Tutorial Tuesday: A Savvy Shopper

IMG_5761With this Naco-Paris (so says the “Internets”) “Karl Who?” bag from a few years ago as my inspiration, I used a little paint and some tape and was able to take my shopping bag style up a few notches.

Here in DC we have to bring our shopping bags with us to the store or pay a $.05 fee per store bag. So, this new DIY not only elevates my Sunday shopping style, it also saves me a few coins. And at a cost of $8 for the bag and materials, my stylish shopper will have paid for itself in just 160 trips to the store. Crafty and fiscally responsible…lol.

Now, let’s get down to some Tutorial Tuesday action. What you’ll need:

  • large shopping bag from craft store
  • cardboard (a file folder will also work)
  • fabric paint in coordinating color
  • tape
  • small paint brush
  • pencil

Start by inserting the cardboard or file folder inside of the bag. The cardboard will prevent the fabric from bleeding through. Next, I recommend taping the edges of your bag to the table or surface to ensure stability.Use the pencil to practice your lettering. The pencil you can erase. The paint you cannot. Once you have your lettering figured out, go for it. As you form your letters, I recommend that you drag the brush in one continuous stroke across the fabric. Let it dry for 72 hours and that’s it!

Have fun and don’t spend all of your $.05 savings in one place!

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side shot

The Hybrid Coat

side shotSoooo, about that time that I wore a short-sleeved coat with open-toe boots… LOL, it sounds so wrong but the cozy, close-to-sleeveless coat and peek-a-boo boots felt so right together. Let me tell you more about this short-sleeve coat…photo 3 (2)



I purchased this buttery soft blue wool fabric last year from my local G Street Fabrics store. Because it is a good quality fabric, I held onto it for awhile waiting until I found a project deserving of this awesome material.

In comes this Pinterest picture of a gorgeous, sleeveless wool coat. The coat, worn rather casually in the photo,  makes a huge statement. I loved it and knew instantly that it would be right for my wool fabric. There was one problem. Other than the wrap that I posted here, I had never made a coat and was a little intimidated by the thought of it. And then as if it were fate, Mimi of posted a new DIY tutorial for a very similar “blanket” coat. Mimi’s tutorials are pretty detailed and easy-to-follow. So although what I had in mind was not exactly like the coat the tutorial, I knew her step-by-step guide would put me on the right path.

Using Vogue 8930, I created a “hybrid” of Mimi’s coat and the sleeveless version in the Pinterest photo. To create my version, I extended the length about five inches, rounded off the bottom front and skipped the lining. Going without a lining posed a bit of an issue. No lining meant an exposed seam on the wide collar. So, I stitched down both sides of the seam allowance and added binding to finish the coat.

corner IMG_5573I really like my first DIY coat and I hope that you do to. If you have a sewing (or other) fear, I hope that you find inspiration to help you overcome it. I bet that, like me, you’ll be glad you did.

Thanks for reading.




Tutorial Tuesday: Clutch It

IMG_5634Today is Tutorial Tuesday here on! And you know what that means… I have scoured the Internet, searched high and low and found you the cutest, quickest and easiest project that you are just going to adore. I am absolutely certain that you will end up making tons of these! Tons I tell you.

So, let’s get into this versatile little number. It can be a clutch or a tablet holder. You can make it in leather or a cute animal print. Make it large enough for your computer or small of enough for your cosmetics. Oh, the possibilities are endless. (I almost wrote “Oh, the Place You’ll Go!” #SeussFan)

IMG_5638 IMG_5637 IMG_5636Here is the tutorial for your endless possibility clutch / tablet holder / cosmetic bag/ etc. For my clutch, I used remnant upholstery fabric from my local fabric store, added a wine zipper and a navy blue tassel from the craft store. I attempted to make my own tassel but that was just a mess. A mess. But these clutches here, they are anything but a mess. Check out the cute options that I found online. Like I said, the possibilities are endless.

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The Chill is In the Air

IMG_4928Baby, it’s cold outside! Here in the D dot C, the Fall season is in full force. Daylight hours are shorter, leaves are changing and the temps are definitely taking a dip. It’s officially time for outerwear but not yet time for big parkas and such. Here’s my answer to Fall’s frosty bite…

image (2)IMG_4917 IMG_4914I went trolling around Pinterest for a coat that is mid weight, easy to make and transitional. The coat or jacket needed to work for my weekends – jumping in and out of the car, standing outside at my daughter’s sporting events and while attending all of the fun festivals that occur during this time of year.

