Monday, November 30, 2015

DIY: Let's Do This Our Way, Christmas!

I admit: I have been bitten by the Christmas Bug hard, y'all! I have a Hallmark-movie-loving/kindergarten-teachin' buddy at school to thank for that. She's been chatting way about All Thangies Christmas since, like, Halloween. In fact, I think it was Labor Day she told me her decorating was complete. At first I was all, girl you crazy but then I drank the Christmas Kool Aide (which tastes like peppermint, by the way) and have actually been garland-ing up Casa de Cassie every since. Thanks, Heather! I'll blame you when I'm sick of Christmas by December 1st!
Since my house is all sorts of Sparkly Christmas-land, I thought I'd jazz up el bloggo as well. AND share with y'all my fave DIY's of Christmas past. What better DIY to start with than Christmas Dresses, my personal fave. I created that Christmas dress on the left last year on Christmas eve, y'all! Talking about cutting it close. And that lovely candy cane number was cut from the same pattern with just a wee touch of Santa fur for trim. 
These two Christmas dresses were among some of the first I made. My Blue Christmas dress has blue lights sewn in the hem with a remote in the pocket. It's always a kid-favorite. And one year we created German-style cuckoo clocks and I just couldn't stand not making a dress from that clock fabric when I found it!
Of course, y'all know my Christmas wardrobe wouldn't be complete if I wasn't cutting up every tree skirt and creating a Christmas-Tree-Skirt-to-Lady-Skirt like that fuzzy number above
Of course, I know I should hold vintage tree skirts sacred...but look how crazy fun they are as skirts! I love circle skirts and these are easily my favorites to wear. Follow this link to see just how creepy that Santa is on the skirt on the left. The skirt on the right is the first tree skirt I transformed. Like, it can be done in under 60 minutes, It's so easy to do it's no wonder I'm addicted! 
And then, you know, when one runs out of tree skirts, round table clothes can come in just as handy. This one was a buck or three at the thrift store last year. A lil garland was added at the bottom because otherwise that dress wouldn't have been nearly tacky enough for me to wear. 
And one's feet simply should be Santa-fied, says me. 
Tacky Christmas Sweaters are always a must...but why stop at just a tacky sweater, says me. I needle felted this lil guy over Thanksgiving a coupla years ago. 
This photo is actually a whole-lotta DIY in one. There's that sweater, that puffy skirt and those gold-foiled shoes. I was actually wearing this ensemble when a stranger at Starbucks snapped my photo and blasted it out to his friends making fun of me! That's the Christmas spirit, right? Don't you worry, I got him back. You can read the deets in this post
As a kid, Making Christmas Ornaments was my fave tradition. But, sometimes, you can just use what you have on hand it makes for a unique display. Like the time I decorated a tree with my vintage paper dolls
Or, last year, when I was on an alpaca kick, I busted out these guys with the help of my mother-in-law. 
My fave thing to do over the holidays is host craft nights. I love my super artistic and creative buddies! And we always have a great time creating with each other. Last year we needle felted some lovely holiday-themed pieces. I'll keep you posted what we are creating this year! 
Of course, whenever the fam visits, we always do a lil crafting. My mom-in-law is very crafty and my mom, well, she's just kinda dragged into all of the glittering and gluing by default. I put 'em to work on my holiday decor last year
One of my favorite things to do, other than stitch up dresses, tree skirts, make ornaments and strong arm my family into crafting, is paint from vintage Christmas images
This cute little wooden house was in my stash forever before I painted it to match the painting seen above. 
Of course, who doesn't love this gal? That big fluffily coat, that smart hat, green eyes and those gloves!

