Archive for the 'clothes' Category

Green Makes My Life Complicated: Pants Edition

I’ve discussed finding pants on this blog before, but I feel it needs to be addressed again in light of my recent failures at clothing myself adequately.

I took a Wardrobe Refashion pledge at some point (actually my six months is probably up by now, but I’m still doing it) wherein I don’t buy new everyday clothing, but instead buy second-hand or make my own clothing.  And since I remain a sewing machine failure, I’ve been getting everything at the SA.  And I’ve been doing pretty well finding stuff I like, for everything but pantsing applications.

The usual sizing issues in woman’s clothing apply at the Salvation Army, but they are multiplied fifty-fold by the random selection at the store, and the fact that my typical size range is pretty typical, so the pickings are slim (literally) toward the end of the day.  What it comes down to is, for the last six months, the only pair of jeans I had was over a size too large for me in all directions.  Would have fit great with a second pair of pants underneath, but not so much alone.  Especially since I don’t have a belt.

Yeah, I fail pretty hard at clothing sometimes.

Point is, I looked for jeans at the SA three times with no success.  Absolutely nothing in my size, nothing that came anywhere close to fitting.  But last week, I hit the jackpot.  Or rather, I found one pair of jeans that fits (rather nicely, thanks!).  And then the top button fell off when I was trying them on.

I sewed on another one- can’t pass up mostly-decent denim- but what this boils down to, is applying green scruples to my pants-buying only frustrates me,  wastes time, and makes my everyday existance awkward and droopy.  To the point where I might need to consider going to real stores for jeans.  *gasp*.

Merry Christmas to All, And to All A New Website

I’m on an extended Southern Tour to convalesce after my Holiday Madness ™, but I hope you’re enjoying a restful holiday season.  I just wanted to post about my SWEET Christmas gift that’s for you too: the GF gave me a website!  Us a website!  There will be a Virescent website! 

Check it out now, if you like, at  Don’t make it a habit yet, though- we’re working to set up a new organization and content to take advantage of all my space, so we’ll roll it out in a few weeks with the appropriate fanfare.  Be warned.

There were other sweet Christmas gifts, also, including a bunch of books and a totally snazzy and sustainable pair of sneakers-recycled rubber and bamboo feetie goodness- from, which has a big selection of more or less earth-friendly shoes (check the fine print, enlightened consumers!).

Anyway, I’m going to head back to my late-night Christmas cookies and new books, so keep up the good work on your end.  Thank you for a wonderful year, and I’ll be in and out with my full list of things I’m grateful for this month, then back for good in the New Year.

Yearly Green Drycleaning

I dropped off my winter coat (wrinkled and stained, what was I doing last year?) and a few other items at the Green Earth drycleaners on North Quaker, and was reminded how much I like them.  They’re just north of the trisection with Braddock and King St., and they have really nice, helpful staff, and an older gentleman named Buddy who appears to make the place tick.  He saved me $40 on cleaning my leather coat (apparently they have to send out leather and suede because cleaning them fully can mess up the dye), but since I just wanted it sanitized and to smell less like a thrift store, they can do it right there for way less.

So yes, I like them, and you should check them out.  Here’s the store story, and a wikipedia article on what they do.

Target’s Organic Experiment: Oof

That collection of awkward but eco-friendly clothing has now hit the sale racks at Target, so here’s your last chance.  The Target at Potomac Yard didn’t seem to have much of the collection to begin with, but there’s a significant amount on store clearance left.  Unfortunately, none of those blue tiger tee shirts.  Those were a little neat.

But I did find a couple of boy’s bad hippie pun organic cotton tee shirts- and since little boy large is just about my size, I am the proud owner of a “Wind Power Blows Me Away” shirt.  Because, you see, it does.

Target’s Eco-Friendly selections, while still sparse, are cataloged on their site all in one section.  Note the disparity between men’s and women’s clothing offerings- dudes totally get tons of tee shirts and button downs, ladies get…a “sleep shirt”?  Guess they had the animals prints from Rogan for a month, so no complaining.  I can’t find my new awesome wind shirt listed on the site, but it’s at Potomac Yard.  There’s one on corn ethanol, too (“Ethanol is Corny”, aarrgh), but I can’t get behind that.  Ethanol and that pun, that is.