This Burberry cape caught my eye and this plaid wool fabric that I picked up from G Street Fabrics would certainly give me a similar look. Considering there isn’t much structure to the cape, I assumed it would be easy enough to make. I just needed to find the right tutorial.

Found one.

And it was free. So, it couldn’t have worked out more perfectly!

I found this free, DIY cape (poncho) tutorial on Martha Stewart’s website. I cut mine down the middle and decided not to add binding all the way around. I will instead surge the edges to keep my cape from unraveling.

I am pairing my cape with these awesomely long Mossimo gloves from Target.

Thanks for reading and stay warm!



Cute Skirt Alert! No Sewing Required.

wrap IMG_4985wrap2If you’re interested in making your own clothes but for whatever reason have not started, I have found just the project for you. This cute, simple, NO-SEW DIY skirt tutorial will surely motivate you to get crafty. This project is definitely just the confidence booster that you need to start. In just a few minutes, you are going to have a cute, comfortable and sassy skirt perfect for a trip to the farmer’s market or a brunch date with your sweetie.

I made this DIY skirt the exact day I saw it online. Then I quickly realized that it is perfect for newbies who are willing but haven’t yet taken that leap into clothes-making.

In four easy steps you can make a skirt of your own:

  1. Measure your waist. Wrap the tape measure around your waist, placing it about an inch above your belly button. Write down that number.
  2. Decide how long you want your cute, new DIY skirt. Either measure from your waist to where you want the skirt to stop, or measure a skirt that you already own. Write down that number.
  3. Go to a fabric store such as Joann’s, Hancock or G Street Fabrics and look for the knits. A knit will not unravel, thus there is no need to hem (sew). Select the color and type of knit that you like, then take it to the counter for cutting. Ask for help in determining the amount of fabric that you need. As stated in the instructions (linked below), you’ll need the closest yardage to your waist measurement times two. You’ll likely need between three and four yards. Tip: ask about coupons!IMG_4139
  4. Follow these instructions by The Sewing Rabbit to create your new skirt and kick-off your new start in clothes making! Warning, it’s addictive.

IMG_5071Make sure you take pictures and share them.


The Best (Casual) Black Dress Everrrr

Cute. Comfortable. Machine washable. Versatile. My best, most favorite (casual) black dress like EVERRRR.

dress IMG_4804side pic of dressTo be honest, this dress was not intended to be featured on the blog. I saw the picture on Pinterest and thought it would make a cute weekend ripping and running dress.

It’s a black knit dress. Big whoop, right? Wrong. So wrong. IMG_5033

I know it doesn’t look like much in the pictures. In fact, I had a hard time trying to make it cute on the French Mani (my mannequin with French writing on the fabric).

Here is the deal. There is just something about this dress. It works. I wore it this past weekend to run errands with my daughter, while window shopping with my best friend and then to a jewelry party. And in each and every occasion, the dress worked and was super popular.

Here are the details on how you can make this unassuming but pretty awesome dress. I used one of the vintage patterns gifted to me by Ms. Diane. It is New Look 3076, view A. I made the dress as instructed with two modifications:

1. I used a dinner plate to round off the bottom of the dress

2. I added a 7-inch-long zipper to the right shoulder and a 20-inch-long zipper to the right side. Note: Top stitching makes the zippers more prominent.IMG_5037 IMG_5043

Don’t sew? Get it here at Asos.


earring side view

Pearl Studs X 2

earring side view

Okay crafters and bling lovers, I have the cutest and quickest DIY for you. A couple of weeks ago, the Fashion Bomb Daily blog posted to their IG this image of Rihanna. In the photos, she’s wearing pearl stud X 2 earrings.  So cute, right?IMG_4443

I saw the picture and instantly, I recalled a DIY that I saw online of how to recreate the look. Here is how I created my pearl stud X 2 earrings and how you can, too…


Standard size pearl stud earrings

Large pearl studs (I took  apart an old pair of earrings)

Two rubber earring backs





1. To create the large round ball, I bought these earrings from my local thrift store for $1.50. Then I pulled them apart to free the large dangling pearl at the end.

