Craft/DIY Ideas

Lace Embellished Tee

I haven’t made any good projects involving clothing lately– at least none where I embellish upon something that’s already made. (I have made a few pieces from scratch lately, but that’s for another day.)

Upon seeing lots of cool lace inspired clothing lately, I decided to pretty up a basic long-sleeved T.

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It was really pretty darn simple once I got cracking on it.

Here’s the basics of what I did:

lace shirt, wheat crackers 001I started off with a basic knit t-shirt in this blue color. Since I’m a sucker for darker blue paired with white, I pulled out a Goodwill lace table runner thing that had been sitting in my fabric stash.

lace shirt, wheat crackers 002After literally slicing off the longer end pieces off the runner, I pinned them down the middle of my tee, placing the straight sides so they touch. I also left a tail of about 1-2″ at the top and bottom, tucking them underneath into the inside of the shirt. If you do this or something similar, use lots of pins! After making sure everything was in its proper place, I zig-zag stitched down the middle using white thread. This adhered both pieces to the middle portion. Following this I used a straight stitch down the side of each lace strip. I screwed up once and had to break out my trusty seam ripper to fix the situation. Another warning: knit material like this is sorta stretchy while the lace is not, so make you don’t have any bunchiness going on as you sew.

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That’s pretty much it. Now I have a new Tee to wear this fall and winter. The only thing I may change is the neckline–I don’t love how it looks just yet, so it may get fixed up a bit more, but I haven’t decided on how I want it.

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Paired up with my current favorite pair of earrings (which are a steal on amazon!), I really enjoyed wearing my new Tee to usher in some fall weather.

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Craft/DIY Ideas

10 Earthy Ways to Decorate for Fall

Just in case you’re finally pulling together some fall decorations, or want to spruce up your current look, I rounded up some ideas that take minimal materials. By scrounging around your home, yard, and surrounding area, it’s likely that you may have most of the supplies for these pretty decor ideas already on hand.

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A pumpkin turned vase for mums–I have actually done this idea before, and it looks beautiful. Some great step by step directions are available on Kojo Designs.

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If this one looks familiar, it’s because I made it on my blog last fall! No, they’re not “all natural,” but I had to throw it in the list. Mine used canning bands, rolled burlap, and a little felt for an accent leaf.

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I love the beachy vibe of these linen and driftwood pumpkins. Find the easy picture tutorial over here. (Bet you can’t guess what is under those linen strips!)

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These acorn luminaries take very few materials to make and look great.

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Isn’t this basket of white pumpkins gorgeous? I especially love the burlap chevron ribbon that dresses it up! Check out this blog for more details.

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This burlap no-sew table runner, wheat centerpiece, and white pumpkins are from my cousin Leslie’s blog. (Go check her out!)

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This layered hurricane vase contains popcorn kernels, dried red beans, and lentils.

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I think these sheaves of wheat tied to the stair spindles are unique and elegant in their own way.

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This acorn wreath is simple and beautiful. A great tutorial for it is found right here.

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And while we’re on the subject of wreaths, I absolutely adore this one made out of a wood slice. So stinking cool, and great for fall or winter. Check out East Coast Creative for the step by step on how to make it. This idea is one I’ve already shown my better half–just so he has a heads up in case I need to get my hands on a wood slice one of these days! (Yes, according to him, I am the Queen of Not-So Subtle Hints sometimes. Shocking, right?)

Craft/DIY Ideas, Recipes

How to Store Onions

 I’m feeling like a blessed woman right now whenever I take a look at my basement shelves full of canned goods and my chest freezer full of frozen veggies and fruits.

I also have a bunch of potatoes stored in my basement, as well as onions. I never had a great way to store onions until I ran across this nifty little trick on Pinterest.

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It’s so, so simple.

Basically you take a pair of old pantyhose (or nylons, tights, whatever you call them) and use them to tie up each onion individually.

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Start by pushing the first onion into the “toe” end. Make a knot above it and place a second onion in. Tie a knot and repeat until you have several inches left at the end.

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Find a good place to hang ’em up. I used two posts on the corners of the wire shelving units in my basement. Use the excess at the top to tie a good knot on whatever you’re hanging it on.

This was a snap to do! The stretchy quality of the nylons made it easy to put the onions in and all of the little holes allows for good air circulation.

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When you need an onion, take scissors and snip below the knot on the bottom onion, leaving the rest hanging.

Plus it looks really cool. My family was super impressed the first time they saw these!

So, whether or not you grow your own, I thought this was a clever little way to make onions last longer in storage.

Craft/DIY Ideas

Adding Length to a Dress

I was excited to find this pink knit cotton dress on the Kohl’s clearance rack for $2-something this winter.

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The first time I put it on this summer, it fit just right. Comfy, and most importantly, just the right length. My husband came home and admired it on me, calling me his Pinkalicious woman.

As you can probably see, it has the high-low type of hemline (higher in the front, longer in the back).

Well, after one washing, that hemline rose, I swear about several inches! I tried to wear it again, but thank God I didn’t go anywhere but out in our yard. At 5’10”, most dresses or skirts that look like a modest length on other women fit me about mid-thigh or so. Yep, I can rock the long stuff, but have to be super careful about how other things fall on me. So, after bending over to weed a flowerbed and feeling like I was overexposing myself, I went in the house and quickly changed. That’s when the idea to add a fabric band around the bottom came to me.

