Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Thrift Tips: Round One

Here it is, folks. The first part of my somewhat-comprehensive list of "Thrift Tips" that I have acquired during my time as a Scavenger of the Savings (yes, I just made that up and yes, it's pretty lame awesome).

 It's all too easy to casually wander into your neighborhood Goodwill and gaze upon the aisles and aisles of random clothing and do one of two things: Get way too excited and weave frantically through the racks, excitedly picking up everything that may fit but probably won't, or shrink back entirely, overwhelmed by the splendor of it all but too timid to dive in. 

I've been there, people. And I'm here to help.
So without further ado, here goes!

1) Consider the Donators
This single tip has been the deciding factor in whether or not I have a good thrift. I always consider the income of the people living in the area surrounding the thrift store in question, because let's face it: Rich people have the best stuff.

I don't have any statistics or evidence to back this up, but at least in my experience, it's the stores in the more "affluent" parts of town that have the best finds. I constantly bring home treasures from J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and more, all in never or lightly worn condition.

This Express sweater and Aldo mocs are a thrift from this week. Yee!

These Tommy Hilfiger loafers are a recent designer find.

2) Look for the Target!
Did you know that according to the EPA Office of Solid Waste, the average American throws away 68 pounds of clothing per year? That is A LOT of clothes, people! When we focus on recycling, many people think of separating their plastic and aluminum and maybe having a separate basket for glass next to their garbage can.

However, Target considers the environment when looking at their last of Clearance items and donates them to their neighborhood Goodwill! New with tags, never been worn items at thrift store prices, what's not to love? There's been so many times that I have drooled over something in-store at Target, only to refrain from buying it at full price and finding it a few days later at Goodwill.

Here's some of my favorite recent new with tags donated Target clearance finds!

Target find: Merona polka dot button down

Target find: Striped Merona dress with pockets
Target find: Printed Merona chino shorts

3) Head for the Return Rack
One of my favorite thrifting practices is to periodically check out the return rack. I mean, think about it... It's full of items that have already been selected to be tried on my someone else but didn't work. Someone's already done the work of searching through racks to find this gem, only for it not to fit. Maybe it'll be your size instead!

4) Make Rules and Stick To Them
Consider your closet and your shopping habits before you thrift. Do you have a penchant for buying clothes that don't fit but could fit with a little sewing and adjusting, only to forget about them and have them rot in your closet?

Well, I do. I have the creativity to refashion some amazing things, but since I know my personality tends to put off projects after starting them, I don't let myself buy things that must be fixed to be worn. (If you love thrifted refashion, check out one of my favorite blogs, ReFashionista)

I also make a point to avoid pleather ("plastic leather") items if I can. Leather is a durable, high quality material that wears wonderfully over time and adds lovely character. As a life-long equestrian, I fully appreciate the quality of leather. I also know that fake leather items are more than likely lacking in quality, made cheaply overseas as disposable clothing. Remember that adorable bag I thrifted that melted in the sun? Yeeeeah, I had that coming from the beginning because I don't buy fake leather bags. However, there are always exceptions... Like this pleather coat I recently thrifted:

5) Keep Your Head on Straight! 
Thrifting is amazing. Really, it is. But it's so, so easy to get overwhelmed with the cheapness of it all that you wind up buying things you don't need or spend too much money. It's important not to put your "thrift goggles" on, that is not to see every find as more than it really is simply because it's inexpensive and you're riding a major thrift-induced adrenaline high. 

Consider how you will use the item before you buy it, and I promise you won't get home with a bag full of clothing you don't really need. (When in doubt, find out if your thrift store offers returns and keep the receipt!)

I keep a running "Thrift List" as a note on my iPhone, so I can refer to it when I'm thrifting and make sure I'm on track. It's super easy to find something amazing only to get home and realize you already have 543,045 printed dresses hanging in your closet (guilty!)

That's all for now! I will be compiling a Round Two in the coming weeks so check back for that.

Have these Thrift Tips helped you find amazing treasures at your local thrift store? Do you have your own Thrift Tips you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about it, so leave me a comment! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Are You In?

"Are You In" is by Incubus off their Morning View album.

It's no secret to many who know me that I am a hu-u-u-ge Incubus fan. I've always had this obsession with not only their music, but their lyrics and the artwork of Brandon Boyd. His work has played a huge inspirational role in the development of myself as an artist and designer. 

For my next cross stitch project, I decided to combine my love for typography and Incubus into this quick little piece. I plan on framing it in a small 5x7 frame (thrifted, of course!) and hanging it on my wall as a reminder of one of my favorite songs. You should definitely listen to it! 

I used a favorite app of mine, Stitches for Mac. It's an app which allows you to create cross stitch patterns, but my favorite feature is that it automatically converts all of the typefaces in my library to cross stitch, allowing me freedom to play with type like this. For this piece, I'm using Lavanderia  from the Lost Type Co Op, a website full of high-quality, well designed typefaces free for personal and commercial use.

I've got a lot of work to do!

I'm still not done with this piece as I'm stitching away at it in my (non-existent) spare time, but I couldn't wait to share the pattern and process with you. Check back later for an updated post when it's finished.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thrift Karma

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already seen this bag and the one it's replacing. It's a sad story!

I found an adorable vintage satchel bag at Goodwill two days ago, and fell in love with it. Even though it had some wear and wasn't real leather (that goes against my Thrift Rules), I decided to take it home. And we had a wonderful time, until...

IT STARTED TO MELT IN THE HEAT. Yes, that's right! The fake leather simply could not handle the heat of sitting in the sun in my car, and when I got to work, it fell apart. Usually, I would shed a small tear, but not this time...

Because I decided to cheer myself up with a return to my favorite Goodwill. It was there I found this gem just moments after it was placed on the shelves. I noticed the shape of the bag and that signature lock, and before I knew it I had my hands on an authentic Coach bag, mistakenly placed with the non-designer bags and therefore priced at $2.99. Score!

Well, I can't be too upset about that, now can I?

ps. Does anyone want an adorable handbag that melts in the sun? Anyone? *sigh*

Here's the (adorable) melty offender before it met its unfortunate demise in the sun...

via Instagram http://instagram.com/p/b7OTC3w3Fg/

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Welcome to Stitchfox!

This is my blog about thrifting, cross stitching, and my life in general as a crazy-passionate girl in my early twenties. I wanted to create an outlet where I can share my finds, my creations and my designs, as well as inspire you to find and create on a dime. 

I love the thrill of the thrift. I love the excitement of being faced with rows on rows of clothing, knowing that there are some great finds in there, separated from me by only a little patience and persistence. I have always been a girl who loves clothes, but since being in college is more than a little expensive, I've had to figure out a way to get my shopping fix. Enter the art of Thrifting. In a later post, I am going to share a few of my Thrift Tips, so check back next week for that. You won't want to miss it!

I fell in love with cross stitching recently when I took my first Textiles class. We learned the basics of traditional hand stitched embroidery. I loved that technique and have a couple of adorable pieces using stitches such as the satin stitch and back stitch, however my love for needlework truly took off when I discovered cross stitch. I love the pixel-like quality to cross stitch, blending my profession of graphic design and modern, technical aspects of our life with the traditional craft of stitching. It is a craft that does not take any amount of skill to complete, just some patience and persistence. I can't wait to share some of my work and a few stitching tutorials and patterns with you in the future!


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