One Woman’s Trash Is a Thrifty Woman’s Treasure

Sometime over Thanksgiving break (I know this post has been a long time coming) my brother dragged me along to Goodwill to do some thrift shopping. Normally, I’d be all out but I had just bought a bunch of new clothes and wanted to clean out my wardrobe before buying anything else, but I found something I could not pass up.

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This vintage sweater is long enough to wear as a dress. I love the bow color work. It’s totally adorable! There were only two small problems. Two holes in the underarm seams, one on each side. I didn’t find them until I had made my purchase and sadly Goodwill changed their return policy so I couldn’t get refunded. I took it since it was only $5 and figured I could find a way to mend the two holes. I ment to do it once I returned to school from Thanksgiving break but it took all the way until now, after Winter break for me to get around to it.

This video tutorial is so helpful. Add it to your favorites or bookmark it for future reference! The results are amazing easy enough even for a newbie sewer like me.

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I didn’t have navy blue thread but black worked just fine.

before and after small hole

The smaller hole. It was barely noticeable so this was a pretty easy fix.

before and after big hole

The bigger hole. The method worked like magic!

The method works similar to the mattress stitch used for invisible seaming of knits. Of course, it’s not perfect but it’s as great as anything. Especially because of the location of the holes, I didn’t really care what it looked like but this method is definitely usably for more obvious holes.

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So here I have a perfectly functional, cute sweater dress! I can’t wait to wear it after I wash it. There are two lessons to be learned here: 1) Always check your purchases when buying second hand and 2) If there’s a ruined garment, there’s a thrifty girl to fix it.

NYC Adventure!

I mentioned in my Christmas post that I took a little day trip to NYC this past Monday. It’s trips like these that makes me wish I lived in a big vibrant city sometimes!

It was the day before Christmas Eve, but we didn’t do the normal tourist stops like Times Square and the Rockefeller Center. Guided by my Manhattan-resident cousin, we explored New York City like a true New Yorker.

First was the hour long train ride on the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station.

We passed by 1D World! Confession: I’m a One Direction fan. Not a huge one but who can dislike their catchy tunes?

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After a bit of struggling (NY subways don’t like to be on time) we made our way to East Village. Our (my) goal was to visit a yarn shop. I’m not sure that my cousins and brother enjoyed it as much as I did. We all also wanted to go a little thrift shopping and to grab some of the best eats in New York according to my cousin.

This song is becoming more and more the theme to my life.

There’s a thrift shop on just about every corner of East Village so there was no trouble finding one. We stopped in the first one we saw. Great finds while thrift shopping is really based luck and I just didn’t find anything I really liked, especially now that I’m trying to build a capsule wardrobe. One of my cousins found some things so after his purchased we walked a few more blocks to Downtown Yarns.

Downtown Yarns is a tiny but cute and cozy yarn shop on Avenue A. I’m not sure what heaven looks like but I imagine it’s a little something like this.

IMG_1436 IMG_1438The employees were very knowledgeable and helpful. They also wore crazy and quirky outfits that featured things they knitted which was pretty awesome! I’ve knitted a lot and for a long time but there’s no way that I’m an expert. Walking into a store like this was a bit overwhelming, considering I didn’t have any project in mind. I decided on knitting a pair of socks for myself and the employees did a great job with helping me choose the right yarn and needle size. I haven’t started on the socks yet but I’m deciding between two patterns I found on Ravelry. I’ll keep you posted on the progress!

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Next was the food portion of our trip. According to my cousin, we had to get the best ice cream New York had to offer. I was expecting a hard serve place with about a million flavors but instead I found us walking through the door of a soft serve shop called Big Gay Ice Cream.

IMG_1439Their specialty is in adding unique and interesting flavor combinations to plain old soft serve – and it is literally the best ice cream I’ve ever had. I cannot stress this enough. If you ever get the chance, go there and if you can’t decide on what to order, just ask your server. He’ll probably suggest the Salty Pimp, their best selling cone. If that yarn store was what heaven looked and felt like, the Salty Pimp might be what heaven tastes like.

