Sewing, Refashioning, Repurposing & Thrifting Through Life

Thrifted Home Decor

Some of my favourite recent thrifted home decor goodies today. This mantle clock. I’m not sure the age but it’s a wind up! We kept it on the fireplace mantle but the tick-tock became a little annoying for some people. It now occupies a space on our dining room sideboard.


These glass goodies-candy dishes and wine decanter. Notice the candy in the smaller bowl is all gone. Hmmm..wonder who that was! Gosh, candy dishes remind me of my youth. There were certain people our family would visit and you always knew they had candy in a bowl that you could dip your hand in if you asked politely first.


A couple of glass candle holders for the hallway.


This caged basket of fruits and nuts adds a pop of colour.


A glass and chrome lamp for the dining room.


The pig bank is a thrifted find too. I don’t know why I picked it up. Maybe because it reminds me of the delftware vase we purchased up during our honeymoon in Aruba almost 25 years ago! You can read more about delftware right here.

And finally, this print entitled “An April Storm.” I don’t know much about art at all nor do I care what’s in, what’s popular or how famous the artist is. I just really gravitated toward this. The artist is an American named Robert Duncan. You can find more of his work right here. The frame was in rough shape but a coat of paint quickly fixed that.




When to Say Goodbye to a Thrifted Piece

I’m curious from my readers who thrift regularly-how often do you sort through and purge your closet? How do you decide when to no longer hold onto a thrifted garment?


Before I started thrifting, it was an easy process for me. I was really into “fashion” and “being in style” and could quickly go through things I no longer felt were “in.”

Stirrup Leg Warmers Roch Valley.jpg.opt250x299o0,0s250x299

So you would think this would actually be a lot easier now that my closet consists mostly of thrifted items. Wrong! It’s not that I want to hold onto things because I paid so very little for them. No. I think it’s because now that I am in my 40s, I no longer follow the fashion rules. I am confident in who I am, what I stand for and what I want to express about myself. I was never like that as a teenager. I don’t feel the need to fit in anymore. I have,  at my disposal, a huge array of potential outfits. Some are part of my “signature” look (we all have one). These are our go-tos, the outfits we are expected to show up somewhere wearing. Mine happen to be skirts and dresses. Then we have our “I’m feeling daring” outfits. Daring as in this isn’t my usual style, but I’m gonna try it out. There are so many others, but you get the idea and I like having all these options.


OK, so why is it so hard to get rid of stuff now? Maybe it’s because I find the thrill of the hunt so much more rewarding than going to the mall and snatching something off the rack. Every outing is like a little adventure. I walk into a thrift store, am hit with that wafty scent of old, unwashed clothing (yech, right? you all know what I mean), see aisle upon aisle of endless possibilities spread out before me. What will I find today? What’s coming home with me? What amazing thing gets to make it into my closet this time? Who can deny how much FUN thrifting is? I mean, honestly, who? Gosh, I am seriously addicted. It’s like I don’t WANT to let go of these things that I spent so much time looking for. I don’t know about you but I find I wear my thrifted items way more than those I bought at an actual store. They are so much more special. Do I even shop at a regular store anymore?

All that being said, it doesn’t answer the question of when and how to know when to get rid of stuff. Here are some hints.

  1. Your closet is bursting at the seams and you have NO MORE ROOM for more.
  2. You are buying thrift and adding to your collection but NOT removing other things to donate. One in, one out maybe?
  3. You no longer tell yourself or anyone else “I have nothing to wear” and you really mean it. You have tons of stuff to wear and not enough days to wear them.
  4. You buy a load of work clothes but you work mostly from home in yoga or sweat pants and a T-shirt.
  5. You bought some thrifted items on impulse. Now you’ve got a sweater in every colour and nowhere to store them all, so you keep them thinking you’ll maybe felt the sweaters and crochet a blanket out of them.
  6. You tell yourself that you bought that crazy outfit because you are really super bold now and you convince yourself you’ll actually go out in public like that…someday.
  7. You have stuff in there that you are going to refashion. Oh gosh, I am so guilty of this. I now keep stuff in a box. I will get to it. I will.
  8. You have things that are “really good quality” or high end designer and can’t part with them.
  9. You’ve tried the old “turn the hangers the other way” trick. 6 months have passed, you see all the unturned hangers still there and decide you should give it another 6 months.
  10. Your significant other is planning on building you a custom closet or you’ve taken over a spare bedroom or other closet in the house for all your stuff.

