Project of the Week

I’ve been a bit brain-dead the past few weeks. It’s performance season in the land of music teachers.  I had my kindergarten performance at the end of March, and then the 3rd grade recorder concert last week. Both went extremely well, but they leave me very drained. I have one more to go at the beginning of May, which is actually only a few weeks away (eek!).

Regardless of my excuses, I did manage one simple project this week. So last year for my birthday, I co-hosted with Neal and we threw a Nerdy Geeky Birthday Party. It was awesome. We went costume hunting at the thrift store and came up with these outfits:

I know, right?

You can’t tell from this picture and my slouched posture but the blouse I’m wearing was actually pretty cute. I mean, who doesn’t love polka dots? The only thing was the length of the sleeves. They created too much poofiness. So after the party was over, I set it aside in my never-ending-pile-of-future-alterations. Finally, Friday I was in the midst of cleaning my dressing room/craft room. I remembered that I needed to do a project of the week and in a flurry of spontaneity I somehow pulled this blouse out and set to work.

I snipped those annoying sleeves:

See how long those suckers are?

Then I added mustard yellow bias tape around the edges. Bias tape has become my new bestie. If you have not discovered the wonders of it, you are missing out.


Looks like a totally different shirt, right? I’m still contemplating putting some bias around the collar too. I didn’t personally model this shirt for you because:

a) I’m still in my pj’s and am not motivated to get dressed. Good thing I have a job where I have to get dressed some days of the week, huh?

b) It’s a bit snug around my love handles. Drat my chunks of love. They will forever be my nemesis. I’m working on this though. I’m trying to made cardio my new bestie. And salads. Sorry, bias tape.

c) I swear I have the shortest torso in the world, but apparently not. It’s a bit short to wear with low slung  jeans. Easily fixed with the right tank underneath. I just need to figure out which color, which requires me getting out of my pj’s. Also, a high-waisted skirt would do the trick. Again, I’d have to get out of my slobovia clothes, as Phil calls them.

But still, it’s super cute and I’m happy with the results. The whole thing took probably about 15 minutes. An easy fix. Now, if only I could tackle more from my to-be-altered pile …



Project of the week

My goal is to do my blog post on Mondays. Let’s pretend it’s last Monday, ok? I definitely was NOT ignoring my goal and playing Skyrim and sipping tea all day while it’s rained/snowed outside.

So my project of the week is actually three different projects. Three very simple ones that were on my list. I also think that doing three in a week is building up my karma for a future week where I’m too busy or uninspired.

Simple project #1:

I saw these cute ballet flats on Free People and thought, “Easy DIY!”. Mine turned out close, but not exact. I need to tweek the ribbons a bit still, but they are still cute!

It was a simple as buying black and nude ribbon (the nude looks a little golden in this pic, but it’s really not) and gluing them on my black ballet flats. I also took the little black bows off the front of the shoes after this pic. I wore them to dinner that night at Zemam’s with Mike and Bri. We have made this delicious Ethiopian and BYOW restaurant a monthly event.

Simple Project #2:

Obviously, I have tons of burlap laying around from my purses. It’s so trendy right now to do all kinds of things with it. My favorites I’ve seen though are these planters, tulip root balls, and cute curtain-ring redo. Another idea I came across was an earring holder. So I decided to do that but when I finished it was too pretty to cover with earrings. Mostly because of the awesome frame (which I already had laying around, neglected). So I brought it into Phil’s simple, modernistic office (imo it’s BARE and needs color!!!), and he agreed it would look nice above the keyboard (the musical kind). He rarely agrees to let me put something in there. So there is hangs. I still want to make one for my earrings, though.

Simple Project #3:

A pretty, matching trash bag for my car. Ok, I know this may not be a simple project for everyone. But since I have a sewing room all set up with all kinds of fabric, thread, bias tape, etc it was simple for me. This fabric is one of my faves that I brought back from Hawaii last year. I followed instructions from this awesome book I found called One Yard Wonders.

Ok that wraps up last week. I’m still working on my big, secret project. I just don’t want to show it off until it all complete and installed. Hint: it has something to do with my garden :) Stay tuned for Monday’s post.

Make-it Fridays. Or Mondays. Whatever.

This name I borrowed from my awesome friend with electric blue hair, Amanda Roberts, owner of Geek Details. She holds weekly gatherings where it’s an open invitation for people to come over and make things. I think they started at Make-it Mondays, and then she switched it to Fridays (scroll down a bit on her page to read about it). Or the other way around. Whatever. I’m contemplating copying this tradition. How fun would it be to weekly get together and make stuff together?! Thoughts?

