This time of year isn’t the prettiest in Alaska. Snow is waiting to melt, everything is brown and dusty, and there’s a certain stale odor in the air. But there is LIGHT – so much daylight.
Erin of Blomma Designs, photographer Anne Marie Moran and I decided to take advantage of our ever-increasing sunlight last weekend.I brought my sister, Farra, along too. We all met at Erin’s studio to create modern floral wreaths. It was the perfect respite from Alaska breakup season.
I thought we should share this crafting experience with a step-by-step tutorial. The luscious photos are by the talented and delightful Anne Marie of Anne Marie Moran Photography.
If you’re a mom in her 30s then you’ve probably encountered the direct sales brand, LuLaRoe. Recently my Facebook feed has been overloaded with pop-up shops and online shopping parties for a women’s clothing brand that touts fun prints and comfortable fit.
I finally went to a LuLaRoe party at a friend’s house. It was sort of like Avon – my girlfriend hosted a shopping party and a sales rep was on-hand to talk up the brand and get you excited about buying things. If you bring a friend, you save 10 percent!
Although I found some cute styles and they were pretty comfortable, it was the price that I wasn’t impressed with. Thirty-five dollars seems like a good price for a skirt, but when I saw the fabric quality and the way they were constructed I concluded it was probably about $1.50 worth of materials and a whole lot of upselling on the part of the sales rep.
One of my coworkers has been sporting LuLaRoe’s Cassie skirt and it looks fabulous on her. It’s essentially a tube of jersey fabric with a wide waistband.
And it was pretty dang easy to make! This project took me about 45 minutes from start to finish and it cost me less than $5.
Copycat Lularoe Cassie Skirt
What you’ll need:
1 yard of jersey (stretchy) fabric. I’d suggest a non-directional pattern to make it easier
Step 1: Determine the stretch of your material. My material was stretchy in both directions but one way was definitely more stretchy. You’ll want the stretchy direction to go side-to-side, around your hips (instead of up and down stretch).
Step 2: Take the fabric and stretch it around your waist. This is how I determined how wide to make my skirt. I marked from the edge of the fabric to where it met when wrapped around my waist once. For me it was 30 inches.
Step 3: Cut a piece from your fabric that’s the measurement you came up with plus 2 inches – for me that was 32 inches. Remember the stretch should be horizontal.
Step 4: Fold down the top edge by 7 inches and cut across for the waistband. My waistband measured 32 inches long and 14 inches tall (you’ll be folding it in half later). Set this aside.
Step 5: Pin your two side edges, right sides together, from top to bottom. Using a zig-zag stitch, sew with a 5/8″ seam allowance thus creating a tube. It should essentially be a pencil skirt with raw edges on top and bottom. Trim the seam edges. Try on your tube to figure out if you want to trim the bottom. My skirt hit just above my knees, which is what I wanted.
Step 6: Determine the bottom of your skirt and inside out, pin up a 1/2-inch hem. Sew around starting at the side seam with a straight stitch using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Turn right-side out.
Step 7: Take your waistband and pin the side edges together, right sides together. Sew using a zig-zag stitch with a 5/8″ seam allowance. Trim seam edges.
Step 8: Keep your waistband inside out and place it over the top of your skirt (which is right-side out). Pin the top edge of the waistband to the top edge of the skirt. Sew using a zig-zag stitch with a 5/8″ seam allowance.
Step 9: Flip the waistband up and fold in half so the raw edge is now inside the skirt. Turn inside out.
Step 10: Pin the raw edge of the waistband to the seam you just made. You’ll be pinning through three layers of fabric. Sew a zig-zag stitch just next to the stitch you made before. This will ensure the seam you’re currently making won’t show on the outside of the skirt.
Step 11: Turn right-side out and you’re done! The waistband is extra tall, so either wear it that way or fold it down to create more tummy control.
The other day as I was making my thrift store rounds I saw an old table sitting outside of Bishop’s Attic. It had lots of stains on it as though someone was raised in a non-coaster family (oh, the shame!)
It was only $5 so what was there to lose by buying it?
I could tell it was a solid construction made with nice wood. Maybe teak, cherry and walnut in there? I’m not sure. But when I asked my husband if he’d help me refinish it I was surprised to find how easy it was. All we did was refinish the top of the table as the legs were still in good shape. We now have a gorgeous wooden table and all we really paid for was the wood finish.
Remove the top from the legs. Using 80 grade sandpaper sand down the tabletop with the orbital sander. Use circular motions and sand the top evenly all over. Sand the sides of the tabletop too, if you’re able to.
Repeat this step with the next finest grade of sandpaper until you’ve reached 220.
Hand sand any bits or corners you weren’t able to get with the orbital sander. I just eyeballed it.
Use a piece of tack cloth to remove all sawdust from the tabletop.
Pour a big glug of wood finish onto the tabletop and spread out evenly with a shop paper towel. Get all over and around the sides. Get it underneath the edge of the table. No need to finish the whole bottom part, but get some around the underneath edge. It should instantly look amazing.
Make sure the finish is evenly distributed and not applied so heavily that it drips or gloops.
After 3 minutes use a dry paper towel to wipe the table with the grain to remove any excess oil. If you go against the grain it might look streaky.
Wait four hours and repeat steps 5-7.
You could stop here or apply another coat if you’d like. I only did two coats.
Screw the top back onto the legs and presto! New table!
