Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Color Block Tank

      You might have noticed quite a bit of color block looks going around this season. I have, and I quite like them. You can use color blocking in a bold, dramatic way, pastel, or even a monochromatic look. I picked up some random fabric the other day, and when I got home, I notice just how well the colors went together...kind of a happy accident!

     The sky is the limit on how you can piece the fabric together. I chose to stick to straight lines for simplicity's sake. This fabric is sort of a cross between linen and chambray, so it had absolutely no stretch to it. Here is my "pattern" for this type of tank. The green lines represent how I sectioned out the shirt. Simply divide the shirt length into the amounts you want for each color strip. The strap width depends on your preference.

      I've decided that my french curve ruler is my new best friend. If you don't have one, pick one up the next time you are the fabric store. They are so super helpful when trying to achieve a uniform curve. Here are my sections before sewing them together.

      The sewing is very simple. Sew the strips together. Sew the shoulders and side seams. Hem. The hardest part of this shirt is just figuring out the measurements for each piece. Once you have that, you are home free.

      I know I didn't include a lot of step by step pictures, so if you have questions, let me know. These tanks will be for sale in both my Etsy shop and AJ's Boutique. What do you think of color blocking? Do tell.

Joshua 1:9   Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. 
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

No Tie Turban Style Headbands

     I really like the look of head wraps, or turban style hair scarfs. I do not, however, enjoy fiddling with tying the thing, or worrying about it falling out! The easy solution, just a 5 inch strip of elastic!

     All you need to make one, is some fabric, elastic, and two small pieces of ribbon. Cut your fabric about 25 inches by 12 inches. Tie a knot in the center. Scrunch up the ends like so. Don't worry about keeping it all even, its not supposed to be.

     Lay one of the pieces of ribbon across it, and sew it down.

      Stick the end of the elastic against the back side and wrap the ribbon around it. Sew it down nice and securely.

      Trim the ribbon pieces, and dot on some fray check. Do the same thing with the other side. All done!

      It's a fabulous way to use fabric that is too small for clothing, but too big just to toss. You can use any type of fabric you want. Jersey knit makes a very comfy soft version, that I just love.

       I made these for my Etsy shop. I may or may not have snagged a few for my own personal use too...a girl does need some variety when it comes to these things you know.
Hoping your week is off to a good start!

Galatians 5:22-23   But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
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My Girlish Whims

Monday, May 28, 2012

      Last week I showed you a few tutorials on how to mix up a basic shirt with cuffs and tie backs. I was working on shirts all last week to drop off at a local boutique. I thought I'd pop in today to show you the final group.

      I used the tutorial I showed you here for the black/polka dot and floral/cream. I dropped the back a little to make it a slight hi low hem line.

     The three woven shirts are a mid-length style that work really well with belted shorts and jeans.

     I've got more work than my fingers can keep up with, so that means lots of fun tutorials for you! I've got a cute skirt and tank top tutorial lined up to show you later this week, so check back in! Enjoy the rest of this lovely Memorial Day!

Psalms 54:6   I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good. 

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Favorites - The Color Orange.

     Well it's about that time again, the time when I get a new color obsession. Meet the color orange.

Pinned Image

     This color pallet, is just perfect. In fact, I'm wearing a shirt right now that has these exact colors, and it is fantastic. I love the natural, rustic tones of these colors together.

perfect combinations

    This dress positively makes me want to go by bolts and bolts of orange chiffon, and sew all sorts of long flowy dresses with it. 


    Orange door anyone?


    Add a pop of color to an outfit with a fun orange accessory, like this bag.

orange tote-love

     The touches of orange in this room make it seem so airy and fresh.

tangerine chairs

     What's your favorite color for this summer? Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

 Psalms 139:1-2   O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.  
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sewing Tip - Tie Back Tops

      Have you ever wandered through a store and studied the clothing? I do, a lot. I know, that's pretty weird. Most people go clothes shopping, I go clothes studying. Recently, while in a particular clothing store for women (I won't mention the name because I'm not sure they would appreciate me broadcasting my analysis of their clothing), I noticed something very particular about the shirts. I counted only about 5-8 styles, despite the store being jammed packed with all sorts of selections. You can cut 10 shirts using the exact same "style" or pattern, and come up with 10 completely different looking shirts. You can do this by slight variations such as, add a ruffle to the neckline, add a collar, make it sleeveless, cut a slit in the sleeves, drop the back, lengthen it or crop it, add a ruffle down the front, and on and on you can go. All the shirts are cut the same way, but the details make them different.
     If designers can do it, there is no reason why you can't with your own personal sewing. Find a fit you like and change it around! My last post showed you how to add cuffs to a shirt. That is one very simple way to switch up a look, especially if you use contrasting colors.

