I’ve been tentatively getting back into sewing lately (evidence here and here), and I’ve been thinking about actually making something from a pattern to get me back into the swing of doing things correctly. I usually prefer to ‘wing it’ and half draw out a pattern, half hold my garment up to myself and eyeball the measurements.
Luckily, Megan Nielsen designs adorable, affordable patterns and is just about to start a sew along, making her Darling Ranges dress step by step with her readers and explaining little tricks and processes along the way.
Pattern Alterations start tomorrow, with the actual sewing part beginning April 9th, so we still have time to purchase the pattern and our fabrics and notions. The pattern is 15% off in her shop with the code: SEWALONG, and she also has sewing kits available with every notion you’ll need for the project and two choices of adorable fabric.
Are you going to play too?
I still like to fancy myself a seamstress – in fact, I’m building myself a sewing studio right now – so every season I like to think about what I would build for myself to make the perfect wardrobe. These patterns are a little inspiration board for me. Together they show what I would like my own collection to look like. It seems I’m very 50s/60s inspired, with lots of midriff tops and tent dresses, mod a-lines, and gathered skirts. Time to get sewing!
Buy the actual patterns here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
I saw a photo series the other day featuring a girl with the most beautiful skin. While I studied it, being jealous of her gorgeous skin and wondering how much of it was thanks to Photoshop, I remembered that a good exfoliation/moisturization would deliver such a product. Somehow, I have a hard time remembering to take care of my skin past the loofah in the shower and my sporadic bouts of regular lotioning. Because I felt like making a craft out of this adventure, and I love a good hack, I looked up how to make a body scrub at home. Then I decided to learn how to make a hair mask, and suddenly I had a night of pamper/overhaul planned for myself. All the ingredients came from the grocery store – including the red wine and dark chocolate which are pretty much required when you start talking about baths and potions and spa time. I started the hair mask while I ran a bath with Dr. Bronner’s lavender for bubbles. After the bath, I did a clay mask facial so my face wouldn’t feel left out, and then my toes and fingers called out for some red red nail polish.
My hair is so soft now, I can’t stop running my fingers through it. This is especially awesome because I had been worrying lately that I’d damaged my hair too much and would have to cut the ends off. The mask seems to have healed it. And my skin is thanking me for remembering that it needn’t brave this dry winter in such pain.
Here’s what I did:
sugar (or brown sugar)
Combine two parts sugar to one part oil and add some lemon zest to the mixture. I stood over my ready bath, but did the scrubbing before I soaked in the tub so that the oil could moisturize better. I took the oil and two lemon halves with me to the bathtub. You can add the sugar straight to the lemon halves and use them to scrub tougher areas like knees, elbows, and heels. I added a little more oil to my mixture for more delicate spots. After this scrub, you will be so soft and glowy!
4 oz. olive oil
a few sprigs rosemary
Add a sprig or two of the rosemary to 4 oz. of olive oil and microwave about 10 seconds or until it is pleasantly warm. Don’t let it get too hot because you’ll be pouring this on your head! I used my liquid measuring cup to warm and then pour the oil into my hair (over the bathtub to avoid a mess), sections at a time, and combing the oil in as I went to make sure it went everywhere. You might use less than the whole 4 oz. of oil. I will probably use less than 4 oz. next time, and I have a lot of hair. Cover your hair with the plastic wrap (or a shower cap) and then wrap the warm towel into a turban to let the oil do its job. I left mine in for about an hour and a half. I washed the oil out with my regular shampoo and then rinsed with some cooled rosemary tea (boiled water with rosemary sprigs). I had to shampoo and dry my hair twice more after all this before my hair stopped looking greasy – I almost didn’t even share this recipe because of how greasy it was afterward, but now that the oil is out, I really do like this mask.
Here’s a fun, quick, easy, cheap project that makes your room cleaner and prettier. Oh my god, it’s perfect!
Turn any old frame (a thrifted, vintage one preferred) into a display for your dangly earrings (thrifted, vintage non-exclusive as there are some bangin’ styles out there in the world.)
Step 1: Gather Supplies
Frame (mine’s 17″x20 “)
Screw eyes (from the framing section at Michael’s)
Framing wire (100 ft of 28 gauge steel galvanized wire is more than sufficient)
Thumbtacks (also available in the framing section)
Step 2: Insert Screw Eyes
I used a nail to create a pilot hole for the screw eye. Just tap the nail in a little bit, pull it out, then screw the doodad in. Use a ruler or some other squaring device to make sure that you place them evenly on both sides.
Step 3: Attach Wire
Cut your wire just long enough to run tightly across the frame, plus a couple inches on both ends for attaching it. Thread the wire through the first hook and wrap the extra length again and again around the main length until it’s securely fastened. Repeat for each hook, making the wire as tight as possible so it doesn’t sag too much from the weight of your baubles.
Step 4: Attach Fabric Backing
Turn the frame over and lay your fabric (back of fabric facing you!) across the opening. Push thumbtacks into the frame all around, making sure fabric is stretched tight and straight. I did a couple anchor tacks on the left, then on the right, then top, bottom, and enough in the spaces in between to make it secure. Cut off remaining fabric.
And then…you’re done! Art and organization all in one. By you.
Please comment with any questions or corrections. These directions may only make sense to me. :) And let’s see pictures if you make one too!
I took countless sewing classes in high school, I studied fashion in college, and for a while I even fancied myself a fashion designer; but over the years, my sewing machine and I have become downright enemies. I still have my machine, and my tools, my threads, my stacks of fabric, and my design idea books, but the actual thought of sitting down to sew something never comes up. I think I got scared after I FAILED pattern-making. And I hate, hate, hate that blasted seam ripper.
Gripes aside, I still wish that I could fall back in love with my sewing machine and actually make things. I still dream of designing my own clothes. And I am super envious and impressed with all you babes out there that actually go for it and CRAFT stuff! Think it. Make it. That’s what I want.
So I was very excited to see this e-course being offered by Red Velvet Shop. I’ve been reading the blogs of some of these girls for years and I know for a fact that they know what’s up. If they think they can get me excited about sewing again, they can! They’ve already gotten me revved up enough to purchase the e-course, and I am looking forward to going through and re-learning skills with their super helpful tips to guide me. In each lesson, you produce something totally adorable that you would actually want (like a fringe laptop case!!!!) and learn an important skill that will be useful in your future projects!
I just had to share.