Dash of Rose

A dash of rosy positivity

Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring throw pillows: birch ruffles

I was going back and forth about what to do with the birch and woodpecker fabric that I have.  I only bought a yard of it because although I loved the pattern, I had no real idea as to what I was going to do with it.  As I was standing in my living room and looking at the couch I realized that as much as I love my bow and fox throw pillows (post and tutorial here), the material and colors were too fall and winter... Looks like I found a purpose for the birch fabric! It is great for spring with its light and airy colors.  It is also relatively smooth to the touch so much more practical as a pillow cover.

Here's a break down of the general steps I took to create the slipcover (It's got a zipper!)

Top Left: Gather the materials you need! For each pillow, cut 2 squares that is about an inch wider and longer than the pillows.  For the ruffles, it will be folded long-ways in half so have the folded width to be about half an inch wider than the desired width for the ruffles.  Length of the ruffle fabric was about 2.5 the perimeter of the pillows.  It really depends on how much gathering (how tight the ruffles) you prefer.  You could always go with a longer length and shorten it later.

Top Right:  The fabric I have was not nearly long enough to have the ruffle fabric length I needed the first go around so I sewed strips of them together.

Bottom Left: Fold the ruffle fabric long-ways and baste through the fabric to form gatherings to the tightness you like.

Bottom Right:  Pin the ruffles on the right side of the fabric facing towards the middle.  Sew around the edges but make sure you are careful to not accidentally overlap the ruffles too much as you sew.

Top Left:  This is what the ruffles will look like when you turn it right side out.

Top Right:  Sew the zipper along one side over the ruffle.  Right side of the zipper laying on the ruffle.

Bottom Left: Sew the other side of the zipper to the other square (Note, if you have a patterned fabric that has a distinct direction, make sure you are having it face the right way).

Bottom Right: Unzip the zipper

Pin the squares together with the ruffles in between them facing the center.  Make sure the ruffles are as far away from where you are going to sew as possible, you want to make sure the ruffles still exist when you turn it right side out.  Sew around the perimeter of the pillow carefully (remember, there are ruffles to consider).  Turn it right side out and you've got a ruffled pillow that can zip up!

I went back and hand sewed parts of the zipper to make sure it was laying right and completely done.

It's convenient I had zippers that were pretty similar to the color of my fabric.  The zipper on the left REALLY blends in beautifully, it's like an extra birch tree!

Hope everybody is having beautiful spring sunshine!
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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Double the stripes: shirt and skirt

SO MANY STRIPES! I ordered this striped jersey fabric a few weeks back from Fabric.com.  It is such nice fabric, soft and comfortable!

This week I decided to use it up because I really wanted some casual spring additions and these looked like they would be easy projects... which turned out to be true!

First up is the Plantain shirt by Deer & Doe that was made in approx. 2 hours.  This shirt pattern is great because it can be short sleeve, 3/4 length, long sleeve, have patch on elbows, etc.  What makes it even more than great is that it is completely free! She has this Plantain t-shirt pattern for free online.  This is a great beginner apparel project, so go try this out!

I actually wore this shirt to work today though I'm not sure if people could tell that it was a shirt that I sewed... There is ONE person who did figure it out pretty quickly though, my awesome manager who is a much more advanced sewer than I.
I really like this shirt because it has a lot of movement, comfortable without it looking slubby... so it is still appropriate for "smart casual" dress code at work and good for this transitional weather.

 Now on to the skirt! Actually, this is a second attempt with this skirt as I wasn't completely sure how it would lay once I was done.   The width of the fabric is double my natural waist size. The first run with this fabric for this skirt I kept it overly simple where I had the top folded over with an elastic in between but the top of the skirt was way to bulgy and just did not look flattering with this specific jersey fabric because it is actually really thick. This is the tutorial that is similar to what I originally attempted with this fabric.  If the fabric was not as thick and bulgy it would have been fine.  So, I ripped the seams up and went a different route.  I sewed around the waist of the skirt to gather it up, then sewed it to a circle waist band fabric piece.  Then I used a wide elastic band just slightly smaller than my waist and folded the waist band fabric over that to enclose it.  This was much flatter at the top and also much more flattering.  Even with just about starting over on the skirt, it really didn't take long either.  If I had not screwed up, maybe like 1.5 hours?

