best headband ever

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I am showing my Massachusetts roots when I say this: It’s been wicked freaking hot out. I am not a big fan of humidity, especially with my long hair. Normally, I would throw it back into a ponytail, or twist it into a bun. However, my daughter freaks out when my hair is up for some reason.

As long as my hair is down in back, she’s happy. But the minute I put it up, Laura furrow her little two-year-old eyebrows and says, “Mommy fix hair! Mommy fix hair!” She says it over and over until I take out the twisty pins or elastic. And with temperatures in the 90s and bangs that are growing out and hair halfway down my back, I need to keep it away from my eyes and behind my ears at the very least. So I needed another solution: headbands. Pinterest to the rescue! I found several great (free!) tutorials to make cute headbands and first decided to sew up a few using this tutorial from Happy Together.

This is a great project for all those fat quarters one tends to buy just because one likes the pattern. 😉 They are quick and easy to make and stay in your hair very well. I’ve been wearing mine constantly! I even got brave and decided to model one of them. Please ignore my grubby tee and my lack of makeup. It was about a zillion degrees out when I took these photos.

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These headbands reminded me of what Sassy magazine dubbed “Alice Bands” back in the early 90s (referring, of course, to Alice in Wonderland). Do you remember that trend with the thick headbands? I always liked it, so I’m glad it’s kind of back. You can obviously make these headbands as funky or plain as you like. I’d recommend giving the pattern a go!

bandana dress

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I have so many sewing and craft projects in my “to do” pile, that I get dizzy thinking about them. But since I had the luxury of kid-free time today, I thought I’d tackle one that promised to be quick: the bandana dress.

bandana dress (to be)

I’ve read tutorials for bandana dresses and pillowcase dresses and honestly, I think the end product looks pretty much the same, but since the bandana version did not require any cutting, I went with this tutorial from Trey and Lucy. And yes, it was every bit as easy as she makes it sound! I spend more time fussing with the ribbon and getting the bows just right. Truth be told, I would prefer to have lime green ribbon, but white was the only thing in my stash that matched. I can easily switch it out later. Also, I think the 1.5-inch ribbon is a little overwhelming. I’ll have to see it on Laura. The next one (because there will be a next one, oh yes!) will use narrower ribbon.

The cool thing about this dress is that you don’t really have to use bandanas. Just cut fabric you like to the size of a bandana (well, I suppose you’ll want to sew back the raw edges, but you know what I mean. I can’t wait to make these using holiday or seasonal fabric. I think this type of dress will look really cute over a turtleneck in the winter!

 

bandana dress

And, of course, I’ll have to make a hair bow to match 🙂

red and blue vintage circus bunting tutorial (sort of)

fabric bunting

Yesterday I completed the one project I wasn’t sure I’d complete in time for Laura’s birthday party — a fabric pennant/bunting/whatever you want to call it. These have been all over the web for a while now, and on my “to do” list since spring. I kind of made up the instructions as I went along. All I knew was it had to meet these requirements:

  • Easy to do. I do not have the time right now to be all fussy with things like this.
  • Look old and vintage-y. Fraying? No problem. Uneven lines? Hey, that’s okay! It just makes it look more handmade.
  • Be multi-purpose. I need to use this for more than just one event.

So, the color scheme I’m using, as you know, is turquoise and red. Well, it’s lapsed into various shades of blue and red which is perfect since the party is also Memorial Day weekend. I will be able to use this bunting for years on the 4th of July as well, so I will definitely get a lot of use out of it.

First, I chose my fabrics. I just bought a bunch of fat quarters in patterns that I liked. Then I ironed them flat, then folded each in half the long way (with right sides facing each other) and ironed it again. I used this template from Cicada Daydream to trace triangles on the wrong side of the fabric. Because I wasn’t going to be turning my triangles inside-out, I cut out my triangle pattern on the dotted (sew) line. I used pinking shears because I like that look. It looks old. It also makes me think of my grandmother 🙂 Then, I sewed a straight stitch around the two long sides of each triangle. I didn’t go across the top.

fabric bunting

Then I took some navy blue bias tape that I had in my stash, snugged a triangle up inside, and sewed it. Repeat until you run out of triangles or the bunting is as long as you want it. And let me warn you: if you decide to have a little glass of Tia Maria and milk while you sew up your second bunting, chances are you will mess up a few triangles and then your husband will ask why you’re cursing so much. 😉

