A Pencil Skirt Saga

Have you ever gone to a store and bought some item, and then regretted it once you got home?  But, you were too lazy to return it and it really was a great deal?  You find yourself rationalizing how to keep this said item until it’s too late and you’re stuck with it.  Well, a funny thing happened to me a couple  years ago that hearkens back to this very dilemma.

One day a couple years ago (it may have actually been close to a decade ago, ay yi yi!) when I had terrible taste in clothing and absolutely no idea about fit or cut, I saw this a-line skirt for sale.  I thought it was such an appealing print that I paid no mind to the fact that it didn’t fit in the waist and it was much too long for me.  I kept it hanging in my closet for years just looking at the print and wishing I knew why I never liked the way it looked on me.

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Before

Well, I finally faced this skirt demon and decided that I should make it into something usable.  Since there was really too much material, I thought making it into a pencil skirt would be just the ticket.  I found a great youtube tutorial from Craftovision that gave a quick and simple tutorial on how to make your own skirt pattern and then assemble your very own pencil skirt.  It looked so easy!

This skirt took longer than I anticipated.  I ended up re-sewing the zipper 4 times because I couldn’t get it right.  I had to redo the darts since the darts from the pattern didn’t quite fit my body correctly, and I decided to move the zipper to the side and re-use the wide waistband from the original skirt, modifying it so that it actually fit me.  I also added a slit in the back of the skirt so it would be easier to move around, which ended up in me improvising a bit on the pattern.

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After

Man, I really need to improve my sewing skills!  However, that being said, I’m very pleased with the result and I hope that should I happen to be so daring as to try this again, it will be much quicker the next time around!

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Bugging Out

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I had the bad luck of being sick this week-end. It was one of those bugs where you feel your limbs are lethargic with fatigue and soreness. I put myself under quarantine and stayed in for most of the week-end, but as a result, needed something to keep me from going stir-crazy.

Ever since I stumbled across this tutorial for DIY children’s hair clips, I’ve been secretly planning on my own version of this. I had come across this really cute tutorial here and had actually tried out the roses in this previous post, but I thought the rose was too big for my daughter at this time.

IMG_4951I had seen a bunch of different ideas of felt hair clips being sold on amazon.com or zulily.com. For those of you who don’t know, zulily.com is an online retailer that has daily sample sales of children’s or maternity related clothing, accessories, and gear for discounted prices. Seeing all the different possibilities inspired me to make my own spin off of the felt hair clip.

I decided to make a ladybug hair clips. My daughter really loves seeing pictures of ladybugs and gets very excited to point them out so I thought they would be especially cute and meaningful for her. I started with some small hair clips that I purchased from the local drugstore (not the adult size, but the smaller children’s size) and some felt I had leftover from all of my previous felt crafts.

IMG_4945I hand stitched the black spots of the ladybug, the shell on the pink body, and used two french knots for the ladybug eyes. I think these turned out quite cute, and my daughter, who hates anything in her hair, actually let me clip them in her hair and wear them for a morning. These were very easy to make and took about an hour each. I would encourage anyone to try this as a simple and quick craft, and I can’t wait to see what else I can make!  What do you think?

All that glitters, sparkles

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Happy New Year Everyone!!!  Well this is a LONG overdue post!  My daughter had the honor of being in her first wedding at 18 months old! Her uncle was getting married and asked if she would be the flower girl. What an honor!

Now, we were very busy during this time, so squeezing in time to find a dress for the wedding was a challenge, The wedding colors were purple and grey. We found an absolutely adorable dress, but it was not quite the right colors, so I had to cross my fingers that when it arrived, I would be able to modify it to work.  I ordered this dress off of Gilt.com.  For those of you who don’t know, gilt.com is a designer sample sale website that has sales every day on clothing, accessories, and home goods for men, women and children.  I’ve found a lot of great things on Gilt at discounted prices.

