Sewn by my own hands

Over a year ago, when I began to explore to world of responsible fashion after the Bangladeshi clothing factory tragedy – it pushed me to approach this whole thing (both blog and real world-wise) in a more ethical and human way that celebrates the people dressing you, not punishes them. I did this in several ways (we each find our own path, mine is no better than anyone else’s). This was done by thrifting (and thrifting Made in USA when possible), buying vintage, shopping Made in USA for new items, wearing things my mom made for me, getting rid of everything in my wardrobe that was Forever 21 (almost there with all H&M things too), and the last goal was to begin making clothes for myself.

I found a step-by-step instruction book at work that allowed me to see, read, and cut patterns (I shared that post here and you can get the book here.) I visited a fabric store on the way home one day and finally decided what fabric to get. I chose something relatively inexpensive and forgiving for a first timer since I would probably make mistakes – in this case, a cotton slub knit fabric. It has a nice stretch to it, and the slub means that instead of being smooth, it has tiny knots throughout that gives it a textured feel. I knew I wanted to make the baseball raglan first! So I cut my patterns and set off.

This is my first thing ever cut from a pattern and sewn by my own hands. It’s nowhere near perfect (I accidentally cut short, it’s too cropped for my day-to-day style, but looks fine when tucked in) but I made it! I’m using it as a prototype of what not to do the next time. Because next, I want to make myself a short sleeve raglan dress. This is a great start – not only in making things myself, but also rethinking what I want my wardrobe to be and also what kind of shopper (or better yet, nonshopper) I am.

tl;dr I made a shirt!

Top: me, using Built by Wendy Pattern. Skirt: Elizabeth & James, thrifted. Tights: DKNY. Boots: Dolce Vita (mine are from a few seasons ago, these are the new ones). Lipstick: NARS.

Thrift Eye, using built by wendy pattern, sewing raglan, black and white outfit, fashion blogger, style blogger

Thrift Eye, using built by wendy pattern, sewing raglan, black and white outfit, fashion blogger, style blogger

Thrift Eye, using built by wendy pattern, sewing raglan, black and white outfit, fashion blogger, style blogger

Thrift Eye, using built by wendy pattern, sewing raglan, black and white outfit, fashion blogger, style blogger

Thrift Eye, using built by wendy pattern, sewing raglan, black and white outfit, fashion blogger, style blogger

It’s only the beginning!

Naughty or nice

I like the idea of one little change to an outfit that can transform the look. A little bow can go a long way – from sweet to sassy in one second. I was going to wear the bow look out to dinner, but decided it was too fussy in the end (my hair was already sort of wild this day). So I took it off and just fluffed my hair up a bit instead.

I also found these shoes again for a great deal! This pair fits a lot better than the other color I have, so I’m gonna try to wear these more often.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

Dress: Theory (they release a version of this dress every year, it’s a classic keeper for sure). Shoes: Melissa x Vivienne Westwood (other colors HERE). Belt: Vintage. Twist scarf: American Apparel.

Thrift Eye, fashion blogger, black dress, melissa vivienne westwood shoes

Thrift Eye, fashion blogger, black dress, melissa vivienne westwood shoes

Thrift Eye, fashion blogger, black dress, melissa vivienne westwood shoes

Thrift Eye, fashion blogger, black dress, melissa vivienne westwood shoes

Happy Friday folks! I’ll be on the road again this weekend!

Made in USA in regular retail

In my previous post, I showed you how you can shop Made in USA with second hand style, but you can also shop Made in USA in retail stores with mixed merchandise! It doesn’t just have to be bought online or through thrift stores! I went window shopping recently, and was pleasantly surprised to find so many things that fit the bill (more than I could take pictures of). So look for more features like this here; hopefully soon and ongoing.

The first store I stopped at was Steven Alan – they carry a lot of the S.A. brand obviously, which a lot of (but not all) is made in the USA, but also some other brands worthy of noting!

This pretty floral top has a nice silky feel to it, from the Steven Alan mainline
Thrift Eye, shopping made in USA, steven alan

Another Steven Alan mainline, the perfect long blouse for work or days off
Thrift Eye, shopping made in USA, steven alan

I’ve been on the hunt for a good peacoat, and this one by Fidelity sure caught my eye
Thrift Eye, shopping made in USA, steven alan

A short bus ride later, I found myself at Anthropologie browsing their racks. Surprise, not everything there is made in China! They do carry some USA manufactured items, you just have to look.

