Archive for Projects

Maxi Skirt: Pinterest Challenge

Today, I’m unveiling my Pinterest Challenge!  It has nothing to do with home decor but rather sewing.  For those of you who haven’t noticed, my “Sew” board on Pinterest has grown to 70 pins – and that’s after cleaning it out.  Mostly it consists of fabrics I love, quilt designs, and other baby gifts (like dolls or booties), but there are also some clothing projects on there.


While I’ve been busy sewing curtains and quilts ( 1 | 2 | 3 ), I haven’t actually gotten around to successfully sewing any clothing for myself.  This was the perfect chance to remedy that.

Ultimately, I decided to tackle a maxi skirt because I love them and they are amazing to wear.  Seriously, I cannot recommend them enough.  If you’ve never tried one on before, it’s like having a blanket around you at all times but you never get too hot.

My inspiration was this pin, originally from Elle Apparel.  When I originally found the site, it included the tutorial but that has since been removed (although you can buy it in her etsy store).  Since there was no step-by-step tutorial for me to use, I sort of winged it.  I’m going to share a detailed how-to next Monday, but this is really the perfect project to start with when it comes to designing your own clothing. It’s a very forgiving skirt.

For today, you’ll have to enjoy my awkward photos.  Clearly I was not meant to be a fashion blogger.  Or was I…?

No.  I definitely was not meant for that.


Seeing as I had never actually made anything wearable before, I was intimidated but determined.  I bought two yards of a navy jersey/knit fabric from Joanns when it was on sale and kind of hid it away.  After all, jersey fabric is supposed to be intimidating to work with, right?

To be honest: it is and it isn’t (Sewaholic has a bunch of great tips).  Ultimately, I think that jersey and knit fabrics get a bad wrap.  It’s definitely different from any other fabric I’ve worked with (ie. it’s very important that the fabric pulls in the right direction), so it took me some time to get comfortable, but I would definitely use it again.  It’s a great fabric for clothing.


What I created isn’t perfect by any means (note the photo below) but my goodness, it is comfortable.  I even felt confident enough to even wear the skirt out in public after finishing it!


The bottom of the skirt was simple enough, but the band was somewhat tricky.  At least I thought it was tricky (in actuality, it wasn’t).  I created the band and the just stared at it for a few days because I thought it was too small.  Turns out, it stretched and was perfect.  After attaching the band to the bottom part of the skirt, I did a final seam around to keep it looking nicer.  My stitching isn’t perfect, but I think it looks nicer than what I originally had.


My favorite part of this skirt is that if I eat too much spaghetti – which I definitely did on Sunday – I can just unfold the band.  No one has to know that I went back and had a second bowl of spaghetti…

…and then 75% of the fresh strawberries…

… followed by some chocolate when I got home.


Something great about making your own clothes is that you can tailor them to you.  This skirt isn’t too long or too tight.  In fact, I’m so in love with it that I want to go back and get a few other color options – maybe even a pattern! – and make a few more skirts.  Ideally, I’d like one for every day of the week so I can wear these all the time.

20130508_pinterestskirt7 20130508_pinterestskirt6

What did you end up tackling for the Pinterest Challenge?  Was it something outside of your comfort zone?  Were you happy with the final product?  Any ladies out there who are pro-maxi skirt?  Would you support me if I argued that maxi skirts are work appropriate?

Linking up: Young House Love | Bower Power | Sparkle Meets Pop | Red Bird Blue

Previous Challenges:  Fabric Flowers | Beaded Necklace | Spray Painting Lamps | Paper Rosette Escort Cards.

Posted in Details, Fashion, Projects, Sewing | 18 Comments

A ‘Beary’ Nice Quilt

I apologize for the terrible pun in the title but I’m sort of out of practice.  It has been so nice out these past few days that I’ve been unable to sit still – and by that I work on a post.

On Sunday, I did a little exploring and ended up walking about two miles.  Two miles!  If you know me, that’s like a miracle because I do not like exercise (ex. I was on the track team in high school for maybe a week before I switched to discus in an attempt to avoid running).  After spending what felt like 8 months hibernating, it felt pretty darn good.  I even grabbed a bag of soil on my walk home so I could finally start our herb garden.

I did manage to tackle a few projects around the house (which I’ll start sharing tomorrow), but I wanted to get back into the swing of things by sharing the quilt I finished this weekend.  This is quilt # 3 for me, and my second quilt of the year.  This is meant for another of Joe’s cousins who’s due next month.


When I asked her what she wanted, she said that she really loved the ‘B is for Bear’ collection from Babies ‘R Us so I began hunting for gender-neutral bear fabric.  Turns out that gender neutral bear fabric is not popular – or it’s so popular that it’s completely sold out everywhere.  I haven’t decided which option is more likely.

