Maybe Matilda: March 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lace Embellished Tee

Want to know the recipe for a lame weekend? 

Lose internet service.
Spend about 5 hours on the phone with tech support (none of whom speak English very well, but feel the need to explain to me where to find the "start" button on my screen).

Spend a few more hours with tech support in India. I especially enjoyed Liam., although I doubt that was his real name.

Finally get the internet working again on Wednesday, no thanks to Liam. Kind of pathetic to learn how isolated and bored I feel without the internet.

It was not the most fun weekend ever, but at least my stress and boredom hooked up and made a cute baby:

A lace embellished tee!

I found this plain, boring, army-green tee while doing some spring cleaning (and by spring cleaning I mean making a huge mess in the bedroom by going through all my old clothes but not actually putting anything away again . . . that's what your spring cleaning consists of, too, right? Right?) and knew I'd never wear it again unless it got a whole lot cuter.
Cue lace and sewing machine!

(Click read more for the how-to!)

Monday, March 28, 2011

You're gonna love dana (plus a giveaway!)

(Giveaway closed! Thanks for entering!)

Meet my new friend, dana:

(Is she adorable or what?)

I just adore her etsy shop, Pretty Much Dana, which is filled with beautiful photography, art prints, incredible origami and paper craft . . . I'm in serious love.

Before I really get gushing, I'll just let her introduce herself . . .

Call me dana.

I am a currently a full time college student attaining a bachelors of arts in Psychology and Anthropology. I love learning, through books and even better--people and personal experiences. I have always wanted to be a hippie (without the drugs) living in a loft painting and singing the days away without a care in the world. Etsy is the closest I can get to that right now. :) And I absolutely refuse to believe that I can only live in a world like this inside of my head. I enjoy making art of any medium and hope that it speaks to you the way it whispered to me.

Check out some of these amazing items from her shop . . . I love this wreath made entirely out of magazines pages and wrapping paper:

And how cool is this Once Upon a Time photo?

So now that you have a big whopping crush on dana . . . how badly do you want to own A Way Back Into Love, this beautiful print that she is giving away to one lucky reader?

I want it!
(But I solemly swear I won't rig this so I win it myself . . . although I'm sorely tempted.)

How to enter:
(leave a separate comment for each entry!)
1) Head over to Pretty Much Dana on etsy, and leave a comment telling me your favorite item in her shop!
2) Become (or aleady be) a follower of dana's blog and leave a comment here saying you are!
3) Become (or already be) a follower of Maybe Matilda and leave a comment here!
6) Blog, tweet, or write on facebook about this giveaway (and leave me a link so I can check it out)!

This giveaway will end on Sunday, April 3rd and the winner will be chosen by
Good luck!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ribbon Flower Belt Tutorial

(this project was featured as a guest post yesterday over at The Bungalow Boutique . . . check it out!)

With spring and summer almost here (yippeeeeee!), I've been trying to think of ways to improve my normal warm weather outfit which pretty much consists of capris, tee, and sandals. Not terribly stylish, I know. I need simple, cute additions that will up the style factor without adding layers or too much time.

Enter the new star of my spring wardrobe, the ribbon flower belt! Recognize it from an earlier wish list post? It was $46 . . . yeah, my version cost maybe $1. Can I get a what-what for being a cheapskate? What what!

 It's colorful, cute, fun, and a cinch to put together--you probably already have all the materials you'll need to make one. You'll be sporting your new belt in no time :-) And bonus, it's no-sew! Well, okay, that's a fib. But it's low-sew. Hurrah!

Click read more below to make your own!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Guest Posting at Bungalow Boutique!

Today is a good day. 

Why, you ask? Because I'm guest posting over at  
The Bungalow Boutique is a fun new year-round craft boutique in Heber City, Utah filled with all sorts of adorable, creative goodies, like scrapbooking supplies, children's accessories, home decor, art, and, oh right, my quilts, crochet, and other little lovelies! 
I'm proud to be kicking off their new blog feature--Tutorial Tuesdays--with a tutorial to make this cute ribbon flower belt:

Want to make one for yourself? Hop on over, check it out, and tell 'em I said hi!

I'll be posting my tutorial for this belt here on my blogarooski tomorrow, but why wait? Go make one today!
(And if you're lucky enough to live near Heber, go check out The Bungalow Boutique in person on Main Street . . . you'll be glad you did!)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I am the crazy cat lady.

