Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals. I'm a recovering former vegan and vegetarian, now healing with a nutrient-dense mostly Paleo diet, and love at-home CrossFit and yoga workouts. I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!


Halloween plans?

Happy Halloween!!
I'm not doing much this year; the fiancé has tons of homework so we're not going out, but I'm going to a little fireplace-movie-candy distributing evening at my parents' house during trick-or-treating time.  This year, the holiday just sneaked up on me!  I've been so busy all month, with things to do every weekend, I haven't thought about Halloween much at all!  Although I have seen some cute crafts around the blogs.
Here are some pics I took a while ago of a fave pumpkin patch near my parents' house outside Portland:

What are you and your family doing this year for Halloween?


A wearable fall plaid cape!

Cape--the word brings to mind medieval fairs and fairy tales.  But, capes are kind of in again, and I had some vintage wool lying around but didn't feel like doing another coat.  I have enough coats.  So I pulled out the nice (Pendleton!) wool piece and thought about doing a cape... lovely.

Turns out there are cape patterns out there--I used McCall's M5764.
I had fun with the buttons and everything.  I love plaid!  And wool, and this cape is super cozy.
I guess when it's short it's technically a capelet.  It's fairly full through the arms, but not too full, and I don't feel like I've just come from a Renaissance fair when wearing it.  It would be great with a scarf, too!


25 free vest patterns!

Fall is in the air!  Out with the cute summer dresses, in with sweaters, plaid, and holiday decor!
Check out Craft Stew for a list of 25 free vest patterns--and you'll see my easy DIY ruffle sweater vest makeover from last fall!
There are some other awesome ones on there.  Vests are super easy, and totally in this season!


Long-sleeve ruffle trim tee tutorial

Time for another tee tutorial!
It's been a while, but I used to do these all the time.  Inspired by J.Crew and Anthro, you can make all kinds of cute embellished tees with self-fabric ruffles and strips.
This time, I used a tee I got for $2 or so on clearance at Old Navy:
The scoop neck is more flattering on me than a crew neck, and I was looking forward to doing something funky and creative with it.  Here's an Anthro inspiration:
Inspired by that and other cute embellished tees, I pulled out some scraps from other tee makeovers I've done!
If you don't have scraps from other projects, refer to one of my other tee tutorials on how to cut off the sleeves and turn them into strips to use and embellish with!

Here's the tutorial:

  • Place your strips on the tee and see how you like them.  I was thinking several stripes, alternating.

Add things on until you like it:
Make each strip 1.5-2 times as long as you want them to be when gathered.  That means, on a scoop neck shirt, the center strips will be a little shorter than the outer edge ones.

  • Now, keeping track of which strip goes where, gather each one using a large stitch and a tight tension:

  •  Now, get ready to place the strips on the tee.  Find the center of the tee, by folding it in half.  Mark with a pin or fabric marker.

  •  To make stripes of gathered strips, use a ruler to make parallel lines however far apart you want your strips.  Mine were 3/4" apart.

  •  Mark off the bottom of your stripes so they all end at the same place!

  •  Begin to pin on the ruffles.  Make sure they don't twist, and that they're right side up.

  •  Go to your machine and sew the strips on.

  •  That's it!

Super easy and a fun change to the basic long-sleeved tee!


Clothes in action--Florida!

I was gone Thursday through Sunday on a fun trip to Orlando, Florida, where my cousin got married and my mom, fiancé, and I had a little mini-vacation!

On Friday, we went to some great outlet malls, and then Downtown Disney:

I wore the fall Anthro-ey dress to walk around and sightsee:

And then we went out to Celebration, the perfect New Urbanist-ey town that Disney built, for dinner.  There's a cute little lake in the center of town.

On Saturday before the wedding, we loooooved the lazy river at the hotel:

Here's the navy ruffle dress (shortened) as a pool cover-up!

Here's my mom and me in our finery before the wedding:

And here are some true action shots of the pink dress--dancing!

And here's me and my fiancé with my always-glamorous grandma:

The day after the wedding, we just got to hang around by the hotel!

