Friday, September 27, 2013

When Mom Goes to Free People and Gets an Idea

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Thing one:  This sweater I thrifted on the cheap is originally from J.Jill.  Check.  Thing two:  it is a beautiful grayed turquoise-ish sky blue.  Check.  Thing three:  it is silk and cashmere.  Check and CHECK.  Only, it is also both boxy (oh no) and cropped (argh).  You know how you sometimes find something at the thrift shop, and you grab it greedily and clutch it to your sweaty bosom, and you can’t even buy it fast enough, and the whole time you’re thinking, why is this amazing [fill in the blank] in the thrift shop?  and ohmigod, I am so good at spotting these bargains, can you believe it? and you buy it without trying it on because [see Things one through three, above] but then when you get it home, you find out it is both boxy and cropped?  Okay, fine, that’s what happened.DSCF3511

The sweater is so soft.  It is also so short and cropped that my armpits hang out the bottom, so after a long scrounge through Pinterest, I decided it might work to add a crocheted peplum to the hem.  I scavenged an assortment of bluish-greenish cotton crochet threads from the stash, and couldn’t pick a favorite, so I settled on three.  Why not?  Be more colorful, is what I remember somebody saying somewhere.  And anyway, there wasn’t enough of any one thing to do a whole big crocheted edging, so I had to get creative.  Also, I figured this would take me all of five minutes, so I could always redo it if it didn’t work.  Crochet Goggles.  That’s when you are so full of your own wild idea that you think you can somehow bend the time/space continuum.  Anyhoo.

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I embroidered a chain stitch all the way across the bottom hem and used that as my foundation row, and was off to a great start when, six rows in, I could not kid myself anymore; that it was ruffling like a tutu, so I ripped it all out, back to the foundation row and started again with fewer stitches.  It looked so good, and I was thrilled.  I steam-blocked it to get maximum length on the crochet, and then I tried it on.   I think I thought I was going to look like Taylor Swift. 

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Nope.  I looked like I was wearing something Taylor Swift gave away because it was too boxy and cropped.  The sweater is so sooooffftt!  It’s such a pretty color!  But it’s still cropped and boxy, though, and now it has a big lace hem, too.  Yeah, I dunno. 

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It does look better on me than on the mannequin, which never happens. 

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Either I’ll wear it all the time, or never ever.  I can’t tell which yet.  I’ll let you know.

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31 comments:

  1. The crochet edging is lovely. Maybe it would look better to you if it was worn over a fitted tank top and jeans. Give that a try before filing it away. :) Tammy

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  2. Can you tailor it to make it somewhat more fitted around the waist? Or perhaps you could wear it open, with a satin ribbon under the bust for an elagant belt?
    I love the colors!

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  3. Either put some darts in at the back to tailor it or crochet a 3 inch long strap to attach to the back centre to ruche the back of the cardigan together. You could also add something higher up in a darker colour to balance out the lace crochet hem, maybe a brooch or ribbon? Make it work! Just call me Tim. x

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  4. hahaha! You're killing me Smalls (from Sandlot. If you haven't seen it, you must) I have a cashmere blend hoodie from J Jill that is so soft and worn out you can almost see through it, AND It is long and boxy. Must be why my daughter calls it J Frump. I call it comfy. Your idea is a good one and the crochet thread is pretty. I bet you can whip that baby into shape (other than a box shape). Good luck : )

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  5. I like Tammy's suggestion, open and over a tank. And could you add a shirt clip to the back? It's one of those elasticized pieces of fabric with jawclips on each end (about 4-5" long). It is used to make a dress, shirt appear more fitted from the front? Could you belt it? Maybe even a bit of embroidery around the collar and at the bottom of the sleeves?? As Tim Gunn would say, "Make it work" lol It's too pretty to file. Happy Weekend, penny x
    p.s. armpits hanging out of the bottom??? You're a GOOF! :)

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  6. I like it and good for you to do something about it and add your own touch. My wardrobe is full of cardies that are too short and never get used.

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  7. That is just beautiful and it looks great on you. Well done. I understand about the thrift shop; I don't do it as often now but during my grunge-era adolescence, I was all about the old flannel shirts and sweaters, most of which looked like dust rags on me, but I believed they were the height of fashion. I had so many though, I should have made a quilt from all that flannel.

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  8. I like it, too. I am already thinking about which of my cardies could use a makeover. :-)

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  9. Really? I think you should be wearing it all the time, hands down it is amazing. Wear a more fitted long t-shirt under it and away you go. Perfect, fashionable and fun.
    hugs,
    Meredith

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  10. What about ripping the whole cardi back to re-use the yarn into something that you DO like?Personally, I like it the way it is.

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  11. You're right - it does look better on you than on the mannequin, I actually think it looks fantastic on you. But if you want to make it look like the lace bottom is not an after thought, just crochet up a few small flowers in the same crochet thread and accent the top of the cardigan. Either way, I'd wear it!

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  12. I like it! Super creative and looks lovely!

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  13. I love it! I hope you end up wearing it because it is gorgeous. Love your blog and your creativity

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  14. you are so talented. and free people, my favorite!

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  15. I actually think it looks really good. One thing though, because it's roomy, rule of thumb says don't wear it with a roomy top or bottom under it. Stick to fitted clothing underneath so you don't look like you are wearing a tent. Now go and enjoy its cozyness!!! :)
    Sheree

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  16. Wear it all the time. I am a fan of the box style because I am really short and if I wear a long cardigan I look like I am wearing a dressing gown and have tiny legs! Jo x

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  17. I think it looks better on you cuz youre wearing it open. Plus that blouse youre wearing underneath is rockin! The crochet edging saved that sweater though I must admit. It would have been blah without it.

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  18. Lovely border and I do hope you will wear it. But seriously, all crafty adventures aside, I visit you because you always make me smile. Loved your thrift shop treasure hunt description!! :)

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  19. I think it looks great on you Kristen. You have transformed something already beautiful and a bargain, albeit flawed in your eyes, into something that you can now wear, and you've made a great job of it too - the colours are just perfect, right down to the darker blue/grey that will look so perfect over jeans.
    Don't hesitate, just wear it!
    Gill xx

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  20. I think the sweater looks great! The edge is beautiful and it does make the sweater!

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  21. I think it looks fab just the way it is and what a brilliant idea!! Loved reading your very funny post :o) sam xx

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  22. I love it! A very creative solution - I think you should wear it all the time!

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  23. It looks great and would really suit a white top and jeans I would think, and it definately suits you better than the mannequin (can't spell!) so don't get her opinion on it!!

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  24. You succeeded in getting me to lol again, Kristen, but seriously, I think the sweater looks great on you and you should wear it all the time :)
    Gracie xx

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  25. Who made the shirt you have on underneath your new improved sweater because the shape and style of it is fantastic as well!!!

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  26. YOU. ARE. SUCH. A. CLEVER. GIRL!

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  27. It does indeed look very frumpy on the dress form, BUT on you it looks really lovely, totally different. Not sure why there should be such a difference, but it's very, very pretty worn.

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  28. Love thrifting and tweaking pieces. You had me lol for sure!

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  29. What a great idea! I love it. Can you share the pattern for the edging?!

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