I went thrift store shopping (am I the only one who hates using "thrift" as a verb?) yesterday and brought home this treasure for $1.95:

PHOTO EXPLANATION: I feel like I should be more embarrassed to put this picture on the internet, but I'm hoping that it's a far enough cry from what I usually look like (key word: usually) that we'll all just get a good laugh . . . I started to crop my head out of it, but my husband glanced over and practically shouted, "DO NOT CROP THAT!" I took this picture right after I got up at 6 this morning, so those are my nerd specs, insane bedhead, and sleepy makeup-less face. But combine all that with the dress (lovely, is it not?) and the resemblance to this was just too good for me to keep to myself:
. . . I don't know why Jeff won't let me get a cat. What a jerk. 
Okay! Back to our regularly-scheduled programming.

The dress is clearly atrocious, but I loved the floral print and figured it was long enough that I'd have some extra fabric to play around with.

I hacked about 7" off the bottom, took the sides in by about 2", and used the extra length from the bottom to make short sleeves. Here's the finished product:

And I especially love it with a cardigan and belt for our still-chilly weather, and with the sash from my McIntosh dress:

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but I think it looks quite a bit like these more ($56 more!) expensive vintage-inspired floral dresses from Modcloth:

 dress on the left and dress on the right

I'd say that's $1.95 well-spent! If I'd only had hot cinnamon rolls to eat while I worked on it, this really would have been the ideal Saturday morning. Oh, and minus the "got up at 6" part. Then it would have been the ideal Saturday morning.

Linking here and here!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

McIntosh Knockoff Dress

Say hello to my latest summer dress . . . a cute little knockoff of Spool No. 72's McIntosh dress. Here's the original (which would have cost $54 if it weren't sold out):

And here's my version, which rang up at a whopping $4 (really broke the bank with this one):

 Not bad, eh? The top came from a long-sleeved tee I already had (so I'm not counting it toward the cost) and I got the pink cotton on sale at JoAnn for I think $2-3. Toss in some thread and we'll call it an even $4. Search as I might, I couldn't find the sort of coraly-orangey color in the original dress, so I settled for a bright pink.

I wanted my version of this dress to have short sleeves (check!), pockets (check!), and a gathered waist only across the front and back, not the sides--personally, I think those side gathers aren't doing anybody any favors--and I like the slimmer silhouette that this version produces.

This green number was my practice run--and you know, I actually think I like it better than the final draft. The pink skirt above was an A-line shape, but the green one I just cut straight.

 (For this one, I used an old tee that was a hand-me-down from my sister (or is it a hand-me-up, since she's younger?). When she saw these pictures, her response was, "Dude, that's my shirt." She'd better not be expecting to get it back now.)

Want to make one? It was super-duper (luper-buper) easy, and you'll be done in an hour or so!

Click read more below for the tutorial . . . 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Such a tease

Here's a sneak peek of my version of the McIntosh dress from Spool No. 72, a summer dress I was really, really coveting. I made it in the same colors as the real deal, too, but this version was my practice dummy:

 If the husband gets home in time to help me with pictures tonight, I'll have a little tutorial up soon so you can make your own!
It came out reeeeeeeeeally cute :-) Be psyched. Be very psyched.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Little Bow Tie Necklace

After sewing quite a bit this week (a lot more than I intended for such a simple dress!) I needed a quick, easy project that would work up fast without needing any alterations (I've had my fill of those for a while). So I came up with this little bow tie necklace that fits the bill quite nicely.

It's fast and simple, and I think it's pretty dang cute! This style is selling at Urban Outfitters for $28, but my version didn't cost a dime since I used an old necklace chain I already had and leftover fabric scraps. 

You can make your bow whatever size you’d like—I wanted mine to be on the small side, so the measurements I give here will make a bow about 3” wide and 1 1/2” tall, but you can adapt it to whatever size sounds good to you. I think it would be really cute big, like 5 inches across, but I definitely wasn't brave enough to wear something that bold!

Click read more below if you'd like to make your own!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Summer Dress 1: The cow says muu(muu)

I've completed my first piece for my Summer of the Handmade Dress (is it A Thing yet?), and . . . well, wow. I used Simplicity 2262, picked up for a buck at JoAnn during a pattern sale:
What I liked about this pattern from the get-go: see those words up at the tippity top of the pattern? Easy-to-sew? There. I was sold. I haven't done well with using patterns for sewing in the past--in fact, clothing-making in general has gone rather poorly for me. I love sewing quilts (like this one and this and a couple more) but clothes are a completely different matter.

I got to work with some fabric I bought for $2 at JoAnn, and 2/3rds of Serenity later (nothing gets me in the mood to sew like mutant killer cannibals attacking space cowboys 500 years in the future!), I had this lovely number:

What the what?! I made a muumuu! 
I cut the pattern to a size medium, which my measurements should have worked for according to the back of the pattern envelope, but it. was. ENORMOUS. I look like I'm wearing a circus tent. The good news is that my sleeve add-on was a success (inasmuch as we can call a short-sleeved muumuu a success).

