I am a die hard fan of an all black wardrobe, but lately I’ve been adding little spots of of color in and really liking it. And there are some colors I just cannot turn away from. That is how I felt about this mustard color, vintage Hanes crew neck. Actually I love the whole jewel tone family. Dark, rich and dusty.
But as you already know, nothing stays as is with me so before wearing it out I updated it with a single cut up the center and some hook and eye closure trim and made it a cardigan.
I added it to a black and white combo of a shredded Tee from Vow Clothing and a lace skater skirt made from an old dress (I did get two skirts from the dress. Yours will be added online soon)
Put it all together with a cropped leather jacket, knit cowl and my current staple shoe….rain boots and I am out the door.
Winter here in NYC has been pretty mild so far, but based on what my friends in the Midwest are going thru I suspect I will be getting a healthy dose of it here in no time. Which is why I am more than a little grateful to have moved into my new space while the weather was nice last week.
Up until this point, although I have been living almost totally in NYC, it was in a furnished sublet which has kept the majority of my personal items back in Indiana. This effected me more deeply than I anticipated, but everyday I would imagine what it would feel like to have the combined buzz that I get from being here, out and about in the city with the deep satisfaction I get from being home in my own space with all of my favorite things. Now that dream is reality and the result is even better than I imagined it. And although I technically downsized a great deal by leaving my Midwest Apartment and studio space, I see it more as a HUGE upgrade to have the energy, resource and creative souls of this city just outside my door. Life makes sense to me here.
So now that I’ve got everything in it’s place I am anxious to get back into a rhythm of creating and recreating new designs and treasures. Today I started with a very basic vintage sweatshirt that I’ve been hanging on to because of it’s perfect faded grey color and it’s overly worn feel.
I’ve worn it oversized a few times but that’s just not a great look for me. So I made it a new, simple shape to still feel comfortable and casual but a little more flattering.
This is a really simple remake for something that you only need to alter slightly and will work for a knit sweater, tunic or t-shirt also.
*remove sleeves – it makes for a nicer fit in the end if you separate the sleeves from the body and adjust them independently. (Unless you prefer to make a bat wing style sleeve then you can leave them on)
* remove wasteband- this also ensures a nice custom look when you’re all done.
* turn the body inside out and put it on pinning each side equally to your preferred fit- by turning it inside out your markings will be right where you need to them stitch up your new shape. Pinning something while on is the ultimate in DIY and sometimes can turn out a little wonky, so once you’ve marked and pinned where you like it, take it back off and make sure it is neat and even before sewing it up.
for myself I took approx 2″ off each side and left a 6 1/2″ opening for the sleeve to reattach. This brought the original shoulder seam down to almost a t-shirt length on my arm and I added the sleeve to it from this point to keep them extra long. But you could trim the extra to make a normal shoulder seam and have really cute 3/4 sleeves.
* Once you’ve finished the side seams then turn the sleeves inside out and lay them flat. use the new measurement of the opening as the same for the top of the sleeve and mark a straight line down to meet at the wrist and stitch.
* For the waist hem bring the two side seams together so it is folded in half the width wise. Start a cut in the center of the from 4″ from the bottom curving down as you go to end up at the original edge. Try to keep the cut gradual and between the front seams so you don’t over scoop and end up with a weird tail in the back.
*Now pin your sleeves and waste band back in their places and stitch them on right sides together.
At this point you can embellish it how ever you’d like or just leave it plain. Either way I’d love to see your variations.
I’ve had a hard week carrying a heavy heart and saying lots of good byes as I finish up my last days at the job I’ve adored for the last 5 Years. So I needed to lighten it up a bit and have some reFind Rebel fun.
I had been hanging on to this XL tee shirt that read REFUSE TO BE ORDINARY for something fun to do with it. So when I came across a black and white striped top in my fall clothes from last year I knew exactly what I wanted and combined these two shirts to make a raglan sleeve mini dress and a pair of high waisted bottoms. At least this way my indecency can match my dress.
I was given a great recommendation for a sweet little east village community garden just a few blocks from my apartment and it really was as sweet and enchanted as it was said to be. It’s only open on the weekends and one day a week so I am glad I made it today.
