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!


Bridesmaid Dress #4: Darcy

Four down, one to go!

You may remember I'm making all of my bridesmaids' dresses.  This one is for my fiancé's big sister, Darcy.  She lives in the Bay Area but was able to come up to Portland for my bridal shower and beach weekend, and I threw her dress together after taking her latest measurements so we could get the fit right while she was here!

It was modeled after this lovely silk chiffon floaty dress from J.Crew:

This one was probably the trickiest to cut out, since I combined two very different patterns for the bodice!

See how I combined the two very different backs?

Darcy has a larger-than-average cup size, so I added some length in the bodice to allow for it.  It ended up being a little long in the shoulders, though, the way I did it--if you try this at home, add the length below the armpit.

Here she is!

The other dresses that are done are Kirstin'sShauna's and Robin's.  All five bridesmaids will be wearing the same pale grey cotton blend, and purple shoes and cardis.

(If you made your bridesmaids' dresses, or did any other DIYs for your wedding, I'd love for you to share them in the Adventures in Dressmaking DIY Weddings Flickr group!!)


Pinterest is amazing.

Evidently I'm a little behind the times, since I am just now realizing how amazing Pinterest is!!

I collect and organize photos all the time, in My Documents on my computer, but I wish I had been using Pinterest all along... save space on your computer and eliminate the risk of losing it all if it crashes, AND get tons more inspiration everywhere you turn!

I still don't actually have a Pinterest account... but I love looking through all the pinboards at other people's collections.  It's great how, if I like one or two things, I'll probably have similar taste to that person and like most of their photos!

I could spend hours checking out inspiration images... here's just a teeny tiny sample!
From Tick Tock Vintage
From J.Crew

From Polyvore
From design*sponge
From Addicted2Decorating

I could go on and on...

It's also really fun when you run across a familiar image!  I see plenty on there that I've already saved and loved from blogs I've seen.  Love it.  And it's a great way to get introduced to new blogs!  Only issue is, you've got to make sure you get the original source--citing "Source: Pinterest" doesn't count.

Anyway, I could have way too much fun on there.  What about you?  Do you use Pinterest?  What for/how?


Burlap and lace table decor: Tutorial!

I've been doing so much fun stuff for my wedding recently, but I've also been helping one of my best friends with her wedding!  She's getting married three weeks before me, and our weddings will both be very cute with lots of DIYs, although both very different.

We already made some great boutonierres for her wedding--check out the tutorial on Green Wedding Shoes!

The wedding will be in a 100-ish year old barn at a favorite local restaurant campus (McMenamin's Cornelius Pass Roadhouse, for you locals...).  Shauna's colors are red and orange, with little wooden birdhouses on the tables and burlap and wood accents.

One of the DIYs she wanted to do was a wrapped jar with burlap and coarsely crocheted lace.  So perfect for the kind of rustic, but still pretty, venue and other themes of the wedding!
Each of the 80 or so guests will have a jar at his/her place, with a few flowers in it (not as many as the Dollar Tree bouquet above!), and the little card with wildflower seeds tucked into the ribbon (she ordered them from here, FYI).

Ready for a tutorial??

  • The basic part is wrapping the burlap and lace around the jars.  (Great source for burlap and burlap rolls here).  So, get your jars ready (we used medium-sized canning jars) and cut strips the width you want them, long enough to go around the jar with a 1" overlap at the back.  (You could also make some super cute ones of these with vintage-ey quilting fabric, or any fabric or ribbon!)
  • Place your jar on top of your burlap and put a line of hot glue down the jar vertically.  Quick!  Before it cools!
  • Glue down one side of the burlap.
  • Put a line of glue on top of the other one, through the burlap.
  • Pull the burlap as tight as you can and overlap it with itself.  Press!
  • You may need to add a little glue to keep the edges down.
  • Now do the same exact thing with the lace.  You'll need a piece 1" longer than your jar is around.  We needed more than 30 yards of lace and JoAnn only had one spool of the beautiful wide one Shauna loved, so we bought it and the narrower crocheted one you see here.
  • Here's where it really helps to add some glue on the end.  You don't want your lace peeling back.
  • Time to add ribbon bows!
  • Depending on the width and thickness of your ribbon, you may want a longer or shorter piece.  Make a test ribbon if you like and cut it to the length you want.
  • Ours ended up being about 25".  I recommend cutting your ribbons at a sharp angle to keep them from fraying and make them prettier!

We couldn't decide if the seed card was cuter all the way inside, or tucked in at an angle.  See the two kinds of lace?  Half have the narrow, half have the wide.

