Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top Five DIY Blog Posts of 2012






What do you want to see in 2013? What sewing projects would you like to see me tackle? Want a specific sewing lesson? Tell me what you'd like to see in the next year from Sally Ann's DIYs. I'd love to hear from you. Click on the "Tutorial Index" at the top of my blog for more past tutorials.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

DIY Silhouette Throw Pillows

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you all had a great holiday with you families and loved ones. I know I did! For Christmas this year, Matt and I decided to spend $0 on each other. No money at all. We could use our skills and jobs to trade what we could, Matt's in radio so he gets a lot of perks, and I could trade lingerie for goods if need be, or make him something. And I did the latter. I used fabric and scrap things from my house to make him silhouette pillows for our bedroom. I didn't spend a penny, and I gave him a beautiful handmade present.

For these pillows, you will need:
  • felt
  • four same size piece of fabric, I used white linen napkins
  • pictures of your faces, in silhouettes
  • two sheets of white paper
  • your computer screen (unless you draw really well)
  • an old pillow or two, or pillow stuffing
  • matching thread for felt and fabric
Start with your pictures. Open the silhouette pictures in photoshop or a photo editing program and make the contrast as high as possible, making the silhouette very bold. Trace on a sheet of paper. Cut out. Place paper over felt and trace onto the bad side of the felt. I used a permanent marker for this. When cutting the felt, be sure to cut on the inside edge of the marker line. Flip the silhouette over and you are ready to sew.

It took me for-e-ver to find a profile picture of Matt in my thousands of pictures, but I found an outtake from our Michigan trip this past summer when he was taking a picture of the sunset on Lake Michigan. I used my cover shot from the summer issue of the Augustan. 

Center your silhouette on your fabric square/rectangle. Pin your felt to the fabric, and head to your sewing machine. Release the tension on your presser foot. This allows you to move freely and takes the pressure of the presser foot. You can find this on the top of your machine, in line with the needle, or on the side, depending on your machine. Sew! Trim threads and finish pillow construction. (Don't forget to clip your corners!) For a pillow tutorial for those of you who aren't experience seamstresses, click here and here.

If you aren't using a zipper to close your pillow, be sure to leave a small opening to stuff the pillow. Want to be completely green when making these pillows? Find those guest pillows you keep in the closet for when family comes to visit and use the stuffing from those so you don't have to go buy new stuffing. Or shred all your scrap fabric and use that as stuffing. 

Maybe Matt was thinking he'd get something a little more manly for Christmas, but he loves these. And they are perfect in our room!

Questions? Comments!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lazy Days: Chevron Afghan

Since my fashion show, everyone I've been running into asks me, "what are you doing now?" I'll tell you what I've been doing. I've been crocheting and watching Vampire Diaries. I'm working on my first afghan, and I'm about halfway done. It's quite time consuming, but so much fun

The pattern is from Love Elycia's blog, and she got it from "The Easy Art Of Ripple Crochet". I borrowed the same colors she used in her blanket she crocheted from the pattern. I can't wait to make more of these! I'm even considering making a king sized throw for our bed... that might take a while.. Matt is dying for something other than our pink vintage bedspread ha.

A fun new crocheting accessory I picked up last weekend at Crafty Feast, this little yarn bowl holder from Creativity Happens. I've always wanted one of these to sit on my coffee table while I crochet. Keeps the cats from eating my yarn. You can find a similar one here.

 While I should have made it a little bigger, it's perfect "couch size". It'll be big enough to cozy up with Matt and watch a movie, or to use by myself when I'm laying with a cat or two. Plus the colors make it quite versatile for the day we choose another couch set.

Now back to VD and more crocheting before I tackle my mess of a sewing room I need to organize. But it can wait one more day. I love taking a week to myself for projects such as this after a three month overhaul and show. Some quality "Sally time". I clear my head, daydream, brainstorm, and just shut off. It feels great. Then when I get back to work, I'm ready for anything!

