About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

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Words I like:

"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)



“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

 Lily Tomlin




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Entries in refashion (6)


Reporting for duty

I’ve been MIA lately, taking an llittle, unannounced break. I'm back and have a lot of catching up to do with everyone’s blogs.

Here's a tiny bit of what I've been up to.

My street. Those are cars buried under the snow on both sides fo the road.Out walking in the blizzard.

The main road at the top of my streetJean-Paul Gauthier jacket, Dirk Bikkemberg trousers, both purchased new in the early 1990s.Attended an exhibition of 1980s art at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Everything in the show seemed very familiar as the 1980s were the last time I actually paid attention to contemporary art.

I wore my early 1990s Jean-Paul Gaultier jacket with its row of snaps down the front that I always felt was like a line of ‘vestigial nipples.’

I went to an all-vegan Valentine’s Day dinner (alas without my Valentine) where my friend and I shared these two incredible cakes.

I baby-sat for Tigro. He looks all sweet and innocent here, but the little brat's nighttime routine was to hit me in the face every few hours.

I made a pair of pajama pants out of this happy print (I bought the fabric new, but it reminded me of the whimsical prints of the 1970s).

Thrifted LizWear dress, t-shirt and Willi Smith corduroys; thrifted 1970s scarf; bangles from India; Vegetarian Shoes paratrooper boots purchased new.

And altered this thrifted black velveteen dress to fit so that I could wear it as a jerkin. I also altered the thrifted purple paisley corduroys which were three sizes too big. 

I thrifted this pair of never-worn white go-go boots and these so-ugly-they're-awesome late 1960s polyester double-knit trousers. The boots are glossy vinyl, but I’m going to figure out a way to paint them as I’m not really a white go-go boot kinda girl.

Thrifted sweater dress by Fabrizio del Carlo from Goodwill; 1970s vinyl applique bag, Etsy; lac bangles from India; necklace gift from my mother, Restricted Barricade non-leather boot, purchased new on sale.

I blogged recently about how I used to buy new—but heavily discounted—  designer clothes, and still have most of them. Now, I don’t buy anything new and most of the clothing of good quality I find at thrift stores is vintage. However, this cotton/rayon sweater dress jumped out at me recently. I wasn't sure a sweater dress would be flattering on me, but I liked the wide scooped neckline (it also scoops in the back), the length of the sleeves and the fact that it skims instead of clings.

Almond Joy cheesecake at Veggie Galaxy.The fact that I took the outfit photo after returning home from dinner and the dessert above is a testament to the magical skimming qualities of this dress.

As I haven't been visible in the blogosphere for a month, I'm joining Visible Monday to get back into the swing of things.


It's the thought that counts

I was crafty over the holidays, making belated Christmas presents for my man in London. He’s received them in the mail now, so I can post pictures.

And there’s no better day to do so than Ta-Dah! Tuesday.

I’ve posted before about painting shoes and a bag and experimenting with stenciling on fabric. I decided to stencil t-shirts for A. 

I had read about the ease of using freezer paper, which can be ironed onto fabric, to make stencils and thought I’d give it a try. I purchased two plain t-shirts at the thrift store (at $1.99 each).

The first design was the ‘PH5’ pendant lamp designed by Danish architect Poul Henningsen (1894 – 1967) in 1958.

I used a photo in one of my books and did a sketch. I then put the drawing under a piece of freezer paper and cut out the stencil. I left off the little vertical bits.

Stencil was ironed on t-shirt.

Mixed some white with a bit of pewter and black and painted several coats, allowing paint to dry thoroughly between coats.

The moment of truth – peeling off the freezer paper. It worked! No paint seeped under the paper and all the edges were clean.

Ta-Dah! Finished t-shirt.

Once my boyfriend modeled the t-shirt for me over skype I saw that the whole design was crooked. And, if you look closely, it's obvious that this was not drafted with any precision. Oh, well. I still have the drawing (luckily, I made a photocopy before cutting out the stencil) and can fix it and make a new stencil easily enough.

For the second design, I found a stencil pattern online of Cthulhu.  I saved the image, enlarged it, and printed it out.

Then did the same freezer paper stencil thing.

This time I used metallic pewter paint with a bit of black to tone it down.

Ta-dah again! This one isn’t wonky.

A. tells me that he loves them both.

Check out the clever capers at Lakota's Ta-Dah! Tuesday.


New tricks and cat in the sack

I decided to re-fashion the Indian block-printed top that I thrifted a few weeks ago.

