Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dressy Tunic Top {Tutorial}

The first dress top to add to my wardrobe--a silky tunic! :) While at Larry's grandmothers the other day, we came across some garments that she had made many years ago for store displays. I LOVED the fabric of this one top (and even though it wasn't my size) I HAD to try it on! A little big=a GREAT tunic! It really is a fun shirt...flowy and sparkly, perfect for a party or the holidays. I knew making this shirt HAD to be simple--and it only took a little over an hour to make my first time through. Even Jamie was surprised how fast I was done! The second time around should be a breeze! :)

Supplies: All you need is your fabric (I had 1.5 yards, but this will vary depending how "baggy" you want it to fit) of something flowy--I used a "silky satin" print...I think is what it's called?? Thread and your sewing machine :) 
I made this top based on Larry's grandmothers shirt, BUT I think drawing this pattern would be fairly simple also. 

Step 1. I traced the original shirt onto my fabric. I folded my fabric when doing this to have an identical front and back piece after I cut it out. I knew the original shirt was a LITTLE baggier than I would like, so I made it a little thinner on the sides, and a little longer to make sure it wouldn't be too short after hemming. 

This is where you would draw your own pattern if you don't have a store-bought tunic already that you like. I figure the easiest way to do this step is by tracing out a regular shirt, but "enlarging" the pattern (by tracing far outside the shirt) to get the bagginess affect. The key is for it to be fairly wide, but still kind of short. My shirt measured about 24 inches wide (at the side seams) and about 27 inches wide (at the armholes). It was EXACTLY 1.5 yards folded in half.

Pin at the shoulders and sides to try on your garment and make any adjustments. I had good luck this time around I liked how it fit, just a few more snips...I cut ONE half of the neckline a little lower than the other to distinguish a front and back. I also cut a little off the bottom--it seems I allowed TOO much length to start off--it was past mid-thigh!

Step 2. SEW! At the shoulders and side seams. I did a second seam for extra strength. Be sure to NOT sew the neck, armholes or bottom!!

Step 3. HEM! Hem along the remaining edges--neckline, armholes and bottom. I used a fairly small hem and invisible thread since the fabric is pretty colorful! This allowed for a perfect finish, no thread seen anywhere! :) This is really the most tedious and time consuming part...but it's the LAST step :) Make sure to not close any of these openings shut! 

Trim it up...
And you're done!! 
SO simple! 

I LOVE the look as originally planned...flowy and very comfortable... :)

BUT adding a belt made it 10 times dressier...perfect for work :)

I plan to make MANY more of these...probably try one out of a stretchy knit so it doesn't require as much hemming. Possibly even a cotton to see what it would look like with a little more structure. I was also thinking to add ruffles, fabric flowers and maybe even gather the fabric at the shoulders or neck for a different look.

As always, when going handmade, the possibilities are endless :)


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Monday, August 30, 2010

Hello Promo!

For those who haven't heard the news, I officially have a new job! I transfered into an administrative role at the current hotel that I work at. Executive Assistant to be exact :) I start Friday & am VERY excited! A little nervous...the job involves some supervisory roles and "office management" duties, so it will be very different from anything that I have done. But on the other hand, I was an assistant with the company a few years ago, so at least some things WILL be familiar! Everyone that I have met so far have been extremely nice and have complete faith in me. The position is taken very seriously and is a gateway to many more positions with the company. Steady pay...Monday-Friday schedule...holidays/PTO...great experience...what more could I ask for?!...
A new wardrobe!!! :)
Even for my interview I had to open my "office clothes" drawer filled with my wardbrode from almost 4 years ago. EEK! There are some things that I can definitely still use, while others, not so much. SO, this weekend I will hopefully go on a mini shopping spree for office attire :) I am also hoping to spruce up some shoes and make a few skirts, dresses, tops and maybe a sweater or two. I can't forget jewelry either! Thank goodness for my 3-DAY HOLIDAY WEEKEND coming up woo hoo! Hopefully I will get together some fabulous pieces for me to start my new position off right! :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Craft Storage

Once again, my boyfriend amazes me! He made this wonderful storage wall shelf from scratch! It started off with me just wanting an organizer for my ribbons that have been piling up, but he quickly turned it into a whole storage unit. In the end it turned out beautifully!

First, he made the frame!

Next, he added the back and dowel rods...then he hand-sanded facing giving it a rounded edge. He sanded this sucker SMOOTH!

