The Pinterest Party Link up #2

Monday, July 30, 2012

Welcome to the 2nd TTP link up! I hope everyone had fun last week. We had a bunch of great link ups and I just loved looking at every one's creations & chatting about them on Twitter throughout the week. If you don't already, make sure you follow me & my lovely co-hosts on twitter to read all of our shout outs. 

The rules are simple: link up your Pinterest inspired projects here. Make sure you follow Amber & Sarah's blogs too, and feel free to grab a TPP button to add to your post or sidebar. 
If you want more info on TPP go here.

Here's my "pin"-spiration for this week:

Sadly I couldn't even get to the original website because this pin had been flagged as spam. Don't you hate that? So I kinda just had to rip off the idea from the picture and figure it out myself. Here's what I came up with though:

I love it.
I've got a tutorial coming later this week, so you too can steal that sweet shirt that's been hanging unworn in your husband's closet. This one was deemed no longer wearable after I accidentally shrunk it. Oops. 
You can follow along with me in my tutorial tomorrow, so check back then.
Did I mention it requires NO SEWING?!

Don't forget to check out my DIY maxi dress from last week's TPP.

Link up below & be social...check out other links and meet some new bloggers :)

Simple Maxi Dress Tutorial

Friday, July 27, 2012

Did you all see my post for The Pinterest Project Linky Party? Check it out here.

I made this maxi dress & belt:

I got a ton of compliments on it so now it's time to show how I made it. I could just link you to the tutorial I originally found, but I had a thought. I ended up kind of combining a bunch of different tutorials that I found all over the internet and I improvised and improved on a few things, so I'm going to try to do my own dress tutorial and include all of the helpful little hints for problems I ran in to on the way. Sound good? Here we go.

You're going to start with your fabric. You want a lightweight jersey knit. It's going to be stretchy but don't worry about sewing it. It's not hard...I promise! I'm no expert when it comes to sewing clothing, but seriously all you need is the correct stitch for this particular fabric. I chose a black jersey knit. I live in black and I figured if I liked this I would get a ton of wear out of it. Just make sure it's not see through. The first one I chose was a little too lightweight and I would have given someone a peep show the first time I wore this thing in public. You'll need about 2- 2 1/2 yards depending on if you want it more like knee length or floor length. It's up to you. (make sure you use a coupon for your fabric! That much jersey can be expensive, but I had a 50% coupon for Joann's. $12.99/yd turned into about $6.50/yard) Or grab something that's on sale. 

My measurement (when folded in half) was about 30 inches by about I don't know, 56 inches from toes to top of shoulder? Not very specific I know, but you have room to play around. I left about 70 inches of length on to start with to give me room to play. Leave extra fabric at the bottom!

Then I pinned around the left, top, & right side. The bottom is the opening where your feet go out.
You're going to use a special zig-zag stitch that will allow the seam to stretch with the fabric & not break or rip. Mine was #3 on my machine. (Consult your owner's manual, or perhaps Google it if you're unsure which stitch to use).

Next, sew!
Don't be afraid of the stretchy fabric. I was a little bit at first, but the key is to give it a lot of slack & just take your time with it. You don't want to pull on it or stretch it while it's going through the machine or it will pucker. You want the fabric to be nice and slack. Just focus on taking your time and try to keep your sewing line as straight as possible. Don't worry, you won't mess it up if it's a little curvy (mine was).

This is where exactly you will sew:
Now remember, you're using your stretch stitch to sew this part.

OK. That's the basic shape of your dress...a big huge pillow case. Keep it like this, don't turn it right side out yet. Your seams should still be on the outside at this point.
Now, we cut.

This part IS a tad intimidating, I'm not gonna lie. I say this because I totally followed the wrong tutorial for this part & I cut mine incorrectly. I made the neck hole too big & it was a tad, revealing. The tutorial I followed said to cut a straight line about 6 inches deep right in the middle for the neck hole. So I did that. Bad idea.
No no no!
Yeah, I don't recommend cutting it like this. I totally messed it up, ruined my fabric, tried fixing it, made it worse, & had to start over. Listen to me people, just don't do it like this even if someone on Pinterest says they did. Trust me!

You wanna cut the neckline & arm holes like this:
And be super jealous of my mad Photoshop skills.

Measure from the top seam & find the center for the neck hole.
The amount you cut off is up to you. Start with about 8 inches & try it on. See how it lays & if you want it looser or bigger adjust it accordingly. Stay close to the seam when you cut the arm holes, but the neck hole can curve down as much as you want it (so you can make it more U shaped if you want to. Just do it a little at a time so you don't cut it too deep).

Next. try it on. It's going to be a giant sack at this point. Just ignore that. Leave it inside doesn't really matter right now. This is just a quick check to see if the armholes & neck holes are big enough & to double & triple check the length. This is where you want to cut your dress to the exact length you want it, so mark it carefully. I can't stress that enough. Measure twice, cut once I think is what they say. You don't wanna end up with a dress that's an inch or two too short.