Hm, maybe I could get the ethanol shirt anyway and wear it with my mustard and pumpkin skirt, to create the most annoying eco-friendly outfit in the history of fashion?

Target’s Ec(l)othing Line

Speaking of oddly fictional-sounding names, Rogan Gregory has designed a line of clothing made from organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and linen that Target will get on the shelves tomorrow. Like, 100% organic cotton, not like “we were thinking really hard about organic cotton when we made this”. They’ve even put up a little video (mid-page) with the design team and pictures of solar panels and windmills, so you know it’s environmentally friendly.

I’m stoked they’re using their purchasing power to make organic cotton viable for mass-production, and that they’re slipping it into the mainstream mass “fashion”. Unfortunately, Rogan seems to equate “nature-friendly fashion” with “animal prints”, which aren’t so much my thing, and some of the clothing looks pretty typically trendy. But I’ll check it out, and use my purchasing power to encourage this sort of behavior if they have anything nice. If you’re avoiding them because of their typical bad big-box ways, consider reconsidering for this, if you like any of the organic stuff. Positive reinforcement works best with babies and dogs, so hopefully it’ll do well for Target, too.

More detailed information and pictures of the “looks” are here, along with pricing information.

Celebratory Thrift

cotton print wrap skirtcotton print skirtpurple skirtpink skirt

grey blousesleeve pocketwhite blouseblue shirt for MYMblue guayabera

I did pretty well on my Construction Management exam today, and rewarded myself afterwards with thrifting. (If I’d done poorly, I would have consoled myself with thrifting. So’s we’re clear.) It’s getting hotter out, and I need skirts and short sleeve blouses. Thus:

Cotton wrap skirt with colorful print (detail shown), $4. I’ll need to pin it closed- it’s basically just a big bit of cloth with a waist tie. But it’s wonderful, and has pictures of five kinds of animal and two different people on it. Shapeless, huge purple skirt, $5. It’s a very light, swishy fabric, so I’ll take it in and make a proper waist band instead of the elastic mess. Pink Linen skirt, $7. Extravagance! Grey blouse, $4. Soft and light, plus a functional sleeve pocket. For…what? I might get the urge to add something to the bottom hem, but it will work nicely as-is. White cotton blouse with blue and purple threads, $4. Has some small stains, which will hopefully wash out. Navy and white plaid button-down for my darling guy, $4. Oddly dirty, so half of it is darker because I was soaking it. Needs a good washing. Former owner had a dog and some fine white powder? A blue-green guayabera with white embroidery for my ookle dumpling, $5. Guayaberas are so snazzy. Even when they’re made in Korea, and a have a little frayed seam. The latter, I can fix, and the former, I can ignore.

About half of the stuff I find at the Salvation Army is something that needs to be resized, or sewed on to make it truly cool. I’ve been getting ideas and inspiration from the newest link, Wardrobe Refashion– a group blog of people who challenge themselves to buy nothing new, and remake old and used stuff into awesome other stuff. Goodness, my project plans just keep piling up.

Also, I need to suggest to the Salvation Army-Little River people that they not staple price tags tot he clothes, especially in collars and other places where holes are noticeable.

Update: an album.

If It’s Tuesday

Then I went to the thrift store. I had a legitimate purchase today- I needed homes for the seeds I bought yesterday. Mission Accomplished. First though, the other stuff.

Art Deco Cream and Gold Frameblue stars long sleevesColorful Camp Shirtblue tuxedo blouseblue skirtHoney Sweater

Picture Frame, $2, 8.5x11ish- it’s a gold and cream deco-like design painted on the underside of the glass.  I actually got this last week but neglected to put it up. Blue Star Shirt, $1. Colorful stripy camp shirt, $4. Blue tuxedo-style blouse, $4. Skirt with great fabric and horrific shape, $4.  Honey-colored sweater, $5, with a nice thick collar and cuffs, off-center zipper, moss-stitch front texture…ooh I like it.

