Browse Tag: redesign

Estate Side Table Flip

If you haven’t checked out the Estate Sale Finds post and video I recommend reading those first as you’ll get more of the back story on these two matching side tables.

The paint I used for all my previous flips was the wall paint I picked up for $18 at Walmart, the Glidden brand in three colours. It worked exceptionally well at the time and now I realize that was probably as I was painting all the items outside in the heat of summer and they dried fast. I bought the same white paint to try to cover these end units and it was a complete disaster.

First I removed all the handles and hammered out the damaged ones that were stuck on the drawers. Once it was just the bare unit I was able to do a light sanding over the entire thing. Wiping them down afterwards to remove all the excess dust.

These units had a fair amount of dings from regular wear and tear, one had a faded cup stain burned into the wood surface. If you want the finish to be pristine I would recommend using wood fill to fill in all the chunks missing but for me I feel like it adds more character. The hutch I redid in my living room actually has fake “intentional” dings in it to look more rustic… it would be believable if they weren’t so symmetrical haha!

One unit had two coats of the barely-there white paint I had bought originally, very faint and a waste of time to be honest. So I scratched that idea and decided to use the exterior Tremclad that I was using for the oil tank and mailbox outside earlier in the day. Normally I go for a standard white so that all the furniture can be interchanged in any room at any time… but lately the grey has been popping up throughout my house, especially in the bedroom where these two pieces are going to go.

Now this paint includes a primer base within it and I think that makes a world of difference, its thicker and has better coverage. Much like makeup, its better to coat with a primer first. I applied two coats of the Tremclad paint over the exterior of the unit letting it get a bit thicker overtop of any nicks in it as the paint is thick enough that it will fill in any flaws. The finished ended up very smooth and solid. Finally I applied new handles and knobs, the same ones I buy in bulk from Walmart that I have used on previous flips. This keeps with the flow of my furniture too even though the colour is different.

I created a video while doing this flip that will be posted this week, stay tuned!

Curvaceous Calves

14732280_975973969199075_3060862929111866196_nIf you are one of those lucky individuals that is the right height-weight-muscle ratio to fit most tall boots, stop reading this post. If you are me my calves are considered “too big” for the average tall boot width perhaps based on my 5.75 shoe size and 5’3 height. I spent 15 years of my life dancing twice a week so the muscle is certainly there hiding underneath. I hear it at the store all day long, women asking “who did they make these to fit?” then you see a tall slender woman walk by with minimal meat on her legs and the light bulb goes off.

Most are made to fit models so that it looks flattering in the magazine and on the website. It also depends on where the company is based, what their general sizing is. These Fly London boots came into the store, much more worn than what we would typically accept but I knew I was buying them regardless of the wear and tear. The issue came instantly when I realized I couldn’t get the boot on without an alteration thanks to my curvy calves. 14720622_975975602532245_6367736462522267529_n

I popped over to Fabricland and bought a thick black elastic that I hopefully could insert down the back of the boot. Fortunately the seam is straight centered down the back of the boot which made it easier to open up and insert the elastic. I stitched the elastic in place by hand and tied the laces back up. They would look better with a longer elastic so I could do up all the grommets but that’ll be for another day.

I tried them out (along with my new hairstyle) yesterday at the store and to be honest that’s the first day I didn’t have sore feet. Apparently two insoles and thick socks did the trick!

 

Cool Fall Style

mintbluescarf There is nothing greater than a super comfy outfit featuring your favourite colour! I am naturally drawn to mint, there’s something fresh and crisp about it which is why I think this combination is such a great look for me. I’ve worn this scarf a few times with a variety of outfits, often going for the darker greys. I don’t often wear grey pants but to keep with the cool neutral tones of the look it was a softer choice than my typical denim.

I loved these earrings when they were first brought into the store, unfortunately they were missing stones so I did a little rearranging and redesigned them! They really are unique and tie this look together. I find scarves and jewellery complete any outfit, adding that little extra to dress up a simple tshirt and jeans!

Roz & Ali Redesign

rozandali This gorgeous Roz & Ali dress has been laying on top of my sewing desk for most of August and September as I knew it would be a project that required a lot of time and effort. I love boxy dresses but they do not fit my shape (hips & bum require more structure!) but this dress was so stunning and it fit over all the necessary parts quite well.