     Another simple variation is to cut the back low and add a tie or a bow. I use 7 inches as my rule of thumb for how low to cut the back. It is high enough for normal undergarments to be worn with out anything showing. Ties, such as are used in the top picture, are fairly self explanatory. When using woven fabric, I like to change things up, by adding a contrasting knit fabric, like this bow back shirt.

      A bow like this is super simple. You need a strip of fabric the width of the neckline, and a narrow strip for the center.

     Sew the center strip edges together to form a tube.

     Turn the "tube" right side out, and slide it onto the larger strip of fabric.

     Center everything all nice and tidy like.

     Sew it onto the back of your shirt, and you have another fun little variation to your favorite style. So, you want to know why I'm doing all this sewing and not showing you pictures of the final products? I'm working on my biggest project yet! A local boutique has offered me the chance to sell some of my stuff in their store! To say I am excited is an understatement! I'll post pictures, when I get my first set of stuff finished.

Micah 6:8   He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? 
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Sewing Tip - Shirt Cuffs

     Sometimes adding just the smallest little detail on a garment can make a big difference in the over all appearance of it. I think adding a simple cuff to a shirt can be one of those things. For this example, I am using a shirt following these instructions. In this case, however, I used woven fabric, so I added an inch when cutting out the width. For the cuff, cut a strip of fabric 4 inches by the length of the sleeve plus a half inch. Mine was 4 inches by 18.5 inches.

       Sew the strip right sides together.

        Fold it up so the raw edges are together.

     Pin it onto your sewn shirt. Line up the seam to the under arm so it won't be seen.

    Sew it on, and flip it over. Fold it back about three quarters of the width and iron it down. I should look like this.

       This is the inside.

      You can just tack it down, or make a tab with a button. I chose to use some crochet trim and a silver button.

     So sorry, no complete shot of the finished product just yet. Suffice it to say, things have rather exploded around here, and when I get a chance to breath again, I'll tell you all about it! Fun news ahead! Anyway, back to the topic...I do think cuffs add a nice little touch. What do you think? Are you for them or against them?

 Matthew 6:21   For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Favorites - Random Current Obsessions

      It's the end of the week, and I am just sparkly glad about it. With the weekend ahead, you might just need something to perk you back up after a long week. I'm here to help with all my latest loves.
     1.) Orange fingernail polish. It will make your fingers and toes smile. Promise.
     2.) A Chocolate Cookie Crumble Frappuccino from Starbucks. If you happen to know how many calories are in this, please be so kind as to not tell me.

Chocolate Cookie Crumble Frappuccino Blended Beverage
     3.)  Be a nerd and read this book. It's so refreshing to read about someone who has no problems going against the grain and not apologizing for it. Nice to know the moral values and fiscal principles America was founded on, still work just fine thank you. Decency and a work ethic are still things worth cultivating.

     4.) My new fascination of dip dying. I must try this in the very near future. Hmmm....that belt wouldn't hurt matters either, come to think of it.

Dip Dye Skirt
      Hope you have the loveliest of weekends! I do so appreciate all you lovely readers! Your kind comments always, always, make me smile.

1 Samuel 12:24   Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. 
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Mini Deck Makeover

     I had some pretty big dreams for what I was going to do with this deck. I didn't quite make it to all I wanted, but I think I'm pretty satisfied with the new look anyway. Do you remember me showing you this picture a few months back?

     Such a sad looking little space! My main objective was to clean it up, and brighten it up. Here is what it looks now.

      Feel free to ignore the fact that my grass desperately needs mowing. As I've mentioned before, I am not a green thumb type. That fact, and the fact that this deck get FULL sun ALL day, makes growing anything a challenge. I tried window baskets on the railings for a while, but the poor flowers just got fried within a few weeks. I gave them up, and just went with some along the front and a few in pots. My super sweet mister built me the cute little fence around the flower beds.

     I think they look like tiny horse pasture fences, and I love them.

    The deck itself got a new coat of paint, which helped the general appearance enormously. I repainted an old wooden chair and put in in the corner for extra seating.

      It sits right under my flower hanger pole, which I told you all about here.

      I stashed another little plant stand (junk store fine) in another corner.

       I spray painted a black utility rug and put it between two pots in front of the door. I'm going to have to add stripes or something, because it looks like AstroTurf to me.

      And of course, the main attraction is my freshly painted rocking bench.

      I'd love to have more flowers and such, but, realistically, I think it's as good as it's going to get. It's not pealing paint, and it's colorful, so I'm happy. Have you been working on any summer time projects lately?

2 Corinthians 8:9   For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 
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