04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | one}

Its taken me a bit longer than I anticipated to finish this dress, mostly because I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a ruffle at the hem or not! And then I had to figure out what kind of trim? Sheer cotton voile, lace, or eyelet? *sigh* I can be such a picky-picky gal sometimes! hehe! In the end, I didn’t like the cotton ruffle, and haven’t really found any lace in my stash that goes well with the dress, so I left the hem bare (for now…). Instead my trusty, vintage petticoat will suffice to add some frill!

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | original full length}

[ the original…

What started out as a rather dowdy, vintage Lanz dress I plucked from the rack a few weeks ago at a thrift store, had to be reworked! I fell in love with the whimsical sailor collar and bright polka dots (I have quite a collection of red polka dot frocks; I think this is my third or fourth!). But not the length, or the sleeves that hit at the wrong point of my arms (who ever thought it was a good idea to have sleeves that stopped right above the elbow?!), or the very high neckline (even for me).

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | two}

Out came my trusty Gingher scissors and quick as lighting the hem was shortened, the sleeves removed, and neckline lowered! I rebound the armholes with pieces leftover from the hem reduction (lol!), and added a piece of vintage eyelet salvaged (from the ever-trusty 60’s lace dress) to the neckline. I love how fun and happy the dress looks!! Now that the weather is (finally) starting to cooperate and act springish, it quite matches my mood!

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | three}

I admit, the whole look was somewhat inspired by the lovely lithograph posters of 19th century artist Jules Cherét. Th brightness and exuberance really struck a cord with me and this dress!

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | four}

So, let’s see, this is my fourth refashion this year, I believe? (I’ve lost count… bad me!) As part of my “year without mass-retail” experiment, I’m quite delighted with how these restraints on what I can and can’t purchase is pushing the creativity envelope! Somehow, I don’t feel as… encumbered by the offerings of the stores and what the going “look” is. I’m much more excited to strike out on my own–so abstaining from purchases of a clothing-nature (at least at the mall–no one said anything about thrifting! hehe!) has been a bit easier. I even find that because I’m not allowed to go to the mall to shop, I actually shop less; its no longer quite the recreational activity it used to be. So in turn I’m consuming less, and spending less. Even with my thrifting I’ve become pickier: if I can’t foresee using a garment as-is, or being able to easily refashion it, then I put it back on the rack!

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | five}

Anyway, I’m off to do some work and homework! I’ve been busy work on websites and logos, and all manner of fun graphic designs lately! (As well as some top-secret personal projects… look for a debut in a month or so!) Oh yes, and enjoying this sunny day! I want to thank you so much for your sweet comments and emails of late–I’m so tickled that you enjoy my silly ramblings! hehe!

I hope you all are having a lovely day wherever you are!


[ email me ]


04.07.08 {a sweet little piece}

How are you all, my friends? I hope you had a delightful, relaxing weekend! Saturday was spent busily doing some work on several graphic design jobs and homework (math mostly… nasty stuff…). But Sunday was quite the opposite! I met a blog friend! I admit, I was a bit nervous (as I always am in such situations!), but Kate and I had a marvelous time. We were angling to do some flea marketing, but alas, the weather conspired against us, and it was pouring rain when we met up. Despite the weather, there were a few stalwart souls selling their goodies, and Kate snatched up some gorgeous china, while I snagged a primitive-style crock for my mom (an “early Mother’s Day gift”… hehe!).

Instead of moping about in the rain, we grabbed some brunch, and then on to the massive Anthropologie store. I thought I was seriously had died and gone to heaven. Or worse–was going to go into serious debt (it was that tempting!). But I managed to restrain myself. I so wish I had brought my camera with me–because there were some pretty vignettes that I wanted to remember. But alas, I had accidentally left it in my car. lol. Such is the life of a scatter-brained gal!

04.07.08 {vintage monday | colorful frocks}

I have lately been doing a huge amount of reading for my Design History class. We’ve finally crossed over into the 20th century, and are powering through the early decades. I must admit, although I really love some things about earlier design (especially Art Nouveau), I am fascinated by the modern movements of the 20th century in design. Reading about such things as De Stijl, the Bauhaus, and such avant-garde artists/designers as Man Ray, quite inspires me! I’m taking many mental notes on the principles of what makes good, recognizable design, since many of these principles are still quite relavent today.

