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DIY Home Decor

Mood Board: Rustic Glam Farmhouse Living Room – Our DIY House

Within the next couple of weeks, I’d like to share with you my decor ideas for all of the rooms in Our DIY House. With our drywall scheduled to be finished this week, we’ll soon be on to painting and finishing (hooray)!

My dear hubby chuckles at me as I put together the decor ideas for our home. I mean, I started dreaming of how the finished product would look as soon as he dug the first chunk of dirt up for our basement with his bobcat! You know what, though? I think it’s incredibly important to have a clear vision of a room’s finished look in order to choose all of the things that need choosing as you go along on a house build. If I have a vision of a completed room in mind, it’s easier for me to pick finishes that match – from the flooring to the paint colour to the door knobs.

Plus, it’ll be fun to see how close (or how far from?) the completed rooms in Our DIY House are to these mood boards.Continue reading

DIY Sewing

Sew Vintage Inspired Easter Dresses for Baby and Big Sister

DIY Vintage Inspired Easter Dresses by The DIY Mommy

Easter seems to be approaching really quickly this year (and it is coming quicker quite literally since it’s in March this year). I’m really not sure I’ll be able to sew my two girlies Easter dresses this year which makes me sad – it’s been a tradition so far in our little family! Plus, I have such wonderful memories of my mom sewing me Easter and Christmas dresses, and she has memories of her mom sewing her and her sisters dresses. It’s in the genes!

However, I did make a couple of frilly Easter dresses for both my girls last year, and I simply didn’t have the time to write about them (I think it had something to do with getting used to having two kids). I thought I’d share them with you today just in case you’re gearing up for some Easter sewing and are in need of some ideas (and maybe I’ll motivate myself here – who knows)!

DIY Vintage Inspired Easter Dress by The DIY Mommy

I made a dress for my then 3 year old and my then 3 month old. I wanted them to coordinate, but I didn’t want them to match exactly.


I used two patterns from the wonderful book Cute Clothes for Kids by Rob Merrett (I encourage you to buy it – it’s one of those great resource-type sewing pattern books that you can use as-is or you can use the patterns as a base for your own creations).

Little C’s dress (the older one) was based off of the “Teatime Treat” dress pattern in Cute Clothes for Kids, and the only things I changed were adding a ruffle to the hem and a double ruffle to the bottom of the apron piece.

The pattern was easy to follow and look how cute the tied sash is at the back!

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Baby A’s dress was based on the “Spring Orchard” dress pattern in Cute Clothes for Kids. I added a ruffle on the hem and used snaps instead of buttons at the shoulders (only because that’s what I had on hand at the time and I wanted to finish these!).

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I used the “Tweet” fabric line from Timeless Treasures for these dresses, purchased from Fabric.com – my favourite place to buy fabric online.

I was really happy with the two finished Easter dresses for my little girls. They had a vintage flare to them because of the fabric style and mix, and they coordinated but weren’t exact duplicates.

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Just for kicks, here’s my silly Little C in her dress from last year – it’s a wee bit snug, but she still looks like a princes don’t you think?

DIY Vintage Inspired Easter Dress by The DIY Mommy

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase products via these links, a small percentage of the sale will be given to me at no extra cost to you. It’s a win-win – thanks for helping support thediymommy.com!)

DIY Home Decor, Knitting & Crochet

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket – Part 2: Joining the Squares & Finishing

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

After crocheting what seems like a bazillion little granny squares, this is the fun part – putting them all together and finishing off the blanket!

(If you missed part one of this tutorial on how to plan your granny square blanket and make the squares, go here to Part 1 first.)

Joining the granny squares:

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

With your white/cream yarn, starting with your first square in the first row, attach the yarn to one corner ch 1 hole and then chain 3 (this will act as your first dbl crochet + chain 1). [ Dbl crochet 3 times into the same hole (this forms a corner of the square), chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1 ] Repeat 3 times until you’re at the hole you started on and then slip stitch into the 3rd chain from the beginning. Pull yarn through loop and cut, leaving a tail.

Now, you will move on to the second square in the first row and join it this way:

Attach the white/cream yarn to one corner ch 1 hole and then chain 3 (this will act as your first dbl crochet + chain 1).  [Dbl crochet 3 times into the same hole (this forms a corner of the square), chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1.] Repeat once and then stop! Poke your crochet hook through one corner chain of the first square. Slip stich through.

Ch 1, dbl crochet 3 times in same hole (of second square), chain 1, [dbl crochet 1 time in the next hole, then find the middle dbl crochet of the adjacent “dbl crochet 3” on your first square and slip stich through. Dbl crochet 2 times, ch 1] Repeat from [ to ]. Dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1. Slip stitch into the 3rd chain from the beginning. Pull yarn through loop and cut, leaving a tail.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

You’ll repeat this pattern for the entire first row of 12 squares.

On the next rows, when you need to join one square to others, only crochet up one side, and then start attaching it to the other squares.