We ordered this dress off of Gilt.com and it took FOREVER for it to arrive!  I must have ordered this almost 2 months in advance!  I waited and waited and finally, a mere 1.5 weeks before the wedding, it showed up on our doorstep.  Talk about cutting it close!  When I got the dress, I eagerly opened it to see what kind of monster modification we were talking about.  Well, I was a little out of luck.  I had gotten some purple ribbon that matched the wedding colors and was hoping that the sash on the dress was not going to be difficult to swap out.  It turns out, it was sewn into the dress on the sides, as well as at the empire waist.  I ended up having to disassemble the entire skirt off of the dress and carefully pull out the sash so that I could insert the new sash of the correct color.  It was, thankfully, a fairly quick process (it probably helped that it was a very little dress.. haha…)

I ended up using a shortcut by using a 2″ thick purple ribbon, sewn together and turned inside out so you didn’t see the edging of the ribbon (the real dress sash was made out of a satin material).  Now, I’m no expert seamstress by any means, so I was a little nervous about modifying this thing.  I’m glad that it turned out okay.  I think the most fun I had was making the rosette for the sash.  I followed this tutorial.  It was super-easy and got me thinking that I’ll have to make more of these things!

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Here is a photo of the dress before the modification:

I’m really happy with the result and my daughter literally sparkled in the dress.  I was able to round off the look with silver sparkle tights from baby gap and an adorable flower basket courtesy of the bride and groom.  Thanks guys for a beautiful wedding!

What a Hooooot!!!! (Part 2)

My last post laid the groundwork for a mobile I had been working on for my nephew.  Let me just say, I love this thing.  I am very happy with how it turned out.  Would I change some things about it if I made it again?  Sure.  This was, after all, a learning experience.  However, I really love how all the pieces came together to balance each other.

These owls were a hit!  My daughter LOVED these little guys!  As I finished each one, I would put them on our little side table in the living room so they would all be lined up, and every morning, she would come into the living room, see the owls, and make a squeal of delight and point at them!  I admit I was afraid that they would make their way into her mouth somehow (as do most things in our home), but she never even gave a hint of doing this to these owls.  Maybe she knew?  My husband, as well, was really excited to see each owl as it started from a couple pieces of felt and came together to the finished product.  He liked them so much that I think I’m going to have to make a couple more just so we can hang them around our apartment!

Now, while I had originally planned on making 4 owls, once I had all the pieces together and looked at them as a whole, I decided to make one more to really round out the piece.  I had seen a couple of mobiles on Etsy and Pinterest with birds on branches, and I thought “why not owls on branches?”  So, I went to the park one week-end and found some nice sticks to use for the mobile.  I didn’t want that harsh texture with the owls for a baby mobile though, so I wrapped the sticks in string.  I thought that this helped to soften the jutting branches and strong angles.  I played with positioning the owls and thought about how I wanted them to interact.  It was very important to me that I capitalize on the three-dimensionality of this.  That was my main thought as I put all the pieces together.  Once I settled on the general balance, I added a couple of cut-out felt leaves to give it a little twist of detail.

I love the final result so much.  I really hope that my nephew loves looking at it from his crib and that this is something that he’ll be able to keep for his future kiddos.  I seriously think I’m going to have to make one for myself…..

What a Hooooot! (Part 1)

I know that my postings have not been as consistent as of late, and I do apologize.  There have been a lot of changes going on, but I do have a bunch of great projects to post about!

My big brother had his second son not too long ago. I had been contemplating what to make for our new family member for a while. I was browsing pinterest and got the idea of making a mobile. I saw a number of different mobile ideas, but I stumbled on some owl mobiles that I thought were so adorable! After making 2 owl hats (see previous posts here and here) I was starting to understand this owl appeal.

I found a couple mobile ideas that I liked and sort of mashed them all up together and modified them to what I was trying to accomplish. This mobile took quite a while for me to complete because it was an experiment every step of the way.  There were many challenges to this project so I will be splitting this project into two posts since it was such an undertaking.

The first thing I had to do once I decided on the general idea, was to choose a color scheme.  I live by a small but convenient craft store that carries limited but essential items, one of them being felt, which is what I selected as the main medium for my project.  I decided at first that I was going to make 4 owls, two larger and two smaller, for this mobile.  That being said, I decided on 4 main colors that I would rotate around for a different color combination for each owl.

Next, I had to make a template for what I wanted.  This took me a little bit to figure out since I wanted to make sure I got the proportions right.  I did find an image of a nice owl mobile that I thought was very successful, which was on sale on Etsy.  However, I did change a couple of the components for how I wanted the owls to interact with the overall motif.

