Making a Midi: Lessons Learned

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Tomorrow, I begin my senior year of college. Today, I’m sitting here wondering where on earth all that time went! God has blessed me with so many growing opportunities throughout the last three years, and as fun as it’s been, I’m so excited to be that much closer to graduating and being a nurse.

But before that begins, I needed a sewing break.

I’ve been wanting to put together a midi skirt for a while, and it took me a while to not be intimidated by working with a non-jersey fabric. My grandma bought me this amazing piece before I started my summer semester, and when I finished, it was a great opportunity to slow down and exercise some good ol’ fashioned treat yo’self.

Box pleats and invisible zippers can be a little intimidating for any novice sewer (I still need to work on zippers. A lot.), this tutorial is really clear cut and made it much simpler for me to test the waters. Here are a few things I need to remember for next time…

  1. Box pleats require buying at least two yards of fabric, especially for wider pleats
  2. You can never go wrong with investing in an invisible zipper foot
  3. READ THE INVISIBLE ZIPPER INSTRUCTIONS.
  4. Don’t cut said invisible zipper. Not even that “unnecessary extra lining” at the top.
  5. Make sure both sides of the fabric line up before installing the zipper.

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Practice makes perfect, and I’m excited to give things another go in a later project. I’m also looking forward to crafting and creating more often once I’m done with school in less than 9 months!

Did I really just say that? There’s light at the end of the tunnel, y’all!! Cheers to senior year!

Thanks for learning with me!! 🙂

-Jessica

Swanky Shift Dress

Happy New Year, Sizzlers!! I hope it’s started in a blessed way for all of you. Before the craziness of the semester starts, I decided to treat myself to one last big project with my sewing machine.

I’ve been wanting to create a shift dress for a while now, because they’re so cute, so versatile, and SO comfortable! The problem is that when it comes to clothes, I can be so picky. A lot of the shift dresses I’ve tried on made it look like I was wearing a bag- and however fashionable, I prefer to stay away from wearing those.

One of my favorite bloggers posted this tutorial  on creating her own shift dress, which was perfect for taking the guesswork out of things! I followed the tutorial exactly, and changed up just a few things to fit my novice-level knowledge and equipment. Without further ado, here are some tips and tricks for whipping up your own.

DIY

-When choosing materials, take into consideration how tight fitting and stretchy you want to be. I chose a ponte knit fabric because I wanted the material to be a little thicker, but I forfeited some stretch with that choice.

-I always wash my panels of jersey fabric before I sew with them; this shrinks the fabric. The original fabric suggestion was 2 yards. Now, I wanted my dress to be about mid-thigh, which worked perfectly, but if you want a longer dress, then buy more fabric accordingly.

-When I was tracing the tank top onto my fabric to create the pattern, I followed the shape of the tank top a little bit past the armholes. This will give it a bit of a closer fit around the chest.

-This was my first time trying sleeves, and I’m really happy with how they turned out! I switched the directions up a bit for my own peace of mind. I sewed the front and back of the dress together at the shoulders, and then opened the panels and laid it out on the fabric to trace the tops of the sleeves. This way, I could see that the pieces would match.

-I sewed all the panels together with a 1/2 in seam allowance and a zigzag stitch. This gives the fabric a bit of added stretch.

-In the original tutorial, she recommends using a double needle to hem with, and a blind stitch at the bottom of the dress. Being without a double needle, I set my machine to a regular single stitch as WIDE as it would go, and used that to hem everything. Depending on how tight you make your sleeves, this method does increase the chance of the stitches ripping, but if you give your arms some breathing room, it should be just fine. The bottom of the dress I did the same way for consistency throughout.

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Overall, I’m so happy with the results! This dress is fun and just swingy enough to be worn two-stepping without a risk for any Marilyn moments. It also pairs perfectly with fleece-lined leggings in the winter. I just bought my first pair this week and I’ve done myself a great disservice by just now coming to own them. If you don’t have any, RUN to your nearest clothing retailer and buy some in every color! They’re life-altering!

I hope these tips help. If you have any questions, let me know!! If you attempt your own swing dress, send me pictures because I’d love to see your own results and learn right along with you!

 

Happy Crafting and many blessings!

~Jess

A Quilted Vest

 

Consistency is a difficult thing in the life of a student. I apologize for my recent lack of posts, guys! Over the summer, I was offered a spot at Texas State’s nursing school, which was quite different from what I had planned in one of my last posts. Even though nursing school is single-handedly the most difficult and time consuming thing I have ever done, God is so good to me for opening those doors and giving me this chance to fulfill my dream!!

Between papers and exams and everything else, it’s been hard for me to sit down and have a real craft session of any kind. But, now that I have a bit of a break, I decided that it’s high time I learned some new things. This quilted vest was inspired by my J. Crew obsession and meager bank account. I mean, who really needs J. Crew when you have a sewing machine anyway?