Warm weather is on the way, hooray! AND, it is almost Friday!

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Welcome Spring: Part 2

Still so glad that it is spring now, this past winter was a bit fierce and wreaked havoc on the roads and trees.  Even though winter is beautiful, it got to the point that it outstayed its welcome.  Spring, on the other hand, I welcome with open arms!

I love pink and I probably wouldn't have bought myself such a pink frock but somehow sewing it makes all the difference (similar to the blouse post yesterday I suppose).  I actually originally intended to make this dress with a much darker color... a dark raspberry.... but, they ran out of stock between my order and when they were preparing my order.  This was my second choice that I had ordered anyway without any specific plans for it yet.  Pink saved the day!

I'm such a fan of the cut out in the back and the timeless cut/fit of this dress.

I think the dress itself could still use some work in terms of its fit.  Given that the material is relatively structured, it is not nearly as forgiving as lets say... a knit.  Even so, this dress was also very easy to sew.  Deer and Doe makes such great patterns that turn into beautiful outfits!

Spring projects are so fun and colorful... such a boost!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Welcoming Spring: Part 1

"Spring is the time of plans and projects." -- Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Today marks the first day of spring and it's such a beautiful spring day here in Louisville, KY.  I am really looking forward to the trees to bloom, the weather to warm up, cute baby animals... and projects!

So a few weeks ago I ordered 3 patterns from Deer & Doe and the first one I completed is the Chardon Skirt.  After that, I just couldn't hold in my excitement to work on the other two as well because her patterns are so simple and pretty.

Day 1: Trace and cut pattern, cut fabric:

 Day 2: Sew Blouse!
 (I assure you that the sewing is even! 
It only looks crooked because of how it is hung and how the fabric lays... it's a tad stiff here)

This blouse was much easier than I had expected given the delicate fabric but with the right sewing needle (rounded) and right tension setting, it was a breeze.  My conclusion is that I am no longer intimidated by batiste and voile.  I was concerned that I would destroy the fabric from messing up a lot, but with a minimum amount of practice on scrap fabric, I really didn't have any major issues with snagging, knotting, tearing, etc.

This is not a blouse I would typically buy for myself but after sewing it, I got attached to it and I think this will get a lot of wear in the near future, especially now that it is officially Spring!

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Blue on Blue: Chardon Skirt

My first Deer & Doe Project Complete!
Pattern: Chardon Skirt

 This was actually a really easy skirt to make and the pattern is very simple.  The only complaint about the pattern is that the instructions are very sparse, it took some thinking to figure out what the pattern was trying to say when it came to creating the pockets for the skirt.  Yes, this skirt has POCKETS! I'm thrilled about that detail.

Pocket step 1: After the edges of the fabric are finished to prevent fraying, place the right sides of the fabric of one skirt side and one of the pocket sides at a time together... then sew along the edge.  Make sure the pockets are in the right positions and are facing the right way so that the depth of the pocket is actually going towards the bottom of the skirt and it's not upside down.

Pocket step 2:  With the 4 sets of pocket/side pieces complete, unfold the fabric and pair them up with the correct sides and pockets together with again, the right sides of the fabric facing each other.  Then sew along the edges per the instructions of the book.  After that, everything is pretty smooth for this particular pattern.

Skirt Front

Skirt Back


This skirt took one evening to trace/cut pattern with the cutting of the fabric needed... and one evening of sewing the skirt itself.  I think as far as clothes go, this isn't all that complicated or time consuming.

It's a beautiful day so it's time to go back outside to enjoy the sunshine! Happy Saturday!
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Plans for Spring Fabric

Ordered this earlier this month and it arrived yesterday! UPS guy was awfully nice and sort of hid the box so that nobody would take it because I was not able to be home to ensure it's arrival.
Fabric.com is great, just a few hiccups here and there with slightly messed up orders.  I'm hoping their customer service comes through though.  Their selection makes up for the hassle though!

