Tuesday, February 9

progress report...

oooh, doesn't that title make it sound like i have terribly important things to say?
like i perhaps have made progress in a very professional way?
like i need to report it in a pie chart or graph of some kind?
i'm almost tempted to change out of my 'natty' clothes into something more befitting a progress report,
but then i know that's not possible for my closet contains not 'an ounce' of progress reporting attire.


nearly five months into the challenge of the utmost kind
and
i am becoming a little desperate for a different dress to adorn myself.
i like to wear dresses daily, it is my uniform.
i like to wear dresses with tights and boots,
i like to wear dresses over jeans, with a cardi,
i like to wear dresses with flip flops and a slip
and i'm thinking
i would like to wear dresses with a pair of painted swedish clogs
(in fact i know i would)

and so it is quite apparent from that bit of divulging about my 'dress wearing ways' that indeed any dress of mine gets a lot of wear.
it is an all season little bit of cloth,
layered for winter
and unlayered for summer...

and that is where i am struggling with the challenge


two of my dearest dresses have given up the ghost,
no amount of patching and stitching was going to bring them back.
for the past few weeks i have started to lurk in the dress and skirt aisles when out and about thrifting.
but here's the thing,
i believe it is a 'talent', ney a 'gift' from the thrifty gods, to take a forsaken bit of clothing and make it smile.
Our #1 has it coming out of her fingers and toes by the bucket load.
the most awful sad neglected item upon the rails of despair can by taken down by her and made to shine in all it's glory...
a 'gift' i am sadly lacking in.
i took a look on Etsy
there were some rather lovely organic cotton skirts and dresses available but i'm looking for a little pattern, a little nostalgia, a little color
i'm shopping for a 41 year old with a 32 year old eclectic bohemian 'alter ego' inside of her.
this makes my search a little more tricky, my alter ego is egging me on and i'm happy to go down that path of 'eclectic' wear if only i could find it handcrafted or secondhand...


and so in the end,
out of desperation,
i took a loved and worn skirt from my closet bought over 4 years back and popped her in Miss W. Machine with a packet of dye.
i chopped out the lower ruffled panel and added a 'fat quarter' from my stash.
and completed my 'overhaul' with a little dash of doilies...


i'm not loving it,
i am especially not loving it over jeans, teamed with a rather dubious green sweater,
and i am especially not loving,
that after five months of being a handcrafted thrifty mama this little skirt is the best i have to offer for my efforts

she is thinking it most fortunate that Miss Ethel has made much better progress than herself ~ Tif

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm really rather liking that skirt you know! And the 'dubious green sweater' too. In fact I rather like that whole look. I like what you did with the skirt; looks pretty good to me. Sometimes you find good things and sometimes you don't. They are out there though - just when you don't need anything and are broke!

Stace and Joey said...

I think it is quite lovely but can see how it is not quite cheery enough for you. How about some cheery trim to liven it to Tif's beautiful taste?

I must confess that recently I wore a black ruffled skirt, leggings, coral tee, and my bright orange boots to my #'s 1-5 dismay so I may not be the most knowledgeable on the subject. (I felt pretty anyway)

PixieBelle said...

Good heavens that skirt is lovely!!
Might it not be worth asking your #1 to give you a hand? I know I can usually pick out what would suit my mom in any store when she has failed to see an item of beauty as she has simply not seen it in the right light.
Another idea may be to salvage the remaining thread sturdy sections of the skirts you love but are beyond repair and make these into a colourful combination of a patchwork skirt thereby encompassing good memories, good fabric, a new skirt and still keeping to the challenge?

Lola Nova said...

Oh, I am absolutely a dress gal, all the time, all weather. And though I can put together the most darling and whimsical and edgy dresses etc., for the small one...I am absolute pants at sewing for myself. Tis troublesome indeed and really no fair.

Sherri B. said...

Oh Tif, It is a most marvelous skirt! Now I am convinced that there is nothing you and Miss Ethel can not do once you put your mind to it. And I must say it is very figure flattering on you. Have a great day.

A Beautiful Party said...

I wish i could even begin to know how to altar clothes to make something better. this blog really inspires me to want to learn how. don't be discouraged. that skirt is cute, and I'm sure there are many more great ones to come!

s a n s k u :) said...

well i think it looks great. love the doilies on it.

and you sure have the gift of the gap. i wish i had a way with words like you do.

Ragamuffin Gal said...

Oh.. don't fret, I think it looks just fine. I am seeing some bright pink tights with it! Or maybe some bright pink, green, or blue whimsie in the center of each dollie ~ and I think you would like it better. <3

Tonia said...

Well I am loving it, stop being so hard on yourself and Miss Ethel! Will look amazing with the Fly London boots.
Is it just me, or is it a little creepy that I know what type of boots you wear?

Arda said...

