23 February 2008

Upcycled Men's Shirt...work in progress

I found this really nice Italian silk men's shirt in a local thrift store. It happened to be a day when they were offering "everything that you can stuff in a bag for $10"...wow...I love that!

That bag has already paid off BIG because I found a vintage 60's Jean Patou hat that I sold last week on ebay for $56. The sale had been going on for a couple of days so everything was very picked over...how that hat slipped through the cracks I will never know.

I was not actually able to stuff my bag because I could not find enough things worthy of my limited closet space, I did however find a few goodies that will be showing up on the blog in the weeks to come.

This shirt jumped out to me because of the interesting graphic print. The silk is very soft and high quality. The shirt had the dry cleaning tags on it and was in great condition.

I removed the collar and cut off the sleeves at the armholes. I am in the process of altering the shirt using soft tucks and folds like the designers are showing on their Spring clothing lines. I am working with some vintage fabric to create loose ruffles and I have shortened the sleeves and gathered the tops to make puffs...and that is as far as I have gotten. I may not get back to this for a week because 2 of my nieces are arriving today for a visit.

the groo*gal

21 February 2008

The RAVEN Has Landed!

That fabulous Raven necklace arrived on my birthday Monday.

Yes...it is true, but were you really surprised? I made kind of a "little bit of a big deal" out of it...oh well, what can I say...I wanted it BAD and I knew there was only one way I was getting it this year..unless of course I took up resin casting!...and that is always a possibility.

I was sorry that I did not get a picture of me wearing it on my "day of days" because I had put together a really cute outfit in hopes of getting that necklace as the major accessory piece...Vera Wang for Kohl's purple and gray plaid chiffon dress(huge bargain last Fall), black cropped cardigan, black flat boots and I broke out a great vintage black velvet double breasted coat along with the accessory I can't live without these days in Chicago...my wool cossack hat with flaps!.....56 and workin' it!


14 February 2008

Old School Mending

Remember this sweater....the cute little dolman sleeve vintage wool sweater that I found at the Salvation Army?

I sent it to the dry cleaners and when I brought it home I noticed that it had about 8 moth holes. I started thinking about MENDING...what a throwback! What happened to mending? How many things end up in the Salvation Army just because they needed a little bit of MENDING.

I have often admired old wood darning eggs because of their nice shape and smooth patina. They feel at home in your hand like a good tool should. I went directly to ebay and typed in darning egg and found a large maple wood egg that I won with no other bids for $9.99.

When the egg arrived I sat down with with some crewel yarn and a darning needle and taught myself how to darn. And this is how it is done:


*turn garment inside out
*fit egg under hole and stretch knitted piece over egg
*starting about 1/4 inch away from hole begin to weave your needle in and out of the stitches of the knitted piece
* continue back and forth until you get to the hole then cross over the hole to the other side and pull just slightly to tighten up the hole
*continue weaving until you reach the other side and continue for anther 1/4 inch
*snip thread leaving 1 inch tail

12 February 2008

My Crafty Valentine

At the risk of having my cotMC(craft of the month club) gals having a peak, I have decided to post my project in time for Valentines Day.

While perusing my stash for ideas I came across this wonderful old tin Victorian brooch that I purchased on ebay a while back. Since it already had a pin back I just attached the vintage pleated trim to the back with a glue gun, added a piece of an old velvet leaf and then made a bow out of a scrap of antique kimono fabric. That was the perfect deconstructed element that gives this piece a quirky appeal with out being too fussy...a good reason to collect those interesting bits and scraps...BUT ONLY those scraps that are really special. You need to use your creative, crafty eye and know when to "hold em" and when to "toss em"...I also keep interesting scraps of paper in a small box and that is where I found the old envelope with nice calligraphy to make my heart. The heart was then hot glued to an uneven square of felted wool to which I glued some tiny old beads and then I attached it all to a piece of card stock. I then pinned the brooch unto the card so that it could be removed and worn. The entire project took me under an hour, which was good because lately thats about all the time I have!