In order to make this dress fit I would need to take it from a 12 to a 6 but keeping in mind the intricacy of the print. I started at the top and worked my way down, beginning with a dart in both shoulders as mine are rather narrow.

The dress was also considerably longer and sat awkwardly below the knee, which on my height and shape – makes me look shorter and wider! Not good. The waist was elastic which didn’t sit at my waist, so that was going to be a challenge to adjust. Step one – hem over top of the elastic section with a loose stitch to ensure the look would be right. The print doesn’t line up but it didn’t with the elastic either. I simply belt it and it looks finished!

I had to take in quite a few inches above the bum due to removing the elastic that held all the extra elastic together. A few stitch-tryon-stitch-tryon’s later and it started to form a more flattering shape. Unfortunately I still felt a little uncomfortable wearing it to work, by the time I arrived at my second job I realized it was only the interior lining (which never lines up correctly when redesigning!) was short – causing me to think the dress was too short.

A few seconds later with the assistance of my mother (because she was standing there with scissors and its a pain to take on and off) cut out the lining from the waist down. It was the perfect classy outfit for work and received a ton of compliments all day long.

Vintage Redesign

vintageredesign1 My greatest regret with this dress is that it did not occur to me almost 4 years ago to take a “before” photograph. Although in my mind the original dress I can see clear as day. Big boxy style, long sleeved and bursting with colour. It was the first dress I ever attempted to redesign and to this day, I consider it to be the greatest success.

The strips down the sides of the dress are the original sleeves. As sadly I don’t know what body could have fit into the original dress the top half was massive and the bottom couldn’t fit over my thighs! A few quick snips and insertion into the side seams fixed that problem easy enough, also it adds a little more fun in the design.

vintageredesign3The neckline was really unique and I wanted to keep the original base design. Cutting out the sleeves strategically left a really unique arrangement at the neck for structure. The only issue I’ve had with this dress (aside from the fact that its such a light fabric I can only wear it in the dead heat of summer) is that it has loose hanging fabric in the front. Now maybe on some body types it is quite flattering, but on me it just felt awkward. When I first wore the dress a few years back I simply tucked it into my belt… now I finally decided to fix the issue and sew it right down where it was most flattering – but still keeping a similar drape effect.

vintageredesign2 My favourite way to accessorize this dress is with gold, a micro belt, earrings or a loud necklace perhaps – although honestly the dress speaks for itself and hardly needs enhancement! I did a #tbt Throwback Thursday on Instagram to this dress when it was first redesigned, and decided seeing as the weather was gorgeous I would bring it out of the back of the closet! This time though, it dawned on me that I had left my gold flip flops in Cuba the last time I went on a trip! Ohhhh dear.

Blue Jessica Dress

bluewhitejessicadress It’s finally dress season in Ontario, gorgeous warm May weather inspires me to style up fun dresses with belts, flats and bold jewellery. Two weeks ago there was a half price sale at Value Village so I thought I ought to pop in “just in case” to see if there was anything I had to have.

Using my technique to prevent splurge shopping, I photographed some items I liked and tried on the day before. The only item that was of interest from that list of items was this blue and white print dress by Jessica. Every now and again Jessica surprises me by having very stylish prints… I must say I’m impressed!

Now this dress I found in the 16 section of the dresses. I am by no means a 16 but there is also no way that this dress is a true 16… I am guessing it was mislabelled in the factory as Jessica is a brand that tends to be on the larger side. I knew it would be an easy alteration if it was indeed a large size. When I tried it on the next morning at home I was very surprised at how nice it fit around the thigh/hip area. Anyone bigger than an 8 would not be able to fit in this dress! The top half however had way too much room for my frame so a few adjustments were in order.

I simply removed the pointless side zipper for comfort and sliced the dress in half. I loved the bottom trim but unfortunately the dress was an unflattering below the knee length. I cut it across the waistline and hemmed it by a few inches (hidden under the belt). I think it turned out rather well!

Refinished Coffee Table

coffeetable I purchased two wood framed coffee tables when I first arrived in Medicine Hat two years ago from a couple on Kijiji. They have been a great fit for all of my apartments out west but lately I’ve been finding they just aren’t needed in my current decor. I decided to try selling them on Facebook classifieds groups as well as Kijiji. All I ended up with is a ton of no-shows and wasted time.

