Easy DIY flannel cape

The weather here in Charleston, SC has made its way down to the 40s and just in time for Liam’s I-refuse-to-wear-socks-and-shoes phase of toddlerhood, leading to moments of bribery and shouts of “well, then mama has to carry you!!” followed by tears and then “oh wow, mommy, look a bulldozer.” So nonetheless we took this chilly opportunity to bundle up and walk downtown to grab brunch, sporting my new handmade flannel cape. Socks and shoes optional, of course. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the cape trend. I mean, really what is the deal…Are ya just wearing a blanket? Did your scarf and sweater have a baby and this is what popped out? And what in the world are you supposed to wear underneath? So you can see, I had some questions. But Jo’Anns Fabric was running a 50% off all flannel sale, so I bought this pretty red/black/gray combination for about $4 a yard and stared at if for over a month before deciding just to give it a go. And I am so glad I did. Not only is this a great gift idea (because sizing wouldn’t be such an issue), but it also has tons of campfire memories and winter maternity wardrobe potential. And both are things I would like to partake in again in the future, should I be so lucky.  DIY TUTORIAL:

  1. With your fabric laying out flat on the floor or table, mark the halfway point and cut a long slit, up the middle of the fabric length wise ). The cut part is your bodice front, the uncut part is now your bodice back.
  2. Cut the four corners of your fabric into a curve. I like to use an old CD to get the perfect curved shape but you can always just free-hand it.
  3. Fold your side edges in towards the wrong side twice and hem in place. You will also need to hem the slit that you cut down the middle.
  4. At this point, try your cape on and see how you want it to sit on your shoulders. I chose to pull the back down longer to make a high-low hem. But you could leave it even across the entire bottom hem). Once you’ve decided how you want it to fit, place a few pins  at a comfortable place below your arm holes at the side seams, and very carefully take the cape off.
  5. With wrong sides together, sew a line of stitches 5 inches across each side where the pins are and make sure to backstitch in place. This will mark the location of your arm-holes and keep the cape from sliding back or sliding off.
  6. Now you are done! Bundle up your family and head outside!

Hope you enjoyed this easy peasy tutorial and a real life, raw moment of parenting fail as I brought my crying, shoe-less child out into the cold (well it was a 46 degrees but you know, we have that Southern blood so anything below 60 is freezing to us. But have no fear, we shoved a croissant in front of him and he was humming a brand new tune in no time).  If anyone makes any capes of your own, please share a link to your photos in the comments below. I would love to see how you style yours! Until next time, xoxo Priscilla

How to Draft and Make Your own Graphic Baby Tees

With every new season comes the perfect opportunity to dress your child up in theme and take thousands of photos. I figured better do it now because in only a few short years, he’ll have a strong opinion about what he wears. Then he’ll be 13 and wearing t-shirts with band names I have never heard of that he hopefully will let me wash once a month or so. These are the things I think of late at night. So anyways,  Continue reading

The Easiest way to add fake Shiplap to any room

 As HGTV’s Fixer Upper enters it’s final season, I thought it was only fitting that I finally do a blog post on how we did fake “shiplap” in our home. Ever since Fixer Upper became a hit TV show and the Shiplap Queen herself, Joanna Gaines, began adding it into almost every episode, shiplap has become the pumpkin spice latte of home renovations. Many older home and even barns used shiplap walls because the boards overlaped slightly and are flush to one another making them watertight. But now shiplap is used even more as a decorative accent to give the home a rustic look. I instantly became a shiplap groupie and if I had it my way I would incorporate it throughout the entire house. So when we started decorating Liam’ s nursery, I had lofty ideas to do an accent wall with white washed shiplap. But after the medical bills arrived from Liam’s IVF we realized we had a budget of oh, about negative $8000 for his nursery. So I found a much cheaper and fun way to get the same “shiplap” look. Continue reading

a DIY onesie + an important message

As much as it hurts me to bring it up, how many of you remember the infamous “locker room talk” between Billy Bush and Donald Trump? Despite which political party you affiliate with, I think this is something we need to talk about. Continue reading

a DIY maxi dress + a introducing Highlands Wrap Dress

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Every so often I see these gorgeous, flowy, maxi dresses online that make all my Hawaii beach dreams come true. And then I remember that I quit my job to be a stay at home mom and therefore these $200 designer maxi dresses will just have to live in my Pinterest boards forever.  But luckily for me, there’s a new sewing pattern in town: the Highland Wrap Dress. I was beyond excited when Allie Olson asked me to help test this new pattern earlier this year. I love testing new patterns and getting the opportunity to watch a pattern come to life. And this has been my favorite to date! I’ve been waiting patiently for launch day to share photos of this dress. So here we go:

The best part of this pattern (besides that I’ve yet to see anything like it out there in the patten world) is that I can see myself making countless variations: a midi length, sleeveless, cap sleeve, a chambray version, a maxi skirt hack, and on and on and on… Check out indiesew.com if you’re interested in purchasing this PDF pattern for yourself.
The day we took these photos, we had such a busy weekend planned. But as a tester I wanted to submit photos of my finished garment by the end of the day. So we drove 3 minutes down the road to Sunrise park early on a Saturday morning. We hadn’t even eaten breakfast yet, Liam was still in his pajamas, and the wind was coming off the harbor so fast. But as I was waking around thinking the wind was going to ruin the photo shoot, Will looks up from behind the camera and says “I think this is the best thing you’ve ever sewn.” And he might just be right. I’m almost certain this dress is asking to be worn barefooted on a beach somewhere.