04.07.08 {vintage monday | lovely skirts}

In celebration of the modern look in the early 20th century, I thought it would be fun for this week’s Vintage Monday feature to be centered around the 1920’s (when many of these movements really took root)! Enjoy this trio of pretty frocks and other fancies… I hope you’re inspired!

04.07.08 {vintage monday | sporty + sweet}


[ email me ]

p.s. If you’re rather fond of the 1920s, be sure to check out the page of random, fashion images I have on my website!

04.02.08 {nifty thrift | red shift}

I grew up with a wardrobe stocked of mostly thrifted garments. Saturday mornings were devoted to hitting our two favorite mega-stores, right as they opened; Mom sifting through the racks searching for garments to clothe both myself and my sister. Inevitably, we’d get bored following her around, and start darting through the aisles, pulling out gaudily beaded evening gowns and howling in laughter at ourselves in the mirror when we’d hold them up.

04.02.08 {nifty thrift | rasberry red}

This was back in the early 1990s; and I still remember to this day seeing the racks of 1960s prom dresses, and fur coats. I credit my sense of “eclectic fashion” style to these early years spent in thrift stores. Where Christian Dior rubbed shoulders with fringed hippie cast-offs. Somehow it made the idea of mixing things up, and not being “trendy” a lot more palatable when I decided to return to my roots (thrifting).

04.02.08 {nifty thrift | prim and proper}

Needless to say, I still love going through and finding gems of garments; even though its a bit harder these days to really strike gold with vintage. But occasionally, you do… usually when you’re not expecting it!

04.02.08 {nifty thrift | jazz baby}

These are a few of my favorite finds; some of which I thrifted a few years ago, and others that are more recent. None I’ve ever shown here. Be sure to click on the photos for larger views and descriptions! (And stop by my Flickr stream for more photos.)

04.02.08 {nifty thrift | cape proof}

Have you ever found a real, thrift-store gem? Tell me your story!

[ Read the other Nifty-Thrift posts here. ]


[ email me ]

p.s. This post has a rather humorous anecdote… I had planned on showing the most gorgeous gown I happened up last year. Its a beautifully-constructed, 1960s wedding gown with a long train that can be gathered up into a dramatic, sculptural bustle. I bought it for a song (at least, considering how much wedding gowns normally cost). Alas, I haven’t ever been able to post photos, because a certain Boyfriend reads this blog occasionally. lol. And you know, that would be bad luck–just in case! hehe!!

03.20.08 {bringing the 80s back}

[ my outfit yesterday that consisted of an alarmingly large number of vintage ’80s, thrifted pieces! ]

Happy Spring, my dears!!! Life has been such a flurry of activity lately. Yesterday I went on my first, proper retail shopping trip since my little experiment commenced in January. Though, I must say that it was for an entirely-allowable cause: footwear! My springtime shoe situation is a little pathetic, and despite my frequent thrifting, finding vintage shoes in my size (and a color/style that I like) is proving nigh impossible. lol. So I bought a pair of patent-leather dress shoes for the spring (I know, patent for spring? We shall see!), and lighted upon this delightfully 1930s-esque pair of heels for 70% off:

03.20.08 {new oxfords!}

Hooray!! Confession: after I took this photo, I kept them on all evening, whilst catching up with my emails and listening to The Shins (oh! how I love them!!). I am such a silly little someone! hehe.

There are so many, incredibly inspiring links this week! I hope you have a moment to look through them…

 ah-yi’s utterly inspiring blog
 a clever idea for hanging vases!
 Tricia’s thoughtful post on fashion’s do’s and don’t’s
 an utterly feminine, inspring little nook
 colorful clothes from gudren sjödén [ via ]
 a great article on design
 check out these beautiful spaces featured on Poppytalk here & also here
 fairytale-like photos
 beautiful, artistic embroidery

03.21.08 {a little painting}

Have a utterly lovely weekend! For those of you that celebrate Easter, I hope you all have a beautiful day (and lots of yummy Easter candy… hehe!). I shall be back on Monday!


[ email me ]

02.25.08 {side view}

Thank you all for your sweetness regarding my “Ugly Duckling” dress!! hehe! I am happy to report that I wore it today, and quite liked how it looked. It is definitely a blank canvas in so many ways; I could liven it up quite a bit if I wanted with colorful accessories! But today, I was feeling a bit on the less is more side, and kept everything pretty simple (sort of like those Japanese craft books that I so admire!):

02.25.08 {the ugly duckling is really a beautiful swan...}

Reminds one a bit of Toast or Saltwater, don’t you think?