Now it's time to go back & do some extra stitching to reinforce where the openings are (so they don't come unraveled).

Remember, your giant pillow case dress is still inside out with the seams totally on the outside, right? 
OK, now go back & do a few regular stitches & back stitches where the stretch seams end (at the parts you stopped sewing or cut off). I made this picture black & white to make it easier to see the back stitched areas:
That's it. You don't have to hem any of the edges. Jersey knit doesn't fray, so you can leave the raw edges just like this.You might have to go back & clean up some of your cut lines, but once you do that the edges will look perfectly fine.

Now you've got your finished dress.
Turn your sack....errrr, dress, right side out. Put it on, and admire your handiwork.

OK not quite. All you need now is your belt. Or a tie, or ribbon, or scarf, or whatever it is you are going to use to cinch the waist in. I used this super awesome hand made belt that I'll teach you to make next week.. What do you think?

Tie or secure the belt around your waist. Then gently un-tuck the fabric around the top & bottom of the belt. Adjust all of the seams so that they go straight down your shoulders, that the neckline is right where you want it to fall (mine is a little different because I screwed it up, remember?), and adjust the seams that run down the sides of the dress so that they are where they should be (not crooked or like halfway across the back of your dress). The belt will kind of cinch everything in & then you'll have to carefully tuck, un-tuck, twist, and adjust the dress a little to make it lay right. It'll take a minute but you'll figure it out. It's going to be a little different for every one's body shape, so play around with it and go with what works best for you! The beauty of this project is it doesn't have to be exact and you can change it up.

Pretty easy, right? 

And super cute. You can do so many variations of this dress, it's crazy! Once you get the hang of it you can whip one up in about 15 minutes. I'm working on making some in different colors with coordinating belts, some with shorter length & even some with tank top straps. So stay tuned for more twists on the super simple maxi dress I just showed you how to make! And come back next week to check out my tutorial on this super cute belt I made to go with my dress.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the Pinterest inspired link ups we had on The Pinterest Project this week!!!!

Have a good weekend & happy sewing :) 

Linked up to:

Simple Steps to Healthy Living Linky Party

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hey guys! I'm co-hosting a linky party with Kristina at From City Corporate to Suburb Mama. I'm sharing the DIY acne scar fading mask that I did a few weeks ago, and Kristina has kindly asked me to share it with her readers! Check it out and link up if you can:

Welcome to another week of Healthy Living! I'm so excited you're here and look forward to hearing your tips and simple steps towards a more healthy lifestyle.

For this month, we're doing something a little different! I'm also hosting a giveaway with this linky party, so all the more reason to have fun and participate! 

Last time I was so inspired by the following link ups:

This one just made me drool! :) 

And this one I'm just dying to try, maybe with coconut milk since I can't have dairy?

Today, I'm so excited to offer a Family-Size NonPetro Jelly skin balm as the giveaway with this week's link up! Use this just as you would Vaseline or Aquaphor or lotion for that matter, but with more peace of mind, knowing there aren't any harmful ingredients in it! 

For a chance to win this awesome NonPetro Jelly, I'd love to have you link up your own simple steps (for added points not a requirement) and enter the raffleopter below.

Now it's your turn to share what you're learning! But first, I'm thrilled to have these lovely ladies co-hosting with me today!

And now, for the rules...I'll try to keep them simple :)

1. Follow me and all my co-hostesses
2. You can post about anything you want, as long as it's a simple step towards a healthier lifestyle including tips for "green" living. I will ask that you avoid the following:
no processed foods
no artificial ingredients
nothing from a box
3. Share the love. Check out at least 3-4 other posts and introduce yourselves. The thing I love most about linky parties is that you get to meet so many amazing people! 
4. Have fun!! :)

I'd also love to have you put the button on your post or blog somewhere so that it's an actual "link" party! :) 

And thank you so much for participating!! I'm thrilled that you're here and sharing with the rest of us!
Want to co-host next time? Just contact me and we'll set it up!

And featured ladies, don't forget to grab the "I was featured" button! Excellent shares and I'm so glad you linked up last time!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Pinterest Project Linky Party!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Welcome to the first ever Pinterest Project Linky Party!
Joining me in co-hosting this fab party are my 2 bloggy BFFs, Amber from My Three Bittles & Sarah from Fortune Favors the Brave.
If you want more info on what The Pinterest Project is about, go here.  

