Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Strapless Dress Makeover


So here's yet another reason for you to go thrifting.. Not only are there really cute things that might be one-of-a-kind or not longer available for sale, but there are also those tops/dresses that you fall in love with but would not pay full price for because they are a.) too showy (too short, strapless, etc) b.) don't quite fit right.

For those two reasons, you can remake that said clothing to fit your need/style and not feel bad about cutting it up, using amateur sewing skills on it because you only paid $3 for it.

This top (dress) spoke to me. Blue and white is reallllly speaking to me this summer.

I bought it and it went from a strapless (wayy too short dress) to a cute criss-cross strap top in about 30 minutes. And I wore it that same day to get ice cream and take a walk in the park with the family! It was the perfect summer top! I call that a success.

Maybe you have something similar in your closet you'd like to make over?
Here's how I did it:

Start with a strapless dress or top (will need to take off some of the length to use as straps)

My dress had straps to tie around the waist that i just cut off but if yours doesn't: use this simple tutorial for how to make straps. (It's from my very first sewing tutorial! Getting all emotional looking at it!) And then how to turn them inside out.. it's a tough one! :) Here's a simple video.

After you have your straps, measure (try on your top) to see where the appropriate place is to put the straps.  Pin to keep in place. You should also iron your fabric straps so they would be straight. This is really good idea for the next step- especially if you are going to be criss-crossing them..

Since most strapless dresses have some sort of built-in support system, this guarantees you have two layers on the top of your dress/shirt. I used a "roll" method for sewing in the straps so that you don't see the stitch from the front.
Hold the place you want to pin the strap, roll the underneath fabric layer forward and pin the strap ONLY to the back layer, so that it is not snagging the front part of your top. Be careful sewing this as well. This is hard to explain but pictures might explain it better:

Next, measure where you want your straps to go in the back. I decided to change it up a bit and criss-cross them in the back. I thought it added a little more playfulness to the top. But of course you can just go straight back!

The simplest way to get the straps exactly where you want it with the correct tautness and evenly spaced, is to pin them on while trying on the top. A second pair of hands would be so helpful.. My husband was the one that pinned the straps to their designated place and used his carpenter eyes to space them evenly. :)
(The back of my dress was shirred, so it was even more important to get them spaced correctly)

Sew the straps on to the back of your top, inside out. You can use the same roll method if your back is lined as well. Since mine wasn't, I just sewed it on in one straight line.

Cut off the bottom (if you haven't already for straps.) I really love the length it ended up being. I made it equal parts from the top section to the bottom section. This made the top more girly, I think!

Hem the bottom. If you have a lined top, you will need to cut the underneath layer shorter so it doesn't stick out past the top layer.

And that's it! You can finally wear that strapless dress/top you had since your high school days! :) But I think in a grown up and more modern way.

I can't believe it is already the end of August! Soak in those last summer night, friends! Fall will be here before you know it!

Thank you for reading!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Modern Floral Unicorn Birthday Party

I am so happy I can finally post this! This draft has been waiting to be finished for so long!

Since both my girl's birthday's are in  the same month and a week apart, we decided to celebrate their birthday together. My older girl was thrilled to share the birthday party with her baby sister! (Who turned ONE!) It was a perfect solution. Em's birthday is closer to the end of the month and usually right about when it turns very cold here in Virginia. It was def a win-win for us. We were blessed with 50 degree weather and I had less stress trying to plan two parties.

Em, my oldest girl, had one request: UNICORN PARTY. I saw this imagine on Pinterest and it went from there. (SEE my inspiration board HERE) I didn't go all out with this party, like I dreamed in my mind (always) but I did want to share the dessert table and some ideas if you want to do something similar!

I scoured the web for a horse/unicorn head wall mount because I had no confidence in myself that I could DIY that. After finally finding this decent priced one (on Etsy) I realized the shipping would take too long. Grr. So at that point it became another Do-It-Yourself.

I found this step-by-step paper mache tutorial and figured: How hard can it be? She makes it look soo easy. 

How wrong I was. I am not an artist. The features of a horses face doesn't come easy. I will not even show you the during pictures- they are that funny! My husband still claims he looks like a moose and I will not deny it. He is not at all what I wanted him to look like. It's like one of those Pinterest "Nailed It" images. haha. I was convinced I wasn't going to use it. But then after I spray painted him white, added a gold shiny horn (oh yes, this is very important) and some girly eyelashes, it magically transformed. The power of WHITE SPRAY PAINT is still going strong! :)

Floral Crown DIY HERE
  (Chalkboard made by my sister and her husband: Check out their Etsy shop! They only have a few chalkboards left!)

To make the eyelashes, cut two strips of felt (I used grey) about 2-3 inches long. Slice into it to look like fringe, being careful not to cut too high. Then gently tug at it to separate the "lashes". Attach with hot glue.

After that, it was a matter of hanging the horse/unicorn head and displaying it in a playful, girly way. I loved the idea of a wallpaper backdrop but since I don't have a wallpaper wall,  I covered a thin wood plank with craft sheets (18X18) that I got at Michael's. Perfect solution! (Watch for their sales! These were .20 each sheet!). I attached them to the wood using spray glue adhesive. This made it lay flat without any wrinkles and also gives me the option to take off the paper if I want to. I also hung up a chalkboard behind the head so it didn't look so small againsit the huge backdrop.

The ice cream cones dipped in white chocolate made for crunchy and oh so yummy unicorn horns :) Also, you must as a rainbow of some sort, right? 

PS. Those are kid friendly jello shots. Just, FYI. :)

It was a wonderful day, filled with family and joy. Getting all emotional thinking about how my baby girl turned one and my big girl is already 4! Their birthday's will be here again before I know it. No theme in place yet but I am sure my design director will inform me soon enough :)

 To make those goofy unicorn party hats for all your unicorn guests, here is the simple how-to, using thick cardstock paper:
Or add a pom pom on the top and you have a cute party hat in any print you can imagine!

