2013 and what it will bring

Well, it’s a new year. There was way too much going on for me in 2012, some good, some not so much. I took a little break here to keep the rest of my life in order during a pregnancy. 7 weeks postpartum and I have finally found my fuel to get going again! I have completed a project, started a couple more and I may just have the time to write about them in the near future. I have had my hands full with a 2 yr old and this little guy for the last 7 weeks and I returned to work full-time. It’s going to be challenging, but I enjoy the projects and sharing them so much that I would be doing an injustice to myself to not get back in the game. So be looking for some new stuff!!

And an introduction is in order… meet the newest member of our family – taking us from 5 to an even 6!

Brantley Cole

Brantley Cole

DIY Maternity Pants

First, let me apologize for that “teaser” post earlier… I was working from my iPhone and hit publish when I meant to hit save.  Oops!!  Anyway… here is the full post – Finally!!!

I must also apologize for these crappy pics… our camera died on us, so the iPhone is all I had available.  I think a new camera will be a good purchase for Christmas this year!!

 

I had mentioned before that I have been making my own maternity pants.  Well, truth be told, I have made about 6 or 7 pairs.  It’s a little addicting.  And the total cost of the 6 or 7?  Probably around 30 dollars if I am rounding up.  Have you priced maternity clothes lately???  They are so overpriced.  Especially after I found making my own to be so simple and cheap.  And I will once again state – I do not sew!!!  I can sew a straight line, I can do things that are simple, but if it requires a lot of thought or measuring – um, nope.  There are a bunch of tutorials out there, well, a few.  I figured one more couldn’t hurt.  Smile

 

My method…easy.  here goes…

 

My first step was to find a pair of pants and some sort of top to use for my belly band.  I picked up a pair of grey slacks from Goodwill, then found a tube top that I have had for about 10 years – and I do not exaggerate there lol.  Tube tops are actually my preferred top for this project since they already come equipped with elastic around the top. 

 

Other supplies needed:

Scissors

pins

sewing machine

thread

patience!

 

I started out by removing the zipper

 

Grey pants

 

move zipper DIY maternity

I think this was the most tedious part of this project.  Once it was removed I needed to close up the fly.  I simply pinned it closed and sewed a quick straight stich close to the outer edge.  Most tutorials tell you to hand sew it…and this might have been a little prettier – but it was much easier to just use the sewing machine to sew it closed.  I forgot to get a pic of that right after I sewed the fly shut.

pin fly DIY maternity

sew zipper DIY maternity

I found it to be easier to finish the fly before I moved on to the waistband, you may find it doesn’t matter.  So next I cut off the waist band right below it.

waist band DIY maternity

Cut wasit band DIY maternity

waist band removed DIY maternity

I chose to leave on the bottom part of the belt loops.  It just looks nicer once completed.  When I made jeans though, I removed those because it was just so difficult to sew over them.  I also noticed that on these pants, the pockets were sewn to the waistband, so once that was removed, the front of the pocket wasn’t attached to anything.  Although I could have pinned this together and sewn it all at one time when I put together the pants and the top, I find it easier to secure these parts before trying to deal with the top.  I pinned it down and put a quick stitch in the top of each pocket.  Every pair of pants you work with will have a different little glitch like this… just do what you think will work!

 

pocket DIY maternity

pocket 2 DIY maternity

pocket sewn DIY maternity

 

The next step was to attach the tube top.  I simply turned it inside and and slid it top down over the top of the pants.  Right sides should be facing each other, and the top part should be down towards the feet.  If you are in doubt of how you put them together, hold them as best you can together and turn the tube top back up – does that work?  I pinned it all the way around starting at the seams and working around the back first.  I pulled the back tight so that the tube top covered it all, and this part of the pants doesn’t need to be extra stretchy to wear.  The front on the other hand you want to try and avoid stretching too much since it will need some room to stretch once your belly grows.  I should also note that I put my pins up and down, rather than running horizontal to the waist.  I found that putting them horizontal they would slip and not hold the pieces together quite as snugly. 

