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Hi! I'm Eva,
a lover of creating Stylish, "Now" Fashion from Thrifted textiles.
What began out of financial necessity when I was 16 years old, the daughter of immigrant parents, thrifting has turned into a lifelong passion.
After purchasing thrifted clothes for myself as a teen, I noticed many items needed alterations, because as we thrifters know, items come as 'one of a kind'.
Alterations were already something I easily do--maybe not well, but decent enough--since my sewing career began at age 9 when my mother taught me how to use a sewing machine to make a wardrobe for my Barbies.
I dabbled in sewing, making all kinds of dresses, especially for special occasions like high school Winter Ball and Prom.
As life progressed, I left sewing behind for a very long time. Off to college I went to study Biology, then afterwards submerging myself into a dream career in the Pharmaceutical Industry. After 10 years of a corporate career, I got married, had babies and dedicated myself to raising a family.
My return to sewing began when my daughters got a little older and wanted costumes for Halloween. I particularly remember a spider with magical arms, a flowy glowy Jellyfish, or a faux leather quilted jacket and for Ms. Katniss from Hunger Games. All the materials for these projects came from around the house and a bag of clothing I was donating.
I tried to hide my sewing skills from my younger daughter's involvement in musical theater, but the truth always comes out--right? And soon enough I was sewing up costumes for productions like Aristocats, Jungle Book, and Lion King Jr--major endeavors. I was able to utilize patron donated fabrics or existing costumes to create new costumes. (Oh I prayed for plays that just involved people characters--no animals.)
Then I graduated to making my daughters' historical costumes for their Pioneer, American Colonial, Greek Gods, Ancient Rome, and Egyptian days at school. (Is this just in California???!!!)
Since I knew all these costumes would be worn once, I could only hope that both daughters could wear the costume. I shamelessly emailed teachers trying to pull a favor of assigning the same character to both my girls--nope, doesn't work that way. Roles at school normally randomly assigned.
I started to go to thrift stores to look for inexpensive textiles to create those costumes. I did not know at the time that what I was doing was called Upcycling. Upcycling became a very comfortable skill for me, and I really enjoyed the transformation process. I realized I could create just about anything if I had the right fabric, and of course the fabrics I wanted like brocades, were pricey purchased new. My creative world opened up to me when I saw used curtains at the thrift store--so much fabric for only a few dollars.
As I located more and more beautiful fabrics to Upcycle, my costuming skills elevated and the end results were artwork. Little did I know at that time, requests from teachers and other parents would come in over and over again to borrow those costumes. Ultimately the demand would propel me to start my own local costume rental business from my home.
For 5 years straight, I sewed 1000+ costume pieces, all Upcycled from thrifted fibers, and grew my business stitch by stitch.
And things were looking so promising--finally getting out of business debt and going into my first positive cash flow--when you all know what hit: CV19.
Costume Take-Out came to a
I was fortunate to be running the business as a mobile delivery from my dedicated garage, so I did not have store-front rents to pay. Nonetheless, I had no more business, and with that, no more income.
About 3 weeks into our new lives known as Quarantine, I was pulling Spring time weeds on my mini-homestead and pondered what I wanted to do. I knew eventually I would get back to the costume business when our health officials could manage the outbreak via vaccines or treatments.
And that's when it came to me...I always wanted to Upcycle and Refashion thrifted clothing for myself. Not just alterations, but completely new looks--High Fashion looks.
Coming clean, I admit that when I would purchase for the costuming, I always found delightful items for myself as well and started amassing quite a collection. And I promised myself, I would get to upcycling for myself someday.
And a couple of months ago, 'someday' finally came.
Now I enjoy transforming others' 'no longer needed' household textiles such as curtains, duvet covers, dust ruffles, table cloths, or vintage clothing like 1980's over-floraled dresses and 1990's shoulder-padded, stiff silhouettes, into TODAY--the 2020's.
My Process is Simple:
1.Look for any textile with amazing texture, color, pattern, or sheen. (At the most bottom price!)
2. Scour Pinterest daily for my fill of swoon worthy styles of over Paris, Milan & London Fashion Week 'IT' women.
3. Wait until my mind does its own "Swipe Lefts or Rights" and connects my textile inventory to my Pin collections.
4. Hone in on one project and begin actualization.
5. Style the outfit and photograph.
6. Write a usually too long blog post and publish pictures of my creation.
I hope you enjoy Style My Thrift.
Thanks for visiting me!
...and if you get the chance, check out my costume creations at www.CostumeTakeOut.com