Monday, April 30, 2012

A jersey skirt

I spent this weekend picking stitches. It was funny really (well not at the time) but it became my unofficial motto.

It all started with the idea to make a maxi dress out of 3 different shirts. Maxi dresses are really in right now, and I had this grand idea for a really cute striped version. I started Friday night and I clipped and sewed and measured and got my pieces ready to piece the next day. Saturday, I started piecing my maxi dress. It became increasingly obvious that the dress was going to be skin tight, but I pushed on because I refused to let my hard work go to waste. My husband stood in the hallway and said, "how are you going to squeeze into that??" Sigh.

Unpick unpick unpick.

Part of the pieced dress became a top, the other part would be a skirt. I tried on the top. The pieced parts just didn't look right.

Unpick unpick unpick.

I salvaged the parts I could and went to work making the bottom part into a skirt for myself. I tried it on. Too tight.

Unpick unpick unpick.

So, many hours, and many tries later, my maxi dress-shirt-skirt became a jersey dress for Haley. Here's Ms. Cheesypants modeling it.

You'd think one of these days I'd learn my lesson, or learn to buy a pattern. Stubborn me. It really is a cute skirt though, I'm thinking I might have to make a tutorial for this one soon. I'm definitely staying away from maxi dresses for awhile though :)

Haley pranced and twirled around outside in her new skirt as I snapped pictures with promises of coloring with sidewalk chalk.


Connor joined in too, but he had other ideas for the chalk. Everything automatically goes into this boy's mouth.

Even with all the stitch picking, it was still a nice relaxing weekend with no big plans It's nice to have those once in awhile.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Week In Pictures

1. lemon face! 2. enjoying the wonderful weather 3. fried pickles at Gus's Fried Chicken 4. cloud watching with my favorite girl

I've decided to start a new regular series on the ol' blog called "Week in Pictures" where I give you a little peek into my life each week and what I've been up to through the pictures I take on my iPhone. I love taking pictures with my Rebel, but most of the time it doesn't make sense for me to lug the giant thing around with me all the time. Like I mentioned recently, I discovered my absolute new favorite app, Pixlr-o-Matic, through my sister-in-law, and now I can't stop taking pictures with my iPhone.

My poor phone battery is pretty much dead by noon. No joke.
I'm going to try to keep up with it each week and make a goal to post each Friday if possible. Oh and by the way, in case you're looking for some AWESOME free Photoshop tutorials and downloads, go check out Pugly Pixel. I don't know what took me so long to find the site, but I stumbled over it last Friday night and then sat glued to my computer as I downloaded every available free Photoshop goodie that Katrina offers. It is chock FULL of amazingness, including the photo layout that I used above. She has tons of clipart, photo layouts, free brushes, you name it. And then, as if all of that wasn't great enough, you can become a 30-day member for only $5 and get a ton more amazing stuff.

Drop everything and go there now.

So, this past week was spent enjoying the amazing spring weather here in Tennessee. I'm loving all of these mild temperatures we get before the blazing hot of summer, so we're spending as much time outside as we can. We also got to go visit a great restaurant where they make pretty tasty fried chicken (I have a weakness for the stuff.) While we had the chicken, Connor decided to try his first lemon which resulted in some pretty hilarious faces :)

Here's to another fantastic weekend!

Monday, April 23, 2012

No-sew framed fabric honeycomb

In my continuous (and extremely slow) effort to re-do my craft room, I wanted to make another picture to keep my Bee Inspired print company :) This is a really quick, no-sew project that is perfect for getting rid of those pesky scraps you may have sitting around. It's also really great for showcasing some of your favorite fabrics that you can't bring yourself to make into a piece of clothing that your child will grow out of in 2 days.

If you're not into the whole honeycomb thing, try different shapes! Triangles? Circles? Heck, go crazy with some octagons. Whatever floats your boat.

  • A bunch of scrap fabric
  • Interfacing, like Heat N Bond
  • Burlap
  • Picture frame
  • Iron

Step 1: Iron on your interfacing.

