Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lace dress knock off

I love love LOVE this dress! I found it a couple of years ago and put it on my ever growing "to do" list.
I competed in SYTYC in 2012 and when I saw that one of the themes was "knock off" I didn't even have to figure out what I would do. This dress was sooo it! 

Here's Mr. De La Renta's

And here's mine.

Obviously his is much more luxe than mine but he's a famous designer and well....I'm just not. 
(Also, how cute is that Michelle Williams?? That pic of her almost makes me want to forget the "growing my hair out" mumbo jumbo and chop it all off!)

I meant to do a tutorial of this dress but I was so excited to get going that I sort of blew off taking pictures. This shouldn't be a problem though, because the best way to "knock off" this lovely Oscar de la Renta dress is to find an existing pattern. I found this pattern in my vintage pattern stash and used it as a guide for my bodice.

Obviously instead of the v-neck I had a rounded neckline. And I scrapped the princess cut to have a bodice and skirt. If you're wanting to make your own, this Simplicity pattern would work well. 

To get the same look use the bodice pattern pieces, widen the skirt to give it a slight gather, and shorten the sleeves a bit. Then you can add black bias binding for the sleeves and neck a and satin sash.

 The best thing about sewing is making something original and to your own taste. If you like the cut of a certain dress pattern simply use lace over satin to get the Oscar look. And you don't have to use ivory like I did, use a color that will make you happy: yellow, soft pink, beige, whatever color that makes your little heart flutter! Below are the fabrics I used. 

Vienna Lace Black

Charmeuse Satin Ivory

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hello, friends

Hey y'all! It's been 8 freaking months! I had to (for my sanity) take a breather from blogging. 

In a photo bombing way here's the scoop from the summer months of my life:

We broke down and got a rotten dog. I'm not sure I was in the right frame of mind when I decided it was a wonderful idea. More work. More responsibility. More mess. She's cute though, so that's good.

A crazy group of my friends and myself started a preschool co-op with our little kid-lets. I echo the above "More work. More responsibility. More mess." But they're cute.

Husband and I are tackling the unfinished room in our basement. It's eventually going to be a bigger better laundry room! I'm super duper excited for this room to be done.....then we can sell our house! Ha! But no really. We plan to put our home on the market next spring so that our big ol' family can breath a little better. 

This little house is so cute, and it's been a wonderful starter home, but we're ready for more space for the kids who, for some reason (with one exception), just seem to keep growing!

Only an itty bitty chunk of my time has been spent sewing. A lot has been on my plate recently and most of the time that plate has not allowed for my beloved Bernina. I did have the pleasure of pattern testing for the ever lovely Kate from See Kate Sew. She's a babe. What more can I say?

In addition to our laundry room endeavors, was a minor kitchen refresher. The left hand side is a before shot and you probably can't tell, but it's a ridiculously tall non functioning island. I hated it when we moved in and I hated it until the beautiful day we ripped it out.

I'm kinda short so the counter space was not ideal. Also, the refrigerator and stove are directly across from that hideous tall island so we sold our existing oven range (thank you Craigslist) and bought a prettier gas slide in range. I cannot begin to tell you what a difference it has made to the ebb and flow of my kitchen! Instead of walking back and forth from the normal sized cabinets to chop my veggies (or whatever), I can just do it right next to the stove top and then pop them into whatever pan I'm using. It's a glorious glorious thing.

I got an outside of my house job. I now am a preschool teacher at the most adorable little church nursery school you ever saw. This school has been around for like 50+ years and I'm loving it (mostly). I was, however, super surprised to find how much it has disrupted my groove. I only work 2 days in the week and only 4 hrs each of those days, but good grief my laundry day and every other chore day has suffered for it. I'm sure I'll figure out how to manage everything but so far I haven't had much progress. (le sigh)

Ah my baby. He's so cute and little. While his littleness is so adorable, we found out that it's problematic. Over the summer he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. We also found that he has a lovely brain issue (Chiari Malformation). Thankfully he doesn't really have any symptoms and still acts like a crazy 4 year old. This is an issue that I'm not worrying about right now. We still are testing, and again he's not really being affected by it. Sometimes I'll pull it off of the shelf and have a good cry but then I have to put it back because there's nothing more to be done at this point. He's a trooper though and as feisty as they come!

I upped my running game a little. (actually August ended up being like 73ish miles. So that's cool.) My goal is to run my first marathon in a year. It helps that I have a gang of amazing runners that I with? They're beasts! 

