Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What a difference a hem makes!

Who do you picture wearing this dress?

Maybe she wears a short string of pearls and some sensible shoes?  Carries a classic handbag with her hankie and some clear nail polish, just in case her nylons get a run in them???

It's not a bad little dress actually.  It has some nice details like pleating and cute little puffy sleeves.  But something's just not quite right.

Oh yeah, it needs about 7 inches cut off the bottom!

Vintage Navy Dress, Deconstructed Clothing, Refashion, Restyle, Anthropologie Style

There, that's better.

 Big thanks to my friend Gen who did her spring wardrobe purge and donated this dress to Tamara's crafting experiments fund.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.  Still too fuddy duddy or does less fabric equal a cute anthropolgie-esque feel?

PS...if anyone out there is curious about the great Dresser Knob Debate, the pink knobs clearly won out.  Which makes me happy because they were my first choice too!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Shabby Chic Bird Feeder

Well, I decided that I'm not going to go into the big long story of how my Internet connection keeps going down and the several days it took for someone to come by to look at it and how it's still not working properly.

And I'm not going to tell you all about the great "Art from Gift Wrap" project I was going to do that went horribly, horribly wrong.

Instead, I'm just going to move onto simpler crafts that take no time at all and are virtually error proof!

Way back in April I saw this photo from Tara at JunkRestore .  Tara puts on a Barn Sale every once in awhile with loads of other vendors who do shabby chic refurbished type work.
Someone referred to only as 'Pam'created these beautiful
bird feeders/works of art.

I kept the photo in my file of things to do and waited for the ice and snow to thaw so I could create my own.

Here are the supplies I used:

Next time you head to the second hand store just pick up some interesting vases, cups, saucers, plates, etc.  Anything that looks pretty and catches your eye.

1) Clean all of your pieces with some natural cleaner

2) While you're waiting for your glue gun to fire up, decide how you want to stack your pieces.

3) Just add a bead of hot glue along the inside edge and start stacking.

4) Glue and stack, glue and stack, until you feel like you have a finished piece.

It looks a little crazy inside, but wait till you take it out to your garden...

birdfeeder, DIY, garden, handmade birdfeeder, bird feeder, how to make a birdfeeder, garden art, glass bird feeder
Tah Dah!!!!
Pin It 

Isn't it pretty???  I put the plate in the middle so that I could put some bird seed there and maybe the cup at top will have rain water in it for a bath.  Or I could put birdseed up there too.

I know what you're thinking.  Isn't this awfully low to the ground?  What about Mr. Whiskers?  Is this just an easy way for him catch and torture little birdies?  No worries, Mr doesn't seem very interested in birds.  And, what's more funny, is that he's not the most graceful cat in the world so birds hear him coming from a mile away.  I'm confident that everyone will be safe.

grey cat, house cat
Mr. Whiskers
aka/ Monsieur or Mr.

Oh! I almost forgot to tell you...this entire project took me about 10 minutes to make, maybe not even.  I told you it was simple and fast.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

And don't forget, if you're a follower you can add your blog button to the "Follow my Friends"tab up top.  Each month I post a feature on at least one new bloggy friend.
Happy crafting everyone!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Prom time!

Well, actually here in Canada we say Grad time!  Where I live we don't have prom but from all of the teen movies I've seen, I'd say it's pretty much the same thing and it's getting to be that time of year already.

At the high school that I went to the major event of the day (aside from the huge party after everything's done) is something called the Grand March.  This is after everyone's received their diploma's and the dinner is done.  After that everyone goes back to the school and gets into a ginormous line-up and parades their pretty dresses and tuxes for all to see, often to the tune of some poor bagpipe player (my grad class was over 300 people, can you imagine blowing on your bagpipes for that whole thing?!?!?).

Anyway, the girl's dresses were obviously the main attraction of the evening.  While many of the girls in my grad class spent hundreds of dollars on flamboyant gowns that they couldn't possibly ever wear anywhere ever again, I got my mom to make mine.

To prepare you for what I'm about to show you I have to preface this with the fact that I graduated quite some time ago.  As in, before the birth of things like the Internet, cell phones, and SUV's.  I'm not sure I can bring myself to admit the year out loud so I'll just show you what was going on that year:

Little did we know that these guys were just before their time.
Lip synching seems to be the norm now.

The Berlin Wall was still up.
Field of Dreams was a major box office hit.
Big hair was very "in" for both men and women.

OK, now that you're prepared....here's the pattern that we used:

Vogue 1471
 Peach was my favourite colour back then (and quite possibly still is today), so my mom and I picked out an affordable peach moire taffeta and some pretty lace for the train.  She altered the neckline for more of a sweetheart effect and if I'm not mistaken I think she shortened the train.

Ah, to be young and naive again~
Believe it or not, at that time this dress was considered very simple.  Most girls had huge bustles with loads and loads of lace and bows.

And, just to entertain you, and to torture myself, I tried to fit myself into my grad dress.  My friend thinks I'm funny but this isn't the first time I've done this.  Usually it's nice to know that it still fits.  This time it was a little tighter than usual though...time to pull out the pilates dvd's again~

I'm not sure I could sit down comfortably in it but it still fits!!!!!!

My mom did lots of sewing for me growing up but at the time this was a pretty major project for her.  I think she did an amazing job.  And I was most likely a very self obsessed teenager who never properly thanked her so...Thank you mommy! for making me the prettiest dress I'll ever own.

