Category Archives: Crafty McCrafterson

Maxi Dress Makeover

Years ago, I bought 2 maxi dresses at Old Navy.  If I remember correctly, they were on clearance, which is why I bought 2 of them.  I cannot remember the last time I wore a maxi dress, and a few days ago I found this particular dress hanging in my closet, begging to be worn:

I think the main reason that I rarely wore this dress is because it’s a bit..  revealing.  Not like I have a lot going on up top, but I’m not the kind of gal who would show off that much of my ladies in public.  The dress is made of jersey fabric, which is really easy to work with because it doesn’t fray – so a little light bulb went off in my brain and I decided to turn this maxi dress into a maxi skirt.

It sounds a lot easier than it was.

I didn’t take very good tutorial pictures for this post, because I was mostly flying by the seat of my pants with this project.  But for those who need the step-by-step, I used the following materials:

– Maxi dress found in closet
– Scissors
– 1.5 inch elastic
– Sewing Machine
– Coordinating Thread
– Patience (seriously, this took me over an hour.  But it’s raining and Harry Potter is on ABC Family today so I had nothing but time)

I knew that I wanted my skirt to sit just below my belly button, so I took my fabric tape measure and measured 38 inches from my belly button to the floor.  I laid the dress on the floor and measured 40 inches from the bottom of the dress (to give myself a little wiggle room) and cut across the dress from one side seam to the next:

My first cutting attempt resulted in this:

Then I was successful – chop!:

I wanted to keep the original seams on the sides and the original hem, so after I cut off the top I was basically left with a 40″ fabric tube.

My original piece of elastic was 1 1/4 yd. long, so I pinned it to make a circle and used it as a guide to make the casing for my elastic.  I flipped the tube inside out and folded the raw edge down about 2″ (just over the elastic) and pinned all the way around, leaving about 1/2″ of a raw edge.  Once I pinned all the way around, I realized that I had cut my dress crooked and had to re-do the casing for my elastic so that I wouldn’t have a lop-sided skirt.  Fail.

Once my pins were situated, I kept the elastic in place and started sewing in a straight line.  That’s when I realized that I’m still a little intimidated by my sewing machine and my straight line ended up anything but straight.  I had a few (okay fine, several) mess-up spots that I had to go back and correct, which made me thankful that I bought a seam ripper thing the last time I was at Hobby Lobby.  I sewed just about all the way around the skirt but kept a small opening so I could pull out the elastic, measure it, cut it, and then thread it back through the casing.

So I did just that – I pulled out the piece of elastic and measured 34″ around the part of my waist where I wanted the skirt to fall.  I cut the elastic an inch or so shorter than I measured, so that the skirt would fit snuggly.  I put a safety pin on one end of the cut piece of elastic to help thread it through the casing on the skirt and made a quick stitch to sew the raw ends of elastic together.  Once the elastic was in place, I stitched up the small opening in the elastic casing that I had made before and voila – I had a skirt!

If you look closely, you will notice that it’s not the prettiest article of clothing ever made, but it’s comfortable and something that I can throw on if I need to run to run errands and haven’t shaved my legs in awhile.  For a novice seamstress, I’m quite proud of the finished product!  Hopefully I will get more use out of it now!

Thanks for stopping by – have a great day! 🙂

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Another DIY Success from Pinterest

Darn you Pinterest for making me want to try every single DIY craft I come across on your website.  Seriously.  Now that I can finally access (and use) my craft table in the “croftice” (croftice = the word I made up for my craft room/office) I want to try making everything I see on Pinterest.  Saturday morning, I woke up about 8:30, had some coffee, picked up paint samples from Home Depot, then spent about 2 hours browsing the aisles of my local Hobby Lobby.  And by the way, Hobby Lobby is the place to be on Saturday mornings.  Anyway, I bought enough stuff to crank out several different projects including bracelets, necklaces, a swimsuit cover up, a roman shade, mending one of my broken cross-body purses, and last but certainly not least, learning how to use my sewing machine.

The first project that I tackled was a DIY braided bead necklace, inspired by a post on the ECAB blog, which I stumbled upon while “pinning” one day.  The tutorial can be found here, along with a ton of other nifty ideas!  When I first saw this necklace, I thought to myself “I can totally make that”.  What I didn’t know was that this necklace would frustrate me to the point of finishing a bottle of wine before I finished the necklace.  Okay, not the whole bottle, but I did take a wine break in the middle of thie project.  Here’s the scoop:

My Hobby Lobby store was a little picked over on Saturday morning in the jewelry/bead section.  Perhaps it was due to the 50% sale on beads?  Whatever the reason, I was able to find what I needed to make the braided bead necklace, but I had to be slightly creative.  I could only find packs of solid colored beads in gold, silver, and white, so I bought 4 packs of multi-colored beads and picked out the turquoise ones that I wanted to use.  I don’t know what upholstery thread looks like, so I just found some gray nylon thread because nylon is supposed to be good thread (I think?).  I also couldn’t find a 22″ chain, so I bought two smaller chains, which were on clearance, and joined them together make a longer chain.  The necklace hardware (jump rings, bead tips, and clasps) all came in packs of like 10+ but didn’t cost more than $2.99/pack.