These were super easy and pretty fun to make, but I gotta say... not so fun after 80 of them!  And they weren't too cheap when you add up all the yardage we needed of the ribbon, lace, and burlap.  But it would be super cheap, fun and easy to make, say, one per table!

But now they are done and look so cute in a line. They will go well on the tables with big centerpieces in the center.

(If you did any DIYs for your wedding, or the wedding of a friend or loved one, I'd love for you to share them in the Adventures in Dressmaking DIY Weddings Flickr group!!)


A half-lace dress and my bridal shower!

I have a very lovely dress (in my opinion) to share with you today... you may remember I posted a pic of this pretty thing from Anthropologie a while back:
The Gathering Breeze dress.  So pretty.  Love the lace bodice and lightweight skirt.  It's actually modal, easier to care for than some of the silk dresses Anthro has, I bet!  The bodice is a nice cotton lace (hard to find at JoAnn or other regular fabric stores).

I was so inspired by this dress that while I was thinking about what to wear to my bridal shower (my maid of honor planned it all, but I knew the color scheme was white, green, and pink!), I really wanted something like it myself.

Lucky me, I was at my mom's house where she had some beautiful 100% cotton lace from Home Sew, a mail order discount supplier she uses for her business.  She also had some pretty pink stretch stuff for the skirt!

I used my old fave pattern for the bodice and only one panel of the extra-wide skirt fabric.  I didn't go for the corset/bustier style on the bodice--it seemed too lingerie-like (and it's harder and I don't have an exact pattern).
I cut out three layers of the bodice: one of the lace, one for an interlining to sew with the lace, and one regular lining.  I also used a little strip of white scalloped lace inserted into the top!

I made the dress in two or three hours.  It was fun and fast!  And I really love it.

And it was perfect for the pretty tea party-themed shower my bridesmaids threw me!  See the pretty table...

Robin, on the right, organized the shower and it was at Shauna's house (she's on the left).  I was so touched by everything they did!

Robin even made a "Congratulations Suzannah" banner out of paper doilies!

I felt cute and had fun in the dress for the whole party.  It even went with the gifts and games!

Ha ha!  It was a very fun shower and I loved the girly pink and lace of the dress with the tea party theme.


Wedding shoes: Take 2!

You may have read about my awesome wedding shoes, and my mostly-successful dye job of them.

Where we last left off, I was still in need of shoes for the wedding and had no idea what to do!  But, lucky me, I was able to get the SAME perfect Nina shoe (in ivory instead of bright white) in half a size larger than the original ones, for only $25 on Amazon Warehouse Deals!  They must have been a return or something, since they were listed as used but don't appear to have ever been worn, and had the original packaging.

And, lucky me, turns out the half size larger made all the difference in fit and comfort!

So fun and pretty.  And the cute little pink flannel bag to keep them safe once I throw away the box!  (If I ever do...)

But now I'm faced with another dilemma.  After I decided against the yellow Nina pumps, I almost bought these from David's Bridal, but they were sold out of my size online and in this part of the country... long wait time, long story...
But I really liked the vibrant pink color.  I would also love some pale pink wedding shoes, to go with the warm pale colors on my dress.  Like these pretty ones from BHLDN...

And I would also like something even paler, like these Badgley Mischkas...

So I guess I would like just about any pink.  Which is good because if I do dye them, I won't really have a whole lot of control over the color... again I will dye the bows first, then based on how long they take for the right color and if I like them, I'll dye the rest of the shoe.  If the bows look terrible I can always make something else to go on the toe of the shoe.

I love shoes, and I love weddings!  I guess that's why I'm having such a hard time deciding, and having so much fun thinking about the options!!

(If you did any DIYs for your wedding or the wedding of a friend or loved one, I'd love for you to share them in the Adventures in Dressmaking DIY Weddings Flickr group!!)


DIY wedding flower arrangement flags

This week has been really wedding heavy!  Whew, lots of wedding details to do, lots of them done already... here's another little project I put together for reception decor!

I wanted to incorporate more funky homespun details, and I loved these flower arrangements at a vintage-ey 60's wedding on Ruffled:

So I took more of my fabric scraps (many left over from the triangle bunting!) and turned them into little flags glued onto skewers!!

They're also similar to these garden flags from this tutorial on Design*Sponge, except they're not waterproof and they're double-sided.

Anyway.  Just another homemade touch for our wedding!  Where could I use these, aside from in flower arrangements?

(If you did any DIYs for your wedding or the wedding of a friend or loved one, I'd love for you to share them in the Adventures in Dressmaking DIY Weddings Flickr group!!)

P.S.  Here's how they looked at the wedding! 



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