Tag Archives: budget

Day 270. 95 days and $96 left to go.

Wanted to get something short and sweet together for today!! Right now this is neither short nor sweet, discuss, discuss.  But fear not friends (and Linda Richman…), talk amongst yourselves and we’ll get it there!!

Day 270 - Before

Day 270 - Before

There’s a lovely hole in the dress right now, that if you look around my knee you’ll see.  We won’t even have to worry about mending that in a quick few minutes.

Before we go short, I had to take off the lace that was at the neck and the arms.  It was a bit too much for me…

Off with the lace!

Off with the lace!

…and I wanted it cute, just not super Laura Ingalls Wilder-y. You catch my drift, right?

Love me some Little House, but don't actually want to be on the Prairie...

Love me some Little House, but don't actually want to be on the Prairie...

With my trusty seam ripper I got to some serious removal.

Off with the lace...continued!!

Off with the lace...continued!!

After the lace was gone, it was time to work on going short!  I took my Singerissors (Singer+Scissors=Singerissors) and cut the dress a little above my knees.

Going short!

Going short!

This was perfect as the hole above was getting trimmed away and I didn’t have to worry about any patching!  I actually left this edge raw, paired my new dress with a brown woven belt, did a little untucking action and it was ready to wear.

Day 270 - After

Day 270 - After

Cool, comf, & cute on top of that short and sweet look I was going for.  It’s like buttah!

No Big Whoop!

No Big Whoop!

Don’t get verklempt…

One armer!!

One armer!!

I’m so far from that Prairie now…NY is ending and I’m going back, back to Cali, Cali.  The CA sun will be here soon enough!  Will give full report tomorrow!!

Day 256. 109 days and $110 left to go.

Sleek and dressy is where I’m headed today as I’m still trying to maintain the chic-ness from yesterday’s gold brocade number.  No gold, but jade and ivory, here I come!

Day 256 - Before

Day 256 - Before

I loved the color blend most on this puppy.  This shade of green is my favorite.  However right now, the dress the wrong length for me, has too long of sleeves (I mean, it is August) and is just frumpsters. I have some quick and easy steps to transform this into that chic-ness I described above.

First thing I did was cut the sleeves!!  I took my scissors and went from wrist length up to my elbows!!

From long sleeve to short!

From long sleeve to short!

Not I wasn’t completely in love with the length, but this put me over the edge…

Spotty McGee!

Spotty McGee!

GROSS, DISCOLORED, SPOT!!  I’m not on board with this at all, so the quick and easy fix is to just cut it off.

Trim and adios to the spot action!

Trim and adios to the spot action!

Next step was pinning the raw edges down on my sleeves to give them fresh seams.

Sleeve prep!

Sleeve prep!

A little stitching at the edges and I was almost there.

Sew time!

Sew time!

It was a little big around the elastic waist, so instead of sewing it to fit me, I went with a little safety pin to assist in cinching. Totally hidden in the back, it did just the trick to keep it fitted against the bod.

Day 256 - After

Day 256 - After

Classy and totally bringing the chic-ness!!  I paired it with some fun T strap heels (a little BCBG heel action from a few years back) and a fun faux braided rose gold bracelet to complete the look.

From the bottom down!

From the bottom down!

Totally loving this look and loving that it only took a few short steps to complete!!

Day 253. 112 days and $113 left to go.

Happy Sunday!!  Warm day equals sundress covered in flowers if you ask me.

Day 253 - Before

Day 253 - Before

I thought this would be perfect for a little afternoon lunching, but after a few very easy steps.  Didn’t want to be behind the sewing machine too long today 🙂

I wanted to go short, so I cut about 10 inches off the bottom of the dress.

Shortening up!

Shortening up!

I pinned and prepped the new bottom of the dress and then got out the sewing machine to put it in place.

New hem!

New hem!

Now there were some belt holes on the dress that I opted to keep on after cutting a strip of fabric off of the excess to use as a belt. There was one main loop in the front of the dress that I ended up tying the two belt ends around before putting making it into a little bow.

Bow Tie!

Bow Tie!

My luncheon attire…

Day 253 - After

Day 253 - After

I feel very Charlotte right now.  A little conservative, a little floraly, a little NYC summery…

Charlotte!

"Negotiate? I can't even buy stuff on sale!"