Here's almost the whole family on my mom's side:

The lovely hotel...

It was a great trip!  But now I'm back to chilly mornings and ankle boots with hiking socks.  Hope you all had a great weekend wherever you are!

Back from Florida!


Back from Florida!

I'm home safe!  We got back from Florida at 2:00 this morning, which of course was 5:00 Florida time, so we were very tired.  I'm back from a lovely trip down there to see friends and go to my cousin's wedding.

Looking forward to showing you pics of the clothes I've made in action--I wore my Anthro-ey fall brunch dress, my hot pink silk party dress, and even my little navy bias ruffle dress.  It was so nice to enjoy the warmth and sunshine for a few days, hanging out by the pool and the lazy river and the palm trees.  A little vacation in the middle of fall!

I will show pictures as soon as I get them off my mom's camera.  Wanted to keep you in the loop in the meantime!


A fall brunch dress (or the 43 minute dress)

I've had this dress in the back of my mind for months.  Inspired by several at Anthro, and some home dec fabric a friend gave me, I put together an idea to pretty much copy this dress:
I even got some really nice quality just-barely-off-white broadcloth from my mom's supply.  This stuff is such nice quality, totally straight on the grain and bolt.  So tightly woven, you have to use a really sharp needle on the machine to make it go through--and pinning two layers of it together is pretty much out of the question.  But it's nice, and thick, and doesn't get soft and pilly like quilter's cotton.

Anyway, as I was flipping through my pattern box to find the most similar bodice pattern I have to the Anthro dress, I happened on Simplicity 2497...
...which I've used several times before, and which reminded me of these Anthro dresses:
I figured it would work, too!  So instead of the first Anthro-ey bodice as I was imagining, I made the scoop-neck, unlined bodice, which, of course took practically no time at all.  I don't know exactly how long it took, but I was watching old Gilmore Girls episodes in the background, and I'm pretty sure I only went through one during the project--that's 43 minutes.  Ish.
I wanted to do something interesting on the scoop neck, not necessarily the ruffle from the pattern, and I realized I don't have anything with a pleated ruffle collar.  It was super easy to make--I tore a 4-5" long piece of the width of the fabric, folded it in half and pressed it well, and didn't even need to pin it all.  I basted the row of pleats before I attached it to the bodice, and just pleated as I sewed, tucking the fabric under the presser foot as I went!  Easy and actually kind of fun.  Then I pressed it really well before sewing it on the neckline, and finishing with self-fabric bias.  Ta-da!
I'm planning on wearing it to the post-wedding brunch on Sunday on my trip to Orlando!


Little iridescent silk party dress

So, I keep mentioning that I'm going to this wedding this weekend, and I made a little hot pink silk party dress to maybe wear to the wedding, using vintage silk organza, and then I made matching fabric flowers to decorate it.  I'm not totally sure about it, though.  It might be too cute, too bright for a wedding.

So I put together another little dress--this one's little because it's made of scraps of silk dupioni (I used for lining) and iridescent silk chiffon that were left over from the bridesmaid dresses my mom made for my cousin's wedding a couple years ago.  I wish I had had just a little more... but, it worked out with some piecing in the midriff band, which is covered up by a little ruching.  I ended up making up my own pattern, because I cut out the top from McCall's M5849 but modified, which of course was about 4" too big, as most modern patterns end up, so I added decorative pleats in the center front.  Kind of like these dresses:
From Lulu's:
From ?:
Anyway, here it is--maybe I'll wear this to the wedding, maybe the pink.  I'm thinking I'll wait till I see the color scheme when I see my aunts and cousin the days before the wedding!

Silk is so much prettier once you get it all sewn together.  But, boy, is it messy to sew on--little threads everywhere, have to pin everything... but, like I said, great when it's done!  I also added several tucks at the bottom of the hem since I had enough fabric, and it adds texture and all.  Here's the base pattern I basically just used for a jumping off point:
And here's what it ended up as:

Short, but the iridescent silk is fun.  Like I said, depends what I feel like wearing the day of the wedding!


© Create / Enjoy • Theme by Maira G.