The fabric is a lightweight rayon challis from Joann’s. I can’t seem to find it online but the local Charleston store had a large bolt in stock. That’s all for now.  If you’re over seeing photos of me in wrap dresses than, spoiler alert: I just ordered some fabric for my second Highland Wrap dress. You’ve been warned.

xx Priscilla

do it yourself Smash Cake Photo Shoot

how-to-smash-cake-photo-shootI’ll let you in on a little secret about me: I HATE paying someone to do something that I can even slightly, half-ass do myself. Maybe I’m a perfectionist. Or untrusting. Call it what it is, it’s me and I am working on it. But in the mean time, my DIY flag will continue to soar high. After our holiday family photo shoot that resulted in zero photos of Liam smiling, I decided never again! The photographer was a very sweet lady. But she would make these cackling, turkey calls and high pitched squeals in an attempt to coax a smile out of Liam. And this child of mine, who seriously  smiles at every cashier and every old lady in line at the grocery store, would of rolled his eyes at her if he knew how. Not a single smile for her camera. So I decided that I would create our own photo session at home. And worse case scenario, if he didn’t smile for me, all I wasted was an afternoon. And it turned out to be a success! img_5530img_5544img_5537Here are some of my tips for how you can create your own smash cake photo session. 

1. If you have a room with a blank white wall, perfect! If not, get a white backdrop. I purchased this one from Amazon and have used it several times so I have definitely gotten my money’s worth. But a crisp ironed bedsheet would also work well.

2. It’s all about good lighting. This is crucial! More important than the camera itself! I know by now in my sunroom (where I’ve set up my white backdrop) what time of day the room gets good natural light. You want to aim for bright natural light vs light that is created from lamps or overhead lights. But you also want to avoid too much direct light on your subject (this will wash them out) and avoid shadows being casted onto the backdrop. Tip: set up your backdrop a day or so in advance and keep an eye on what time of day the lighting is best.img_55663. You don’t need a fancy camera! I used my Cannon Rebel DSLR for these, but I took some practice shoots with my iPhone and they also turned out amazing. I swear, the quality of the pictures on the iPhone these days is not too shabby.

4.  Use a tripod, if available. This helped me do continuous shooting and be hands free If I needed to quickly jump in and help/reposition/save a ballon. A husband or assistant also helps!

5. Create fun props! I simply blew up some balloons and made bunting using felt fabric, string, and a hot glue gun. You don’t need much. The cake and the baby will be the star!img_56106. Bake your own cake. Dude, did you know a box of cake mix is only $1.95? This is so cheap. Especially considering it’s just for photos. In fact, I didn’t evenly spread the icing on the back of the cake!  And side note, this cake stand came from the diaper cake from our baby shower. It’s from C. Wonder. img_55677. Once you are all set up, bring in your child and entice him to “smash” the cake! At first, Liam had no interest in eating, or even touching the cake. He just stared at it and crawled away. If you look closely in this photo, you may see some tangerine slices on the floor. Yep.  We had to entice him by adding his favorite food (which I guess obviously isn’t cake) and eventually, he went for the kill. Giving him a spatula at the end of the shoot helped us get some really messy pics too!

8. Touch up the pictures in iPhoto/Photoshop. I always end up cropping my photos and using the blemish tool to remove anything unwanted that ended up in the shot. before
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I took a total of 120 photos and I ended up with about 30 great photos! And while I am a big fan of professional photography, it was nice to do these at home with daddy present and a warm bath waiting for us in the room next door!

xxoo Priscilla

 

Buy or DIY: sweet baby dolls for sweet baby cousins

img_5254img_5229img_5241img_5258img_5269img_5264One of my favorite moment of this year’s Christmas was seeing Liam and his 15 month old cousin Zoe really getting to know each other. We taught them how to “give a hug” and it was probably the best thing I have ever seen. So naturally I had to take a few photos of the two of them with their handmade dolls made by momma/aunt Cilla. The fabric used to make the dolls is from See Kate Sew’s doll fabric line for Riley Blake fabrics. I also made a the little gathered tulle skirt to match the doll’s bow. This was a quick easy project, with the majority of the time spent stuffing the doll with cotton stuffing and poking it into all the skinny arms and legs. For Liam’s doll I didn’t use nearly as much stuffing as I did for Zoe’s and you can tell a difference. So tip #1: buy extra stuffing! Tip #2: sew a second line of stitching next to your first row. I did a double line of stitching for Zoe’s doll so it should hold up for many years, even through her big brothers tugging and pulling on it. For those of you who don’t sew and would rather buy a dollie for the kiddos in your life, check out Candy Kirby Designs and Fink Toys (made here in Charleston!) I love this quick handmade gift that would be great as a first birthday present or baby shower gift for a new mom-to-be. I’m also interested in trying out this pattern next. Any other fun doll/stuffed animals patterns out there? Let me know! img_5245xx Priscilla

