sewing advice...

I was knee deep in a new sewing project this weekend when I came across this {very popular} image on pinterest...I could definitely use this advice. Maybe this is why I have had a creative block lately? My sink full of dirty dishes and 5-day-in-a-row-crazybun-hairdo is wreaking havoc on my sewing mojo. Really girls, would you ever get any sewing done if you checked off all these boxes?

Army Party

Every year I start to get anxiety the first of September. It always hits right after the kids start back to school. The cause of my stress? 3 birthdays in 2 days! My oldest son was born 18 years ago on my husband's birthday. Okay so not uncommon. However, then 2 years later my next son was born the day after their birthday! ugh.  Not to mention MINE is a week later. But really, by that point we are pretty "birthdayed" out.
This year we celebrated BIG milestone birthdays, a 16 and an 18. When they were little, we had fun with a different theme each year. One year it was a farm party (yes we rented a worth it.) that was followed by a Star Wars, Art Party, Carnival, a few Pirate parties, and even a Halloween theme thrown in. I struggled with ideas for teenage appropriate themes this year. I wanted It to be special and memorable because this is my oldest son's last year living at home. So, I finally settled on an Army/Camouflage party. Note to self..there is NOTHING on the web for teenage boys that is remotely do-able. So here's ONE.

For the decor and party favors I picked up some dog tags, parachute guys, army men amd temporary tattoos. They were a big hit even with the girls.

I originally bought some paper camo tablecloths (for easy clean up) but when I put them on the table they were too cheap looking. So I raided my fabric stash and found a large (2-3 yd) peice of cotton camo fabric. It worked perfectly and I just threw it in the wash after! I added a few flags and red, white and blue accents for variety.
                        I snuck in a few vintage props and some Mexican Coca Cola.

 The menu was simple:
Shredded chicken sandwiches with homemade buns
Bread sticks with Marinara dipping sauce
Chocolate Cake Pops
White Chocolate dipped Marshmallows
Fruit platter
Chips and Candy for the Movie

I didn't overdo it on decorations because I knew my boys would think it was too girly. One thing I did have fun with was Crepe Paper Fringe.

Here's what I did:

I chose three colors to look "camo" ish. Cream, green and brown. Each package was 20"x7.5 ft and I sewed 2 of each color end on end for a long piece that I could drape.

I folded once long ways and once again then sewed a seam up the middle.

Use scissors to cut the "fringe" but do not cut past the sewn seam!

Fluff it up a bit and drape it how you like.

I spent $1.75 on each package and I bought 6, so roughly $11.00 with tax and it was a big impact decoration.

The Boys had a great time with their friends and told me later it was just like the big birthday bashes I used to have when they were little. AWW what more could a mom ask for?
Linking up here

strip quilt

I managed to finish a strip quilt for my brother and sister-in-law's baby just in time. The baby isn't due until the first of November, but I gave them a baby shower last week and I wanted to give it to her then. I was literally sewing the binding on the night before the shower...I'm not usually that last-minute-thrive-on-chaos, but this time it couldn't be helped! If you need a darling and fairly simple quilt pattern, this one is for you. The fabric is Moda "A walk in the woods". It has Little Red Riding Hood as well as mushrooms and cute mischievous foxes on it. Perfect for a little baby girl.

Here's how I did it:

My quilt measured about 42"x 46" once I squared it up. If you want to make it larger, just make sure your 2" and 3" long stripes are the length you need. I have made this style of quilt before, on my daughters bed as well as one I mad for a gift, and they always go together quickly. I opted to have a professional quilt this one, because I wanted it to be special (and I was running out of time at this point!) However, at this point you could free motion quilt it on your machine or even tie it the old fashioned way.

The quilt pattern is a very simple flower. I did not want it to distract from cute pattern on the fabrics.
I think this might be my favorite quilt yet!

linking up with wow us wednesday

Molly Ringwald

Am I dating myself when I say that Pretty in Pink along with 16 Candles defined my teenage years? I love this dress Molly Ringwald's character made...truly a D.I.Y. moment...
Martha Stewart Living magazine recently published a short essay written by Molly Ringwald about her love of gardening. I think it was written just for teen idol and gardening? A match made in heaven.

In the essay entitled "A Garden Grows Up", she shares her heartache over losing a pregnancy and how she found solace in her New York City rooftop garden. In her words;

Then, nearly six months later,
the unthinkable happened:
I lost the baby. I found almost
nothing to fill the emptiness—
no books, no films, no theater, no
people. It was a very solitary
sadness. To my surprise, the one
thing that did make me feel a
little better was venturing up to
the roof alone and putting my
hands in the soil.
And so I set about rebuilding
the garden myself. I hauled
bags of dirt up the six flights of
stairs, stripped the trellises,
and painted them chartreuse.
When it came time to plant, I
couldn’t settle on a color scheme,
so I chose all of them. I planted
pink fringed tulips that resembled
little girls’ dresses and a
large maple tree with kelly green
leaves and coral bark. Perhaps
inspired by her new surroundings,
the peach tree made a
miraculous recovery, producing
enough fruit for one whole pie!
My garden became a destination
for many of my friends,
but on September 11, I was there
alone, surrounded by my
trees and flowers, watching the
towers come down.

Molly Ringwald's second book, When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories (Harper Collins) came out on August 23,2012.
 Thanks for being such an inspiration!

skinny jeans tutorial D.I.Y.

Here is my tutorial to make any wide leg jeans into skinnies. This is a very easy and quick tutorial. If you are a beginning sewer, this project is for you! You will need a pair of skinny jeans that fit the way you want to use as your guide.

I used some black wide leg corduroy pants, but this tutorial would work for any denim or twill pants.

                   Line up your skinnies that fit perfect, use these as your guide.

I used a chaco liner that I found at my quilt shop. I have to say that after using it for this project I AM IN LOVE...and a little embarrassed that I didn't own one until now. If you can't find it in your area, try here. It has very tiny prong/teeth things that roll along the fabric and leave a fine white line that easily washes out. (although at this point you should have turned your jeans/pants inside out). Follow the line on your sewing machine and voila! skinny jeans!!
*You might want to use a "Jean" needle rather than a "universal" needle on your machine. If you haven't used these before, just ask the ladies at the fabric store and they will help you!

At this point you can cut off the excess fabric. Cut within about 1/2 inch of the seam.

          I like to press open my seams for a nice finish before I turn it right side out. Then turn them right side out and press the seam again. You are finished....ENJOY!

linking up with wow us wednesday here