First, decide how big you want your hexagons to be. This will determine how much of your fabric you'll need. My picture frame size was 11x13 1/2, so I decided on 4 rows of hexagons for a total of 16 hexagons that were 2 1/2 inches tall and 3 inches wide. I cut 6 each from 2 different colors and 4 from another. The white fabric was used to accent, and I cut 6 smaller hexagons that were 1 3/4"x2" each.

Follow the instructions on the back of your interfacing to iron some interfacing to the back of your fabrics.

Step 2: Cut your hexagons out.

You should now have several strips of fabric with interfacing on the back of them.

To get your hexagon shape, Google or find some clipart of a hexagon and use Word to size it to whatever size you need. Cut out and trace the hexagon to the paper backing of your interfacing. Cut out your shapes, and remove the paper backing.

Step 3: Attach your shapes on the burlap.

Cut out a piece of burlap big enough for your frame. Be sure to cut it a tiny bit larger than needed, I cut mine a little too small so you can see the frame a little on the bottom.

Arrange your hexagons on the burlap until you're happy with the placement.

With a hot iron, carefully iron on your large hexagons first by lifting and placing the iron on a couple hexagons at a time (no dragging the iron across). After your large hexagons have been ironed on, layer your smaller accent hexagons on top and iron those on in the same way.

Now, just insert your finished piece in your frame and hang!

Enjoy your art!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Caroline Dress

I'm a sucker for little girls' dresses, not that my daughter needs anymore dresses. I'm pretty sure my 3-year-old has more clothes then me, and DEFINITELY more dresses than me. When I was her age, I only wore dresses when my mother forced me into them on Sundays. These days, I'm only too happy to make my daughter wear them as much as possible until she realizes how comfortable jeans and t-shirts are over frilly girly dresses. And before she catches Bieber fever.


I actually made this dress for Haley for Easter and mentioned it in this post, but I'm excited to share it with you! I've been dying to try my hand at making a dress with a crossover front, and I'm happy to say this dress turned out pretty darn awesome. In fact, I couldn't get Haley to take the dress of after church. That is what we call a win.

Supplies (based on 3t/4t size):

  • 1 yard cotton fabric
  • 1/2 yard coordinating fabric 
  • Paper to make your pattern
  • Shirt that fits your child well to make the pattern
  • 3 buttons
  • Disappearing ink marker
  • Sewing machine and sewing supplies
Step 1: Draft and cut out your pattern pieces.

First, you'll need to make your pattern. I made my pieces by first laying out a shirt that fits my daughter and drawing around it to make two bodices.

Next, I drew a line from the neckline to the armpit to make the crossover bodice. For the back piece, I just cut my pattern piece down the middle.

Step 2: Join your pieces.

Now to cut out your pattern pieces. You need 2 of each piece, a front and a back for each since the bodice has a lining. You can do this easily by folding your fabric with the right sides together and cutting out your pattern pieces, giving you 2 of each. You'll end up with 4 front bodice pieces (a front and a lining for each) and 4 back pieces (a front and a lining for each.) When you cut out your 4 back pieces, make sure to add 1 inch to the center of each for the button placket. Make sense?

Place your pieces with the right sides together and sew along the lines indicated below. You'll be leaving your shoulders and bottom of each unsewn.

Turn your pieces right side out and iron.To make the next steps easier, I numbered each of the pieces. The two front bodice pieces are 1 and 2, and the back pieces are 3 and 4.

First fold the raw edge of the open shoulder of 1 inside itself and iron so that the raw edge is enclosed inside. Insert the shoulder piece of 3 inside 1 as shown below, and pin and sew straight across to finish. Repeat with pieces 2 and 4.

Here's how your finished bodice should look after the shoulders have been joined. Match up the side pieces of your front bodice. Your back pieces should overlap an inch to account for the button placket.

(Not shown) at this point, you should fold your bodice onto your back piece with the right sides together and match up the sides. Sew so that sides of the front and back of your bodice are now joined.

Step 3: Make your bottom panel.

Determine how long your bottom panel will need to be and subtract 2 inches. Now, measure the length of your bodice and multiply by 2. Cut two pieces of fabric this length and width from your for the bottom of your dress. Also cut 2 strips of fabric this same length and 3 inches wide for the accent fabric at the bottom.

