Figgy’s Scirocco Dress

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Figgy’s Scirocco

Figgy’s Scirocco dress pattern has been one of my all-time fav0rite patterns to sew.  This dress is a playtime, summer favorite that is easy to make with a  designer quality look.  I fell in love with the pattern as soon as I saw it.  I loved the design, the grey and white Polka Dot Dress Fabric by Moda, and the red boots to match featured on Figgy’s website here.   As it had been awhile since I had sewn a dress, I did some research and found that I was not the only one who loves Figgy’s Scirocco Dress! So many pictures and blogs dedicated to the Scirocco Dress!

Figgy's Scirocco
In my version, I opted for a Kona Cotton in Mustard by Robert Kaufman and Large Orbs in Lighter Grey by Tomotake Muddy Works. However, I cannot take credit for this lovely combination  I first saw it on Probably Actually: here modeled on an adorable Oliver + S pattern.  I paired the girly dress with ‘Troopa’ Boots by Steve Madden.  

During my research for Figgy’s Scirocco, I found an incredible tutorial here.  If it were not for this tutorial, I may never have made the twisted back on the first try! I also found a trend: the gaping side back! I had to study many pictures to determine why so many of the finished dresses had gaping sides.  At first glance, I assumed the dresses were too large for the subject, however, after second thought, I determined that there was too much fabric on the sides of the dress back for the size of the waist.  

Figgy's Scirocco

In order to overcome this minor detail, I decided to adjust the pattern to fit each measurment of my little girl.  In addition, I tapered the bottom side diagonal line to 1 inch so that with a 1/2 inch seam, the finished side back would measure 1/2 inch before the side seam at the bottom.

 

In the end, I think Figgy’s Scirocco dress turned out wonderfully.  After all, it was the dress that got me sewing again.  The dress that would eventually enspired me to blog about my sewing and DIY projects, and create Lark + Wren. You can see more images of this dress here.  

 

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Sidewalk Chalk Photography DIY

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Sidewalk Chalk Photography

We love you to the moon and back!

Earlier this year, the kids and I succumbed to yet another pinterest phenomenon: Sidewalk Chalk Photography.  In the heat of a Texas June day, we decided to make chalk paint, paint the driveway in the likeness of the Dallas skyline, and make one of the most adorable Father’s Day cards ever!

need 2

 

Chalk Paint:

  • 4-5 cups Cornstarch
  • Food Coloring (we used gel)
  • 4-5 Cups of water

To make: Mix roughly 1 cup cornstarch to 1 cup water with 10-12 drops of food coloring (or until the desired color).  We had no problem washing away the color when we were finished.  However, we used Tempura Paint in black for the outline, and that took about 2 weeks to fully disappear.

 

Additional Supplies:

  • Camera
  • 4-5 Large Sponge Paintbrushes
  • Ladder
  • Patience

 

We only had a few hours to create the chalk surprise, so unfortunately we had to deal with the sun and very hot concrete.   I made the outline of the Dallas Skyline and the kids painted it in with the freshly made chalk paint and sponge brushes.  The kids lasted about 30 minutes (which is 20 minutes longer than I thought) and I continued on.  After while in the sun, I decided that to leave some of the buildings empty was artistically pleasing.  It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact I was drenched from had to toe and ready to call it a day.  It was an artistic choice :)

Sidewalk Chalk Photography

 

We were ready to pose for the photoshoot! All I needed to do was position the ladder in the alleyway in order to get to a perspective where the driveway was flat.  I never was able to find this position, but it was close enough!

Posing the children was the most enjoyable part of the whole event.  The kids loved coming up with silly poses and trying them out.  However, we had to wait until 5:00 to get the shots as the concrete was so hot! Which gave us only 30 minutes before dad arrived.  We quickly added stars and a moon to create the look of night and took photos in 30 second bursts! Oh the joys of a Texas summer.  Hot enough to fry an egg! In the end, with a little photo editing to darken the photos and some text from a beloved book, we had a magical gift to give a wonderful father.

Sidewalk Chalk Photography

Sidewalk Chalk Photography

When we were done, we just washed the chalk away. 

