Thursday, September 27, 2012

DIY Your Fall Wardrobe

      It's Fall! It's time for pumpkin spice coffee, boots, and warm colors. Too bad I'm still having to use my imagination to get that Fall feeling here in the sunny south. Ah well, we'll get there...around December or so. Anyway, I though I'd show a few seasonal updates I've made to my shop. Each photo is numbered, and below the pictures are the links to the tutorials so you can make you're own! Keep in mind, these particular items are just updates of old tutorials. For a few items, the tutorials are yet to come...keep an eye out!

  1. Blue Sequin Headband
  2. Blue and Burgundy Floral Headband
  3. Burgundy and Gold Sling Bag
  4. Blue and Burgundy Floral Top
  5. Khaki Maxi Skirt with Side Slits - Tutorial to come
  6. Drop Elastic Waist Dress
  7. Silver Sequin Clutch - Tutorial to come
  8. Brown Suede Clutch - Tutorial to come
  9. Black and Silver Chain Headband
  10. Burgundy Turban Knot Headband
  11. Asymmetrical Hem Striped Skirt
  12. Sparkly Cream Gathered Dolman Sleeve Top
  13. Yellow/Brown Ruffled Scarf

     Like I mentions above, everything is available for purchase via my shop, and the two tops are available at AJ's Boutique. I'd love to do a blazer as well, but right now I just don't have the time. Preparing to move while running a shop, with two little ones in tow is taking just about every second for the present. Have you been doing any wardrobe updates for the new season?

1 Thessalonians 5:24   Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Fluffy Fall Wreath

      It would seem most of my belongings will most likely be in moving boxes fairly soon. Not much fun for the Fall decor department at all! (...But very good news for the future of the mister's employment!) I thought I would throw together something simple, just so I wouldn't have to skip the Fall feeling in my house completely.

     This was a super low budget project...$1 for a pool noodle. Whoever the lady was that dreamed up this brilliant idea is forever my best friend.

       It also got rid of a fair amount of scrap ticking fabric I had laying about. I cut a multitude of strips like so.

      I ruffled most of them...and shamelessly cheated by using the ruffling foot for my machine. Fabulous little piece I'd highly recommend investing in!

      Using generous amounts of hot glue, I wrapped the pool noodle with strips of fabric like so.

      Next I glued on the ruffled strips. When one piece ended, I just kept going with a new one. I didn't take the time to sew them all together, and it worked out very well indeed.

       Oh, yes, I didn't finish the edges of the strips either...shabby is cozy. (...or lazy is easy, whichever way you want to look at it...)

       It's rather bodacious for a wreath, but I rather like it. What say you?

 Matthew 7:7   Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WIWW - Trying something new

      A lot of blogs I like to read do a "What I Wore Wednesday" post...and I think they are just super fun. I like to see what outfits people put together...even if it might not be my style. I thought I'd jump on the band wagon this week...although, I'm not sure I'll do it every week. Just so you know, I'm not super fashionable, nor do I care a hoot about name brands. If I didn't make it myself, it probably came from Ross, TJ Max, or Burlington Coat Factory.
    This was my favorite outfit this last week, and one that is a little out of the box for me. Printed pants? I wouldn't have guessed I would like them, until I tried them on!

      I don't do trendy very much, but I just loved those pants when I saw them. Lets just say, they will get you a lot of weird looks from people if you wear them out in a small town! I might need to save this outfit for the big city where people are a little more used to...umm...diverse styles shall we say.

      I just like how they match just about any Fall color, so I have lots of tops that can match them. I got them, and the shirt on clearance at Burlington Coat Factory. The boots came from a boot shop in Tennessee. I saw some pants very similar to this at Target. They were grey instead of brown, but had the same muted floral.
     So, the moral of the story...try something new! You might find you like it!

2 Samuel 22:33   God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Simplified Gathered Sleeves Tutorial

       Well this post is rather late's raining, it's Monday, enough said. So now then, let's chat about sleeves! Changing up the way a sleeve looks on a top or dress, can completely alter the over all appearance of the style. It's a simple way to make five of your favorite shirts, and nobody to ever guess it's the same top!

       A gathered sleeve is simply done by adding width to the shoulder portion of the sleeve. I have added width to the wrist portion of the this sleeve as well, so it is a very gathered sleeve. It can be as little or as much of a gather as you prefer. If you have a pattern to a top you like, you can alter it super easily by adding in space down the middle.

         This is how I do it, without using a pattern. Start with a cut out shirt.

     Take your cut out shirt, and line it up the shoulder with the fold on your folded fabric. The fold is always at the top of the shoulder, so that the seam will be in the underarm. For this sleeve I left a two inch gap between the fold and shoulder. If you wanted a less dramatic gather, you would only leave a half inch or an inch. Try to spread out the arm hole so that is a gradual curve.

     Trace the arm hole onto the fabric. Decide how long you want the sleeve to be, and measure down the fold that amount. This is where you will mark your lower arm hole.

      I wanted a gathered wrist, so I make my lower arm hole to be nine inches long. (For a total of 18 inches when it is unfolded)

     Now, I connect the dots between the two lines I have marked.

       When it is cut out, it looks like this. The curve of the arm hole should be very smooth.

     To sew it to the shirt, first sew the shoulder seams.

       Sew a gathering stitch across the top of the sleeve. Gather the sleeve so that is matches the arm hole.I kept my gathers all in the center, but you could do across the entire top of the sleeve if you wanted.