Attach your fabric strips to the bottom of your panels by placing the pieces right sides together and pinning. Sew to attach and serge or zig zag the raw edges where the panel and accent fabric were joined. After the accent fabric has been added, hem the bottom of your piece to hide the raw edge. Repeat with your other fabric strip and panel.

Now you'll need to gather your fabric. Sew a basting stitch (the longest length and width on your machine) straight across the top of your panel. Gather the fabric until your panel is the same width of your bodice. Repeat with the other panel, and then place the two pieces right sides together and sew up the sides so you have a tube. You could also make pleats instead (which is what I ended up going back and doing when I made the dress a little too big!)

Step 4: Attach your bodice to the bottom of your dress.

You should have 2 main pieces now, your bodice and the bottom of your dress. To attach the two, first make sure your bodice is right side out and the bottom of your dress is inside out. Also make sure that the back pieces are folded over correctly (left side should be overlapping right) and pin in place.

Insert your bodice into your gathered tube and match up the raw edges. Pin all the way around and sew. Finish your edges by serging or zig-zagging.

Now just make your button holes and sew on your buttons!

Now you have a new pretty spring dress (or an Easter dress in my case :)

This is actually the first dress I made for Haley that she's refused to take off. That does a mama's heart good.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My visit to PA through Pixlr-o-matic

Things have been quiet around here over the past few days because we were off on a visit to Pittsburgh to  see a show with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. We saw our first Cirque du Soleil show! We've been trying to go for years, but one thing after the other kept us from going. The one we saw in PA was a tribute to Michael Jackson, one of my favorite artists, so we pretty much HAD to go see it. It was really interesting to see his life through dance and song (and plenty of acrobatics!)

While we were there, we fit a ton of other fun stuff in too as usual :) Rather than tell you about what I did, I thought it'd be fun to show you through the pictures I took on my phone using Pixlr-o-matic (my favorite new photo editing program!) My sister-in-law got me hooked on it over the weekend. I love all the different editing options and frames they offer, and you can download even more if you sign up for the paid subscription (which I may be doing in the very near future.)

1. Sibling love! 2. Riding the merry-go-round at the zoo 3. A yummy ice cream sundae on a hot day 4. My little cowgirl 5. Trying out a new hairstyle 6. Mini me 7. Aunt Shanny with her nieces and nephew 8. Pretty painted tootsies after a spa party 9. One of the many beautiful churches in Pittsburgh 10. Worn out from all the fun

Just a peek into our extended weekend in Pittsburgh. It's a beautiful city with lots of great photo opportunities, even if all you have is your phone! I definitely suggest downloading Pixlr-o-matic if you're looking for a great editing program for your smart phone. Also, for some tips on how to take great pictures with your phone, check out this post on A Beautiful Mess. You might never use your camera again ;)

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Exhibit A:

Here's a tip: when your son is alone in his room and he's quiet for a little too long, you should probably go investigate. Chances are, he probably found the baby powder and decided to shake it all over his room. And his head. and the floor.

Check out the baby powder line on his head, I don't even know HOW he managed to do that. And if you look closely, you can see that it's even on his pacifier!

Oh this boy, he's the funniest little, dirt-covered noisy mess I know.

Monday, April 9, 2012


I hope everyone had a great Easter yesterday! Since the closest family is 13 hours away, we had a nice relaxing Easter with just the 4 of us. We went to church in the morning, then had an Easter egg hunt in the back yard afterward.

Connor didn't quite understand what he was supposed to do. He ran around the yard with one plastic egg, throwing it on the ground every few minutes. That freed Haley up to get pretty much all of them. Which was fine with her :)

I guess this is also an unofficial sneak peek to a dress tutorial I'll be sharing with you soon :) I've been wanting to make a dress with a crossover bodice for awhile, so a week before Easter I whipped this baby out. Haley loved it too, she wouldn't take it off when we got home from church! That's a win in my book.

After the egg hunt, I thought it'd be nice to get a picture with both kids together since those are so rare. It didn't go well.

Haley was a perfect angel, but Connor ended up doing this most of the time.

I got Haley by herself and she cheesed it up for me :) This kid is going to be a singer or a TV show host, I'm sure of it.

Eventually I got a semi-smile from Connor. I'll take it!

All in all, it was a great Easter weekend. How was yours?


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