Monday, May 31, 2010

DIY Club and Skirt Tutorial

I am a fortunate soul. You see, I have this great group of gals that I get to meet up with once a month and have what we call a DIY Club! It is a club where we craft handmade items that have been inspired by fellow bloggers and online tutorials. I really look forward to coming to our group for several reasons. A) It is a great way to meet other woman who have similar interests, B) it's fun to get out of the house and take a break from mommy/wife responsibilities  C) it's therapeutic to create handmade items and D) it's always more fun to craft with someone than craft alone! 
This past get together was a fun one because the ever so popular Susan from Freshly Picked is in our group so we decided to make an elastic waist skirt from a tutorial she has posted on her blog.  
For the full elastic waist skirt tutorial click HERE.

Here are a few photos from our stitch filled night! 





I did mine just a little differently. I took all the steps from the tutorial to make the body of the skirt, but made a drawstring waist instead. I also didn't do inverted pockets because I found a fabric that I really wanted to show on the outside. This will definitely be my "go to" skirt for the summer!

If you are interested in starting a group in your own area, here are a few tips that have made ours a big success:

-Choose crafts that are not too complicated so that all skill levels can enjoy
-Send out an email a week or two before with an attachment of various crafts and links to tutorials for everyone to vote on
-Once the craft has been voted on and chosen, chose a date and send out a list of materials that everyone will need to bring
-Either pick one designated house to meet at each month or rotate houses with different members of your group
-Bring treats and have fun!

Check out the blogs of some of the other busy and brilliant ladies from our DIY Club!
Nicole with Elsa Bags
Susan with Freshly Picked
Madeline with Uber Chic for Cheap
Caroline with Caroline's Bake Shop

Friday, May 28, 2010

Winner!

Congratulations to Angie who is the lucky winner for the May giveaway! With Katherine's great pricing on her jewelry, you are sure to load up on so many great things from Pretty Little Me! Keep checking Katherine's shop as she is always updating it and creating new things for it! A big thank you to everyone who entered, who reads and follows this blog and for supporting all that is handmade! Also, I am so grateful to Katherine for hosting such a great giveaway! I am tremendously a wee bit jealous of the winner!

I am really excited for the holiday weekend and am looking forward to blogging again and offering more tutorials for you all next week. 
-Amy


Monday, May 24, 2010

May Giveaway - Jewelry by Katherine Wallin

Dear Readers,
I would like to introduce you to a wonderfully talented and amazing person: Katherine Wallin

I like hot chocolate, even in the summer. I like doing yoga with my wii along side my husband, who is so awesome. I like putting puzzles together with my children. I have a 3 year old daughter who is my best little friend, and a sweet dreamy little 18 month old son, who has a mild case of cerebral palsy. I love my church. I like to travel. I like laughing, and I think I am funny (because one of my sisters tells me I am). I like photographing glimpses of my life as the days go by. I feel more like a cute mom with a pair of pretty earrings on.  And I really like singing loud to any song sung by Kelly Clarkson.

you can find my true colors here wallin-family.blogspot.com
capturing pretty photos here wallinphotography.blogspot.com
creating pretties to dress up my ponytail, and yours too, here prettylittleme.etsy.com

************

You see, Katherine is the whole package. She is beautiful, artistic and sweet as can be! If you are not already friends with this girl, you will want to be! Trust me!
I contacted Katherine a few weeks ago to see if she would custom make a cuff for me. After a few emails back and forth, the cuff was designed, produced and presented to me. I could not be happier with the result! I'm not sure what she named this design, but I think "The Amy Cuff" sounds good!
See for yourself!


Here are some of my other favorite pieces at the Pretty Little Me shop:







Katherine is here today to offer all the sweet H is for Handmade readers a fantastic giveaway.  Everyone is a winner with this one!

-One sweet reader will receive $40 of in-store credit to Pretty Little Me, plus free shipping!  
-Everyone else can receive 20% off, via paypal refund.  Just mention "H is for Handmade" in the checkout notes to me. Offer expires June 4, 2010. 

Rules of the contest:
1. Leave me a comment
2. You must have an active blog
3. You must be a US resident
4. Extra entries for becoming a follower of the blog or fan on Facebook
5. Make sure you have an email address listed either on your blog or in your comments so that I can contact you if you win.


This giveaway is now closed.



Monday, May 17, 2010

Biking Bloomers - Tutorial



Did you hear? May is National Bike Month! 

Photos Clockwise: 
It seems like every time I click on my favorite style and designs sites, there is a girl riding her bike...in a skirt. I am embracing it fully and with ferver! For one: I love bikes. And two: I love skirts. I have almost forgotten what else you could possibly wear while riding a bike! This romantic fashion movement is a synchronicity of beauty, freedom and femininity!  But, as poetic as it all sounds and looks, there is one minor detail that keeps coming to screen and mind. Sporting a skirt or dress on a bike is a little "revealing"!
Photos Clockwise:
2. ?


For those of you who would like to join this crusade but would like to opt out of displaying your unmentionables in public, I have come up with a solution: Bloomers!
Bloomers were actually invented by Amelia Jenks Bloomer in the early Victorian era when the bicycle was making it's big debut in America. She wanted women to abandon their petticoats and trade them in for trousers! She was worried that heavy and long garments would get caught in the bikes cog wheels and she therefore began a controversial reform in women's fashion.




In todays society, we don't need to look like circus clowns on our bikes, so here is a modern day bloomer tutorial:


Materials you will need:
-knee length or longer, leggings of your choice (they are everywhere and they are cheap!)
-sewing machine
-scissors
-tape measure or ruler



Begin by measuring your leggings from bottom of the cuff to the knee. Cut.


