Saturday, June 29, 2013

Let's Keep in Touch

As many of you know, Google Reader is coming to an end. I hope you will continue to read along with our sewing and crafting using another Blog reader such as BlogLovin. If I was more tech savvy I could walk you through how to follow along and what all the options are now...but I am not :( All I know is I signed up and it imported all my blogs from Google reader so I pretty much had to do nothing...awesome!!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Have a great weekend,


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DIY Pleated Striped Skirt

Last year I made this fun knockoff right before the 4th of July. I thought it would be a fun time to revisit this tutorial for those of you who are new to our blog or just stopping by (welcome and thanks for reading). This DIY Striped Skirt is easy and cheap. It only took one yard of IKEA fabric and little time.

DIY Striped Skirt Tutorial is found HERE.


Monday, June 24, 2013

McCalls 6754: Blue Peplum Pattern Review

Sorry for the lack of posts. I am in the middle of this...

In case you can't tell...that is my craft room buried in there. I decided to finally put this room together and to say it is chaos is an understatement. This photo actually shows it in pretty good condition...scary, huh? But, shelves and  a pegboard are underway (thanks, honey) a whole pattern and fabric organization revamp is complete and I hope to dig myself out of this mess soon so I can get back to sewing. is a look at something I made before this disaster.

Top: (DIY), Gold Belt (thrifted), White Jeans: Mossimo (thrifted), yellow earrings (DIY), wedge sandals: Antonio Melani (thrifted)

As I recorded where everything was from, it is crazy to me that this entire outfit is thrifted or made by me. The jeans were new with tags and the shoes are some of my favorites. Every once in awhile I get lucky at the thrift stores...enough to keep me going back! 

Now, on to the top. This is McCalls 6754: view c. I picked up a stretch sateen in navy blue from the clearance section at Joann. I knew I wanted to make this top but I was worried it didn't have enough stretch. Fortunately, I am able to wear it without problems. 

Pattern Description
MISSES' TOPS AND DRESSES: Close-fitting and flared tops and dresses have neckline variations, elasticized (seamed) waist, and narrow hems. B: underlined. C and D: bias bodice, and side front seams.
Designed for medium weight two-way stretch knits.
SUGGESTED FABRICS: Novelty Knit, Jersey. B: Lace Knit. Underlining B: Tricot.
NOTIONS: A,B,C,D: 11/2 yds. of 1/4" Elastic.

Pattern SizingY(XSmall-Small-Medium), ZZ(Large-XLarge-XXLarge)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, I made view C.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were very easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The pattern comes together quickly. I accidentally didn't read ahead and serged the skirt (peplum) portion to the bodice, not realizing you are supposed to attach elastic using the seam allowance as the casing. But, it seems to fit alright without it. Also, had I paid closer attention to the fabulous Mimi G's review I would have realized the arm is cut way too big. Instead, I was too enamored with her outfit and missed that part :) So, I had to take an unconventional route to make them smaller after they were sewn. I put in two darts and slashed them open. It is probably all kinds of incorrect in the sewing world, but it ended up being alright. It looks really wrinkly in the photo below but it wore much better. 

Fabric Used:
Blue Stretch Sateen

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Just the unintended sleeve change, in the future I think I would add a bit more length to the peplum.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? 
Yes, I plan on making it again and possibly the dress version as well. 


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Maxi Dress Tutorial Revisited

I recently completed a dress that was 3 years in the making...and several different things. I picked up this knit print in Arizona a few years ago at a large fabric warehouse. I tried to make it into a maxi dress early in my sewing clothes days and it didn't work out well. Then I attempted to turn it in to a high waisted maxi skirt with elastic thread around the top section, but I wasn't thrilled with the outcome. So, I turned to my Maxi Skirt Tutorial and combined the top of the dress with the elastic waist skirt to create a maxi.

After I combined the top to the skirt, the finished dress was too short, so I added a band of navy knit around the bottom and it is now finally completed. This maxi is one of my favorites. I love the comfort of the dress and the way the elastic waist allows it to be worn with no belt or sash.

 To add the elastic shirring at the waist you just need to add elastic thread to your bobbin and sew as usual. You do have to hand wind the bobbin with the thread and rethread often if you are making this many rows. This dress has about 12 rows of shirring, each about 1/4 inch apart. Use the side of your sewing foot to guide you. This stitching should be much straighter than mine, but like I said, most of this was in my early days of I worked with it :) And it hasn't really bothered me when I have worn it. The thing that does bother me is the fabric is piling...what am I doing wrong? I wash it inside out, hang dry and it is already looking really worn. Guess I need to research that side a bit and try to fix it.

I am currently working on another maxi using my peplum top as a base...I hope to have the pattern and tutorial done soon! It seems to be taking me forever to get anything completely done these days.


Monday, June 10, 2013

The Poppins Bag

A couple weeks ago I wrapped up my school year and needed a thank you gift for our dear friend and daycare provider. I had recently made three Poppins Bags as diaper bags and decided to make her one as a purse.

I used the same alterations I had made with the other bags by adding Peltex to the side and base piece. I also deleted the toddler handle on the outside.

I used the new HGTV line of fabrics (Ring Around in Peacock) for the exterior and a fun turquoise polka dot from Joanns for the interior.

After four of these bags I think I need to move on to a new one soon :) but I have definitely gotten some great use out of my pattern.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Is anyone else still trying to decide on a Father's Day gift? I am a little clueless right now...need to find something quick. So, in an effort to help out others in the same boat here are some "man" crafts/projects we have done in the past...I may have to whip up another "Hoppy Beer Cake" if I don't make up my mind soon :) Have a great weekend-

Beer Cake (just change to "Hoppy Father's Day")

Monday, June 3, 2013

Table Before and After

So I have this little problem...some projects take me FOREVER to complete. I don't know if it is being overwhelmed by the amount of work or a distraction with a sewing obsession or what...but I struggle at times. I bought this table at a thrift store last summer for $35.

It was a pedestal table in good shape, with a leaf and cheap enough to make it worth a go. I intended to refinish it immediately and then it sat, and sat, then it was sanded and sat, then it was stripped and sanded again and sat, then stained and get the point. Several months later I have finished it. Unfortunately, I don't think it is done. I just am not loving the end result when you are close up. Here is the story of this table.

First I worked hard to remove all the blue paint by stripping with Citrustrip and sanding. Once it was all sanded down and looked good, I started with the top. I used Minwax prestaining wood conditioner and then a coat of stain in Jacobean. I loved the way the stain looked wet, but when wiping it down (after letting is sit for 10 -15 minutes) I was disappointed. It was not evenly staining, even though I thought I did all the prep work right. So, I stained a few more coats and it never really got better.

I searched for solutions and came across Censational Girl's post about her banister (which is also a project I plan on tackling). I decided to give the watered down paint method a go. I used a combo of brown and black acrylic paint and water and quickly and thinly coated the table. It filled it in the color differences but it is too much of a painted look for me. But after months of working with this thing, I was frustrated. So, out came the white paint for the base: Sherwin Williams Alabaster White and then everything got 3 coats of polycrilic in semi-gloss. While I like it enough for now...I see some more refinishing in its future...ughh...I don't even want to think about it. I am so behind on other projects and want to paint my kitchen cabinets white, so for she is:

Have a great week,


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TDC Before and After