I love this time of year. I thrive on routine, so having the structure of school is really great for me. BB started first grade last week, and BG started her first day of preschool today. After lots of “one more” hugs, I left her at school, ran a few errands, and then came home to a quiet house.
I honestly can’t remember the last time I was alone in my house. It was very strange. I wandered around, trying to decide what I should do.
Now, with driving to and from school across town and errands, it wasn’t like I had an enormous expanse of time – it was maybe 45 minutes – but it seemed long and open and glorious. And very, very strange. I started thinking of all the cleaning projects I could do – purge kids’ toys and clothes, dig into the deep recesses of the china cabinet, tackle the ever-elusive garage.
Instead, I sat down and read. It was fabulous.
And then, during nap time, I finished a couple of projects.
I posted a photo of this beautiful fabric on Instagram last week (@beautifulobjs):
It came from this dress:
A fantastic vintage Carol Anderson dress, complete with shoulder pads and an enormously wide collar (which will come into play later.)
I believe this is the same Carol Anderson that is now the CAbi clothing line.
When I saw this dress at the thrift store, I immediately had a plan. The bright colors and floral pattern were begging to be a more modern full skirt. I planned to add an elastic waistband and then cut off some of the hem to make a belt, but once I tried on the skirt in its full length, I changed my mind and wanted to keep it a maxi, so I needed to create a belt from something else.
Enter the enormous collar! I cut it off and cut it in half. I stitched the edges to prevent fraying.
My plan was to simply overlap the collar pieces and sew them together to make the belt. The problem was, even though the collar was enormously wide, it wasn’t long enough for a belt.
And here’s where I kind of geeked out: I realized if I flipped on of the collars around, the overlap was shorter and provided the couple more inches of length I needed.
Brilliant (if I do say so myself)!
Small victories! I sewed one piece on top of the other, and that was it.
Here’s the Franken-belt (see another “Franken” project here).
I was able to keep the original pockets from the dress in tact! Win!
I love how it turned, but I’m still undecided if it will stay this length or if it would be better as a full knee-length skirt.
And here’s another new project – a necklace in my shop. Apparently I’m on a pink kick.
When I posted the photo of the fabric on IG, my dear friend Cathy responded that it was so pretty, and I was reminded of that phase I went through in high school where I “hated” pink, probably because it wasn’t cool to like pink or something silly like that. I also happened to have a bedroom that was top-to-bottom mauve floral (think Laura Ashley) that I LOVED in 3rd grade and which stayed that way until I left for college. And maybe is still pink floral to this day. (My brother’s room was done in Wedgwood blue around the same time. Mauve and Wedgwood – could we have been more 80s?)
So, at risk of sharing one of those “you had to be there” stories….
When I was in high school, the first time I tore my ACL, I had a date that night with a boy. So, he comes to my house and brings me flowers – pink in a pink vase tied with a pink ribbon – SO MUCH PINK. Cathy also comes over to check on me and bring me flowers. (Also, prom boy came that night with chocolate chip cookies and flowers to check on me and try to soothe things over after I told him I wouldn’t go to prom with him. This part of the story sounds full of drama, and I am the opposite of drama, so the whole thing was just so bizarre.)
So Cathy unknowingly makes a comment about how much I HATE pink and how she would NEVER bring me pink flowers.
My mother, always the gracious Southerner, trying not to embarrass the boy, says, “Oh no! JUST mauve, and ONLY in her room!”
Cathy and I LOST IT! For years to come, out of nowhere, the phrase, “Just mauve, and only in her room” would be uttered, and we would fall to pieces. Even now, I cannot hear the word “mauve” without chuckling.
I have come to embrace pink again – especially pink flowers – which is fortunate, as I have a daughter who thinks it is truly the only good color in the world.
Speaking of pink and Franken-projects, here’s the original necklace as I found it. Not bad.
But I knew I wanted to make something simpler out of that pendant.
It’s even reversible to the gold-tone only side.
And here’s what I did with some of the beads from the necklace. It’s like a “Franken-project”, only this time, instead of putting together different pieces, I took a mix of elements from one necklace and made new, different pieces from what I found.
Blouse: thrifted (Old Navy)
Skirt: thrifted and remade by me
Necklaces: my Etsy shop
OK, what do you think about the skirt? Keep it long? Hem it short? Will I ever wear it long? Will I regret cutting that beautiful fabric? I am still undecided.