Bean Refashioning: Military Jacket

Hand-me-downs.  Love them.  Half of my closet was my mom’s and sisters’…and then there’s one piece from my Grandma.  Yep, you read that right.  This jacket…
IMG_7653…was my Grandma’s.  She asked if anyone wanted it over Christmas and it took me a minute, but I knew it had potential, so I grabbed it. 

But, obviously, something had to give if I was ever going to wear it in public.  First, I took out the sleeves to make them a tad longer.  I took out this seam…
IMG_2651…and that’s it because there was another seam underneath that kept everything nice and finished.
I’ve never taken in a jacket before so I was a little intimidated by this refashion, I’ll be honest.  But, since it was free, I didn’t have much to lose if I messed up.  A bunch of seam ripping and another try was Plan B and donating it was the worst case scenario.

First, I zipped it up and turned it inside-out.  Then I laid it out so that the side seams were right at the sides and the jacket was flat along the edges.
IMG_2880There was a litte more fabric in the front of the jacket than the back so that’s why the above picture shows a little buckling on top.  It was more important for the sides seams to line up since that’s where I’d be sewing than for the jacket to be laying perfectly flat…if that makes any sense.

For sizing, normally I might just try it on and figure it out from there but with a belly and no waist, there’s no figuring out anything that way.  So, I grabbed my favorite white blazer that I know has a great fit and used it for sizing.

First I marked out how much I wanted to take the sleeves in.
IMG_2881I lined the two sleeves up along the top and used a white sewing pencil (technical term?) to draw a line onto the military jacket that followed the bottom of the white blazer’s sleeve.

Then I lined the armpits up, starting at the point where my line for thinning out the sleeve ended at the armpit seam, and used the same pencil to draw a line down the military jacket that went right along the edge of my white blazer.
I made sure to press down the white blazer with my hand along the place I was penciling so that it was totally flat while I traced its edges.
Next, I pinned everything into place, making sure my edges and armpit seams were lined up, and sewed a straight stitch right along my white line.
A repeat on the other side of the jacket, a pinking shears to cut off the excess fabric (eventually I’ll serge the edges), and that was that.

mil jacket2military jacket:  hand-me-down – $0
sequin-embellished top:  hand-me-down (mom’s) – $0
maternity jeans:  hand-me-down (friend – thanks Grace!) – Old Navy
boots:  Target (purchased on sale 2-3 years ago but here’s a similar pair* on clearance!) – $22
grand total:  $22

I can’t exactly zip it up at the moment but that’s totally fine by me – spring and summer don’t necessite zippers unless it’s the fly really, so looks like this chick is in the clear. 

I’ve had a military jacket on my wish list for awhile now so I’m happy I came across one for free, even if it did cost me a little bit of time.  :)

Thanks again Grandma B!

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mil jacket

*affiliate link similar to combat boots I purchased from Target

Bean Refashioning: Ruched Tunic

I’m back with another $1 thrift find! (Read the backstory in Monday’s post.)

I was really excited about this tunic:
IMG_7651I thought it’d be perfect for spring with this growing belly and since it’s a size larger than I normally wear and a loose fit to boot, it will hopefully fit up until b-day (and then post-post-post-pregnancy maybe I can take it in a tad).  Also, I’m a sucker for pieces that have a little bit of unexpected or added detail and so this one was right up my detail-loving alley with the side and front ruching/gathering…only after I put it on, that front gather didn’t sit well with me.  It was kinda awkward.  If the tunic were a little longer on me, it probably would’ve been fun but it just hit me weird.

So, away it went.  No sewing necessary with this one, just like Monday’s sweater dress.  All I had to do was rip out the threads holding that ruching together in front using my handy-dandy seam ripper.
IMG_2859It probably took me ten minutes to get all the thread out and that was going pretty slow, making sure I only grabbed the thread and not the tunic so as not to make any holes.

