Saturday, July 4, 2015

Refashion - From Duvet into 2 Dresses
I love a good refashion project, and this was my most ambitious try.

I purchased a beautiful twin size duvet from GoodWill for $5.99.  I LOVED the colors and thought they'd make a great dress.

Cheapo duvet from the charity shop

Pretty colors!

I used one of a favorite dresses as a pattern.  First I cut the top.

Cut pattern from an old dress

Cut 2 - from and back

Then I cut the skirt.

Cut 3 skirt panels.  Use 4 for a super full skirt

Turns out the top was a little too snug so I make a shirred panel for the back.

I added a shirred panel to make the dress top bigger.

The original dress had a shirred panel in the back and I failed to consider that when cutting the dress.  No matter, making a shirred panel was quick and easy!  We'll cover shirring later in this post.

I put all of the pieces together to complete the dress.  I did a LOT of fixing and editing along the way.  I ended up cutting the arm holes bigger and i changed the neckline from square to sweetheart.  The original dress was WAY too short, so I cut a long panel to lengthen the dress.  All in all i'm pleased with the result.

Sweetheart neckline

I decided to make the second dress sleeveless assuming that it would be quicker and easier.  It wasn't any faster or easier, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Dress #2

For the second dress I cut a strip of fabric big enough to fit around my chest.  I added a few inches because shirring makes things smaller.


Shirred Top Dress

For this project I used 100% cotton fabric, elastic thread, cotton thread and a sewing machine.

Elastic thread ($2.49 at the fabric store)

Hand roll the elastic thread onto a bobbin.

Hand wind your bobbin

Now thread the bobbin into the sewing machine.

Load as usual

Hem the top of the panel to be shirred (with regular thread).  Using the elastic thread bobbin, begin sewing shirred lines.

Be patient and keep sewing

For the first couple of lines it doesn't look like much.  Just keep going.

It takes a few rows before it looks right

A few lines in it begins to look ok.  Keep sewing.

Fully shirred panel

Before you know it you have an entire shirred panel!  But wait -  you're not done yet!!!

You'll need to wet the panel so that it can contract.

Wet the shirred panel

I wet the panel in the sink and allowed it to drip dry.  (Use could also toss it in the dryer).  While the panel dried, I made and hemmed simple skirt.  I also added a few bright pink embellishments to the skirt.

I added a bit of color to an otherwise plain skirt

One the top dried, I sewed it to the skirt.

All done!

Easy Breezy!

For more ReFashion projects, click HERE!

Photo credits to my very grumpy 10 year old was is thoroughly unimpressed with my desire to use him as a photographer.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Doll House for Boys

This project was originally completed in 2012.  Since that time I have completed a larger playhouse project.  You can see it here!


This is the castle that I painted for the kids for Christmas.  Shhh, it's a surprise!

Superhero Castle for the boys

It all started with clothes pins.  You see, I was at the craft store looking for my next craft project when I saw plain, wooden clothes pins.

plain clothes pin

 I used to love to play with clothes pins as a kid.  No I wasn't raised in the 1800's.  My mom grew up in the country and so I was exposed to old fashion clothes pins from time to time.  I used to love to pretend that the clothes pins where my little dolls.  I'd draw little faces on them and we'd have all kinds of adventures. 

Well who knew that clothes pins would be my gateway drug?

I wanted to make toys for my sons and didn't think they'd enjoy clothes pin dolls.  In searching for clothes pin alternatives when I discovered peg dolls. 

Plain Peg Dolls - available on Etsy or at your local craft store
Peg dolls are CRACK!  Inside of a day I'd discovered all kinds of peg people ideas.

Tori Spellings family as peg dolls
Homemade Super Hero's as Peg dolls

Peg Doll Nation!

There were peg families, peg super hero's and entire peg villages.  (Thank you Etsy and Pinterest).
That's when I decided to do my own peg thing. 

Michael's craft store has plain, unpainted wooden castles and so I bought a castle (only $10 with a coupon), paint, brushes and paint pens. 

Plain Castle from Michael's Craft Store $19.99 (find a 50% off coupon!)