There were so many places that great attention to detail was obviously payed and lots of private places to sit an enjoy the great outdoors right in the middle of the village. Like this little area of recessed stone, where I relaxed in the shade before returning to the hustle just outside the gate. I am grateful for these little earthly oasis’ to keep a little balance in this cement mecca.
I just sold the last pair of these Triple Goddess Studded shorts, but after wearing mine today I am feeling compelled to make some more so if you’d like a pair or have something you’d like Triple Goddess Studded leave a comment or send an email, I always love your ideas and really love to make things you love. xo
I found this beautiful lace dress at a second hand store this week. Just one problem…..it’s cream. It always breaks my heart a little to find something ‘almost’ perfect and I promise I have made some real efforts to make almost good enough on many occasions, but there is no avoiding the fact that cream is just not my color. But I bought it anyway, so charmed by it that I figured if nothing else it could hang on the wall and be pretty.
Later than afternoon I stumbled upon a lonely box of RIT dye at the hardware store and felt sorry for it, so I brought it home too…..and that is why this lace dress is now dead.
I never was expecting black because I’ve ever gotten anything actually black with RIT dye, but I was anticipating the Nylon mesh and the cotton embroidery would end up different. I also know that cotton holds color the easiest so I followed the instructions best for the nylon, which included a cup of vinegar into the hot, dark water. Soaked it for an hour. Gently rinsed it in a cool bath and hung it to dry……..and it is lovely.
It’s also been hung back up on the wall to look pretty until I can find the right compliments to style it with, but I really could not be happier with how it turned out.
What have you done this week to update, rework or reinvent something? I would love to see and start to build out reFind Rebel Gallery. Email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Before and after images are the best but just the finished product is great too just mention a little about what you did to it to make it yours. And if you are on instagram feel free to use the #refindrebel hashtag.
Use what you have to have what you want
Live luxuriously within your means
Stand out without standing apart
I found this beautiful fringe and floral shawl in a basket at a thrift store recently and it’s been draped over the back of my sofa until I could figure out a way to wear it that didn’t include me having to hang on to it. And so today it found it’s place, draped around my shoulders, over a basic cotton mini dress and tucked into my belt. This let me move easy and with zero adjusting as the day went on (I hate that) and it also reminded me of a summer time version of the amazing pieces from Alexander McQueen’s Pre fall Collection.
Capes, belts, lace, short skirts and tall boots. I am thrilled with it all.
I love it all Stephanie. Thank you for your work.
For more from this lovely lady you can also visit the Trances and Portents Blog
I haven’t done much thrifting yet here in NYC, but I can start to feel the need to hunt creeping in. There’s so much magic for me just in the the searching alone. Scanning the racks for a certain color, or texture. Flipping thru the hangers for a particular shape or style and it’s just that much more gratifying to come across something so perfect you never could have pictured it ahead of time. I have been so spoiled from all my years digging thru the $1 deals in the Midwest. All the lack of interest in the interesting has often left the unique and wonderful gems just sitting out in the open as everyone else has pushed past them for the second hand version of name brands. And from what I’ve found so far in NY it’s the exact opposite. More $ and all of the really good things get snatched up quick. None the less I am optimistic that I will find my rhythm here too and although it was a small kill I have chosen to take this weeks finds as a good sign.
This velvet maxi skirt took my breath and I’ve already come up with a handful of ways to style it. It’s so full and heavy, but moves so beautifully with every step I cannot wait for the rain to stop so I can wear it out.
And the other gem is this sweet light and ruffly pencil dress
This one will be perfect for the next couple of humid, rainy days. I may even wrap my hair up in a scarf and channel my inner Chiquita Banana lady. Only tattooed and pale.
Both of these things came from a thrift shop called The Cure which donates it’s profits to diabetes research. They had a pretty good selection of women’s clothes in the basement and a variety of furniture, home decor and nick knacks upstairs. I will certainly make this a regular stop.
It’s taken me longer than I anticipated to get a creative rhythm here in the city and I miss my spacious studio, but I will figure it out in due time. Until then, my living room it will be.
Tomorrow I am going to head up to explore the Chelsea neighborhood. I’ve been encouraged to check it out for more thrift and vintage shops. I will be sure to keep you posted.