Stir Up Dust

Freshly-Given-grandma

This weekend I spent 90% of my time with family. One of the highlights being my Grandma pushing out a huge 10 gallon tub FULL of photos. “And just to show you how much I love pictures” is what she said. I hustled out the door. Not because I didn’t want to shuffle through some odd years worth of photos and dust, but because I knew I’d get carried away with ewws and ahhs. Plus I was already late for the next family function.

My cousin posted this picture of our grandmother that same day. I kicked myself for not staying, but it got me thinking. 1. Will I have a tub of photos to dust off with my grandchildren OR will I be subject to years of failed hard drives and cloud stored images that end up in some bought out company’s abyss. 2. I need to “make more pictures” as my Grandma puts it. And no, not on instagram, but tangible pictures to file away…


A Call for Photos:

Do you have funky old photos of bell-bottom clad parents/grandparents/uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. etc.?
Whatever the era, as long as they’re old, send them my way.

1. Scan the photo and send a high res(aka: high quality) image to whitney@freshlygiven.com
2. Also include some sort of description
3. I’ll post them here on Freshly Given with hopes of encouraging people to make their photos tangible.

Let the fun and dust stirring begin.


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DIY | Greek Style Top and Cute Skirt

freshlygiven-diy-maxi-skirt-dress-greece

freshlygiven-diy-maxi-skirt-dress-greece

Alright Alright good people. This is by far one of my favorite DIYs, and you can achieve it without a sewing machine.

You will need:
1. Maxi Skirt OR Large, ill-fitting skirt
2. Safety pins (not stick pins)
3. Scissors
3. Needle and Thread OR Sewing Machine OR Stitch Witchery (For hemming edges)

Step 1:
Cut the skirt to the length you’d like. Just make sure you have enough for your top. Hem the bottom to give it a more refined look. You’re done with the skirt. Whoop!
freshlygiven-diy-maxi-skirt-dress-greece

Step 2:
Using the bottom half of the original skirt, open the split (if you have one) or one of the seams. If you have neither, cut open the skirt and make sure to hem those edges.

freshlygiven-diy-maxi-skirt-dress-greece

Step 3:
Using the panel of fabric you now have, pin two edges at your shoulder blade. The rest will drape around your lovely form. Take your other safety pins and pin the top to your liking. Get creative, just cover up those boobs.

freshlygiven-diy-maxi-skirt-dress-greece

You’re done!


Original Skirt: Grandma’s closet find
Leather Bracelet : Shop Freshly Given


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Meet Grandma Marie

Excuse the iPhone mixed with bad lighting photos. If you can get past it, I know it’s hard, fix your eyes on this one-of-a-kind dress worn by the beautiful Joanie. It was the perfect dress for the pre-wedding festivities. But get this, the dress is over 30 years old!

Thankfully, the woman behind it was in the room. I’ll never forget Grandma. Marie. A stylish 80-something cross country RV-er and full of life. She was most approachable and full of delightful stories about her life including her outings with her husband, also present. She’d made this dress for a work party she attended with him. We laughed and exchanged jokes about our husbands, the irony of sitting so close to the sweets, and how we both really wanted to stop eating the homemade turtles but couldn’t muster up the self-control.

My life? Stale toast in comparison to hers. Even on the dance floor she and her man out-shined the 20-somethings. I fell in love with her, and hope to leave an impression on others as she has on me. And to believe it all started with a dress…

What will you pass on?


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Flipped | Grandma’s Skirt to Blouse {DIY}

Actually I’m not sure if this is a blouse but lets roll with it.

Remember the day I went shopping in my grandma’s closet, well I pulled out a skirt she’d made years ago. That skirt is now apart of my “blouse” collection.  Check out the tutorial in the post below.

I look forward to wearing this number with jeans and pencils skirts well into the fall. Flip the shirt around and you have a bow in the back… reversible is always better!

What do you think: love it or leave it alone?

Did you miss blouses #1 and #2.


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Tutorial | Grandma’s Skirt to Blouse

Let me begin with my inspiration. While skimming vintage ads I ran across this:

Find more of the “wrapped clothing” series
in the LIFE Archives.

You Will Need:
1. Fabric (Mine measured 56×34 inches. However, you can judge this based on your size and the length you prefer. This was more than enough for the shirt and strap.)
2. Sewing Machine
3. Scissors
4. Fabric Marker or pencil
5. Something round for the neck-cutout

Here’s the skirt from my grandmother:

And here it is after I took it apart. You will notice the pocket holes. I eventually sewed them closed.

Fold your fabric in half. The open end will be the bottom of the shirt, while the closed end will be the neck area.

{Excuse my feet…hehe} This next part depends on how long you want your shirt AND how big you want your straps. I recommend each strap measuring at least 2.5 inches or more. I ended up cutting more after I sewed the first strap on. I wanted a thicker bow.

You will then hem all sides on the straps. My hem varied on each side. You basically want the straps to look nice and not frayed.

I have finished hemming at this point. Not perfect but I’m learning.

Now sew the ends of the straps together to make one long strap. You pick the ends, it doesn’t matter.

Sew strap along the base of the BACK flap. In other words, the strap should be attached to the flap that will cover your back, jack. (lol… I had to… ooooook moving on)

This is what you should have after you’ve sewn the strap on.

Go to the closed end of your fabric and at the center make a neck hole. I also wanted a deep ‘V’; you can do as much or as little as you like. You may not want you back out so only cut the top flap, etc. etc.

Cut out your design and hem the edges as so:
(Notice I added two small straps near the middle of the front flap. That is to keep the shirt in place when I put it on. You’ll see what I mean once you put yours on. You may or may not need this.

And that’s all folks!

Simple enough? Leave me some feedback!

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Are you in New York? Join me for my first trunk show, Feb. 16, 2012. (More Trunk Show Details)


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