Sewn: A Simple Peplum Top


If you are looking to add a little pep to your wardrobe, a peplum top will do the trick! I felt inspired by this simple tutorial over at Cotton & Curls and knew that I wanted to give it a go. I made a few minor tweaks to get the fit just right and in no time I had this beautiful top. 


Wanna add some pep to your style with a simple peplum top?

HERE'S THE HOW TO:

Check out the full tutorial over at Cotton and Curls. You basically cut out and sew rectangles together. It's as simple as that.

Here are a few modifications I made for myself:

1. I used a beautiful crisp cotton eyelet, which gave the top a more structured look. Playing around with fabrics is so fun! You can get a completely different looks for the same pattern just by switching up the fabric.

2. In Liz's tutorial, she made her ruffle asymmetrical, but I wanted to keep things simple and made my ruffle the same length all the way around. (Although, the way the top hangs on my body, it does look a smidge longer in the back.)

3. When I put the top on for the first time the fit wasn't exactly right. Instead, I had two sharp corners poking off my shoulders, and it literally looked like I was wearing a rectangle. Try as I might, the crisp cotton fabric I used didn't drape nicely down on my shoulders. (It's too bad I didn't think to snap a pic, because it looked so funny! lol!) Luckily, this was an easy fix. All I did was rip out the shoulder seams and then trim the shoulders down at an angle. And, tada, now my top sits nicely on my shoulders like a good top should. ;)

Here's a pic to show you how I angled the shoulder seam a little:




I really, really like this top. I'm already dreaming up my next one. I'd like to try to make one that is a bit more fitted by adding a waistline and some darts. With a more trim fit, I'll probably have to add a zipper or button closure in the back, which could be a fun challenge. The next time I make the top I'll also be sure to use pretty french seams to keep the inside of the garment looking neat and tidy like I did with the skirt I made recently.



I'm pretty smitten with my top, and best of all...


Project Details:
Difficulty: Beginner

If your wardrobe could use a change, add a little pep(lum) to it!

So, do you guys like the peplum trend? I think it is such a sweet and romantic style.

P.S. Looking for more sewing inspiration?  Then check out my first sewn skirt and my Colette Patterns Sorbetto tank top!


Colored Pencil Necklace by Magical Daydream

Hi guys! Today, I have Mariëlle of Magical Daydream here to share this quirky and fun DIY with you!



First of all thank you, Erica, for hosting me on your lovely and creative blog. I am Mariëlle. I blog over at Magical Daydream and have a weak spot for DIY-projects too. So today I would love to show you how to make a rainbow-coloured pencil necklace. I bet you still have some barely used brightly coloured pencils somewhere stuffed in an old box back in some dusty cabinet just waiting to be used. So get them out quickly, because I bet they will look great around your neck!

Materials needed: old pencils, elastic wire. Tools needed: saw, drill, and pencil sharpener.
  Find some old pencils in pretty colors. Personally I love anything rainbow-coloured, so I went for: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Of course you can pick any color combination you like.
  Decide how long you want the pencils to be. Use a saw to cut off the rest of the pencil. It would probably be wise to take measurements and mark your pencils before you do. I didn’t do this thinking I could just sharpen them until they were the same size. Although this is true, taking this extra step at this point would probably have saved me some time later on.
  Drill holes in your pencils. Try to make the holes in equal length from the top of the pencil. If you have any pencils with text written on them, you can drill the holes on the side of the text. This way when the pencils are all lined up, the text will be invisible because it will be hidden on the side.
 

After drilling the holes, sharpen your pencils. You can make them exactly the same length, or make a gradual difference. In my case the ones to the sides are slightly shorter while the middle ones are the longest. Making them slightly longer than I did will probably make it easier to sharpen them though.
  When you are content with the length of the pencils, string them to your wire. I used some transparent elastic nylon wire to not distract too much from the colorful pencils. It also makes it easy to put the necklace over your head directly. You can pick any type of wire though.



And tadaa! Your awesome and trendy yet somewhat nostalgic necklace is finished :)

Be sure to check out Mariëlle's blog, Magical Daydream, for lots more quirky and whimsical projects! This colorful photoshoot is a lot of fun, and take a look at this funky sculpture she made out of lighters, cards and buttons. This girl has a serious creative side!