When I had all the thread out, this is what I had going on:IMG_2860
A quick spray with some water and an ironing had it looking like the ruching had never been there.


IMG_7671(Kinda random but I keep trying to figure out what that raised line to the right of my popped belly button is and my only guess is that it’s part of little lady’s leg or (rather large) foot?  She’s head down so that’s the only thing that makes sense since I didn’t swallow a whole hot dog for lunch that day.  So weird.  Guess she wanted to make an appearance…)

In the South, you go bold with colors if you want to look like you’ve been here your whole life so these bright purple leggings/tights were the obvious choice.  ;)

IMG_7674tunic:  Goodwill – $1
jean vest:  Target – $7 (clearance find)
tights:  Dirt Cheap – $.75
necklace:  no clue/had it forever
purple pointies:  Gabriel Bros. – $1
grand total:  $9.75 (not including the necklace)

See the side detail? 


I lawv it.

Without those side gathers, I could probably get away with wearing Electric Blue here as a dress but I love them too much to take them out so tunic it shall be forever and ever.

I also tried a belt ‘round the waist upper belly but I wasn’t sure if it made it look like I had one big, blue oval going on in the middle of my person so sans belt might be a better choice for a second colorful outfit:
tunic2scarf:  Dirt Cheap – $1 (originally from Target)
belt/whip?:  JCPenney (came with another top) – we’ll just say $.75 since the top cost me $4 on clearance
tights:  Dirt Cheap – $.75
booties:  eBay* (I got the Tan (FV) and psst, they’re having a BOGO 50% off sale right now!) – $25
grand total:  $27.50

It works really well with my favorite pleather leggings too which is great since these tights probably won’t work for much longer (they’re non-maternity and I tried rolling them under the belly but they’re pretty restricting even so). 

I’m not huge on or good at capsule wardrobes but, if I was, this would be in mine. 

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easy tunic update

*affiliate link to products I purchased – purchasing through my link won’t raise your price one penny but it will give me a few pennies in commission to probably buy some spray paint with…  :)

Quick heads up – I updated the virtual Target clearance rack in the sidebar under ‘affiliates’!  All of those items are under $10 on clearance right now and they were all hand-picked by yours truly.  Target didn’t ask me to post them but I will get a small commission if you click and/or purchase from those links.  Really though, I love rifling through Target’s clearance racks and a ton of the clothes I own are from those racks so I enjoy being able to bring the racks to you too!

Bean Refashioning: Sweater Dress

Once a month our local Goodwills have a 10 for $10 day where you can get 10 articles of clothing for $10 (the catch is that you have to buy 10 items or no tamale but luckily, it’s all clothing so you can get something for the whole family to get your entire 10).  I never usually go just because they always happen to be on days that Anthony isn’t home to watch the kids and bringing kids to hunt through racks of clothing to find 10 items is the equivalent of pulling out 10 teeth to me…you can’t even fool me once on that one.  But, this past 10-for-10 day, he was home and so I went to a store close to our house shortly after it opened.  Aaaaand I’ll never do that again.  Why?  It was crazy!  People were all over the place grabbing stacks of clothes and then sorting through what they wanted over in the furniture section.  There were mountains of clothes piled atop every flat surface over there with their potential owners just sifting through (and then leaving what they didn’t want in piles for the employees to put away…don’t even get me started on that).  Not worth the crazy to me.  I’ll just go on my usual Sunday’s when a certain color of tag is $1. 

Anyway, I regress with semi-traumatizing flashbacks.  So, this past time I went, I managed to grab 10 items of clothing all for myself.  Three of those things were super-nice Ann Taylor Loft items I ended up selling so seven are in my wardrobe.

This sweater dress (tunic on spider legs here) was one of them:IMG_7652(Apparently I was in such a hurry to grab a ‘before’ that I forgot to straighten it over the bell…classy.)

It was an ‘eh, what the heck’ purchase that I didn’t know if I’d really wear or just end up selling but either way, it came home with me for one buck.

