Sunday, August 29, 2010

Upcycling Obsession: Summer's End Toddler Dress Tutorial

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Now, the Summer's End Toddler Dress reveal and simple tutorial.

My inspirations were taken from these adorable JCrew dresses below. Just didn't want to pay the $50 price tag. $4 and a few hours is more my style.

And here it is on little Ava. I have a pretty cute model, don't ya think?

I had found this cute XL woman's skirt at Target on clearance and knew it'd be perfect as a dress for Ava. I've had it sitting in my sewing bin for months and thought it was time.
So, here's the easy tutorial. But, first of all. Just so you know. I don't explain things very well. I wasn't trained professionally so I don't know all of the technical sewing terms. So please ask questions if you're confused. Which you might already be.

This was made for a 2T-3T.
Here's how:

-measure the skirt (at the skirt's waistband) around her chest (inside out) underneath her armpits (while bribing your model with chocolate chips if she held still - -pssst. . . always works). It ended up being 21.5 inches around the chest and back.

-from there, I pinned down the skirt and made it look as symetrical as I could with the other side by just folding the dress in half and cutting off the extra material. *** don't forget to leave about 1/2 inch extra for the seam.

-with right sides together, sew down the skirt on that one side.

-I wanted the dress to go to her knees, so I just cut a few inches off and because of this ruffly fabric, I didn't even have to hem the bottom (from under the armpit to the knees, it ended up being 16 in. long). But in most cases, you'll probably have to hem it.

-Now time for the straps. Because this was a woman's XL skirt, there was some fabric leftover. The skirt had a slip like material underneath the ruffles so that's what I used to make the straps. I cut the material 3 inches x 11.5 inches (2 of them), sewed down them lengthwise making them into tubes and turning them right side out.

-I then tried the dress on her and determined where the strapes would go, pinned it, and sewed them to the dress.

You're done!

Hope it wasn't too complicated. I was really just doing it as I went.

I also glued fabric roses that I'd made from extra pieces of the fabric onto an elastic headband. Now that I see these pictures, it does seem a bit too big for her head, but oh well.

To take the pictures, I had to bribe her by taking her across the street to feed the fish in the lake. Works every time.
Hope you like it!

I'll be sharing this upcycle and tutorial with some of these link parties at the bottom of this page. So, check them out!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Saving Money Obsession: Groupon

Have you all heard about Groupon? If you haven't you definitely need to check them out. They'll send you daily e-mails of awesome deals in your area.
This deal comes out of Orange County, but anyone can buy because you redeem it online. So, if you're a movie lover, you'll love this deal. $4 movie tickets from You can only buy one, but you can buy others as gifts.

So . . . you have only 2 days left. Check it out here.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Photography Obsession: Embrace the Camera - Aug. 26

This picture was taken a few weeks back while we were visiting our family cabin. Ava loved being there and discovering the outdoors.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Upcycling Obsession: toddler dress sneak peek

I don't think I've taken out my sewing machine all summer. We've just been so busy, but I've had lists of sewing projects that I've been waiting to do. One of them included turning this XL woman's skirt that I bought on clearance from Target for $4 and making it into a cute dress for Ava.

Here's a sneak peek of it. Check back for photos and an easy tutorial on Monday.

Just a little clue of what it might look like. It's a cross between these two dresses from JCrew, just without the $50 price tag.

I'm loving it and so does little Ava.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Photography Obsession: Embrace the Camera - Aug. 19

I love taking pictures! Especially those of my family. But recently I've noticed that I really don't have too many photos of me. I'm always behind the camera . . . until now.

Thanks to Emily at 3 boys and a little lady, I realized I wasn't alone. She created "embrace the camera" thursday and every week we can post pictures of us with our kiddos and link it to her blog. I may not be the most photogenic, but I do want my kids to have pictures of us together. I love this idea. So here's my first.

***Please excuse our disheveled appearance.
One reason I love this photo is because Ava's giving me one of her "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" kisses. (if you haven't see the movie, you'll have to. It's one of her favs.)

You want to join us?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Baking Obsession: Chocolate Zucchini Cookies

We have been enjoying our garden so much this spring/summer.

And we can hardly believe that it hasn't died on us. It's our first one and we're pretty impressed with ourselves (half of them started by seeds). So far we have 4 pumpkins, have had 6 yellow squash, a ton of green tomatoes ready to ripen, strawberries, 7 good sized cucumbers, and have had some amazingly large zucchini. We've had zucchini growing out of our ears. And they're huge! So we've been steaming them for dinner, tried a recipe for zucchini lasagna, shredding and freezing them, zucchini cake, and I even tried this delicious recipe that I found on my cousin's recipe blog here. Yum. Try it out. You can thank me later. (if you like pumpkin choc. chip cookies . . . you'll love these)

Chocolate Zucchini Cookies

1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar

-mix until light and fluffy

1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. grated zucchini

-add into above mixture
2 c. flour
2 T. cocoa
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. baking soda

-mix in separate bowl and then add to creamed mixture and mix in

-stir in 1 c. of chocolate chips

- bake at 350 for 10-11 min.

And delight in the yumminess!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fashion Obsession: maternity clothing

Now that I'm popping out and almost out of the "in-between stage" (the "is she pregnant" or "has she been eating a few too many donuts lately?" stage) I will need to start wearing maternity clothes. Now I may not be the most fashionable person, but I love clothes and trying to look cute.
And lucky for us who are pregnant in the 21st century, there are a lot more choices than there were 30 years ago. Yay for us!
Forever 21 has come out with a maternity line and Heidi Klum has also come out with her own maternity line that sells at A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity. Most of the items are reasonably priced too!

{forever 21 maternity line}

{Heidi Klum maternity line}
Now I just gotta find the dinero!

Monday, August 9, 2010

DIY Obsession: reach our goals?

So, our summer has almost come to an end. The hubby goes back to school the middle of August and I'm dreading it. I'm hoping we see him a little more than we did last year. Guess we'll see.

But really. What have we accomplished this summer? You might remember this post here where we had a list of projects at our home. They were piling up. My main goal is to have it all finished by the time baby #2 comes.

1. strip and paint kitchen cabinets - - check!

2. finish painting kitchen - - check!

3. place hardwood floor in kitchen - - check!

4. livingroom carpet and mantel - - not done

5. finish painting master bedroom - - check!

6. place hardwood floor in master bedroom and bathroom - - check!

7. cut and paint baseboards - - check!

8. put up baseboards - - not done yet

We've even finished our front yard, placed palm trees on the side yard, and started working on our backyard! Ava really needs a place to play.

So, I think we've done pretty good. A big thanks the the hubby, though. Couldn't have done it without him. He did most of it.

What projects did you accomplish this summer?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

still alive!

I really am alive. I promise. This summer has been crazy! With all of our projects, going to the beach, working, turning 30 (ahhhh!), taking care of a very active 2 year old, and with family visiting every weekend in July . . . we've been busy!
Sorry. :)
We do have some exciting news though.
We will be expecting our 2nd child at the end of November (literally . . . the 30th). We are so excited!!! And it's a girl! Little Ava's excited to be a big sister and loves feeling her little sister kick.

I'm 23 weeks and feeling great!
Stay tuned for some upcoming posts . . . (and it won't be in a month).