What is your favorite kind of down time? What do you like to do to unwind? Have you made an afghan? Let's see some pictures!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

On the catwalk

Photos are in! Yay! The official runway photos from my winter show are up on my Facebook Page. Check out all 71 photos of my 50 piece collection that premiered on December 8, at Sky City, in Augusta, Georgia. Below are more runway photos. I couldn't share them on all here... that'd be photo overload! Here are just a few highlights of the sassy ladies (and men!) that were brave enough to walk the catwalk in front of about 300 people on a Saturday night.





The video should be finished soon, stay tuned for more photos! In the meantime, check out the collection on Etsy. About a third of the collection has sold already, and the men's boxers aren't listed yet. Can't quite get the boxers on my dressform ha.

Busy week for me so far. On top of holiday maddness, I've been working on a bulk order and reorganizing after Crafty Feast last weekend. Sigh. So. Much. Work. As always. Also time to start planning my NYE party with Matt.

Have a great day!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Crafty Feast

Another week, another show. It feels like my runway show was a month ago, when in reality it was just a week before this show, Crafty Feast, in Columbia, South Carolina. It was so great to be a vendor at an indoor show, yay for being inside, while I'm so used to being out in the elements, dealing with wind and weather. 

"Thank God for Wifi." Matt was my little helper all day, loading, unloading, setting up, bringing me refreshments. Between helping out, Matt was happy to get on Twitter, and all his comedy websites to keep himself occupied. 

All day Friday, I spent the day tagging and preparing my inventory for this show. Little details are so important. Unfortunately, my tagging gun broke so I had to revert to yarn and safety pins to attach my tags to the new collection, but old business cards make the best tags. So pretty and simple. 

My favorite part about craft show is definitely meeting new people. I was so happy to meet Kate Thomas of Little Things Studio, and Kristen Ley of Thimblepress. Both ladies are designers who's work is in the form of print. I stocked up on plenty of new prints for my home (and Christmas presents shh) and a few other goodies I'll blog about soon. Check out their Etsy shops, you will love their work!


Thimblepress state prints

Now time to unpack the Jeep (yesterday was a no work day so the car is still jam packed) and clean my work room. Time to prepare for my next project. With the show being last weekend, and this craft fair a few days ago, I can look ahead to what I'll take on next. Maybe take my work to canvas again... maybe more clothing... I'll decide soon.

Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Preparing for Crafty Feast

Wondering where I've been? Sorry for the absence. After last weekend's show, I took Sunday to enjoy mimosas and time with friends, rehashing the night before. Monday, my dad and his wife got to town, and the just left yesterday. We spent the week fixing odds and ends throughout the house, my dad is quite the handy man. We hooked up surround sound in my living room, it's awesome!

Now, it's time to get ready for Crafty Feast tomorrow. I'm one of over 100 vendors in a juried craft show, featuring all handmade independent artists! If you're in the area, come check out my new line first hand! While I can't wait to sell all my wares, I'm so excited to meet other local and area artists. Is at the convention center in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. Visit www.craftyfeast.com for more info.

Now time to pack up my inventory, get my new lined tagged and ready. I'm also making my homemade wrinkle release and fabric refresher (tutorial coming soon). Later today, Matt and I are off to Columbia a night early to spend time with his brother.

Have a great weekend everyone! Pictures and video of my fashion show last weekend coming soon, promise.



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DIY Blackberry Bourbon


Hey bourbon lovers! This recipe is for you! I was inspired by Jelly Bones' blog post on homemade blackberry brandy, so Matt and I decided it'd be yummy to try to infuse some bourbon. I don't know much about infusing alcohol, so this recipe is by no means authoritative, or a perfect recipe, this is just what we did, and I enjoyed the finished product...

For this recipe, you will need:

  • a liquor bottle
  • a pint of blackberry
  • a little over half a fifth of bourbon, we used Jim Beam
 Fill bottle with the pint of blackberries. Top off with bourbon. It's that simple. The rest is a waiting and shaking game. 


 Store bottle in a dry dark place. I put ours in the pan cabinet of the kitchen. Agitate daily. 

Two weeks in. Starting to change color.

 On day 30, we strained the bourbon from the blackberries using a colander and mixing bowl. The blackberries were a little stubborn to get out of the bottle, since they absorbed a good bit of bourbon.