pin top DIY maternity

Your in the homestretch now!  Now you need to sew the two pieces together.  I started the machine at the seam, and chose a stitch that I thought would be the strongest.  This seam will take a lot of abuse, so use strong thread and a strong stitch.

top sewn on DIY maternity

inside of pants sewn DIY maternity

I kept getting hung up in the thick spots – as you can see from that little blob of thread where the fly is.  I was just patient, didn’t try to push things through and used a function on my machine that raised the back of the foot some to allow for bulkier fabrics. (I had to look that up in the owner’s manual)

 

And here you go… all done!!

pants done DIY maternity

And I did see a mistake… see the right side pocket?  Here, I will give you a close up…

mistake on pocket DIY maternity

Yea, missed that.. I should be more careful in the pinning process to get those spots under a pin!  My mistake and lesson learned hopefully helps one of you!  And to see them in action?

DIY maternity front

DIY maternity

DIY maternity with shirt

 DIY maternity peak

I hadn’t adjusted the top of the tube top yet to fit right above my belly.  I wanted to wait a bit until my belly was bigger, and I wore them for a while just folded down until I decided how I liked it. 

I didn’t take any pictures of that process, but it was also super simple.  I folded the top part down, and then sewed right above the elastic, then cut off the extra part.  It was a lot like the jean hemming tutes you see out there (which DO work FYI).  It was nice to wear it like a tube top for a while though as you can see in one of the above photos, it doubled as a cami. 

 

Well… that is it.. my DIY maternity pants.  I have done shorts, jeans, and some capris.  And  I know that if I need more, it’s so simple and cheap to do!  Anyone else been doing some simple sewing lately?

Updates on life and pregnancy

Can you beleive that I am actually writing a post? Nah, me either. Seems like it has been forever since I have had the energy or even desire to write a post. Now that I am past all the morning sickness, well into the second trimester, I am getting some more pep in my step.

So what have I been doing for the last few months? Well, besides just trying to make it through bouts of morning sickness, we have seen the new munchkin a couple of times and even found out that we will be having another little boy. I have finally gotten back at some of my home decor/DIY projects. I have even been trying my hand with sewing some repurposed maternity clothes. The kids are now on summer break and getting back from camp today….. and planning vacations and other fun summer stuff before school starts back up.

I bet your wondering what I am talking about with those repurposed maternity clothes? Well, when I’m pregnant, I love me some full panel maternity bottoms. They are just comfy and make me feel all supported in my belly. Did I mention that maternity clothes can get pricey? And they will only be worn for, umm, 129 more days. Give or take a few of course. I have no desire to spend a bunch of money on clothes right now. So I culled the web for alternatives. Of course, the web delivered. I came across a bunch of pants tutorials as well as shirts.

Here are a couple that I found:

All via Pinterest. Here are the links to the blogs: 1. Create Studio 2. icandy handmade 3. Sew like my mom

My game plan was to pick up a couple pairs of jeans from Goodwill, maybe a couple of baby Ts and make some jeans. So I stopped by and picked up 2 pairs of jeans. I wore each pair before I made changes to be sure I really liked them. Wel turns out one pair I can’t bear to cut up, so they will go in my rotation for post-baby. I will just go ahead and grab a pair from my drawer to replace them. I started on the other pair of jeans. I followed the tutorials, but kind of mixed 2. I didn’t want to cut the back waist off so I just cut the front. No go. I will need to make some adjustments on that pair. Oh and get some elastic, cause they must have that. I am going to see what I can do with them this weekend. I also plan on making some shorts and dress pants. I came across 2 tube tops I was going to get rid of that would be perfect to just sew onto a pair of jeans for the full panel. Score! :) I will post pics once I have them finished!

Oh and about this new little munchkin – I had a great reveal pic planned. Something like this:

Photo found here.

