Friday, July 30, 2010

Field Trip Friday with The French Curve! {Tank Dress Tutorial}

The Tank Dress Tutorial!

Why would you buy a pre-made tank dress from Walmart or Forever21 which will be see through, very low cut and probably too short when you can easily custom make your own? Hi I'm Amber from The French Curve and I was so excited when Jacquilyn asked me to do a blog swap with her, I couldn't resist. What you'll need:
-A tank top that fits you, whether it be old or new, doesn't matter!
-1 yard of coordinating fabric, I prefer a good quality cotton by Moda
-coordinating thread
- sewing machine
Shall we get started?-Put your tank top on and find where it hits the narrowest of your waistline
mark that spot.
-Cut your tank top 1inch longer for seam allowance.

-measure your waistline and choose your length
-Cut your fabric to be 2x your waistline, so I am a 31 so I ended up with two pieces each 31" wide.

Now we're going to sew the skirt together
-place your fabric face to face, as shown.

-iron, pin your sides together, and sew.

this will give you a rather large skirt and to gather it without making it bulky, lets add pleating. This is achieved by simply folding your fabric over it's self. I wouldn't fold more than 2" over and then pin it in place. Create your pleats till your waistline of your skirt is at the necessary width. you want to leave a little wiggle room so it's easy to get into, so I would leave it 2 inches bigger than your waist.
-Next you'll want to iron and then baste your pleats. Basting is accomplished by doing just a straight stitch at the longest stitch length at the very top of your pleats. This will keep your pleats in place without wasting a lot of thread doing so.

now that you have the waistline finished it's time to attach it to your tank top. flip your skirt inside out so the wrong side of the skirt is facing you. pin the right side of your fabric to the right side of your tank, following the line you marked when you measured your tank top.

feel free to stretch your tank top to match up with your skirt, that's the great thing about a knit.
-using a straight stitch attach your skirt to your tank. I gave myself a 1/4 of an inch from the edge. When doing your straight stitch make sure you lock the beginning and end of your stitch by using the reverse.

-Now flip your dress right side out and take a gander. If it looks like it's kind of bunching at the waistline which it'll most likely do because of the weight of your fabric. Iron the waist nice and flat and then do what is called a Top stitch. This is done by simply finding your little ditch (where the fabric meets your tank) and sewing in that. This will make your skirt lay flat.
-Finish up by hemming the bottom, I just did a simple straight stitch and then a did a pin-tuck.
a pin-tuck is an easy way to add detail to your hem.

-simply fold your fabric over to the desired length of the pin tuck, I did about an inch and then sew an inch from the the edge of your fold.
Iron it flat and voila, easy as pie!

You now have an adorable dress which looks great with a thick belt, wearable in any weather. For winter you could even pair it with some leggings and a cardigan, Adorable! and it's as comfy as can possibly be.
Thank you so much and I hope you enjoyed the Tutorial, and feel free to come visit me at The French Curve.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Pleated Poppy Review & GIVEAWAY!!!

I have to tell you I was so thrilled when Lindsey contacted me about doing a review for her Pleated Poppy Etsy Store! I have followed her awesome blog for a while and love pretty much everything she makes/sells! 
I was so excited to receive my Posey Pins and Petal Pusher I could hardly stand it! 

I just love how the grey and yellow Posey Pins look like they were made for my Downeast tote!

And the Men's Stripe Petal Pusher literally goes with everything I love it!

Now it's your chance to steal up some awesome 
Pleated Poppy goodness! 

All you have to do is check out The Pleated Poppy Etsy Shop and leave a comment here with you're favorite item and you'll be entered to win a $25.00 gift certificate!!! 

Easy Peasy right? Right!! (One comment per person please!)

Winner will be selected via Random Generator Tuesday August 3rd & Announced here at Aly&Ash Wednesday August 4th! 
Good Luck!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

DoChara Photography Update: Autrey Landan {Newborn}

If you haven't been over to DoChara Photography to see my super sweet pictures of baby Autrey you need to head over there NOW! So squishy and precious, how can you resist! 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sew Much Ado - Ruby Lou Doll Pattern GIVEAWAY!!!

Hey everyone, I'm Abby from Sew Much Ado and am so happy to be taking over Jax's blog today!  Even more, I am super excited to be giving away a Ruby Lou Doll PDF pattern to one of you!  I love sharing sewing tutorials and sewing tips at Sew Much Ado, and even get adventurous enough to put my sewing machine away and craft once in a while.
The Ruby Lou Doll is fun for little girls of all ages (okay, and some big girls of all ages too), and is a great sewing project for the beginner to intermediate sewer.  I've had lots of fun making WAY too many dolls myself... too bad I have two sons and no daughters :).  The pattern includes full color photographs that guide you through each step along the way, and has full size pattern pieces that do not require any enlarging or taping together.
To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post (you could make it something nice about Jax, I'm sure she'd love that)!  The giveaway ends at midnight on Thursday, July 29th, and Jax will announce the winner shortly after that.  Oh, and the winner will be chosen randomly, of course :).
Thanks for letting me step into your blog today, Jax!  I hope you all come visit me over at Sew Much Ado sometime!  Good luck on winning :).