2. Next, I grabbed a pair of standard pearl studs from my jewelry box. Note: this DIY will not permanently change the standard pair.

3. Insert a drop of glue into the hole of the large pearl stud. Then insert a rubber earring back into the hole with a toothpick or other slim object. Let it dry.

4. Insert the original stud into the large round pearl, through the rubber back.

5. Voila! You have pearl stud X 2 earrings.



walking 2

Black Lace

So, I am really digging the lace trend. To me, lace says soft, feminine, romantic and depending on how it’s worn, even racy. When I saw this photo of Gabrielle Union in a complete top-to-bottom lace look, I was convinced.  She looks so fab. Ooh, I thought. I want to try this (16)

Picture me digging through a stack of fabric in search of black, stretchy lace. I know it is in here somewhere I thought as I threw fabric over my shoulders digging way my way to the bottom.   IMG_4668

As you can tell, I found the fabric (made a mess) and got started. Since the lace fabric has quite a bit of stretch to it, I used Mimi G’s YouTube pencil skirt tutorial to create my look. The skirt came together pretty quickly. Because my name is not Gaga or Minaj, I had to figure out how to make the skirt more modest.

Using lining fabric, I took the same waist measurement from the lace skirt and added 1 ½ inch. I used a half of an inch for the seam allowance and the remainder so I could breathe and walk. Kind of important. Lengthwise, I cut the lining to my knee leaving a little sheer effect at the bottom.walking 2 Walking fixed

What do you think, will the romantic look of lace stick around or will it soon be back to grandma’s curtains and tablecloths?

How do you wear lace?

Like the look but don’t sew, here is a similar (and affordable) laser cut skirt.


plaid 1

Mad About Plaid

The “word” around the Internet is that everyone is mad about plaid. Fashion blogs from here to there are reporting that the trend will be hot this Fall. Generally, I am not the trendy type but guess what, I just so happened to have a couple of plaid pieces in my fabric stash. Ring the alarm! Mama’s got a brand new dress…and it’s trendy y’all.

plaid 1photo 3 (1)plaid 2

I have been on a “work dress” kick lately. Within a relatively short amount of time this past summer, I churned out back to back dresses. Using simple patterns, the dresses were quick, easy to make, stylish and professional looking. Win, win, win and win. Even the employees in the café near my office noticed my new dress fad, commenting that I look “more serious.” Ha! I guess my slacks are somehow a joke.

I decided this hot pink dress that I pinned earlier in the year was the best style for my plaid fabric. The plaid is a little masculine (IMO), reminiscent of a gentleman’s suit. So a dress with feminine touches was needed for balance.

Pink DressIMG_4684

What do you think? Does my take on this McCall’s pattern look “serious” to you? ;-)



Getaway Style

IMG_4116So last week my best friend and I jetted off for a little fun in the sun. We headed off to Black Enterprise Magazine’s annual Golf and Tennis Challenge in sunny West Palm Beach. They have dubbed it the “Perfect Summer Finale” and they are so right. It’s a great networking event and a fun opportunity to dress up in gear, head out on a beautiful course and fake like I have golf game. Who said adults can’t play dress up too!

To get ready for my trip, I made a couple things.


First up, using Butterick 5211 I made a striped linen dress to wear while traveling. It was perfect. No zippers, metal clasps or other metal detecting traps. It has big billowy sleeves and I added deep pockets large enough to hold a small wallet, ID and my boarding pass. Easy, breezy and just my style.

I didn’t get a good picture of it but I also made this tennis-ish skort using a white bengaline fabric. It is similar to the Zara skort that I think every blogger on the planet has been photographed wearing. Don’t believe me, Google “zara skort.” You’ll see.


Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Count me as every blogger plus one because I liked it so much that I made one! You can make one too with Simplicity 1370.

And for the all-white party, I logged on to make an oldie but goodie. Using Mimi G’s pencil skirt tutorial, I made an off-white skirt to complement an off-the-shoulder shirt that I have had for some time. It worked nicely.

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I had a great time. I learned a few tips from golf pro Rodney Green, spent some down time in the spa, met a few new people, old school partied with Bell Biv Devoe and got my Woo Woo Woo on with Jeffrey Osborne. Good times.IMG_4023 IMG_4020 IMG_3973

Are you a golfer, tennis player or a spa girl/guy?