Meet: Mon Makes Things


Hi guys! Today, I wanted to introduce you to my bloggy friend, Monica. She makes stuff. Lots of really, really cool stuff, and best of all she shares all her projects on her blog,  Mon Makes Things

This girl is crafty and has some mad crochet skills. Just check out her amazing granny square blanket! She also sells the cutest crochet creations over in her Etsy shop.  And, if you don't crochet, no worries, because she's got plenty of projects without yarn involved to keep you busy too! 

Here are a few of my favorite projects from Monica's blog:

This Starlight Starbright Garland is the perfect way to add a touch of twinkle to your home. Make a wish!

I heart this Crochet Heart Pillow and can't wait to whip up one of my own!

This Crate Storage Ottoman is stylish and functional. Just look at all the stuff you can put in it!

Candle making is definitely something I want to try and Monica breaks it down so well in her DIY Soy Candles tutorial.

Be sure to check out Monica's blog for more crafty ideas and crochet inspiration! 

P.S. She also did a little interview with me recently, if you'd like to check it out too!

I hope you guys are set for a great weekend! I've got a long one in store and am planning to finish up some sewing projects. (I'm tackling my first zipper installation. Eeps!) What do you have planned?



Sewn: A Simple Skirt


This skirt is the first item of clothing I've ever sewn! I actually made it a few months ago, but the weather was too cold for me to wear it at the time. Now that spring has finally arrived, I've been able to get this little gem out out of my closet and into the sunshine.




For this skirt, I used the One Hour Skirt project from the book Sewing in a Straight Line by Brett Bara. And, if you don't own the book, I was able to find a video tutorial over at Kollabora. Score!

This project took me a bit longer than an hour as the book suggests (newbie sewer alert!), but it was still a great project for a beginner. The directions were simple and easy, but also thorough. The seams are beautifully finished with french seams, which is a new technique for me. The french seams give a beautiful, clean look to finished piece. No fraying fabric edges here!



There was no pattern to cut out or trace. You just cut the fabric directly based on your measurements. Easy as pie. The hardest part for me was inserting the elastic into the waistband. After some crazy contortions, a few choice words and even getting a yard stick involved for a bit, I'm happy to say the elastic is in place with no serious injuries to either me or the skirt. ;) I'm gonna have to work on that technique in the future for sure.










Project Details:
Pattern - One Hour Skirt from Sewing in a Straight Line by Brett Bara (Video tutorial available at Kollabora)
Fabric - Medium weight cotton (I don't remember the designer)
Time - Several hours for me, but an experienced seamstress should be able to whip it up in an hour.
Skills - Cutting fabric according to your measurements, french seams, inserting elastic waistband
Difficulty - Easy, even for a beginner

This is such a great basic skirt.  You can play with proportions by using more or less fabric for a fuller or more streamlined look. You can also easily lengthen or shorten it. I've already made another one of these skirts in a nautical print that I can't wait to share on the blog soon too!

So, have you had any adventures in trying out a new craft or skill lately?


Let's MakeUp: Beach Beauty


I wanted an easy, natural look for my trip to the beach. In fact, I only took a few select beauty products with me. My major criteria was that each product had to have the staying power to last through the sun, surf and sand. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the ones I chose stood up to the test and thought I'd share my faves with you today!

Wanna recreate my easy, breezy beauty look for the beach?

HERE'S THE HOW TO:

In my beauty bag: 

1. Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara: This stuff stays put! Be warned you'll need a great waterproof eye makeup remover and a bit of patience to get this stuff off. (This is the remover I used. It was nice and gentle on my sensitive skin.) This mascara really has the ability to give you beautiful lashes all day long.

2. Revlon PhotoReady Creme Blush in Pinched: This creme blush is a great dupe for another fave of mine, Benefit's Cha Cha tint. I doesn't quite have the staying power of the Benefit tint, but its price is much nicer on the pocket book. I really love the subtle peachy flush it gives my cheeks. And, you can dab it on with your fingers, so there is no reason to pack a blush brush.