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Here’s a picture showing a slip stitch through the corner chains to attach the square corners together.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

The blanket is 16 rows long, so this part takes a while. I would suggest to take a “break” every few rows and weave in the ends on the back of the blanket so that you’re not weaving them ALL in at the end (which is really annoying)!

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

Once the entire 16 rows of 12 are joined, you’re ready to edge the blanket.

Finishing the blanket:

I chose a very simple bobble edge so that the colourful granny squares were the stars of this piece!

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

I single crocheted for two rows around the entire perimeter of the blanket, and then I used this lovely pattern to make bobble edging. Isn’t it cute and quirky?

Weave in all of those pesky ends and your done!

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

I think we’ll cuddle up with this blankie on our living room couch, and then when our new house is built and Baby A has her own nursery, it will reside there. I like that it’s soft and made of natural fibers.

I’m totally in love with this crocheted granny square blanket – it’s retro-cuteness at it’s finest. And I’m really proud of it!

Have you ever crocheted a blanket? Please share your finished projects in the comments below.

DIY Home Decor, Knitting & Crochet

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket – Part 1: The Squares

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

 

I fell in love with vintage-looking granny square blankets last spring when I saw them all over Pinterest. I especially liked the ones with vibrantly coloured squares surrounded by white or cream stitches. So pretty!

I made it my mission starting last May to crochet a granny square blankie that I could use for my baby girl (or just as a throw in our living room). This project took me a long time (8 months!) but it was well worth the effort. And, honestly – it was a relaxing little project that was easy to pick up any time.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

The pattern was concocted by staring at a million pictures of blankets I loved, and with the help of my mom who is wonderful at eyeballing crocheted works and duplicating them. I used a really soft and lovely organic cotton sport-weight yarn from Knit Picks. It was nice to work with and also budget-friendly. The yarn has since been discontinued, but check out Knit Picks for other inexpensive yarns in natural fibers.

Here’s how I made this blanket (I’ll divide this tutorial into two parts because it’s quite long)!

Finished blanket measures approximately 48″ by 64″. Gauge isn’t really important unless you want the blanket to be exactly this size (if so, the squares should measure about 4″ wide).

Materials:

  • 2 skeins each of 8 different colours of yarn (164 yard skeins)
  • 8 skeins of white/cream coloured yarn (164 yard skeins)
  • size J crochet hook
  • yarn needle

Directions:

Need help with basic crochet stitches and techniques? I recommend taking a Crafsty class on basic crochet.

Making the Squares

I made 12 different combinations of granny squares and I mixed up the colours in a way that was visually appealing to me. If you look at this photo, you can see the basic pattern I used. Feel free to copy it, or it’s a lot of fun to come up with your own colour combos with the different colours of yarn.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

Plan the colours that will go into each of the 12 different granny squares, and then make them like this:

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

Chain 4, slip stich into the first chain to form a loop. Chain 3 (this will count as your first double crochet cluster and chain) and then dbl crochet into the loop, but don’t do the last step of the dbl crochet (leaving 2 loops on your hook). Dbl crochet into the loop again, and then on the final step pull your yarn through all the loops on your hook. This forms a double crochet cluster. Chain 1.

Repeat a dbl chrochet cluster + chain 1 6 more times so that you have 8 dbl crochet clusters on your loop. Slip stitch into the 3rd chain of your first faux dbl crochet cluster. Pull yarn through loop and cut, leaving a tail.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

With your second chosen colour of yarn, attach it in a chain one hole. Chain3 (this will act as your first dbl crochet + chain 1).  [Dbl crochet into the next chain 1 hole 3 times. Chain 1. ] Repeat until you’re at the hole you began with, dbl crochet 2 times and slip stitch into the third chain you started with. Pull yarn through loop and cut, leaving a tail.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

With a third colour, attach yarn to one of the chain 1 holes of the previous round. Chain 3 (this will act as your first dbl crochet + chain 1). [ Dbl crochet 3 times into the same hole (this forms a corner of the square), chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1 ] Repeat 3 times until you’re at the hole you started on and then slip stitch into the 3rd chain from the beginning. Pull yarn through loop and cut, leaving a tail.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

You will need to make 16 of each of the 12 squares. I used a tin to store them in. This is a great project to do a bit at the time – do a couple of squares each night as you relax!

Click here to move to Part 2 – Joining the Squares and Finishing the Blanket

 

DIY Sewing

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or Anyone Else in Your Family!)

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

PJ pants are such a classic handmade Christmas Eve present that I enjoy making and giving  to my hubby and kids each year. I “cheat” a little and don’t use a pattern – I simply sneak some of their favourite pants from their drawers and make a simple pattern directly from the pants they have!

If you’re looking for a beginner’s sewing project that would make a practical and heart-warming Christmas gift (or gift for any time of year), you might want to try this method to make some pajama pants for your baby, your toddler, your hubby or yourself. It’s easy and quick and I always have a blast searching for fun fabrics to make these pants with.