As I was sewing, I'll admit, it seemed big, but I had faith in the pattern envelope. While I was working, the less-stupid part of my brain kept saying, "Hold the phone, I don't think we're this large, maybe we should try this bad boy on for size before we get too far," but the faith-in-authority-figures part of my brain said, "No no, everything will be okay! We measured! The envelope says we're a medium!" And all of that ruckus was drowned out by the impatient-let's-get-this-project-finished brain segment that just kept yelling, "Faster! SEW FASTER! WE'RE ALMOST DONE!" Needless to say, it was a noisy party in my head.

So the lesson to be learned from my muumuu fiasco is don't trust the envelope--try it on as you go! And a second, but no less important lesson is you really ought to go see somebody about those head-voices.

But I certainly wasn't about to give up on that hefty $3 investment, so I did some fitting (just put my tent on inside-out and pinned the front and back pieces together where I wanted them to fit, starting at the armpit and pinning every few inches all the way down to the hem) and I think it turned out pretty well:

(I'm not wearing white tights, guys. That is my natural leg color. Jealous?)

Some thoughts on this dress in case somebody out there thinks about using this pattern:
- If you're going to use this pattern, either go ahead and cut it a size smaller than what it recommends for you based on your measurements . . .
- Or at least try it on for size a few times as you go (you know, even if you cut it smaller, just do this anyway. It would have saved me a world of trouble, and I wouldn't have missed the end of Serenity because I was too busy pulling my hair out to pay attention.)
- If I hadn't had to go back and redo everything, it really would have been, as promised, easy to sew--there are only a few pattern pieces, and really nothing tricky to fret over.
- If you need to go back and size it down, do so before hemming the bottom--it will look a lot less sloppy if you aren't re-sewing the side seams right over the bottom hem (I am a lazy, lazy seamstress and was so annoyed at my big dang muumuu I just wanted to get it over with)
- Turns out that adding sleeves is pretty simple! I just used the sleeve piece from another pattern I had on hand (Simplicity 2599), re-cut it to fit my muumuu, and sewed it on.
- I didn't use bias tape to hem the neckline/sleeves/bottom hem as the pattern suggests--I didn't have any, so I just hemmed it the good old-fashioned way: fold twice and sew.
- I skipped the pockets, which turned out to be a great idea since the 5-ish inches I ended up hacking off of both sides would have probably left me with 1/2-inch deep pockets.

One dress down, a closet-full left to go! Here's hoping dress #2 goes a little more smoothly.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Summer of the Handmade Dress

Have I mentioned that I love dresses? I mean really, really love them, maybe to an unhealthy extreme. If dresses and I could run away together and get married in a 200-year old chapel in a field and move into a bungalow cottage with window boxes filled with pansies and have sweet little ruffly dress babies, I would have done it by now.

But it's a bit of a complicated love, because I find dresses difficult to shop for. I'm tall-ish, so they're always too short on me, and I would prefer if everyone didn't see my hiney with every passing breeze (note: although I'm getting a red squiggle misspelling alert under the word "hiney", google tells me I spelled it right; so confused!), and I think everyone else would prefer that as well. And I need sleeves, which apparently dress designers take issue with. And why are all the cute ones so dang expensive?!

So I've decided: this will be The Summer of the Handmade Dress. And I'm capitalizing it, because it's going to be A Thing (for me, at least). I've done poorly with sewing clothing in the past, but the fact that I pick it up every few months only to get frustrated and tear it all to pieces again makes me think I really should just learn how to do it already so I can stop whining about not having any dresses to wear.

So! Read more to see what's on the docket for this spring and summer . . .

Friday, March 4, 2011

Knotted Crochet Headband Tutorial

Well, I woke up excited this morning (it seems like an unusually high number of my posts here start with me waking up feeling good) because I'm a guest blogger today over at Craftaholics Anonymous! I'm sharing a tutorial for a knotted headband and it is super cute, if I may say so myself, and very simple to do.

My husband, when he saw it, asked me why I didn't do something more complicated and impressive, but my goal was for you to see it and be able to accomplish it, even if it's your first time crocheting--this project is just about as easy as it gets! So don't be scared . . . get your paws on a crochet hook, use some scrap yarn (you won't use much!), and get to work!

You can hop on over to Craftaholics Anonymous (click on the button above!) to see the tutorial, or just click "read more" for the full tutorial below!
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