Purchased at Goodwill, $4.99It appears to have been stitched in India and is covered with embroidered mirrorwork. I took it apart and added bust darts to give it some shape. Then I had to re-hem the front and back, which were now different lengths because of the darts. I removed the sleeves and cut down the armholes. The sleeves were wide but I decided to use that extra width to make slightly puffy sleeves by gathering the top before setting the sleeves in and adding three small tucks at the sleeve hem.

I have no idea why I'm looking up. I have no idea why I'm laughing.Of course, come cooler weather, I’ll layer this over a long-sleeve t-shirt or blouse to give it my favorite double sleeve look.

I’m cat-sitting for Tigro for the next 2 weeks (he stayed with me in April). He hates being in his carrier and yowled the whole way from his home to mine. He seems to have recovered from the trauma of the transport and made himself right at home.

Linking up to Ta-Dah! Tuesday for the shirt re-fashion. Tigro has no ta-dahs to offer. Lazy cat.


Finders keepers

Moving 54 boxes from storage to a one-bedroom apartment makes one less enthusiastic about acquiring new stuff. So I haven’t been thrifting lately. Well, not too much.

Today I bought a couple items of clothing that need to be re-fashioned. Sorry, for the lack of ironing, but they're going to be cut up soon.

This top is made of soft, lightweight block-printed cotton with mirrorwork. It appears to have been stitched in India and doesn’t have a label. It’s huge so I’ll probably re-size it to fit me. $4.99 at my local Goodwill.

I love the wild print and bright colors of this homemade 1970s smock-dress. It was either made for a child with very long arms or is an adult dress gone horribly wrong as the armholes are miniscule. There are some holes in the sheer fabric of the sleeves, so this will be made into a skirt. Also $4.99 at Goodwill.

Walking home from the thrift store, I happened upon two pieces of furniture abandoned on the sidewalk in front of my apartment building.

This 5-foot long early 20th-century mirror from a long dresser or sideboard will make a great topper for a 6-foot long low bookcase I was just given. The bookcase is now sitting on the plastic in the middle of my living room floor, waiting to be painted.

With the mirror was this vaguely Aesthetic Movement-looking shelf from the top of a cabinet. I have no idea what I am going to do with it.

I’m always finding interesting things in the trash or abandoned on the sidewalk in my neighborhood. There is a fairly transient population here and the last and first weeks of the month, when people are moving in or out, find the sidewalks littered with books, furniture and all manner of things. It’s better than thrifing ‘cause it’s free and serendipitous.

Have you ever found anything wonderful in the trash?

I think all of these finds qualify for Lakota’s Ta-Dah Tuesday!


Indian jacket with a past

Sometimes I wonder about the backstory of items I find at thrift shops.

Sabina of India jacket, $6.00, Boomerang (charity shop) This 1970s long jacket is of hand-woven cotton and is block-printed by hand. It has seen better days with a few ripped seams and one sleeve about 3 inches longer than the other. The longer one is patched.

I loved the hand-woven and hand-printed quality as well as the crazy print. Is that a cow, a tortoise, a buffalo? (I'm open to other suggestions)

One label says “Sabina of India/Made in India.” There is also a hand-sewn label for the department store, Bergdorf Goodman on the Plaza, New York. (An online search also turned up Sabina of India vintage clothes with hand-sewn Lord & Taylor labels). I am not showing that label because it has a person’s name handwritten on it. There is also another name and number handwritten on the inside. This made me think it must have made the rounds in a college dormitory (residence hall). So, I googled the distinctive name on the Bergdorf label and was able to identify the previous owner (and the one who probably donated it to the charity shop where I bought it) as a young woman who lives in the next town over from me. And she’s also vegan like me! Chances are, I’ll probably cross paths with her one day at one of the various vegan social events I attend. In the meantime, I am trying to decide whether to turn this into a short-sleeved, shorter, more fitted jacket, or a tote bag. Maybe I'll have it on/with me when I run into the previous owner!


Channeling Susan Dey

I bought this vintage (I’m guessing 1973-4-ish) Leslie Fay knit dress with cream-colored collar and cuffs because I liked the print. It has a floral pattern in heathery teal, raspberry, purple, green and peach on a black background. I also have a thing for full sleeves and collars and cuffs in contrasting colors.

However, the “secretary” style of the dress, with its yoked bodice and self-belt, really didn’t suit me.

1970s Leslie Fay dress shortened into a shirt, $6.99, Goodwill; 1990s Max Mara vest, purchased in the early 90s, Filene’s Basement; 1970s flared jeans, free from a clothing swap; 1980s Fiorucci studded belt, $1.99, Goodwill. So, I shortened it into a shirt and ditched the ribbon and belt. Now it sort of reminds me of something Susan Dey would wear in The Partridge Family.

Adding this to:

Recycled Fashion