Friday, July 16, 2010

Field Trip Friday with A Little Lovely!

hello aly & ash readers!! i'm so exited to be here today. i am the crafter behind a little lovely, a blog all about interior design, crafting, diy projects, yummy recipes, etc. just wanted to show you a couple things you'll find over at a little lovely, hope you'll come by for a while :)

reupholstered chair

glass tile tutorial

painting crisp lines tutorial

topiary tutorial

little boy bow ties

ampersand throw pillow

flower wreath

flower arrangements

jersey knit flower tutorial

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'll Be Blogging Next to the Moose Eh!

So the day has come bloggy friends! Ash and I are all packed up and are headed to my home of Canada for the summer! We'll be gone for a whole month...but don't fret! I'll still be blogging up some crafty goodness for ya! And of course I'll share pictures of our trip along the way! 

Some things to look forward to are: 

Awesome Field Trip Fridays with A Little Lovely, Scraps N' Strings and The French Curve

A fantastic giveaway from The Pleated Poppy

Super cute Wordless Wednesdays...featuring Ash of course!

Some great new tutorials and my mom teaching me how to sew & crochet...that might be comical!

And a detailed "how to" guide to having a Best Friends Getaway in your very own Home Town!


There is a warning may experience severe jealousy & envy as you see the gorgeous Canadian coast though my pictures!  Hey, they don't call it Beautiful British Columbia for nothing! 
***This may be exceptionally dangerous for fellow Arizona friends & bloggy buddies!***

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Yum Yum!

If you missed my post yesterday be sure to scroll down or click here! It will explain everything!!
Thanks again Kristan!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Different Kind of Swap w/ Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen!

It all started with a tweet! Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen {@bakescupcakes} tweeted one night that she wanted Pie. I replied, "I want pie too, maybe you should make me one!" Y'know Kristan being the super amazing baker and all! Her reply...Let's do a swap! 
So the rules of our swap were this:
We'd ship each something. She'd send baking and I'd send something crafty! It had to be a surprise and we'd blog about it when we got it! Fun right!

So Friday evening just when I thought I'd have to wait till Saturday for my parcel it arrived!
I was so excited I couldn't wait to rip into it!

How fricken cute! Look at these individually wrapped little beauties

I was so excited! Not only did she make the most adorable little cupcake cookies but she made cookies resembling the Bandanna Shirt I made Asher recently! Simply Amazing!

And yes...that is edible Glitter!

I still can't believe she made cookies to match one of my shirts!

The detail on the bandanna's is just so cool!

And not only did Kristan send me these goodies to eat but she also sent over the recipe so I could share with all my fabulous readers! Yeah she's pretty cool like that!
So thanks again Kristan! I had so much fun doing our swap! 
Too see what I sent Kristan check out her blog: Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
And come back tomorrow for the cutest Wordless Wednesday you've ever seen involving one said Bandanna Cookie!!! 
You don't want to miss it!


Sugar Cookies: from the book Cookie Sensations

4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water

Mix together and set aside the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a large bowl with an electric mixer or in the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed. Beat in the eggs. Add the flour mixture and blend on low speed. Add the vanilla extract and blend. Add the water if the dough feels dry.

Knead the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Remove dough, break it off in thirds, and knead until it is pliable and easy to handle. Roll on a floured surface to about a quarter inch thickness and cut with a cookie cutter.

Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at 375 for about 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

(This recipe is so easy and the ingredients are so basic, but it is my absolute favorite for rolled sugar cookies. The cookies always keep their shape and taste great!)

Icing (From the blog Bake At 350)

4 TBSP meringue powder
scant 1/2 c. water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp light corn syrup (optional)
few drops clear extract (optional)

Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy.

Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. (Corn syrup helps keep the icing shiny and extract will give it flavor)

Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form.

Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.


Bake at 350 also has excellent tutorials on outlining your cookies and filling them in with thinned icing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Guest Post from Keeping It Simple!

Hello everyone! I am super excited to be here with you today!! Jax is such a fun, crafty and talented gal!
Let me introduce myself, I'm Kaysi

Keeping It Simple
Here are a few things about me:
I am the mother of three boys, ages 5, 3 and 1
I have been married to an amazing man for 6 years
I love chocolate!!
I love color, green is my favorite but brown and blue are up there
I like to keep things simple, not overdo them
When I get a spare moment, I love to craft or look at crafts
Each day of the week, I have something different.
Motivate me Monday, that's where I have link party and you get to show me all the cute things that you have done.
Tutorial Tuesday, I give a tutorial of a craft that I have done
Whatever Wednesday, this is my day that I put anything up.
Scrapbook Thursday, this is the day that I post a scrapbook idea or give a scrapbook tip
Fridays are the days that I do Blog swaps with other bloggers.
Here are a few things that you can see at my blog:

Thanks Jax for doing this swap with me, it's been fun!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ok Ladies...I Need You're Help!

