Thursday, March 28, 2013

Buy Nothing New Wedding!

As my real life friends already know, I got engaged this past weekend and I'm getting married in September of this year. Yay!

Since I have no intention of compromising on my "buy nothing new" year, I guess my upcoming wedding has just turned into a "buy nothing new" wedding!

Oooh, this just got interesting.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Turning an old dress into a new dress!

So the school district that I work for holds a teacher prom every year -- there's dancing, drinks, casino games, food, and (of course!) a prom king and queen. Davey and I went this year and it was 10,000 times better than actual prom was back in the day!

Not being a very fancy person, I needed a dress to wear to teacher prom and at first, I was sure that I didn't have anything in my closet. That is, until I found this dress in the very back corner:

This was the dress that I wore when I went to the Oscars in 8th grade, and while I love the color, it's really not something I would ever wear again. I had mostly just been holding onto it for sentimental reasons, and the off chance that I would need a floor length blue dress some day. Because I wanted to give this dress a second chance, and because of the rules of my "buy nothing new" year, I decided to make this dress above into this dress below:

 Picture of the front coming soon! We had cheesy prom portraits taken so I'll upload those when I get them :)

I hemmed the floor-length skirt into a knee-length skirt, and then used the extra fabric to construct a bodice and sleeves. I had some awesome polka-dot ribbon laying around and decided to use that for a sash. (For the record, I am in no way a professional or even talented seamstress -- I didn't use a pattern or anything, just played around with my sewing machine until the dress looked good!)

I ended up loving this dress so much that I am now totally inspired to alter other clothes that have been hanging in the back of my closet into items that I'll actually wear. For $0 I got a perfectly nice teacher prom dress and gave an old sentimental item new life.

I love the way that this "buy nothing new" year has forced me to become more creative and more resourceful, and find creative solutions that I never would have thought of before!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"The things I consumed ended up consuming me"

An interesting and quick article about a man who realized the detrimental effects of all his "stuff" and found happiness in relationships and experiences :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Purchase #2

(To clarify, I'm using my "Purchase" posts to document all non-gift items that I've purchased, whether used or new. I'm not documenting gifts here or materials that I gathered for projects, as those are getting their own posts)

Over the weekend, I bought a used sewing machine:

My "New to Me" Sewing Machine! Original retail (back in the day) = $1,100. I paid $250.

This was not an anticipated purchase. Sadly, I lent my sewing machine out to a friend a couple of months back, and when it was returned it was acting strange. I troubleshooted the best I could during the make your own couch project, but when I started on my next project (altering some old clothes to make "new to me" clothes), it completely died. I took it in to get it fixed at this local vacuum and sewing machine repair shop (a totally amazing place), and the technician I spoke with said it would cost far more to fix than the machine is actually worth. :(
I have been interested in looking at a better machine for a couple of years now, but had no reason to ditch my old machine while it still worked. So when my old Singer finally bit the dust, I decided to see what used machines the store had on hand for sale. My "new to me" Pfaff machine is one of the best sewing machines ever made, and had always been a dream that was totally out of my price range, so I was very excited that this store just happened to have one for a reasonable price!
It was also interesting to talk with the technician, who told me that almost all of the new machines now are being very cheaply produced in China and Thailand and that they are very poor quality. He says that these days he really only recommends buying used to his customers, which is pretty awesome. And why not, when you get such great quality for a more affordable price, while simultaneously withholding support from a production system that marginalizes workers and uses up natural resources?
I worked on my alterations project yesterday (post coming soon!) on my "new to me" machine, and it is amazing! I can't wait to post all of the fun things I'm working on with this machine.