Perfect for my Sunday!

Sunshine Day!

Sunshine Day!

Day 240. 125 days and $124 left to go.

Wrap dress Monday!!!  No Diane von Furstenberg this go, but this number works just the same.

I loved this cutesy little dress when I found it – look at that little butterfly patch that looks like it was made out of a bandana!

Day 240 - Before

Day 240 - Before

But, wait, check it out…

SPOT!!

SPOT!!

Duh, duh, duh!!!  A big, gross, splotchy patch of yellowish/orangeish color.  Not going to work, especially on this white waffle material.  (There are some tears as well, but you’ll get to check them out in just a few…)

I decided to dye this red!!  I used some RIT dye in Scarlet and poured it into a hot tub of water, aka my washing machine, and let it ride.  When it was done, this is the shade it came out.  Subtle red that let the ric rac trim really shine.  Ooh, and wait…check out the HOLES!!

Celebrity Skin!!

Celebrity Skin!!

There were tears along the sleeves that I had to stitch together, so I got out my machine and sewed some final tweaks.

Stitching up the holes!

Stitching up the holes!

My wrap was ready for the day!!

I totally stole someone’s door for my photo-op…

Day 240 - After

Day 240 - After

If you happen to be reading…A – thanks, and B – your door is lovely.

ECU! (Extreme Close Up!)

ECU! (Extreme Close Up!)

And, drum roll please, the winner from Bridesmaid Week chosen on random.org was BETSY!!  Woo hoo!!  Because of the amazing feedback, I’ve got a runner-up survival kit winner that gets a Miss Oops Critical Care Kit along with a hair clip made from a bit of the lace applique on that extra wedding dress sleeve.  JILL is the winner winner, chicken dinner!!  Thanks to everyone for entering…next giveaway is around the bend, so stay tuned! xx Marisa

Day 238. 127 days and $126 left to go.

Saturdays are literally the best.  My Saturdays tend to be full of playing catch up complete with laundry, car washes, and trips to Target to grab paper towels, however today included none of that.  I took the entire day off from erranding (woo hoo!!) even though I’m sure I’ll be playing catch up over the next few days.

Instead of Target, I took a trip to the nail salon to treat myself to a little pedi – no mani’s yet…my index finger is still recuperating from when I sewed through it, i.e. there’s still a hole 🙂  For my day of relaxing, I went with something floral and super summery.

Day 238 - Before

Day 238 - Before

It’s big, but that’s not the main issue.  The below is the problem!

Holey Moley

Holey Moley

There were a handful of these holes situated in the middle of the fabric on the top part of the dress.  At the waist, at the neckline, literally smack dab in the middle… They were on the front of the dress, but the first thing I did was turn the dress around and make the holey part the back.

Next step was cutting two diagonal lines (one on each side of the holey, middle area) starting at around the shoulders all the way to the waist.

Center Cut!!

Center Cut!!

This is the stuff that I was getting rid of…

Soon-to-be detached!

Soon-to-be detached!

I then folded the raw edges under and sewed them down making a deep V from the top of the dress all the way to the waist.

Sewing the back!

Sewing the back!

That excess material that was left over…

Excess fabric

Excess fabric

I tied a knot in the middle of it, cinched the V about 2/3rds of the way down the back of the dress (it was big and I needed to make it fit a bit better) and pinned this little tie to that area.

Excess fabric with a knot tied in the center!

Excess fabric with a knot tied in the center!

A little bit of flair never hurts!!  After all of that was done, my new floral dress was ready to go outside and enjoy some cuticle snipping, heel sloughing, and foot rubbing at the salon.

Day 238 - After

Day 238 - After

I went with Essie’s Red Label shade and left with shiny reddish/pinkish toes – being barefoot in the grass post-treat felt amazing.

Day 238 - After (From the back!)

Day 238 - After (From the back!)

I have to say that I’m a total back girl and absolutely loved the way this turned out.

ECU! (Extreme Close Up!)

ECU! (Extreme Close Up!)

Just a little strapless bra and this dress was perfection.  Wait, scratch that, the dress was fantastic, but this was perfection…

The best way to end a night...

The best way to end a night...

Today was a total treat day, so In-N-Out was clearly on my list.  The only way to really make this a true treat meal would have been the addition of a Frosty from Wendy’s.  Luckily for me Wendy’s was just a bit too far to get to…tonight 🙂  I will be making a stop very, very soon, don’t you worry!