But… I was afraid I couldn’t get the box in the car with the kids, then I forgot to get the balloons. Ugh… preggo brain!!! So we improvised. I ran to the dollar store and we did this:

Ashton was supposed to be holding an “a” but after 2 popped balloons we said forget it, just get a smiling pic!!! Oh and please disregard how incredibly dirty Ashton is… he is ALL little boy! He and Garrett were playing..lol

Oh and I swapped the kids rooms around. Garrett and Ashton will be sharing a room, and Hannah’s will be getting a fun makeover. Hannah had the bigger room, so it just made sense to have the 2 boys take that one and set Hannah up in the other. I am excited to get it all done. I’m also excited for Ashton to move in there with Garrett, that will prove to be much harder than painting all the walls and moving furniture!!

But that’s me… at least what I can think of at the moment. What about you?

I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet

Although I feel like I want to sometimes! This first trimester has been tough to say the least. The morning sickness and fatigue seemed to set in pretty quick after I found out about the pregnancy. I am now into my 13th week and it’s still hanging around, although I have more good moments. Have I been getting anything done? Oh NO… nothing. The project in the bedroom? I was getting to the point of caulking and painting then ran into a little snafu with a warped board and just haven’t been able to bring myself to deal with it just yet. Oh and I managed to get sick one weekend, then Ashton and I both caught a stomach bug. See? I told you it’s been tough. And my first prenatal appointment was scheduled the day I was sick with the stomach bug, so that had to be rescheduled. And my current To Do Item? FIguring out how I am going to handle prenatal/labor/delivery with this baby.

My first birth did not go as planned, not that many do I am sure. But I wanted an all natural birth… the whole “oh, there is a contraction” then building into them and finally making it to the hospital just in time to deliver. Ummmm… yea, my contractions started hard at 2 minutes apart and radiated from my abdomen to my back. And did I take birth classes to prepare?? Oh no…. I read a book.. read some birth stories…and thought I was so ready. lol I was NOT prepared for the level of pain that I was going to experience. Looking back, there was a lot I could have done to manage much better had I known. At least this time around I know more of what to expect. I am trying my best to compare options and costs and do the best I can with this little one!

My plan was to birth in a birth center. But sadly, the closest birth centers are in Radford and Rocky Mount. That is a good 45 minutes and 30 minutes from my job. And that makes them over an hour from home. That stresses me out just to think about it! So I have considered a doula and hospital birth. Still looking at a chunk of change. I need to have a natural birth the most cost-effective way as possible. Let’s face it, kids aren’t cheap anyway…let’s not pile on hospital bills from day one!

And the house projects? They need to be done. We still haven’t listed our house and the house is.a.wreck. And that is being nice about it. The bedroom isn’t finished, and I haven’t done anything to the master closet as planned. I did, however, get the laundry room almost done. Of course, that was out of necessity. :)

So stay tuned… as this haze lifts I will be back and have lots more to talk about and show you!!

What I have been up to

It’s been a while since I have been here…it seems that my body has been keeping me busy trying to create a new life along with the many projects I have lined up for myself.  My energy levels in the evenings (when I write my posts) is, well, non-existent.  For some reason I have a little burst of energy tonight so I am going to take advantage of it! 

If you remember, I started putting together ideas for the master bedroom in this post.  I didn’t waste much time getting started.  Since we will be getting the house on the market before the end of March, I need to wrap up the majority of this project A-S-A-P.  I also decided that rather than waiting for all the info, I will post it as I go.  So the first project on the list is the board and batten on the walls.  There are some good tutorials out there, and it really seems like a no-brainer on how to put it up.  And CHEAP!!!  Love that part too. 