This project was full of many firsts for me. First time creating a pattern, first time sewing princess seams, first time making clothing that wasn’t out of jersey fabric, first time with a zipper.. the list goes on, but I’m super happy with the results and will definitely be experimenting in these areas more! But enough talk. without further ado, let’s get to stitching…

CASTLE

YOU WILL NEED:

  • Pattern
  • Pre-quilted fabric (or quilt your own)
  • Flannel (OPTIONAL. I added it as lining for extra warmth)
  • Matching thread
  • Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape for piping
  • Zipper

DIRECTIONS:

1. Create your pattern. I had a lot of luck following the basic directions on this tutorial from Sweet Verbena. Because my vest had princess seams, I traced each individual piece! If you’re not gutsy enough to create your own, use Simplicity pattern 1499 and you’ll get the same results.

2. With your lining laid over the quilted fabric, cut out your pieces and pin them together. Try this on and adjust the pins accordingly.

3. Stitch the vest together, and zigzag or serge the raw edges,

4. Cut out your collar. I cut out a big rectangle, folded it in half, then serged it together right-side out. Pin it to the neckline, sew, and zigzag or serge the raw edge. Take a length of bias tape and sew it over the seam to cover it when your collar is folded down.

5. Fold your bias tape around the edges of the vest and the armholes. Pin and sew with a straight stitch.

6. If you want to add pockets like I did, cut out your desired shape. I traced a Blu-Ray DVD case and trimmed them down from there. Add the bias tape, and sew!

7. Attach your zipper, and you’re done!!

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For a third of the cost, that’s a pretty good looking vest.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks for reading, sizzlers!!

 

Much Love,

Jessica

Jewelry Box Revamp

School is finally coming to a close! This means I’m two years done with college, and when I re-read that, I can’t help but wonder where in the heck time went. With the school year wrapping up and my hardest exams behind me,  I found a bit of time to craft this Mother’s Day weekend!

As you may have seen in my Room Reveal for this last year, I had my jewelry hanging up in my closet on a pretty blue board. While I did love it, I noticed that my jewelry was tarnishing much more quickly than it had been in the past because of its exposure to the air. Since the goal for this coming year when I move into my first apartment *insert mega happy dance* is to minimize the amount of things on my walls, when I found an old, unused jewelry box in my mom’s closet,

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I was ecstatic.. though not so much about the appearance of the inside and the lack of storage space for bracelets and rings. Sizzlers, I had a little bit of work to do.

THE UGLY

YOU WILL NEED:

-A jewelry box, preferably vintage

-Fabric to cover any ugly inside panels

-ribbon (mine was courtesy of Tiffany & Co. because I don’t waste satin ribbon, especially if it ties up a pretty blue box)

-hot glue gun

-lighter

1. Once you’ve cut your fabric to fit, you can either hem the edges, or be really daring like me and burn them for a more vintag-ey vibe. CAREFULLY hold the heat against the edge. If it’s satin, it will melt nicely. If it’s cotton, it will catch on fire. Don’t panic, just blow the flame out. Probably don’t tell your parents if you use this method.

2. Hot glue the fabric to the panel.

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3. Cut desired lengths of ribbon and hem or burn the edges to prevent fraying. Fold in half, and hot glue along your fold. Then stick in desired spots.

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4. Once all ribbons are glued, loop bracelets/rings etc. onto them and tie tightly to the lid of the box!

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5. Place remaining jewelry inside and enjoy your new creation.

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Yay! I’m super excited to have a practical place to store my starting big-girl jewelry collection. I hope you found some inspiration here, and let me know if you decide to try your own take on this! 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!! I hope you’re spoiling your moms silly. Lord knows they deserve it!

Sincerely,

Jessica

The 5-Minute Duct Tape Key Fob

Fob.

It’s such a funny little word, isn’t it? I was in dire need of some kind of a keychain that wasn’t my Texas State lanyard (which I have loved to the point of rags). A bunch of my sorority sisters had gotten shorter lanyards for their keychains, and they were so cute! I decided I wanted a bracelet-looking keychain and began some pinterest research. The search bar didn’t like “bracelet keychain” very much, but when I saw the word “fob” and typed it in, they popped up everywhere. Whoda thunk it?

When I found out I would need to order supplies to make it, I had to take matters into my own hands. The following is what resulted.

5 Monute

YOU WILL NEED:

– Normal Duct tape (any pattern, texture, color, whatever)

– 1″ duct tape

-scissors

-keyring

1. Cut a strip of regular width duct tape that will wrap loosely around your wrist with a little bit of folding room. Mine was 12″.

IMG_32292. Fold the duct tape into thirds, carefully. It’s duct tape…so it’s sticky. And it will tear itself apart..which I totally didn’t have issues with. So I didn’t have to repeat this step 3 times.

Just kidding. Third time is TOTALLY the charm.

Just kidding. Third time is TOTALLY the charm.

3. Make a loop by folding the duct tape in half…

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4. …and fold the tips around your keyring.

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5. Taking your 1″ duct tape, wrap around the edges a few times to keep it in tact.

