Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Introduction to Shoestring Chic: Paisley Skirt

I wish you could feel this fabric:  it's deeply soft and lush.  When I ironed it, I realized it was cotton because of the scent of the steam.  Amazing for its heft.  But I wasn't sure I could redeem the matronly paisley, so for a while, it just lurked in my stash.

But then I got a pale green mohair sweater at Goodwill for $4.  The paisley, with traces of deep red and green, suddenly looked mysterious and serious next to the pale green. 

So I made a simple skirt (Simplicity 9825) one Saturday evening - and I added side seam pockets, after reading LiEr's fantastic series on pockets.

Sunday morning, to my dismay, it was 50 degrees F, much too warm to wear wool!  So I scrambled through my closet for an alternative.

According to the photos, the hem dips down in the front (oops).  I also did not show you the back because there is a zipper problem that I want to discuss with Rebecca who is a much better seamstress than I.  But the waistband, hidden mostly by the sweater, is firm and perfect, and the pockets are well-placed and neatly hidden. 


Now, here's the game I want to get started next week.  Get dressed, and then admire your creativity and thrift and share it with us!   Add the cost of your outfit (if you dare) and if you have owned your item for at least 10 years, consider it free.  Handsewn items cost fabric and pattern (but if you have used the pattern more than once, consider it discounted or free). 

When I played this game with A in high school, the goal was to have the cheapest outfit.  That's amusing, but more than that, I want to honor the very clever ways we dress for our work while conserving our resources. 

I'll set up a Linky, so if you have a blog and photos, you can blog about your outfit and then I'll collect all your links here at Thrift at Home.  Please use the words "Shoestring Chic" in the title of your post and link back to my post.  If you don't have a blog or a camera, you can play along in the comments by describing your skilled shoestring chic.

I'm not sure I want to do this every week (I have plenty else to blog about), so for now, I'll just announce it about twice a month.  First Shoestring Chic:  next Wednesday January 12.

Shoestring chic (for outfit above):

necklace and earrings from my mother:  $0
castoff green shirt from T: $0
castoff green sweater from S: $0
skirt (pattern on sale; fabric from Mrs. R): $5
last year's clearance boots:  $40
tights (guesstimating - don't really remember): $7
Total:  $52


Tracy said...

Nicely done! Call me matronly, but I've always loved paisley.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous skirt and not matronly in the slightest! Your game sounds fun. I can't wait to see what people create!

Unknown said...

Love the skirt - simple and classic - and I've always liked paisley.
The game sounds like fun. I'll have to start thinking about an outfit for it : )

Jacinta said...

Hmm... somehow I get the feeling that I won't be winning this game because .. well, just because!! You know, with the exchange rate and the cost of clothes costing more here. But we'll see. ;)
xo MODELmumma

Karena said...

What a lovely outfit! The skirt is just stunning, and the tights and boots complement it perfectly. And all of it set off by the green of the sweater...swoon. Perfection.

And I like the subtle point in the front of the skirt. In the photos it looks centered, like you intended to make it that way. I think it looks stylish.

Jennifer Jo said...

Lovely. I like the boots, especially, and the skirt is perfect with the sweater.

I won't be playing Shoestring Chic because I'm awful at stuff like that (it's a grand idea, though), but I will tell you that when I went to town yesterday, I got comments from TWO strangers regarding my outfit. Wheeee!

life in this 1880 farmhouse said...

Looking forward to the Linky! As you know I love to sew, and on a budget makes it more worth while. You skirt is lovely. I am not a paisley fan ( mom likes it so I have to dislike it, mother/ daughter thing!)But I like the colours in yours. I would be temped to buy it as well. So you have given me permission to go shopping today. Fabric store here we come!

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

Margo, it's a beautiful skirt -- I love the paisley print, it looks fantastic with your sweater and boots.

Shoestring Chic: Fun game!

I'm so happy to finally be getting caught up on your blog. The holidays seriously dipped into my blog visiting time!

Deanna Beth said...

I will lose this game for sure, but I wanted to insert something here. I just took my 11-year-old shopping for the goods for her 4H sewing project and decided the days of sewing as a thrifty way to dress oneself are gone. With fabric, pattern and notions I have close to $50 in these pajamas! What! Is! UP?! Please grieve with me and share your wisdom.

Margo said...

DB, I would choke if I had to pay that much! I borrow patterns or buy them on sale. I never pay full price for fabric - I either use my Joann's coupons or go to the creative reuse shop in town - or buy sheets at the thrift store. And then, Mrs. R did give me a whole load of fabric and patterns. That helped.

Anonymous said...

Agreeing with Margo, the thrift shop is a great source for yardage; not only sheets, but curtain panels, tablecloths, etc. Also, shop the clearance fabric at Jo-Ann and Wal-Mart. Buy what you like, stash it at home, and when a project comes up, "shop" your stash! Hoping you'll post a pic of your daughter's final product. :)


Deanna Beth said...

That's what I'm hearing.... pick up fabric as you see bargains and when you need some for a project, shop in your closet. That'd be fun to post a photo. It's not due til July... let's see how long it actually takes us. We'll probably rest on the laurels from buying it so early until Independence Day.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of this ongoing feature.
I also really, really think I need your boots.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a fun game :-). Maybe someday when I have a camera again I'll play along. I don't often add up how much my whole outfits cost but it would be fun to try it

Anonymous said...

Love your idea! I was at a yard sale a couple years ago and and bought a BRIGHT colored fabric piece and recently needed aprons for my husband and myself. I had enough for 4 aprons for two other friends. What a find from my stash!!

LiEr said...

Margo! Love the skirt. I like paisley too. I don't own much paisley fabric now that I'm in my bigoted Non-Print phase, but when I did have prints, I often picked paisley. And you know - that dip in the hem looks like it was deliberate - like those skirts which are slightly pointy (as usual, the proper names of things escape me). The kind which go esp. well with boots? Hey, look - you have boots on! There you go- you're perfectly chic all over, even if you didn't think it was perfectly so. Bravo!

P.S. Thanks for the mention. Your fabric looks much better with the pockets than the er.. pink floral one did for mine.