I'm growing out my hair and strangely, it went wavy/curly. I've hit the length that I usually get super frustrated with and end up chopping it all off. We shall see.

And well, I turned 30. I'm happy to be a real adult now and I'm hoping the best for the next decade!

So, what were you all up to the past 8 months??

Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 25, 2013

A story and a sling tutorial

I just finished up some work for a client and it got me reminiscing about my 4th baby who today, is a "not so baby" sassy pants.

Let's jump back a couple years before number 4. Everyone and their grandma's poodle told me how difficult it was transitioning from 2 to 3 kids. "You run out of hands" they all said. I'm not sure what this says about my sweet personality, but I love proving people wrong. So imagine how delighted I was when number 3 turned out to be a breeze! I was like, "BOOM! In your face people!!" (I guess maybe that means I have a rotten personality) Number 3 was a dream child. He slept through the night at 7 weeks! People, the child didn't cry. If he was hungry or upset he'd sort of grunt and scrunch up his little face but that was it!
Dream. Child.

So I think to myself, "Man am I fantastic or what?! I've got this child care thing down!" Guess what happened next? Number 4. That's what. Now, Miss M is a darling love of a child, but she was a really hard baby. She didn't nurse well and was always super fussy (unless I held her while doing the Charleston of course). She did sleep through the night early which was a blessing because she was in my face all day every day. She must have had tummy issues because she really was soooo cranky ALL the time. Looking back I wish I would have investigated a little more. But I didn't so oh well.

I did however, make myself one of these bad mamma jammas:
It saved us both and as it turned out, she was my best accessory!

Do you want to make one too?

Here's what you'll need:

2-2 1/2 yards fabric *
a pair of sling rings **

I didn't take a picture of this because my fabric was already cut, but you'll need to cut your fabric in half lengthwise. Doing this will give you two skinny yards of fabric. This means that you'll be able to make two. Great news right?!

You'll then need to either serge or hem 3 of the 4 sides (both longs sides and 1 short side). 

After doing these steps my fabric measured 28 1/2" wide. 

Of course I gave it to my client before I could take decent after pictures. I guess you'll have to make your own to see the awesomeness of it! 


*The fabric I like the best for slings is a polyester dressy fabric. I usually find it at Joann's in the "silky" fabrics section. It's not shiny silky but it has a nice drape and it weighs more than cotton. Quilter's cotton isn't a great fabric choice for slings because it's not as sturdy. You're going to be wrapping up your little bundle of cuteness in this thing so choose sturdy over the designer quilter's fabrics. Besides that the cottons and linens are a pain in the butt to adjust.

** As far as sling rings go, I only order from The rings that you find in the craft stores are not safe for slings so don't even go there. 

If you're curious as to how to actually use this there are a bunch of youtube tutorials...check it out.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday inspiration #5

Creativity is allowing yourself to make 

mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” 

-Scott Adams

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Happy little monster softie pattern & tutorial

Several years ago when my baby was a real live baby I made him a happy little monster softie for Christmas. With its circular feet and simple design it reminded me of the fellows from The Happy Monster Band.

Do any of you remember the Happy Monster Band that aired on forever ago??? They were kinda cute and my kids used to love watching and listening to their silly little songs. We looked them up today for know to relive the old days. My ten year old kept nervously laughing and saying, "this is a little weird mom". It's sort of sad when they grow up.....sort of.

Today I want to share with you my pattern so that you can make some for your own little monsters.

I created my pattern in a really fancy program called paint.....I know, right?!
Click on the pattern to enlarge it. Copy the image, save, and print. Or, make up your own happy monster!

The awesome part about this little guy is you can customize like crazy. Add rickrack, a bow, a monogram, ruffles, anything! Also, this is a pretty simple project and would be perfect for beginners.

For this project you'll need:

* 2 coordinating fabrics (for the body)
* cotton, felt, or fleece (for the legs) note: if you use cotton you'll need to add a 1/4 inch seam allowance to the legs. 
* Felt (for the eyes)
* Embroidery thread
* hand sewing needles
* scrap of white fabric or felt (for the teeth)
* Fiberfill stuffing

Start by cutting out the back of the monster body in one of your fabrics. Set it aside.

 As I mentioned earlier, you'll need to add 1/4 inch seam allowance to the leg piece. When I drafted the pattern, I intended on the legs being made from fleece or felt both of which need not be turned after sewing.

 When your monster is all fat and happy, stitch up the opening using a ladder stitch. Here's a good tutorial if you're unfamiliar.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday inspiration # 4

There is a vitalitya life forcean energya quickening
that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” 

-Martha Graham