Second hand shop finds #2

Recent finds, again from the St Vincent de Paul Society in Islington. They are literally around the corner from my work so I drop in at least once a week during my lunch break to see what’s new.

  • A lovely tablecloth with lace trim. I think it’s hand made and it’s really simple and beautiful.
  • A great JacquiE top for work. This is the second similar top I’ve found in recent weeks. I love getting quality work wear for a fraction of the price!

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In second hand heaven news, Raid My Wardrobe is on this coming weekend! Can’t wait!!

80s Prom Party

For my 30th birthday party I decided to have an 80s prom theme. I’d wanted to have an 80s prom party for years, and celebrating my birth, which was right in the middle of that decade, seemed like an appropriate way to do it. I had the event in the back function area of a pub called The Blind Monk. I wanted to keep the decorations minimal so instead focused on two things: the costumes (of course) and a kickarse prom photo booth.

All my supplies came from BigW, Shindigs Party Supplies and Spotlight in Newcastle NSW. I went for a bit of a glam rock theme as making a prom photo backdrop out of foil curtains was WAY easier than doing the balloon or crepe heart typical of a prom.  For the photo taking I just set up photo booth on my Macbook Air, which I placed on a big barrel that the venue had as a standing drink table. A friend also brought their DSLR and some of their photographer lighting to throw light on the right spot.

We had props, including crowns and septres, and after finding prom sashes were quite expensive on Etsy, I made my own for $4 a piece. My dress (that’s me in the blue peplum) was second hand, cost $8, and required no modification. I even already owned the ridiculous snake-esque belt. I bought a hair crimper and let my big hair fly. I wore more makeup than I ever have in my life.

A beautiful friend of mine made me an amazing Harry Potter themed cake!

And the best part of all was that with plenty of lead time and advice, everyone else also got really, really into it! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!

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Second hand shop finds #1

Despite the title, this is in no way shape or form my first foray into second hand shopping. More like my 300th.

But this is the first post of my finds in what I hope will be a series. Since reading Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline, I’ve been working hard to only buy second hand, exceptional quality, or absolutely necessary.

So today’s finds, from the St Vincent de Paul Society in Islington!

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That cute little apron was only $4!!! It’s so damn adorable I couldn’t leave it there.

The patterns were all uncut, modern, larger size designs, 50cents each:

  • Simplicity 5403 costume poodle skirts
  • Simplicity K2497 Cynthia Rowley dresses
  • Vogue V1041 Anne Klein suit jacket and pants
  • McCall’s 4296 evening elegance tops and skirts

The red book is Sew Easy, Sewing of Knits and Fabrics by Phyllis Cooper. It’s kind of like a text book, with plenty of notes pages that are covered in a neat scribble from a very thorough student. I really love that personal touch! And it was only $2.

And finally, I also picked up Prey by Michael Crichton for $2 as well. It will be the first of his books that I read.

So $10 total! Not bad for a 15 minute fresh air break from work.

Mincraft craft

My brother recently had a medical emergency which saw me zooming down the highway to collect my 11 year old nephew…completely unprepared. I had him with me for about two days. He’s a very easy kid to care for….if you are willing to let him watch Minecraft videos on YouTube all day long. I wasn’t willing to be quite that laid back about screen time, but still wanted to be the cool Aunt, so we went on a Spotlight shopping adventure. There was quite a massive eye roll when I told him where we were going, but the mood significantly lifted when I let him know that he could pick out fabric to make his very own Minecraft Slime. From there on he got very excited.

For those who aren’t down with the kids these days (I’m not…How on earth is it fun to watch others play a video game for hours? Wouldn’t it be more fun to play yourself?), Minecraft is a game where you dig (mine) and build (craft) different kinds of 3D blocks within a large world of varying terrains and habitats to explore. I lifted that definition directly from the linked site which is designed to help parents understand what the heck their kid is talking about. You’re welcome.

Anyway, this is a Slime, which is apparently a hostile mob that spawns underground and in swamp biomes:

In case it isn’t obvious, I picked it for its simple shape.

So anyway, back to Spotlight and Sean was utterly determined that unlike a store bought Slime, which would have a black mouth and eyes, his would have a dark green mouth and eyes which is how it’s supposed to be. I love this kid so much!

We got all our bits and pieces back to the house and I quickly realised that considering I was still totally unprepared and Sean seemed quite concerned that the sewing machine will eat him, this project would mostly be done by me, with Sean “helping”. And you know what? That turned out just fine. I created a template for our cube sides, Sean designed the face features according to his expert specifications, I cut the main pieces, he cut the face ones and helped place them, I sewed the face on and then the cube together explaining structure, pinning and seam allowance as I went, he stuffed it to his desire (“I want less stuffing so it’s all squishy because it’s a slime.” Fair point.), and then I hand sewed it shut whilst we watched TV.

Oh and the corners, according to Sean, HAD to be curved/soft. I was happy to oblige since it was quicker.

This is the end product:

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This is the expert stuffer, doing his thing:

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And this is the slime watching itself on YouTube:

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And the best part of all? Sean and I now have a plan to make ALL the Minecraft characters, increasing the level of Sean’s participation and the level of difficulty each time. We’ll level up!

He really go into it! Watching his excitement, and watching the learning curve as I explained how we would turn 6 square pieces into a cube, was just awesome. It was so awesome in fact, that I am considering having a go at teaching other kids to sew as well….hopefully with more structure and preparation.

Does anyone else want to share their experience with teaching sewing? As I still consider myself a beginner I never ever thought that I could teach…other grown ups. But children? Now that I’ve considered it, I can’t stop thinking about it!

New digs

As a newly single lady I thought I’d share some pics of my new home. It’s a one bedroom apartment in the lower half of an old house. And it’s perfect! There is heaps of room for all my stuff and I have oodles of space for sewing and craft. You will see there are three main rooms: sewing/dining, living/study, bedroom nook. I love it!

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In recent times this blog has been a place to lay down goals that never get achieved. This stops now. I have the following projects planned:

  • Having a go at making my own workout leggings. I picked up some great practice fabric for $4 at a Lifeline opshop. If it goes well I’m ordering Harry Potter fabric off Spoon Flower😀
  • Making new curtains to replace the threadbare ones that came with my house. They divide off the bedroom from the living room so it’s a big job.
  • Making small curtains for kitchen because blinds don’t close properly and the street can see my dirty dishes.
  • Making a new workout bag…because I can’t have too many of those!
  • Trying out resin jewellery. If it goes well: Etsy store!
  • When I can afford Annie Sloan paint: picking a colour scheme for my home and doing up a bunch of furniture