It’s time. It really is time to purge my closet. Oh, I’ve been doing it here and there don’t get me wrong. I just haven’t been diligent enough. There is such a thing as excess and that’s not really what thrifting is all about. It’s about finding that amazing piece but it’s also about letting go of something so that hopefully someone just like you spies it on the thrift store rack and exclaims”Who in the world would DONATE THIS?!”




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Thrifty Special Occasion

The only thing consistent about this blog is my inconsistency in posting regularly. My cousin visited from Croatia so that took up a lot of my spare time. Not that I minded. It was great to see him again. I consider him the older brother I never had. I’ve been working on a very high profile project at work too so that left me with no time for blogging.

Mr. Restyle and I recently attended a wedding for one of his coworkers. I am so glad I picked up this gorgeous champagne coloured dress at a local thrift store last year. I think it was still new and I paid either $1.50 or $2 for it. Amazing! At the time, I had no idea when I would wear it and the zipper pull was missing. Sorry for the bad quality pics. We didn’t bring our camera to the event, but you get the idea.

dress2I got so many lovely compliments, like “I love your dress, it’s very Grace Kelly.” It makes me smile a little inside because only I know about my secret thrifty finds. Here’s what I did to fashion a makeshift zipper pull. It’s made from an old pendant that I just tied on for now. The thread seems extremely noticeable and amplified in the picture but it really wasn’t visible.


And on my feet, a pair of thrifted Steve Maddens.

smA vintage clutch finished the look. This was very special to me because special occasion dresses are not something I have a lot of luck finding in thrift stores. They are all either the wrong size or very bridesmaidy-looking and really, who wants to look like a throwaway bridesmaid?

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Summer Dress or Swimsuit Cover Up

I enjoyed a day at the beach today and wore this dress I picked up at Value Village.

It’s soft, comfy and colourful. As soon as I picked it up I knew it would be perfect as a beach cover up. Proof positive that you have the freedom to purpose your thrifty finds any way you like!


I love the crochet detail at the top. It continues on the back as well.


And the little belt adds a bit of detail.

Today was a well needed break from the work we are doing in our kitchen. See the disaster below. If you enjoy our home DIYs, stick around because lots of exciting stuff has been going on which I will be sharing soon.

Hope you’re enjoying nice weather where you are!



Sometimes You Hit The Thrifting Motherlode

Ever have those days when you’re out thrifting and everything seems to be jumping right out at you and it all is just so perfect? That was me the other day. The great part was that I was out running an errand and just decided to stop by the store to look around. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular and there was no sale going on.

About 15 minutes before closing I walked over to the shoe section and really hadn’t planned on finding anything so close to the end of the day and there they were! 5 pairs of shoes made just for me. Somebody must’ve cleaned out their closet because these were in near perfect condition-never worn or slightly worn.

It started slowly. One pair. Then another and then another and my hands were grasping all over. Only 10 more minutes. Hurry! Hurry!

This, my friends, is what I refer to as the thrifting motherlode. When you just score and score and score.

Here they are.

Coral wedges. The perfect little summer go-to sandal.

Coral wedges. The perfect little summer go-to sandal.

Tommy Hilfiger strappy multi-colour sandal. The go-with-anything shoe.

Tommy Hilfiger strappy multi-colour sandal. The go-with-anything shoe.


Colour block peep toe perfection.

White and light because I needed this colour.

White and light because I needed this colour.

And last but not least. These gorgeous shoes that are in one of my absolute most favourite colours of all and they are sooooo comfy.

Teal beauties.

Teal beauties.

One trip. One store. 5 pairs ranging in price from $7 to $18. Score! Hope your summer thrifting is just as good lately!

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A Mad About Plaid Thrift Style Thursday

I’m doing my first ever post for Thrift Style Thursday. Hopefully I can keep this up and make it a regular feature. Thrift Style Thursday has a different theme each week where you write a blog post about thrifted outfits you put together. Since it’s my first, I do not have the links for all the other great gals who post their outfits every week. I promise to get that info for next time.

This week’s challenge is all about plaid. What comes to mind when you think of plaid? The rolling green hills of  Scotland for me – a place I’ve never been to but hope one day to visit and school girl uniforms! The one on the left is just like the high school kilt I wore to my school.plaid

Plaid is still big on the runways for fall. Who doesn’t love a soft, oversized plaid shirt or a warm plaid scarf?


