Monday, September 19, 2011

The *Easy* Empire Waist Dress

This started out to be something completely different.

I had this cute t-shirt that I wanted to make into a dress and I found a pattern that I thought would be simple enough. Well, I was totally wrong. I was so horrified by the outcome of the dress that I couldn't even take a picture of the ugly mess I had created. It was just hideous! I put the whole thing into a drawer with my other fabric to deal with later. So a few days later I tried to salvage the mess of a dress by adding a ruffle to the bottom. It just made it worse. I really should have taken pictures of this mess but it was so embarrassing. Not wanting to waste this cute shirt, I got out my rotary cutter and sliced it off the top of the mess of a dress and threw the rest away. I never wanted to look at it again. I still loved the shirt though so I was on the hunt for something to do with it. Browsing my favorite place Pinterest, I came across this darling dress from Smashed Peas and Carrots.

I LOVE this dress! The pattern is simple enough and she shows all the steps for making it. It really was an easy dress to make. In her pictures, she shows it as a maternity dress, but she comments that it would work as a regular dress as well and she even makes a child size one following the same pattern. My thoughts on making a maternity dress - I would definitely use a jersey or stretch fabric because it would allow for so much more comfort and room to grow with you. The only difficulty I had came when attaching the shirt to the skirt. I think my shirt wasn't quite as fitted at the tank top she used. If I were to do it again, I would run a gathering stitch around the bottom of the shirt and pull it until it matched the size of the skirt, then pin them together. I think it would make it much easier to attach them doing that. I used a knit t-shirt as the top, 1 & 1/2 inch elastic for the waistband because the store was out of the 2 inch and then a patterned cotton for the skirt. Following her measurements worked really well for me to make my dress.

I was worried after all the trouble I had with the first dress that something would be wrong with this one but I have washed and worn it and it has held up. It is a great dress and super comfortable too! I imagine that it would make a great maternity dress for all the mamas out there. It sews up really quickly and truly is an *easy* dress!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Learning to Make a Shirt

I love Anthropologie! Like seriously L-O-V-E! I always find the most amazing things there but I always run into a few problems. #1 My budget doesn't have room for me to buy all the great things I see. #2 About half the time, the things I find and fall in love with are out of stock. Which leads us to the story of my new shirt(s). I found this shirt, which Anthropologie no longer carries, but I have been in love with.

It looked like it would be simple enough to make - just a front, a back and a sash. Boy was I wrong! I really wish I had taken a picture of the mess of a shirt I made the first go-round. It was hideous! That's when I realized that while I can sew, I really do need some sort of direction... maybe... just a little.

Lucky for me I found Sweet Verbena on Pinterest. She has a tutorial that looks almost identical to my dream shirt! I love her!!! So the first item on my agenda was to make a shirt following this tutorial.

I used a white jersey with faint yellow apples for the body of the shirt and then a yellow cotton for the sash. I had not sewn much on jersey before and making this shirt was a breeze. I had my doubts when she said it would be easy, but it was! It really turned out like a dream!

Now I was ready to tackle my mess of a shirt from my first project. I had sewn it on 100% cotton (the pink on the left). I basically ended up ripping apart the first project and sewing it back together following her tutorial. I was actually able to save what I thought was destined for the scrap pile. 

I now have 2 new shirts. They sewed up super fast too, which was one of my favorite parts. I always love a quick and easy project!

So if you are just starting out or dusting off your machine after it's been sitting for awhile, I highly recommend this project. It's fun, easy and you'll end up with a really cute and flattering top!

Crazy with Crayons

If you have been on Pinterest, you have probably seen a lot of art similar to this. I am pretty sure every person on there has pinned it.

These are plain artist's canvases, I didn't buy anything fancy - whatever was on sale at Michael's. With this one, I used three 24 packs of crayons minus the black, white, brown and gray. I arranged them by color to make sure they would fit on the canvas and lined them up like the rainbow. Then I used my glue gun to glue them all onto the canvas. Next, I covered a huge area with newspaper - very important! I borrowed my mom's heat gun (similar to a blow dryer but it gets much hotter and has a more concentrated flow of air) and very slowly started melting the crayons. I found the best method was to hold it at a 45 degree angle above the canvas to better direct the flow of the wax and eliminate the overspray. I would stop periodically and let the wax re-harden and then start again to get different patterns.

On this canvas, I used a straight razor to remove the paper from all of the crayons and assorted them in a random pattern with some spaces in between. I wanted a more abstract look with this one. I followed basically the same steps as above but had to be more careful about melting the crayons themselves too much because there was no paper to protect them. I noticed that if I held the heat gun on them for too long, they would start to warp and I wanted them to maintain the look of a crayon.

After making these two, I went to the back to school sales and stocked up on crayons because I have so many ideas of how to do different pictures and patterns with them.

Little Girls and Tutus

I don't have any of my own kids, but when a couple of my best friends had a baby girl, I knew I needed to make her something wonderful. One of my very favorite bloggers, Jessica at Happy Together, makes the most amazing things. Absolutely fantastic things! On her site I found the most darling tutu onesie she made. With the addition of the tutu, it made the perfect princess outfit. I was in love! Happy Together has wonderful tutorials, so I knew I would be able to handle this even though it was my first attempt with anything related to kids clothes.

Here is my version:

I lucked out and found a great sale at Babies R Us on the onesie. I got all the tulle and ribbon at Joann's with their delightful mailer coupons. The tutorial is really easy to follow, even for my first tutu attempt. It turned out great and they even sent me a video of the happy baby dancing in her new outfit!


Welcome to my new blog. I'm Andi and I am going to be sharing with you all the crafting I do, plus some of the other things that may spark my interest. I am just learning how to make tutorials, so bear with me on that. My favorite thing to do is find something that inspires me and recreate it to show you that it's possible to do it yourself. Sometimes I will be inspired by just a picture and will hunt down a tutorial of something similar so that I have guidelines to follow or sometimes the project is simple enough that it doesn't need much direction. Either way that is my main crafting love.

I follow a lot of blogs and I LOVE Pinterest for inspiration. If you haven't been on there yet, you definitely need to go. Go now! It is amazing! Let me know if you need an invite. I'm definitely an addict and can spend hours on there without even realizing it.  But the good thing is that it truly is an inspiration board for me. I have made a lot of crafts from there and I will share everything I can with you.