The sweetest/most random newborn quilt that you ever did see

IMG_1182I knew I wanted to make a handmade item that I could give to the baby, but I had never tackled a quilt before. Cutting and sewing in straight lines and squares is not exactly my style. You see, I tend not to do any thing that requires precision or following rules and patterns exactly as I am told. And I had always assumed that a quilt would turn out to a be hot mess if I didn’t have all my shapes and all my squares exactly the same size. Well it turns out a quilt can be whatever the heck you want it to be. I am pretty sure that no two of my squares are exactly the same but I think thats ok. Because in the end, Liam has a sweet little quilt that he can one day tell all his friends “oh yeah my mom made that” and they will reply “say what??? Your mom is awesome!” And he will be all like, “yeah I know. Which is why I am never growing up so I can be with her forever.” (At least I think that’s how it will all play out.)IMG_3673IMG_3671The fabric I used for this quilt all comes from the Hello Bear Collection by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics. I have had my eye on this fabric and before I was even pregnant I bought half a  yard in 5 different prints, knowing that it would most likely sell out. This collection became so popular that Art Gallery now has released the Buck Forest print (the deer head) in eight different colors and also in knit and canvas.  Locals, you can pick this fabric up from Five Eighth Seams in  West Ashley. IMG_3682IMG_3679IMG_3677I had to do some creative fussy cutting so that I could include all the different mommy and baby animal pairs. In the end some pieces didn’t make the cut (ha, get it!) but I was able to come up with a variety of different rectangle and square pieces that I then appliquéd on top of another larger square piece. Here are a few online tutorials here and here that I followed to help me get an idea of where to start. And if you do like to do things precisely and accurately, there are tons of other tutorials online that give much better instructions than I do!

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Also check out this youtube video from Made Everyday to learn how to make your own bias tape and get you started on doing the bias binding. This next photo you might be able to see how I used a decorative top stitch to stitch my bias binding in place.  l have never used the decorative stitches on my machine before so this was fun to do. IMG_0055IMG_3681

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This quilt has been tummy time approved.

IMG_1181This photo means the world to me, not only because he is on his mommy quilt but because this was the first purposeful smile we ever caught on camera. Liam is one month old today and as much as I love watching him grow, it kills me at the same time to know that time is moving by so fast! Enjoy your week and if you are lucky enough to be around any sweet babies this week, take the time to just sit and stare. All your other problems will just disappear, I promise!

xxoo Priscilla

DIY Growth Chart

IMG_0664I wanted to share this quick little tutorial for how to make a growth chart for your home. Being pregnant really gets you thinking of things you did when you were a kid. Will and I have really had a lot of spare time to sit around and talk about what kinds of parents we want to be. Sometimes we get real deep. But that is another story for another day. But one day I was remembering how growing up my mom used to have us all stand with our backs to the wall in the kitchen and she would write on the wall how tall we had become. But when my parents moved in 2008, they lost all those markings, as my childhood home was bulldozed to the ground and replaced with a Harris Teeter shopping center or some other commercial shopping center. Luckily Pinterest saved the day and I found tons of inspirations for making a growth chart that we can take with us when we move houses in a few years and hopefully will stay with us for years and years.

Here are some of the inspiration photos I found on Pinterest:

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I liked the look of the ruler but then decided to keep it simple. And I wanted to add numbers that are more three dimensional. Also I knew I wanted to make it in white with gray numbers, as gray and whites has lately become my favorite colors for home decorating. So here is our finished project:IMG_3458 IMG_3459 IMG_3462

What you need:

  1. One 1x8x8 wooden board
  2. Six house/mailbox numbers
  3. white paint (or any color you prefer)
  4. sander or sand paper
  5. Flush mount wall hanger. we used these
  6. wood filler (optional)

Steps:

  1. Have the fine folks at Lowes (or in my case, husband) cut the board down the length you want. We shortened ours to 6 feet long. So here is hoping he isn’t over seven feet tall!
  2. Sand the board and use wood filler to fill in any crackers or holes. If you want to leave your wood distressed looking then you can skip this step. IMG_3182
  3. Paint the board a color of your choice. We painted ours white with leftover paint from doing the ceiling in the nursery.  Let it dry over night.
  4. Follow the instructions on the number packaging to attach the numbers to the board. Some take screws, or like me I used hot glue so that the numbers would be as flush as possible to the board. REMEMBER to place the numbers AFTER you decide where and how you will attach it to the wall. We decided to hang ours a few inches above the baseboard. So the bottom of our number “1” is where one foot starts, the bottom of “2” is where 2 feet starts, ect.
  5. Hang the growth chart on the wall using the flush wall mount.
  6. Enjoy!IMG_3464I think the plan for now is to add Will and I’s measurements and then we will add the baby’s birth height  once we bring him home and then re-measure him every six months (his birthday and half birthday). We hung our growth chart right in the living room coincidentally next to his toy box because his nursery has run out of room and wall space! Yikes! More photos of the nursery to follow soon!

xxoo Priscilla