Day 237. 128 days and $127 left to go.

So the green dress today was completely inspired by my evening plans…l was heading back to the Hollywood Bowl for some Planet Earth Live! action.  The LA Philharmonic was playing along with one of my FAVE Discovery Channel shows and I wanted to get as green as possible to celebrate the planet!

Day 237 - Before

Day 237 - Before

Oh, and I did. This large green puppy had a little too much length and these long sleeves are not conducive to summer weather at all.  I got to some changin…

Cinch & Pin!

Cinch & Pin!

I didn’t like the neckline, so I turned the dress inside out and pinched the area at the bottom of the V shape.  I took a safety pin and pinned it in place!

Voila!

Boob Ruching!!

Boob Ruching!!

Next thing I did was trim the sleeves short.  Didn’t want to sweat buckets, so I cut them in half.

Halfsies!!

Halfsies!!

After the sleeves went short, so did the length.  I cut off about a foot and a half of fabric as I wanted to keep it right around the knees.

Soon-to-be Short!

Soon-to-be Short!

After my adjustments, I suited up the machine with a lovely pale green shade of thread, stitched down the sleeves, and gave it a new hem.

Edge Sewing!!

Edge Sewing!!

My dress was complete and I was channeling my inner Norma Desmond.

I'm ready for my close up Mr. DeMille.

I'm ready for my close up Mr. DeMille.

Well, here’s the true close up…

Close Up!

Close Up!

I even took some extra fabric, tied it into a little bow and pinned it to the cinched area on my chest!  We watched clips of Planet Earth (that snow leopard episode was amazing!) and in true Bowl tradition, we had some cocktailing to accompany.

Before I knew it, the next part of my eve gave me a little shower. A champagne shower, to be exact.  As I went to open a bottle of champagne that I schlepped for a mile to create mimosas with some freshly squeezed OJ (yay for orange trees in Los Angeles backyards!), there was an explosion!!  Didn’t realize how powerful my hike up the hill was! Before I knew it, the most amazing pop was heard, the cork was airborne, and the bottle was foaming everywhere.  My sweatshirt, meant to keep me warm, was not working any longer.

Champagne Explosion!!

Champagne Explosion!!

Despite being soaked,  there was still a bit of champagne in the bottle that didn’t spray out.  (PS, apologies to the person who may have gotten corked when it flew into the air.)

We put it to good use – polished it off and opened a new bottle.

There's about half the bottle left...

There's about half the bottle left...

I had a second shot of redemption, but that soon got kicked to the curb.  Explosion number two arrived and even though it didn’t pack as big or a punch or pop as loud, I was still soaked with alcohol.  Love that my hair was even dripping!  Don’t worry, we drank everything down to the last sip.

TGIF!  Happy weekend friends :)

Day 234. 131 days and $130 left to go.

Let’s just start off that this shade of green is my favorite!!   Hello emerald day dress!

Day 234 - Before

Day 234 - Before

The only other thing that would have made this day perfect was if I found this version of the same shade in my thrifting travels.

Emerald, I presume...

Emerald, I presume...

Unfortch this Cartier gem is six figures which happens to be out of the little budge that I’m working with, but that can’t stop me from having a paper copy gleam prettily at me from my inspiration board 🙂

So, back to the emerald that is in my reach…this puppy is gonna fit me at the end of the day.

First thing I did was pin the emerald top and white skirt in the spots where they needed to be brought in.

This is where I pinned the top...it was too early this am, so apologies for the blur factor :)

This is where I pinned the top...it was too early this am, so apologies for the blur factor 🙂

I sewed the top and got rid of about five inches from each side.

Stitched up teal-ish green top part!

Stitched up teal-ish green top part!

I did the same to the skirt and brought it in at the waist so it actually fit!

Next came tweaking the sleeves.  I cut them off…

Later big sleeves!

Later big sleeves!

…and gave them more of a capped feel.  That’s all I did to take this from the before pic to this one…

Day 234 - After

Day 234 - After

It fit like a glove!!  I paired it with a big, vintage rhinestone locket (with a faux emerald gem on it), a pair of wedges, and a slip (because that white was SEE THROUGH!!!) which was perfect for the office and perfect for my dinner that whisked me away to the set of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

My little mini-trip to Crete via dinner :)

My little mini-trip to Crete via dinner 🙂

Vino and spinach pie courtesy of Trader Joe’s (which I totally didn’t choose because of the green factor – totally coincidental) always makes me happy.