It's pretty simple: have you ever tried to make something cool from Pinterest? Great! You can link up to this party then. It doesn't have to be a tutorial or anything like that. All you have to do is show us the original pin or idea and then show us what yours turned out like. Good or bad, we wanna see! If you want to include a tutorial or additional pictures, go for it. If you totally failed & your craft looks more like a big pile of crap, then go ahead & take a picture of it, link it up here, and show us so we can have a good laugh before you throw it away. Seriously, I love seeing things people have created from Pinterest. 
Link up your project at the bottom of this post!

But first, check out my project from this week :)

I wanted to make a maxi dress like this:
I saw this pin from

It was supposed to be super easy, so I went for it. Here's what I came up with:

Pretty cute, right?! And actually it wasn't too hard. I did tweak a few things in the construction of the dress, and I made the belt 100% from scratch. I've decided to turn this dress into my own tutorial with all of the changes & stuff I made. Also, more on the belt later ;)

This project was super fun & I'm so excited that I have a cute dress to show for it. 
What do you think?

Don't mind the bazillion pictures I lamely took of myself.
I tried to get it from all angles so that you didn't think I was tricking you into thinking this was cute, only to have it be a total mess from another angle. Nope. This is totally cute all around.


And the belt:

I'm loving the belt. I think it's my favorite part of the whole outfit actually. And the coolest thing? It can be used for a bunch of other dress/shirts that I already have :) Like I said, check back later for info on the belt.

Here's my super easy maxi dress tutorial!

So now is your chance to show off a Pinterest Project that you've made (or attempted to make). Haven't made anything from Pinterest yet? That's ok! Go explore and find something easy to start with, link it up here and then come back & show us your version at next week's party. 

 Make sure to follow all 3 of the hosts (the first 3 links below). And remember, it can be an old or new project, and you can link as many as you want. Follow us all on Twitter & Facebook to see if we mention your link up as some of our favorites.

Add me on Pinterest & you can see what I'm brainstorming for upcoming projects!

Giveaway Winner!!!

Big thank you to everyone who entered my Super Awesome Giveaway! It was a lot of fun & I had almost 400 entries. So who's the big winner?!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rachel is the winner of the Summer Mani Kit! She has already been contacted and claimed her prize. Congratulations Rachel! Hope you enjoy all of your new polishes & have fun with the summery colors.

Thanks again to everyone for participating. I have more giveaways being planned and I've been doing a ton of sewing lately. I have quite a few awesome projects in the works right now for The Pinterest Project linky party that starts tomorrow! Check back every Tuesday for great Pinterest Project link ups and don't forget to link up your own for a chance to win ad space on 3 great blogs! Click here to get all of the info for the party.

Next time you wanna swim, make sure there's water

Saturday, July 21, 2012

...pretty much sums up our Thursday.
The plan was this: Daddy finally had a full day off work and it was really nice out (and by "nice" I mean 75 degrees & not raining). We decided to check out this salt water beach near our house that I read about online. It's in the Puget Sound area & it looked like this the website:

Looks pretty cool, right? It's part of a state park & it's only about a 15 minute rural drive from our house. I figured we could pack up some snacks, drinks, & a blanket and let the kids splash around in the water and play in the sand. Sounded like the perfect, stress free day in a pretty secluded spot. Wonderful. Great family day.

This is what it looked like when we got there:

It was still kind of gorgeous in a way, but mommy was an idiot and totally forgot about checking the tide information before we went. It honestly didn't even cross my mind and then I felt really dumb as soon as we pulled up & saw the muddy green land. Apparently the tide was very low at noon that day!

 Change of plan I guess. Instead of swimming we decided to make the best of it. We walked around barefoot in the squishy, slimy mud & seaweed and looked for cool shells, explored the shore area, and looked in the tide pools.

The kids loved these 2 crazy loud squawking seagulls. 

They were looking for the perfect clam shells.

There were a few other people out there exploring too!

We stopped to look in puddles and found some little tadpoles and sea snails moving around. The kids thought it was the coolest thing ever and said they were "so cute."

After we got nice & muddy and smelled like sea water we played in the sand for a bit.

Lily tried to no avail to completely bury her brother. She did a pretty good job with his legs though. Ayden pretended to be some kind of sand creature afterwards.

 It ended up being a TON of fun and the kids loved it. We are definitely going to come back some time again during low tide and bring our boots, buckets, & little digging tools so we can explore better. We also found a website showing the different tide patterns for the whole month so we are planning an actual swimming trip soon. Maybe next time we'll actually need our swimsuits and towels! All in all it was a really fun day regardless, but a little relief from the hot sun would have been nice. There's always next time.

Don't is the last day to enter my giveaway!!! You can tweet again to get 1 last entry so go back & do it 1 last time. Good luck :)

And don't forget to check out The Pinterest Project here. It's a new linky party I'm co-hosting with my blog BFFs Amber & Sarah. It starts on Tuesday! Hope you all link up. I'm working on something fun right now, so check back on Tuesday to see what Pinterest-inspired project I'm doing!

Have a fabulous weekend!
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