Saturday, July 30, 2011

DIY: Spa Wrap Tutorial

Recently, a good friend turned a year older and I wanted to make her a gift that showed her how crazy cool I think she is.  Since her home away from home is the YMCA, I thought I'd make her a little spa wrap towel to use after her workouts.  Personally, my favorite thing about the gym is putting the kids in childcare, then taking a shower and putting on my make up in peace.  This little wrap lets you soak up those baby free moments in style.

Here we go...

Supplies Needed:

1. 2 towels - make sure the towel is large enough to wrap around you comfortably
2. Fabric - 2 times the length of your towel
3. Velcro - 3/4 inch sew in 
4. Elastic - 1.5 inch knit woven 
5. Scissors
6. Thread - should match your towel and fabric
7. Pins
8. Cutting Board, ruler, rotary cutter, fabric pen (these are optional, I suppose, but make life a HECK of a lot easier!)

1. Cut the edge off the towel and finish the edge.  You can do this with a zig zag stitch or with a serger.

2. Cut a strip of decorative fabric 5 inches wide by 2 times the length of the short side of your towel.  I had to cut two strips and sew them together in order to get the length needed.  Fold in half and press so that it measures 2.5 inches wide.  Finish the edges, again by zig zag or serger.  

3.  Gather the fabric to create the ruffle.  The way that I do this is by a) setting my sewing machine to the longest stitch length, b) loosening the tension of the top thread a bit, c) sewing one line with 1/4 inch seam, then d) pulling very gently on the top thread until the fabric gathers into a ruffle.
4. Adjust the length of the ruffle until it is the same size as the finished edge of the towel.  Pin the ruffle to the wrong side of the towel.  Sew.
*side note - I did try pinning the right sides of the fabric and towel together as well, but it didn't sit as well.

This next part is the tough part.  Hang in there...

1. Wrap the towel around your bodacious body.  This should give you a good idea of just how much fabric you'd like to "take in" with the elastic. 
2. Cut a strip of elastic about 10 - 12 inches.
3. With a pen, make little marks on the top of the elastic at the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 marks.  In other words, if you have a piece of elastic 12 inches long, there will be a mark at the 3, 6, and 9 inch marks (see photo below).  

4. Make a small mark on the middle of the top of the towel.  Then, make little marks 4 and 8 inches on either side of the middle.  These marks will help you line the elastic up to the appropriate places on the towel.
5. Using a zig zag stitch, sew the side of the elastic about 1/2 inch from the first mark (which should be about 8 inches from the middle).  Sew back and forth several times in order to secure it in place.
6.  Using the marks on the elastic and towel as guides, use a straight stitch to sew the top of the elastic in place.  Use a zig zag again to sew the other side in place.

7.  Using all the strength in your mighty biceps, fold the elastic over twice and sew along the bottom of the entire casing.  This will not be easy, but you can do it.  You may have to do this in portions to make sure that the sides match up correctly.

1.  Sew about 8 inches of velcro to the top sides of the wrap.  Be sure to fit the towel around you again to assure that you are sewing the velcro to the correct sides.  If the ruffle is wrapping to your left, the velcro should be sewn to the outside top of the left part of the towel and to the inside top of the ruffle side.  Confused yet?


Almost done...

Bottom Ruffle:
1. Cut 4 inch strips off the top and bottom of the extra towel.  I used the top and bottom so that the edges can keep that nice finishing.
2. Sew the two pieces together so that the length of the strips is twice as long as the spa wrap.  

3.  Finish the edges.

4. Gather the towel strip (just as you did to make the fabric ruffle).  This is not easy, so you may have to break it up into parts.  Take your time so that the thread doesn't break.
5. Sew the strip to the bottom of the towel - right sides together.  Press it down.  

If you like, take it to an embroidery store to have it monogramed.  

You're finished!  Now get to the gym and make all the girls in the locker room jealous! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blue + Green = Color Scheme Dream

I love me some color.  I love how color can convey emotion and set the tone for a room.  It can make me feel passionate or peaceful.  I love the nature of contrasting colors.  I love how one color with a certain undertone can make a room feel completely warn while the same color with a different undertone can make the room feel the complete opposite.  

I love color.

