Friday, July 26, 2013

Oh......the treasures that can be found in a thrift shop!!

As I have alluded to before I love to fossick for 'finds' in thrift shops. The beauty of thrift shops is that you never quite know what you will discover when you step over the threshold. Sometimes there is not a single 'pretty' that tickles your fancy and then there are those times when a 'find' jumps out from it's hiding place, trips you up and finds itself in your bag ready to begin another life in another home!

Not so long ago I was looking in the childrens' dress up section of our local thrift shop (why I have no idea as my girls are grown up) and found a man's wool brown suit. The trick with thrift shops is to look in every nook and cranny.....more often than not there are treasures in the most unlikely of places.

"So".....I hear you say. "Surely there is nothing spine-tingling about a man's brown suit????" Ordinarily no.....but at a glance I could see the wonderful cut and the tailoring that one usually finds in a man's jacket. Now, I'm not a gal that wears a lot of brown, nor am I a gal that normally wears men's clothing; so to notice this poor old, may I say, vintage, piece of men's apparel was a peculiar thing for me to get excited about! "BUT.....a man's jacket; you've got to be kidding!" Yes...a man's jacket. I liked what I saw from a glance and had an inkling that perhaps, just perhaps, I could transform it into something half-way acceptable for li'l ole me to wear about town. I know, I know (yes I can read your thoughts)......but the buttons and button holes are on the opposite side to that of a lady's jacket!! I concede that point, BUT button holes can always be covered by a smidgen of lace, a trailing ribbon or some other embellishment. Actually there are so many things that lace, ribbon, buttons etc etc can cover....but I digress.

Besides, I am always on the lookout for jackets that I can tart up.  It's what one can do to tart up these pre-loved jackets which is the adventurous part. Indeed I have 'tarted-up' numerous articles of clothing in my life.....'tis such fun!

So, once home with my new acquisition to my wardrobe, I set to work gathering up an assortment of different laces, a doily or two (of course!), ribbons, a vintage brooch and a gorgeous vintage buckle, which was a present from my husband many moons ago;  and started to design and play and stitch. There was a notion formulating in my rather fuzzy head that if I added a dash of lace with hints of the colour blue, and a brown and blue length of ribbon, maybe, just maybe I could fashion something quite unique; which funnily enough, when out and about my 'one of a kind' jacket  receives so many favourable comments from people.

First things first, I snipped off the buttons and cut a doily in half and began to stitch each half of the doily along the lapels of the jacket with tiny, almost invisible stitches.
On the inside of the jacket I carefully snipped around the doily, stitching it onto the lining on the inside of the lapel, with just a hint of the edge of the doily peeping out in the front.

I covered the buttonholes with a gorgeous blue vintage buckle (which I love, love, LOVE)...that my husband bought me as a present and a trailing length of blue/brown ribbon stitching it in a visually pleasing effect down the length of one side of the jacket.

Once the doilies were stitched in place I then proceeded to stitch smidgens of lace over the doilies, following the line of the lapels, stopping at the neckline.

I then stitched another length of ribbon at the top of the lapel, trailing it around the back of the neck and bringing it round to the other side.

I then covered the end of the ribbon with a beautiful, vintage (of course) brooch.
So there you have it.....what was once a rather drab man's jacket, is now revamped into a 'new' fashion statement! I might add that my 'one of a kind Sarah Lizzie's original' is hanging on a vintage mannequin (another 'cheap as chips' thrift shop find), posing in front of curtains fashioned out of vintage Italian coverlets with a vintage hat case sitting nearby! Aaaah....yes, there is many a thrift shop, vintage find in my humble abode!
Mmmmm.....looking at this photo, my poor old vintage, stained mannequin could do with a little 'tarting up' with a dash of lace.......must see what I can do!!
 ........just stepping out in my 'tarted up' jacket!!

Linking up to Karen at Quilty Creations where for the month of July she is holding a Something Old Something New challenge? Thank you Karen, it has been fun being part of this linky party.....I could write a tome on the subject 'Something Old Something New'....just because of my propensity of bringing many a vintage find home to live with me!!


  1. A very pretty makeover! Thanks so much for linking up! :-)

  2. Isn't that wonderful! I think you had just as much fun tarting it up than you will wearing it. Who would have thought. A few years back, I gave a wool suit to the thrift store, then instantly regretted it......

  3. Beautiful!! How fun is that jacket? You are indeed a very talented women. Thanks so much for sharing your 'tarted up' jacket with us.

  4. How cool is that?! I really love what you did with the jacket, and that scarf is really lovely with it.

  5. Your jacket is lovely!! It's quite stylish. The belt piece is a great touch. I love how you re-purposed the jacket.

  6. What an amazing job you have done of repurposing a sturdy jacket into a feminine, wearable work of art. Your creativity is wonderful.

  7. Great blog, found you after loooking at monkey business and quilts
    the hexi,s are lovely might have to have a go at them .one fine day ....... Dee

  8. Amazing Jacket, really clever well done.

  9. Oh. My. Goodness this jacket is just the most adorable 'upcycling' 'refashioning' thing EVER---I have several thrifted men's jackets hanging in my closet but have NEVER thought to make them into such luscious 'tarted up' garments. :D Oh I am green with envy over your jacket. (BTW, I just found your blog and my little ole heart is just going pitty-patty. :D