Fashion and Repurposing – Before and After

I have to say, it is so fun to discover new stuff out here in webland. You know I’m always on the lookout for vintage recycled and refashioned ideas – well I struck a gold mine today. I found a site called Refashionista.

The fabulous woman behind the blog is Jillian Owens. Her tagline says “I’ll change the way you think about fashion”. And man, she is good at what she does. What she does (among other really fun stuff) is find thrift store rejects, shows you what they look like “as is”, and then transforms them into something you would love to wear. And she shows you, with clear pics, how she does it!

For example, here’s a recent Before and After:

From this:
Refashionista thrifted dress - Before pic
to this!
Fashionista - thrifted dress revisited  this is the After pic

And look at this one:

From this:
red sweater - the Before pic
To this!
red sweater dress - the After pic

I would totally wear that dress! Well, assuming I had a cute figure like hers, anyway. She mentions in her article how much each of those cost – I think one was a family gift, and the other one cost…. wait for it… a dollar. One whole dollar.

Now that’s my kind of shopping. Go visit Jillian’s blog, she has tons of great ideas and she’s not even all Taking Herself Seriously.

Latest Development! Jillian accepted a challenge to remake a totally rejected garment EVERY DAY for a year. And showing us what she does and how she does it. And then – donating the refashioned garment to a shop where all the profits benefit a women’s shelter! Read about it here – and share the love!

DIY and Repurpose Old Desk to Nightstands

This is such an easy and obvious idea – once we’ve thought of it or (in my case) seen this darling example – it’s one of those slap-self-upside-head and say “WHY didn’t I think of that? I need nightstands!”

Recycle and Repurpose DIY craft - desk to nightstands

Isn’t that great? I don’t even need specific instructions. Remove the top, find a board or tray to use as a new top – and voila, you’ve got a nightstand that fits even in a small bedroom, that offers you STORAGE, that can be customized to your exact taste, and that you probably found at a thrift store for, what, $20? Or on Craigslist as a giveaway 🙂

And may I say, bless Pinterest! There are so many wonderful ideas over there – this one is originally credited to Sugar Bee Crafts. I couldn’t find the exact link to this dresser-to-nightstand idea but there are so many wonderful ideas over there – you’ll want to explore!

P.S. And I haven’t even mentioned – okay, haven’t *emphasized* – that this is one more useful and wonderful example of the Recycle, Reuse, and Rethink mantra that I love. That you love.

Spring Fashion – Vintage of course!

So it’s all snowy and cold here and I’m tucked inside like I should be, all warm and cozy. Of course my thoughts strayed to Spring – gardening, and sunshine, and (you knew it) spring dresses. I took a little break and went on over to Etsy for my “mini spring vacation” and look what I found!

vintage floral plus size dress


Spring fashion 2013 - vintage floral plus size dress

Aren’t those adorable dresses? They’re available at Thread Over Heels at Etsy. Not only are they cute, they are also super affordable!

And this may come out wrong, but I was so glad to see such cute dresses in larger sizes – it’s a lot easier to find Size 2 dresses in vintage, probably because so few people are that skinny. So – a shop with cute, affordable clothes for women of ALL sizes – this is a great find!

Aqua Vintage Glass Beads or Jewels

The fashion biz – or maybe the entire retail biz – can be funny. Here’s another example of how color names are a little tricky. All these jewels are called “aqua”:

aqua vintage glass beads or jewels in my Etsy shop

And there are even more color variations in the “aqua” jewels in my Etsy shop – I just picked a few examples that I’d photographed on a white background.

From aqua green – to deep turquoise – to light blue – in the jewelry biz, they can all be called “aqua”.

Confusing? Sometimes!

P.S. And you’ll notice my title says “Vintage glass beads or jewels”. It’s funny how we get used to certain phrases…. jewels or stones have no holes, so they’re not “beads”. But we’re used to using “beads” in our jewelry – it’s funny how many people just prefer that term. So sometimes I’m just going to go with the flow – vintage glass beads. Or jewels 🙂

Recycle Reuse Repurpose – Vintage DIY for the Home

You know I love vintage, and the idea of recycling and reusing things that we think of as “throwaways”. And if that idea helps me add personal style to my home – and storage – and organization! – well I am definitely interested.

Case in point – you know all those old dressers advertised free on Craigslist? Or at the garage sale for $5.00? Do NOT overlook these – they have potential!

Repurposed Chest of Drawers - with no drawers
Repurposed Chest of Drawers – with no drawers

Now, in this pic they’re using the repurposed chest of drawers to hold knickknacks and decorative stuff. I’d turn it into a bookcase or to hold bins and boxes in a craft room. But still, you get the idea. It’s totally useable – and cute – and probably cost next to nothing.

And! If you have just one or two of the drawers, why you can re-purpose those too. Lots of ideas out there – here’s one I thought would be super useful:

Repurposed Dresser Drawer to make new storage unit

Bathroom storage! Or, well, wherever you need it. Notice they didn’t remove the old drawer pulls – which I think is charming. And also – the dowel added as a towel rack. Like I said – useful 🙂

These ideas are not original with me – I am mining Pinterest for tons of wonderful ideas. The link goes to my Pinterest page – a window into the wonderful, useful, fun world of Pinterest ideas. Love it!

Vintage Glass Beads – or Vintage Glass Jewels

There’s the question 🙂 Some people call these lovely old rhinestones “jewels”. Or “stones”. Or “beads”. The terms are almost but not quite interchangeable.

Technically – if I’m informed correctly! – beads have holes in them, or rather through them, so that a wire or pin may be inserted in order to attach the bead to your jewelry piece. You can see the holes easily in these clear glass heart beads:

Clear Vintage Glass Heart Beads

However, vintage glass “jewels” or “stones” have no holes. They’re placed in a metal setting which has a loop or ring so the jewel may be attached to your jewelry item:

Clear Vintage Glass Heart Jewels

See, there’s a loop or ring on the metal setting – not a hole through the “bead”.

That shows you the technical differences.

But in reality? They’re all treated as “beads” – the general term that applies to pretty charms, dangles or beads, that you use to create jewelry. People ask for beads all the time when they might mean cabochons, jewels, stones, or, well, beads. It’s all good 🙂

And of course, I’ve usually got some lovely heart beads – or jewels – in my Etsy jewelry supplies shop. Go peek – and if you don’t see what you need, just ask!