Hope you all are enjoying the summer weather we are having here! Cherish those days before they slip away! I know I will be missing my boy as soon as he's off to school again!!

Thanks so much for reading! Would love to answer any questions you have! Until next time...

With Love,


Pssstt: See Em's Kitten/Puppy Birthday Party from last year HERE!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Summer Shorts: Gingham


I don't know what it is, but I am all about shorts this summer. The usual desire to wear dresses and skirts are just gone (for now) but I think it has lots to do with chasing around a busy (and FAST) one year old :) That being said, I also don't feel comfortable with the length (or lack there of) in shorts from the store these days. But what an easy DIY! My new favorite is the rolled up look. Bonus: No need to hem and super cute! No need for a sewing machine either. :)

I had thrifted these gingham capris a while back because I am so loving this print this year. Nothing says summer like GINGHAM! Ok, maybe picnics. And watermelon. And fireflies. :)
I also love the high-waisted look of these pants/shorts. The thrift store is overfilling with this style. Just take your pick of fabric pattern and you have a new pair of shorts!

 1. Have your pant/shorts/capris that you want to chop. This works for jeans as well!

2. Trim to your desired length plus about 2 inches. (Depending how fat of a roll you want) Make sure they are the same length on both legs.

3. Fold once. Fold once more.

4. Iron the folded part! This is an important step. It keeps the fold from unfolding.

Final Step: To also  keep the shorts from unrolling, I did a simple thread on the outside edge of the shorts using a needle and thread. Knot the thread, pull it through the inside to the outside, pull it back into the shorts and repeat 3-4 times. Than knot the back end and you're done! (Use a thread that matches so you can't see it)

Little behind the scenes: :)

Pack a picnic basket and go to your nearest park (or your backyard!) and enjoy the NOW. I have to make myself stop sometimes and just dwell and pause in the moments to remind myself to enjoy the kids. In the age they are right now. In the stages of discipline we are at RIGHT NOW. There might be tough things going on. You might be in a stage of waiting or a stage of praying or you might be in a praising stage. Let us enjoy the every moment..

Do you have a tried-and-true shorts DIY that you do every year? Would love to hear it!

Thanks so much for reading! Have a beautiful weekend, friends!

With Love, 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Hanging Floral Wreath Chandelier

My sisters and I enjoy party planning. Lucky for us, we have plenty of reasons to throw a party (many birthdays and showers to plan!) But we do have the occasional "what reason can we find to throw a party" conversation. Yes, seriously.

I jumped on the opportunity to contribute to my sister's little girl's 1st birthday party (SEE HERE! IT'S SO CUTE!). I made a very simple but eye catching hanging floral wreath. It is very easy to make and adds some visual height to your party. Plus, it's just fun! With all the blooming trees around, how could I NOT bring them indoors. Branches work great because they have a natural arch to them. But you can just as easily make it with fake flowers or any flowers of your choice!


1. Separate the branches in manageable pieces.

 2. Start wrapping the wire around the branches securely onto the wreath. Don't stress if it's not even! The imperfections are what is so beautiful and natural looking.

3. Continue adding all around, making it as thick as you'd like it.

I also added some fake blue flowers I had around the house to make it a bit more interesting.

4. Cut a long thick ribbon in half (mine were about a yard each). Tie the ends of the ribbon at four even points across of each other, to balance the weight.

Ready to HANG!

I love how versatile this is! Can't you just see a hanging wreath like this covered in roses and carnations?? Tulips?? Hydrangeas!??! SO beautiful! :) Or hang ribbons down all around the wreath in a more shabby chic style!

Let me know if you made a halo for your little "flower angel"! I would LOVE to see how yours turned out! And as always, ask any questions! I will do my best to answer them.

Thanks so much for reading!!

With Love, 

Monday, May 4, 2015

1st Birthday Party: Little Flower

Happy Monday, Friends! ( It's Monday, AGAIN??)

My sweet baby niece turned ONE a few weeks ago and I am so happy I was able to be there to witness this special day in her life. Although she is not my sister's first child, this is the first baby I have actually got to cherish and see grow. My sister used to live in FL and our babies didn't get to see each other much! This niece is also very dear to me because she is only about half a year younger than our youngest, Lily. Seeing them grow up and play and love (and already fight! haha) has been so much fun! I hope we get to see MANY more birthdays and play-dates and sleepovers in the future for these little ones :)

I was able to shoot a few pictures of this Little Flower's First Birthday party and it was just perfect. Only complaint: too much yummy sweets. The dessert table was overfilled and I didn't even get to try it all! Looking back at pictures has me feeling all "HOW DID I NOT TRY THAT?!?" haha..

Hope you enjoy! And I apologize in advance if you get all hungry and stuff... :)

(I will post a VERY EASY Diy on that floral hanging wreath soon!)

That chalkboard is beyond amazing. Can't help you make one of those (Although my sisters probably could!) But I can help you make those tissue paper flowers like from this post - A baby shower we did a few years ago!
Handmade by my sister - LOVE

Some of the other flowers at the party :) - How beautiful are those floral head pieces!?! Raise your hand if you want my sister to open an Etsy shop to sell those! ME TOO! So in love with them.

Lady-like cake eating. :)
And the sweet birthday girl even shared her birthday cake. :)

And I had to share pictures of the little BFF's on the table, enjoying too much candy. They are just SO FUNNY together. We are always nonstop laughing when they are together.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures! Now excuse me while I go wallow in self-pity because I have officially ran out of Cadbury Mini Eggs....

Thanks so much for reading!

With Love,