Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

DIY: Having Fun with Plain Wrapping Paper

0 Comments

I don’t have giant stashes of gorgeous wrapping paper. I have rolls of white, black and kraft butcher paper. And the occasional roll of gift wrap. But it doesn’t always match my mood or occasion, so here’s a fun little DIY I did to dress up my gifts this year.

melissaesplin-sakura-decorating-gift-wrap-1

Santa doesn’t have this much creativity when it comes to his gift wrap. That would take him way too long.

melissaesplin-sakura-decorating-gift-wrap-6

The key to this whole operation is in the marker. Some time ago Sakura sent me their Pigma Professional brush series. I use them for everything. Heck, they’re even in our brush lettering kits that I send out to all of my beginning brush students. These brushes come in 3 sizes: fine, medium and BOLD. I use the fine brush for small detailed work and little illustrations. I’ll use the medium in cases where my x-height letters are about 3/4″ tall. The bold I’ll use for everything else.

The bold brush is pretty stiff so you still get very fine hairlines even though you can get a ton of drama out of the side of the marker.

melissaesplin-sakura-decorating-gift-wrap-2

And when mine dry out, I’ll use them on textured paper for a more organic look (like above). Want to learn how to make these easy-peasy holly berries? Watch the video below.

Supplies

  • Pigma Professional BB Brush
  • Large sheet of white or kraft paper
  • Sakura Koi red marker (optional)

I love the BB brush, but you can get similar results from even a crayola marker. Granted, if you want this kind of drama to scale, you’ll need to make smaller holly berries and leaves.

Basic jist: get a piece of paper and spread it out on the floor or table. Draw out the berries first in random clusters of 3. Then draw in the center of the leaves, coming out from the berries with a light touch. A fine line helps. Then fill in the remainder of the leaves with two mountains and meeting just beyond the tip of the center line of the leaf. Fill in any awkward blank spaces with leaves. Messy is usually better in this case.

melissaesplin-sakura-decorating-gift-wrap-3

If you want to go for a more ornamental approach, draw out a berry grouping on cardstock. Watercolor paper is going to give your cluster more texture and depth. Punch a hole near the cluster of berries.

melissaesplin-sakura-decorating-gift-wrap-4

With your scissors, cut around the cluster leaving a 1/4″-1/2″ border. Thread through ribbon or string and use as a decoration on your gift.

melissaesplin-sakura-decorating-gift-wrap-5

Easy? Brainless? Awesome? Yes to all three. Happy last-minute gift-giving and wrapping!!

Sewing Style: Floral Two-toned Shift Dress

0 Comment

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.

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

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.

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

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.

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

melissaesplin-how-to-color-block-dress

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.

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

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.

 

how to color block-02

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.

how to color block-03

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.

how to color block-04

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.

melissaesplin-how-to-color-block-dress

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

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits
View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfitsOutfit 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

0 Comment

svens-clogs-logo

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.

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

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.

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

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.

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

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!

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

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.

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

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

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

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.

View More: http://piersonphotocompany.pass.us/melissaoutfits

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 Comments

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.

melissaesplin-3-fun-things-bleach-tutorial-3

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).

melissaesplin-3-fun-things-bleach-tutorial-4

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)

melissaesplin-3-fun-things-bleach-tutorial-9

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.

melissaesplin-3-fun-things-bleach-tutorial-7

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

0 Comments

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.

melissaesplin-love-note-3-ways-1

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!

melissaesplin-love-note-3-ways-2

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:

melissaesplin-love-note-3-ways-3

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.

melissaesplin-love-note-3-ways-4

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. ;)

mobile site