Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Consignment Store Review: Clothes Mentor

When I was living in Wilmington, North Carolina, I visited a consignment store in Wilmington called Clothes Mentor a few times.

The store was chock full of all kinds of mid-level designer items.  Mid-level = Ralph Lauren, Lilly Pulitzer, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, etc.  Sorry ladies, no Chanel here that I saw!  They did have a large Lilly section in all sizes that seemed reasonably priced.  A nice selection of petites and womens' were also available.  Clothes were grouped by item and then by size.  I remember skirts around $8-12, pants $15 or so, and shirts were $6-15, depending on material and brand of course.

Personally, I gravitate towards blazers and jackets.  I have many that I wear infrequently, of course!  Maybe that's because it's summer... Anyway, I found this amazingly cute Juicy Couture short sleeved blazer for $32.  Usually I don't spend that much at consignment clothing stores, but it's too adorable, and I wanted to make my friends a tiny bit jealous because I had something other than the standard Juicy sweatpants.  I'm not a big fan in general of the brand, but this jacket has merit other than the brand name!  I wear it with grey pants.

Overall, I would return to Clothes Mentor to purchase clothes, but they seem too picky about buying/consigning clothes.  Here's an example.  I took a Cape Madras mini skirt that was brand new without tags (I hadn't worn it) in one day and they told me it wasn't in style....  They obviously don't go to the beach very often to see everyone and their brother wearing patchwork plaid!

One more thing, if you stop in, be sure to pick up a pen.  They have argyle under the pen grip.  Love it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend yard sale & thrift store haul

I lucked out this weekend with cheap stuff for my kitchen, craft stash, and wardrobe!  I usually surf craigslist throughout the week looking for estate sales that may have sewing items like fabric on the cheap.  When I get there, if the price is right, I may pick up a few extra items too.  

At garage sale #1 today, I scored two different fabric "remnants" for 25 cents each, a small marble mortar & pestle for 50 cents, and a quiche plate and nice flour sifter for 10 cents each.  Grand total = $1.20.  I only had $1.25 so I let her keep the change.

Moving on to garage sale #2.  This one advertised thread, which I thought was strange, until I arrived and saw a whole table filled with spool after spool of thread!  The owner had been a seamstress and had quite the collection she was getting rid of.  I didn't really want to hoard that much thread, not knowing what colors I'd use, so I grabbed several white spools and a teal that would hopefully match a t-shirt I'd been meaning to redesign.  I also got a bobbin of elastic thread and a wooden spool holder, both of which I'd been contemplating purchasing for awhile now.  I offered $5 for the lot, which would have been around $10, and the lady accepted.  Yay for me!

Carlton checking out the goods

Last stop was the thrift store.  I found a blue Loft t-shirt that was on sale for $2.50, a red pintucked and ruffled shirt from the Gap for $5, and a pair of Talbots chinos (the updated, modern, stylish version!) new with original price tag of $69.95, for a mere $7.  

How patriotic, eh?

Life is good :D

Monday, September 13, 2010

Work In Progress

Lately I've been doing a lot of sewing and I'm excited to share one of my current works in progress.  I joined the quilting group at church, and they sew small quilts and pillowcases to donate for the children in the local hospital who have cancer.  This is close to my heart, since I am a childhood cancer survivor, and I thought this would be the perfect project!  At the first meeting, I found some scrap fabric that had been given to the group that would make a wonderful child's blanket.  Now, I've always thought, what's the point in making a quilt if it doesn't fit a bed?  I've since decided that idea is no good and any size goes!  I used a simple rail fence strip piecing method for the blocks and added a skinny border followed by a more substantial border. 

sideways shot

The prints are all beach/sea-related - hula girls, palm trees, sea turtles, flip flops, and dolphins of course!  I have a great ocean scene print for the backing too.  The quilt top is finished and now I'm just waiting for a much more experienced machine quilter in the group to sandwich it all together!  

close up of all the prints

This has really inspired me to get moving on more quilting projects.  I had a jelly roll of browns/pinks/greens that I bought at Wal-Mart last year that I'm going to do in a rail fence pattern too.  I know the fabric isn't "serious quilt material," but I'd rather make mistakes on cheap fabric than the Moda fabric I drool over!  Pics of this to be posted later...

don't forget Carlton!  no, I didn't pose him like that either - it's natural :P

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sneak Peek!

My grandma gave me a fat quarter bundle of 1930s reproduction fabrics for my birthday.  We picked it out when we went to the quilt store together, but she made me wait til my birthday to give it to me ;)  I finally decided on a good pattern and here's a sneak peek at the blocks I've been building!  The pattern is found at Oh, Fransson! by Elizabeth Hartman - the Mod Sampler Quilt Along.  Ironic I'm making the mod quilt with vintage repro fabrics?
Carlton lounging on the prints

All the different blocks in the quilt

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Now here's a creative solution

The box for Francine (aka my new Bernina sewing machine) has been sitting around my living room for the past two months because I simply have nowhere to store it.  I also happen to be short on furniture, so I had a genius idea - turn the box into an ottoman!  

huge Bernina box - where to put it??

I had a tutorial for a cute ottoman cover saved in my bookmarks list.  I think the cover came out great.  It's kind of high for an ottoman, but it works.  I used 2" thick craft foam for padding on the top of the box.  After a few 'oops' and garbled swear words under my breath, I finally finished it!  I'm not 100% in love with the print, but I'm fine enough with it that I don't want to start all over.  

Foam layer on top

finished ottoman from the side

The tutorial I used is from Sew4Home and can be found here.  If you decide to make it, I'd carefully measure your ottoman and decide how much fabric you really need.  I bought 2 1/2 yards of canvas, which is not cheap btw, and only used about half of it.  Also be sure to cut out pieces with your measurements!  I wasted a ton of the print because I used the printed measurements, instead of (duh) inserting my own.  Grr...this turned out to be more expensive than expected because I can't add/measure/cut.

finished ottoman from the top


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