IMG_1441 IMG_1443Alright, I next was the best fry place in New York. How can you tell when a restaurant is the best at what they do? If they get bogged down by lines just for serving one type of food. Pomme Frites just serves Belgian style fries. They also offer over a dozen dipping sauce flavors. The shop is tiny, something a lot of NYC stores have in common so there’s barely any room to sit or stand. We took our order to go and had to chow on the street so I didn’t have the hands to take any pictures.

Then we went on to Buffalo Exchange. I wouldn’t call it a thrift shop, but this chain store sells fashionable second hands at a fraction of the cost of retail stores. The clothes they sell come directly from people in the community and they seem to have some higher standard than regular thrift shops because most of the clothes they sell are trendy and in style. I picked up an oxford button down, a batwing sweater, a polkadot skirt, and these awesome harem-style trousers all for $45.

Then, we took a quick walk through the Union Square Holiday Market since it was really crowded. We finished off our day by seeing The Hobbit in 3D. So I have to admit that I haven’t seen all of the Lord of the Rings movies, among other trilogies. However, I have read The Hobbit twice. I can’t say I enjoyed it both times, but I think now that I’m older I’d probably appreciate it more. The movie though was very good except for the slow start. It was very visually appealing and the soundtrack is amazing. Now I have part 2 to look forward to plus the actor who plays Bilbo, Martin Freeman plays Dr. Watson in Sherlock, which I figured out right at the end of the movie. Is it weird that I think he’s adorable despite being 41?

We took a cab, which was a bit of a crazy ride by my standards to Penn Station right on time to catch the train back to Long Island. This trip will probably be the most fun I’ll have this Winter break and it’s something I wouldn’t mind doing more often. The next time I visit family in Long Island, we’re going to have to do this again, but that might not be until another year if I end up going to Hong Kong this summer. By the way, I submitted my application to study abroad today so wish me luck!

 

Vintage Party Dress Search

I love shopping vintage and thrifting! That goes for everyday clothes and special occasions. I’ve done it once before when I bought a vintage dress for my high school senior prom and I’m in the process of doing it once more!

Every year the marching band holds a band banquet at the end of the season in December, which is like band prom, except it’s 10 times more fun than regular prom. Last year, I just wore the same dress I wore at prom, but this year, I’m looking for a new dress. It’s basically just an excuse for me to splurge a little more than my usual $5 at the local Goodwill for a vintage/thrifty find.

When searching for a vintage dress, it’s difficult to find that perfect balance between something that is unique to it’s era (hello 80s!) and something that will fit in with current trends. Thankfully, vintage-inspired is very in! However, I don’t want to buy a dress that is too similar to the one I previously bought.

Banquet 2011: That’s me in the 80s sequins and bow!

So I’ve been scouring Etsy’s vintage section for the perfect dress. I’m keeping a list of favorites so far and here’s a few dresses/themes that I love:

Red

ragdollvintage @Etsy

Vintage 70s/80s Cherry Red Flapper Fringe Cocktail Party Mini Dress – $155

It fits our marching band show theme: Western! I love the fringe. This dress just screams “fun” and “I want to dance!” It’s also perfect to pay some homage to the the flappers of the 1920s who paved the way for women in America. However, at $155, this dress is way over my budget. A girl can dream, can’t she?

ragdollvintage @Etsy

Vtg 50s/60s Cherry Red Stretch Diamond Rhinestone Embroidered Cocktail Dress – $175

Sigh, another dress I can’t afford. I love the playfulness of this dress. The high-low skirt makes this piece the mullet of dresses. I also like the coverage on the arms. The modesty of the cut definitely plays down the color and makes this super wearable. The rhinestones also get rid of the need for any neck jewelry. It’s simple, yet makes a statement.

StellarVintage @Etsy

Gorgeous Red 90s Bandage Mini Dress – $28

Something in my budget! The 90s had some crazy trends, and some of them I question about ever returning, however this dress is something the 90s did right. You can barely tell it was from the 90s. The cut and fit of this dress is so typical of any other party dress you’d find on a college girl on a Friday night that it kind of loses its appeal to me. It’s hard to believe that clothes from the 1990s are considered vintage because I was alive then! But still, I like the zig-zag detail on the dress and the color is unique and it’s cheap and vintage, so it’s definitely worth considering as an option.

