Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

Sewing Style: Floral Two-toned Shift Dress

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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). See below for the full tutorial.

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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 here’s one flat from my studio.

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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.

how to color block-01

First things first, you’ll need:

For this, I used a pattern piece from the Briar Sweater pattern. This technique works on any pattern piece.


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Draw a line where you want your color blocking to happen. Drawing directly on the flat pattern how you want the pattern piece to look and where you want the seam to fall.

Then slip the pattern piece under the tracing paper and trace each section carefully. Transfer markings and information.

THEN ADD SEAM ALLOWANCE. You’ll add the same seam allowance to your color blocking lines as the pattern calls for. Write those seam allowances on the pattern pieces.

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Cut your fabric pieces out and align right sides together from the top corner to the middle. Pin at the pivot point.

Sew up to the pivot point and release your presser foot while keeping the needle in the fabric. Align the remaining fabric pieces and pin. Continue your line.

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Here’s the key: press your seam and top stitch the seam allowance to that side. I chose to stitch the seam allowance pointing upwards because of the fabric choices it just looked better.


Now sew your pieces together as directed in the sewing pattern. DONE!

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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
*This tutorial is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

Sponsored Style: Striped Tunic Shift Dress

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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.

3 Fun Things to do with Bleach: Tee Shirt Designs


3 fun things to do with bleach. The perfect last-minute craft you can do with your kids in-time for Mother’s day. Wouldn’t an artistic tee or apron be the perfect gift for grandma? Click here to see all the posts in this series.


Grab a tee shirt or apron and have fun with bleach! It’s a great and easy way to add a fun design with texture without a lot of clean-up. Just make sure to DIY in work clothes (or pajamas, in my case).


It’s likely you may have all the materials on-hand.

  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Insert (cardboard works well)
  • Tee/tank/apron (dark colors do best)
  • Round Brush
  • Vinegar (not pictured)


You may want to do a test-run of your design on a separate piece of paper to make sure that it will translate well in brush and bleach. Test the material with the bleach in a inconspicuous area to make sure the tee does well with the bleach.

Create your design with the brush. Make sure you have ample bleach on your brush and that you rinse the brush thoroughly after you’re done. Having a paper towel handy really helps.


Rinse tee/tank/apron in vinegar water to stop the bleaching process. Tumble dry. You’re done! I’ve made a bunch of these tees for the kids with random sayings. They’re the perfect playful tee. Make kids and grandma matching tees for double the fun!

Be sure to create this DIY in a well-ventilated area! If you’re DIYing with kids, make sure at least one adult is supervising at all times!

DIY: Love Letters, 3 Ways


This week has just zoomed by so fast. We’ve been struck down with Rotavirus and RSV. The ultimate double-whammy for winter illness, if you ask me.

on Wednesday, I was on Studio 5 sharing 3 fun ways to write a love note. See below for tips and the full segment.

Chris and I don’t exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day. It’s usually a simple love letter. We’d like to try and get out, but usually the day is so crazy it doesn’t end up happening. We keep it simple to say the least.


So how to write a love letter? When it comes to the actual writing, refrain from using “I” first. Is the letter about you? No. Start with “You”. Example:

I think you’re amazing. Really? Does it really matter what I think? 

You are an amazing inspiration to all you know. Ahh, that’s more like it.

I’m no pro at prose, but thinking in that direction has significantly helped me write more interesting letters. On to the crafty fun!


The School Girl

This is a playful note meant for the young or young-at-heart. Fold up an origami heart using your lined paper and seal it with a kiss or some gloriously kitschy stickers. Glitter glue doesn’t hurt, either. I used the below video for folding the heart:


The Heart Attack

Perfect snail mail attack of hearts. Rough cut a bunch of hearts and write things you love about that person. Add confetti or glitter for even more fun. But be sure you’re sending glitter to the right kind of person. It’s kind of like the measles of crafting supplies. Out. Of. Control.


The Romantic Novel

I like to write my man love notes and I like to add a little pizzaz to them! Go for maximum masculine impact with black lined paper and a white pen. Add some silver washi tape for just a little bit of glam. ;)

Sponsored: DIY Elastic Banded Receiving Blanket


This post is sponsored by Lily Jade. Their bags are fabulously fashionable and oh-so-amazingly practical. With their one-of-a-kind inserts, there’s a pocket for every on-the-go-essential and they’re a breeze to launder.

The top-notch leather construction will have you looking polished while still being prepared for just about every baby contingency!

Connect with Lily Jade on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

I feel like we’ve been out of the little baby phase for so long, I’ve had to re-learn how to pack a bag to leave the house!


Spare outfit, food, snacks, toys diapers, wipes. And now it’s like I have to pack for two babies. Felix will be in diapers for the next foreseeable future, so double the wipes and diapers.


With winter in full-swing around our house, I’m finding that I need to pack extra warm goodies. There have been a couple of times that we’ve left the house to find that Penelope and/or Felix underdressed for the weather. In one case we had an extra blanket in the car for Penelope. The other, I gave her my extra layers. There’s nothing I won’t do for my kids. I’m a-okay with shivering if I know my kids are toasty warm. But it’s not ideal with how windy and cold it’s been.


This gave me an idea. Instead of packing multiple outfits (one for each kid), I’ll just pack a onesie and an extra blanket. ‘ve made a blanket that rolls into itself quite small, but it’s large enough to wrap a nearly-7-year-old that’s crazy enough to forget a coat before leaving the house.


I made this blanket with flannel on one side and a soft vintage shirting on the other. The shirting has a fairly tight weave and the flannel is warm. The two together cut out quite a bit of wind, providing for a surprisingly warm layer that isn’t ridiculously bulky.

And with the added elastic, it doesn’t unravel in my purse. It stays small.


The size of the blanket makes it perfect for a tight swaddle. I can wrap her twice so her arms and legs can’t get out. On Friday, we went to see lights at a local shipping center. I wore her in a wrap, but to keep her extra warm (since I couldn’t zip up my jacket at that point), I wrapped the blanket around her and me, tying it in the back. She kept toasty warm during the below-freezing temperatures.


I have to say, using this purse has been amazing. It’s got something like 20+ pockets in various sizes so everything has a space and it doesn’t get jostled around. I keep thinking, this would also double for the perfect weekender bag.

The leather is incredible, the interior insert is washable! My purses’ interiors tend to get so hashed, it’s great to be able to take it out and clean it up. The multiple handles provide great variety so I can sling it cross my body or just on a shoulder.


So back to the blanket. It’s ridiculously easy to make, just requires a few simple things. Let’s get started, shall we?



  • 1.5 yards of top fabric
  • 1.5 yards of back fabric
  • 15 inches of elastic (1 inch wide)
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • seam ripper
  • pins
  • sewing machine
  • matching thread

Click through for the full instructions!


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