I have a horrible, horrible confession to make. As much as I love fashion and beauty, I haven’t been to a hair salon in 20 months. 20 months! That wasn’t a typo.
Between chasing around two rambunctious kiddos and building a house, upkeep on my hair has been one of the last things on my mind. A couple of weeks ago I caught a glimpse of my bedraggled mane in the mirror and gasped (just a little). My hair was Split End City, and there were bits of silvery grey strands poking through at alarming intervals (yes, I’m 30 and I have grey hair… it’s a brunette’s curse).Continue reading
Once upon a time, we weren’t building a house and I had one baby instead of two. I had time to sew things for other people and sell them.
One of my most popular creations was what I called “The Venus Dress” – a knit jersey dress with two long straps that could be tied around the body in numerous ways for tons of completely different looks. This style of dress is often called an infinity dress or convertible wrap dress.
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?
It’s officially freezing cold here, and it does get really cold up here in the “frozen north” (which is what I’m endearingly calling my country home west of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada).
We had a huge dump of snow again this week, and it’s time to layer clothing and wear big boots. It’s time to pull out all of the comfy, flannely, heavy things I can find and put them on.
I’ve always had a love for plaid prints, and this year I’m seeing plaid trending in a big way. Plaid reminds me of winter and Christmas and coziness. I had a bought of strep throat last week and then my family had a bad cold this week, so nothing seems more joyous to me today than wrapping myself up in layers of sweaters and scarfs and soft plaids and sipping some coffee (coffee!!!) after playing outside with my girlie (for only as long as we can bear)!
Today I wore something that I thought I never would – a plaid jacketwith a plaid scarf… and they did not match! It freaked me out a little, but I’m really digging the mismatched look lately, and there are golds and browns in this DIY infinity scarf that coordinate with this gorgeous jacket from Ruche. It’s a fun, country cozy look that I thought was cute! The sash on the jacket cinches my petite & curvy self at the right spot, and I’m wearing my favourite boots (which are buried in the snow).
Underneath this jacket is one of my current favourite sweaters. It’s just so easy to wear, hides my mom-tum and it’s really warm:
It’s a cute poncho cape from ModCloth and I think I snagged the last one, but you can Shop ModCloth here for similar styles! They have adorable sweaters and coats this season.
Here’s hoping that the rest of our December is sickness-free and that we can enjoy Christmas without constant nose-wiping and coughing attacks.
What do you like to bundle up in when the weather’s cold?
(Disclaimer: 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!)
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!)
I’m totally digging the fact that the colour burgundy seems to be trending again this fall. I really think it’s pretty! I’ve always been a huge fan of the colour red, and burgundy is such a gorgeous, muted variation of red that’s perfect for fall.
The above outfit featuring burgundy skinny pants is a simple and casual style that works well for mom-errands. The skinny pants are nice and stretchy (perfect with boots), and I’m wearing a flowing and forgiving blouse, cinched in the waist with a belt to highlight my waist. The fun leopard print scarf is an easy DIY, and I really enjoy how the black and white heart print of the blouse contrasts with the tan and chocolate print of the scarf.
Another way I’m enjoying wearing a bit of burgundy is with these lovely tights. They work nicely to fall and winterize my summer skirts and dresses. Here, I’ve worn them with a lacy skirt (I’m a huge sucker for anything cream coloured and lacey, and this skirt is made from an ultra-comfy knit jersey which is so easy to wear) and boots.
Below is a full-body shot of the outfit above. I almost wrote this post entirely with the pictures showing only bits and pieces of me. These last few weeks have honestly been some of the toughest ones of my mom career due to extreme exhaustion from a sleepless baby, a really busy fall so far that’s including a new DIY house build for our family (is it just me, or is fall about one million times busier than summer anyhow?!) and some shenanigans with a rear-ender car accident. I’m thankful for a God I can trust, loving family and friends and strong coffee, but my face and body haven’t been loving me – I feel like I have bags under my eyes that reach to the floor, stringy hair and a perma-mad expression. I’ve been wearing my glasses most days because my eyes are so tired that they sting when I put my contacts in.
While my youngest was having her afternoon nap, I shot the below picture as my 3 year old girl looked on. I looked at the final photos with disdain, shaking my head at all of my imperfections.
“This looks like a tired, fat mother”.
My little angel-girl, with her eyes sparkling (she loves taking pictures and seeing pictures): “Can I look, mama?”
“OK”. I’m smiling, but I’m feeling defeated.
My baby peers into the camera and looks at the preview. I hear an audible gasp as she says:
“Wow! That is wonderful. You are beautiful, Mama!”
And that’s why I post the photo below.
Despite the imperfections I see in myself, despite my less-than-perfect few weeks, and despite my lack of sleep I have two little girls that think I’m beautiful. I have family and friends that think so. I have a heavenly Father that thinks so. I have a job to do that requires so much more than physical “perfection” – being a mother is a beautiful thing.