This interesting Nanette Lepore top would look great layered
Thrift Eye, shopping made in USA, anthropologie

This Corey Lynn Calter watercolor/polka dot dress is so beautiful.
Thrift Eye, shopping made in USA, anthropologie

Now I have this Dolan dress on my mind for workdays!
Thrift Eye, shopping made in USA, anthropologie

I wish some American brands would start bringing back some of their production to balance out the other stuff – Levi’s tries to do this, but wouldn’t it be great if a brand likethe Gap had a section in its store with some Made in the USA merchandise too?

Thrift Made in USA

Thrifting operations have changed gears somewhat – I feel very content with this direction my wardrobe has gone in and since I have shifted towards more made in USA items; I thought I would continue this Thrifting made in the USA bit I did a while back to show you that it can be done even on a dime. I approached it in two different ways (and next, I’ll show you how you can shop made in USA in other stores too) – first at an actual thrift store (in this case Goodwill), and second at a re-sale store (at Crossroads trading). I surprisingly had similar results at both stores! The price points being a little different of course.

We’ll start with Goodwill! The only downside is that yes, you’ll have to sort through lots of things. Thrift stores have now become graveyards for cheap mall clothes, so it takes more time to find the hidden gems. But do not lose hope, gems are there to be found, even if you have to dig deeper.

A trendy black blazer by Aqua
Thrift Eye, thrifting, goodwill, made in usa

Or how about a vintage (had a made in USA label inside) midi skirt with oversized pockets?
Thrift Eye, thrifting, goodwill, made in usa

Surprise, this Betsey Johnson dress was made in the USA!
Thrift Eye, thrifting, goodwill, made in usa

A beautiful black party dress by Milly
Thrift Eye, thrifting, goodwill, made in usa

Summery and silky dress by Rory Beca
Thrift Eye, thrifting, goodwill, made in usa

Or how about a simple cotton dress by LNA?
Thrift Eye, thrifting, goodwill, made in usa

And now, moving onto Crossroads – stores like this will be less digging through, and consequently, prices will be much higher.

This well constructed coat was $50 and by St. John, you’d pay that much or more for a coat that was already falling apart the day you bought it new
Thrift Eye, thrifting, crossroads trading, made in usa

My new go-to denim brand, J Brand
Thrift Eye, thrifting, crossroads trading, made in usa

A bright dress by Cynthia Vincent
Thrift Eye, thrifting, crossroads trading, made in usa

Or how about this funky Marc Jacobs mainline skirt that yes, was also made in the USA
Thrift Eye, thrifting, crossroads trading, made in usa

My suggestions to you, is to always try something on before you buy and to resist the temptation to buy things that do not fit you (that goes without saying for any type of shopping!)

I didn’t buy any of these things, although the temptation was high – and I encourage you to ask yourself when shopping if you really NEED those things!

A literary take on fashion part 26

If you’re new to this books into fashion series, you can catch up with the others HERE.

So I knew I hadn’t done one of these collages in a long time, but I didn’t realize how long it had been – until I saw a blog out there that basically stole the idea. I knew I had to ressurect it!

Because I have several book series going on here I’ll break it down again

Books into Fashion
Covers into Fashion
Best, Last, Longest reads

And here we go! My newest books into fashion is my latest read, it took me just about FOREVER to get through Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. I’d been reading it for several months now, because I was never able to finish it during the three week library checkout. Not only that, it took many, many, many pages in for me to even get hooked! There are SO many details – many necessary, other details you can just gloss over. It can be a very frustrating read at some points! But the good parts are really good. I made this collage just out of some of the details, there is no way to allude to all! From the Barbour jacket, because of the family that takes Theo in, the ring that brings Theo to Hobie, his terrible pill addiction, a puppy cup for Popper! An antique table, the Ozma book he leaves Pippa, to Kitsey’s pink coat, his mother’s emerald earrings, and a memento to the wild and crazy times in Vegas.

The Goldfinch

As a San Francisco transplant, I knew sooner or later I would have to read Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin. It was worth it. A very easy read that follows the lives of several people that have ended up in SF by different fates. Their stories intertwine in funny ways – through friendships, with the landlady, at work, at Safeway, and avoiding explaining things to their family. It’s funny to me that the book was written so long ago, but could very well be about young people this day.

Tales of the City

What do you guys think, have you ever read either of these before?!