In hindsight, a smarter thing to do would have been to take fabric glue (personally, I like Fabri-Tac) and glue each triangle into place on the bias tape, and then sew one single line across. It would look a lot neater and save some time. But I’m still happy with the way this came out. I’ll be sure to take a photo of it “in action” at the party on Sunday!

circus party prep (with resources)

balloon wreath

Lulu’s 2nd birthday is quickly approaching and I am frantically trying to finish up all the prep for decorations and planning. I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve gathered so far. First, as shown above, I couldn’t resist making a balloon wreath. They were all over Pinterest and are so easy to make. You can find tutorials at How Does She and Two More Seconds. I’d like to add my two cents: this is a fun, inexpensive, and quick project. I completed in in under an hour. However, I would highly recommend using a thimble to push those floral picks into the wreath form. I did not and my finger was still hurting the next day. Total cost was under $7. I purchased the balloons at Dollar Tree (three packages) and the wreath form and picks at Hobby Lobby. They were much cheaper than Walmart or Michael’s.

On to lunch! I’ve finalized the menu and I’m keeping it super-simple and kid-friendly: hot dogs (I’ll use my large slow cooker to steam them since I have to make a few packages), mac & cheese, fruit salad, popcorn, and oriental cole slaw. For appetizers I’m planning on making antipasto skewers (not circusy, I know, but I can only have so much junky food) and a veggie tray. Beverages will be water, soda, lemonade, and double-berry sangria (obviously for the grown-ups, and a recipe I have yet to put together). I found these great popcorn bags to use! You can find them all over Etsy (overpriced, honestly). After extensive searching, the best price I could find for a reasonable number was from eBay member “frozendrinks.” It cost $5.65 (free shipping) for 50 bags.

circus party prep

circus party prep

As for the cake… yikes, I’m still deciding what flavor! I will probably do a white layer cake with strawberry filling and white icing. If I can’t find blue and white sprinkles, I’ll use blue and white M&Ms around the outer edge of the cake. Maybe (maybe) I’ll use some licorice whips to make a scalloped pattern along the sides. We’ll see about that. And since I am not a great cake decorator by any means, I’m not trying to make a design on the top of the cake, or even write “Happy Birthday.” Instead, I made a bunting that I will attach to skewers. This was another quick and easy project (also no-sew!). I used ribbon from my stash, fabric glue, and baker’s twine. I’m putting together a tutorial, but I’m sure you can easily figure it out yourself.

circus party prep

Finally… favors. As most people who plan a circus party do, I’m using popcorn containers from Target’s Dollar Spot to hold the goodies. I also have clown noses (purchased from eBay member lookwhatabargain for $5.99/dozen (free shipping)) and animal crackers ($1/box at Walmart). I need to figure out one or two more items.

circus party prep

circus party prep

circus party prep

I still hope to sew a fabric bunting to decorate the food table, but if I don’t get to it… I won’t beat myself up about it. Red and light blue streamers will suffice. I think things are coming together well, and I just hope that it doesn’t rain on the party day!

a gift for “somebunny” special

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If there was a Slacker Auntie award, I would definitely receive it. I have a box of Easter goodies for my niece sitting on the dining room table, and I have yet to mail them. But before Easter is out of everyone’s mind, I just wanted to share the shirt I made for my sweet little E.

Lisanne had e-mailed me a link to this tutorial from Girl. Inspired. I thought it was such a cute (and relatively easy!) project and I just had to make one. So I did! This was my first time sewing on a appliqué and I was kind of impressed with myself because I did alright around all those curves!

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Laura was very upset that the shirt was not for her, so I think I need to make another one. I also made a coordinating headband. My niece is 17 months old and probably will take it off immediately, but I couldn’t resist. I love when things are all matchy-matchy.

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And yes, I know it still looks like the middle of winter out there in my yard. My forsythias look awful, the stupid deer ate all my tulips, and the trees are just barely (finally) developing buds. But that has nothing to do with anything, really.

So this will be on its way either today or tomorrow (the car seat is in the car Drew took to work — see? I am totally disorganized this month!). I hope she likes it!