Ash and I are headed to my parents in Canada for an entire month leaving the hubs to fend for himself! 

The main problem...


So I need some help with meals I can cook ahead of time, portion out and freeze. If he can pull it out of the freezer, defrost and warm it in the microwave there is a chance I wont come home to this...

I have Chili and Beef Stew on the list...and that's where it ends! 

So if you know a great freeze now-heat
later meal PRETTY PLEASE leave a
comment & help me out...
I leave Thursday!

Thank You!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

You've Gotta See This Saturday

Ok so I know Ash is too young for both of these ideas, but you better believe I'm filing them away in my MUST DO list for when he's a bit older! I can't tell you how excited I am for these so I just had to share with all of you! 

shows us how they are keeping cool and entertained during the hot summer days! 

Check out her post: This is how we roll...

For details, more fantastic pictures and the most adorable little heart warming video you've ever seen!
Warning it will remind you of your carefree childhood days and you might tear up a little...or maybe that was just me! ;)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Field Trip Friday with Get Craftin!

Hello everyone, 
I'm the chick behind Get Craftin!

I'm extremely excited to be guest posting here today!

My name is Ana Paula, but you can call me whatever creative nickname you come up with. 

Trust me there's a lot, but  i won't humiliate myself today. 
I'm a newlywed of 10 months now.
I don't know how long you still call yourselves newlyweds? 
But we still feel like newlyweds.
Some of my interests includes photography...
I want to some day be a pro, but for now i just do it for fun without a great camera.

Interior Decorating is another passion. Although i live in a very square feet limited space, i love to decorate a home to make it feel homy. My style is complicated, it's a modern with vintage, eclectic and comfortable. I told you it was complicated!

Here's my latest furniture revamp.
You can find the tutorial HERE!

I also love love fashion. Every Wednesday i do a post called "What I Wear" I try to photograph my outfits throughout the week then i hear what you all have to say about it.
I'm the thriftiest thriftier out there, and i love to share my finds that i incorporate in my outfits.

The necklace is another piece i made.

Jewelry is some of my favorite crafts, why? because i love anything feminine. I'm defiantly a girly girl. I love turning old pieces of jewelry to something new and interesting.
Check out the tutorial HERE!

(No that's not me, i know you were thinking it, but it's my gorgeous sis)

As if i haven't blahbed enough i'm going to show you a quick and easy tutorial for a fabulous piece of art. In the past i have done a tutorial for button art, 
Here's the old tutorial. 
Today i'm going to revive it from the past with a new twist to it.
In the past post i created a Monogram S, for our last name.

Now i revived the tutorial to make a fabulous damask shape to go with my monogram S.

Here's how YOU can create this easy peezy piece of art.

I scored  used canvas at the thrift store for only a buck each, i was so happy because those can be a little pricy sometimes. If you don't have canvas you can use an old wood picture frame without the glass and back. 

       So here's what you'll need:

  • Canvas or your frames

  • Your choice of Fabric

  • Hot glue or staple gun

  • and buttons... lots and lots of buttons

  • and either ink to stain the edges or paint

  • 1st: I started out by removing the canvas of the wood frame, I just used a kitchen knife to remove the staples. Probably not so safe, just use whatever you feel comfortable using to remove those staples. Or rip the canvas right off the wood frame, leaving the staples behind because it won't show anyways.

    2nd: When you have your wood frame all alone. Move on to your fabric. Measure it out so it covers your wood frame. Cut it out, and iron it down so there's no wrinkles.
    Hint that you often see here on Meet Virginia, at thrift stores look for patterns on sheets that you love, because you get a lot of fabric for barely any money. That's what i did here, i had this ripped sheet so i put it to good use.

    3rd: You either hot glue or staple your fabric unto your wood frame. Pull on it tightly so you get a smooth surface. Fold the edges down as if you were wrapping a present then staple or hot glue it down.
    4th: I then sketched with a pencil my S and my damask pattern free handed. You could easily print off a shape from your computer, cut it out and follow the stencil if you don't like the free handed deal.

    5th: I then set out all the buttons on my stencil to a way i liked the layout, then using hot glue, i attached all the buttons following my sketch. I clipped off with some jewelry pliers the backs of all the buttons.

    Last: When they were all glued on, i used some dark paint

    to run over the buttons and the edge of the canvas. 
    My buttons were really really gold and i didn't love that. So the paint was a solution.

    Easy enough right?!
    The two made a perfect couple. 

    It defiantly completes my mantel piece and goes perfect with my new ottoman that has the same fabric.

    (sorry about the glare, hope your not blind by now)

    I'm a creator with NO Martha Stewart budget, 
    so if you love creating fabulous pieces without spending a lot of moneylike myself check out my blog 
     Get Craftin'

    Have a fabulous day everyone!
    I hope to see ya at my blog one of these days :)
    I love to chit chat as you can tell by this long post so drop me a message, comment, email or whatev.