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!

All moved in! (Almost...)


All moved in! (Almost...)

This weekend was a whirlwind of packing, moving, unpacking, packing... and lots of driving, some of it in a rather spendy uHaul truck.  We are living in the new place but all my sewing stuff is still boxed up in various places (not sure where it's gonna go yet!).  We are comfortable, though, for the most part, and I made dinner last night in the new kitchen and a a smoothie for breakfast today.

No internet at the new place yet, either!  Although I promise posting will return as usual soon.  The best part about the move so far?  It took me 12 minutes to walk to work this morning.  Wow!!  I am on some sort of high right now.

Pics and updates later!  Hope you had a good weekend and enjoyed yourselves not moving.  ;)


Our house before/afters

Aaah, we are moving this weekend (so stressful!).  And, I don't love the place we're moving to, although I didn't love the house we are leaving when we first moved in, either.  Makes me think back to the "before"s...
East living room wall:
South living room wall:
Dining room:
Master bedroom:
Hm.  This also makes me realize all the work I've put into this little house.  How will I have time to do that in the new place?!  Sorry, just a little stressed.  It will all be okay.  I'll have to give you a status report once we do the big move today, rented U-Haul truck and all.  I am pretty excited even though it's a lot of work!


Valentine's Day dress! Guest giveaway

Now, for another lovely guest post from Jessi of Sweetie Pie Bakery...

Hello, Valentine! I have a treat for you today!

This garment is one of my most favorites to date. It is red and pink and lacy and velvet and super cute.

My inspiration mainly came from this dress on ModCloth.
I thought the ruffled bib was a bit too much, but in that cute sorta way. Constructing a ruffled bib in ribbons and lace reminds me of a candy box, which is perfect for Valentine's Day.

So, I pulled out my red velvet and looked for a simple dress to compliment all that bibbage...bibbage? I chose to try out the Coffee Date Dress. I had never made one so thought it would be a good time to try it out, not to mention, it's free!

I found the pattern to be super simple, even with cutting my own seam allowance. I made some modifications in that I chose to make the skirt a bit fuller, keeping the waist the same size and adding the bib. I also finished the bottom with a blind hem since I was using velvet. I was a bit apprehensive, but Kathleen has this amazing video tutorial that really helped me out.

The only problem I had was that it came out too big. Not a problem with the pattern mind you, because the muslin fit just fine. It was the fact that I decided to eat quinoa salad and quinoa and eggs for the better part of two weeks not realizing the effect it would have on my waistline!

This was also the first time I sewed a garment with velvet. The seams went together rather nicely as when you press the velvet together, the pile will sorta glue itself together, no pinning needed. The most difficult time I had was with the zipper! I had to take one side out three times. I realized I was sewing in the opposite direction that the velvet wanted to lay, hence pushing my zipper in all sorts of wrong directions. Finally, the velvet, the zipper and I had a long talk and all was right in the end....except for the sizing!

So, that's where I offer you this fabulous dress! Would you like to wear this out with your beloved on Valentine's Day? Even if you don't celebrate it, or are the kind of gal who wears her wedding ring on her right hand sporting independence, you could sit home with a tub of Ben and Jerry's as beautiful as can be! I made the dress ad a Burda Size 36 (US 4). However, I feel as though the sizing runs a bit big and this dress would fit a 4-6 and probably some 8s.

To enter, go to my blog, Sweetie Pie Bakery, and look for the giveaway post!

This giveaway will end Friday February 4 at 12am. I'll ship priority to the winner so you have time to wear it on your special day! (US residents only)

If you want to make your own:
I put a tutorial up on BurdaStyle so go have a look!

*chocolate box images via Bakerella

Thanks for your post, Jessi!  Have fun with Valentine's Day preparations, readers... I haven't done a thing yet for it, myself!  Luckily Jessi of Sweetie Pie Bakery is a little more prepared!  What are you doing this year?


