Upcycle Puffy Sleeve Blouse...My Enochlophobia

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

Blog Contents:

  1. Blogging--A Job for Me?

  2. Pure Grit Boot-Camp

  3. Stressful Delight

  4. My Website Analytics

  5. A New Layer of Work

  6. Time To Bare My Soul: Enochlophobia

  7. Time For 'Make Believe': Napa BottleRock Music Festival

  8. 1980's Scott McClintock Upcycle


Blogging--A Job for Me?

Blogging is picking up for me. And what does this mean exactly?

Well, I went from blogging once every 2-3 months to blogging once a month, and now, I am blogging minimally 2 times a month. Going into July, I need to create 2 separate blog posts for 2 different collaborative styling projects, due at exactly the same time. In addition, I will need to write an addendum blog post about my very first clutch purse that will go with one of the collaborative posts. (Just talking out loud here...to make sense to myself.)

By the time you are reading this, none of this particular scenario will be in real time, but a similar more layered story line will take it's place...and will continue as I proceed down this blogging route.

What started out as an infrequent, and simple way of sharing my art & crafted thrifted textiles, has turned into a delightfully complicated process with projects layering upon more projects with different and/or the same deadlines--a balancing act of manual sewing and written production. Oh yeah, and I have a life too!

Pure Grit Boot-Camp

Thankfully I have a lot of experience with debuting. Sewing costumes for 4 years straight (one marathon lasted 9 months!), I had to once create a whole suite of American Colonial Costumes--40 to be exact!--for my first Walk Through The American Revolution.

I can't recall if I had more boy or girl costumes. One boy costume included a Colonial Jacket, Vest, Jabot Tie and Knickers and hat. And a girl's costume included a Corset Jacket, Stomacher, Full Skirt and Mob Cap. I had 30 days for production.

After days going into days with sleeping 4 hours a night for 30 Days--my production time for these costumes--resulting in 1 week of being bed ridden because I caught some bad virus from which my very tired body came under attack, I came out knowing I had fortitude...many could not have done what I did...but it was pure grit.

All that time making those costumes under tight deadlines was my Boot-Camp. I even remember thinking, if I could just get through that self-inflicted insanity, as I can say 'No' to no one, then everything else I attempt will be easy.

Stressful Delight

So as my blog work load increases from all the opportunities coming in, I still consider this Stressful Delight because I am finally doing what I have always wanted to do ever since blogging was a thing started back in the 90's (technically 1994 per Wikipedia, but not really popularly recognized 'thing' until later 90's) but was not able to really sink my teeth in until this past January.

Sorry for the cliff-hanger, but this topic really deserves it's own dedicated post because once I am done with it, I hope to get other women inspired to get off their tuckusses and follow their dreams.

But here's the partial spoiler: I did not start blogging until 2019 because I lacked confidence that I could write about anything consistently. You know how it goes, we stand in our own ways.

Simplistically, our Brain says we can't, therefore we don't.

So rebounding from all the wasted time in my life, I welcome piles and piles of blog work for something I love to do.

And here's the kicker, people are liking what I do!

When I see that my blog is getting into many nooks and crannies of the world, it's exciting : )

My Website Analytics

My early website analytics have revealed about 1,000 visitors to my website in the last 30 days.

To the professionals in the blogging game, they might give me the encouraging, 'atta girl' pat on the back. And that's ok with me. Everyone has to start somewhere.

However, the super interesting number which portends an industrious future for me is the average length of stay...on my website it's 3 minutes...and you understand averages, right? half are staying on longer and half are getting off sooner.

For a good average session duration, the industry standard is 2 - 3 minutes...enough time for a visitor to interact via reading and/or commenting on my website.

Promising, right? Encouraging!

What started as a hobby of mine, could eventually turn into monetizing, which I will not shy away from. However, I am not doing it at the moment because I want to focus on generating quality, educational, and entertaining content for my subscribers and visitors.

A New Layer of Work

In addition to my own self-prompted blog posts about refashioning/upcycling/alterations/styling/thrifting/costume creation, I am now collaborating with other bloggers and styling groups.

So far collaborations for me has actualized in a feature in online magazines, guest blogging for sustainable clothing line, an invitation for permanent residence within a styling group, and this month's invitation to Guest Blog for the Fab 40's styling group.