Y'all know I had to go and candy cane that canvas edge, right?!
And my very first painting was a copy from my favorite Christmas book. Love Ruddy! I hope y'all enjoyed this waltz down DIY's of Christmas past. I hope there'll be many many more! 
  photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

DIY: A Pencil-Print Dress with a Peter Pan Collar, Simplicity 1419

Dear friends. I awoke this morning at 3am for some unknown reason (okay, known reason: the cat was hungry. And when the gentle face-pats morphed into to kitty-cat b$tch-slaps, I was awoken {side-eye to cat who could care less because SHE'S currently sleeping}.) After a cup of too-strong coffee and a thirty minute blank stare at the wall, I decided to make something of my morning (er, night? I mean, it was 3am, people. Well, technically, if you are following this story closely enough and decent at math, it was 3:30am. Give or take). I mean, the left sleeve on that dress wasn't going to stitch itself. Which I'd kinda been hoping for having only stitched one sleeve in that dress and leaving it that way for a handful of days. Which y'all were witness to if you follow me here.  
But, whateves. At around 7:23am, this bad boy was complete and I took a nap to celebrate. Because I'm a party animal. 
While I was taking my sewing class at Craft South a couple Thursdays ago, I spotted this fabric by Alexia Marcelle Abegg of Green Bee Design and knew I had to have it. In fact, I do believe the words, "Um-hum, Ima gonna git me some o' dat" came outs my mouth. The draw back to taking a sewing class in a textile shop is that, in-between instructional time, I'm all loading up on yardage, saying things like, "Just put it on my tab, hehe." It's kinda like having a liquor store in a bar. Get the patrons all intoxicated and loopy and then offer 'em a lil sumpin'-sumpin' for when they get home. I see what you've done there, Craft South. I see it...and I like it. 
I decided to marry the fabric to this sweet Simplicity Lisette pattern #1419. I'll admit: the only reason I picked up that pattern was for that sweet lil collar and key hole opening.  
Since I was coming off my high from making yet another dress from this pattern, I decided to experiment in a lil cross-pollenating of Simplicity #1419 with #8087. This is okay in sewing-land, right? Or is this totes looked down upon like when my neighbors stuck a hamster in their bunny crate in hopes that the two would mate and create a new breed. Please say it isn't that bad because my mom wouldn't let me hang out with those kids after that episode. 
If you're curious how one cross-pollenates two dress busts, um, it's super glamorous. I simply finished off the bodice of the Lisette then laid the cropped bodice of the other pattern on top and chopped away. I know all you sewists out there just fell on the floor and are having "but-you-can't-do-that" convulsions but, y'all. That's how this self-taught, not-super-great-at-this-stitching-thing girl operates! 
In other news, Dear Simplicity/Lisette/Whoever-Designed-This-Dress-Pattern: it woulda been real swell of you to tell me what I was to do with that lil button loop thingie whilst adding the collar and the facing. Because both the hubs and I looked at all the pretty pictures and read the wordy-words and never found a mere mention of said loop thingie. Therefore I was left to my own MacGyver-esque sewing devises. Which, if mentioned here, would only throw the sewists into another fit of convulsions. 
 A word about why I am addicted to the waistband of Simplicity #8087: it's slimming as hail! Also, please ignore the giant opening at the top of the dress. I've yet to add a hook and eye. Or velcro. Or tape. Hot glue would work in a pinch, I betcha. 
 A close-up because Peter Pan collarzzz. So cute! 
 When I shared the making of this dress on my Insta-gram Crackerz, a friend was all, "wow, you have a thing for pencils!" and I was like, what?! No I don't! Lemme just check my blog and see how many pencil-y things I've made...oh...snap. I DO have a pencil-problem!
Case in point: My Jeffery Campbell knock-offs
 And this pencil-y appliqu├ęd skirt


These two pencil-themed tops bright to you buy super pale and vein-y hands (like, ew. Why do my hands look like a skinned turkey? WHY?!)
That one time I had, like, two weeks of due to snow and stitched this colored pencil frock
 Or how about that one time I forgot I'm junior-sized in the bust department and made a big ole v-neck pencil-y number
Ugh. And this was just LAST WEEK, wasn't it?! Okay. So. I've got a problem. Just add it to my many, y'all. 
On a dif note, I hope y'all have a super duper fab-o fantastical Thanksgiving! Safe travels, happy dining and I'll chat with you soon. Toodles, turkeys! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Sunday, November 22, 2015