So, here's how color is working in my homestead.  Though one of my favorite colors is red, I couldn't seem to pull that off in my last house without it feeling too country or traditional.  In our current home, which we bought when we realized we were having twins, I decided to change it up.  Now more than ever, with 3 kids under the age of 5, I need a peaceful home.  That's the main reason I chose blue and green for our main colors in our home.  

The other reason is that blue and green ROCK.  

OK, let's start in the living room.  Colors: slate blue and medium olive green.

Here's the current work-in-progress state of affairs.  I know.  It's looking pretty scarce without the rug and curtains.  We're working on that.  Each time we've sat down to buy those, my transmission goes out or a kid has to go to the hospital and rack up a huge bill.  I think its God's way of telling me NOT to put my hope in home decor, but in the Lord.  :)

Here's a close up of the chairs we recently bought.  I love the modern wingback/armless style chairs out these days.

Soon, we'll put these bad boys up...

And, this rug from Serena and Lily.  In the meantime, I might just paint a canvas rug this style as seen here.

Here are a few pics of my all time favorite DREAM living room:


Love.  Love.  

Love me some Nate Berkus living room as well.

Here's a pic of our kitchen.  I fell in love with this kitchen two years ago when we were looking for homes.  I loved the backsplash.   I wanted to get my stylist to come in and help arrange the kitchen for this photo (you know, but out some fresh flowers, have some food out like we're in the middle of a nice meal) but since it was such a last minute photo shoot AND since I don't even have a stylist, that didn't work out.  

As for the guest has been poorly neglected. Actually, it has been misused, even, as I change the twins' diapers and do laundry in there daily.  One day, however, I hope it will look something like this:

I love those turquoise walls with the bold red curtains.

Though, I would totally "settle" for this as well:


Now, for the master bedroom.  We have not done too much to the master since moving in.  There is so much to do in this house!  However, if I could snap my fingers and just wish myself into my dream bedroom, it might look something like....  

this gorgeous room:

I am crazy for ikat.  However, not at the $400 a yard pricetag.  Boo.  
(The original source of this pic has somehow been lost.)

As for my craft room, I couldn't possibly post a picture of that right now.  It is a wreck!  However, below is a somewhat recent pic to give you an idea of the color of the walls/furniture.  Blogged here.  Since we bought a new spec home, the entire home was already painted this lovely tan color.  It's a nice enough color, but I SO wish we had the time/money/energy to paint some of the walls.  Thankfully, my hubby allowed me this one concession in allowing me to paint my craft room walls grey.  

This was one of my many inspiration photos.  There is something about those dark grey walls that make the color just pop.  I painted one of the walls in my craft room a similar color.  I'll blog about one day...when it's all finished.  

(Unsure of the original source.  Shoot me an email if you know!)

Now, on to the kiddo rooms!

For the twins' room, I decided to go with a blue/green and pink/green color scheme.  

 Here's Scout's side of the room:

And Sawyer's side of the room:  
(For those detailed mamas amongst us, I no longer use the bumpers.  I just put them on there to give you an idea of the colors...)

Here's the space in between their cribs.  The curtain is Amy Butler fabric, but I'm so ready for something new.  The silhouettes were blogged here.  

For Merrick's room, I found inspiration for the navy/grass room (with small splashes of red) from Serena and Lily.  The pictures above his bed are photographs I took of letters around Austin, TX to spell out his name.  I made the curtains to match (sort of) his bedspread.

This is across from his bed.  Merrick and I made the painting together when he was four.  That's his handprint signature at the bottom right corner.  More on that later.  

Here is my current project: the homeschool room/playroom!  Everything in this pic (with the exception of the Serena and Lily stool) we've built in the past several weeks with plans from Ana White (looooove her!).  I'm about half way done with this room and hope to be finished by September.  

This was the inspiration (mostly) for the playroom/ homeschool room.  I'm hoping to make one of those adorable fushia/turquoise seats.  Unfortunately, I won't be painting the walls blue, but I'm working on a little wall art that will hopefully bring more color to the room.

And, speaking of color, I can't end this post without sharing one of my favorite inspiration photos.  In the future, when I (with a heavy heart) will have to split up the twins and give them each their own room (or have the boys share), I hope to give Scout a room similar to this one:

And that's the home I'm making!  It's a work in progress.  A very, very long work in progress.  But, I soooo enjoy the process.  :)

By the way, this post idea originated from Ashley at the Handmade Home.  I'm linking to her True Colors Par-tay: