Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dream Patio

Ugh, I have been sick, sick, sick.  Somehow I contracted some sort of icky virus that seriously knocked me on my butt.  So I have spent the last week laying on the couch watching the E! channel.  On the up side, I think I'm all caught up on my celebrity news now. 
And finally starting to feel a bit back to my normal self.
And isn't this patio amazing??!!   Gardening/landscaping/patio gods, please magically make this appear in my backyard .
Along with this awesome planter:


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Out Sick

Hope to be back soon.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Playing With A New Photo Editing Program

All my photos, edited in PicMonkey

Two For The Price Of One

1 thrifted tribal print dress = 1 summer dress + 1 eclectic infinity scarf

For the dress, I added a shirred elastic waist (read more about elastic thread here), and chopped off a bunch of length from the bottom, then re-hemmed.

Then I used the extra length to create the infinity scarf - I just sewed some crocheted trim onto the raw edge as it was already a tube, and done!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How To Repurpose Scrap Fabric Into An Anthropologie Inspired Tote

Have you seen these cute patchwork tote bags from Anthropologie?

priced at $78

Well, you can make one yourself for much, much less . . .

from scrap fabric . . .


You have now created 1 panel of your tote bag, repeat these steps with the second piece of foundation fabric to create the second (or back) panel.
Now it's just a matter of assembling a basic tote bag.
If you have never made a tote bag, this is a great photo tutorial, which includes instructions on making the lining and boxing the corners.

Here is a pic of my front and back panel sewn together, before adding the lining:

There are several options you can choose from for straps for the bag -
1. Use a recycled strap from another bag like I did here
2. Make fabric straps like the photo tutorial shows.
3. Use purchased leather stripping (I got mine at Hobby Lobby), like I did for this bag:

sewn on by machine, using a super heavy duty size 18 needle

4. Re-purpose a thrift store belt, like I did for this bag:

sewn on by hand, which worked great since it already had the little holes punched

And now you have a fantastic, handy tote, or two!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finished - The Carnaby Skirt

Here was my Carnaby Skirt way back in February, in progress.

And here it is now, finally finished, of course just as the weather is getting warm - so it will probably sit in my closet until next fall.

All in all, it turned out well. The one big mistake that I made, was mis-measuring my waist which caused me to cast off too soon. And I ended up with a skirt that was too small. To fix this, I added a little crocheted panel on one side to add some inches around the waist - if you look in the picture, it's on the right hand side, where the buttons attach.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Modcloth Primrose Patch Tote Knock-Off

Facing off today, we have, on the left, the Modcloth Primrose Patch Bag, weighing in at a hefty $85. On the right, we have my handmade knock-off version, weighing in at $2. I think this may be a case where the heavy-weight is not the clear winner.

inside lining

If you'd like to try a version of this, here's the step-by-step:

1.) Crochet 32 granny squares. Stitch together granny squares into 2 panels of 16 (4 squares by 4 squares)

2.) Crochet your 2 panels together along 3 sides (crochet join tutorial)

3.) Crochet 6-8 rows of single crochet around the top, open end, of the bag

4.) Make and attach a lining.
To do this, first measure your finished bag - mine was 15"w by 16"h. Cut 2 pieces of lining fabric 1" longer than the width, and 4" longer than the height - I cut my 2 pieces 16"w by 20"h.
With right sides together, sew a 1/2" seam along 3 sides, leaving top open.

pinned and ready to sew

Fold over the top 2" and iron down. Repeat.

Insert lining into bag and stitch in place. I did this by hand using doubled-up thread and a back stitch:

 Photo  courtesy of Austintatious Offerings Vintage Needleworks

5.) Attach straps. I cut my straps off of this old thrift store bag - $2, which is where my $2 price tag came in, the yarn and fabric I had on hand:

Now enjoy your new, much less expensive tote!!

A Little Bit Crazy, But Kind of Cool

seen here and here

Not that I'd actually do this, except maybe for Halloween, but kind of interesting.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Daffodil Dress

Before: thrift store dress ($1) - a bit matronly

(Sorry for the less than spectacular pictures - trying to take pictures while home by myself. I may have to break down and get a tripod and remote)

side view

trying to get a back view - kind of like how my tattoo peaks out (you can see the full view here)

This dress was definitely a "make it up as I go along" project so I don't have a full tutorial but I'll share the basic steps:

1. Removed the weird little doo-dad at the waist in the front
2. Used my seam ripper to detach the skirt from the bodice.
3. Cut a lot of length off of the skirt, from the waist end
4. Used the fabric from the extra length to fashion a waist band - basically a tube
5. Turned the bodice around backwards, so the front was now the back and the back was now the front, then attached the waist band.
6. Ran a gathering stitch along the top of the skirt piece and attached to the waist band.
7. Inserted a zipper into the back.

Give-Away Winner

And the winner is . . . comment #1 from Rachel (winner chosen via
Thanks to all who entered!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012