porch update

so last july (...ahem....i've been a bad blogger!) i posted about wanting to do a project for my back porch. my goals were that it would be very wallet-friendly and add some privacy as well as some personality to a somewhat large and empty space. 

as you might already know, fabric is expensive!  but especially outdoor fabric! and i had many feet of windows i needed to cover.  so in order to keep my costs low on the curtains, i went with already made shower curtains that i chose specifically so that it wouldn't look like...a shower curtain.  so my curtains are made from a neutral goldish-tan, plain fabric that i hemmed to the proper length for my window openings.  i found them for under $9 each at big lots (they are the better homes and gardens brand.  not too bad!)  the nice part is, they already had buttonholes at the top for me to add rings.  i found spring-loaded curtain holders and curtain rings (i went with plain silver) at big lots as well, for less than $5 each.

i found some REALLY cheap fabric that coordinated and made some large curtain ties that hold two curtains together for maximum light.  from the leftover fabric, i made a table cloth and a coordinating pillow for my chaise lounge.

all for under $100.

new top...for me!

i made this top for myself (from Simplicity #2892) and i really love it!  the fabric is from the amy butler daisy chain collection.  the second picture shows the "bib" detail...lots of gathering and a small ruffle at the neckline.  hard to see it in the photo, though.

new dress

It's been awhile, but my girl finally got a new dress!  It's a different take on a pillowcase dress. 

I angled the sides a bit, and then added a small ruffle near the bottom hem.  The dress ties at one shoulder with a bow made from matching fabric.  She loves it!


kate's bedroom makeover

a couple of months ago, i finally got around to making over kate's bedroom from a toddler-looking room to a big girl room.  a double bed is now in place of a twin bed.  i switched to white furniture instead of natural wood color.  and of course, i sewed all of the pillows, curtains, tableskirt, bedskirt, etc.

i found the head board, which is very pottery barn-ish, in bad shape at a thrift store for $5!  i sanded it, replaced some of the wood spindles, and spray painted it white and it's as good as new.

kate's room is the hottest in the house during the summer, so i had to line her curtains with black-out fabric to reduce the light and heat coming in the windows.  i couldn't find a pattern i just loved, so i did it without any pattern and it turned out perfect, much to my surprise!  the curtains are full-length roman shades with pom-poms at the bottom and large ties for detail.

here are the fabrics i used, some from fabric dot com and others from custom baby boutique dot com.

unfortunately, i did not take "before" shots, but here are the after shots!

new curtains

new pillows

monogrammed pillow and table topper

new ribbons for the letters

new places for photos on the wall

happens to match her princess castle rug perfectly!


more baby gifts

i still have no time to sew anything except for baby gifts these days!  and i barely have time for that it seems.  but here are the latest gifts i've made for friends over the past few months.
Bama burp cloth

Sister dresses

toddler blanket


project: back porch

living in florida, i sure do love having a back porch.  it's just too hot to go out in the sun for at least two months of the year.  my daughter loves to play out there, and in the spring and fall, i especially love to entertain outdoors.  however, i've been wanting to make our back porch more of a cozy living space rather than a boring place to sit in the shade.  i've also wanted to add something for privacy, without adding curtains or blinds on the inside of our house.  so i'm starting a DIY project to spruce up our back porch on a very strict budget:  keeping it around $100.

here's the before pictures:

new burp cloths

lots of my friends are having babies, so i'm staying pretty busy just making gifts for them right now!  here are a few of the burp cloths i've made in the past few weeks:

this last one, for grace, i added "taggie"-type ribbon at the bottom to double as spit-up-catcher as well as entertainment for baby. :)

evan's taggie blanket

similar to isaiah's taggie blanket i made a few months ago, it's minky on one side and soft flannel on the other with plenty of ribbon "tags" to keep evan busy!


new diaper bags

since evan was born in december, i've slowly been working my way back into sewing.  the biggest challenge is finding the time to do it...evan is sleeping in the master bedroom currently, and that's where my machines are.  we hope to get him into his own room soon!  it's also taken some getting used to caring for two kids rather than one during the day.  it doesn't leave much time for anything else!

but here are a couple of diaper bags i've completed over the past couple of months, one for a girl and the other for a boy.


the nursery is complete!

...and just in time!  evan was born on december the 22nd.

here are the pictures.  the only thing left to do are to fill those empty picture frames!

pillows for the futon

my friend Lindsey made me the picture frame

my friend Cathy painted the giraffes for me

the valance
my friend Jen made this for me...all it needs is a picture of Evan!


evan's diaper bag

this is one of my larger-sized diaper bags (16 x 19 or so) and...i actually used leftover scraps from other projects to make this bag, besides the interfacing.  the leather straps were also given to me by a friend who wasn't going to use them.  so...i'm proud to say that i basically spent under $10 or $15 to make this bag!  besides the time spent making it, it really is a bargain.

because of the different sized scraps, the inside of the bag is made up of 3 different coordinating fabrics.  i put in a cell-phone pocket, 2 regular pockets, and 2 elastic pockets.  the closure is a snap closure.

the valance for the nursery

the valance has been hung and now all we have left to do for the window is add room-darkening floor-length curtains. 

i had picked out the valance design in my head long before i went pattern shopping.  unfortunately, when i finally found the perfect pattern, it wasn't on sale and for some reason never could catch a sale price for it.  so i turned to a good friend who also sews and i should have known to just ask her first.  she had the exact pattern i needed and had already used it before.

the only changes i made to the pattern was that on the back, for the lining, i used ivory-colored black-out fabric in order to keep the light low.  because i used a curtain rod that "wraps around" the window, i shortened the length of the curve of the valance and added more length to the straight sides so that it will "wrap around" the curtains once we get them hung. 

so here is the partially-finished window...note that eventually, the side edges will wrap around the curtains hung from behind the valance.

too cute to be spit up on

here are some burp cloths i just finished for evan...i tried out some more new applique/ embroidery/fabric designs for them and i love how they turned out!  i hate that they are about to be covered in spit.  oh well!