      Open your shirt out, wrong side facing up. Match the sleeve into the hole. I pop a pin right at the center just to make sure I keep it centered as I sew it.

      Sew the sleeve to the shirt.

     Lastly, sew from the wrist, all the way down the side to the hem of the shirt.

      And you are left with a lovely gathered sleeve! I used elastic as I hemmed the wrist to achieve the gathered wrist.

     It's hardly any harder than doing a regular sleeve, and is certainly worth the tiny bit of extra effort!

      I hope that all made sense! This shirt is part of my Fall collection which I am putting into my shop this week, and is also available locally at AJ's Boutique. Don't you just love Fall colors and prints??!! I do, and I'm dying for it to cool off around here so it will actually feel like Fall!

 Philippians 4:19   But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Friday, September 14, 2012

DIY necklace for the untalented

      I'm severely challenged when it comes to jewelry making. (Interpretation: Abby has no patience for things that have small parts!) This necklace was right down my ally, it took five minutes and cost 25 cents! Want to know my secret?

      A belt...from the thrift store...that cost 25 cents. There's a real science to this, so watch close. Clip belt to desired length. Make sure you use the rustiest pliers you can adds to the rustic charm.

       Attach extra chain to even out sides.

      Add the extra pieces on for a second little looptey-de-doop.

      Totally fab huh?! Yes, I know that that one link is backwards...and it's annoying me to no end as I sit and type this...and no, I'm not going to re-take the picture to fix it. Check back around next week and we'll talk about that shirt.

      It's just as fun to make as necklaces out of belts...promise. Have a great weekend!

1 Corinthians 13:4   Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 
Pin It

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gathered Dolman Sleeve Top Tutorial

     I've mentioned before that I absolutely love draping on clothing. One easy way to achieve the effect of draping, without having to mess with tons of extra fabric, is to use gathers. I've done it here on the front panel of this shirt, just along the shoulder seams. 

      This is a very simple top to make, and here is how you can make your own. I used a yard of very lightweight sweater type fabric, that had some fun sparkle to it. (I told you I planned to contribute to the Fall sparkle trend in full force! sparkles!) Fabric comes off the bolt, already folded in half. I cut a piece the length I wanted for the top (29 inches). Then I cut along the fold to create two separate panels of fabric to work with. 

       Now, you need to plug in your own measurements, following this guide. Measure the widest part of your torso, usually the bust, and use that for the width.  (If your fabric is not very stretchy do not subtract the half inch from "A".)
A = width/4 - .5"
B = A + 3.5"
C = A + 2"
      You need to cut out the front of your shirt like this. It may look kind of complicated with all the numbers, but it's really not. Just measure it all out, and then connect the dots!

         The back of the shirt is the same, with the exception of the widths. The top is more narrow than the top of the front.

      Ok, so if you are still's time to sew it together! Gather the the front shoulder to match the width of the back shoulder.  I like to keep the gather right by the neck, and not so much on the sleeve.

     Sew the shoulder seams together. There will be a slight difference of shape under the arm. Just line up the fabric as you sew down the side seam. The extra width helps the fabric "drape".

      Lastly, you just need to hem the whole thing. 

     Super simple, huh! 

      This top is available at AJ's Boutique and my Etsy shop in all sizes. If you run into any questions making it, holler at me and I'll try to help! If you pop in next week, I'm going to show you how to make (or you can modify a pattern) a gathered set-in sleeve. 
       So just as a side note, do all three year olds loose their basic motor skills at this age??...mine has fallen down the stairs twice today and seems on a mission to destroy herself lately. If we can keep all teeth and appendages intact for the next year it will be a miracle!

2 Corinthians 9:7   Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sacks Fifth Avenue Knock Off Dress

      It's been ages since I've done a knock off of anything. I guess I've had enough ideas in my own head to keep me plenty busy. When I saw this dress, I was struck by how simple, yet elegant it was. It's not too dressy, yet not too casual, and very wearable. 

Boatneck maxi dress. Beautiful.

     Using the exact same method as this dress tutorial, it was super simple to replicate! I used a dressy polyester/spandex blend that has great movement and drape. If you look at the original dress on the store site, you can see it has a wrap style skirt. I did the same thing on mine, although it's kind of hard to see. Here is my knock off version. (As a side note...I'm not a model, and I'm not a let's not get too crazy on the comparison thing! )

     I did make a few minor changes just to suite my particular tastes. I dropped the waist a bit, because I think lower waist helps balance out my tallness. I also didn't make the skirt quite a gathered as the original...tons of gathers make look wonderful on a model, not so much on me! If you look at the original dress, it has a tad bit of drape to the neck line. I created that in mine, by doing two little tucks on the shoulder seams.

         I absolutely love how comfortable and versatile it is. I made it quite generously long, so that I can wear heals with it.

        Besides the advantage of customizing the details, sewing something yourself is always cheaper! My dress cost me about $20...which is quite reasonable indeed! Just as a side note, I have no issues with the price of the original...if they can sell it for that price, by all means. I'm sure it's of the highest quality. I just would rather not pay that!
 Take a look at that tutorial and make yourself one! If you want to do the wrap style skirt, just add about 15 inches to the width of the skirt. Overlap the excess fabric as you sew it to the top. It's super simple!
      P.S. If you haven't noticed yet, there is new pages at the top to help searching tutorials easier! Take a look and enjoy!

Galatians 5:26   Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.