April 29, 2013

Feeling Lost...

without my sewing machine!

Last Thursday I dropped my sewing machine off for routine maintenance and hardly know what to do with myself this week. Since I can't sew in my free time and I am feeling very inspired thanks to The Great British Sewing Bee I decided to start a project that I could finish once I have my sewing machine back.

I got this vintage pattern at my local free store and am excited to use it because this blouse is back in style and the measurements seem to be a perfect fit for me. Thankfully my mother had some left over coral and coral polka dot material from a project she did years ago and was happy to share the left over material with me. So far I'm liking the cost of this project!

Stay tuned for the finished product!

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April 22, 2013

Fashion Star & The Great British Sewing Bee

I admittedly watch a little bit too much television, but recently I have been absolutely GLUED to Fashion Star and The Great British Sewing Bee. Why you ask?

I love Fashion Star for three main reasons. It mixes individual designers and the process they go through WITH buyers from major department stores AND you can purchase the clothing immediately after the show is over! Talk about an advertising major's dream.

Have any of you purchased an article of clothing that was designed on Fashion Star? I have been tempted, but it seems that Saks always buys the styles I like and sells them out of my price range. I have, however, been thinking about how I could replicate a few of the designs.

I have never wanted to be on a "reality" television show until I saw The Great British Sewing Bee. Honestly, if Americans were allowed to apply I would fly to Britain at the drop of the hat! America, lets get on this ASAP.

What makes this show so wonderful is that it truly tests the sewing skills of amateur sewers through a variety of tests including altering, tailoring, following a pattern, hand stitching, and refashioning for both men's and women's clothing. The winner of The Great British Sewing Bee will likely be a very well rounded seamstress!

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April 19, 2013

Floral Clutch Cover

Last summer I picked a few things up from the local free store. One of the things I picked up was a black velvet clutch that looked like it was in high fashion in the mid 80s. Thankfully it was still in great shape, and I had the perfect craft in mind for it, so I brought it home with me.

Any thoughts on what the craft may be? That's right, a clutch cover! And I had the perfect bright and springy fabric left over from my floral dress re-do last spring.

Pieces before.

First, I had to cut the remaining dress bodice open at the side seams and top straps then sew the two separate pieces together at the bottom to create enough fabric for the length of the clutch.

Plenty of material.

Next I had to begin engineering the piece, which took A LOT of measuring, pinning, and re-measuring. Both the bottom and sides of the original clutch were designed to expand and I knew that I wanted to be able to carry just as many things in my clutch once it was covered with this fun floral fabric.

Measuring and pinning.

Once I finally felt reassured that the measurements I had taken were correct I cut the material, sewed the top and bottom seam, and basted the side seams.


The basting turned out really well so I sewed and serged the seams as well as sewing the bottom corners of the clutch to make a nice square, box shape for the clutch to expand.

Measuring out the bottom corners.

Once that was completed I was ready to iron my clutch cover and insert my clutch!

Ironed clutch cover.

Now my clutch cover is complete and I can take my newly updated black velvet clutch with me to a variety of spring events. And the magnetic closure still works through a few layers of material! I will continue to make additional covers for this clutch so that I can use it in all seasons, but may design the pattern a little bit differently next time as the back of the clutch cover doesn't fit as snugly as I would like.

Finished clutch cover.

April 17, 2013

Girlfriend Birthday

Hello, and happy spring!

I recently wanted to give a small token of appreciation to a girlfriend for her birthday. I thought of all sorts of options. I realized that what I had at home already, could become a thoughtful and beautiful gift. A handmade gift would let her know just how much I treasure her. She is a very sunny type person, so I got crafty with stamps and paper to make a batch of greeting cards for her.

I found paper colors that I found pleasing together and seemed "sunny". I fell back on a card layout that I use when ever I don't want to think up something new. The stamp set is Sew Suite, a Stampin Up set from a while back. I am really happy with the end product. Happy Birthday Girlfriend.


April 15, 2013

Lemon "Brownies"

Citrus, Lemon-Aid, Lime Popsicles... They are all up my alley, so when I found this recipe on Pinterest I KNEW I had to remake it.  One problem, "Dis girl right hur got da food allergies like WHOAH!" A few alterations later and I was good to go...

The main issues in this recipe was the flour. However, my wonderful mother, makes an all purpose flour mixture for me that DOES NOT contain corn, soy, or wheat. Its the only flour I have in my apartment to avoid temptation. My mom uses rice, almond, and coconut or sorghum flours to make this all purpose flour.

Also, this recipe didn't say what size pan to use so I used my 8x8 glass Pyrex pan and took them out right at 23 minutes. As you can see below the edges were starting to turn brown just like the blog said they would.

I followed the directions for the glaze precisely until I realized it was SO LEMONY!! I love lemon, but I had to add a touch more powdered sugar. Speaking of powdered sugar, did you know it has corn starch in it? YUP! I'm allergic to corn so I have to take granulated sugar and grind it into powdered sugar. A coffee grinder works well for this. To add a little texture and taste variation I added a few pinches of raw coconut flakes to the glaze.