DIY: The Anna Maria Horner Full Circle Skirt

I present to you, along with my super cute circle skirt, the relaxed and happy face that only a week off can bring. That's right, y'all. One whole week of puttin' pie in my pie hole, craftin' it up, spending time with friends -n- fam and shopping. I've been feeling a little sluggish in both art teacherin' land and at home (you are currently in view of the ONLY non-unsightly spot in casa de Cassie) so I'm excited to have this week to relax and recharge. And to find a better means of getting that caffeine pumping in my veins on an average day. Are coffee eye-injections a thing yet? Cuz I'm ready to give it a go. 
While you google that, lemme share with you a sewing class I just completed over at a place that's just about as close to sewing heaven as Ima gonna get: Craft South. Y'all. If you are ever in Nashville-land, make sure you drop by this amazing place. I took a class there this summer and loved it and the instructor, Devon Iott, aka Miss Make
I've had a couple people ask me why I was taking a sewing class because some folk assume I know how to sew. And I kinda do...but I'm self taught which means in my stitching world, there's a whole lotta half-a##-ery. Watching YouTube videos, reading blogs and, in desperate times, even asking the hubs ("Like, you read this! DOES THIS EVEN MAKE SENSE?!") can only get you so far. Taking a class, especially from a teacher that is as good at explaining things as Devon, really makes a huge difference. 

So when I saw that Craft South was offering a two-day circle skirt sewing class with Devon as the instructor, y'all better believe I was all over that like whipped cream on pumpkin pie (in other news, the hubs insists on pronouncing the word pumpkin "punkin'". This kinda makes me wanna throat punch him. In a good way.)
FYI: circle skirt blog posts require a large amount of obnoxious-faced skirt twirling. Sorry not sorry, punkin'z.
For the class, we had to bring our own fabrics so I did a lil digging in my stash and found this awesomeness. I can't recall where I got it and the salvaged edge had no markings. I settled on this print because I thought it would be the best thing for a circle skirt. You've gotta be very aware when picking a print for this kind of skirt because if it's directional, it can look kinda weird when finished. Picking a random print is the best way to go, says me. I did stitch up a circle skirt this summer with a shower curtain which you can see here
The class was a two-parter/6-hour deal. For our first class, we cut out our pattern and all of the pieces. Turns out you need a boat load of fabric for a circle skirt. It even says that on the pattern envelope: Fabric Allotment: BOATLOAD. Thankfully, I had just enough. We also learned how to stitch in a lapped zipper which was 1. Super easy because Devon explained it so well and 2. Super cute! Way better than my zipper-install method which involves Scotch tape. Don't judge, y'all. I told you I'm self-taught and full of half-a##-ery!
During the second session, we created the waistband, attached that and hemmed the skirt. Which, by the way, if you've never hemmed a circle skirt, takes for freakin'-ever. But after that, it was complete! Me and the two other sweet ladies taking the class were so thrilled. We couldn't stop holding our skirts up to our waist and twirling!
In other not-related-to-the-skirt news, I had to cancel my travel plans this week. This sweet little girl had a spooky episode on Friday night that left us afraid to leave her alone. She seems back to normal and better now...but she did have us scared! 
We've had Asha since she was a kitten (her mama gave birth to her on our bed...my side, of course. That was a delightful moment, ahem.) She's 14 now which is hard to believe. She still thinks she's a kitten and so do we. If y'all have pets you know they are family. It's so hard to see them not their normal happy selves!
 I mean...
 Who else is gonna critique my outfit, right?!
Special thanks to Craft South and Devon Iott for the great sewing class, I can't wait for the next one!

I'll be back with y'all next week for my latest stitched dress-terpiece as well as some videos on teaching kiddos how to draw winter animals! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png