Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Eternal Family Fight

I've been wanting to share more about me and my family and thought I'd share an oldie but a goodie from my personal family blog.  Hopefully you can relate to our little mini me's and it will give you a smile.  Enjoy this exclusive look into the crazy which is us.  :)


John and I get along pretty well most of the time.  We're best friends forever afterall.  But there is one thing that will always cause an argument.  Driving somewhere new.

I would like to think that getting a GPS would save us from arguments but it doesn't.  We used the GPS on my ipod to go to a wedding.  We ended up lost for 2 hours in the ghetto,  and by ghetto I mean we are lucky to not have been murdered because I'm sure no police would even set foot in these neighborhoods.

John has no pet names for me except for Chewbaca.  (I know, so romantic)  He says I'm his navigator.  Which I guess would be cute except I hate being the navigator.  For one, I suck at it and for two, he never listens to his Chewy.  We are both terrible at directions and that spells out disaster every time.

Once we get to our destination we're usually BFF's again but let me tell you, there is no joy in the journey.

I snapped these pictures of Jack and Mags at the grocery store.  Though they were being really good to each other I had to laugh and the resulting pictures.  I showed these to John and said, "Look it's us!"

So here are some captions of us.

"Where are we going again?  Are you reading the directions?"
"Yes!  I'm reading the directions.  I have them right here."

"I don't see this turn we're supposed to take.  I thought you said you knew where we were going?"
"No, I said 'I don't know where we are going.' "

"Ugh.  Chewbaca!"

"Look again.  What does it say?  Do you see road 41?"
"No there is no road 41 on here it just is a blank road.  I have no idea what this means.  I don't want to be Chewbaca anymore!"

"Unbelievable.  How can I trust you to be Chewbaca?"
"I told you a million times.  I'm not Chewbaca.  Here.  Look for yourself - blank road."

Uggghhh..... I'm never driving with this woman again.

And there it is.  An exclusive look at our life {lost} in the fast lane.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

From Sack to Sweet - shirt refashion

Want to know why my kids are so smiley???

Because mommy just made them new shirts and they are so excited!

Just kidding.
They couldn't care less. 

I told them that if they smiled I'd take them out to lunch.
A mom's gotta' to what a mom's gotta' do.

Even though they are not excited about clothing refashions it doesn't mean mom isn't!

I got this fabric gift bag from a friend a while ago.  It was what inspired me to make reusable gift bags like the one I did HERE.  I always loved the fabric and it was too hard for me to give it away.  So.... I did the only thing I know how, and I refashioned it into a cute new top for the Magster.

See?  Not interested in taking pictures at all. 
Why would she be, when there are bugs to look at?

"Ugh.  Mom!  Enough already!"

Anyone else have a 4 year old teenager?

How it was done:

The insides had French seams so I left those alone.  I cut off the bottom of the bag to give it a straight edge.  This gave me a nice little tube of fabric.

 I then cut a curve for the sleeves.  I was just guessing at this point and I made the sleeve scoop a little too severe.  I ended up cutting off about an inch from the top.  Using a shirt or tank top to guide you may help make sure proportions are right the first time around.

I then folded down the top of the shirt and sewed a casing for the ribbon to go. 

For the bottom, I attached a red ruffle from some scraps in my bin.

This was a great repurposing project for me but you certainly could do this with just regular fabric and ribbon.  It's just a shorter version of a pillowcase dress with a ruffle on the bottom.

Go check out your stash and repurpose something today!  It's a lot of fun!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Batman Jammies {Tutorial & Giveaway}

Hey all! This past week I did another tutorial for The Ribbon Retreat.  I show how to make one seam pajama pants using their fabulous Batman fabric.  

While you're there make sure you enter the giveaway!  I had some leftover fabric and I'm giving away a pair of 12 month size jams.  Perfect for your little Batman or as a gift for a friend. 

A winner will be selected on Wednesday.  Good luck!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Wrap Skirt and Wrap Dress {Tutorial}

Here is my tutorial for my chevron maxi wrap skirt.  You guys, this skirt is so easy to make.  I promise.  If you don't sew, let this be your first project. 

  This tutorial origionally was posted over at The Ribbon Retreat's blog. It's a great site for tutorials so go check 'em out! 