For this look, I chose a Liz Claiborne skirt that I picked up last winter. It was really, really long when I got it. I shortened the hem but I think it could be a little shorter still.

???????????????????????????????What I like about it is that the plaid is on the diagonal. I’m wearing a black shirt with silver buttons and Nine West booties with tights. I would normally wear long boots with tights (a staple for cold Canadian winters) so this is a little different for me. Besides, it was way too humid today to even dress in long sleeves. I was sweltering.

???????????????????????????????The purse is another thrift find. Not sure the brand but I think it’ll make a good little winter handbag. Once the leaves start changing and there’s a cool crispness to the air, I will be ready. What are your favourite plaid pieces?


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I Think I’m Turning into the Crazy Vintage Bag Lady

I can’t stop buying these bags. Not because I need them but because I simply want to do my part to preserve the heritage and beauty of these lovelies. By now, you might know of my dislike for modern handbags *cough* Coach *cough*. I think I was born in the wrong era. To me there is something so glamorous and beautiful about decades gone by. The craftsmanship and details that went into these simply cannot be matched today. I’ve decided that at this stage of my life, I know myself very well. I know what I like and don’t like. I am known for dressing in skirts and dresses. Rarely do I wear slacks. Now I guess I want to be known as the vintage bag lady too. 🙂


purseladyHere are a few recently thrifted purses.

This intricate embroidered bag that I picked up last weekend. For some reason, the Value Village in St. Catharines has en enormous assortment of interesting purses. I believe this one is made by JR Handbags. Though it has no stamp, I suspect it is a JR because the zipper pull is exactly the same as the black JR handbag further down in this post. JR stands for Julius Resnick, who made quite a name for himself in the 1950s.




Next we have this for real Julius Resnick. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this bag. It reminds me so much of my mother. She laughs when I tell her that I remember her purses. The leather, the gold details, the little footstands on the bottom.






Onto this beaded beauty. I bought this because I had one when I was a little girl and I used to pick the beads off (I don’t know why) and then I threw it away.


Who doesn’t love a good crocheted bag? I mean really. The handles? 1970s anyone? Hello there.


How about this one all decked out in gold? Haven’t we seen enough of silver accents everywhere? Bring back the gold. Bring back the 80s!





This one is soft as butter by Farnell Paris. My daughter wants it and she NEVER wants anything I thrift!



And finally, I admit I don’t believe this is a vintage but it is different and so of course I bought it.



Sometimes I Need a Little Liz in My Life

There is something about Liz Claiborne clothing that I really like. I don’t know if this dress I picked up at the thrift store is vintage or not but it fits me nicely, as do a lot of items from this designer. I read somewhere that the label is no longer what it once was. Apparently new designers have taken over, the quality of fabrics has declined and the clothes are now very average looking. I’m not really sure. I just know that whenever I see a Liz in a fabric, styles and pattern I like, I grab it. Not sure why I’m not really smiling in this picture. Mr. Restyle was my photographer and he was doing a terrible job working the camera! I wore my thrifted yellow wedges and a Kate Spade handbag that I picked up on my vacation for $2, although upon careful inspection, it is probably a fake! I attest that to the fact that I did not have my eyeglasses with me when I bought it. Oh well. Worse things can happen to a girl.


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Perfect Dress For a Walk in the Park

I’ve been away with my family for a few days and off all week, working like crazy on refinishing and reupholstering 3 old chairs. I hope to have a post on that soon. Thursday was a good day to take a break and go for a long walk. I decided to take my boys out to a park I used to frequent when my parents first settled in Canada. It brings back so many sweet childhood memories to stroll the grounds and marvel at all the old trees. Ah…summer!

???????????????????????????????During our mini vacation to Point Pelee, Ontario last weekend, we met with unexpected rain on the Saturday, so what to do but go thrifting of course! That is when I found this unusual printed maxi. This is not a style I would normally be drawn to but there was something about it.

???????????????????????????????And it’s not floral for once! At least not totally!

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Itty Bitty Bling

Sometimes you just have to add a bit of bling to a piece. Like these Alfred Sung flat sandals I thrifted the other day. I normally have difficulty wearing completely flat shoes but these are surprisingly soft on the feet.

Alfred Sung flat sandals BEFORE

Alfred Sung flat sandals BEFORE

I could’ve kept them the way they were but I felt like something was missing. Enter an old pair of earrings-one of which is broken.


Who doesn't like a little sparkle?

Who doesn’t like a little sparkle?

A bit of hot glue and voila! Bling bling!



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