Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How to DIY with Thrift Store Finds

I've been getting a lot of comments recently about how people think they "couldn't possibly" do what I'm doing, which I think is just silly. So in honor of my contest, I'm showing you why DIY'ing is so much easier than you'd think!

Your first steps into DIY'ing can be simple alterations. Go to your thrift store of choice and find something that you really like but doesn't fit well. Note: making something bigger or looser is usually more difficult than taking something in, so stick to oversized things at first. I went last weekend and absolutely hit the jackpot, so here's four really easy fix-it-ups I did with what I found.

1) Up first we have a purple, leather, high-waisted skirt. BOOM. The trick with thrift store shopping is to keep your mind open!
The color is super purple, I don't know why it shows up so dark in the rest of the photos...

The skirt was a bit long so it hit awkwardly just at my knees. The waist and hips fit really well though so I knew this would be an easy fix, especially since it's leather and won't fray if I don't re-hem it. That's right, a no-sew project!!

Sorry for the awkward close-up of my leg...

As with most alterations, I started by trying the skirt on and marking where I wanted it shorter, thinner, smaller, etc. For this skirt, I only wanted to take up the hem, so I folded the bottom up to help me visualize the end result, marked, then cut along that line. Be sure to factor in a hem if your skirt is made of a material that will fray. If in doubt, always cut less instead of more. You can always cut more off - you can't cut fabric back on. And viola! A new skirt!

2) Up next, we have a white and blue striped shirt with lace along the collar:

I didn't bother taking a before photo, but basically the sleeves were massive and I wanted the body a little more fitted. So I tried it on, pinned how much I wanted to be taken in and where, (being careful not to pin myself), and sewed along the pin lines. Easy peasy.

 Super cute details!

3) Now here's where you guys get to laugh at me. Next, I have another, almost identical blue and white striped shirt, with an exactly identical alteration... Took the sleeves and body in a bit, and called it a day.

This one was long-sleeved and has pretty flowers embroidered on the collar and cuffs! Totally different!

4) And lastly, my first ever midi skirt/dress! This length usually looks terrible on me as I'm not 6 feet tall, but I really liked this one. Here's the before:

Originally looking like something a 1950's kindergarten teacher would wear...

And the after:

Wanna know the best part? This is another no-sew alteration! To make it wearable, all I did was turn it around! The dress fit perfectly (just looked really old-fartsy) so I took a page out of NewDressADay's book (LOVE HER) and am just going to wear the back as the front, unbuttoning a few buttons to make it a flattering v-neck instead of a super awkward high neck!

So I hope that this inspires you to try your own hand at altering! I have another 3 DIY's planned in the next couple weeks, so don't change the channel!

And don't forget to enter my giveaway by 9pm tonight!!

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