Today I'm here to show you how to make a versatile, comfy, on trend, skirt.  The best part is that this is literally the easiest skirt to make.  If you have never sewn before this is the skirt for you.  No zippers, no elastic, just fabric and thread and a few straight lines.

My original intent for the skirt was for a chevron maxi skirt, but I got a little crazy, I hiked it up, added a belt and POW! it was suddenly a two-fer!  You know, two looks for the price of one.  Winning!

And don't worry, this skirt has lots of coverage so you don't need to worry about a peep show with the next breeze like you do with some other wrap skirts.

Before we get started I wanted to talk about the star of the show, the fabric.  Chevron is all the rage right now as is black and white paired with bright bold colors.  I've been searching for the perfect chevron fabric but hadn't found it until now.  The thing that drew me immediately to this fabric was the size of the chevrons.  Some of the bigger chevrons are cute for little girls apparel and home decor but just don't translate as well to women's wear.  Another thing that I loved was the angle of the chevron.  Some fabrics are pretending to be chevron while in reality they are just a zig-zag.  This fabric gave me the true chevron look I've been searching for.  The look is suitable for the office, play groups, day or evening wear or really anytime.  I love it.

Okay enought chit chat.  Let's get this party started.


Chevron fabric by Ann Keele for Robert Kaufman, 3 yards*
So Fine! thread in black

*Note:  fabric yardage may vary depending on the size of skirt you want to make.  I used 3 yards {I'm generally a size 12 for reference} and had some medium to large sized scraps left over.  The fabric is 45 inches wide and the chevron points run up and down between that width.  If you do the math ahead of time you should be able to order the appropriate amount for your size.

Setp 1:  Cut your fabric pieces.  You will have only two main skirt pieces, the body of the skirt and the tie,  you will likely have to piece some of these together to get the length you need.  The measurements are as follows: 

If your waist measurement multiplied by 1.5 is greater than the 45 inch width of the fabric, you'll need to piece two pieces together to get the width you need.  I did this and the seam runs vertically down the length of the skirt.  Just sew the pieces together with a straight stitch and finish the raw seam with a serger, zig-zag stitch or pinking shears so it won't fray.  You will do the same when you piece together the waist tie {it's quite long} but you don't need to worry about finishing those edges because we will cover up those raw edges. 

Okay, so before we move on we've got two piece that look like the ones above?  Great!  Let's keep going.

Step 2:  Hem up the right and left sides of the skirt.  Fold over the fabric 1/4 of an inch and iron flat.  Then fold it over again and iron flat.  Sew that fold down using a straight stitch.  Repeat on both sides of the skirt. 

Step 3:  Take the waist tie and fold it over on each side so the fabric meets in the middle.  Iron flat.

At each end fold over the corner to meet in the middle and iron that flat.  It should create a nice point in the middle.

 Now take the whole long strip, fold it in half with the raw edges on the inside and iron that flat.

Step 4:  Take the waist tie and pin it to the skirt by sliding the top of the skirt in between the layers of the tie.  I like to secure with safety pins so I can easily try it on to make sure I've got everything placed just how I want it before I sew. 

This is the trickiest part so stick with me here - the tie will attach to the skirt and run the length of the entire skirt.  The overhang on one side will be a little more than twice the length of the overhang on the other side.  You do this because one tie is going to wrap all the way around your body and the other will just stay in the front. Trying on the skirt at this stage is a good idea so you can make your your ties just the perfect length for an even bow.

Once you have it right where you want it, stitch the entire length of the tie as close to the open edge as you can get.  Don't forget to close up those points too!

Step 5:  Once you have the skirt put together add a button hole to the side of the skirt opposite where your tie is.  Try on the skirt and mark the spot with a pin or marker.  The tie that wraps around your body will go through this hole.  It will add extra security to the skirt and you will avoid bunching and slipping.  The tie goes across your stomach and comes out the button hole, wraps around your back and gets tied on your side.

Use your machines button hole foot and button hole setting to create the button hole.  I put mine on the largest setting.  {The button you see here is just for sizing you don't actually have to have a button.} 

Once your button hole is sewn, use a seam ripper to cut open the fabric on the inside of the stitched hole.  As you can see in the photo, I place my hole halfway between the band and the skirt itself.  I had no rhyme or reason for placing it here.  It just felt right.  So my recommendation to you is do whatever feels right.

