Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wanderlust (or Places I Want to Go Before I Die)

Going on a virtual vacation . . .

St. Petersburg, Russia

Santorini, Greece

New York City

Paris - but only after I learn to speak French

(There's a lot more than this in reality, but these places make the top of the list)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For 4th of July

wreath on the front door

a little silly, but it makes me smile

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Triple Peter Pan Collar Tutorial

Here's a slightly different take on the Peter Pan collar - The Triple Peter Pan Collar Top from Topshop.

And not too hard to replicate:

I started with this coral tank top that I already had in my closet -

To make a pattern for the Peter Pan collar, lay the tank over a piece of paper and draw a line that follows the neckline.

Draw your collar shape - you only need to draw one side. Add seam allowance. Cut out.
Repeat to create your other 2 collar shapes. Pin each shape to a double layer of white fabric and cut out - do this twice so you have both halves of each layer of your collar.

Sew pattern pieces together, right sides together, leaving an opening for turning along the top. Before turning, clip seam allowance along curves. Turn right side out and press well.

Now you can begin sewing your layers onto your tank, starting with your top layer. When you do this, you will also end up stitching your turning opening closed.

Next, I stitched down my bottom layer because it was bigger than my middle layer.

And finally, I added my smallest, middle layer.

Ready to go!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Making Me Happy Monday

A Haircut

So here's how I've been wearing my hair all summer. I have very fine, very thin hair and once it gets past chin length, there's not much I can do with it, hence the twisty, clippy, do. Admittedly, not much of a hairstyle. So I decided it was time for my annual haircut (I have several friends that are horrified by my complete hair neglect).

And here's the new do for summer:

It feels so nice - up off my neck but longer around my face ( although I tend to tuck it behind my ears) - and best of all, according to the girl who cut it, pretty much wash and go. My kind of hair cut!
(And, ugh, I hate taking pictures of myself!)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Uploading Larger Pictures to Your Blog

If you are a fellow blogger and use Blogger/blogspot, check out this great tutorial on how to add larger pictures to your blog. It's so simple!

Here's one of my photos that I played around with:

before, uploaded on Blogger's largest setting

After - and with no reduction in picture quality!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Polka Dots Another Way

Inspired by The Bristol Polka Dot Dress from Ruche ($52.99):

I used a thrifted long sleeve polka dot tee (no picture) and this thrifted navy skirt:

I dismantled the skirt in order to create the skirt portion of the dress (it had a white lining which I removed and saved for another use). Then I shortened the sleeves of my shirt and cut off the excess length, which I used to make the ruffles on the front. I sewed the 2 pieces together using elastic thread. I wasn't sure if this would work or not but actually, it worked beautifully! (Another great use for elastic thread). It probably wouldn't work if you were using heavier fabrics but because both my top and skirt were lightweight (the skirt is actually quite sheer) it worked well.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Couple of Crochet Projects

I finally finished this afghan!! It wasn't a hard pattern, it just seemed to take me forever - but that could be because I chose to use a lightweight, thinner yarn.
From this free pattern from Lion Brand.

And my dishcloths were starting to look a little tattered so I crocheted up a few new ones:

You can get the free pattern here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Retro Reveler Dress Refashion

I actually passed up this dress at the thrift store several times because I just wasn't sure what I could do with it. But eventually it shouted loud enough "take me home and make me wearable" that I had to buy it - it was only $2 after all (and I'm a sucker for polka dots).
And then I spotted The Retro Reveler Dress on Modcloth ($74.99 but no longer available) . . .

. . . and I knew what to do with my thrifted dress.

Here's my $2 Retro Reveler-Inspired Dress:

I love it now - it's loose and comfy but not shapeless, with a vintage vibe. Here's what I did:
1.) Unpicked the weird mandarin(?) collar, inserted red piping, and resewed the neckline
2.) Shortened the sleeves
3.) Added tiny red ric rac along the button placket
4.) Changed out the white buttons for red ones
5.) Chopped 6 inches off the bottom and re-hemmed it to above the knee

And it goes perfectly with my little handmade red rose earrings:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Organizing Round-up

It seems I've had an inadvertent organization themed week so I thought I'd wrap things up with a final collection of great organizing ideas I've seen online. (And I promise next week will be back to crafting, sewing, and refashioning - I have a couple of dress refashions that I just finished up).

This is a great way to use some of the vertical space in a closet - hanging baskets/bins. This is in a baby's closet but it would work well for anyone - great for socks, undergarments, belts, etc. See the tutorial here.

Yet another use for tension rods - organize and hold baking sheets, cutting boards, and platters - via Martha Stewart.

Again from Martha Stewart, prevent nested pots and pans from scratching with coffee filters.

Real Simple has a ton of great "Organizing New Uses for Old Things" ideas. Here are a few of my favorites:
shoe box ribbon organizer

photo tree as recipe holder

earrings as pushpins - great use for earrings that have lost their match or are just not a style you would wear

And finally, this is a great way to organize pens, pencils, crayons, scissors, etc with a simple rod, S hooks, and buckets:

tutorial here

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More Organizing Ideas

Another "why didn't I think of that?" idea:

Use a towel rack or tension rod for hanging spray bottles - so simple but brilliant.