It’s been a cold winter up here in Alberta, Canada… and a busy one for us too!
We’re building a house on our acreage, and life with two kiddos is busy as it it is.
If you really want to know, my uniform of choice these days is a big sweater or cardigan, a stretchy tank and leggings (or super-stretchy skinny jeans). When I’m busy (and cold), I tend to go for “easy” and “comfy” with my outfits.
I haven’t had a chance to take any decent photos of my style choices this winter, but here are some of my favourite “selfies” I’ve posted on Instagram when I have managed to put together a look that I’ve been proud of.
As you can see, I still love to wear either a belt or an empire-waisted dress to highlight one of my smaller parts (a great trick if you’re wide in the hips) except for on comfy home or casual playdate days (when the big cape sweater comes into play like the lower left picture).
Scarves are an essential in the winter for practical reasons, and they’re a fun way to make an outfit special. I’ve been wearing them a lot lately!
My favourite colours this chilly winter season? They’re red, grey, emerald, coral and mint. Yes, I believe you can wear pastels in the winter!
Something I’m making this year are piles and piles of infinity scarves (remember the tutorial I posted in September?). They don’t take very long, they’re so pretty and practical, and you can personalize them with fabric choice to suit the recipient.
I’ve made three more variations of the classic knit jersey style I had originally made, and I really think they’re all pretty!
Sparkly Striped Sweater Knit Infinity Scarf
For a festive and sparkly look (like the first picture above), I made an infinity scarf with a glittery striped sweater knit. I made this one extra wide (the raw fabric measured about 40″ wide before it was folded and sewn).
Woven Burgundy & Chocolate Plaid Infinity Scarf
Plaid is trendy in a big way this year, and I made a second version of the infinity scarf with a plaid woven fabric with a slight stretch to it. This one was also extra wide (at about 44″ before it was folded and sewn). I’m really liking the look of adding quite a bit of extra width to the scarves, giving them a dramatic full look.
Cream Lace Overlay Infinity Scarf
Finally, I made a third version of the infinity scarf by laying a piece of stretch lace over a piece of stretchy jersey (both were about 15″ wide) right sides together. I sewed them together along the length of each side, and then completed the rest of the scarf as I did in my original tutorial. You could use a different colour of knit jersey for a more contrasting look. It’s such a romantic version of the infinity scarf!
Have you tried making an infinity scarf yet? Please share below if you have with a link to your finished project! Or, if you’re planning on making one for yourself or as a Christmas gift – what would be your favourite fabric choice?
I have a “thing” for cream coloured, lacey knits. When the weather dropped to minus 30°C a couple Christmases ago (this is common up here in Edmonton, Alberta!), I decided that I could use a new pair of warm, wooley mittens. Rather than buying a pair, I decided to design some using odds and ends from home. Et Voila! The Pearly Girly Mitts were born! These would make a great gift for the ultimate girly-girl in your life, or for yourself! These mittens feature a lacey ribbed edge, a feminine and practical tie around the wrist, a smocked pattern down the center, and they’re topped off with some lovely faux pearl button embellishments.
Yarn: 2 skeins Lamb’s Pride Worsted (85% wool/15% mohair) in White Frost or a similar worsted weight yarn
Needles: 4 Size 6 US (4 mm) double pointed needles (or size needed to obtain gauge)
6 faux pearl buttons
Thread to sew on buttons
Sizes: Women’s size medium Gauge: 4.5 st = 1”
Abbreviations & Explanations:
K = knit YO = bring yarn over needle to create an extra eyelet stitch P = purl St st = stockinette stitch PM = place marker K2tog = knit two stitches together ssk = slip 1, slip 1, knit 2slipped stitches together M1 = make one stitch by inserting tip of left needle underneath the strand of yarn between two needles, place the lifted strand on the left needle, and knit the lifted strand, twisting to avoid leaving a hole Sl = slip Tie st = sl next 5 st on to cable needle, wrap yarn around these 5 st twice, then K1, P3, K1 from cable needle
Openwork Rib Pattern:
Round 1: K1, YO, ssk, P2 (repeat until end of round) Round 2: K3, P2 (rep to end of round) Round 3: K2tog, YO, K1, P2 (rep to end of round) Round 4: Same as R2 Repeat rounds 1-4 for pattern Smocked Honeycomb Pattern: Round 1 & 2: P3, *K1, P3*, rep from * to end of round Round 3: P3, *tie st, P3, rep from * to end of round Round 4, 5 & 6: As round1 & 2 Round 7: P3, K1, *P3, tie st, rep from * to end of round, ending last rep with K1, P3 Round 8: As round 2 Repeat rounds 1-8 for pattern.
Smocked Honeycomb Pattern:
Round 1 & 2: P3, *K1, P3*, rep from * to end of round Round 3: P3, *tie st, P3, rep from * to end of round Round 4, 5 & 6: As round1 & 2 Round 7: P3, K1, *P3, tie st, rep from * to end of round, ending last rep with K1, P3 Round 8: As round 2 Repeat rounds 1-8 for pattern.