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Snip the end and finito!!

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I I love that it’s no-stitches-required. Don’t get me wrong- we all know about my love affair with my sewing machine, but this was just so much fun! If you try one out, post a picture in the comments!! 🙂

Much love, Sizzlers!

Jessica

Makeover Monday: Glassware

This was a long, crafty weekend for me! The only thing that stinks is most of the stuff that I made is currently packed for the move back to San Marcos (WHICH IS IN 4 DAYS!), and so I can’t get pretty pictures of it all until I’m moved in :/

However, I did wanna share with y’all the wineglass and tumbler I made for Kaitlyn! She turned 21 last week, and of course that called for monogram glassware she can use on our trips back home.

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I won’t drag out the tutorial. All you have to do is doodle with some paint pens on whatever glassware you want and bake them to set the paint.

Set the glasses in a cold oven, and preheat the oven to 350. Once it has preheated, let the glasses sit for 30 minutes. Then, turn the oven off, and let them cool down in the oven. Pulling them out immediately could cause the glass to break!

As always, if you have any questions, leave me a comment! I’d love to see what designs you come up with if you try this out!

Sincerely,

Jessica

5 Uses for Coconut Oil

Happy Hump Day, friends!!

I’m taking a few moments today to share with you a miracle product that I have discovered within the last few months-Coconut Oil! It’s been life-changing in an I-can-afford-it-and-it-does-everything kind of way. Like, literally, everything. I don’t use near to the extent that I could. But today, I’m coming at you with 5 ways I use it and have really benefitted from! 🙂

Without further ado…

Coconut Oil

 

1. Oil Pulling- Let me tell you a secret: I HATE flossing my teeth. So, this little trick has helped my gums feel so much healthier. It’s basically using coconut oil as mouthwash. The health benefits are fantastic! Not only does it kill and clean bad mouth bacteria, but, like I mentioned up top, it is great for gum health. Another benefit that I’ve noticed is whiter teeth! I don’t know if it’s just me, but since I started swishing I definitely noticed that my teeth look nicer. On that note, DON’T swallow it. You’re cleaning out your mouth- you don’t wanna swallow all the bacteria you just gathered! I prefer to do my oil pulling in the shower, before I brush my teeth.

DIRECTIONS: Swish for 15-20 minutes a day, but I normally just swish for the duration of my shower. Use about two teaspoons, or whatever amount feels comfortable for you! I encourage you to experiment with it and try to keep on it as much as possible.

 

2. As a Facewash- I know. You read that and went, “Jessica, are you crazy? I’m not gonna wash my face with OIL!” But let me explain a few things. I felt the same way, but I gave the Oil Cleansing Method (or OCM) a try nonetheless. I was already breaking out a bunch- what harm could this possibly do? And it was literally the best thing I could have done for my face. My acne has cleared up considerably. It hydrates my eyes, so those awful under-eye I’m-an-OL-running-on-four-hours-of-sleep bags are nearly invisible. My skin is super soft! AND I’m saving money by not having to buy a facewash OR moisturizer! WHAAT?! The concept is like-dissolves-like, such as in chemistry. So, you’re using good oil to dissolve bad oils and other dirt. It’s a great makeup remover, too. (BAM. I just saved you like $15 there as well.)

DIRECTIONS: Gather about a tablespoon of oil, and rub it between your hands until it is no longer solidified. Then, massage into your face for about 1-2 minutes. I like to do this in the shower so that my pores are very open and the oil can penetrate deeper dirt.

***Side note: Much like makeup products, coconut oil will not benefit every skin type. This article is great for choosing the right oil for your skin type.

 

3. As a Deep Conditioner- One of the girls on the orientation staff has great, wavy hair. Like, the waves that are super hydrated and shiny all the time that people see in magazines and lust over. I had to ask her how she did it, and coconut oil is her big secret!

DIRECTIONS: To keep hair super moisturized, scoop up some coconut oil and run it through hair, then pull back and let sit for 30 minutes minimally, sometimes all day long!

 

4. As a Body Lotion- I personally have pretty dry skin (except for my face, which is why the OCM works for me). If you’re looking for a lotion that is SUPER inexpensive, and SUPER moisturizing, coconut oil is seriously the way to go!! It leaves me feeling super supple, and my skin doesn’t need lotion until after I shower THE NEXT DAY. It’s a miracle-worker, y’all!

DIRECTIONS: Use it after a shower before bedtime to give it a chance to really sink into the skin.

 

5. As a Supplement- A tablespoon of coconut oil a day has chains of good fat that the body can break down easily and use as a readily available energy source.

DIRECTIONS: Take a tablespoon a day! My favorite ways include dipping some M&Ms in it for a sweet snack (it tastes EXACTLY like an Almond Joy!)  or smearing it on a slice of homemade whole-wheat zucchini bread. SO GOOD!!

 

Let me know if you try any of these, and how they work for you!! What ways do YOU like using coconut oil?

 

Later, Sizzlers!

Jessica