Time for paint!! That's my job :) & yes I did this inside--painting outside in FL in 100+ degrees is not fun!

Give a night to dry...hang it on the wall and it's done!! SO beautiful!

My three dowel rods for all my ribbon

Two extra shelves hold my collection of glues/adhesives and basket for scrap ribbon!

I needed a smaller storage container to hold my hot glue sticks, super glue, etc. That cute jar on the right side of the shelf is what I thought of...and it only took about 10 minutes to make!

All you need is an empty glass jar with a lid (I used the peanut butter/jelly combo stuff that Larry loves!) some scrap fabric, ribbon, a rubber band and glue! 

Cut out a circle from your scrap fabric a few inches larger than your lid. I used a different larger circular lid to trace and cut out the shape. 
(You can see the size difference from the original lid)

Center and glue your fabric to the top of the lid. I used Aleene's brush-on tacky glue--my fave!

After drying, wrap a rubber band around the fabric to form and hold the "ruffles." 

Glue your ribbon around the lid, covering the rubber band...I used Aleene's Fabric Glue and a thin 1/8" ribbon for this. I ended up wrapping and gluing my ribbon twice around the entire lid for a little more thickness...
After it dried I added a tied bow with the same ribbon for a little extra detail :)

There ya go...a simple, cute craft container! The possibilities are endless with this...think mod podge and paper, different ribbon and any type of embellishments! I can't wait to make more!
Save those glass jars...GO GREEN! :) 


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Go Handmade {Mini Dress and Clutch Tutorial}

For Larry's birthday I opted to make a dress and accessories instead of buying them! I had fabric leftover that I hadn't used and originally purchased with the intention of making an elastic waistband dress, but wanted to make something a little more different and fun this time around.

I started off by making the skirt...an almost trapezoidal shape using my measurements to create a somewhat fitted, simple skirt. Not too tight, but not too loose. Instead of using an elastic band, I followed the steps in this baby onesie tutorial to attach the skirt to a stretchy tank top... Blue Cricket Design Onsie Dress . Simple idea all around--stretch the tank to accommodate the width of your skirt while you are stitching them together. After you're done stitching, the skirt will gather accordingly!

To give my dress character and more fun, I added layered ruffles! The two things I would have changed if doing this again is that I would have added the top ruffle BEFORE attaching the tank to the skirt (so the seem would be hidden) and I would have allowed more fabric! I somewhat underestimated the amount  of fabric I would need to create the amount of fullness that I had originally wanted. (But I couldn't help this since this was fabric I had already purchased prior to this project! 1.5 yards...)

I cut the three layers for the ruffles in various lengths and made a small hem at the top and bottom of each. I then made a gathering stitch at the top and scrunched them until they were able to be pinned flat around the skirt at the placement that I wanted it. I used my own discretion as to how wide I made the ruffles and where I placed them on my skirt. The thinner you make your ruffles and the more layers you add, the fluffier your skirt will be! When attaching the ruffles, I made sure the bottom of the one overlapped the top zig zag stitch of the one below it to make sure you wouldn't see the seam. My third and final ruffle hung below the skirt hem so that you wouldn't see the skirt underneath. For the final look, I added a belt at my waist to disguise my first ruffles seam--oops!! I think I would have worn this with a belt either way though!

I also made myself a clutch and ring. I used a basic clutch tutorial that I've come to love & use A LOT from Anna's Noodlehead blog. You can create many variations using this simple clutch "blueprint." I made the front out of the same material as my skirt...adding a yellow trim and black lace for detail. The entire back and center band of the clutch is a shiny black fabric PERFECT for accents and making purses. I also added a strap and had a matching yellow lining with a money/ID pocket on the inside. 

The matching ring is SO simple to make! I saw this clever idea on Smashed Peas & Carrots & fell in love!

All in all, Larry & I LOVED my outfit for his birthday--I felt comfortable and confident in what I had made. Making my own outfit (while challenging) was very worth it! Not settling for something in a store was awesome. 

In the end, all I can say is...
Go handmade :) 


Happy Birthday Larry!

Yesterday was my boyfriend Larry's 25th Birthday...A quarter of a century old! I've been celebrating his birthday with him for 8 years now & have had a blast every time. How time flies! For the past few years it has become tradition to celebrate at TGI Friday's. While throughout the year, we don't have many parties or go out near as often as we used to, but it never fails that on his birthday everyone comes out & has a great time! A lot of good friends & family showed up for the festivity...I thank everyone who came out & had a blast with us!

