Changing Your Clothes

Shopping, Sewing, Upcycling, Repairing: Make the most of your clothes!


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Thrift-Shop Thursday: Giving Thanks!

When I realized that this month’s Thrift-Shop Thursday post would fall right smack on Thanksgiving Day (here in the U.S., at least), somehow it didn’t seem right to do another piece about the new “upscale-thrift” boutique opening up near me, or to wave my latest great deal gleefully under your collective noses. Instead, it occurred to me that it might be fun to look back on the various TST posts I’ve done (from the beginning!), because when I think about it, there’s a whole lot to be grateful for! Here’s a quick round-up of my top 5 favorites, with thanks-giving notes in each photo caption.

1. My very first Thrift-Shop Thursday post, featuring this stunning vintage Christian Dior jacket, and including a replace-a-button tutorial! It’s shown here on my daughter, who snatched it from me and wouldn’t let go. (Okay, the truth is, it fit her a lot better.)

Jacket with its new button

What I’m grateful for: A Dior jacket for $25.00, happy daughter, and my overflowing button stash, which yielded this replacement button! (Click on the photo to go to this post.)

2. Expanding the Definition of thrift-shopping: tips on finding bargains in the fabric store, with details on choosing patterns to make the most of marked-down remnant pieces.

Silk remnants

What I’m grateful for: fantastic fabric stores nearby, beautiful silk remnants like these at bargain prices, lots of pattern and project choices to make the most of remnants, and the fact that I know how to sew! (Click on the photo to go to this post.)

3. The Remnants of the Day (a follow-up to the Expanding the Definition post, detailed above), in which I went into more detail about projects that could be done with fabric remnants, and included lots of patterns that would be perfect for use with remnants (and/or fabric scraps— hello, stash!). This pattern, Butterick 5856, which is quite unusual in that it combines woven and knit fabrics, is a great example.

Butterick 5856

What I’m grateful for: pattern companies that consistently produce fashionable, creative patterns, beautiful fabrics (especially bargain-priced remnants), and my sewing machines! (Click on the photo to go to this post.)

4. Late last summer, my archaeologist daughter did a guest post called View from the Trenches for CYC, detailing her last-minute search for a dig wardrobe, most of which came from thrift shops.

A field ensemble

What I’m grateful for: that my daughter had this unique dig opportunity, that we were able to find some great stuff at even greater prices (and in time for the start of the dig), and her distinctively witty writing style! (Click on the photo to go to this post.)

5. And finally, my most recent Thrift-Shop Thursday project: yes, it’s the Franken-Coat! (This was a 2-part project, so this second part happened on Makeover Monday; Part 1 was posted on the previous Thrift-Shop Thursday.)

Franken-Coat!

What I’m grateful for: 2 fantastic thrift-shop jackets, finding a super-fun lining fabric, and using up 4 unmatching buttons from the aforementioned stash! (Click on the photo to go to this post.)

I’ve only been doing the Thrift-Shop Thursday posts since April of this year, and going back to look at the early editions has turned into a wonderful experience! And it’s definitely reminded me of so many things I’m grateful for, and not just at Thanksgiving: living in a city with lots of great thrift shops (and fabric stores!), having a fantastic sewing machine and serger, being able to make my own clothes as well as to alter or repair thrift-shop garments, and I don’t want to overlook “small” things, like having a camera to photograph all these ideas and projects.

Most of all, I’m grateful for you, my readers and fellow bloggers, for following Changing Your Clothes, for your likes and comments, for your own blogs, and most especially for all the ways in which you inspire me.

Thank you.

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Run, Don’t Walk: Out-of-print Sewing Patterns on Sale!

This just in: select sewing patterns from Vogue, McCall’s, Butterick, and Kwik Sew that were previously out-of-print are not only available again, but on sale! The Vogue patterns are $5.99 each (and you know how expensive they can be at their regular prices), and all the others are just $3.99 each. But don’t wait— you have until Tuesday, November 26.

Where can you find these goodies? Click on the photo below; this will take you to the sale information page, and from there, you can go to any (or all) of the 4 pattern companies.