It was Shelbee, from Shelbee on the Edge, who invited me to join her group for July. Her chosen theme is 'Festival'.

"The Fab 40’s is a group of four fashion bloggers from around the globe. Each month they choose a different theme and invite a guest blogger who is also in their 40’s to join us. This group’s goal is to take on style trends and show how we each interpret and incorporate them into our own lives. With four widely varied views, you are certain to find something that speaks to you each month and encourages you to continue to have fun with fashion after the age of 40."

Shelbee is a woman that I immediately had connection with. Besides being around the same age, we both have been thrifting clothes since we were teens and have not stopped. She is truly inspirational in her heart felt blogs, which make you feel like you are her best friend. She puts so much energy and effort into getting to know all her subscribers. Her blogs are a blend of a showcase of her thrifted finds as well as a look into her daily life, kids, family, and friends. Please check her out--she makes me smile!

Here are the other ladies in the group. I've included their links as well:

Time To Bare My Soul

When I started blogging, I did not think I would reveal too much about myself personally. But there's always a first time? Right?

Well, my heart sank when Shelbee told me the theme for her group's July was "Festival".


I was so excited to receive the invitation that I did not have the heart to tell Shelbee that I suffer from:


the fear of crowds

Enochlophobia is known by different names such as Ochlophobia and Demophobia. As the name indicates, this phobia consists of an irrational fear of large crowds and gatherings of people.

source: WIkipedia

Yep...that's me...one layer of my onion....

I don't go to Festivals, Concerts, Sports Events, and going to my child's graduation would have been a challenge for me, but I eschewed it, and only because of CV-19.

Does this mean I have never, ever gone to any of these? No. I have been to concerts for my girls like Katy Perry and Pink, and a Don Henley concert, only because my husband begged me and promised it was:

  • a sit-down concert

  • we did not have any seats in front of us

  • I had clear reign of a walkway

  • exits were close by

  • restrooms were available, not port-a-potties (another irrational fear)

  • we would leave before the last song

And, just so it's clear, I do not have agoraphobia--the fear of people. I love socializing and we have dinner parties all the time. I just don't like event crowds.

Self reflecting, it would seem that I don't like feeling trapped. Probably my self-perseverance--Fright or Flight--animal instinct is abnormally acute.

Time For Make Believe

So since I have never been to a Music Festival, I am going to play make-believe that I am going to one.

Not that I have never been invited...we've been invited numerous times to "BottleRock" a 3-day music, wine, food and brew festival in Napa, California. With 5 Music Stages, past performers have included Bruno Mars, Foo Fighters, Mumford & Sons, and Tom Petty--not a bad line-up at all! right?!

Enochlophobia aside, what would I wear if I would be going to this concert which is usually late May, but now postponed to October because of CV19?

Comfort is probably a must for this type of all-day in the sun, standing & dancing concert, but I know I would want to look super stylish too!

Since Puffy Sleeved Blouses are the thing right now all over Pinterest, I thought I'd upcycle a 1980's Scott McClintock dress that I purchased for a $1.00 on the thrift store's clearance rack into a back-corset style top, with lacing in the back.

Surprisingly, this was a fitted dress NOT a typical full skirted one (neither here nor there, but interesting styling for this dress at this particular time.)

As slender as I am (although the pounds keep adding on with the CV19 thing...), I still could not close up the back of the dress, thus inspiring the corset solution.

Temperatures in Napa Valley range from high 70's to low 80's in October. Since floral prints are starting to transcend ALL seasonal style rules these days as evidenced on Pinterest, I think the muted color of the lavendar flowers and green leaf print would go well for a fall day.

I will style my future ultra-feminine, pouf sleeve top, with army green shorts for a hot day and jeans for a cooler day.

That's how I see myself rocking out to Stevie Nicks, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Blondie--a few of the amazing acts lined up for this year!

With all this talk of going, I might actually talk myself into going!

Let's see if I was able to accomplish this!




1st Step

  • Remove ALL lace around the dress--and there was a ton!

told you there was a ton of lace removed!

I will save and use for one of my historic costumes in the future

2nd Step

  • Remove the shoulder pads (there was still stiff tulle under the sleeve to help with the poof).