I don’t have a super-curvy figure (jealous of those of you who do) so sweater dresses aren’t usually my kind of party, but I thought maybe pregnancy would make it work.  The one thing that bothered me about it though, was that little stitch right at the bust.  I didn’t like it.  So, I took it out.  I grabbed my seam ripper* (everyone should have one of these!) and carefully picked out the thread holding that little pucker together.


Easy peasy.

I’m still on the fence as to whether I like it on me or not and, after looking at these after pictures a thousand times, I’m thinking next time I’ll ditch the military jacket for a thin cardigan because, whoa, it’s a little top-heavy.PicMonkey Collagemilitary jacket:  hand-me-down (refashioned) – $0
sweater dress:  Goodwill – $1
tights:  Dirt Cheap – $.75
booties:  Goodwill – $8
scarf:  Dirt Cheap – $1
necklace:  hand-me-down from mi madre – $0
grand total:  $10.75

I’ll be back with a couple more refashions this week, including the military jacket. 

Be on guard.

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sweater dress

*affiliate link to product I purchased

Hit by Lent

Lent.  This one has been awesome.  And when I say awesome, what I really mean is awful…which is technically awesome in this case since Lent is supposed to be a great time to refashion and prepare yourself for remembering the death and rising of Jesus.  Usually my Lenten seasons are just like any other seasons in life except they’re peppered with a few self-imposed restrictions or additions throughout; those with the hopes of molding me into a holier version of me.

But I’m so grateful.  I’m grateful for the past week.  I found out last Friday that I had somehow developed sciatica in my right leg (I know it’s not uncommon to have it during pregnancy but I’ve never had it with prior pregnancies).  If you have never experienced that, I hope you never do.  It was some of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life.  Two Sunday nights ago I had to call Anthony home from work because I had literally folded down to the ground in pain (and sobs) and couldn’t get up.  It was a crutch in so many ways.  Not only did I have big plans to potty-train Sebastian Monday but I had, hello, three toddlers that are still very dependent at my beck and call.  Not ideal.  Thankfully, oh so thankfully, the South is real big on Mardi Gras and so Anthony was off Monday and Tuesday.  He potty-trained Sebastian while Sebastian was sick with an awful cold.  He cooked.  He cleaned.  He took over.  He’s pretty amazing.

So my first week of Lent pretty much sucked. 

(PS, though it looks like Anthony purposefully tripped our daughter, he was actually going for the ball at the same time she decided to put another foot foward and accidentally tripped up was the name of the game.  No need to alert CPS.)

But, I’m not here to throw a pity-party for myself or to complain about how hard Lent has been so far.  Nor do I want any “Oh, I’m so sorry”s  Like I said, the trials have been blessings in the form of lots of redemptive suffering (What’s that?  Ok, go deeper.) and so I’m very thankful for that.  There are so many people suffering a thousand times more than me and who need my prayers now.

How has your Lent been?  Maybe you’re still struggling with how or what to do to grow.  It’s always so hard.  Do I give up soda like I do every single year?  Do I pray for an extra 20, 30, 40 minutes every day?  I’ve been so inspired by Jenny’s post on acceptance with joy.  I can go down my list of trials from the past week and just accept them with joy…and a deep breath.  It’s been so, so, so good for me.  I really encourage you to read it to help take the monotony out of choosing what you’re going to give up or add this Lent and just sit back in your state of life and let God decide.  

And while we’re on the subject of inspiring reads…

Being on the down and out last week was perfect timing for me to whittle at the unreads in my reader and read this post from Kathryn.  I’m such a do-er (you’d never have guessed, right?) and so not being able to do anything is so hard for me.  But her post made me sit back, look at all of these undone things that I have around here and ask myself whether or not pushing to get them done today is worth it.  I love making my house a home but with my go-get’em personality, I feel like I can easily get wrapped up in a project, in project-planning, or just trying to get something done as fast as I can.  I know that’s not a bad thing persay, but sometimes I do just need to slow down and sometimes it’s worth it to slow down.  And sometimes, hopefully never again, but sometimes I have to slow down because every time I move I get a shooting pain down my back and leg…  However you can relate, her post is a must read. 