Eventually, I settled on two different bear prints – one has blues and the other has pinks,  I think it’s a nice combination for the quilt and it really doesn’t scream “girl!” or “boy!” like I thought it may.  I also grabbed a beige fabric that looked a bit like sand since the mom-to-be loves being near the ocean.

The green polka-dot fabric I used for the binding was left over fabric I had from the first quilt I made (which was given to the sister of this mom-to-be).  I thought it was a sweet touch to incorporate the same fabrics.


Since I’m all about sentimental details, this quilt also included the ladybug iron-on decal (Joe’s cousins see it as a symbol for their grandfather who passed away a few years ago).


The back is that plush dot fabric, in a nice chocolate brown.  I’ve used this fabric (in different colors) for each quilt and I think it’s the perfect option for babies to lay on.  It’s also crazy warm which is nice since I make these quilts crib-sized.



I’m very happy with how this turned out and I think the mom-to-be is going to love it.  A bonus was that this quilt only took me about three weeks (not 3 straight weeks of non-stop quilting, but a little bit each or every other night).  This means I’m finally getting the hang of this, right?  I’ve got one more baby quilt to go (I’ll be washing the fabric this weekend!) and baby quilting will be done for the year!  Woo!

So let’s hear it – Did the warm weather keep you from sitting down and blogging?  Were you like me and trying to soak up as much good weather as possible this weekend?  Or maybe you took advantage of the weather to work on some projects?

Psst – Want to see my previous quilts?  Here’s number one and number two!

Posted in Gifts, Projects, Sewing | 9 Comments

Put a Flower on it – Pinterest Challenge

When the Winter Pinterest Challenge was announced last week, I was beyond excited.  Mostly because it feels like I’m pinning everything lately.  Of course, I couldn’t decide what to do (seriously – it took me until Saturday) but I eventually pulled it together.

WIthout further ado, my pinterest challenge item is…

fabric flowers!

(Thanks to the tutorial on Bower Power)!


This was the perfect project for me to tackle because I had all of the supplies (and by ‘had’ I mean ‘found them after in assorted boxes’).  To start, I cut a few strips of fabric from my scrap collection.  I tried to stick with whites, greens, and blues.  My favorite was the green and white polka dot fabric because it was flannel and oh-so-soft.


With the strips cut, I started by tying a knot at one end…


…and then twisting and wrapping the fabric around the knot.  I did this and attempted to make it permanent with a push-pin, which was a major fail.  Thank goodness for hot glue, even if I do burn myself practically every time I use it.



Before I knew it, I had a whole slew of fabric flowers just hanging around.

Clearly, I hadn’t thought past this part because what do you do with all of these flowers?


You make a wreath, that’s what.

Well, you could really do a lot with these flowers, like dress up a headband or make a fun necklace, but in this instance, I decided to make a Spring wreath.

Our Former Spring wreath ended up being a donor for this project.  I basically had to rip off all of the leaves and flowers – sometimes cut them off – to get the basic wreath.  Totally worth it, in my opinion.

PS – Don’t worry about the flowers – they’ve all been placed in an apothecary jar for a lovely touch of Spring in our dining area!


At this point, I pretty much just went wild with some leftover tulle from an earlier wreath.  It really helps tie everything together, rather than have the flowers look like they were just thrown on.  The green doesn’t match the green in the flowers, but it’s a soft green that’s perfect for Spring.

You know, in case Spring ever decides to happen.



I’m currently hanging the wreath on one of the built-ins’ knobs because I have yet to find the command strips.  Once that happens, I’ll be tossing this bad boy up on our front door.


So, that’s my Winter 2013 Pinterest challenge. Can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with!

Linking up: Young House Love | Bower PowerDecor and the Dog, and The Remodeled Life.

Psst – You can check out my previous Pinterest Challenge projects: a beaded necklacespray painting lamps, and paper rosette escort cards.

Posted in Crafts, Fun, Projects | 17 Comments

Teal, Dark, and Handsome

Remember that time I mentioned that I was going to paint our nightstands?

Probably not because that was back in September – yikes.  In October, I asked you all which color we should paint said nightstands and the winner was teal (Benjamin Moore’s Teal to be exact).  When November rolled around, I did paint the nightstands but since we were also dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and therefore lacking internet, I couldn’t share the project.

The point is – I am finally sharing the project!

If you recall, we had the Hemnes nightstand from IKEA in black-brown.  I still don’t understand why we didn’t buy it in white to match the furniture but that is neither here nor there.

This project is very similar to when we painted our tv stand (which you can read about here).

After removing any hardware, the first (and most important) part of the process is sanding the tables and then cleaning the dust off of them.  It’s my least favorite part (and easily the messiest) of the process but necessary to help the paint look smooth.