Moving on. Last Sunday I posted about my goal of doing a weekly project. I’m happy to report that I’ve completed that goal! And, my other goal of blogging about it, obviously. My sweet friend, Keeley, told me she was excited to see what I chose. So here we go! In my ridiculously overstuffed evernote folder of project ideas, I have this tutorial for adding side panels to too-small or armpits-are-yucky shirts. I had a bunch of cheap t-shirts from Forever 21, in various colors. I loved the bright colors, but in their cheapness, they had shrunk. This was all due to the fact that they were $4 each and nothing whatsoever to do with me gaining weight ;) Here they are, all in their wrinkly glory:

(The red one I had already re-fashioned for last year’s Jimmy Eat World Concert. I cut the logo from a too-big shirt that was a too-small shirt for Phil and sewed it onto the currently-fitted-me red shirt.)

Next step, choosing which fabric to use for the side panels. That was a hard decision. I was starting with the bright blue shirt and chose a fabric.

Warning: Kitties like fabric. And cameras.

Then I realized I didn’t want any white fabric bc then that would eventually lead to yucky armpits. So I changed my mind, and I’m glad I did!


This is a knit fabric that I rescued from my mom’s fabric supply. This is legit knit from the 80’s! Love the retro-ness of it! It turned out so cute!

It was perfect for wearing to the farmer’s market last Sunday when the weather, obvious by my shorts, was beautiful! I also kept going and did the teal shirt, and also the black one.

These ones had both shrunk up lengthwise. I didn’t realize that until I had finished the teal one, so I added length to the black one. I might go back one day and do the same for the teal.

So this kept me busy this week whenever I felt like doing something productive. It also gives me a nice addition to my wardrobe for free!

On to this week’s project! Actually, I’ve already completed it, but it was so easy that I don’t think it counts. So I might have two projects to blog about next week. We’ll see …

Muumuu to Woohoo!!

Aloha! This one is for my dad, who lives in Hawaii. This mu’umu’u (actual spelling) was an exciting find at goodwill. Why?

Because of this fun edging!

Plus it had snap buttons and pockets! I put it on for the picture and…it was really quite comfy. I said, “I can see why people wear these.” Phil looked at me like I was crazy. Geez, I was just sayin’.

So I cut it to blouse length and gave a new hem with a decorative stitch. I also had to take this sucker in a TON. So I added a vertical seam in the back that took out inches upon inches of fabric. Then I cinched the sleeves. The sleeves were the hardest to figure out what to do with because I loved the lace on the edges. But I think it worked.


So now I could rock this someplace other than just Hawaii. I wore it out to Zachary’s on Tuesday night. A gimonstrous pizza and 2 raspberry framboises (from tap!) later… the blouse was still accomplishing it’s purpose as a roomy muumuu. Even homer agrees!

Ditches to Stitches

I have to say this name is in the running. Thanks Rosa! So last week I took this article of clothing that was DEFINITELY a “ditches”…

circa 1991?

My mom denies ever having owned this, let alone made it, but I know the truth. I retrieved this bad boy years ago from her bin of scrap fabrics, to use as, well, scrap fabric. I mean, what else could it be used for? Phil actually shuddered when I walked out in it. And when  I asked for a picture, he vehemently protested the documentation of me in such a garment. Of course he had no idea the master plan buzzing around in my (scary) brain!

But with a few stitches (ok, and some snippity snips)….

circa 2010!

Now I know you boys out there (do any boys read this, other than Phil?) are scratching your head and trying to figure out how this is any better. Phil did. But, women, we know the truth. I mean, how cute are these little rompers that are out there floating around? And I didn’t have to spend a penny on mine.

Linen Napkins

I used to wonder, “Why bother with linen napkins?”. But my recent quests to leave less of an impact on the earth has given me some ideas. There are many great reasons for using linen napkins, but one frivolous reason is simply to add a touch of elegance.  And therefore…I have some available from

Pack of 4, in "River", $12
Pack of 4, in "Groovy", $12

Newest Merchandise

Not just purses anymore, folks! There is now a “linens” category.  Here are some pics that are ok for posting on here, but def not worthy to put on my store site (when it is up and running). But that’ll do, pig. That’ll do.

close up

Also, just a reminder that name suggestions are still needed!

Name Suggestions Needed!

This summer there was a different twist to my activities – sewing! I pulled my BEAUTIFUL machine (husquavarna viking) out from the closet and set up shop. I was pretty ADD at first with it, jumping from one project to the next, barely finishing each one. But finally I settled on these purses!

And now it’s time to open up shop.  We’ve purchased, and Phil has designed this label for me:

So here is where you come in – I need help with the sub name. I.e: jennycain threads.  But that’s too generic, too blah for me. I need something that pops! As of now, the things I will be selling include things I hand-make, mostly by sewing. Items soon to come will be a duvet cover, linen napkins, place mats, curtains, etc. I hunt for vintage or recycled materials (like old sweaters and coffee sacks!).

So please leave a suggestion! And if I like your idea and decide to use it, you’ll win one of my purses! If you’re a guy, well you can give it to your gf (bonus points) or I can make you a bow tie suited to your tastes.

Good luck!