*IDEA OF THE DAY...for those of you that do not already have an interesting stash....be on the look out for buttons, ribbon, paper, fabric and other interesting objects. Ebay is a great place to find odd and unusual things at really great prices...a treasure trove at your fingertips! Be sure that you have a special box for your treasures so that when an idea for a project pops up you can easily put your hands on the "goods".

Happy hunting.


09 February 2008

Message from a Raven?

It seems that lately I am having a continual conversation with my inner voice about "not spending".....lets see... the struggle started when we had friends in from out of town last weekend.

While wondering around in Andersonville, a Chicago neighborhood north of where I live, we stumbled on a fabulous little boutique called Turley Road. What drew us in were the wonderful shoes in the window...I was like an alcoholic wandering into a bar for the first time after joining AA....a bar that makes really good drinks....at really great prices!!!

"This is MY store"...I announced as I picked up the very cutest blue pointy lace up oxford pumps...on sale for around $50....the best $80 handbags I have ever seen, and clothes that looked like designs I would have dreamed up...then I spotted IT...

A wonderful chunky, black vintage bead necklace with an oval framed Raven pendant. Coat and scarf came off, and necklace promptly clasped around my neck...
...I exclaimed..."this necklace has special powers!"
...husband said..."but wait a minute...you are the froo*gal, and you have made a commitment"
...I thought... he LOVES being able to say this, he has been waiting to say this for 25 years
...I said..."but that doesn't mean that I can't get GIFTS!...and my birthday is just 2 weeks away"

Is that magical necklace in my future?...I guess we will all just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I looked up the symbolic meaning of Ravens and found this:

Native Americans believe that the Raven signifies change and transformation. The Raven is the harbinger of messages and comes only to those worthy of knowledge, he is called upon for healing powers and is the.....bearer of MAGIC.


THE froo*gal

05 February 2008

Old Skirt New Tricks

I was off to a great start with my blog when life stepped in and took over.

The last 3 weeks have been like a runaway train....out of town guests for 3 weekends running, major weather issues and countless trips to doctors and emergency rooms with my dear son who has been having severe stomach issues....I had high hopes for completing another project but not one stitch has been made in that direction.

I did, however, "semi"complete the full length evening skirt makeover before the train went off on its own track. I have not been happy with the way the hem turned out. I was trying to do a "soft" hem, kind of like a modified bubble but the fabric is just not lending itself to that look. Meanwhile the skirt hangs on my dress form waiting some inspiration. I am posting a picture while I decide what to do next. I am thinking I might like to bias cut a length of fabric and just narrow hem it, maybe even several different fabrics. So far this is what I have done to create...


1 A-line skirt, long or short
1 5/8 yard of fabric for inset
1 set of toggle closures
1 package of black 1/4 " elastic cord

*If you are using a long skirt, cut to desired length.
*Cut skirt open from top to bottom in the center front.
*Cut a piece of fabric 15-18 inches wide and the length of the skirt plus 2 1/2 inches. If you are not changing the length of the skirt you will need to add enough fabric length to make a hem.
*With right sides together, starting at hem, match front panel to skirt sides. Stitch 5/8" seams from hem to bottom of waistband leaving 2 1/2 inches free to make casing.
*Press seams toward center
*Fold over 1/2 inch at top the fabric and press, then fold over 1 inch to form a casing turning in 5/8 inch at each edge.
*Stitch along bottom of fold on wrong side of waistband
*Stitch along top edge and down the middle of the casing to form 2 channels
*Cut one long piece of elastic and thread through top channel and then continue through bottom channel leaving 8-10 inches free on either side. Cut loop on one end so each side has 2 separate pieces of elastic.
*Fit both pieces of elastic through toggles, cinch waist line to fit then tie knots at the end of the elastic.
*Hem skirt as desired...more ideas to come when I try something new with my hem!

Tomorrow is cotMC (craft of the month club) and we are having a Valentine exchange. I am soooo hoping we do not get the predicted snow storm because I really need some creative therapy and girl talk!

I have taken pictures of my Valentine and I will post a picture after the exchange... stay tuned for more UPCYCLED inspiration!