Friday, March 29, 2013

Sneak Peek: Easter Dress

I finished up Bella’s Easter Dress yesterday and wanted to share.


I drafted up my own pattern and am thinking about releasing it as a free pattern download.  First I want to see how well it stands up to her wear and tear this weekend.

I say that because the fabric I purchased is a very lightweight and an almost self-destructive voile, probably why it was on clearance.  The fabric is pretty and it drapes well, but it had some major flaws in the fabric cut I received (which is a first for me when ordering from  Luckily I was easily able to work around it.  I made the dress completely lined to hopefully help make it more durable.

easter dress for BellaIMG_0923

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Coloring Pages T-Shirt

I picked up a plain orange long sleeved t-shirt at Target the other week.  It was $1.50.  You definitely can not make a t-shirt for $1.50.  I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with it.

I’m embarrassed to admit, but my son loves Elmo.  Absolutely loves him.  I wanted to give him a shirt that he would enjoy wearing, but that wasn’t too cheesy.

I just noticed this week that when my son colors he is starting to actually color the objects on the page instead of just drawing random marks.

So I decided to make him a shirt with his favorite characters that he could color.  It would show his progress at a point in time.

I googled some coloring book images and printed them out.


He was so very excited to see all the images and got started coloring them right away.


He was calling out all their names and making all the appropriate animal noises as he colored away.


Now the easier way to do this project would have been to transfer the images to the t-shirt first and then have him color the t-shirt.  We are currently working on learning that we only color on paper.  So my plan was to have him color on the pages and then I would transfer his coloring marks onto the shirt.

I’m sure there are other easier ways to do this project.  But this way worked just great for us.  Once he was done coloring I used a black sharpie marker to draw on his t-shirt.

I did a little tracing, but mostly free-handed the characters.


Here is where I paused and had to think about going through with the next step.  But since this was supposed to be a shirt that showed his coloring progress, I looked at his coloring marks and using colored sharpies, transferred the scribbles.


He was very excited to put Elmo on. 

Here was the final product on a very unreliable model.  Even when tempted with food he didn’t really want to cooperate for pictures.


And there you have it, the scribblings of a 20 month old on his current favorite items!


In case you couldn’t see the favorite items are:  truck, train, Elmo, horse, monkey, Mator, and cow.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Sew Off

I did something that is kind of exciting and daunting at the same time.  I signed myself up for “The Sew Off”.  It’s a 4 week competition ran by Nap Time Crafters.

The 4 different challenges lined up exactly with what I like to do…so I thought why not?

week 1 kids - Copyweek 2 homeweek 3 for youweek 4 contestant choice

Now by signing up it means I have put myself into a pool of about 70+ people and from there they will chose 12 contestants…go here for more details if you are interested.  In other words I’m not holding my breath that I will be chosen…but it would be great if I was!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pinterest Challenge Week 5

I did it again.

I switched up my inspiration photo from pinterest.  Sometimes events happen and you have to go with it.

This weekend was my niece’s birthday party.  We needed a gift, so I turned to my pinterest boards.  I couldn’t show this one ahead of time, or our families might have known what was coming.  So this one was a secret.

Here was the inspiration photo.  If you would like to purchase them you can go here to the seller's etsy account.

disney pictures

I decided this would be a great idea for a little girl who loves princesses and something I could create myself.

I actually googled images of the characters I wanted.  Printed them out, cut them out, traced around them on scrapbook paper, and then cut those images out.  These professional ones are made using a silhouette machine.  I’m not wanting to spend a bunch of money on that particular machine yet, so good ole scissors and an exacto knife where my tools of choice.

Here is how mine turned out.  I used pink paper because that was the birthday girl’s favorite color of course!


I also made her two Disney princess headbands using this tutorial from Grosgrain.  They were super easy to follow.


I was hoping to get a picture of the headbands on her head, but they were opened in a frenzy with lots of other gifts. I’m not really sure if the gifts were a big hit or not, for a seven year old they weren’t toys.  I can tell you the popular gift of the day seemed to be glow in the dark sidewalk chalk.

Hopefully she does like them will get use out of them!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Easter Planning

I shared with you my ideas on our families Easter attire.  I was unsure if I was going to pull the plug and actually try and make everything.  Well this past weekend I went ahead and picked out the fabric, and then I ordered it.

After I hit purchase I realized that ordering fabric online this close to my “have to be done” date probably wasn’t a good idea.

Well I just received my shipping notification today with a delivery date of Monday March 25th.  That gives me less than a week to pull them all off, and even worse, no weekend time.

Here’s my refined game plan.

I’m going to start with Oliver’s tie.  Should be quick and easy.  Dad helped pick out the fabric for his little man, a bright little plaid number.

bowtieOliver tie plaid

Next I’ll give Bella’s dress a try.  This pattern I will be drafting from the inspiration photo and using some shirts that currently fit her.  I picked out a bright cheerful fabric for her to wear.

easter dress for BellaBella easter dress print

Lastly I will attempt my dress.  Of course with my indecisiveness I picked out two different fabrics.

Kristen easter dress fabricorchid jersey


If I choose to go with the solid jersey knit fabric, I will add the chevron lace as shown in my inspiration photo.

lace maxi

If I choose the print fabric, I will obviously leave off the lace.  For myself I will have to use a pattern.  I currently have three different patterns I am contemplating, I will modify them as needed (or to the best of my ability).


Stay tuned to see if I will get it all done!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I’m about 50/50 when it comes to sewing with a pattern or winging it by a visual picture.  I have had good luck both ways, and real disasters too!

