Caitlin of @caitsnyd_sews is a secondhand fashion enthusiast with a growing talent for sewing. We had to ask her about her sustainable fashion lifestyle, as well as hear about her best Crossroads find. Read on to learn more about her!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Caitlin, and I’m a 30-something living in Los Angeles with my husband and two pets. I was a graphic designer, wedding planner, and even retail manager in a past life! Now I work in E-Comm Customer Service as a Training Manager. Art, design, and fashion have always been a part of my life and how I express myself.
We’re so jealous of your sewing skills, and you’re self-taught! How did you get started?
Aww, thank you! Sewing is SUCH a passion- actually, it is somewhat of a new passion. I learned how to use a sewing machine years ago when my grandmother taught me how to thread a machine and sew a straight stitch. Pretty sure I was 10 and made a very lumpy American Girl Doll pillowcase (including puff fabric paint)!
Fast forward 22 years to the start of the pandemic shutdown, and I pulled out my sewing machine to make masks for my co-workers, which I ended up hating. I did, however, fall in love with the act of sewing and dived in head-first. Thank you to social media, where I found free sewing patterns and online tutorials, and spent A LOT of hours making mistakes. Ultimately, I got more skilled and more adventurous. They say challenge is the only way to get better, right?
Thank you for being a Crossroads regular! When did you begin shopping for secondhand fashion?
In high school, I was devoted to becoming an artist (think “starving artist” in an NYC loft, covered in paint and out-there clothes), so shopping secondhand felt like “the thing” I needed to do. My budget was also very small, so I thrived on searching thrift stores and eBay for the pieces that I wanted. In the early 2000s, I was all about vintage-beaded cardigans, designer jeans from eBay, and 80s t-shirts that I could wear with a studded belt.
I loved vintage and secondhand so much, that my first job in high school was a vintage store in my hometown. I felt so cool working there, LOL. Later on in life, I was blessed to be near a Crossroads and not only able to find GEMS of secondhand items but also SELL items that I was no longer interested in. The sell-trade rotation was not only perfect for my ever-changing tastes but also for my goals to be sustainable in my own consumption. The last decade has been about buying less newness and instead giving the old new life.
What is your favorite piece that you found in our stores?
Ohhh this is a hard one! I always find AMAZING pieces in store; since every location has such a different vibe, it is super easy. Hmm…okay, my most recent find was actually an accessory. I was in the Hollywood location, shopping with my sister. She likes to take me shopping because I have a knack for finding the perfect pieces for her (and anyone I am shopping with, haha). While I was looking at purses, I found the coolest, woven plastic, rust-colored bucket purse. Is it made out of some sort of polypropylene rope? String? What is a good way to describe it? It has an open weave, with two short handles, and a round base shape. I am obsessed. Not only does it make any outfit a little bit cooler, but I get so many compliments from strangers that I truly feel like I uncovered gold.
What are you dreaming of sewing up for summer?
I am all about dresses and loose trousers! I love wearing dresses but tend to avoid sewing them because of how much material one dress can take. And don’t get me started about how hard it is to make the perfect pant. BUT! This summer is about challenging myself and focusing on what I call “dopamine sewing,” meaning sewing garments that give me joy, make me smile, and are not always practical. Think volume, sheerness, stripes, and color! Aspirational dressing, but wear it every day.
I am currently working on neon chartreuse trousers, and I plan to pair them back with a white or black tank and sandals when the weather heats up. Sewing and shopping secondhand gives me so much possibility for dopamine dressing. I love mixing “me-mades” with unique pieces from Crossroads or vintage shops.