CO 42 st evenly onto 3 double pointed needles. Work in Openwork Rib pattern until ribbing measures 2.5” from start. Next Round: K2tog, YO, rep to end of round. Next Round: Working in K3, P2 rib pattern, increase 4 st evenly across round
Round1: P12, work 19 st in Smocked Honeycomb pattern, P3, PM, M1, P1, M1, PM, P to end of round.
Round1: P7, PM, M1, P1, M1, PM, P3, work 19 st in Smocked Honeycomb pattern, P to end of round.
Round 2: P12, work 19 st in Smocked Honeycomb pattern, P to end of round (slip markers as you go) Round 3: Work in pattern as established (Smocked Honeycomb pattern in center front of mitten bordered by reverse stockinette stitching) to thumb gusset, M1, P to marker, M1, work in patt to end of round Rounds 4 & 5: Work evenly in patt as established Rep rounds 3 – 5 until you have 15 thumb gusset st between markers, ending with a Round 3. Next Round: Work in patt to thumb gusset, remove markers, place thumb st on scrap yarn, CO one st, cont in patt to the end of the round Cont in patt as established until mitten measures 6.5” from ribbing (or to desired length).
Discontinue Smocked Honeycomb pattern and work all st in reverse stockinette. Round 1: *P2, P2tog, repeat from *. Round 2 – 4: Purl. Round 5: *P1, P2tog, repeat from *. Rounds 6 – 8: Purl. Round 9: *P2tog, repeat from *. Cut yarn leaving a long tail. Thread tail onto yarn needle and draw through remaining st. Pull and fasten on the inside of the mitten.
Place thumb st onto 3 double pointed needles and pick up an extra stitch on both sides of the CO st. Work in reverse stockinette until thumb measures 2” from base. Next Round: *P2tog, rep from *. Cut yearn leaving a long tail Thread tail onto yarn needle and draw through remaining st. Pull and fasten on the inside of the mitten.
CO 3 st onto a double pointed needle and knit one row. Do not turn work. Push stitches to other end of the needles. Swap the RH needle with the LH needle, pull up the yarn and K the 3 st again. Rep for each row until cord measures 20”. Bind off. Thread knitted cord through eyelets created at the top of the ribbing. Tie in a bow where desired.
Sew 3 pearl buttons with needle and thread in the centers of the Smocked Honeycomb pattern (use picture as a guide). Sew in all loose ends. Block if desired.
One of my friends needed an apron for a costume this month. It had to be red gingham with a white ruffle and heart applique, so I set to designing it from scratch. I absolutely loved the result and I think this feminine little apron would make an adorable Christmas gift for a friend (or make a smaller version for a toddler’s dress-up collection)!
This is a simple project, and a great one for beginner seamstresses. It requires little fabric and can be whipped up in about an hour.
2 yards gingham fabric (I used red & white gingham – you could order only a yard, but then you will have to cut the apron tie in two pieces and stitch them together making a visible seam)
1/2 yard white eyelet fabric
applique adhesive paper
I purchased my fabric for this project from fabric.com:
Cut 3 strips from the white eyelet fabric that are 3 inches wide and 44″ long (or whatever the width of your fabric is – mine was 44″) for the ruffle. Cut a 5″ square out of the white eyelet fabric and the applique adhesive paper, fuse them together (according to the directions on the applique paper’s packaging), and then cut out a heart shape (I free-handed mine, but you could also print out a 5″ wide heart and use that as a pattern). Cut a piece of the gingham fabric that is 4″ wide by 70″ long (for the apron tie – use the full length of the 2 yards for this so that it is one continuous piece) and one that is 16″ long by 35″ wide (for the main apron piece).
The ruffle: Sew the three ruffle strips together, and then fold the entire strip in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together. Gather the raw edge (I use a serger and adjust the tension, but you could also use a regular machine basting stitch and pull the threads to gather).
Round the two bottom corners of the main apron piece (I use an ice cream pail lid as a guide) and then pin the ruffle to the sides and bottom of the main apron piece, raw edges together. Stitch together, fold the ruffle down and then top-stitch about 1/4″ away from the seam as shown above. This helps the ruffle stay flat!
Apply the heart applique to the lower right corner of the apron (about 3 or 4 inches from the edge) and satin stitch it to the apron.
Gather the top of the apron so that it measures approximately 17″ wide.
Find the center of the apron and the center of the apron tie piece (by folding each in half). Pin them together, right sides together and raw edges aligned, with the centers matching. Sew together using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
Fold the apron tie in half lengthwise, right sides together, and pin. Sew the ends together using a 1/2″ seam. Then, sew the strap together on either side of the main apron piece, ending the seam about 1/2″ from the apron (as shown above).
Finally, fold the remaining raw edge of the tie under 1/2″, pin it to the apron, and sew it about 1/4″ from the folded edge to the apron.
Your pretty little ruffled apron is done! Now, go bake some cinnamon buns or give the apron to your bestie as a cute Christmas gift.
We had a light dusting of snow yesterday (alright, it was a massive down-pouring that resulted in several inches of the stuff on the ground and school cancellations).
It was the perfect weather for making snow angels (my little Canadian three-year-old has no fear when it comes to jumping right into big piles of snow)!