Sidewalk Chalk Photography

Tufted Headboard Tutorial

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DIY Tufted Headboard Tutorial

Tufted headboards are a little girls dream, and in my case maybe an even bigger dream to make one.  When I saw the Eliza Tufted Headboard from Pottery Barn, I knew that I must have one for Cadence.  But with a price tag near $1,000, I turned toward my inner creativity (and my father!) to make one from scratch.  I had never made furniture or reupholstered anything before, but I knew with the countless tutorials on pinterest that we could succeed.  My favorite tutorial came from The Idea Room.  While I knew I wanted a deeper tuft than the one shown, I loved the step by step instructions, not only for the tufting, but the headboard frame as well.  

DIY Tufted Headboard Tutorial

Originally, a tufted headboard was all we were going to attempt.  However, once I involved my dad, we got a whole entire bed frame! As I was not the one to make the bed frame, I cannot explain in detail how it was done.  However, I can show step by step how the headboard was constructed as well as do over points along the way.  Note: While the bed frame was made and prepped by my loving father, I had the pleasure of painting the bed which ended up with 3 coats of paint! My husband, of course, occupied the children during this process.  

DIY Tufted Headboard Tutorial

 

need 2

  • Piece of MDF board cut to your specifications
  • 2 – 3 inch foam (we found ours at JoAnn’s)
  • Drill and 3/8 inch Drill Bit
  • Quilt Batting (Joanne’s)
  • Pillow / Doll Stuffing (Joanne’s)
  • Waxed Thread (JoAnn’s)
  • Upholstery Needle 
  • Spay Glue
  • Button Making Kit with enough buttons for your project (JoAnn’s)
  • Material for the tufted headboard
  • 2 sawhorses or 2 tables
  • Staple Gun and Staples

 

Make the frame.  Follow the instructions from The Idea Room and cut the MDF board to your own specifications.  We opted for a squared off look to offset how girly the tufted headboard is.  Decide how many tufts you would like and how far apart you want them.  Decide between square and diamond tufts We chose square to match the square frame.  Mark where each button will be and drill holes all the way through the MDF headboard with a drill and drill bit  We used a 3/8 inch drill bit.  Our headboard is 39×28, we have 4 rows of 5 totaling 20 buttons spaced 7 inches apart horizontally and 6 inches vertically.  

Step 2

DIY Tufted Headboard Tutorial

Line up the foam (which may be more than one piece depending on the size of your headboard) with he MDF board.  With a pen, mark through the holes onto the foam.  Cut holes in the foam about the same size as the buttons with a pair of scissors or a knife.  Once the holes are made, line up the foam and the MDF and glue together with the spray glue.  This will ensure that it does not move!

Step 3

DIY Tufted Headboard Tutorial

 I found that to get the perfect tufted look it was best to add balls of fluff in the middle of each tuft.  I carefully added the quilt batting on top, adjusting the balls of fluff accordingly.  

Step 4

DIY Tufted Headboard Tutorial

Now is a good time to make the cloth covered buttons.  I ended up having to hand sew mine on as the fabric was so thick- taking me about 2 hours!  In the beginning, we tried following the instructions of sewing the buttons to the headboard to make the tufts, but they kept breaking.  Eventually we ended up sewing smaller, shirt sized buttons on with the waxed thread and upholstery needle to make the tufts, and then sewing the decorative buttons on afterwards.   

Step 5

DIY Tufted Headboard Tutorial

Step 5 – shaping the tufts, was by far the hardest part.  My dad ended up helping more than he thought he would as it needed so much strength! We placed the foam topped headboard on two sawhorses so that we could get underneath.  After gently smoothing and softening, we pulled the button into the foam hole with the upholstery needle, and wax thread. My dad, being the strength, pulled the wax thread underneath the headboard until I told him the depression was sufficient (and eventually, evenly depressed with the others – as this is no easy feat) and he would then staple the excess thread to the headboard in a W pattern.  Surprisingly, the quality of the tufts was not determined by the depth.  In fact, we barely pulled the buttons into the foam.  The extra fluff and quilt batting is what made the tufts look full and round.  The 20 tufts took about 3 hours to make, but it was worth every minute! 