Another vintage plaid skirt

I had fun with this skirt--I got a bunch of fun patterns for work recently and made several of them so far.  Here's this skirt pattern, Simplicity 2315.
I didn't know for sure what fabric I wanted to use, but while perusing ModCloth I saw these cute sort of decorated plaid skirts:

And I knew I had some great vintage Pendleton plaid wool I got at Goodwill ages ago.  I made a capelet jacket kind of thing out of it a while ago but still had some.  I would NEVER wear them together, haha, but here's the skirt that came out of the process!
Cute, not too preppy or classic because of the style, but still love that great Pendleton print.  It's a little wooly rather than suiting weight, so it's not super professional or stuffy at all, but would totally work with tights and boots on a Friday or something!

I am having so much fun dressing nicely for work every day!


Our house! Before we move again...

In September we moved into a little 1928 bungalow in the downtown of the town I grew up in, 20 miles outside Portland.  The landlord was OK with us painting, and I had big, fun plans for making it cuter!

We did some projects right away, but never had it "done" enough for a housewarming party.  Now, I just got a job in Portland, and while our house is on the light rail line, it's an hour-and-ten-minute train ride to work, and it's cutting into my day too much.  And, my fiancé goes to school in downtown Portland, so he has a long train ride, too.  So, we're moving to a sort of blah 1980's townhouse in NE Portland, less than a mile from my work!

It sucks to be moving again.  Especially since I never really finished working on our current place.  But before we move and start packing (today!), I wanted to take some pics of the house as it is now, and keep them for our memories as well as share them with you.  So take a look at the house I'll be leaving--you'll probably recognize some decor items from previous projects I've done!

Living room:
(Pier 1 flokati rug, vintage side chairs, Pendleton throw, vintage lamp, Pier 1 mirror tables, Ralph Lauren diamond pillow, vintage art, vintage lamps, mirrors I've spray-painted gold, pink ruffle pillow I made, Kitchen Kaboodle couch, vintage clock, Andy Warhol prints in Dollar Tree frames!)

Dining room: (I finally got the lovely grey I wanted for the walls!)
(Vintage table and chairs I spray-painted, random vintage plates, Foo dogs from Home Goods, vases from Fred Meyer, greeting cards and calendar pages in IKEA frames)

Kitchen: (I always dreamed of painting the cabinets white but they're oak and I never wanted to get into such a big project...)
(The real thing--Williams Sonoma Boos block table, the rest are Goodwill finds)

Sewing room: (I'm not showing you the other wall!  It's such a mess!)
(Vintage Singer table, IKEA chair, bulletin board I decorated, insulated blind I made...)

Bathroom, which you've seen before:
Vintage cabinet and ceramic thing, ruffled curtain and shower curtain I made, more calendar art in a TJ Maxx frame)

Stairwell: (More of the pale grey I love, and I always meant to paint the handrail white... oops)
(Lots of IKEA frames and art I did on the canvases)

Our bedroom: (Charming but limited sloped attic ceiling)
(DIY embroidery hoops, red checkered curtain I made, vintage quilt top I made into a quilt, MadeByGirl print, IKEA lampshades on vintage and Target lamps, IKEA alarm clock and yes, that is a Lego storm trooper alarm clock...)

Jason's office: (Also very messy, so here's just one wall)

(This room never got any of my decor attention but I thought I'd include it anyway)

Yikes.  We're moving by the 1st of the month, so I'm doing lots of packing today and after work this week.  Moving sucks!  So much anticipation and everything gets packed away and you don't know where it is anymore, and you just want to get settled already!

I don't know how fast I'll get the other place decorated but I think we'll go ahead and have the housewarming party before we finish, because who knows how long it'll be before it's "done."  I'd love to hear your moving and black-slate decorating ideas!!



Perfect-fit pencil skirt

I've been talking about how I'm planning on making all these clothes for work... and I'm off to a pretty good start, I think!

I started this before I bought all those patterns last weekend... I've made pencil skirts before, from simple patterns, but I bought this "Amazing Fit" pattern to try it out with a more custom fit (I have slim hips and pencil skirts are often a little wide).  This one has different pieces for slim, average, and curvy figures.
I used some plaid wool I bought at Goodwill Outlet once that had clearly once been a pleated plaid skirt.  It still had some pleat folds in it and some threads from the stitching.  I gave it a good press and used it for this skirt--I barely had enough!

Here's how it turned out!

It is fun to wear a basic style, like a slim skirt, in a fun color or fabric!  To pair with solids in black, tan, grey, whatever... and it was fun to use an Amazing Fit pattern!



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