After the first step was finished, I started rolling out the coat of primer.  I typically let the tables dry for at least a day before continuing.


Adding the paint is easily my favorite part of painting a piece of furniture because it instantly makes an impact.  It’s also the moment you see the paint color and if it will work.  The good news: the teal worked!  I’m not sure why it looks blue in this photo, though.


This photo (below) is the closet to the color of the tables in natural light.  As you can see, the nightstands were begging for a second coat.  To be on the safe side, I ended up giving these three coats before sealing them.  We also reused the knobs that the nightstands came with because I hadn’t found any fun alternatives.


For about two months, they hung out in our bedroom with out yellow table lamps.  At the old apartment, the walls were white so it was begging for color.  Now, our walls are green which means there is a whole lot of color everywhere.

I’m not 100% sure if this works but I don’t hate it.


When it comes to the bedroom, I kind of like the green in there so I’m not in a rush to change it.  In fact, I’m more concerned with other top priorities like swapping the red blinds for something neutral (they are absolutely ridiculous), choosing fabric to make curtains, and figure out the best layout for our furniture.


So there we go – they’re revealed!  And in all their glory!

Anyone have a project that they forgot to share because life got in the way?  Do you still agree with the teal?  Since I can’t decide – what do you think about them up against the green walls?  Is it too much, not enough, or just right?

Posted in Bedroom, Colors, Home, Paint, Projects | 11 Comments

Let’s Lock it Up

After paying the deposit and the half month’s rent (for February), Joe and I were given the keys.  Seeing as we’re the ones moving items to and from the apartment ourselves, it was nice to be able to get the ball rolling.  Almost immediately, we started moving what we could.

As the weeks flew by, I realized that we had more of our things were at the new apartment than at our current one.  That’s when I started to get nervous because there was only one lock on our apartment (the front door).  At the top of the stairs is another door that has a deadbolt lock but no key.  Basically, we can lock the door as long as one person is inside.

Truth be told, I was mostly nervous about our card catalogs being there because I love those things.

Changing the Lock

We don’t know what kind of person previous lived at this apartment, but we do know that they were asked to move out.  We also know that sometimes there are multiple copies of keys floating around.  For example – I still have a key from our first apartment and the previous tenant of our current apartment gave us their key a few months ago (this didn’t weird me out because they’re Joe’s cousins).  Joe and I aren’t the type of people to go back to an old apartment and see what’s what but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people like that.

Clearly, I like to be proactive about safety… which is why I badgered Joe about replacing that top lock so we would have keys to it.

Replacing the Lock

Joe wasn’t entirely on board for this because these locks can be expensive – I totally get that.  Thankfully, he joined the paranoid cautious side after his brother helped deliver the refrigerator and agreed with me on replacing the locks.  Phew!

Last weekend, Joe and I made a trip to Home Depot where I spent at least 15 minutes trying to decide on what lock we should get.  Ultimately, I decided on this lock below (and similar to this) for under $20.00:

Changing the Lock

Not wanting to postpone the lock swap, we started the process of removing the old lock (which is really just a matter of unscrewing 6 screws on the back part.  Easy peasy.

Changing the Lock

You will then be left with an attractive hole opening (this poor door has seen better days).

Changing the Lock

The next step was to remove the piece that goes on the door jamb, which is when we discovered this:

Changing the Lock

The door frame was a disaster, to say the least.  I guess that when this original lock got installed, some things needed to be, um, adjusted (that’s a nice way of saying destroyed).  There is a chunk of the frame missing, with a new piece added in.  It’s so flimsy that one of the screws for the door jamb piece didn’t even go through anything.  As a result of that wood putty and scrap wood filling in that hole, the lock we bought could not be used.  Thankfully, we had never removed that lock from the packaging so we’ were able to return it.

Let’s just say Joe was not my biggest fan at that moment because he had to go back to the store and get a lock that was similar to what we originally had.  No point in reinstalling the current lock back if we were just going to replace it, right?

I took this as an opportunity to tidy up and try to organize the piles of things we had brought over thus far.

When Joe returned, it was a very quick process to install the new lock.  I would do a play-by-play of the process but the instructions that come with these locks are so incredibly simple and why reinvent the wheel?

Changing the Lock

So yay for new locks at our soon to be apartment!

Sure, it’s more annoying when we’re moving a ton of stuff over there and we have to unlock that top door but it’s totally worth it.  I feel so much safer knowing that we (and our landlords because we gave them a copy of the key) are the only people who can get inside.  Another perk: Joe no longer has to hear me whine about how nervous I am about all of our stuff over there.

Changing the lock http://popcornonthestove.comDo you change the locks when you move into a new place?  Maybe just when you were renting?  Perhaps after you got the keys to your house?  Have you found any unexpected surprises during the process?

Posted in Details, Home, Projects | 5 Comments
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