Above is:
Pima Petticoat Batiste in White and Aqua

Riley Blake Jersey Knit Stripes

Bloom Stretch Cotton Sateen Specks Blue

Designer Cotton Voile Peach

Stretch Cotton Twill Watermelon (Was supposed to receive an order in a dark Raspberry as well though)

Tentative plans for this fabric:

The Batistes and Voile:

Bloom Stretch Cotton:

Jersey Stripe:

Deer and Doe Chardon Skirt
Deer and Doe Belladone Dress

I don't know when I'll be able to find the time to finish all the projects I want to finish, but it's nice to have things on hand to work on when I do find the time :)

8 days until spring!!!

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kwik Kindle Sleeve

My new kindle now has a zip-up!

Navy and white cotton was ironed onto some fleece and the inside is lined with some "end of bolt" polka dot knit jersey that I got as a bonus from my recent fabric.com purchase.

No tutorial was used for this and I'll probably make another one to replace this sometime if/when I find the time.  This one turned out a little haphazard but I still like it and it's going to keep my kindle safe!  Not bad for a quick evening project :)

Here's to more happy reading!

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Workplace Inspiration

On Friday I traded in my work desktop to a laptop.  Given that it is a company laptop, there is only so much I can do with it.  It also came with a ginormous laptop bag that is pretty heavy in itself.  With small shoulders and the fact that I park a few blocks from work... dragging this around is not ideal... but, I'll just take on a little at a time. I've been finding that it's gotten a little harder to pursue my hobbies with my work schedule and with life in general, but people figure it out, so I'm sure I will too :)

I wanted to jazz up this laptop because everybody on my team at work that has a laptop has just about the same one.  Just because it is a work laptop and I don't actually own it, does not mean it has to be so utilitarian.  Some WASHI tape did the trick and gave it a bit of a floral flair, don't you think?

I'm still mulling through other ideas around how I can infuse more creativity and fun into my workplace and such.

Laptop Bag 1:
With Tutorial by Arina Rasputina

Laptop Bag 2:
Scalloped laptop bag Tutorial by Marzipan

I've also recently purchased a Kindle Paperwhite.

It needs a cover. Soon.

I hope everybody had a good weekend! I sure did with lots of sunshine and hiking :)

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ASAP54 App: When you see what you want but just can't find the words...

ASAP54 is a new app that is available on iPhone (Not sure if it is available on Android).  My friend and I were playing around with it earlier today to test it out and it's not bad.

You know when you're out and about and you see somebody wearing a shirt or boots that you think is totally fabulous but you don't know where to buy it or at least find something similar? You then google words like "blue and white patteren blouse with gold buttons" or something and you end up with all sorts of things that are NOT what you are REALLY trying to find. This app is for you!

-Identify items in that color
-Identifies patterns okay
-Super easy and also shows you other options that are similar that could be of interest
-You can filter by price and/or brands

-You have to be really good at cropping the photo... I had my earrings are pink bow earrings right now but when she took the photo of it with my hair (black) still in it... it pulled up black jewelry.  So... Crop properly.
-You have to scroll down a lot to find something close to what you were really looking for
-From a photo it cannot tell if it's a halter, criss-cross, spaghetti strap,pleats... or anything like that.

-You find something somebody is wearing that you want
-You see something in the style you like but they are out of your size
-You see a photo on the internet of an outfit you really want to find but it's just an image and not associated with a store

Given that this is a new app, it has plenty of room for improvement but so far it is fun to use and I can see how it can at least point you in the right direction or introduce you to to new things.

Let's test some of this out:


Uh... NO.


I don't think I would depend on this to find things that I want beyond color/patterns.

Now I wish they could do this with fabrics as well.  I love fabric.com and moodfabrics.com but it is SO OVERWHELMING to scroll through every page, it is absolutely dizzying.

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