Britt said it best – “Lent is Hard”.  It’s a time for sacrifice and change and, when inflicted upon yourself for your own sake, that is hard.  But it is so, so good.  We as Christians fail somewhat if we are content in who we are; in who we currently are spiritually.  There should always be more striving and more fire being added to our flames.  (Pssst…I’m talking to myself more than you.)  The Prayer of Humility has been on my mind recently (the prayer itself is amazing but when Audrey sings her version, I crumble) and I love that she ended her post with it.

So, lent.  The harder, the better.  Easter is on its way and until then “When you pass through the water, I will be with you; in the rivers you shall not drown”  Isaiah 43:2 

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Today is the 18th and I wrote this post yesterday.  Today also happens to be the day of my birth and 15 minutes after we all woke up this morning, our electricity went off and stayed off for about 45 mintues (a very rare occurence at our casa).  It nixed my anticipation and excitement for having my favorite french toast for breakfast and also Anthony being able to stay home a little later since he didn’t have internet to get a little work done.  I just laughed it off and, yep, accepted it with joy because apparently, it’s all par for my Lenten course this year.  Really, it ain’t no big deal.  No pity here.  Worse things have happened and to be cliche “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, right?  See also Romans 5:  3-5  :)

God is good.

Entry Way–Before & After

Every week I ‘deep clean’ a different room.  It keeps the feeling of being overwhelmed with cleaning at bay if I do one room at a time and one room per week and with kids, that’s about as much as I can do anyway.  All hail to you moms who can scrub your floors and baseboards and clean under couches and beds and dust off ceiling fans every single week.  Truly.  I am somewhat of a clean freak (and Anthony is borderline OCD clean) and I would love if all of those things happened weekly or even bi-weekly around here.  But, like I said, they don’t.  It’s more like bi-monthly and I’m totally okay with that at this stage in life.

This week, that room/space is the entry way.  I’ll scrub the floors, clean the baseboards, vacuum the big return vent, wipe off the chandelier, and then move outside to sweep off the porch.  Usually, the room that I project in is the room I’m also deep cleaning.  So in case you’ve ever wondered why I skip from room to room with projects, that is why folks.  It’s so much easier to get a good after picture when you’ve just super-cleaned the room.  While I’m at it, I also try to make sure that that room is updated on our house tour page.  It’s physical and digital cleaning all in one foul swoop and it all kinda makes me feel real accomplished…especially when the majority of my week is spent translating toddler talk to myself, making approx. 20 bowls of oatmeal and/or pb&j’s, wiping tiny bums, and many, many more things.  Those things make me feel accomplished too, just in a different way.  Mothering is a duty that I love to do because I love my kids more than life but making rooms pretty is therapy (for when mothering becomes, you know, stressful).

But back to the entry way.  There’s a chandelier just sitting up alone in our attic waiting to be spray painted and hung outside on the porch and I was hoping to get to that this week but instead I’m working on some clothing refashions so the pretty light will have to wait until next time around.  We recently snatched up some landscape spotlights on clearance that I can’t wait to put outside so, when Anthony has enough time to do that, it’ll be a good time for me to work on the light anyway.  Then we can just get all the outside lighting up and out of the way. 

So, since the only thing I’m doing in the entry this week is cleaning, it was fun to check to make sure I have updated afters of it all.  I think it’s the before and afters though that really get me. 


We’ve come a long way with around $250, no?

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Anyway, I’ve got a long way to go if I want to get anything done while all the kids are sawing twigs today so I’m out.  The vacuum and the kitchen floor are having a quick wedding and I’m the honored guest.

See ya.