Step 6:  Hem the bottom just like you did with the sides in step 2.

And that's it!
Done and DONE!

That my friends, is your 6 easy steps to creating TWO new posh outfits for summer!

If you make the skirt, please stop by and let me know.  I'd love to see a picture!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tribal Triangles - Potato Stamping Tutorial

I'll never understand why people say to never play with your food.  It's one our earliest creative outlets.  But I guess the last thing mom wants is the meal she just slaved over to become a work of art.  While mashed potato sculptures {anyone remember the movie UHF??} might not be welcome at the dinner table, you can use those potatoes in crafting! 

I had another neon tote on hand and decided that some tribal triangles were in order.  {I already did gold chevrons here.}  The only problem was that I didn't have a triangle stamp.  No worries, I just reached into my cupboard and pulled out a potato and made my own.


- colorful tote bag {similar totes can be found here}
-  craft paint
- potato
-  knife
- masking tape


Step 1:  Cut potato in half.  {My potato was fairly old and was feeling a little rubbery.  I used this one because it was on it's way out and I didn't want to waste a nice one.  However, I don't think it matters if your potato is old or new.}

Step 2:  Cut shape in potato.

Step 3:  Trim off the scraps from the sides.

You should have a nice little stamp now.

Step 4:  Tape off the lines you want your stamp to go in between.  This will serve as a guide to help you stamp in straight rows.

Step 5:  Did potato in paint.  I wanted my triangles to be a little worn so I rubbed the stamp on some cardboard to remove excess paint.  If you want your triangles to be more solid then just dip and stamp.

Step 6:  Using your tape as guides, stamp away!  I alternated the direction of the triangles in each row.

Step 7:  Let dry and remove tape.

And enjoy your new neon tribal triangle tote!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

DIY Books I Totally Want

I've had my eye on a few DIY books lately. Here are a few that I've been window shopping:

{You can click on the pictures or the links to take you to Amazon where you can read full descriptions, reviews.}

1.  Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love by John and Sherry Peterisk.  I've been following their blog for a little under a year now and I love nearly everything they do.  I look forward to their daily posts with anticipation.  This is the ultimate DIY couple.  I have learned so much about my own personal style and how to make things happen around my house that I never knew was even possible.  If the book is anything like their blog I know I'm gonna' love it.  

2.  Fabrics A to Z The Essential Guide to Choosing and Using Fabrics for Sewing by Dana Williard.  I know basically nothing about fabric.  I know what looks pretty and that's about it.  I sew with what I have on hand and it's mostly plain ol' cotton.  I inherited lots of great vintage fabrics and I know nothing about them.  I feel like this book is essential for me to improve as a seamstress and designer.

3.  Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts.  Three words; Martha Stewart Encyclopedia.  Enough said.

4.  The Handbuilt Home by Ana White.  I first discovered Ana White's blog when it was just brand new and I was hooked from the start.  She is a super hot mom who builds furniture knock offs of really expensive name brand things.  Oh but that's not all, she give you the plans to make them yourself.  It couldn't be easier.  I've built quite a few things and I got the building bug and I can't remember a time that I was more inspired to learn a new craft.  I'm not sure what her first book has in store but I know I want to build everything in it.

5.  Martha Stewart Cookies. I think we can agree that the title says it all.

6.  Famous Frocks by Sarah Alm.  This is a book that is all about iconic dresses from movies.  The book shows you how to make the dresses and even includes patterns to make 20 dresses.  I have wanted to try this book out for a while.  I have never tried a pattern book but the thought makes me a little giddy.

7. The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook by Nora Abousteit.  I think this book is another essential for me to get if I want to improve my sewing skills.  Everything I know I taught myself or picked up along the way watching others.  I really have no idea how things are supposed to be done and I feel like if I did I would have the skill and confidence to make so much more.  It looks like this book also comes in Kindle form which could be helpful at the sewing table.

Do any of you have any of these books?  What do you think of them?   Any other DIY book advice?  I'd love to hear what inspires you and makes you want to get creative.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...