Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sew Cute!

I'm SUPER excited to share this project today as I've been slowly working toward stretching my sewing skills! This past week was school vacation here in Maine so I had time to spend on some craft projects. While browsing Pinterest, I found a sewing pattern for a women's top from Made by Rae that I thought looked really cute and didn't seem to be above my abilities. It's called the 'Josephine' and here's how it turned out...

Women's Sewing Pattern Cotton Tunic

I'd consider myself to be in the 'advanced beginner' category in terms of my sewing abilities, steadily working into the solid 'intermediate' category. This pattern required me to really work on many skills including pleats, darts, gathering fabric (on both the top and bottom of the sleeves), adding an elastic casing, and creating my own bias tape. Some of these skills I had done before but needed to practice and others I've never done until now! From start to finish, including printing out and assembling the pattern, it took me the better part of 10 hours. Naturally, the first time always takes longer because you have to spend time figuring things out!

What I really like about this particular pattern is that there are several options that allow for a great fit! At only 5' tall, I have a 'petite' but curvy body shape...this means I usually need a size 'small' in tops but my 'ladies' and my hips are on the larger size so I need some room in these two areas! This pattern works for sizes XS-XXL but also has an A/B cup bodice option and a C/D cup bodice option for the top. This allowed for the perfect fit because I have a larger bust on a smaller frame!

The back has an option for an elastic band to further allow for a better fit. This cinches in the waist so the top is a bit more fitted. I also ended up shortening the sleeves and taking up the bottom hem because, again, I'm a 'shorty' so the shirt and sleeves would've have been way too long if I didn't! That's another great part of sewing your own can customize the fit!

I chose a lightweight cotton fabric in a yellow lattice print that I picked up on sale for 50% off at Jo-Ann Fabrics so I only spent about $12. I think the color pairs nicely with dark wash jeans, tan boots/shoes, and gold accessories! The pattern also has a tunic length option with a fabric belt instead of an elastic which is probably the next sewing project I'll work on! 

What about you? Have you ventured into the world of sewing with some success?

I'm linking up with...
pleated poppy

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Upholstered Nailhead Trim Headboard

I moved into my new house over two and a half years ago and I FINALLY have a headboard! I was originally planning on making my own upholstered headboard since I've seen lots of tutorials on how to do so (I even purchased the fabric already) but I just never got around to it. I was doing some online window shopping a couple weeks ago and came across the perfect was gray, it was sophisticated, it was upholstered, it had nail head trim, and it was affordable!

Palermo Wingback Headboard Target

It's the Palermo Wingback Headboard from Target! They also sell the entire bed with upholstered side and foot boards but I want room for under bed storage so I just ordered the headboard (which was on sale)!

Upholstered nailhead trim headboard

 Once it arrived, I had it out of the box, assembled, and in place all by myself in a matter of 20 minutes! I was worried that the headboard would be too short because my bed frame is 14 inches off the floor and then I have both a box spring and a mattress on top. However, it turned out to be the perfect height!

 I really love the nailhead trim detail and the fact that it has 'wings'...
these details make the headboard look far more expensive than it is! 

nailhead trim upholstered headboard
After propping pillows on the wall for two years, it amazing how much more finished the room looks with an actual headboard. I really love it!! Tax return funds were put to good use!

For more information about the wall color in the room as well as the silver metallic stencil, I wrote a post all about it here!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday

Today I'm sharing a couple of my latest outfits for 'What I Wore Wednesday' and linking up over at the Pleated Poppy!  Lately I've been really into mixing pattern and adding pops of color to my work outfits! This first outfit is one of my favorites because it's cute, affordable, and REALLY comfortable!

The mustard colored stretch skinny jeans were only $13 (now on sale for $9) from Walmart! I actually purchased them a couple months ago in three other colors because they fit my curvy body so well and are super affordable! The ruffled flower print top is from Target from a few years back. The royal colored cardi is from Banana Republic outlet last summer. The boots have become my 'go to' footwear of choice as I can run around all day at school and my feet don't hurt...they're from Kohls purchased in the fall.

The dress code for staff/teachers at my school isn't super strict...we can wear jeans, for instance, any day of the week as long as we still look professional and put together. Here you can see I've paired dark denim jeans from American Eagle with a classic black blazer from Walmart (another totally awesome find from Wally World).  I added a striped black and white tee (can't remember where it's from) and a hot pink bauble necklace from Kohls for a pop of print and color!

I'll be busting out some more hot pink this Friday for Valentine's Day! Unless of course we don't have school (again) due to an impending snow storm (again)! Alas, such is the life of a Mainer!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Beach Inspired Paint Colors

I've been meaning to write a post about the paint colors in my home for some time and today is the day! The living room is actually on its third paint color in the two and a half years since my home was first constructed and the kitchen/dining area will be on its third color soon, too! I think it's only natural to live with the colors for a while, watching the light in the rooms throughout the day, and then decide whether a color 'works'. Here are the colors on my walls currently...

Although it wasn't my intention, I actually ended up using paint colors that all have names related to the beach! It fits because the beach is my 'calm, happy place' so why not have that at home, too?

Here are my colors:
#1 Cumulus Cloud by Martha Stewart...this color is a very, very light blue/gray. I've used it in my bedroom paired with a metallic silver paint for the stenciled wall.

#2 Driftwood Gray by Martha Stewart...this is such a lovely gray. Although it reads a bit taupe in the color above, it's really more of a true gray. I used this color in my office.

#3 Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams...I LOOOOVE this color! It's also in the gray family but it really reads more of a green-gray. I've used it in my bathroom and it coordinates nicely with the glass tile back splash.

#4 Horizon by Benjamin Moore...I painted my living room this color over the summer. It is a very light, light gray. It really brightened up the space and looks great when contrasted with the crisp white crown molding!

#5 Salt Glaze by Martha Stewart...this will be the color of my kitchen when I get around to painting again! I've also used it to paint stripes on my living room curtains. It's a light blue and is really fresh without being too 'baby blue'.

Because colors on a computer monitor can be so misleading, 
here's a picture of each of the colors in my actual home...
of course, lighting changes colors a bit but I think they are a bit more true to life:

Here are some tips I find helpful when choosing paint colors:

1) Choose colors toward which you naturally gravitate. Blues and grays make me calm and happy...for you, maybe vibrant reds, oranges and greens make you happy...choose what makes you feel good!

 2) Go with neutrals on the walls and add color through accessories. Painting is a very tedious task but adding new toss pillows, art, or lampshades is simple and inexpensive and can be changed up very easily.

 3) Choose colors that coordinate so as to have a cohesive feel throughout your home. Although my home is small, the rooms flow easily into one another because each is painted in a different yet compatible wall color.

4) Conduct a web search to see colors painted in rooms that already exist. You can never tell the real color of paint on a wall unless you actually see it in person. However, if I find a color I like on a paint chip, I always Google the paint name/brand to see if there are any images of the color in an actual room. Although computer monitors and lighting can change the color, I find this strategy very useful! 

5) If you're stuck, derive inspiration from a favorite pattern or image. If you have a favorite outfit, fabric sample, photograph, or painting, try pulling colors out of the object for inspiration. When in doubt, head on over to Pinterest and check out loads of design eye candy!

Tips on choosing paint colors

I thinking I might use some of my tax refund to hire a painter to come tackle my kitchen...I could probably just suck it up and do it myself during my school vacation in February but every time I look at all the kitchen cabinets, I just think of all the tedious 'cutting in' and 'taping off' I'll have to do! Ugh! Stay tuned for kitchen painting pics! :)