3. Maybelline Unstoppable Waterproof Eyeliner in Onyx: I simply drew a thin line along my upper lashline for some definition. This stuff did smudge a little throughout the day, but it did so in a nice subtle way, so I didn't mind. 

4. BareMinerals Powder Foundation: This is my one splurge, but it is totally worth it. I use this powder foundation everyday. It evens out your skin tone without making you look or feel like you have makeup on. It's not exactly waterproof, but it was great for touch ups when we stepped away from the beach.


Now, for the lips!

5. Blistex DCT Lip Balm: This is a favorite of mine year round. It moisturizes well and also protects your lips from the sun's harsh rays with built in SPF. I've always got a bit of this in my bag.

6. Revlon Just Bitten Lip Balm Stain in Rendevous: Ok, I know this stuff looks scary orange, but don't be alarmed, because it goes on nice and sheer to give your lips a sweet touch of coral. I really like the subtle punch of color it added to my lips.

And, that's it! It just took a few minutes to pull this look together in the morning, and then I was set to play in the sun all day long!

Do you guys have any favorite makeup products or tips you'd like to share? I'm a bit of a makeup junkie, so I'm always looking for fun new things to try.


DIY: Pom Pom Tote


I stumbled upon a plain old straw tote at the thrift store recently and being the crafty girl I am, I had to spice it up a bit! I knew I wanted to make the bag festive and fun and decided that an assortment of pom poms would do the trick.


Wanna spice up a tote bag of your own?

HERE'S THE HOW TO:

Stuff you'll need:


Tote Bag (I used a straw one, but a fabric one could be fun too!)

Pom Pom Pins (Check out this tutorial for how to make them.)


Method:

Just pin the poms onto the bag. I like using pins rather than sewing or gluing the poms, so that I can easily mix and match poms of different colors, change the placement of the poms, or even remove them all together and dress up the bag in another way! Variety is the spice of life, and a crafty gal's dream.

So, that's all there is to it. Load up your bag with your necessities and head out the door. This bag is cute, stylish and above all... fun! I'll be using it through the spring and summer for sure!


I hope you guys are enjoying some nice weather. I've been spending some time gardening in the yard and hiking with my pups. Yay for spriiiiingtime!  :)

P.S. Looking for more pom pom inspiration? You can also use them to make brooches or spice up your space!

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Lately.

I've been playing with my paints, because I'm still wanting to create a painting for my dining room. It's been fun messing around with color and technique. Hopefully soon I'll be brave enough to tackle the giant canvas I bought for the space so that I can finally get some art up on my wall.

YAY for spring! We've been heading out to the trails with our two pups to take in the cheery weather. The vibrant green spring leaves are so fresh and lovely. And, recognize these tragic shoes? I'm still wearing them! Take that Tanner-bananer! ;)

My azalea bushes have been blooming out of control, so I've been treating myself to free fresh flowers from the yard. A girl can't complain about that!

As I mentioned on Instagram,  I'm having a hard time deciding which of these fabrics to use for my Colette Patterns Laurel dress. What do you think? Should I go with floral or stripes?

What fun things have you guys been up to lately?

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DIY: Pom Pom Brooch Pin


My pom pom maker is officially my favorite new craft toy! I recently showed you how I used homemade poms to spruce up my creative space. Now, I decided to use them to add a bit of 'pow!' to my style too.


The texture and color the poms add to an otherwise everyday outfit are so fun! 

Wanna add some playful pom poms to your look?

HERE'S THE HOW TO:

1. Make pom poms! I used a pom pom maker, but there are also ways to make your own by using cardboard or even just your fingers. The trick to getting a nice plump pom pom is to wrap the yarn around a LOT of times.

2. Now that you have your poms, you'll need to attach some pins to the back. I used jewelry pins as shown below, but safety pins could do the trick too!

2. To add the pins to the pom poms, I just slipped the them under the strand of yarn I had used to tie the pom pom together with. No sewing necessary. Easy breezy.

4. All that is left is to add the poms to your outfit to spice it up a bit...




These are such a fun accessory. You can change up the look easily by mix and matching poms of different sizes and colors to get a whole new look! The possibilities are endless.  :)

So, have you guys made any fun accessories for spring yet? I think my motto this season is gonna be to 'put a pom on it'!  ;)

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