Step 6

DIY Tufted Headboard Tutorial

After the tufting, assembling the headboard was a breeze!  After a little more smoothing and softening around the edges, we trimmed the excess fabric and stapled it to the back.  The headboard was complete!  All we had left  was to assemble the rest of the bed  and marvel at our masterpiece.

DIY Tufted Headboard Tutorial

DIY Tufted Headboard Tutorial

 

DIY Tufted Headboard Tutorial

 

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A is for Autumn: Fall Flag Banner Tutorial

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Autumn Flag Banner Tutorial + Front Porch Makeover

Fall Flag Banner Front Porch Tutorial

Autumn is right around the corner and we could not wait to get started decorating! With 14 days left until fall we are a little early, but anything to get our minds off this heat is worth it!
The project started off as a fall flag banner for the fireplace, however, after some thought, I decided to use it to decorate our front porch- the front porch that has never been decorated in the 2 years that we have lived here.

I have always wanted to have the decorating skills that are plastered all over pinterest.  In truth, I have never been much of a decorator- leaving most of the work to my husband who has a talent for decorating that obviously exceeds my own. Today, however, the kids and I attempted (and succeeded) in making a very festive fall flag banner.  We searched high and low for unused objects in the house to use for the fall porch makeover.  Fall Flag Banner Front Porch TutorialWe were able to use 2 black vases, our original doormat, a small pedestal, and three pumpkins.  The rest we went to find at Hobby Lobby and Lowes.

At Lowe’s, we picked up the plants: 2 purple 2.00-Gallon Mum with Grass Planters and 2 white 3.00-Quart Mum Garden Planters.

At Hobby Lobby, we found fabric and hemp rope for the Autumn Flag Banner, 8 decorative flowers, 1 flower bunch for the wreath, a basic natural grapevine wreath, a bronze initial, and a side table on sale.

 

The total bill came out to: $138.00 – pretty amazing!

Especially when compared with the before photo found here!

 Autumn Flag Tutorial:

So, I know there are a million fall flag banner tutorials out there, but the method of using Heat n’ Bond for the letters and sewing for the actual flag is my favorite.  Alternatively, you can use the Heat n’ Bond for the flag as well, however, the below instructions include sewing.

 

 

Fabric colors for 8 flags ( I used 5 colors in 1/8 yard each)

Muslin Fabric in 1/2 yard

Black Fabric for letters in 1/8 yard

Hemp Rope

Heat n’ Bond

Printer

Sewing Machine (if stitching)

Step 1

 

 

Print out the flag template from www.flairytale.com found here.  I resized it to fit an 8×11 sheet of paper to make a 10×7.5 inch triangle.  I then printed out the letters to spell “autumn” in the font: Script MT Bold 350pt.

Step 2

 

 

Using the template, cut out the fabric into 8 flags of your color choice, and 8 more in the muslin.  Set aside.

Step 3

 

 

Trace the letters backwards or mirror image onto the Heat n’ Bond paper side.  Once complete, place the Heat n’ Bond onto the wrong side of the black fabric and iron for 2-5 seconds.  Once cool, cut the letters out, peel off the sticker one at a time and iron them onto the fabric flag.

Step 4

 

 

Sew the finished front flags to the muslim backs right sides together.  Sew the long sides of the triangle together, leaving the top edge open.  Trim and turn right side out.  fold the top edges in toward each other 1/4 inch, press flat.  Fold edge down and sew a pocket for the hemp rope about 1/2 inch deep.

 

 

 

Finished Autumn Flag Banner

Fall Flag Banner and wreath Front Porch Tutorial

 

 

Before + After

Fall Flag Banner Front Porch Tutorial

 

Sewing for Kids

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Sewing for Kids
After many years on a sewing hiatus, I brought out my sewing machine and dusted it off to teach a little girl to sew.  Within a few short months, she went from making pillows, to sewing her own clothes.  It was not long before I realized her natural talent (and the spark it gave me to sew again myself), and created the lark + wren blog to showcase our work.

The below images are just a few of the “firsts”, sewing for kids, the beginning of a great new project: lark + wren

Sewing for Kids

 

 

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