Feta on three!!

Feta on three!!

So do pretty dresses and big emerald rings 🙂

Day 231. 134 days and $133 left to go.

Bridesmaid Week!

Bridesmaid Week!

Day Six of Bridesmaid Week begins here…

My guess for the wedding song today…Hootie and the Blowfish “I Only Wanna Be With You”

Day 231 - Before

Day 231 - Before

This is totally and completely a Jessica McClintock dress…who had one of these puppies in the late 80s/early 90s, be it a bridesmaid dress or a prom one?  I laughed out loud when I found it because it was like THE brand of dresses for my middle school dances.  I remember getting one for my eighth grade formal and then found out that another girlfriend of mine had the same one.  I immediately returned it to Macy’s and got something completely different to wear, and then showed up to the dance and saw five separate girls wearing it in black, green and blue.

We were all suckers for that lace detail!!

 Jessica McClintock!!!

Jessica McClintock!!!

OK, so speaking of the lace detail, I’m going to tweak this one just a bit.

Lace!

Lace!

The mesh that sits behind the lace is coming out!!  I began by taking the seams out.

Extra mesh...goodbye!

Extra mesh...goodbye!

And then just trimmed it out all the way.  I wanted it to be completely sheer under the lace so you could see skin, not hidden skin by that meshy material!

Trim it out!

Trim it out!

Ooh, and it wouldn’t be a Jessica McClintock garb without these…

Buh-bye time!

Buh-bye time!

…which I clearly took out!

I hit the sleeves next – the length was not happening (and it’s hot as a sauna outside!!) so I took my seam ripper and went to town.  I detached it on the seam around the elbow…

Sleeve Shortening!

Sleeve Shortening!

…and then cut it shorter so it would be more of a cap style.

Sleeve Shortening Continues!!

Sleeve Shortening Continues!!

Finally, before I got the sewing machine out to clean up all the raw edging, I cut off the skirt part right underneath the scalloped trim of the top.

And finally, the skirt!

And finally, the skirt!

Love those faux two piece set lookalikes!!

Post tweaks, this is what I got…

Day 231 - After

Day 231 - After

Loves it!!!  So does my fave RM and Miss Meryl Streep 🙂  Went to see RM’s show, Streep Tease, which was eight fabulous dudes channeling their inner Meryl Streep by doing monologues from some of her classics.  Such a fun night that ended with rendition of “Mamma Mia” on stage, and a proposal in the lobby.

Oscar worthy proposal?

Oscar worthy proposal?

OK, a faux proposal.  Clearly it was just for the cameras… We tried this shot a few times and nailed it on the last one.  I totally felt like Meryl after taking direction for our multiple tries!

Ooh, and my favorite part of the top…

From the back!

From the back!

…the fabu open back!!  Let me say how perfect open backs are for hot summer nights!!  Extra (and much appreciated) breezes are key to not melting in the heat.

Not only were the Meryl faces key components to the show, they also worked smashingly well as fans.

Meryl & Marisa

Meryl & Marisa

PS,  I should totally be the ninth cast member…my rendition of Julie and Julia would be spot on 🙂

Bridesmaid week continues…last day is around the corner!!

Day 229. 136 days and $135 left to go.

Bridesmaid Week!

Bridesmaid Week!

Day Four of Bridesmaid Week begins here…

My guess for the wedding song today…Peter Paul & Mary “Puff the Magic Dragon”

Day 229 - Before

Day 229 - Before

This frockalicious get up was most definitely worn in the 60s, that’s for sure.  Brocade fabric that weighs about seven pounds, empire waist…all I’m sayin is that my bridesmaids will be in something comfy (none of this seven pound nonsense), cheap (that’s a given), without boning (um, yesterday’s top almost crushed a rib), and timeless 🙂

PS, I think I found someone else who was at this wedding…

Sister Dress!!

Sister Dress!!

What?!?!