 

I got started with some furring strips that Garrett and I sanded down 3 sides to get them nice and smooth.  Then Jeff made all of my cuts for me.  I think the hardest part of this was deciding whether I should take out the baseboards or not.  I did buy the boards to replace them, but then decided that I didn’t want to tackle that.  Instead I am using the boards I purchased as the top part of the batten to make a thick edge to place a ledge on.  Check out these pics of the in process work:

 

First I painted the top half of the wall.

Pebble grey walls

 

Next I put some lines on the wall to keep the top edge straight.

lines on wall

And then I marked the wall on each stud by using a stud finder.  I went ahead and taped up each board so that I could get an idea how they would fall and if I needed to fill any spaces. 

all the boards up

The bottom edge was my biggest concern, and although it does hang over some, I don’t think it will be very noticeable once it’s all painted white.

bottom edge

Here is what the top boards and ledge will be like.

ledges

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So that’s where I am.  I need to permanently attach those boards with some liquid nails and nails, fill holes, prime them and paint them all white.  That’s on the agenda for this weekend.  I will try and fit that in with the home and garden show that is going to be at the Salem Civic Center on Saturday.

 

I have also been working on the master closet, so I thought I would share my current jewelry situation.  I think I am going to change it up and do some purging.  Here is what  it looks like now.

 

earring organization

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I don’t have any plans for it just yet.  But something on a smaller scale would probably work. 

 

And in case you missed it, I did share some news last week… I am expecting a new little member of the family in November.  Smile  We are hoping for a girl I think.

 

What have you guys been up to lately?

More Goodwill finds…

As you saw yesterday… I have been to the Goodwill – Again.  Well, I have a love for owls, and low and behold that I found a neat little owl picture.  It is made from yarn and a burlap material.  It has a couple of the colors that I am using in the master bedroom.  It feels good to finally be purchasing something for the walls in there!  Here he is:

 

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Another great find this past weekend was another piece for the master bedroom and has just as much character as the first!  I scored this for $5 at the Maple festival.  I am very happy with this purchase… it seems to have a story behind it.  When I flipped it over I found this writinscription on owl art

It seems that Mrs. Suttles painted this for her neighbor, in Knoxville, TN no less.  Ready to see what she painted? 

 

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What a great piece, huh?  An owl painted on what looks to be a piece of reclaimed wood.  Love it!  I actually passed it by, then had to go back for it because I knew I would go home and want to kick myself for leaving it. 

 

Anyone else have any great finds lately?

Pinterest challenge Winter edition -DIY Coffee sleeve

Winter??? Says who?  Well, either way, this is the winter edition of the YHL and Bower Power Pinterest challenge.  If you remember I shared the news last week and hinted at what I would tackle.  Well, I decided that I needed to stop eying this cute little cup sleeve and just make one already.  I really need to do projects like these to build some sewing skills.  Did I build sewing skills?  Maybe a little…. I DID realize that I need a basic sewing class very badly.  Adding that to the list of things to get taken care of this life-time. 

 

On to the tutorial… oh but first, see where I started from!

 

I pinned this a while back

 

Pinterest challenge sleeve

Isn’t it cute!!????  Well I am an avid coffee and Starbucks lover, so this was something that I would put to good use on a regular basis.  The tutorial over at Crafty Staci is a pretty good one.  There was some impairment on my part since I really don’t know how to sew.  My mom was such a HUGE help.  She helped me get through most of it without throwing in the towel.  Here are the steps that I followed:

 

First I picked the materials that I wanted to use.  I used one piece of cotton I had just purchased and some silver stretchy material from a pair of pants that Hannah had in her dress up clothes (she was getting rid of them).  In retrospect… use all cotton! 

 

Fabric choice for coffee sleeve

 

I had printed out the template that Staci had provided and cut it out.  She was specific to state not to let it scale down to print… I didn’t think I had, but possibly did a little.  Template for coffee sleeve

Next I used a fabric marker to trace it on my materials. Be sure to flip the template over for one of your outside fabrics. 

