Tag Archives: accessories

Update your wardrobe for free (or really cheap!)

12 May

One of my favorite thrift stores in my hometown!

If you’re a spoonie (someone with chronic illness,) you know how taxing it can be to go to a mall or big department store full of people. I personally thrift the majority of my clothing, and prefer the atmosphere of thrift stores to big chain stores. If you’re able to go on a weekday, there usually aren’t many people, the people who are there are generally friendly (it’s easy to strike up conversation when you find something fun, like a vintage embroidered mumu,) and the prices are great.  I’m fortunate that the stores in our city tend to have a large selection of good quality, vintage, and name brand and designer clothing and accessories. I occasionally enjoy hitting up local antique stores, too, where I can find really unique clothing pieces and accessories (if I can afford them!)

Lately, I’ve been on a closet revamp kick. I’ve always enjoyed wearing more “alternative” styles, and personally draw inspiration from rock and roll, punk, goth, and gypsy styles. Since I no longer live or work in a place where a certain image is expected, I’ve decided to revert back to the style I feel best suits me.  Alternative style cultures promote DIY and handmade looks, since it’s all about unique, individual expression, but you can incorporate these techniques into any style!

Why alter clothing?

1. It’s fun! Even if you don’t normally enjoy arts and crafts, there’s something really special about putting your mark on something you’re going to wear. When people compliment you, you’ll get to say that you did it yourself!

2. It can be a very inexpensive hobby. You can often find supplies like studs, embroidery thread, and patches online for much less than you find them in stores. Try searching eBay or Amazon.

3. You can use what you already have. Updating your wardrobe can be as easy as using what’s already in your closet. Cut a collar off of an existing button-up shirt, and use it as a necklace, or sew it onto another shirt. Cut an applique or image from a shirt, and sew it to a jacket or vest. Embroider a message or design on pair of jeans. Cut up t-shirts, and use the remnants to make bracelets or necklace. Draw on a pair of old tennis shoes with a Sharpie. Chances are you already have the supplies you need to start altering what you have. Just Google DIY clothing projects if you need a little inspiration.

I’ll post pictures of my personal projects to (hopefully) inspire you just as soon as the stormy spring weather decides to give me a little natural light for photos. Until then, check out my Smashin’ Fashion Pinterest board for ideas:

Old suits refashion.

 

Gentle hugs,

Chels

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Are you going to Scarborough Faire?

10 Mar
fool hearty

Click to visit SRFestival.com

Next month begins one of my favorite times of year – the time we get to go to Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, TX!

This year, the hubs and I are dressing up. (In past years, we’ve dressed in costume, but not every year.) My guy’s going with a green man/wild man vibe, and I’m finishing up the dragon fairy costume I started making a couple of years ago.

Here’s the hub’s inspiration:

Luckily, between my mom and I, we happen to have a plethora of furry and leather trims and fabrics to use. I’ve made a couple of “found object” necklaces with things I had lying around. Now, I’m working on creating a headdress.

I didn't want to pay for a bird skull, so I created one from some black Sculpey and whitewashed it.

I didn’t want to pay for a bird skull, so I created one from some black Sculpey and whitewashed it.

Wire wrapped beads and arrowheads on leather cord make manly, rustic jewelry.

Wire wrapped beads and arrowheads on leather cord make manly, rustic jewelry.

Here’s my costume so far:

I’m also finishing a little choli vest to wear (and secure the wings,) and a matching utility belt for the essentials. I can’t wait to test the makeup! I’m going to try to create “scales” using fishnets as a stencil.

Reversible cropped vest with lace up front and sides.

Reversible cropped vest with lace up front and sides.

Follow our Costume List Pinterest board for more inspiration on these and other costumes we plan on creating! 

MadeULook by Lex - Original Human Dragon makeup! Facebook.com/madeulookbylex, youtube.com/madeyewlook

Click this makeup inspiration image to go to our Pinterest board.

Are you dressing up for a fair or festival this year? Share in the comments!

Gentle hugs,

Chels

“Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.”

10 Mar

Ah, finally, the claws (and horns) come out:

001 004 009

 

It’s taken me a while to update, since we’ve had lots of new projects here at the mission, and my poor mom had oral surgery that resulted in what we’re confident is a fractured jaw. (She’s had her jaw broken before – I trust her judgement.) We’re also in the process of looking for a new place to live, and I’ve been organizing my craft room in hopes that it will make the moving process easier when the time comes. (I’ll post pictures once I’ve finished!)