What did your grad/prom dress look like?  Has it come back in fashion yet?  Leave a comment and share.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Inspiration Shot: Giant Pinecone

The biggest pine cone I've ever seen:

On my way to work every morning, I walk past a tree that drops these giant pinecones onto the ground, this is the biggest one yet.  Every day I envision using this to make a beautiful textured bangle but can't bring myself to break it apart.

Pine cones are so amazing.  Did you know that they close up all nice and tight when it's cold outside and open up like this when the sun comes out and heats them up?  I had no idea!  It's pretty neat what you can learn when you take the time to notice what's around you~

What would you do with this beauty??  Leave a comment with your ideas.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cute Spring Jacket...for me!

I made this jacket several seasons ago but I thought I'd share it anyway because it's so cute.  I used a "Built by Wendy"pattern from Simplicity.

Built by Wendy is a series of patterns and sewing books by Wendy Mullin, a New York based fashion designer.  She also has an online shop as well as a couple of retail stores.  Her latest line looks like it has a lot of basics that have a sort of Anthropologie vibe to them.

This little jacket pattern is actually from 2007 but it must be popular because it's still active in the Simplicity line.  As I recall, it was very simple to put together.  A raglan sleeve, which you see on a lot of sportswear, usually simplifies construction.
Example of a Raglan Sleeve
Here's my version of the jacket:

It fits very, very nicely.  Originally I wanted to use a matching raspberry coloured zipper but my quest to find one went unanswered and I had to settle for a contrasting one in black.  The fabric is cotton with quite a bit of stretch in it.

There are only two things about this jacket that I'm not crazy about.  It's unlined, which I could easily take care of, and the length of the sleeves is a little awkward.  Really the whole reason I made it was because I thought the sleeves were cute and I envisioned myself dancing around the beach a la Annette Funicello or Gidget but, if it's cool enough out to wear a jacket, you probably want something that's going to cover your arms~


I don't normally connect with the the fashions of the early 60's but can't you just see one of those girls dancing around the bonfire with their boyfriends wearing this?

I think with a couple of very minor adjustments this would be a great jacket for any upper beginner sewer to try out.  Even the zipper is pretty easy to install and because there's no lining, it takes no time at all.

What do you think of elbow or 3/4 length sleeves?  Leave a comment below and let me know.

I've added a couple of new linky parties to the list so make sure to hit the linky party tab and check them out!

Have a great week everyone~

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dance of the Broken Dressers

Isn't it amazing how adaptable human beings are?  We can learn to put up with just about anything.

For instance, take a look at my dresser.

It fell apart just before Christmas, while I was rearranging things in my bedroom.  That board that nails onto the back of the dresser is apparently a very important piece.

When mine fell off while I was lugging the dresser across the room, I thought it wouldn't be a big deal.  However, when I went to put the drawers back in place they were all in a zig zag line.  And then some kept falling off the tracks because the space was suddenly too wide.  Who knew???

Anyway, a few months after that my mom gave me a hand me down from my sister.  I put it in the porch, waiting for the weather to warm up so I could paint it.  However, while transporting it to my house one of the drawers fell to the ground and snapped the side.  The backs were already missing, but I thought I could easily fix that.  I didn't look very closely and thought, no problem, I'll just glue the side back together while I'm at it.  After buying everything I realized that the break was a little more serious than I thought and beyond my expertise (and energy).

So, that's two dressers down and my clothes still spread all around my room...5 months later.

Then I ran into this beauty at the local Salvation Army Thrift Store.

I thought that middle column of little drawers was so cute.  The perfect place for sweet nothings.

So, I sanded it, primed it, and coated it with a blinding shade of white.

Then I went out to purchase drawer pulls to replace these ugly ones.

Ummmm, yeah, I needed 11 drawer pulls!!!!  I forgot to add that into my costs when I bought it.  I searched high and low for something affordable that didn't look uglier than the ones that came with it.

And then a chance visit to the local Habitat for Humanity Restore changed my life.  OK, well, maybe that's a little dramatic, but I seriously think the clouds parted, the light shone down, and the angels were singing.  I found these adorable pulls hidden away in a corner of the store in the back room.  (Yes, there's a back room that I had never noticed before.  I'm going back today to see what else is back there that I missed.)

These pretty little things saved me so much work.  I thought I was going to have to clean and paint the ugly leaf ones.  But these ones fit great and I think they're perfect.

So, it's almost done, and all of my clothes will be put away and organized very, very soon (I can't tell you how excited I am).  There's just one little thing.  See those two top drawers?  They have spots for single pole pulls and I just happen to have a basket full of awesome ones.  So awesome, in fact, that I can't decide which ones to use.  So take a look at everything and vote.  I'll let you know next week which ones win and show you how it all looks together.

My walls are this colour:
(Fiji A525 Benjamin Moore Aura Paint)

My bedding and furniture are white but the curtains and other accents are this colour:
Also, most of the metals in the room are gold (I know, very old school, but I love gold and pink together.)

Which pulls do you like?  I can't find a poll widget that will work for me so just leave a comment below~

Pink Butterfly

Clear Butterfly

Pink Knob

Floral Orb

Floral Shell Bunch
Green Antique

Thanks for your help everyone!  Have a great looooooooooooooong weekend if you're in Canada.  Don't forget to leave a comment below~

Check out the linky party tab for more great ideas.


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