Dear Tif, you're being WAY to hard on yourself. As a 45ish growing MOTHER (in caps because I feel so maternal) with a 32 year old SKINNY alterego within, I so get your ache. I'm on meds which have caused me to gain 20 lbs (approx 1.5 stone in uk lingo?) in one year!!! Feeling fat and frumpy and not buying anything to wear (and nothing I own fits me)! You always sound like you look great, and thats counts for a lot!! Take care!!

gold fawn said...

ugh... I had a similar experience yesterday with a shirt i made. better luck next time dear. keep trying... back to the drawing board for me as well! xo m

Jennifer said...

I absolutely adore the way you dress, I wish I had the umph to dress that way. I'm sorry it didn't turn out how you like, that can be so frustrating when you've spent the time and effort.

A Bun Can Dance said...

Oh dear Tif, I am having the same problem as you! Finding clothes in charity shops does not seem to be my thrifty strength. I look and look and try to imagine how I can tweek and colour and embellish..... and I come away with nothing at all!
My wardrobe collection is tiny (as in a Nun has a greater range of outfits!) and I do worry for my wardrobe in the remaining year of crafty/thriftiness.....
I am gathering fabric to make my own - which I've done over decades, but now out of desperation rather than whimsy!
Good luck - I hope your clothes search improves :-)

Denise x

Anonymous said...

Tif, have you tried the Hanna Andersson catalog for clogs? maybe
will their clearance qualify in the Challenge? and do you have Amish or Mennonite thrift stores in your area? the old pattern sites will have just the dress you are needing and if they do not email me; I have some 60's ones.

Ange said...

Fret Not Tif! All is not over ... there is more on Etsy for I have seen it. Now, if I could only remember what the shop name was. If all else fails, and you need a bit of hand made colour - go visit: http://www.marmiladeclothing.com.au/
where, if you don't want to buy, you may be inspired by colour and gorgeous doilies and all may be OK again...

Francesca said...

i am hoping you will get lots of links to great etsy dress shops so that we may all take advantage.
i like your little skirt and especially your green sweater. look at all the colours in that pic! i love how you put this scene together. x

dottie angel said...

oh ange!!! what a color trip that site is... i had to scrabble around my kitchen drawer to find my sunglasses. what a lovely lot of doilified goodness...
thank you for the link

and the clog link dearest annon :)

and dearest readers i'm thinking why i don't much 'embrace' my skirt although i can see it is perfectly okay, is because it's not exciting enough. i know under the little fat quarter, a packet of dye and a dose of doilies lurks the original skirt and all it's 'blarness' (is there such a word)
i think you are right, with boots and tres jolly tights it might be bought up a notch :)

Elizabeth said...

I loved the skirt when I saw it on flickr and I still do. Pretend your clothes are your slips and you'll be fine. ;)

Kayla coo said...

I love your skirt!

Gerry said...

Your skirt just may be just too - - - well, too blue.

Perhaps a more colorful embellishment?

- - - - or colorful tights?

- - - - or, perhaps I'd better dig deeper into my closet before giving my opinion.

Love you blog.

hugs,
Gerry

Marg said...

I really like the skirt and yes it does remind me of marmilade clothing, although a bit more subdued than their tropical colors. With the jeans and the green sweater maybe a bit too monochromatic, I agree that it would look fabulous with some brighter accessories, tights, oh and maybe, umm, clogs!!!!.

Bobo Bun said...

I see how you dress and I think each time I like that or wow that works for me. Being honest the skirt just doesn't do it for me. Too lacking in voom. Maybe boots and an orange jumper would make it jump out. You made me laugh about the 32 year old clothes girl hiding in the 41 yr old. No one tells me when I'm out shopping that I got older and I get a shock in the changing room.

You'll get past your clothes blip - especially if you take no 1 stylist with you.

Lisa x

Drewzel said...

I wonder if it is not skirt's fault but merely a reflection of your state of mind? You have set yourself a difficult challenge for the year, and like all challenges, sometimes the going gets tough. Maybe think about skirt in a week or so and you may have a different perspective? ...More skirt love, or new ideas? I think all the comments remind you though that you're doing great, and we love what you do! xx

Carol said...

Well I like that skirt but it is missing a certain something ... I know........ a pair of peachy clog boots!!!

Tammi said...

I only wish I could look half as good in a skirt that was half as cute. You are very creative. This is my first time to your blog. I'll stop by again and see if I can get inspired...

Have you checked out the sale rack at Anthropologie? I know they have what you are looking for - or at least ideas to make it so...

andrea creates said...

Bohemian ecelectic-that's the perfect description. I love it too :)

soisses said...

it is true:
i really LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE your style & your work!

GREAT!

jozen said...

i quite like it!

Anna said...

Great blog - what type of paint do you use on your figurines and such?

deb did it said...

love your style...love this skirt, love your blog, and LOVE your photography!