I decided that I would hand-sew the owls.  Since each was relatively small, I didn’t think it should take TOO much time.  I think that this greatly helped in the look of the final product.  The above is a sneak peek of how one of the owls turned out.  My next post will show the final mobile!

Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere!!!

I had previously come across a tutorial for making felt flowers here that I had wanted to try.  I decided to use this flower to make some barrettes for my good friend’s eldest daughter.  I thought it would be a great “new big sister” gift as well as a birthday gift (she just turned 2 AND my friend just had her second daughter!)   She has these really large blue eyes and a cute crop of strawberry blond/red hair like her father so I thought something with pink and red would be so cute on her!

These were very easy flowers to make.  The red one was from the above link and I had first planned on making a bunch of these.  However, once I made it, I thought that the flower was a little too big for a barrette on a little girl.  I thought about how I could use this and thought of a couple ideas.  I finally settled on a headband.  However, I thought that it needed more than one flower.  Since I’m in test mode, I decided to try a different flower tutorial to see how they compare.  In the end, I liked the look of the first flower (in red) more and ended up having to trim down the pink flowers a bit because I thought they were too tall.  I also tried making the first flower using just a glue gun, but found that sewing the pieces together ultimately resulted in a tighter and neater looking result.  These was super easy to make, and I encourage you all to try this out yourselves!

Materials:

1 sheet red felt

2 5″ square sheets pink felt

1 sheet green felt

1 headband (I went to the drugstore and got the Goody wide-band headbands, like these)

hot glue gun

needle and thread

Step 1: Make (3) flowers from the flower tutorials linked above.

Step 2: Cut out 3-4 leaves from the green felt.  I liked them in different sizes and I embroidered some veining on the leaves to add a little detail to this.

Step 3: Glue the flowers and leaves onto the headband using the hot glue gun.  Wait for it to cool.  Voilá!  you’re done!

Let Your Hair Down

Shortly after starting this blog, I became a member of Pinterest. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s an online pinboard where you can surf the internet and “pin” images, articles, whatever you want, onto your account’s “board” so that you can always find stuff again. It also allows you to see other people’s boards and follow them, if you like what they’re pinning. For me, this is amazing. I’m always surfing the internet and coming across stuff that I think is cool, but then I end up having to e-mail myself the link. This makes it very hard for me to organize and keep track of all my finds. Pinterest is a great solution for this.

I came across a bunch of great flower tutorials that I wanted to try out and I came across a tutorial for felt dahlias!  I LOVE dahlias!  When my parents moved back to the states from overseas, the house they bought had a beautiful backyard that was designed by a landscape architect, and the previous owner had planted dahlias in the back.  When we moved into the house in the summer, the dahlias bloomed and they were so large and beautiful.  Seeing this tutorial reminded me of our first beautiful summer spent in Seattle.

I thought it would be the perfect gift for the daughter of  our daycare provider.  When my daughter first started going to daycare, she had the pleasure of being one of the first babies to consistently be attending this new daycare.  The provider is so sweet and loving and at the beginning in the summer, her young daughter would be with her during the day.  My daughter got a lot of attention from this girl, who would always send her off with a hug and a kiss when I went to pick her up.  I noted that she loves “girly” things, so I thought that a flower headband would be such a great gift for her!

Materials:

1 sheet red felt

1 headband (I used the Goody headband from the drugstore)

fabric glue

Step 1: Follow the felt dahlia tutorial linked here.  You may want to re-size your dahlia smaller or large depending on what you plan on using it for.

Modifications: I ended up shrinking the overall flower size.  So, I used a series of (14) 1″ squares, (11) 3/4″ squares, and (8) 1/2″ squares.  For the back circle, I ended up cutting a 2″ circle and didn’t fold the felt over the stiffening center board.  Also, instead of using a thicker cardboard for the back, since I was making a headpiece, I just used a thin piece of cardstock and sandwiched that between two layers of felt circles and glued with fabric glue.  This way, it was stiff, but still flexible enough to mold to the roundness of the headband.  From past experience, DO NOT USE ELMER’S GLUE!!!!  IT WILL DISCOLOR THE FELT AFTER A WHILE!!!!

Step 2: Glue the flower to your headband using the fabric glue.  Cut a felt circle the size of the back circle and glue this inside the headband so that it sandwiches the headband between this back and the flower.  Enjoy!