The blustery weather got me thinking about my winter coat collection. I am admittedly a bit of a coat and jacket addict, and some of my very favourite winter jackets have been purchased from Modcloth. I’ve been browsing and pinning their latest selection this week, and here are some of my favourite winter jacket picks that I’d love to share with you:
The Cocoa and Waffles Coat reminds me of a country sleigh ride with a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night. I love big shawl collars like this, and the cinched sash and roomy peplum would be flattering on a petite curvy girl like myself. The South Bank Stroll Coat in Goldenrod is such a striking, military-style jacket in such a beautiful marigold yellow colour that’s so trendy for this year. It would look great over a dress or jeans. It has a very tailored profile and a cinched waist also which would be flattering on any body shape.
Finally, the Amateur Astronomer Coat is such a classic piece with a twist – it’s in a classy navy colour and a classic peacoat shape, but it has a large folded collar that I think is so adorable.
Which winter jacket should I choose? What do YOU look for in a winter coat?
(Disclaimer: This post contains Modcloth affiliate links. If you decide to purchase clothing from Modcloth 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!)
What better way to keep your memories close at heart than by tucking a bit of nostalgia inside a small glass vial and turning it into a charm necklace?! Read on to find out how you can make your very own custom piece. Continue reading
I love scarves; they are the epitome of fall accessories. They’re perfect for layering and transitioning lighter fall clothing into cooler weather and scarves can add a beautiful pop of colour or pattern to what might otherwise be a dull outfit.
Infinity scarves are a kind of tubular scarf that’s attached at both ends. They’re usually stretchy, and you can wrap them around your neck once, twice, or sometimes three times for different looks/warmth levels. This type of scarf is a breeze to make, and I’d love to show you how!
2 yards of very lightweight fabric (I prefer stretchy fabric like rayon/cotton/bamboo/polyester knit jersey but you could also use woven lightweights like cotton voile, cotton lawn)
Cut your fabric in half lengthwise so that you have two long strips (you can make two scarves out of two yards!). Fold the fabric in half again lengthwise with the right sides together. Pin and sew the raw edges together (I used a serger, but you could use a regular sewing machine with a 5/8 inch seam).
Pull the tube to the right side out, and then pull one end over the other so that the right sides are together again and the two raw edges meet, as pictured above.
Here’s the trickiest part (and it’s not even that tricky), but it gives the scarf a cool twist that helps it lay flat: Twist the inside layer so that its seam meets the opposite side of the outer layer’s seam, as pictured above. Basically, you’re twisting the inside layer 180 degrees. Pin the raw edges together..
Sew the raw edges together leaving a 2″ opening.
Turn the scarf right side out and hand-stitch the opening closed. Voila! Your scarf is ready to be worn & loved.
Twist it once for a drapey look.
(I like to model scarves in front of my messy bookcase and beside my full basket of laundry.)
Twist it three times for a snug cowl.
(I also like to modal scarves in front of my fridge, at night.)
(Giveaway closed as of 09-30-2012 @ 10:00 pm MST.)
Fall has to be my favourite time of year. To me, even though the leaves turn and fall, it’s a time for fresh beginnings and new dreams. I love sipping warm spicy drinks in the brisk weather, and I’ve always enjoyed dressing in more interesting layers and fall-ish fashion.
As a mom – and as a crafty mom at that – I like to find outfits that are just as practical as they are interesting & creative. Jeans are my go-to pant, and stretchy layers work so well with an on-the-go lifestyle. Here are my top 9 favourite outfit ideas for fall this year for a DIY Mommy:
(Image Credit) Nothing says “autumn” more than a scarf, and I love this colourful scarf paired with a mustard yellow blouse, trouser jeans and medium brown accessories. Easy and casual!
(Image Credit) For a “mom’s night out”, this forgiving wrap is gorgeous and glamourous. Tall brown boots are a fall classic, and the teal purse adds just the right pop.
(Image Credit) Brights can be worn in fall too! Here, happy hues of yellow and aqua transition into autumn via cardigan and casual jeans.
(Image Credit) Coloured jeans can still be worn in cooler weather with a monotone, neutral scarf and cardigan combo paired with brown accessories.
(Image Credit) This floral scarf is so sweet worn with a feminine blazer in a nubby textured fabric. I like the contrasting striped shirt underneath.
(Image Credit) Here’s another fabulous example of bringing bright colours (mint & blush) into fall with heavier fabrics and a warm scaf.
(Image Credit) A bold striped cardigan is paired with a black shell, pumps and pops of yellow accessories. Trouser jeans are a must for fall!
(Image Credit) Fern green and mustard yellow are classic fall colours and pair nicely here with chestnut brown accessories.
(Image Credit) A pop of coral makes this casually cute outfit sing! A tan biker jacket is a nice classic paired with a skinny jean.
What is your go-to “mommy uniform” when the weather cools down? Are you a jeans girl? Prefer maxi dresses & cardis? Comment below; I’d love to hear!
(P.S. I’m working up the courage to possibly do regular features of my own style – I’ve noticed a lack of fashion blog posts for petite-ish, curvy moms. Please let me know if this might be something that would be interesting or not!)