Sewing is by no means my greatest talent. My mom taught me to sew at a young age, but that doesn’t mean I like it. It’s time consuming to cut out a pattern, cut out the fabric and take out the sewing machine. If I’m going to sew something it’s got to be a two-hour-or-less project.
I love the concept of refashioning clothes; i.e., taking an article of clothing and turning into a different article of clothing. Refashionista is pretty much my sewing/thrifting idol and she’s incredibly cute.
Lately I’ve been noticing gigantic church-lady linen dresses at the thrift shops. My mother loves linen dish towels because they are lightweight and absorbent. I thought about purchasing a linen dress and cutting it into dish-towel rectangles, but the concept didn’t really excite me much.
Last week I saw a lovely linen apron at Anthropologie. I had an “I can make that” moment. I figured an apron was a great way to refashion an old dress.
Years ago I made an apron for my sister and managed to write down the pattern measurements. I have included that pattern in this tutorial. Keep in mind my sewing skills are far from elegant so I’m sure some of you could come up with a prettier apron, but I’m satisfied with what I ended up with and it only took two hours from start to finish.
Be sure to check out the bottom of this post for more clothing refashion tutorials I’ve done over the years.
It’s week two of our Halloween Blog Party and the theme is “Woodland Creatures.” So far we’ve had fairy flower crown and forest garland tutorials, a woodland fairytale mix by DJ Spencer Lee and today I’ve got a super quick baby costume that requires minimal crafty skills and a shoestring budget.
This was my son’s first Halloween costume and I love it so.
A while back AK Shopgirl was inspired by our little gnome. She decided to dress up her twin baby boys as more traditional David the Gnome.
Here’s all you need to achieve a gnome-tastic baby outfit:
*If you aren’t a knitter, I suggest making a gnome hat the way AK Shopgirl did using a sheet of red craft foam fashioned into a cone, adhered with a hot glue gun. Ohhappyday.com has a free template here, if you want to get technical.
How to make the beard
Place the mug upside down in the middle of the white felt, 1.5 inches down from the top edge. Trace a circle for the neck hole.
Use the mug to shape the corners of the beard bib.
Draw a line at the top of the neck hole to the top edge of the felt. This will be the opening of the beard bib. I just love saying “beard bib.”
Freehand the shape of the beard. Cut out your beard bib.
Dress up baby of choice in the onesie, pants and booties. Use a safety pin to connect the back edges of the beard bib. Place pointy hat atop baby.
It’s week two of the Halloween Blog Party with AK Shopgirl and Tessie Style Blog. This week’s theme is “Woodland Creatures.” We’ll be featuring crafts, costumes, decorations, cocktails and music mixes that represent the fairies, flora and fauna of the forest.
Earlier this week I posted a video tutorial on how to make a fresh flower crown. I’m kicking it up a notch today with a fresh garland to decorate your woodland creatures party or to spruce up your mantle. No video for this tutorial, but I encourage you to watch the time-lapse flower crown tutorial as the technique is similar.
DIY Fresh Garland
Here’s what you’ll need:
About four feet of twine
floral wire (available at crafts stores)
Fresh greens such as salal, plumosa ferns and eucalyptus
Flower crowns are my thing. I love making them and I certainly love wearing them. After months of working with Meringue Studio Boudoir and having a couple of booths set up with the Anchorage Downtown Partnership, I’ve had lots of people ask me if I have a tutorial for my flower crowns.
Check all three of our sites this week for costume ideas, décor, music mixes and more.
My flower crowns are no trade secret (although you do have to have a florist business license to acquire the light green floral tape). I’ve been held up by simple technological difficulties (I don’t have a tripod that allows for bird’s eye view).
I asked my husband to figure it out. Five minutes and some duct tape later, he had rigged up a suitable bird’s eye camera. Thanks to The Alaska Life for the free selfie stick — I finally found a non-silly way to use it ;).
Whether you’re dressing up yourself or your little girl this Halloween, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a fresh flower crown to compliment your fairy costume.
Flowers and greens (in this tutorial I used chrysanthemums, alstroemeria, eucalyptus, and saladago)
Measure your wire around your head and cut the wire with four inches extra length.
Tear off pieces of floral tape about six inches long. You’ll need several, but I usually tear off five at a time.
In this time lapse video I show you how I construct a partial crown, which is worn off to the side. I usually start in the middle of the wire and work my way toward the edge. If you want a full flower crown, start about three inches from one end and work your way toward the other end.
Prepare your flowers and greens by leaving two inches of stem remaining. Trim away any excess leaves or buds.
Starting at the middle of the crown, lay a green against the wire and tightly wrap the tape around it, working your way down the stem. Add a new flower to the wire and position it to cover the first wrapped stem. Tightly wrap this stem with the floral tape.
Work your way down the wire, positioning the flowers and greens in a herringbone fashion. I usually wrap a green tilting toward the left, then a flower tilting toward the right, a flower tilting toward the left and a green tilting toward the right.
Use your best judgment to nestle greens and flowers together. Pay attention to the natural curve of each flower and place them so they are featured in a pleasing way.
When you have about three inches remaining on the wire, stop adding more flowers. Wrap the ends of the wire around each other so it fits your head well.
Store in the fridge whenever you’re not wearing it. It should last for a few days.
Here is a one-minute time lapse of my making a flower crown. Pretty neat! View the long version here.