Friday, July 18, 2014

Maranda

Matt's cousin, Maranda, came out to NC for a visit and we were lucky enough to get to spend some time with her. She is a swim coach and since our kids are on a swim team it was special that she got to see a meet and help them at the pool. 
Margie brought her up for shopping and dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. 
Yummy!
Maranda got the girls to wear their swim caps, which until her arrival was something they refused.
I love her.
We even got to have her spend the night and take her to our favorite Mexican restaurant. The kids loved having her with us and even sweet talked dessert out of us.
We loved you visiting Maranda, but have a serious complaint about your trip.

It was too short!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

4th of July

On the 4th we celebrated with family (both sides), great food, and fire works!
The majority of the day was spent with the Dellasegas out on the boat and water...BIG FUN!
My parents came over to join us for dinner...GREAT FOOD!
We then went to my parents house for fireworks...AWESOME SHOW!















Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Seamingly Smitten A-Line Shift Dress

I've been looking all spring and summer long for a ladies' shift dress pattern. A pattern for me...sort of a go-to dress that I could wear now sleeveless and in the fall with a cardigan. I thought I would find the perfect pattern and whip up one in every fabric I owned. Well, instead I found a girl's version and I am in LOVE! {edit: since writing this, I have since learned that Jenny makes a ladies' shift dress and I am trying the 'kate' pattern out next!!!}.

Seamingly Smitten is a wonderful pattern shop that makes children's and adult patterns. They are pdf patterns that you print at home, tape up, cut, and get sewing! Literally, they are that fast! This dress took about an hour and a half and that included monogramming! Each step is photographed in the file. This dress is a wonderful one for beginners as there are no darts, buttons, button holes, snaps, or facings. It is also reversible, so you get two dresses in one! I made this one for one of Emma Kate's friend to give as a birthday gift and monogrammed the front before I assembled it (if you monogram it after you make the dress, while it will be cute, it won't be reversible).

Emma Kate has a birthday party coming up for a sweet friend who loves mermaids, so we made this dress up for her using some cute mermaid fabric. This pattern only has 4 pieces, two fronts and two backs, which make all seams interior and hidden (no serger needed!). The back is a v-shape to allow for easing it over head and no need for buttons!
Did I mention it was reversible?! Use two coordinating fabrics or two of your favorites...two looks with one dress is genius!

I DO plan on making a few more of these for my girls...how cute will this be in the fall with a jean jacket? In the winter with tights, boots, and a cardigan? 
I can't stand the cuteness! 
Honestly, this was the easiest dress to make, ever. It really consists of side seams and a quick hem. 
Easy~peasey.
You can add a monogram or an appliqué, but it is really adorable just on its own.
The V in the back is such a pretty detail.

Do YOU want to make one up? Jenny Hall of Seamingly Smitten not only is a pattern making genius, but she is generous to boot! She wants to give two readers a pick of 3 patterns!
Let me know if YOU want to win three patterns! Like her on Facebook, comment below, visit her on etsy...get your machine ready and pick your fabric! Winners selected randomly next week.

Straight out of Camera and Photoshop Elements Actions

Lately I put photos on the blog without any editing with photoshop. Photoshop Elements is fun to use but can be time consuming. I played a little this morning with some of the action sets from the Pioneer Woman's site (did you know she offers free photo editing actions?). They really do change a picture!
Here SOOC:
After editing:
SOOC:
After Editing:
SOOC:
clearly after some editing:
SOOC:
After editing:
SOOC:
After Editing:
Sometimes changing the finish on a picture is fun and blurs imperfections...it is easy to go too far, but either way it is a great way to get too busy to do laundry.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hurricane Arthur

When there is a hurricane a~comin' towards the coast, what do you do?
Do you drive three hours towards it?
Well, we do!
We already had plans to head east to spend the 4th of July with our families and didn't let the threat of Hurricane Arthur stop us (though we did pull over at one point and reconsider...we aren't crazy!).

On the 3rd, we decided to scoot over to the beach before the storm landed to see the waves and dark sky. These pictures don't do it justice...it was stormy and beautiful!
 We never lost power or cable and the storm was blown over by the time we woke up on the 4th of July.
 See the pier? We walked the length of it and went up on the top deck and let me tell you, it was swaying! Whoa baby, I was happy to be on the ground!