I feel, after a few of these posts, that I should justify the amount I shop at thrift sales, and the amount I buy when I’m there.  Acquiring too much stuff being all unsustainable and whatnot.  I grew up hating shopping for clothes, so I never owned enough that I liked, or enough useful items, to make it through a week without feeling gross or awkward in my clothing.  That is very unsustainable.  So I’ve donated most of it, and now I’m having a great time getting things I actually like.  Thrifting has replaced about 90% of the “real shopping” needed to replace wearables.

This might all taper off when I have enough for warm weather.  Or when my tiny closet explodes.  But for now, I’m not feeling guilty about having “too much” stuff to wear.  And all that other stuff that’s not wearable, but just cool?  It’s at least all useful.  Though if I buy more fabric scraps, my sewing pile will explode.

Anyway, the alleged reason for the visit:New flower pots

My new planters, obtained for under $20 together.  None of them have drainage holes, so how do I deal with that?  Someone mentioned gravel in the bottom to aid soil drainage?

Tossed and Found Sale

Yesterday I went to the remnants of the “Tossed and Found” Junior League Sale in Crystal City with a house mate. The game was, we could buy a garbage bag for $35, and then whatever fit in it was ours. Plus everything that didn’t fit was 75% off (making possible our new wine rack), it being the last of the sale, and we got a free TV with thebutton down garbage bag.  It had a tag on it that said it worked, so that’s cool, I guess.
purple camp shirtyellow blousebow ties

napkinshankyblue sweater

This is what I came away with. A couple blouses, a shirt for the Gentleman Friend- the grey one, the purple and yellow are for me. Some bow ties (just in case). A set of green napkins and a red cloth handkerchief. I’ll either use those to cut down on throw-away paper, or sew them into something. And a big ugly blue sweater, with decent-looking yarn and continuous seams. That’s going to get unraveled, and knit into something more awesome.

Last, but certainly not least, I found a pile of books. Apparently, someone named Tom, according to a couple inscriptions, had a big thing for Russian and Eastern Europe. I share this pas(obses)sion. tossed booksI snagged a copy of the novel form of Ashes and Diamonds with screen shots from Wajda’s movie on the cover! Karamzin’s letters from Europe! Pardon me while I salivate. (Do you share this love? Would you like to? We should talk!) Plus, I found a nice copy of Lessig’s Free Culture, Backlash by Faludi (to catch up on my 90s feminism), and a beat-up copy of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, by TE Lawrence. And just last week I wondered if I had anything to read. (The answer was yes, I made a pile after the last used book sale I plundered. But still.) Anyway, let me know if you want to borrow anything. Or if you have access to a copy of “A Generation”, because netflix hasn’t got it, and I’ve seen Kanal and Ashes, and I’d like to complete the trio.

Also there was one more thing but it is part of a larger plan for a secret awesome costume, so I’ll post it later.

Handmade update:  Finished the white dress alteration.  Have knit 6 more inches of the scarf since the last post.  About five feet to go…

Thrifting Fools

Here’s what I got (Salvation Army, Little River Turnpike– at #6 on the map):

pink dresspurple skirtPink dress, 7$. I like the print, and the cut (maybe when I know how to do things of the sewing nature, I can copy it!), and the pink is definitely not what I normally wear. It has a couple small stains that are hard to see, so hopefully washing will get those out. If not, I hear vinegar is like magic.

Purple Skirt, 3$. Saw the fabric first and loved it- then remembered that warm days are ahead. Hurrah for breezes.

Showing off

thrift store 1-4thrift store 1-1Here’s what I found at the thrift store this weekend, in my search for a dress to wear to a black-tie event. All these are from the Unique in Silver Spring, MD, which has a very large selection of clothing and house stuff. I’d like to note that all this was just laying around on a busy Saturday afternoon, several days after their last shipment of new things. The green bag was $2.50, the tank top was $4, and the sweater was $5. The coral dress was the best thrift store 1-3find at $7- and no, it won’t work for the event I had in mind. Though, thrift store 1-2after some dry cleaning (see previous post) and a few alterations- including in my diet and exercise regime- it could do for another event later in the year. And yes, from now on I’ll be posting the awesome things I find at second hand stores, for your inspiration.

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