Lace

POMPOMCLOTHING @Etsy

70s Coral Lace Dress – Romantic Sheer Floral Lace Dress – $56

This dress is not only red, but it’s also lace! I love the fact that this dress has a little length. Lace is a really popular current trend in fashion. It also works for semi-formal events and can be dressed down with the right accessories. A versatile piece always lengthens your wardrobe. The price is also just about right. That’s probably as high as I’m willing to spend.

AppleBranchesVintage @Etsy

Vintage 1960s Black Sleeveless Beaded Lace Dress – $49

This black lace dress is super classy! Rather than the dress being made entirely of lace, the lace top portion makes a subtle statement. I love how the flowy skirt contrasts the fitted lace top. Black is also a much safer color to wear, although I was trying to stay away from black and white this time.

Ruffles

GypsyStardustDesign @Etsy

Vintage 70s Purple RUFFLE TRIMMED Mini Party Dress M – $52

I’m not sure that I’d be pull off this bold color, but I still like it. In case you haven’t noticed, I really like balancing out lengths and proportions by either having a modest top and short skirt or a more revealing top with a fuller-length skirt. This dress does it all.

LastDanceVintage @Etsy

Girly Gala Glam Party Dress. Vintage 1970s. Little Black Dress. Cascading Chiffon Handkerchief Ruffles. Size Extra Small. – $30

You can’t see it in this picture, but the back of this dress is a huge SURPRISE! It’s super low cut. I’ve definitely never worn something so… provocative! But again, a balance of skin and modesty. It’s all about the balance. I’m a little on the short side, however, so I’m afraid that the longer length of the skirt would only make me look more like a midget.

StellarVintage @Etsy

Black Sequin Ruffle Party Dress Small – $30

The ruffles on this dress are a little more understated but the sequins make up for it. My other dress also had a black sequined top so I’m a bit reluctant to getting one so similar. This dress definitely conveys a different feeling, though.

1980s Ruffly Skirts

AppleBranchesVintage @Etsy

Vintage 1980s Floral Colorful Gold Iridescent Prom Party Dress – $61

I have an obsession with bows and this dress is just another manifestation of it. It’s black but has a sort of gold, glowy floral pattern. It’s just the right amount of color to make the dress stand out. However, my other dress also has a bow so getting this dress is a little questionable in terms of getting something different.

AppleBranchesVintage @Etsy

Vintage 1980s Dark Blue Rose Velvet Embellished Tulle Party Dress – $63

This dress is my absolute favorite one that I’ve found so far. And it’s only slightly more than my budget so I’d definitely be willing to splurge on it. The main reason why I love it so much is that it reminds me of the Japanese Loli trend. Everything about it is just perfect! The little lace detail, the ruffly skirt, the balance between girly and edgy, the dark color. I wanted to stay away from black and a darker jewel tone is just enough. Gah, I just want it so much. If no one buys it in the upcoming weeks, this one might be the one I buy.

Now that I’ve shown you all these awesome dresses you’re not going to go and buy them all off of Etsy, right? Haha, who ever gets these finds are going to be lucky girls. I’ll probably be making my decision within a few weeks. Banquet is only a month away! Boy does the semester fly by fast.

Are you as obsessed with vintage as me? Have you worn vintage to a special occasion? Which dress do you like the best? Let me know what you think in the comments!

My name is Vi, and I’m a Goodwill shopaholic.

My first thrift store haul blog post ever!!!

It’s been a while since I’ve visited Goodwill and finally with a relaxing and free weekend without anything to do, I took the opportunity to visit the neighborhood Goodwill. I love that I can find awesome, unique, vintage pieces to add to my wardrobe along with brand new basics that no one wanted to buy in stores. Oh, and yarn. I can’t forget that Goodwill is an excellent place to fuel my yarn addiction.

A Mini and A Maxi Skirt:

An “Alligator” Belt

Two Brand New V-Neck Tees (From Target, I Think)

A Brand New Mohair Throw (Also From Target)

YARN and lots of it

Looks like someone was trying to make a sweater and gave up. I’m actually pretty excited about this yarn because I’ve used a self-striping yarn before. I need to knit myself (and I am emphasizing myself) a hat and some fingerless mitts for marching band rehearsals.