I think the color is gorge…it’s like a jade-emerald blend and I’m completely in love.  I’m not, however,  in love with the Puff Daddy sleeves.  I’m also not accepting a ring from the waist either.  There is some definite work that needs to get done before it’s aisle ready.

First, we’re going short, way, short.

Not a dress anymore!

Not a dress anymore!

Ooh, and those sleeves that I just was so fond of…later skaters!!

Cream Puff!!

Cream Puff!!

Somebody hand stitched these puppies on and I was determined to remove each and every stitch.

Removal of sleeves, a total puffin' success!!

Removal of sleeves, a total puffin' success!!

With the sleeves gone, this is what we were working with!

Getting closer...

Getting closer...

I thought going down more of a vest route today would be fun.  I cut a straight line all the way down the front of the newly shortened dress…

Snip down the center!

Snip down the center!

I sewed down the raw edges from the center cut as well as the raw arm holes and gave the piece a brand new hem.  I then took two gold vintage buttons and sewed one on each side of my new piece to give it a more uniform-style look.  Paired with a black tank and jeans, my outfit was ready!

Day 229 - After

Day 229 - After

I set a timer on the camera today and did it in my lovely patio…I moved all the bougainvillea vines away from the ledge and of course at the last-minute one shot up and made its way in the pic.  It’s kind of hilarious, so I just left it in.  This branch is stalking me…

Being that Los Angeles is finally seeing the heat, I’m all about the sleeveless right now.  Anything to avoid sweating…sign me up!  Doctor’s office with A/C, sign me up.

Yes, shot that with one arm in the powder room!

Yes, shot that with one arm in the powder room!

The Coffee Bean with blasting A/C, sign me up.  The decision to bake in my kitchen because there was nothing I wanted more than homemade mac & cheese for dinner…unfortunately, sign me up.  Yep, I’m out of my gourd.  I signed up for an evening that included sweating my face off while blogging and catching up on So You Think You Can Dance from my couch.  It was like I was dancing too because I was glistening with sweat more than Twitch and Comfort were after their ridic Dave Scott routine tonight.  Secretly, that Chris Brown wedding aisle song still gets me bopping.

But don’t fret…like those bridesmaid dresses, you won’t find this at my wedding either 🙂

Day 225. 140 days and $139 left to go.

OK, let’s just begin by saying how heinous this piece is right now.  I’ll definitely give it up.

Day 225 - Before

Day 225 - Before

Now there was definitely something that I liked about the fabric, however it looked pretty atrosh the way it was.  There were fun destination locations printed on it along with random old-fashioned looking men and women in pink and green printed as well. Check it out!

Look at that fabric!!

Look at that fabric!!

Now there is just way too much of this fabric – for something super thick and a little overly patterned, I’m going to cut it down a bit.

Too much heavy, thick fabric!!!

Too much heavy, thick fabric!!!

Chopped off about nine inches!  We’re getting there…  Arms next.  There is no way we’re keeping the 3/4 length especially when there is a cuff as well.  Time to go cap sleeved!

Shorten up those puppies!!

Shorten up those puppies!!

After the sleeve and length trimming, out came the sewing machine to get to stitching.  Sleeves, done.

Capsters!

Capsters!

Hem, done.  And while it was turned inside out, I took an inch in on each side, to make it just a smidge more fitted.

No more dress!!

No more dress!!

Paired with a large hat, some wedges and jeans, I thought my city-covered fabric tunic would be fun to wear on a little trip.

Day 225 - After

Day 225 - After

PS, little sidenote – I’m feeling a little like Sharon Tate right now.

The lovely ST

The lovely ST

(Definitely taking a cue from the fabulous SF in my huge hat and glasses.)

OK, with my luggage in tow, I’m off to the terminal.

Jetsetting...

Jetsetting...

Well not really.  I mean I was at the airport, yes, but not to actually go anywhere.  Were friends there with pieces of luggage that I pretended were my own, yes.

But wait, I guess you could technically say I traveled a bit today…

Viva España!

Viva España!

…to the lovely Joburg (via an HDTV) to watch Spain take the World Cup.

And, I guess I was secretly rooting all day…

Madrid

Madrid & Marbella (which I didn't pick out until writing this right now!)

Among the Aspen’s, Nice’s, and Cannes’ on the fabric, Madrid and Marbella sat there as well….

Totally sad that the games have ended…until the next Cup in Rio, 2014 🙂