At the end of the day, these "brownies" weren't as fluffy as they would have been with wheat flower, but they still tasted like I bit into sunshine, so you wont find me complaining!

April 14, 2013

New Dress A Day FEATURE

I am so thrilled to have my refashion(s) featured today on Marisa Lynch's blog: New Dress A Day. Marisa and her blog have been truly inspirational to me in my refashions. Check me out here!

If you think that's great, you should check out her BOOK! It's on my Christmas list, Mom, Krista, HINT HINT....

April 8, 2013

Trying out my green thumb

It is that time of the year when we all are just itchin' to get outdoors and get our hands into the soil. It is a little early for that in our neck of the woods. So I decided to get crafty and trim back some of the leggy plants in the living room and get them potted up to share with one of our daughters.

Years ago a wise older woman told me that she always put her soil in the oven to kill any bacteria if she was reusing her potting soil. I have found that it works just as well in the microwave. I just put the soil in a microwave save bowl and pop it in for a while. Why buy new soil if you have some left over?

Somewhere along the line I have learned that a marble in the center hole will prevent the soil from oozing out when you water. It is always best to use a clean pot to plant in. This one still needs to be scrubbed.

 This is the plant slip in a  little rooting container. When the original plant got a too leggy, I trimmed back some of the over growth and let it root in a vase of water on the window sill. I was able to keep an eye on it there to make sure that it always had plenty of water.
Planting will always work better if you have good root growth before you pot up the plants. This is really nice growth. The stems of the plants are still strong. If the stem was "mooshey" it wouldn't be a good candidate to pot up.

This Klanchoe is all potted and ready to go to it's new home. They are succulents and this has been a nice houseplant. Now I will try to figure out how to make it bloom.

April 7, 2013

Young Professional Blazer Re-Fashion

A while back my friend Jennie, from 2 Girls in 2 Cities, suggested I do a blazer re-fashion. I loved the idea (and pictures she sent) and immediately began hunting for the perfect blazer on my all-to-regular trips to my favorite thrift stores. I was thrilled when I found this royal blue Ralph Lauren blazer and knew it was THE ONE for my project.

Sad, over-sized blazer, your days are numbered!

Needless to say I was really excited for the chance to wear my newly upscaled blazer while I was in Chicago over the weekend for a work conference. And BONUS, I was able to meet up with Jennie for a quick chat and photo shoot! It was so nice to catch up with her and play with her new camera; it had been far too long. Check out her outfit post here.

We accidentally coordinated blazers!
To re-fashion my blazer I removed the buttons from the sleeves and ran a thread from the bottom of the sleeve up to the elbow on both the outside and inside seams. I like the scrunched sleeve trend and it was a quick and easy fix. I also took the blazer in a few inches at the side seams for a more fitted look. I have to admit though, this project was a learning experience for me as it was my first time sewing on silk. I used a needle that was far too dull and made tiny little wholes in my material and perforated my lining. Lesson learned, ALWAYS use the sharpest needles when sewing on silk.

Finished product!

April 3, 2013

Resale Shop

I am so proud of Krista's thrifting skills. Believe it or not, earlier this week she purchased an adorable, brand new pair of Target sandal high heels for only $3.99! You can check them out here.

Yesterday I went to one of my favorite local farm market/resale shops and left with an amazing haul! I purchased:
Garnier Fructis Body Boost shampoo 25.4 oz. for $3.50,
Nair Hair Remover 9 oz. for $2.50,
John Frieda root AWAKENING styling gel 6 oz. for $1.00,
The Real Shaving Co. Shave Cream 5.07 oz. for $1.50,
Burt's Bees facial cleansing towelettes 10 Pre-moistened Towelettes for $1.50,
Simple vital vitamin DAY CREAM 1.7 oz. for $5.00,
MAYBELLINE TOUCH OF LIGHT .85 oz. for $2.00,
e.l.f. Matte Eyeshadow .05 oz. for $1.00, and
REVLON Just Bitten for $1.00.

In total I spent only $19.00 (pre-tax) on all of my new toiletry items. I guess thrifty runs in our family!

April 2, 2013

Gettin' my Kicks

So, I'm home for break and hit up the local Goodwill. I was astonished by their prices. *Let me hear ya if you are annoyed by their recent price hikes.*

I found these adorable shoes which were admittedly new. New enough to have the original Target clearance tag on them... $7.49. Goodwill however was charging $7.99.

I obviously found my voice on the issue and let them know it was "absurd" to charge more than they originally were at THE STORE!! Um, HellllOH!

Lets just say I walked with out a new pair of shoes for $3.99.

I love that they can go with nude, brown, OR black. Can we say versitile? I'm diggin um with tore up boyfriend jeans.

A huge thank you...

Tonight I logged on and realized we were at 7,000 hits.


This blog all started as a way for the three of us to keep in touch, and OH MAN have we loved sharing our journey with you.

Thank you for the comments, the hits, the love.

Us bloggers know how to get it! #boom