For the past 5-6 years I have been decreasing my consumption of new things. I buy used items or wait until my family or acquaintances have things they want to part with. I started this out of necessity because my revenues dwindled down to nothing for 18 months while I was handicapped from being crushed between two cars. I want to continue being thrifty. It just makes sense to buy things to make other things or up-cycle something that has already gotten some use. I’ve been buying vintage items and antiques on eBay so why not apply this to things I need, not just want to collect. When I was growing up my grandfather told me that my grandmother could make 2$ with 1$ and I thought this was a nice compliment about her competence :) (Later in life I always heard/read the usual/tired/cliché husband comment about how the wife is spending too much money.) So I grew up with an appreciation for DIY competence and thrift only to wind up in a world of throw away conveniences…
I left an incredibly dysfunctional home at 17 (that’s almost a quarter century ago!) so I am not starting off in life but I’ve discovered that in my economy of recycling and reusing with thrift stores and Freecycle.org, I have access to almost anything required for basic living and more. I have gotten furniture, cooking gear, rare electronics and even a bra off Freecycle.org! I have developed a taste for the kitschy so thrift stores house delightful spendorphin-releasing surprises every week!
I also enjoy giving away things on Freecycle.org because after 6 months of seeing something get no use in my house, it makes me happy to find someone who was looking for exactly THAT! In the near future I hope to pass along or sell most everything I own, from my collection of vintage toys and art to my immense stash of books and crafting supplies. Having just moved into a small pied-à-terre type place, I also am lacking the place to house all my stuff! I am still on track to travel more after my daughter enters high school. Every night she is studying hard for her international program entrance exams!
A few years ago I bought a wedding dress. I was intrigued by this dress because it was a revival of an older 10s-20s style that I love (now seen aplenty in Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire). I knew that the end result would not include the sleeves or the trim so I have already been making other crafts with those bits! Then I put it away…
After 3 years I was kicked in the butt by New Dress a Day, a site I have become obsessed with, to realize my goal. Needing a dress to attend the Montreal Burlesque Festival hosted by the lovely Scarlett James, I decided to modify the aforementioned wedding dress to a simpler style. The pictures are horrendous but I think they get the info across. I simply tacked the overdress to the under slip around the top and cut away the hideous puffy shoulders. I hand stitched the two pieces together and adjusted the back to my new size (dress is vintage size 15 and I currently wear size 12). I also beaded the front bottom with sequin drops so it would catch the light while I walk.
I am so happy with the result! It was amazing to dress up (something I do rarely) and I got compliments aplenty.
So yesterday I bought a new crop of dresses to have fun with until next spring. And my big bin of secondhand finds is still overflowing with project clothing!