Vogue 8605 sewing pattern

Vogue 8605 sewing pattern. This and other out-of-print sewing patterns are available in limited quantities and sizes, so don’t wait! Click on the photo (courtesy of Vogue Patterns) to head straight to this sale!


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Makeover Monday: Second Coating, Part 2

In which I finish creating a monster: the Franken-Coat!

In last week’s Part 1, I got started on this experiment in the CYC lab. Preparations for this radical disassembly-shuffle parts-reassembly project involved analyzing the 2 thrift-shop jackets for compatibility, doing a folded mock-up, and finally, rather extensive surgical (scissor-al?) procedures on both jackets. Here’s a quick recap:

Franken-Coat prep

Franken-Coat prep. At top left and right are the 2 thrift-shop jackets I started with, and the jacket parts after cutting them up are shown at bottom. (Details of this process are in Second Coating, Part 1.)

Now that everything is ready for the next step, I’m scrubbed and ready to sew!

Action plan:

  1. Stitch jackets together at waist seam, keeping linings out of the way.
  2. Add shoulder pads to, well, shoulders, between lining and outside fabric.
  3. Repair pocket lining on lower part.
  4. Make and add belt loops to sides.
  5. Remove old linings; use as patterns, and replace the lining.*
  6. Remove existing buttons; replace with new ones. Alter buttonholes if necessary.

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30 of the Best Coats and Trends For Your Winter Wardrobe

This is a fantastic showcase of the enormous diversity in winter jackets and coats, from my always-stylish Fashion & Style Gurus!

Fashion & Style Guru

Fashion & Style GuruPhoto Courtesy of Shutterstock

There’s really nothing like having a good coat to get you through the winter season. As great as the rest of your outfit may be most of the time, that jacket will be the only thing people see—you want it to be phenomenal. And we know you’ve put it off for long enough, trying to squeeze a few warm weekends out with just a light sweater (don’t worry so have we), but you can’t deny it. Winter is upon us and you need a coat—immediately. You could always pull last winter’s coat out of the storage or go back to the faithful solid black, but where’s the fun in that? This season there are so many colors, textures and trends in outerwear you’re going to need to build an extension in that walk-in closet just to hold them all! (Not that we’re complaining.) Click through to…

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Party Garb: Using Key Pieces to Dress Up!

From my cyber-friends at RealSimple comes this helpful slideshow, Festive Outfits for the Holiday Season. And when I say “helpful”, I mean it: the focus is on using just one key piece—which may very well be in your closet already— to create new party-worthy ensembles. The clothes they show include links to buy them, and with prices starting at just $50.00, these options are practical and affordable!

The slideshow categories are The Colorful Dress, The Embellished Jacket, Dressy Pants, The Black Dress, and The Long Skirt (the photo below is one example).

Long skirt

The Long Skirt. Remember Sharon Stone wearing a fancy long skirt and jewels with a plain white shirt (from the Gap, I think) to the Oscars?? At $198.00 (the slideshow said $149.00), this is the priciest item in the slideshow, and you can find it on Piperlime. (Click the photo to go directly to the slideshow.)

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Second Coating, Part 1: A Belated Thrift-Shop Thursday

On this Thrift-Shop Thursday, I find myself wanting to extend the Halloween spirit just a little longer. (Click here to read my special Halloween project post, the alleged reason for this TST post’s belatedness.) To that end, I’ve decided this is the perfect time for a rather extreme idea that starts with not one, but two thrift-shop jackets. Yes, folks, I will be attempting something so wildly, radically, even insanely experimental, it has never been seen before! (Okay, never on this blog.) Follow me into the Changing Your Clothes laboratory as I prepare to create…

The Franken-Coat!

Jackets before...

My black-and-white thrift-shop jackets, before entering the CYC lab. 1. Wool/cotton/rayon blend tweed/windowpane plaid jacket, lined. Thrift-shop price: $9.95. 2. Wool/polyester blend bird’s-eye tweed coat, lined. Thrift-shop price: $14.95.

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