  ;)


8.  My shirt was way too long for 13-mo-Wonderbaby.  I used another one of her dresses as a guide for length, chopped it off, and overstitched again. 


And that, my dears, is it.

10.  Grab a chair and do a photoshoot!





Bonus round:

Use your leftovers and the same general techniques to make a matching headband:


Have fun!  And let me see what you're up to, 'k? 


{ vintage } meet Kennie.

Don't mind me.

I've been geeking out about my newest toy.

the new baby: Kenmore 158-10400

A vintage Kenmore 158-10400.(Circa 1950s-1960s, from what I can tell). Complete with some original tools and bobbins and attachments I haven't even seen before.  Do you recognize that needle shank attachment on the left in the photo below?  Is that even the right name for that little gadget?

original goodies, too.

I started looking for a portable machine a month ago when I was trying to consider the logistics on my September trip to Seattle for the Dottie Angel Workshop.  (Our supply list includes, among other things, a sewing machine, a stool, full-length slips and crocheted doilies.  I simply cannot wait for my date with TSA security.) 

My current machine is fairly large and heavy and I was trying to figure out how to take her.  Use a super big suitcase and cushion her with my fabric supplies? Do I trust those baggage handlers to not toss her or squish her under everyone else's luggage?  Do I try to carry-on in a new case? Will it fit above or below??  No and no, most likely. I was stressing out just a little.

I had been researching a portable vintage Singer Featherweight, everyone's go-to portable workhorse.  However,I wasn't ready to fork over the $250 it looked like I would have to part with.   I did find one on Craigslist for $125 and then waited too long to call.  Bummer.

Fortunately, I came across this Kenmore at a local Thrift in the nick of time. 

After a bit of online research, I found a yahoo group dedicated to vintage Kenmores, and now I've got a super resource for information as well. One of the members was even kind enough to send me a PDF manual, which has been immensely helpful!  I should have enough weeks to get her cleaned up (although she looks recently serviced) and ready to roll. 

It's exciting and scares me a little.


Now, if you'll excuse me, I am going to cozy up with some light technical reading.  :)

I told you I was geeking out.