 The blackberries make great garnishes in drinks, they're little bites of bourbon. It's like the bourbon and blackberries traded flavors. The bourbon a bit sweeter, and the blackberries all bourbon. I used additional bourbon to soak the blackberries in, and placed them in the fridge to keep them wet.

 Pour bourbon back in bottle and sit on the shelf.


We enjoyed our bourbon over ice with a few blackberries, and it was great. Maybe try with a little sprite or ginger ale, for those bourbon drinkers that don't like it straight up. 

Next batch, I'm going to try adding a bit of sugar, I think then it will actually frement the blackberries. I can't wait to try this again. We're going to try a few at a time, next time. Maybe some bacon vodka for Bloody Mary's, and some flavored brandy. These would also make great gifts! 

Happy Holidays everyone! Cheers!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's showtime!

Today is my show! And of course I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off, per usual on showday. Today isn't as bad as most days, as I prepared a lot more during the week. 

The models are getting all done up at Perry & Company, and I'm sitting at my computer, listing all my new work in my Etsy shop. (So if you're reading this, check it out and you'll be the first outside of show staff to see the new collection..) 

Must... get.... back to work! I will not stress out today. I will not stress out today. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Sigh. Ha. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DIY Skinny Jeans -
Turn a wide leg pant to skinny or straight leg

Have you ever found the perfect pair of jeans, on the top half, and absolutely hated the bottom half and cut of the legs. This tutorial is for you! Since I only buy second hand clothes, I have a hard time finding exactly what I'm looking for, and can never find that perfect pair of jeans. This pair, from the Gap, I purchased at a local used clothing store. They fit like a dream in the hips and waist, but someone had shortened them, and they were bell bottoms. Eek. Not my style.

Before, above. And also before my morning coffee and sans makeup. Don't mind my disheveled appearance. By the way, this tutorial is for an intermediate level seamstress.

For this tutorial, you will need:
  • a heavy duty sewing needle and sewing machine
  • bright denim thread, found at any store that sells thread (above)
  • dark thread to match your denim
  • chalk
  • razor blade and/or seam ripper
  • a ruler
  • scissors

1. Mark the size of the desired legs. I just eyeballed it because I've done this before, but it may be best to use a pair of skinny jeans you already own. 2. Open both sides of the pant leg up to where they fit the snuggest. I went up to mid thigh. Use a razor blade for this, as there is a lot of thread to rip out. A seam ripper takes for-e-v-e-r. 3 & 4. Start with the leg that has the top stitching. On this pair, it was the inseam. Take in pants. Leave the BACK side of the jeans a little wider than the front side. To do this, I matched up the bottom of the seam a little staggered, with about 1/2 inch difference. 5. Try on pants and see how the new seam lays. Thread your machine with jeans contrast thread. 6. Trim excess fabric. 7. Top stitch, replicating the original look of the jeans. 8. Sew the other side of the pant leg. And that's it! Done!

Having a top stitch with this thread makes for a more professional look, no one will be able to tell you altered your jeans! 

Because I have lost a few pounds since I bought these jeans, I added little darts in the back of the waistband, a little shortcut from the proper way of tailoring them, but this works just as good. In two spots, equidistant from the center back, sew darts the same width. Be sure to go over the darts a few times to prevent the thread from giving.

So much better! Nothing is as great as the perfect pair of jeans. Am I right?! (sidenote: I can't wait to fix that stupid rotten door on Shelby...)

Zeus was so excited about my new jeans he went and jumped in the leaf pile! I can hear the yard guy raking the pile back up as I type this sentence. Hahaha oops. Bad dog.

Zeus' new thing is to take his ball and drop it in the leaves, then search for it. When he finds it, he gets sooo excited. Then I throw it, he retrieves, and back to the leaf pile to loose it again.

Hahaha, this photo! He looks like I'm about to squeeze his eyes out. He wasn't wanting to pose for pictures with me this morning. He had his eyes on that leaf pile!

I hope you all have found this tutorial helpful or even motivated to grab an ill-fitting pair of jeans and head to your sewing machine! Questions/comments, feel free to email me with any sewing questions or advice at sallyannfashion@gmail.com. Happy Wednesday!

For another jeans tutorial, making "curvy jeans" click here.
For a tutorial on how to patch jeans, click here.