I followed the tutorial on ECAB step by step (minus the accidental bead spill that happened as I was threading my last strand of beads – hence the wine break) and my finished product looks like this:

Boom!  Braided Bead Necklace!  And a doggy in the background.  I think Slyder channels his inner Waldo when I start snapping pictures, because he is always in my pictures but manages to be slightly incognito.  Silly dog.

DIY T-shirt Tank Top

I spend about 1 hour of work each day browsing Pinterest for fun things (please don’t tell my boss), and I came across a do-it-yourself tank top out of a t-shirt.  Brilliant!  I mean, when I’m lounging around the house I like to be in a t-shirt, a sports bra, and athletic shorts or yoga pants or whatever.  But sometimes, the sleeves or the neck of a t-shirt will bother me and regular tank tops are too snug, which makes them uncomfortable for lounge time.  LBH, when I’m loungin, I don’t give a crap what I look like.  Long story short, I decided to try to make one of my t-shirts into a tank top for lounging around the house, working in the yard, or maybe wearing when I play sand volleyball.  I made one, I wore it, and now that’s all I wear!  Seriously, on a scale of 1-10, the comfort level of my t-shirt tank top is a 10.  How did I make this glorious t-shirt tank top?  Well, I’m so glad you asked!  Follow along to make your own t-shirt tank top!

First, I found a t-shirt that I didn’t really give a hoot about.  Then, I grabbed a pair of scissors from the knife set in my kitchen (side note: Calphalon knives are the bomb).  This t-shirt was my gift for participating in the 2010 Light the Night Walk in Dallas.  Its a medium and I usually wear a small, so I figured if I screwed up my project it wouldn’t matter because I never wear this t-shirt.

Instead of cutting off the sleeves separately, I decided to fold the t-shirt in half (hot dog style) so that all of my cuts would be symmetrical.

Now it’s time to slice off those sleeves!  I made my first cut at the top of the shirt, about 3 inches from the neckline.  I cut down in a slightly curved line until I got to the side of the shirt, about 2 inches down from the armpit.

Then, I cut off the neck line.  I started about 2 inches below the neckline in the center of the shirt and cut upwards in a slightly curved line until I reached the top of the shirt and was flush with the neckline.

Hey!  It looks like a tank top now!  If you unfold the tank top and lay it flat, you will have something that looks like a tank top your Dad wore during the family beach vacation in 1994.

To give the t-shirt tank top a little more flare, I tied the back of the tank top straps together.  You certainly don’t have to, but it makes the tank a little more feminine.  I didn’t bother to look for anything fancy to tie my straps together with, mainly because my craft boxes are underneath a giant mound of crap right now because we are still unpacking.  Instead, I cut a sliver of fabric (about 1/2 inch thick) from one of my discarded t-shirt sleeves.

I cut an opening in the fabric sliver so that I would have a straight piece of fabric to use as my strap tie.  Please excuse the obnoxious glare from the fluorescent lights in my kitchen.

Then I flipped my tank top over and bunched together the two straps on the back.  Hey – there is Slyder!!

And then I put the shirt face down on my kitchen counter (back straps still bunched together) so that I could tie them.  I tied my knot about 4 inches down from the top of the tank.

Wow.  That picture looks like a giant blob.  Let’s try that again.

I tied about 3 knots, but I suppose you could tie as many as you want.  I decided to leave the excess fabric from the tie and let it hang down to give the tank top a little more character.

Ta-da!!  It’s a t-shirt tank top!!  The whole project took about 10 minutes and is S-U-P-E-R easy!  Excuse me while I model my backside for you.  Disregard the color and wall paper trim in my master bathroom.  Painting is a priority on our house to-do list 🙂

Anywho, throw on your favorite sports bra and your t-shirt tank top and you are good to go for a weeknight or weekend of house-loungin’!

Beer Pong Gift Basket – A great gift for the recreational drinker in your life.