So, I’ve been slowly but surely working on my dragon fairy costume for the upcoming Renaissance Festival, and I finally got around to making these guys a few weeks ago. I bought black Fimo clay and went to town, rolling and shaping. I used aluminum foil to create a light base for the horns, so that they would weigh less and take less time in the oven. I poked holes with toothpicks so that I can attach them to clips to place in my hair, and gave them a couple of good coats of black glitter paint. (You could mix white glue with glitter to achieve the same effect.) The talons took much less time and effort to make, and I wrapped them with wire to coordinate with the jewelry I made for the costume:

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Next up, I get to try my hand at making my first corset! Believe it or not, you don’t see many dragons at the ren fair. It’s probably because most dragon costumes are either large, plushy theme park suits, or the super skimpy versions made for women that you can buy from the party store. I think my version is coming along pretty nicely. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about historical accuracy; the patrons of the fair are forgiving when it comes to costumes, especially of the fantasy variety.

Gentle hugs,

Chels

Eee!

19 Sep

I just had to share my excitement about our work being featured on Offbeat Bride today! Check out our beautiful and talented friend, Tiinia, her husband, Kevin, and their glorious Friday the 13th haunted house wedding:

Click on the picture to read the article and see all the pretty pictures!

If it has feathers on it (with the exception of the bride’s fan,) my mom made it. I made the bride’s bracelet and embroidered her pretty vintage handkerchief. I’m so glad we met and have become friends with them, and got to be a part of this truly unique celebration!

Gentle hugs,

Chels

Clothing swap update

5 Aug

Ok, it’s official. I’m a little obsessed over this Ladies’ Fashion Swap. The theme has morphed from a mint green and pink color scheme to  cheeky retro housewife.

 

To take it a step further (I always do,) and to solidify the fact that I’ll use any excuse to dress up, I bought a vintage apron with pockets to keep the necessities on my person. ..And I’m going to wear my 50’s party dress. With pearls. And possibly my pink vintage gloves. When I suggested it to my two friends who are organizing the whole thing, one replied enthusiastically, but the other hasn’t replied at all. She’s probably shaking her head at us. 🙂

I’m mostly done with the decorations now, which consist of easy paper projects (pinwheels and tissue paper poms,) and printouts of the housewives I’ve come up with over the past few weeks. We won’t exactly have money for the decorations until we’re reimbursed by the whopping $1 entry fees, so I’m keeping it on the cheap! I love having to be frugal; it forces me to be creative in ways I wouldn’t necessarily choose to be if I could just buy everything from the party store.

I can’t wait to share pictures of the finished product! We have 45 potential attendees (25 have said they’ll be there, and 20 are maybes,) so I think it will be a good turnout. I’m hoping there are so many people that we don’t have enough clothing racks, but that’s just the optimist in me.

Gentle hugs,

Chels

Hi, my name is Chelsea, and I’m a swapaholic.

19 Jul

My friend Paige has been giving me clothing she doesn’t wear anymore for a while now. She realized a year or so ago that she didn’t know half of what was in her closet, and has been going on sporadic cleaning sprees ever since. We started out exactly the same size, but I’ve lost a little weight over the past year, so, as my friend Allison put it, my clothes were “falling off” of me. So, guess who got them? She did, lucky girl. Half of them I had received from Paige. It’s like the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, only with cuter shoes.

Along the same lines, I’ve been following Punky of Haberdash Vintage, a traveling trailer of vintage awesomeness, and also of The Swapaholics, a team of women to put together giant swaps all over the place, for years. Needless to say, I’ve been hoping, wishing, and praying for a streamline trailer and a good clothing swap to come my way. My craving has been satiated by the occasional swap with friends, and my compulsive trips to the local thrift shops (hey, it’s as close to free as you can get!) I even suggested hosting a swap to a couple of gals at church last year, but it seemed that the idea hadn’t caught fire yet, and no one was very interested.

Imagine my glee when, a few weeks ago, a friend, who I just happened to have shared my maiden name with (no relation as far as we know, but it sure was confusing for people in high school,) piped up on our small group board and suggested we hold a swap at the church! I instantly gave my two cents of yes, then offered to help with decorations and planning. She, another friend who just happens to be her sister in law, and I got together last night over Mexican food to hash out the details, and came up with a plan.

So … drum roll please … I’m proud to present to you our very first swap:

There’s a whopping $1 entry fee to cover the initial costs of supplies to host the swap, and ladies of all sizes, styles, and ages – from teen to the most seasoned fashionista – are invited. We’re hoping for a big turnout, since you don’t have to be a part of the church to participate. It’s also right around the time school will be starting again, so it’s the perfect time to find some new clothes to wear to classes, whether you’re the student or teacher. I’m so excited, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

If you’re in the DFW area, click on the memo to visit the Facebook event page for more info and RSVP.

Gentle hugs,

Chels