 

draw template on the fabric

Here are all of my pieces laid out and ready to put together.  I ended up being able to get some batting that was lined with a heat resistant material from my mom (told you my mom hooked me up!).  I forget the name of it.

 

Pieces for coffee sleeve

 

Before I could get to pinning it all together though, I had to make my little “hook”.  I took the hair band cut it in half, then used some super glue to hold the ends together until I could sew them down.

hair band glued together

 

Next I layered all of my pieces together. This was actually kind of complicated for some reason.  Maybe because the tutorial I was using had used batting and ironing board material so there was extra pieces, or maybe I am a little slow… not sure on that one.  Either way, my mom and I figured it out. 

1. batting material

2. printed fabric face up

3. “hook”

4. printed fabric face down

 

Seems simple enough once it was put together.  My mom actually pinned it all down and turned it right side out to make sure it would work. 

layers of the coffee sleeve

Next it all got pinned together to get it ready for sewing

 

pin it all down

I would probably pin it in more places next time around.  Then sew an edge around it using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  I had major problems with this step (hence my mention of needing a sewing class).  It kept gathering on my and was really frustrating.gathering

And using that stretchy material was exacerbating the issue for sure.  Here it is all stitched together.

sew edges

And you notice that I stitched the whole thing?  Yea… I was supposed to leave a small section open to turn it all.  I just used my seam ripper and opened up a little spot.  Then I trimmed up all of the edges outside of my stitching.

 

trim up edges

And then turn it right side out and see how you did!  Just a couple more steps now…. take your turned piece and do a step I missed… IRON it!!  That should make things nice and flat.  Then take your whole piece and stitch as close to the edge as you can get all around it.  I had trouble with that little spot that I used to turn it but thanks to the advice given to me from Melanie over at The Crafty Cupboard, I think I can do a better job next time around.

turn right side out

all turned around

 

Ok, down to the wire now…. we have to sew on that button!  I didn’t have any toothpicks, so I just used a spoon handle that seemed the appropriate thickness.  I closed up the sleeve and made a mark with my fabric marker where I should put the button.  Once I sewed it on I  wrapped the thread around underneath the button several times to add some support.

 

sew on button

And voila!! Here you have it!  One coffee/drink sleeve made to order!  Whadya think??   I am, of course, my own worst critic, so I am not 100% happy with it.  There will be repeats of this!!  I am going to try one with all cotton and see how I do.  Oh and sign up for that sewing class Smile  Notice the blooms on those trees??  Winter Sminter.  It’s spring in Virginia!!

 

Coffee sleeve

Anyone else decide to jump into the challenge??  Go link up if you did, and please share here too!

 

younghouselove

Bower Power

The Great Indoors

Hi Sugarplum!

Bananas for red spray paint

I really do have a spray paint problem.  It’s becoming quite obvious.  I can’t imagine that it’s a surprise to anyone that my latest project involves a can of spray paint.  What can I say?  It’s a super simple and cheap fix for about anything.

Jeff and I had been debating over which banana holder to get for some time now.  I have no idea why this is such a hard decision…it should be a pretty simple pick.  Nope.  So when I came across this banana rack at the goodwill for .55 I couldn’t leave it.  OH yes, I did say 55 cents.  As in the change on the bottom of my purse (if I had change on the bottom of my purse that is).  Since we had a pretty full weekend, I figured this was one project I could get done pretty quick.  I used Rustoleum 2x spray paint again, and was very happy with the results. 

 

Here it is… now ready to reside in my kitchen!

 

Spray painted banana holder before and after

I find it quite amusing that 5 out of 7 days a week we have bananas.  I went to take after shots of this tonight and guess what?  NO bananas!!  Ugh.  I am sure you can squint a little and just imagine a bunch of bright yellow bananas are hanging from that hook. 

 

So what did everyone else do this weekend?  Any spray painting going on???  We headed to Monterey, VA for the Highland Maple Festival again…. seriously amazing fresh maple syrup!!