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Upon raiding my fabric stash, I settled on this pink and white striped cotton. I measured the circumference of the bottom hemline, then cut that much plus a bit extra, while making sure it was a few inches long as well. After cutting, I folded one long end in 1/4″, then another 1/4″ and pinned along the whole thing. One straight shot of sewing and the new bottom hem was complete!

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Once that was done, I measured what I had against the bottom hem of the dress. They had to line up exactly for this to work out!! I made one short seam along one side of the new fabric band to make it a circle. Then, pinning right sides carefully together, I sewed the new band onto the bottom of my dress.

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This method could be used on almost any basic skirt or dress. I even did something similar to a pair of knit cotton shorts that I had bought for my daughter. (I won’t even start on how improper some little girls’ clothing in stores is!! I couldn’t find one pair that were a decent length. A post on modesty may be in the works…)

My newly updated pink dress, blowing in the breeze.
My newly updated pink dress, blowing in the breeze.

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After doing this little alteration, I felt much more comfortable wearing my pink dress, and it is now a great length for me. Yippee!

Craft/DIY Ideas

New Spring Curtains!

With the approach of some *possible* spring weather, I’ve been on a curtain-making binge.

Yep, 4 of our rooms now have different curtains hanging in them. I’m a little nutty like that when I get on a kick. Today I’ll be sharing the ones I made for our living room.

Oh, and by the way, I hardly spent a thing to make them. Store-bought curtains can be so stinking expensive! I’ve priced them out before and even if you think you’re getting an okay deal, that’s sometimes just the price for one half of a window. With an overflowing fabric stash, I raided it and found something unique for each of the rooms.

For this pair, I used a linen white tablecloth that my mother trash-picked for me last year. It was still in its packaging, so don’t be too grossed out. (Good job Mom!) She knew I may find a good use for it, and so I did:

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It was in perfect shape, so I cut it in half and used that white linen as a base for my curtains. My other ones were much more formal-looking valances. I was looking for something more casual and bright, so the white fit the bill for that.

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To add some pops of bright color, I embellished these with some quilting squares I had won off of Ebay. They are Amy Butler fabrics–I forget the name of the collection, but thought they were very pretty. Basically I sewed a few together in a strip, then sewed them near the top of the curtain. I have a bunch left, so I may make a matching pillow to go with.

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I love the colors and designs in these squares!

For some finishing touches, I sewed on a length of orange grosgrain ribbon to the top and a length of green to the bottom of the squares.

Hanging with my handmade curtains are lace panels that I’ve had for many years.

All in all, I am enjoying my new curtains and think they definitely give my room a different look. You never know what you can come up with when thinking a bit outside of the box!

I may be sharing some of my other curtain-making adventures in the near future, so stay tuned!!

Craft/DIY Ideas

Plain Turtleneck To Easter Cardigan

There’s a mystery that I ponder every spring: Why do clothing companies make little girls’ Easter dresses either sleeveless or short-sleeved when Easter is usually still cold?

This bugs me every year! Sure, my little cutie can wear a pretty new Spring  dress, but I usually have to cover it up with a white sweater.

Well, this year her white sweater is too small.  Instead of buying a new one, I revamped a white turtleneck that’s been lying around in the back of her shirt drawer. (Hence the wrinkles in the first picture!!)

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My first move was to trim off the ends of the sleeves and get rid of the turtleneck portion. I then cut up the middle of the front the whole way.

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After that I hemmed up all of those edges that I just trimmed up, turning each in about 1/4″, then another 1/4″ and sewing.

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To add some finishing touches, I made a flower embellishment using a flower trim that I cut apart (found at Wal Mart in the ribbons and trims section, sold by the yard.)

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I also added a white grosgrain ribbon around the neckline.

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The result is a pretty, “new” white cardigan that my little girl can wear with her Easter dress, or as a layering piece with other spring items.

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Craft/DIY Ideas

Burlap & Gingham Grapevine Wreath

Whew! It was a relief to get my Christmas stuff put away last week. The house seems a bit more spacious and, well, a little less cluttered.

This time of year always makes me want to purge my home of unnecessary clutter and organize even more. In fact, I just told someone the other day that I truly felt like I could rid our home of half  of our belongings and we would still have plenty. Anybody else with me on that one?

Anyway, today I thought I’d share what I just hung on my front door now that Christmas is behind us.

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I actually made this well over a year, maybe a year and a half ago. I think I even put one photo of it on a blog post, but didn’t feature it at all.

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As you can see, I took a simple grapevine wreath and chose a color palette of black, white, gray, and yellow. Then I made up a bunch of flowers and rosettes using various fabrics that had these colors. I ended up with burlap, black and white gingham, several patterned cotton fabrics, and a gray cashmere thrifted sweater. For the hanger portion I took a length of the gingham and sewed it into a basic long rectangle, then added a bit of twine to the top.

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I’m not sure if this is totally wintry, or seasonable, but I like it nonetheless.