I don’t really consider a gift basket to be a DIY project or a craft project, but I do love to give baskets stocked full of goodies as gifts.  In my mind, a gift basket is an easy way to put your personal touch on a gift.  It’s also a good way to give a bride-to-be or mommy-to-be a few of the miscellaneous items from her registry.  For example, putting a bunch of cooking utensils and pot holders in a decorative gift basket is so much cuter than throwing them all in a gift bag and calling it a day.

My Mom’s brithday was a couple of weeks ago and I buying her a birthday gift was at the bottom of my list of things to do – you know, since hubs and I are in the process of buying a house and I work full time and at least one day each weekend during our “busy” season.  Anyway, my sister and her husband gave my Mom a portable beer pong table for her birthday (yes, my Mom is that cool) and I came up with the idea of the Beer Pong Gift Basket to go along with it.

**Back tracking a tad – my Mom learned how to play beer pong a few months ago when my wedding reception after-party turned into a beer pong tournament.  She is pretty good and loves the game – I love my Mom!**

In order to get the ball rolling on this beer pong gift basket idea, I made a quick list of the items one would need to play a successful game of beer pong.

– Red Solo Cups (sorry, Toby Keith – I saved myself $1 and bought the Kroger brand)
– Ping Pong Balls
– Water Cups
– Towels (for occasional spillage)
– Tissue Paper or some other type of “basket fluff”
– BEER!

I already had the gift basket, thanks to my Mother-in-law who shares my same obsession with Hobby Lobby.  FYI – once a month or so the gift baskets at Hobby Lobby are 50% off.  I also already had the red cups and an un-opened pack of ping pong balls, so I cruised on over to my local Target to pick up the remaining items.  A 6-pack of bottled Coors Light was about $6, I found 2 blue plastic water cups for $2, a set of teal colored tissue paper for $1.50, and two hand towels that were conveniently on clearance for $2.50 each.

Put ’em all together and whatdoya get?!  The Beer Pong Gift Basket!!!

DIY Weekly Planner

I love to have a plan.  I love to make to-do lists and grocery lists and I love, love, LOVE to plan out meals for the week.  I haven’t done much meal-planning lately, but I want to get back into the habit once we are settled into our new house.  Anywho, I’ve always wanted to be the cool person who relies on one of those weekly planners to stay organized but they are too darn expensive and I can never seem to find one at the store that I like.  For example, my SIL is a 6th grade teacher and she ordered this adorable planner online from www.erincondren.com.  I’m not gonna lie, I immediately hopped onto the website once I saw how cute her planner was.  But, $50 is a little too much for me to spend on a planner right now.

Flashforward a few days and I’m browsing Pinterest at work (like I do everyday) and I came across these super cute free printable planner pages from the Artsy-Fartsy Mama and a lightbulb went off – “I can make my own planner!”  I love these printables because there is enough space to list important happenings for each week, plan the weekly menu, and keep a grocery list – genius!  When I got home from work that day, I printed 5 sets of the planner pages (because we are already halfway through March I decided not to include January & February in my planner) and then I wondered what else I could print for free to add to my homemade planner.  I ran a Google search for free printable calendars and came across www.calendarlabs.com where I printed monthly calendar page for March – December.  I also ran a Google search for printable to-do lists and found a great one on www.printabletodolist.com.  Isn’t Google wonderful?

Then, it was time to organize the huge stack of paper I had on my desk.  I started each month with a montly calendar and then put a few sheets of the weekly planner pages behind the montly calendar and saved all the to-do lists for a separate section at the back of the planner.  My stack of paper was ready to be bound at Kinkos the next day!

During my lunch break at work the following day, I was out running errands and couldn’t find a Kinkos nearby (sadface).  I made a pit-stop at Target to buy my Mom a birthday card before I picked up lunch Chick-fil-a and while I was browsing the greeting card section, I thought to myself “maybe I could buy some dividers to add to my planner!”.  I cruised over to the school supply aisle and grabbed 2 sets of colorful 8-tab dividers.  While I was there, I grabbed a purple folder to use as the cover for my planner.  When I got back to work, I wrote each month on the divider tabs and filed them into my stack of paper and cut the folder down the spine to use as a front and back cover for my planner.  A quick stop at Kinkos on my way home to get my stack of paper spiral bound and my homemade planner was born!  I took a few pictures of it to add here so you can oooh and ahhhh at my masterpiece.  The total cost for my homemade planner was less than $10 and super easy to make!

Here are a few pictures of the finished product:

Pocket folder front cover and my first divider tab for March.

A close up of the divider tabs.

Picture of the monthly calendars I printed from calendarlabs.com

The free printable planner pages from Artsy-Fartsy Mama 

And last but not least – the printable to-do pages from printabletodolist.com