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Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

Remember that song.  Yikes, total flashback.  Weather around here has been crazy hot the last few days, today it is over 90 degrees…which for Buffalo is really friggin’ hot!  This heat makes everyone miserable, tired and on edge.  Since our house does not have air conditioning, and my sewing room is in the attic I haven’t been doing much of any sewing that is for sure…but I’ve been dying to so I finally sucked it up and headed upstairs this morning.

IMG_4492I bought this fabric about a month ago from Joann’s (shocker!) and I meant to make a maxi dress for my trip to Charleston but never had a chance.  Then I told myself I’d make one before we headed to Montreal (post coming soon), but that never happened either.  So when I realized I had a few hours to myself this morning I decided to suffer through a few hours of heat misery and got to work.  Nothing like sewing in your bra while sweat drips down your back.  Isn’t that a visual?  Gross.  This was quite a challenging sew when it should’ve been really simple and straightforward.  I guess it is hard to concentrate when you are so uncomfortable!  In the end I love how it turned out, even though it took twice as long to make because I made a few mistakes and the fabric was a bit of a nightmare to keep straight and even.  It is a light slub knit, and it kept slipping and was very, very hard to cut on the fold without the bottom layer totally shifting.  Ugh.  Nightmare. I am completely in love with this print though so I was determined to make it work!

IMG_4486I used a new pattern for me:Simplicity 1358, view A.  A simple scoop neck maxi dress.  Unusual for me in that it does not have any sort of gathering, or elastic…just a simple pull over style with no defined waist.  I love it!  A few months ago I would have never had the confidence to wear this body skimming style but I am so glad I gave it a shot.  My body has been changing these days, between my weight loss and running so I think its about time for some of my clothing styles to change too.  I think this dress will work well as I continue to lose weight, and looks great belted as well.

IMG_4500For now it fits well, is loose enough to be comfortable but hopefully avoids looking too tent like.  I made the XL size, with no modifications other than I chose not to hem the bottom.  This is probably out of sheer sweatiness or laziness, but also I prefer the look and didn’t want to worry about a wonky hem or to spend any more time in the attic!

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Charleston, SC

I really feel like this summer is flying by!  I guess it is due to the crazy fun we’ve been having with our vacations, parties and get togethers.  That’s what summer is all about though right?  Because of all of this fun, I have been neglecting my sewing machine a bit to get outside and enjoy myself.

We just returned from a weeklong trip to visit friends in Charleston, SC.  What an amazingly beautiful city.  Some of the highlights of the trip included a day at Isle of Palms beach, a carriage ride through historic Charleston, a visit to the tea plantation and a morning at the Magnolia Plantation.  Absolutely breathtaking.  This post will be mainly pictures as they really speak for themselves.

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We also ate at some really cool places- including Taco Boy restaurant, and Barsa- a spanish tapas bar/restaurant with the most delicious paella.  The girls got into it by eating octopus and calamari.  I couldn’t help but take a few pics.

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It was the most perfect vacation; a blend of relaxing with friends and seeing the sights of the city.  I can’t wait to go back again!

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ART PARTY!

The day after we got back from Charleston was my little’s birthday!  To celebrate we hosted an ART PARTY for her and her friends.  What a blast.  I completely got sucked into Pinterest in planning this one…so much fun.  We made art portfolios for each of the girls, and put out markers, paints, stickers and pens for them to decorate them while we prepared for the main activity.  They loved it and the portfolios were super simple to make and served as a great way for the girls to transport all of their masterpieces home when the party ended.  I picked up poster board from the Dollar store, and folded it in half, using decorative duct tape I sealed up the sides.  By folding the duct tape in half into itself I made handles and simply taped them on…the most difficult part was trying not to get the tape stuck to anything else while doing this!  We made an assortment of colors and styles for the girls to choose from.

For our main activity we did Suminagashi- Japanese marbling.  I purchased this kit on Amazon, and we used inexpensive marker paper from Target.  A few roasting trays from the Dollar store worked great to fill with water.  This is an easy and impressive craft to do with kids, it was a huge hit.  You can view a great video tutorial on it here.  I have a feeling we’ll be doing this alot more, but next time I will invest in the paper recommended in the video.  But for our purposes the cheap paper worked well. We only used a tiny bit of the paint for the party- even though we made around 25 prints so this is really economical and even some of the parents jumped in and couldn’t resist making a few of their own.

The girls also did spin art using a thrifted salad spinner I picked up.  I cut small squares of watercolor paper and the girls squirted liquid watercolors on top of their paper after placing it into the salad spinner.  They put the top on and started spinning as fast as they could.  They then took the top off to reveal their painting.  We had an area with clothesline and clothespins to hang their art to dry.

The best part?  The rainbow cake and paintbrush rice krispy treats.  The face painting and snow cones were a hit too!  My iPad is making posting difficult so all my pics are below!

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Summer Style

I’ve come to realize that up until now my summer style has been way too predictable.  Capri leggings with tunics or dresses.  That’s it!  I told myself this had to change.  While comfortable, I needed to branch out of loungewear and wear some real clothes.  Or, as my husband used to call it- daywear into evening wear into sleepwear.  In other words I was wearing clothes that sometimes transitioned into pajamas!  Yikes.  First step in changing this is replacing the leggings with skirts.  Easy.  Using this tutorial from MADE I whipped up a pattern according to my measurements to make a simple knit pencil skirt.  While I’ve attempted to do this myself in the past for some reason I never thought to slice off inches from the top and bottom of the skirt to give it some shape.  What a difference it makes!

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This is made using a navy floral ponte de roma from Girl Charlee.  I had originally purchased 3 yards with the idea of making a dress, but when I washed and went to cut the fabric I noticed horizontal runs through most of the yardage!  What I was able to salvage was not enough to make a dress at all…so this skirt was born.  I’ve already worn it countless times and have recieved many compliments.  Once my attic sewing room cools off a bit I may whip up a few more for when I return to work in the fall.  They are ridiculously easy and quick to make and make me feel put together with virtually no effort.  Just as easy as the capri leggings but much more stylish!

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