Inside the castle

Here is what I created!

Inside my castle

The Hulk Room

Robin Room

Superman Room

Storage Bin

Storage bin with peg people inside

Side View

Side View

Front View with door closed

Back View

Roof View

I have more peg people and a larger house in the works.  More pix soon.

I hope someone is inspired to make their own peg family!

(This entire project cost about $30.  I paid $1 each for 3.5" peg people on etsy, $10 for the castle and another $10-$12 for paint)

For more CRAFTY ideas, click here!

Monday, June 8, 2015

DIY - Custom Bottle Labels

Labels for a Scandal Party
The idea for making my own labels came about because I needed to solve a problem.  I am a member of a really amazing mom's group (The Bergen County Mocha Moms).  I LOVE these ladies and we always have a really good time together.  The issue for me is that I don't drink alcohol and many of these ladies are wine connoisseur's.  Sure I could drink water or soft drinks but that seemed really boring to me.  We'd have these great parties and everyone would bring a great bottle of wine.  I wanted to bring a great bottle too!  So I made my own!

For this Project you will need:

  • 500ml swing top bottles (or clean empty bottles of your choice)
  • Full Sheet Labels (I like Avery 5353)
  • Color Printer
  • Scissors
  • Clear packing tape (optional)
  • Bottle brush (optional)
  • Your Favorite Drink Recipe

First things first.  I wanted a good, reusable bottle.  I like 500ml swing top bottles.  It's roughly the same size as a wine bottle.

Swing top bottles are available at most craft or home goods stores. (Michael's, AC Moore, Whole Foods, Macy's, The Container Store).  They tend to be a seasonal product.  They're easy to find in the summer and around  the Christmas holiday season .

500 ml Swing Top Bottle
When you buy your bottle, be sure to also buy a bottle brush.  This will make your life MUCH easier when it's time to clean the bottle.

Bottle Brush

There are many varieties of printable labels available.  I prefer Avery 5353.

Using Power Point, I made a template for my bottles.  If you're handy with other programs, you can create your own.  There are also LOTS of free downloadable templates available on the web.  Google:  free custom wine bottle template

To give my bottles a wine bottle feel, I like a textured background, simple pictures and clean lines.
Here is the template I used:

Template was created in Power Point 
I chose simple pictures from the Internet that would not have to be altered to fit the labels.

Putting it all together:

Step 1 - Thoroughly clean the bottles with soap and water.
Step 2 - Prepare your drink mix in a pitcher.
Step 3 - Fill and close the bottles.
Step 4 - Clean the outside of the bottle with Windex or rubbing alcohol.  Allow the bottle to dry thoroughly
Step 5 - Print and cut out label(s)
Step 6 - Carefully apply the labels
(Optional) Step 7 - Cover the label(s) with clear packing tape

If the bottle will be sitting in a tub of ice you'll need the packing tape.  If they'll just be sitting on a table, skip the tape.

Removing the Labels:  Soak the bottle in water for about 20 minutes.  Use your fingers to rub off the labels and glue.

Recently I attended a party for the Scandal Season Finale.  The party was amazing and the decor was TO DIE for!  My Ruby Red Lemonade was a welcome addition and a nice alternative to wine!

Here are more pix from the Scandal Party:


Selfie Wall

Popcorn Machine

White Hat cupcakes and Vermont Jam

Smelly Mellie's Chicken and Uggs

Liv and Fitz's Vermont Jam

Food Table

LOTS of wine to go with the Popcorn

The Scandal Party was hosted by Pearls and Peanut Butter.  If you don't already, you should DEFINITELY be following her on Instagram!  She's SUPER creative and throws a mean theme party!

Name your drinks!  It doesn't matter what's actually in the bottle - give it a fun name.  Ruby Red Lemonade is the name I made up for Tropical Punch Kool Aid and Lemonade Kool Aid mixed together.  If you're going to a baby shower, name your "signature drink" after the baby.  The guest of honor will LOVE IT!

Wrap your bottles so that they're easy to carry!

Here's the tutorial for the Bottle Wrap

For more party favors, click HERE!