02.25.08 {back view}

I tend to go through cycles with my clothing. For awhile, I like to wear bright, happy colors; lots of layering and frilly things! But right now I’m enjoying a bit of a respite with my clothes. Dresses are very much in favor; especially the shift style. Subtle, neutral colors that rely more on surface pattern or texture than pops of color. I’m also wearing my beloved “ancient reproduction” earrings a lot more (simple, gold hoops). I think it is quite amusing in a sense to see myself go through these visual, aesthetic moods! I daresay my next move will be onto much brighter, girlish cuts and colors!! hehe!!

02.25.08 {the pattern}

I hope you all are having a lovely Monday–I was quite naughty and went thrifting today (I have a huge post I need to do on my latest adventures)! Here is this week’s bit of vintage to liven things up, and perhaps give you some visual inspiration!

02.25.08 {vintage monday... hooray!}

Enjoy your day (or evening… or morning, whichever the case may be!), my dears!!!

Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]

p.s. Speaking of surface texture, have you seen the new lovelies over at Gibbous?! Yummy!!!

02.21.08 {wrestling with pockets}

Built by Wendy! How I love and hate thee. Love because the clothes are always so simple, gorgeous and showcase the beautiful fabric. The hate is from all the dastardly ideas for sewing projects (that I probably don’t have the time/patience for) floating through my head. *sigh*

My favorites from the spring collection:

It is sad how much time I’ve wasted browsing these images, digging through my own pattern stash and scheming! lol. In other news, the dress I am making is coming along steadily, except for the pockets. I don’t know when I have been more on the fence about such an optional design feature. I changed the original patch-pockets to a shape I liked better. Decided I hated how they looked sewn on the dress. Ripped those off, cut out side-seam pockets. Decided I didn’t want to fool with doing that. So I think I’ve finally settled on doing a pseudo-seam/patch pocket thing (its complicated to explain, but looks nice). We’ll see how long that one lasts… Decisions!! hehe!

02.21.08 {gathering}

Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]

p.s. Have you seen Mociun’s spring collection?! *swoon*

02.09.08 {lovely}

02.09.08 {vintage lace}

The way life always twists and turns and brings your words back to haunt you amuses me. Remember that post I did on Wednesday about my intentions to try and stick to my goal of finishing one project before hopping onto the next? haha! Because late Thursday night inspiration struck, and I had to try out an idea I had for altering a garment I was about ready to Freecycle.

I totally blame Anthropologie for this momentary lapse of memory regarding “self-imposed rules”!

bland beginnings

[ the plain, rather boring “before”… excuse the bad lighting!! I took it at 10:30 at night… hehe! ]

cardigan refashion inspiration

I got the newest catalog of luscious, inspiring springtime garments in the mail the other day, and finally got around to looking through it more closely. I noticed this sweater, which bore a striking resemblance to a wrap I purchased at H&M back in 2006. I wore it to death that summer when I went to California, and then layered it a lot the following winter. But, I had gotten bored of the “blandness” of the material, not to mention I kinda hated the fact that it was so long and quite heavy. The fabric was always getting in the way or caught on things!

02.09.08 {much better}

So it was about ready to go out, but instead I grabbed my sewing shears, chopped 12” off either side. I found a pretty, vintage, machine-made lace in my stash, that was nice and wide and in good condition. I lined the scalloped edge along the cut edge of the cardigan, sewed a double line of very narrow zig-zag stitches, and trimmed the cardigan edge close to the stitching. Not only has it become something much more in tune with my wardrobe’s look, but its a lot lighter! lol!

002.09.08 {light play}

…Honest, it only took me about 45 minutes, tops. So it wasn’t too big of a lapse in sticking to my project-finishing rule…

Enjoy the Inspiration Friday links!! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

02.09.08 {butter cup}

[ a little something I picked up while thrifting today; more about that next week! ]

inspiration [ twenty-five ]
tips and tricks for thrifting like a pro! [ via ]
Emily has been doing some very creative things with lace doilies
great tutorial on image transfers on fabric
inspiring fashion from rebe
Tricia did a whole post on reusable shopping bags
how to make adorable, embroidered buttons
Anna is making a leather handbag… and blogging about it!
inspiring interview with artist Sonja Ahler

Cheers & Creativity,
Casey [ email me ]

p.s. I want to thank you all so much for the sweet, encouraging comments and emails you’ve been sending! They mean so much to me, and I love reading every one. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! ♥

Next Page »