Today I got out the white paint to do some touch ups around the house and got the crazy idea of painting one of them to make it blend into my decor a little better. I was amazed at the result, its really quite a cool looking table now. I may switch up the furniture in the living room now to make better use of this cool table.

coffeetable1I haven’t touched the second table yet, I think I’ll just leaving it in the basement until its needed one day.

Sweater Re-Design

STREETWEARALTERATION I ventured into Urban Planet a store I generally stay far away from, but I was on the hunt for warm patterned leggings. I had no luck in the leggings department but I did find myself looking through all the discounted sweaters. I saw this sweater dress-tunic on for under $10… It was just the sort of style I had been hoping to find in my thrift adventures but have not yet discovered one. I wasn’t sure about the length but perhaps it would be good with leggings.

The day came when I decided to wear it – all I could think was: “Wow I’m so glad they didn’t have a medium!” It was a large so I figured it would be on the big side and was the only thing I didn’t bother to try on. My arms barely fit in the sleeve! I’d hate to be any bigger than my current size or this “large” would be super snug! The spacious area is actually only in the neckline, assuming I had a larger canvas to fill it out with.

STREETWEAR SWEATER In trying it on in front of my mirror I decided there was nothing flattering about the length, it almost went to my knees and was just a solid tight grey knit with nothing forgiving about it. I’ve never been afraid to chop up clothing so I pinned the length I decided would be most flattering – half way down the bum but covering the hip. And because I liked the bottom pattern so much I decided instead of a simple hem I would bring up the bottom pattern and minimize the solid grey.

I did not take step by step photographs of this process as quite honestly I was expecting it to be a bust! Apparently I should have a lot more faith in my re-constructive skills! It wasn’t an overly complicated process, folding most of the grey over to bring up the bottom trim. Doing a straight stitch on the sewing machine to attach the bottom section to the top section. Once complete I had (on the inside) a several inch long folded section of solid grey knit.

To remove the excess I simply cut the folded extra fabric and removed it from the sweater altogether. On the outside it looks like a planned hemline…. if you actually analyze it you’d know a sweater like this shouldn’t have a hem! I like to be sneaky like that.

Reviving Broken Jewellery

JEWELLERYALTERATIONSI can honestly say one of my favourite past-times is creating or reconstructing jewellery. Enough so that I have my own business doing it! In regards to thrifting mind you, if you can wield a pair of small pliers you can save a ton of money on jewellery and accessories. Most stores wouldn’t be too keen on selling broken jewellery, or they sell it at a serious discount – which is great news for those of us on a tight budget!

I have been finding more and more earrings are being made too heavy for what they are. For example I picked up a few packages of $1 earring sets that were made as posts, I wore one pair for a few hours only to be driven mad by them falling forward and pulling my earlobe down. This is not a result of me wearing heavy earrings for years (because I haven’t been!) its simply a cheap design.

Granted it takes a moment and you do run the risk of the post snapping off completely if its really cheaply made, but a simple loop of the post wire can make a huge difference in whether or not a pair of earrings is wearable!

With my finger I bend the post as far upwards as I can make it without pressing too hard so that it doesn’t completely snap. Usually the tiny piece at the end of the post snaps off because of the dent manufactures put in it to hold the backs on. Using a pair of needle nose pliers I can slowly create a loop in the post wire. Combining the strength of my fingers and stability of the plier, I wiggle the looped post as close to the top centre as possible so I can ensure the earring will dangle straight.

Depending on the style of earring hooks you find, you can add it directly to the loop you just made OR you can add a jump ring in between. This is also great if you want to have a bit of dangle rather than a solid earring hanging down. I went on a tangent that morning and essentially changed every pair of large post based earrings I had into regular fish hook style earrings. The only post-style earrings I have left are tiny studs which I like the way they are.

As per my post about my vibrant Orange and Blue outfit on December 6th, I discuss how you can find great broken jewellery at thrift stores for $1! Here is another great example of a piece that I redesigned using what Value Village called a “broken” necklace. I thought the red and black rhinestone design was quite cool especially since I feel like there is no longer red in my wardrobe at all this would be a good way to start adding it back.

BLACKREDNECKLACE Unfortunately I was too efficient in taking this apart without thinking of snapping a quick photo first! What you don’t know is that this set was originally just one necklace with 8 interconnected sections. I only ended up throwing out one section, but was able to salvage some of the rhinestones that I needed to re-embellish the few I was needing to fix. I then needed to snap off extra unwanted loops with pliers.

