April 29, 2012

Spring Living Room

I'm working slowly to bring some spring into our living room.  I like to change things up with the seasons, apparently.

When we first moved in I changed the style of our photo collage in the living room.  I painted the frames white and I love how it flows with the matte in each frame.  Each January I sort through pictures from the previous year and add a new set.  Cheap thrill.

I also changed the layout of the photos.  In the last house you can see the collage here.  This time I used this inspiration from Martha Stewart.  Love that Martha.

I decided some spring pillows were in order.  The ones from the last house just did not match anymore.  We used them last summer after we had just moved in because it was all we had and they made my eyes twitch.  Too much.

The striped pillows are just scraps of home decor fabric I had on hand.  I pieced them together and came up with the stripes.

The blue came from a lovely linen fabric that Hobby Lobby has in their home decor section.  I couldn't take my eyes off the color.  I love it!  

I added some flower detail using the freezer paper painting method.  You know, my go-to method for just about everything!  The piecing took awhile to put together, but I think it was totally worth it.  The design came from this inspiration - found on Pinterest, of course.

Here it is in better light.  I made two of each pillow.

And, here's the look of our living room currently. 

Still a work in progress, but definitely a step up from when we bought it 9 months ago.  This was a picture from the realtor's site and is the only "before" picture I have on this computer.

April 28, 2012

Spring Tops

I've been busy sewing a few tops for myself in these last few weeks.

There is a reason, you see, I'm carrying a sweet little surprise in my tummy (yay!) and wasn't ready to announce it publicly until two weeks ago.  So, some spring tops that hide a growing middle section were in order.

I started with Made By Rae's Spring Ruffle Top tutorial and I made a few modifications to it.  This gal made some perfect changes - eliminating the ruffle sleeves, minimizing some of the pleats and reducing some of the flare.  So, I followed her lead and made the same modifications.  I also ran across this picture on Pinterest and loved the style so much!  So, for this first top I just have one giant pleat in the middle.

Can you see it?  It's a little hard to notice with the pattern.  I may try this version again in a plain fabric.  I love the style - it's conservative in the top and hides a belly (whether pregnant or not!).  Plus, tank tops are a must around here in the summer time.  So, I'll try again with linen, I think.

Anyway, here's another version too.
This time I added just as many pleats as Rae suggests in her tutorial in the front.  I did eliminate the pleats from the back, though.

This fabric was on sale at Joanns  few years ago and I was so drawn to it.  I'm glad I picked it up because the color works well for me, I think.  Plus, it's a lovely voile type fabric that drapes so well.  I wish I had more! 

Here's the style of the top without the cardigan. 
I asked Jesse to take these photos of me outside.  Ha!  That poor man puts up with so much.  I did four outfit changes during that session so I could show these tops off.  It's not like he did it with a good attitude though, so I won't give him too much credit.

This little top I found on Pinterest.  What a great find!  Here's the tutorial over at Make It And Love It.
This one has become a quick favorite.  I found this nice coral/red interlock knit at Joanns and it's just perfect.  I love the stretchiness, the weight - fabulous.  This shirt came together in about an hour.  I very much recommend this tutorial if you need a quick addition to your closet.
Last, but not least, is a Circle Top.  I think I came across this tutorial over at Sweet Lemonayde when I was googling for spring top tutorials a month or two ago.

This one is like a circle skirt made into a top.  It requires only three seams total!  Very simple, and again, not a bad addition to the closet for a very small amount of fabric and time.
I'll probably do this one again, but I'll make the sleeves much longer - maybe long enough to hit the elbow.  It doesn't feel short when I'm wearing it, but after looking at this picture it's bugging me a little.

I submitted the coral dolman and the brown circle top into Made By Rae's Spring Top Sewalong - of course I added them at the last minute on the very last day!  It's my first bloggy sewalong contribution.  It was fun to enter and be apart of the group.  Over 400 people submitted tops this year.  If you need some inspiration for spring or summer tops the Flickr group is chock full of great ideas.

By the way, the pregnancy is going well.  We got to hear the heartbeat about two weeks ago and are anticipating the arrival of our new little one in October.  We're so grateful and excited!

April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

We had a great Easter weekend.  On Friday we attended a Good Friday service.  That's the best way to start the weekend, I think.  It's a good reminder of what we're celebrating on Sunday ... in fact it gives me a chance to soak in the reality of what happened on Friday 2000 years ago and allows me time to anticipate the celebration of Sunday.

On Saturday we attended our neighborhood Easter egg hunt.  There were so many kids!  It was fun to see my son wandering about, picking up eggs and throwing them shortly after.  I love this stage where he is participating, but has no idea what's going on.

On Sunday I dressed this little boy up and we went to church.  I love Easter.  A little while ago I decided he needed a red tie to match his shoes, but of course I didn't make that happen until late on Saturday night.

Luckily I found a tutorial almost a year ago while I was searching for bow ties and ties to make for Jude last summer.  I found some scrap fabric and whipped up this little number.  It came together really quickly.  I highly recommend the tutorial.

On Sunday afternoon we did another Easter egg hunt at Grandma & Papa's house.  Again, Jude wandered around.  It was fun. 

He did end up finding a few eggs with Dad's help.  He was rather proud of himself!

April 2, 2012

Bibs for a Baby

While visiting Seattle we had a baby shower for my sister, Emily.  She's having a baby boy in June.  We can't wait to meet him!

The funny thing about Emily and me is that we both lived in Denver, Colorado after graduating from college, and while living there we both met and married men from Iowa.  What are the odds of that happening?  Em still lives in Colorado and I have since moved to Iowa.

Both of our husbands are big Iowa fans.  Em's brother-in-law played football there.  So, it only seemed right to make a little bib to show off our shared Iowa connection.

I cut the Iowa hawkeye out of black felt and sewed it onto the yellow fabric prior to sewing the bib together.  Is that bib crooked?  Huh.  I'll have to look closely at my pattern again.  Seems like one side is far more curved than the other.  I think originally those sides were parallel.  Maybe I've cut out the pattern one too many times.

These bibs are my go-to with Jude, so I figured I would make a couple.  I originally made the pattern a few years ago.  At the time I got some advice from a friend about the amount of coverage, the snap vs. velcro, and the side snap vs. the back.  Turns out she was right.  Now that I'm a momma I reach for these bibs first. 

There might still be a few more going Em's way.  I've found that 5 is just about right.

 Here she is on the day of the party.  Happy, happy.