 Hurricane Arthur had nothing on these little hurricanes.
They create far more mess!
But golly, they are much cuter!

I mean, seriously!
Look at that dark sky!


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Zippered Pouch Tutorial: Happy Birthday J-Lo!

Do you have a friend named Jennifer Lopez? 
I do and it is her birthday this week, which calls for something special. I am going to show you what I whipped up for her. Now, my husband is a die-hard NCSU fan, so normally all things "Carolina Blue" are forbidden, but J-Lo went to Carolina so I am featuring this color for her. 
I actually embroidered an outline of North Carolina and put a heart over our part of the state before I began the construction of this bag. 

Get some pretty fabric, a ruler, a cutting mat, a zipper, scissors or a rotary cuter and let's get started. 
Supplies:
4 pieces of fabric that are 8x10"
{I made my lining in a different print, but you can use the same fabric for all 4 pieces}

2 scrap pieces that are approximately 2x5 (optional)

8" zipper

fusible interfacing (optional but gives the bag some sturdiness)

Iron fusible interfacing onto the back side of your lining pieces. 
The scraps are for zipper ends...this step is actually optional but I like the look of them. 
Fold over 1/2" from each end and iron
Fold scrap in half and stick your zipper between.
Sew very close to the edge. can you see that my needle is moved to the far left position? 
Well, it IS, I promise.
Do on both sides of your zipper.
Aren't you fancy!
Trim your sides to that your fabric is the same width of the zipper.
Take your front pieces, fold down and press one end the fabric down by 1/4" and press to that crisp edge will stay.

*I have to tell you that I am madly in love with the lining fabric. It is designed by Cynthia Rowley and I got it from The Fat Quarter Shop a few weeks ago. I think there is some more left and it is on clearance! Do you love that sweet shop as much as I do?!*
Now we are getting to the knitty-gritty!
Take one piece of your lining and lay your zipper on top of the lining.
Pin in place, note the direction of my pins...the are facing the edge and at an angle. You can do your pins however you like, but this is my way.
Now take one of your outside pieces and with the pressed down piece facing the zipper, lay down on the other edge of your lining piece. You have made a zipper sandwich. It goes "lining", "zipper", "outside fabric".
Sew very close to the edge. I do not use a zipper foot, though you certainly can. I prefer to move my needle to the far right and sew on.
See how you will cozy right up to the edge and everything is just fine?
That zipper doesn't cause any trouble at all...
Now, what you have just done is sew your zipper to both your lining and outside fabric as well as top-stitch along your zipper all in one step!
Now do the same thing to the other side. lining, zipper on top, outside fabric in opposite direction, pin and sew.
Gosh, how cute is that appliqué?
voila! 
Here is a quick peek at the inside. see how nicely the material newer the zipper looks?
Now, whatever you do, stop right now and open your zipper!
If you have a closed zipper and sew your pieces together you will not be able to turn your bag right-side out and this will lead to crying, things being thrown in your sewing nook, and a very foul mood.
Trust me.
Onward!
Pin your two lining pieces right side together and your two outside pieces right side together. 
Start with your lining and sew all the way around leaving a 3 inch piece open so that you can turn it right-side out.

At this point you can turn your bag right-side out 

And it will look like this.
Perfectly lovely.
But I am not content. 
Let's mitre the corners, shall we?
Turn your bag inside-out again and grab your corners and pinch them like this...
Sew about a 1/2" from the end. You can get very precise and measure this with a ruler and mark it with a disappearing ink (no, seriously) and ensure that all four corners are the same size, but I am a rebel. I am free-styling my corners, baby.
Do this for all 4 corners.
Trim the corners off.
Turn your bag right-side out again and admire your fancy~pants mitered ends!
Sew up the hole in your lining.
Tuck your lining into your bag and press it. see how the mitered corners allow the bag to stand up? See your zipper-stops? 
Fill 'er up with some goodies
Give it to a friend (her name doesn't even have to be Jennifer Lopez).
Happy Birthday, J-Lo!