31 Days · Color · Sewing · Style · Thrifts

31 Days: Color – Day 30: Purple Paisley Blouse

I think this is really going to happen. I know in past years of 31 Days (2012 and 2013), I’ve successfully posted 31 posts in October. But this year, it feels like quite an accomplishment to actually finish these 31 posts before the end of 2014. If I actually finish before the end of 2014.

vintage purple paisley

I found this purple and orange paisley blouse at the thrift store weeks (months?) ago, but then I lost it. (And by “lost it”, I mean Husband put it in a bag with the leftovers of this purple fabric, so I didn’t think to look there until I was on an all-out search.)

faux pockets

It had these faux pockets, which were just little strips of fabric, attached on 3 sides. I used my seam ripper to carefully removed them.


Then I cut off the sleeves and used this simple scarf hem technique to hem the sleeves. Confession: I didn’t even use pins – I just folded as I sewed – and it worked beautifully.


I love all things paisley, and when you pair orange with its “nemesis”, well, I love it even more.

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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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31 Days · Color · It's Not Rocket Science · Style · Thrifts

31 Days: Color – Day 29: Blue Paisley Dress

This should be a #TBT kind of post. Except on a Wednesday. And I don’t really do hashtags.

vintage paisley shirt dress

If you’ve been here a long time, you might remember this post I did about my Thifted Hall of Fame. (My hair! Oh my goodness, I forgot it was that short.)

I love this dress. I am a huge fan of paisley, and, like I said in this post, the pattern reminds me of men’s pajamas. (That’s puh-JAH-muhz.) But even though I love it, I’ve never worn it. The length is just not all that flattering. So when I was looking for colorful projects for 31 Days, I knew that hemming this blue dress would be a good candidate.

blue paisley dress

But then I tried it on, and I realized there are some other wonky things about this dress. Like how the belt loops are really high. (I snipped them off.)


And how the dress has the same width from the chest to way past the hips, making the skirt flare in an awkward place. I might have thought that it’s just my body that the dress doesn’t fit, but I have a fairly long torso. This dress is made for a giant. So even if I hemmed the dress a few inches, it would still look weird.


So I tried something even easier. A belt.


Do you remember these metallic stretchy belts from the 80s? When I found this one at the thrift store for $1, I was so excited. I could now live out all my childhood dreams of looking like I belong on the set of Dynasty.


I added the belt, and then pulled the top to blouse over it.

blue paisley dressPerfect proportions. Easiest 31 Days project (even beats this one).

blue paisley dress

And just for fun, I added a fur vest. Because nothing says Dynasty elegance like a gold belt AND fur.

Full Disclosure: We didn’t really watch Dynasty. We were big fans of Dallas and Falcon Crest. Friday nights meant super buttery popcorn and back-to-back evening soap opera dramas. One summer, when my brother came out to California to visit, we hunted down Spring Valley Vineyard, where some of the exterior shots of Falcon Crest were filmed. Oh, the memories.

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


31 Days · Color · Style

31 Days: Color – Day 28: Green Dress Simple Fix

I KNOW! I thought about just giving up on 31 Days. And even though on Friday I mentioned that I’ve got lots of new ideas for projects, I can’t seem to get started on anything else because I feel like I’ve got to finish this first. So here we go, just a few days left!

green floral dress

I actually finished this project the last week of October, but I didn’t get it posted. It’s crazy to think that only six short weeks ago, it was warm enough to wear this dress. It was in the running for our Christmas card photo outfit. (We very democratically took a vote to decide what colors we were wearing this year – blue and green won.)


I love this shade of green – a bright, kelly green that pops against white. The dress was pretty great, but I wasn’t a fan of the white belt buckle. So I got out my pliers and wire cutters and broke it off.


What remained was a wonky strip of fabric that hung awkwardly around the waist.


I decided to stretch the material over the entire waistband and hand stitch it in place along the top and bottom.


It was pretty quick, even with using only a needle and thread, and it turned out nicely.

green floral dress

I like this waistband much better.


I was going to add the denim jacket for the added blue for the photos, but I changed my mind at the last minute – even though it was warm enough to wear a summer dress, it might be a little off for a Christmas card. (I went with a simple skirt and sweater – both blue – and paired them with my Green House Necklace.)

Yay! A green project that was actually a success (unlike here and here)!

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