Sewing Style: Floral Two-toned Shift Dress


I live in this dress. It’s comfortable enough to throw on and chase the kids all day, but it’s nice enough for a date night out.

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I originally bought this fabric (Mood!) like 3 years ago on a girls’ weekend to L.A. fabric district. We each bought a yard of this gorgeous fabric to see what we would do with it. I was so nervous to cut into the fabric, I ended up tying it around my waist and joking with a “no sew” tutorial. To see what everyone else did with the fabric, click here.

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Just before leaving for Hawaii back in May, I decided it was time to do something about that yard. I didn’t have enough yardage to make a dress knee length, so I got creative and color blocked the top to give me a little extra room at the hem. I didn’t want it to look like I just pieced a top and a bottom there. I sliced and diced Megan Nielsen’s Briar tee pattern. I raised the neckline a touch and pieced the front and back. Piecing isn’t as hard as you might think. Especially if it’s in straight lines. It’s easiest if you have some tracing paper. I like to use large sheets of tracing paper from a roll (you can get them in 24″, 36″ and 48″ widths)

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We had so fun at the photo shoot that I forgot to get a straight on back shot of the dress so you can see the ‘v’ on the back. Maybe I’ll get some studio pics so you can see it better.

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Sewing the ‘v’ together was a little tricky since I didn’t want any puckering to occur (go slow!), but I tell you, using two knit fabrics for piecing like this is a lot easier than piecing two woven fabrics together. There’s a lot more wiggle room. Literally.

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View More: details:

  • hat and bracelets: c/o Tai Pan Trading
  • necklace: handmade (tutorial)
  • dress: handmade by me! using Briar tee pattern
  • shoes: Toms
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    Food: Udon Fusion Recipe


    This is one of those kitchen sink recipes that changes depending upon mood and fridge contents. Nearly any combination of veggie will make this taste delicious. It’s kind of a fusion between Japanese Udon and Vietnamese Pho. It’s great comfort food for the colder temperatures, but still has a lightness to it that’s not like your typical winter soup.


    The key ingredients here are hoisin sauce, sriracha and udon noodles. I personally can’t make it without mint, either. I’ll opt out of the mint if I’m using chicken or have just egg in there. But if I’m cooking up pork or beef, it’s a must!



    The thick udon noodles have a chewy consistency, much like a rustic chicken noodle soup.

    I like to cook everything separately until adding it all together at the very end. It keeps anything from going mushy and flavorless. To keep yourself from going crazy, this is a great recipe for putting leftover vegetables and meat to use. I’ll do meat and veggies with rice for one meal, cook an abundant amount of veggies and meat and warm those up for the udon. It helps to cut down on clean-up afterward.

    Here’s how I do it:

    Udon Fusion

    makes enough for 2-4 people
    • 1 package udon noodles any flavor (looks like this, you can find it in the international aisle in just about every grocery store)
    • petite ball tip steak or boneless country style rib meat
    • carrots
    • broccoli
    • green onions
    • mint
    • 2 eggs
    • hoisin sauce
    • sriracha
    • lemon slice or bit of lemon juice

    Start by steaming or pan frying veggies. I’ll do a bit of a steam in a frying pan with water and a small pat of butter. Cook until browned and soft, or at least soft. You can use raw carrots here if you peel or grate the carrots.

    Cook your meat separately. I like to get the pan super hot with grapeseed oil, pepper and salt; then quickly fry up small slices of the meat. Alternatively, use pre-cooked meat for a speedier meal.

    Cook up the eggs. I may have some soft boiled eggs on hand that I’ll add at the end (one to each dish) or I’ll fry up an over-medium egg in a separate pan. Poached eggs are great here, too.

    Prepare the udon according to package instructions. If you’re doing an unflavored package of udon, a bullion cube or chicken or beef stock is great to add into the cooking process.

    Chiffonade your mint and chop up green onions.

    Mix up the veggies and meat in the soup. Dish up the soup and place the egg, garnishes and sauces on top.



    The kids love this recipe, but I’ll nix the sauces for them. I may sneak a little sriracha when they’re not looking, though.

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    1. phil says:

      looks delicious !!!

    Sponsored Style: Striped Tunic Shift Dress



    This post is sponsored by Sven Clogs. Original hand-crafted clogs since 1974. Clogs made-to-order with premium styles and materials for man, woman and child.

    Connect with Svens Clogs on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram!