Materials:

  • 1 yard cotton flannel (for baby pants) or 1 1/2 yards cotton flannel (for child’s pants) or 2 1/2 yards cotton flannel (for adult pants) (for these seriously sweet pants for my one year old, I used
    Mother Nature Flannel Forest Friends Girl Blue/Orange from fabric.com
    )
  • 1 inch wide elastic
  • an pair of pants with an elastic waist that currently fits the person you’re sewing these for

Directions:

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY MommySew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

Making the Pajama Pants Pattern

Wash your fabric. Fold it in half lengthwise (if you’re making adult pants or larger child’s pants you won’t be folding it in half because you’ll only be able to fit one full leg on your fabric’s width).

Fold the pants you’re using as a template in half lengthwise at the crotch, placing them towards one side (as shown in the first picture above). Trace, adding approximately 1 1/2″ inches to the top (for the waistband – pull the elastic taught when tracing this part), a 1/2″ for the length (for the seam allowance) and 2″ at the bottom (for the hem). Mark where the outer edge of the leg is.

Flip the pants over to the other side, keeping the edge of the leg in line with your marking (as shown above) and keeping the pants folded in half. Trace the other side of the pants as you did the first side, adding the extra inches.

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

You should end up with a shape similar to the above shape. You can use a straight edge to straighten the legs if needed. One side should have a slightly deeper curve – this is the back of the pants that allows for extra bum room! Cut out another piece just like this (using the first as a guide) if you’re making larger pants and didn’t fold the fabric.

Sewing the Pajama Pants

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY MommySew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

Sewing these little PJ pants is so easy!

Beginning with one piece, turn it in half lengthwise with the right sides together. Sew the inseam together using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Using a serger makes this go super quickly, but if you don’t have one, you can finish the seams with a zigzag stitch. Repeat with the second leg.

Then, pin the two legs together at the crotch, matching up the inseams, and seam them together using a 1/2″ allowance.

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

Turn the pajama pants right side out, and press them. For the waistband, fold it over 1/2″ to the inside and press. Fold it over another 1 1/4″ and press. For the hem, fold each pant leg in 1″ and then another 1″ and press.

Stitch both about 1/4″ from the fold. Leave about a 1 1/2″ opening at the back of the waistband to thread the elastic through.

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

Cut your elastic to the same size as your template pants (add 1/2″ for the join). Thread it through the upper casing and stitch it securely together at the ends. Stitch the opening closed.

I like to add another line of stitching on the waistbands of my pants to keep the elastic from rolling and shifting. To do this, pull the elastic waistband taut and sew line in the middle of the casing (as above).

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

You’re already done your adorable little DIY pajama pants! Now wasn’t that easy?

Whip a few pairs up for your family and friends for a thoughtful Christmas gift (and please comment and share below if you’ve made your own PJ pants)!

DIY Family Food, DIY Recipes

Preserve Garden Tomatoes

by Christina Dennis

How to Preserve Garden Tomatoes by The DIY Mommy

This week, my oldest daughter and I swam through our greenhouse (I say “swam” because I’m the worst weeder in the entire world, most likely) and picked buckets and buckets of these little tomatoes! I was so proud of them, I geekily took dozens of photos and posted them on Facebook. I have to admit – I’m not the green thumb in our house. My dear Hubby is!

We simply can’t eat all of the tomatoes we’ve harvested and are still going to harvest, so I’ve found some great ways to preserve them so that we can enjoy them for most of the winter.

  1. Freeze them. This is by far the easiest way to preserve little tomatoes. You can wash them and freeze them whole by laying them on a cookie sheet until they harden, and then transferring them to bags or jars. You can also crush the tomatoes or puree them first for sauces. You can then defrost these later and use them for soups/stews, roasts and breakfasts. Easy!
  2. Make them into a sauce. Here’s a tasty-sounding recipe from Martha Stewart on how to make a simple tomato sauce for immediate eating or freezing.
  3. Slow roast them. This sounds absolutely delicious to me and it’s what I want to do with our larger tomatoes (I froze our small ones). You roast tomatoes with garlic and herbs and then you can freeze them. Here’s an amazing-looking recipe for slow roasted tomatoes for the freezer.
  4. Can them. Canning scares me a little, but I’m determined to give it a shot this year with some fruits or vegetables. Here is a beautiful tutorial on how to can tomatoes that will last a very long time.

Finally, here are a couple more tomato candids before you go. Don’t they look so colourful and tasty? If you’ve tried out any of the methods above, please let me know how they worked for you!

How to Preserve Garden Tomatoes by The DIY Mommy

How to Preserve Garden Tomatoes by The DIY Mommy

Christina Dennis is the creator and designer behind Golly Gee Baby, a collection of unique and colourful baby clothing and accessories that are ethically manufactured.

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