He's still a kid at heart...I got him a buck hunting shotgun game that he had been wanting and was so happy about!!...unfortunately, it didn't work. BUT we returned it for a new & better one that he's playing as we speak :)

He was also really excited that my mom got him a jigsaw to add onto his tool collection :) 
His parents added on a great deal to his collection also! His brother & sister-in-law got him a new cast net to go fishing with! Thank you everyone who also gave him the ability to go on a shopping spree to Bass Pro & Lowe's :)

Family shot  :)

Some of our good friends that turned out to celebrate :)

Thank you everyone who came out--we had a blast! Can't wait for next year! :)


Monday, August 9, 2010

Bragging Rights

For those who don't know, my boyfriend Larry has been getting more and more excited about his newfound love of woodworking! Though he has only been doing it for a short time at work, he has definitely decided on making it an every day part of his life at home as well! His first project...to build a workbench of course!! He was so excited that not even a few weeks after the drawing was made, he had it up and built! Where was he to put this workbench? (since we live in a townhome with no shed)...our garage of course! I'm liking this new hobby already since he had to rearrange and clean out the garage to make room for this new piece of furniture (something I have been wanting to do for some time now!) :) 

Here is the finished project created by my babe & second-hand man Brandon :)

Sturdy enough for them to both sit on!!! :)

I love love LOVE that he has found a passion for something (other than fishing and video games haha) as he can now truly relate to the feeling I get when I create something! Now it's on to making a list of all those tools that he needs!! & for me to make my list of projects I want him to work on ;)
Can't wait to see all the things he creates! 


Easy Dog Bandana {Tutorial}

Who likes to dress up their pups?! I know I do!! While shopping I always find the CUTEST girl puppy clothes--but alas, my baby is a BOY! So, while having to tell myself "no" to all the girly dog outfits, I'm stuck with dressing up my Bailey in just t-shirts and bandanas...I recently pulled out some outfits to put Bailey in and chose a simple bandana. I stopped for a second and realized that this wouldn't be hard to make at all! So here is a simple tutorial on a bandana that your pup can wear. (Even if you're against dressing your dog, this is so simple and can add just a little flair to your guy!) I love this style of bandana because it beats having a REAL bandana that you tie--which always seems to come untied! Plus, you aren't risking tie-ing a piece of fabric around your baby's neck, which I'm sure they appreciate! 

These are some of the ones that I purchased 
(along with the one Bailey is wearing above)
Think holidays, sports teams & anything else to make your pup stand out!

All you'll need is some scrap fabric (less than 1/4yd.--Larry's grandma gave me this TRUE bandana printed fabric, how perfect!) and your good old sewing machine! 

Step 1. Start by cutting the basic shape of the bandana--a triangle with a rectangular extension on top. You'll need two identical pieces. Mine measured about 5.75 inches across the top, 2.5 inches tall for the rectangular extension and 5.5 inches from the top to the tip of the bandana. 

The easiest way I found to do this is to draw the rectangle first (5.75 in. by 2.5 in.) Finish it by measuring the total height of the bandana (5.5 inches tall) and then connect two lines from the lower part of the rectangle corners to make your point at the bottom! :)

PS*The rectangle heighth divided in half should be large enough to fit your pups collar in. Bailey's is fairly thin, only about 3/4 inch wide, so 1.25 inches is perfect for some wiggle room :) 
Just make the rectangle "taller" for thicker collars! 
Determining the dimensions is the trickiest part...my Bailey is a maltese and pretty small. For larger dogs, just play around with what width & heighth would look best on your guy! 

Step 2. Place your two pieces wrong sides together and stitch around the entire bandana using about half inch seam allowance. Leave a few inches open at the top part of the rectangle for flipping. (in the photo below I left the whole top open--either way is fine, as long as there is room to flip!) 

Pull the bandana right side out. PRESS with your iron!! 
You want this sucker to be flat and look like a real bandana!! 

Step 3. Fold the rectangular portion in half to meet the top of your triangle and stitch with a small seam allowance at the BOTTOM of the fold (opposite of where my needle heads are). This will form the "tunnel" where the collar will slide through.

VOILA!! You are done!! :) Press again if needed and slide the bandana onto your pup's collar.

How cute!!

Here's another one I made out of a puppy print--think out of the box when choosing your fabric! 

For all your girl dog owners, think girly fabric, ruffles and bling!! :)


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