    After I made Penelope’s sweet summer romper, I knew I needed to make a matching look. I mean, seriously. Gold clogs and red striped fabric? YES. So much yes.

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    All images by Pierson Photo Company

    I’ve got a few of these dresses in my closet now, I can’t stop making them. Can we talk about how awesome shift dresses are?! I can have a giant food baby in there and no one would ever know. And yes. There was a food baby in there. No real baby.

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    To switch up the style just a touch, I added a tunic-style hem with a slit on the sides and a high-low hem. The blunt high-low hem changes the look from any other shift dresses out there. I feel like it adds a bit of edginess in there. Maybe a slight ’90s vibe? I’ve been crushing on the ’90s hard core lately.

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    Creepy skull!! Hahah! I love that. This is one of the few stores I’ve been to lately that didn’t have Christmas Decor up already. Sheesh. It’s still September. I’m not sure I want to think about Halloween quite yet!

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    This dress is perfect for Summer, but I’ve been layering it with blazers and jackets to transition to fall. I think the black leather warms it up for the cooler season that’s approaching.

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    Let’s talk a little about the sewing process! Here’s what I did:

    • Used Megan Nielsen’s Briar Tee as a base
    • Raised the neckline
    • Lengthened the hem to a dress
    • Shortened sleeves
    • created a high-low hem

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    Creating a split hem isn’t as hard as one might think. It’s a little trickier when serging the side seams, but not impossible at all. Here’s how to do it with a serger:

    • Serge the side seams before putting the layers together (if it’s woven, if it’s a non-fraying knit, no need for this step).
    • Sew the seams about 5″ shy of the desired slit spot.
    • Switch to a regular sewing machine, with a straight stitch sew all the way to the slit line (make markings on both sides for consistency).
    • Fold the seam allowance back in on itself and sew a top stitch around the slit. I do up over and down on one slit in one go.
    • Hem front and back as desired.

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    If you’ve been nervous about split hems like this, don’t be! They’re super easy! Let me know if you need illustrations for the above instructions. :)

    Outfit details:

    Let me just say, I absolutely love these clogs. They fit perfectly. I’m wearing them constantly. They’re the perfect momiform shoes: they’re easy to chase kids in, they’re comfortable all day and they look so cute! I’m a huge, huge fan. Seriously, I can’t seem to get enough.

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    Calligraphy: Line of Priesthood


    I did some calligraphy work for a neighbor. For Father’s day she asked me to write out the priesthood line of authority for her husband and her dad. It’s taken me MONTHS to sit down and write about it.


    I don’t really talk about my religion here specifically (I try to keep things more or less non-denominationally Christian around here), but sharing this project kind of opens that can of worms. If you’d like to read more about the Priesthood means in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, click here. If you don’t, I won’t be offended. In a nutshell: a priesthood holder has a line of authority. It’s a line (like genealogy) going back to Jesus Christ.


    For the long list of names, I kept it pretty much to a monoline Spencerian/Ornamental Penmanship style. I wanted the recipients’ names to be highlighted along with Jesus Christ to emphasize that connection between the work that men are called to do as priesthood holders and the ministry of Jesus Christ.

    I used Recovery Plate 100lb.  super white paper with McCaffrey’s ink. It’s simple without much ornamentation or color, but the flourishes help elevate it.


    I thoroughly enjoyed this project. I think I need to write one out for Chris.

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    1. Renee r says:

      Love this!

    2. Kristie says:

      Oh my gosh how gorgeous! What a clever gift. And what a treasure. Thanks for sharing. Gonna pin this for when my son turns 12. And to share with Dad and Grandpas!

    3. Barb says:

      What a lovely heirloom.

    4. So awesome! What a great idea!

    DIY: Simple Rope Necklace Tutorial


    It’s unreal how long I’ve had this DIY in the queue.


    I made these necklaces back in 2013, just before I went to L.A. for a girls’ weekend. Back when I made this, I had an idea for a giant rope necklace, but didn’t have any giant rope. Turns out you can find this type of stuff in the upholstery section, but making your own rope is hyper fun. And insanely easy.


    It adds a little bit of quirkiness, but it doesn’t look nearly as home made as it is. I love that.


    For the simplest of necklaces, here’s what we’ll need:

    • Cotton twine: any kind (I found mine at Home Depot)
    • scissors
    • tape
    • jump rings
    • chain (16+ inches)
    • pliers

    Click the link to see the full tutorial.


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