The earrings were slightly more tricky to complete as each piece had a different arrangement of loops on the side depending on where it was in the original necklace. I salvaged two pieces that had the same loops – but needed to add a small chain in order to add a centered earring hook. Luckily being a designer I had all the required materials on hand and was able to complete the task without too much trouble.

 

Neckline Redesign

DIY-NECKLINEI’ve had this top for years but it has always frustrated me due to it’s awful neckline. There are many tops similar to this that I see come through the Store, but they always seem to fold nicely. There is something about this top, or perhaps my build that absolutely cannot pull off this design.

Today (because I needed it for my outfit) I decided to make some adjustments. Because of the intricate nature of what I was about to undertake, I had to resort to hand stitching directly on my mannequin. I figured doing it by hand would ensure that both sides were aligned nicely and the folds would be in place.

It was by no means a huge change but enough to make a much nicer neckline for my body type.

 

 

Orange Sherbet

Zara BlazerI am known for my love of scarves and pashminas, rarely am I seen without them! Lately I have been loving this pale sherbet orange colour, it keeps popping up during my thrifting adventures! Last week this beautiful scarf came into the store – it didn’t get far!

I picked up an Old Navy shift dress for less than $10 at Value Village last week, but even at a size medium, my curves were just too much for it. I loved the print regardless and decided to shorten it into a top. That was easy enough to alter, but something was still wrong in the chest area. It was pulling, but not in a way that would suggest it was too small – but in the shoulder and arm area. I cannot understand why but more and more tops are being made with exceptionally small sleeves!
Old Navy Alteration
The easy fix to this conundrum was simply to chop the sleeves off! No problem at all and now I have a really cute cami to wear under cardigans and blazers!

Another great find is this sequined jacket by Zara! I spent more than I typically do on this sort of thing, but knowing how expensive the brand is, I decided it was unique enough to be worth the whopping $15 🙂 I paired it today with a super soft denim shirt by GAP, my sherbet orange pashmina and new thrifted GAP jeans! Wouldn’t you know it, the new Nine West flats were an excellent match to the blue in the jacket!

September’s Furniture Overhaul

I decided after a summer of ups and downs that I needed to start fresh in September as most people do. What with back to school or work it seems like a better time than New Year’s Eve to start a new. So I’m thinking to myself I have a full weekend to rearrange, clean and spice up my home which for me is a huge jump start to feeling better.

As much as cleaning is a drag I always find I instantly feel better when dishes are done, or when I’ve finally put my closet back in a tolerable state. The problem with being a small framed individual with no male assistance hanging around, I run into slight issues when I decide to take on such a big project.

I am currently living in a semi-detached house that coincidentally a friend of mine used to be the previous tenant. I recall seeing on Facebook one day of her living room setup and I spent my three rearrangements (of the living room) trying to avoid copying her setup. This is also the reason I like to view apartments when they are empty then you aren’t forced into thinking that’s the only way furniture can be arranged in this space.

I decided to give it a shot anyway doing it similar to what I envisioned she had based on the location of her tv unit. This meant a complete flip of the room including a large wood tv unit I picked up recently, two large white shelving units, a futon, two chairs and grand finale: the awkwardly deep wardrobe unit. Most people don’t even realize how big the unit it as I had painted it to blend into the wall save for its white trim.

This huge flip ended up having two sacrifices by the end of the two day venture: my tv’s HDMI cable and my hard drive with all of my movies and tv shows. Lesson learned: as much as you think it won’t be a big deal, disconnect absolutely everything before moving a tv setup.

At the end of the day I had to recruit my mother to help save me from myself, and still didn’t feel quite right about the new look. After some thought, we had realized a simple coat of paint may just make the room flow that much better. It appears my grandmother’s china cabinet, as pictured above, was simply too white and stood out painfully in an otherwise more neutral space. I then spent the next few nights painting it up with the caramel wall colour to match the wardrobe I’d painted the year before. I also took the same thought and repainted the plant stand which didn’t exactly fit with the decor too.

DIY Furniture DIY Furniture



I can honestly say I’m quite satisfied with the final look of the space, and now all my thrifted furniture looks like a matching set!

 

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