Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My version

Excuses, excuses. It's been weeks--maybe a month--since I finished this shirt. But there never seems to be a time when I'm wearing it and someone's around to take my photo. So you get the strange mirror shot. :) Here's the story behind this top. I went shopping at Anthropologie in January. A long time ago. I love looking through that store but rarely can buy because it's so $$$. I found a pencil skirt that I LOVED. Pricetag $150. Too much for me. Especially for a skirt.  A few days later I walk into Joanne's and find this fabric--it's identical to the Anthro skirt. No joke. I bought 2 yards for around $12 and it sat in the closet for a while. I sewed the pencil skirt and it turned out alright. Then had enough left over fabric to quickly sew up this top, using a great pattern that I've used before. Sadly, it's been so long that the original skirt from Anthro is no longer on their website. But really, it is identical! Those people make a killing. And I've still got $138 in my pocket, a new skirt and a new top! And no, I will not wear them together!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter dresses

Don't mind the silly faces. That's just the way we are! Just in time I finished the girls Easter dresses. Because it was general conference and we technically didn't have to get dressed up for church, I almost didn't do Easter dresses this year. But come on, they are only going to let me dress them like this for so long, right?  These dresses were inspired (a nice way to say copied) from a few different places. First, the talented Katiedid has darling girls that she makes beautiful clothes for. Then there is this dress from Lilly Pulitzer. I love their bright colors. But $88 for a toddler's A-line dress, seriously? And then I saw Jamie's adorable dress and skirt she made for her girls. And then I looked in the closet and saw the green and pink fabric I had found for $3 and using A-line dresses the girls already had as patterns, it all came together quickly! Next up I want to copy this dropwaist beauty. And of course the matching little sister dress. Isn't that lace gorgeous!? Girls are fun!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bulletin Board

I've had ideas of some sort of family bulletin board/message center in my head for a while now, and have been inspired by many different images and blog posts, but when I was talking with my friend, Becca, and she brought it up that she was trying to put one together, I got motivated to just get it done!  A few of the inspirations I used: I originally got the idea for a "Learning Board" from a book I read, and really enjoyed, on motherhood called Steady Days and I used her ideas for what to put on the board. There is a calendar on it with pictures, a sticker chart, a few pictures of Spring, a country that we talk about (so far we're checking a few books out from the library on our "country" and looking at it on the map. Maybe in the future I'll get around to cooking foods from a certain country we talk about. We'll see.) and a holiday (I still need to get some pictures of Easter things up!). It's hung low on the wall in our hallway so it's accessible to Kate. I plan to rotate what we put on the board, and it could eventually just become a family message center or display board. For now it is working well. Kate enjoys looking at the calendar especially. Most mornings she asks "What day is it today?" And it's been helpful to direct her here and show her what might be going on that day or the next.

I followed my favorite design blogs instructions for the bulletin board and it was really simple. I got the board at Micheals, although they sell them everywhere. Just paint the frame, use some fabric tac or spray adhesive for the fabric and cover the edges with gimp or trim. I want to do a few more of these for the walls of our office. I love seeing the pretty fabric on the wall--especially since I found it for $3 a yard. If you live near a Home Fabrics outlet, you've got to check it out!

A few other inspirations:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pelmet Box

I used this tutorial from one of my favorite design blogs to make this simple pelmet box window treatment for the girls room. It's made up of foam board and duck tape--but it works! I used fabric from the old curtains in Kate's room in New Haven so this project cost $3 total! I don't have a staple gun (but should get one) so when I upholstered the pelmet box I used duck tape to hold the fabric and batting down. It worked fine, but a staple gun would probably hold the fabric down tighter, so I'd recommend using one. And looking at this picture, it is a rare moment in the day that I see the floor of this room looking so clean. Will my house ever not look like a tornado ran through it? These girls are hard to keep up with!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Simple lampshade

This lampshade came about after I hemmed and hawed and couldn't make up my mind in the ikea lighting department for about 30 minutes. Thankfully, Kate is old enough to go in ikea's childrens area and loves it! I was looking for a simple lampshade for a floor lamp in the playroom. Everything there was either the wrong size or color or shape.  After I had given up on their selection and resorted to going somewhere else and paying a lot more for a lampshade, I spotted one on clearance for $7. A brown, pleated lampshade that was the right size and shape, but brown was definitely not what I was hoping for in the playroom. After examining it and deciding the the brown pleats would be pretty easy to remove, I decided to try to recover it myself. It's just the playroom afterall, so it doesn't need to be perfect. I took it home and looked up some quick instructions as a guide on how to do it. The best part was I already had everything I needed at home! I used leftover fabric from my moms apron and some leftover trims from other projects. It was really simple and fun. I like the whimsical look it has compared to the plain green one I almost bought. It is times like this when being indecisive about a little decision works out for the best!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lollipop Dress

I feel like I'm getting some creative energy back. I've been sewing and crafting a bit more lately and I'm remembering how much I like it. The whole process of creating something from start to finish, and then actually being satisfied with the end product, is very gratifying.  I made this dress for Kate's 3rd birthday party. I used a fine welt purple curduroy from Joanne's and for the applique and trim I finally cut into some Heather Bailey fabrics that I was given last Christmas, and love. I've still got more and I'm trying to decide what to do with it. I used McCall's 5692 pattern and it was simple to sew. I'm learning that after making so many little girls dresses, you can use the pattern as a guide, but I tend to do things more my way, even if it isn't the right way, or what the pattern specifies.  I used heat n bond for the applique and should have referred to my favorite tutorial, as I got adhesive all over my ironing board cover. Oops. This was fun to sew and hopefully I can find time to make a matching one for little sister.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

mom's apron

Another project I found time for was this little apron I made for my mom. She is a preschool teacher and on her wish list was an apron patterned after her apron she wears to work. I guess she doesn't want to wear an apron around the house with a big teddy bear on it? Anyway, it was super simple. I traced her apron onto fabric, made ties and pockets and made it reversible by sewing everything together, right sides together, leaving a small opening at the bottom. Then I turned it right side out, sewed up the hole, did some topstitching and voila! Done. It came together really quickly. The only thing I would do differently second time around--cut the apron pattern out on the fold. It didn't matter too much, but it would have been helpful to have both sides symmetrical. Merry Christmas, Mom!