When I buy a pattern I try to find a pattern that has a detail I have not done before.  That way if I see the same detail in the future, I will know how to do it.

Pintucks seem easy enough.  There are many online tutorials that will explain them to you.  But I liked the visual of having a pattern with the lines drawn and the pattern shaped correctly for sewing them.

I turned to this pattern.  I love to pick up patterns at JoAnns when they are $1…who can beat that?

2365 simplicity

I choose view A, but kept the length shorter similar to view B.


I used a stretchy cotton print I found online (my #1 resource is  Up close you can see the pintuck details.


It seems very country chic to me….nerd alert on the next photo.


Yes I’m originally from Nebraska.  No I did not grow up on a farm.  But in college, some friends and I used to go to a country dance bar where we would have a few drinks and two-step with the local “cowboys”.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Body Types

The thing that is hard for me when browsing through online inspirations like pinterest or clothing catalogs or even magazines in print, is that I find so many styles of clothing that I like, but I forget that they won’t look good on me.

Most of the models are tall and thin with little curves.  That’s not me.  I’m short with curves (thanks to both genetics and having two children), and I just can’t pull off most of the trends.

It took me over a year to jump on the skinny jeans bandwagon.  I still question whether they look right on me, and a lot of them bunch up weird on me because I actually have legs that fill them out.  Okay stretch them out is more like it.

It gets even harder when you are trying to use inspirations to make clothing yourself.  At least when you buy things in the store you can try them on before hand.  Sometimes when I make things, they may turn out alright.  Once I put them on, I realize all my hard work was for nothing, because it doesn’t look good on me.

So I’m learning as I go about what styles are going to look good on me, and which ones I should pass on.  And some times just like the skinny jeans, I may think they don’t look good now but soon the market will be so saturated with them that all bodies types will be wearing them eventually.

So that brings me to “boyfriend jeans”.  I own a pair of skinny jeans that are now too big for me.  I was hoping I could pass them off as “boyfriend jeans.”  I liked the style of button downs tucked into boyfriend jeans with heels.

My husband had a shirt that had a tear in it, so he gave it to me to do what I wanted.


I attempted to take it in and make it more fitted.


Bottom line.  I rushed through taking in the shirt, and it didn’t turn out the greatest.  I could probably still wear it in public if I wanted, but I just don’t think I will.  And well, as I mentioned before, I don’t think I can pull off the boyfriend jean look.  My legs actually fill up the jeans, instead of the jeans hanging straight down.

Maybe if I get brave enough to take in jeans (currently I’m afraid I will break my sewing machine because jean material is so very thick), then I could actually sew up these jeans so I wouldn’t need a belt to keep them from falling down.  But I don’t think I’m ever going to look like this….

boyfriend jeans

And that’s okay….it just means I can’t wear all the trendy styles that are out there.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pinterest Challenge Week 4

This is the one where procrastination wins.

Here was my inspiration piece.

repainted metallic globe

Here was the globe I owned and wanted to makeover.


And here is what it looks like now.


I bought all the supplies and was starting this project yesterday (Sunday) when I realized that I couldn’t get the thumb tacks into my globe.  So now I am going to have to find something else that I can hopefully glue onto the globe.  Since I don’t have anything bought yet, it’s obviously not finished to show you for this week.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Going to Work

Usually I work from home.  Today I actually have a conference to attend with a couple hundred people.  This meant I should probably take a look at all my work clothes and modernize them.

You see I probably haven’t bought work slacks for 5 years or so.

I pulled these out of the closet.  They were a couple sizes too big in the waist, and the older style of slightly flared leg.  And of course…way too long!


I quickly sewed them up to skinnify them.


I also just took these pictures at 6am while my kids are still sleeping…sorry for the darkness.  I knew if I waited till I got home from the conference a picture would never happen.

I can hardly believe they are the same pants.  All I did was try them on inside out and then pin where needed to make them tighter…and then followed the pins with my sewing machine.  I’ll admit I had to re-sew the lines a couple of times to make it come out the exact way I wanted.


Well off to work I go.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It’s a change-up

I’m completely ready for spring….and completely over winter.

I was looking at my pinterest challenge board, and trying to figure out why I would have chosen to work on a sweatshirt.  I’m definitely over wearing sweatshirts.

So I am going to do a swap.  I have a wedding coming up in May and I would like to make a dress similar to this one.

bridesmaid dress into lace

Using a bridesmaid dress I wore a couple years ago.

So no more sweatshirt.

upcycle sweatshirt spring

I’ve also been thinking about Easter coming up…and how I would like to try and make Easter clothes for the kids.

Maybe a bowtie for Oliver using this tutorial.  Bow Tie Tutorial - A Lemon Squeezy Home


And I love the simple lines of this dress…which I really think I could put together without a pattern for Bella.

easter dress for Bella

For myself…I really love this skirt.  But I’m thinking it’s not really Easter appropriate.

sequin skirt

So I’m leaning towards making something similar to this.

lace maxi

I can wear a cardigan with it for church, and then it would be a great dress to have for the summer!

That is a lot of ambitious plans to finish in the next couple of weeks.  I will be happy if I finish half of them!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Vintage Trim Lampshade

I found this old vintage trim at my parent’s house and brought it home with me.


I held onto it for awhile before I came up with an idea.  I have this plain white boring lampshade on a floor lamp in our living room.


Why not add a little trim to spice it up.  Using a glue gun and about 20 minutes of time was all it took.


It adds such a subtle amount of color that goes perfectly in this room.