Next, take the cuff that you just cut off and open it up by cutting down and off the seam. Also cut off the hem so that you will have a flat panel of fabric that looks like this.



Now divide your panel into 1.5" sections and cut into strips. Depending on how short you want your bloomers, you should be able to get 3-6 strips. (this picture shows 3 strips, but I was actually able to get 4!)


Line up all your 3-6 strips from one pant leg so that they are end to end. Use a running base stitch to sew them together like this. 


Now take one of the threads and begin to pull back gently on your fabric to pucker and ruffle the fabric. Keep moving the ruffle down the seam as you go.


You should have a long piece of ruffle that looks like this when you are done. 
Now set it aside for just a moment.


Make a 1/4" hem on the bottom of your leggings using a stretch knit stitch. (trying saying that fast 5 times!) You may want to refer to your machine's user manual to see if you need to switch out your presser foot and what settings your machine should be on for stretch fabric.


Now measure the ruffle around your leg opening and pin it around the bottom.


Finally, use a stretch knit stitch to sew it onto the bottom of the legging.

Now you can ride to your heart's content and your mind's ease! No more panty shots for passerby's!

P.S. If you are not a bike rider, these make FABULOUS pajamas and swimsuit covers! They are also a nice alternative to the ever so popular legging and allow you to modestly sport those insanely short skirts on all the department store racks without any fear! 

*Please remember that all handmade clothing is hand washed clothing!*

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Renegade Handmade Faves!


I might be willing to give my right arm to attend one of, if not THE, nation's largest indie art and craft fairs! The Renegade Craft Fair got it's start in 2003 in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. This DIY craft fair rapidly grew in it's popularity and is now held in 5 major cities across the US (mine is not one of them. boo.), has an online marketplace and a storefront located in it's hometown of Chicago that carries work from over 400 vendors! If your city is not one on the list of locations, don't fret! You can check out a list of artists and their webpages/shops from each region with just a click of your mouse! It's always inspiring (and humbling!) to see the talent from sea to shining sea! I have selected a few of my favorites from the lists. I better start saving my money!


Wool purses and satchels from Wooly Bison. This is going to be my winter bag this year! If a wool carry-all wasn't enough to steal my heart, they had to go ahead and make it in red just to make it that much more tempting for me!

I don't know if there are words to describe my pure adoration for this. I am always so pleased when I spot something so original and unpredictable, that I want to shed a tear. Miniature Rhino has been one of my favorite blogs to stalk for quite some time now. I wonder if she would like to be my new friend?


I am saying a secret little prayer that my next child 
will be a girl! I need this dress from Baby Bean. Or, can I just be really tiny for a day so that I can wear it around? Look at that bow!

I am loving the contrast of the soft and romantic feel of a pearl paired with the cold, industrious looking metals. Jane E Roberti has a lot of charming pieces in her Etsy shop right now that have a similar feel and texture.

This is the most perfect plant for my sister!  Jane Joss , a fabric florist, creates these darling plants that don't require water or maintenance. Perfect for the non-green thumb in your life! She was also a featured artist on Design Sponge and did a tutorial for a leafy branch that we all may just need to make!


I really, really REALLY like these postersSpread the Love has quite a few prints in their shop that I would like to have hanging on my wall. It was hard to choose just one to display on here, so choose 2! I think her art is incredible and I really like the vibrant colors she uses in a lot of her work.


I am a little enamored with bikes right now. My husband is fixing up my 1971 Schwinn Super Sport as I type. This acrylic painting on a wood panel from Yellow Owl Workshop might be just what we need! How creative to give the painting a pop of color with the spokes!


So, have any of you ever been to the Renegade Craft Fair?
Do you have any indie art hanging around your house?
What type of items do you like to buy when you go to a craft show?


Friday, May 7, 2010

Look At Me...Some more!





Just in case you don't get enough of me here on H is for Handmade, you can get another big dose of me today on Ucreate! I was so thrilled when Kari asked me to be a guest blogger, that I responded to her email with a resounding "YES!" Then I looked at how many followers she had and I just about peed my pants! That is a lot of people looking at my work and I have to admit it was incredibly a little intimidating. I really hope that I did not disappoint! My son just loves to get the mail so I figured I would be a good mommy and make something for him to play with that is a just little farther from the street and it's traffic! After talking to my neighbor about this tutorial, she said, "You know what? A child's fascination for getting the mail never ends. My 17 yr. son old still races me to the mailbox every day! He loves it, too!" Thank you for the reassuring words, Carolyn! 

You can find a full tutorial and templates for the the mailbox I designed just by clicking HERE! And as always, It is so very simple and only cost me $4! Enjoy!

Now, I can proudly say "I was featured on...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

April's Giveaway Winner!


Congratulations to Laura Hall on winning the giveaway! Yippee! Have so much fun with your new "book" and I hope you write me and fill me in on all your experiments - we can even compare notes! 

Also, I would like to extend a BIG thank you to all who entered and for being such great supporters of my blog! I am so very excited for the May giveaway that I will be doing the last week of this month and introducing you to a very talented woman! You are going to love it! I wish I could give you a sneak peak, but I am going to save it and just surprise you! 

As always, please keep checking back for more great tutorials throughout the month! I will be guest blogging tomorrow so stop by and see where I will be featured and what great craft I will be doing a tutorial on!

Thanks again and have a happy Thursday!

-Amy
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