31 Days · creative habit · Style · Tennessee · Thrifts

31 Days: Creative Habit – Day 19: Houndstooth

Wondering what brilliant ideas I had during my moments of solitude? You’ve come to the right place. But first, a story.

Several years ago, Husband and I went with our family to a University of Tennessee football game here in California when the Vols played Cal. It was a hard game and a sad loss, and walking through the streets of Berkeley after the game, Big Orange shirts blazing, was a little demoralizing. (For those of you who aren’t football fans, I get it. This whole post isn’t about football.)

A few years later, we got to go to the UT-Alabama game while we were back down south visiting family. (We lost that one, too, and by much more, but we were in Knoxville, and it didn’t feel as painful, for some reason.)


I have to say, one of my favorite parts of the games is people-watching. There’s always something interesting to see. Like orange camouflage.


Looking around, I noticed there were lots of people wearing houndstooth. Now, I love a good, preppy pattern. I was well aware of the connection between houndstooth and former Alabama coach Bear Bryant. But there was also a lot of orange and white houndstooth in Knoxville that day, maybe a little poke at the Alabama fans. At one point, we met a lovely couple that were Alabama alums, and she was decked out in houndstooth scarf, purse, and shoes – just adorable. I’ve been looking for some houndstooth – in whatever color option – ever since.


I found this houndstooth blouse at the thrift store over the summer. On the day I was reading about using solitude to guide creativity, this was the piece I had been thinking about redesigning.


In my journal, I came up with 3 options: 1. altering the sleeves and neckline to more of a capsleeve/boatneck look and removing the bottom piece of elastic, 2. turning it upside down and making it a skirt, and 3. making it a vest.

When I tried the shirt on as a skirt, it was okay, but the material is a very silky polyester, and I don’t think it would wear properly as a skirt. And the vest idea was growing on me.


I started by cutting the sleeves off.


I was hoping I could be lazy and just tuck the fabric under, but the fabric started fraying, so I had to use my seam rippers to remove the sleeve entirely.


I pinned the edges and hemmed the sleeves.



I decided to keep the elastic waistband just to keep from doing any more seam ripping and hemming. And I like it anyway.


The back of the blouse had these three buttons that I kept intact.


I paired it with my pebble necklace, but if I had an orange necklace and shoes, I would have worn that today for my Vols. (We beat South Carolina today! Woohoo!)

I think I need to add more orange to my thrift wish list.

(And dear S.L., if you’re reading this, I know you’re groaning with all the UT references. Sorry. Not really.)

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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5 thoughts on “31 Days: Creative Habit – Day 19: Houndstooth

  1. Really like the vest! I had a houndstooth skirt when I was in high school that I just loved! I think the last time I wore it was the day I brought baby Brian home from the hospital. Wish I had kept it. Go VOLS!


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