Blogs We Love: Happy Together

It’s about time we share some of our favorite blogs with you all.  I mean, we are inspired by so many blogs and it is important to us to highlight some of them to you!  Today I wanted to share one of my favorite crafty mommas with you all.  Jessica is actually someone that feels like a friend.  She is so down to earth, and we have actually prayed for each other and such.  I really like having someone online who encourages me in my faith.

And you know what?  You have already seen Jessica over here — during my birthday giveaway week last year.  She made that fun gumball necklace which so many of you wanted to win!  Here is another necklace that she made.

Jessica blogs about her family and all of the crafty things that they do at Happy Together.  She makes some fabulous clothes, both for adults and children.  Her daughter is the cutest model ever… and I can’t wait to see baby #2 (she is due later this year).  Here is one of her fabulous Anthropologie refashions:

I love this Sailor dress that she made for her daughter.  She usually posts a tutorial of what she made so that you can do it at home.  I have made some of her fabric flowers, but I really want to do one of the Anthro shirts.  I need to just go for it!

And I just love what Jess does with her hair.  It always looks fabulous! At one point she actually posted a tutorial of how she does her hair for her photos… the secret is a bump it!!  And yes, I totally got one after reading about her using one! :)

One of the first things I found on her site was her bachelorette gift set.  It is fun and encourages intimacy between newlyweds.  I have given it (with a few modifications) for a few of my friends at their bachelorette parties.

She started up an etsy shop a few years back, and sells fabulous patterns like the one below.

I highly recommend following Jessica and seeing whatever crafty inspiration she comes up with next.  Whether you sew, crochet, or simply hot glue, she has the craft for you.  Let me know what you think of Jess over at Happy Together, and tell her we told you to say hi!

[all images from Jessica @ Happy Together]

Pattern Testing: Madison Bag

A few months ago, I answered a fellow blogger’s request for pattern testers.  It was a win-win: she got her pattern tested out and I got a really cute pattern for free!  Trish at Two Peas in a Pod Homegrown Designs has some wonderful patterns to purchase and great free tutorials on her blog.  I sewed up the purse in one evening (probably about 4 hours) and sent her my comments.  She responded within a few hours and was incredibly helpful.  I get the feeling that Trish is just that kind of person, one who would take time out of her day to make sure her customers are happy and understand the patterns.  If you are interested, you can check out Trish’s sweet post about me, I feel all wonderful and loved!  :)

Now, I bet you want to see some pictures of my bag.

And yes, I did make a matching ipod case.  :)

Major props to my friend Lauriana for the pictures.  She just got a new camera and I think we are due for another photoshoot.

I definitely recommend this pattern from Two Peas in a Pod Homegrown Design.  Have any of you ever sewed a purse?   Do you have a favorite purse pattern?  Let me know in the comments!

DIY Roman Blinds

There is a lot of freedom that comes with knowing how to sew. It is a great skill –  among other DIY talents — to have that practically gives you an advantage over stores. Why pay full price when I can make it myself?

That was the thought when we wanted to do a window covering for our master bedroom. The problem? I hadn’t really sewed before. My parents graciously gifted me with a machine before we were married and I had been too afraid to really use it. Yet, we had big and odd-sized windows that needed covering and everything we researched had us paying at least a couple hundred bucks. I just wanted to be able to walk from the shower to my closet without having to drop into an army crawl!

Thankfully, Jen Duncan and her marvelous roman blind tutorial saved the day. There are tons of photos, which made it easy. I would go through all the steps, but really, it would just duplicate her information. (I should also mention that Kate from Centsational Girl also has a great tutorial, but it just wasn’t the style we were going for this time.)

The iPhone picture doesn’t do it justice. Not to toot my own horn too much, but it looks pretty expensive. Not bad for about $75!

My roman shade was much wider than Jen’s. I ended up needing a lot more of the roman shade cord than I thought. It also took some hunting around Ace Hardware to find everything, but I eventually tracked it all down. One of the helpers seemed shocked that I was making my own roman blind pully system, since you can buy a kit. The kits I found didn’t seem that high of quality, so I stuck to the tutorial.

A few things to keep in mind:

* When covering such a wide window, make sure you get extra fabric. I got about an inch more than I needed, and not only did the girl cut super crooked, but it started to fray. So the blue/green fabric is actually two parts — one of the white strips is covering a seam.

* If you want straight folds that don’t need to be fixed by hand each time, consider adding boning or find areas to sew the main fabric and sunscreen fabric together.

* BUY FABRIC ON SALE! We got this dupioni silk for $30! There was a 50 percent off deal at Joann’s. The sunscreen (to keep the room darker) was also 50 percent off. So we spent no more than $50 on fabric for this project.

* This is an easy project. It’s only sewing straight lines (or relatively straight lines in my case). It’s time consuming, especially for big windows, but totally worth it.

So, total (approximate) cost of our custom roman shade? $75! Hopefully this inspires you to take on your own sewing projects. Even if you’re not a pro — yet!

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