DIY: Elastic Beach Towel Band

The husband and I are busy packing for our trip to Puerto Rico on Tuesday (peace out, snow!). I needed to figure out how to keep our beach towels rolled up in our suitcases.

We bought a couple of big lightweight towel sheets in Florida back in 2012 which make for the perfect light weight beach towel. In Puerto Rico, we’re going to be doing a lot of beach and island hopping and need our own towels. They will fit perfectly along the edge of suitcases, that is IF they stayed rolled up.

I decided that I didn’t want to give the towels an options of unrolling. I took a couple remnants of wide elastic and made tight bands to slip over each one. Tada—towels burritos!

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All you need is a piece of wide elastic and a sewing machine. I used a pretty short stitch and backstitched at each end. This literally took me a minute to do.

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I love a well-organized suitcase! What packing tips can you share with me?

Downton Abbey Day Wear

Downton Abbey Day Wear

Things have been going well with my Etsy shop! Once again, I’m out of Mardi Gras infinity scarves. Looks like I will be out of those until next year since the fabric is no longer available. I added the Hello Kitty scarf, and I’ve already sold one. But, THIS scarf is the one that has me excited!

I’m a big Downton Abbey fan. I still don’t think I’m over the death of Lady Sybil. The Dowager Countess is a role model (who doesn’t want to be a fashionable witty woman?). Naturally, when I found this Downton Abbey logo fabric with the crown detail, I had to get some. Sunday is “Downton Day” and rest assured that I will be sporting this as I watch Thomas Barrow eavesdropping and plotting while silver is being polished.

Hello Kitty Plaid Scarf Look

Hello Kitty Plaid Scarf Look
I spend this weekend being quite productive in my sewing room. The cats were having a ball watching the cones of thread twirl on through the serger. I made a couple of new Mardi Gras scarves (one already sold!), two red plaid Hello Kitty scarves, and two Downton Abbey scarves. I love the Downton scarves! I’m debating on whether or not I should keep one for myself.

The Hello Kitty scarves were a special request by my BFF, who is obsessed with HK and picked out the fabric for this infinity scarf. I guess you could say that she guest curated that collection! Regardless, I’m loving this creative process. Polyvore is a great tool to show how a product can be used. Here, I am showing you how I would wear my plaid Hello Kitty scarf.

Do you find Polyvore useful?

Another Mardi Gras look!

Mardi Gras style!
I sold out of my first batch of scarves that I made for Etsy! What a rush that first week was. I sold three within five days. I’m pleased with how they turned out and I hope my customers love them as much as I do!

I’ve made two more that are now available in my shop. I have two new fabrics that I will be working with this weekend to create some new scarves. I think these will please my fellow Downton Abbey lovers and the Hello Kitty fans out there. Stay tuned!

Mardi Gras Casual Style

Mardi Gras Casual Style
I experimented with Polyvore.com for the first time today to explore how some of my sewing creations (like my Mardi Gras chevron scarf) look when put together with other clothing and accessories. Now I see why people love this site! I had a blast exploring options and putting together outfits on Polyvore.

I created a look that is so very “me” for you to enjoy. My favorite outfits combine casual pieces carefully paired together to look intentional. I’ll definitely be wearing an outfit like this next month for Mardi Gras. I adore my over-the-knee black boots. I constantly dress in layers, because I am always cold. And, those fleur-de-lis earrings are similar to a pair that I have. I love them. Simple and elegant, but certainly not boring.

Have you tried Polyvore? What is your take on the site?

Mardi Gras Infinity Scarf with Chevron Pattern

East Of Laclede: My Etsy Start Up!

After many encouraging words from my husband, my dad, and my best friends, I have decided to go for it. Last night I opened my Etsy store, called East Of Laclede, and listed by first item! This is something outside of my comfort zone, but I’m incredibly excited about this. Here’s a little background info on East Of Laclede

How it all began: As you can tell from my blog, I love sewing and crafting. My mother was a seamstress. Thanks to her, I knew how to thread my Bernina by the time I started grade school. She instilled this “you can make it” attitude that has never left. My mom passed away unexpectedly when I was 18. The time that I spend on my sewing machine or hand crafting an item makes me feel close with her. I love creating things for myself or my loved ones to enjoy, and I’ve had many people ask me before if I sell my work or had considered an Etsy store. I had always wondered “what if” or “how would it go” if I tried Etsy, but I had never put much thought into it beyond that. After lots of encouraging words from the people I love, I decided that I really needed to quit making excuses and try it out. What a shame it is to have a gift and not share it!

What does “East Of Laclede” mean?: I attended college at Saint Louis University and did part of my graduate work in the Metro East. I could go on about all the reasons I love St. Louis (its history, culture, architecture, food…), but I’ll hold off! Laclede Avenue runs through St. Louis, particularly part of Saint Louis University’s campus. The street itself ran right in front of my apartment building, called Marchetti East. The largest stretch of Laclede Avenue ended directly in front of my building. The years that I spent in St. Louis helped me to transform into the individual and the professional I am today. That time I spent on Laclede and just over the river on the east side are precious to me, and they always give me a feeling of nostalgia. So, that’s how my Etsy store got its name!

What will East Of Laclede offer?: You will have to stay tuned to find out! I just put my first item up last night: Mardi Gras Infinity Scarf with a chevron design! I love this piece. Mardi Gras is just around the corner, and this scarf is perfect for work or play (parties, parades, etc!).

What I love about this scarf is that it is 100% cotton! The fabric has been pre-washed twice with scent-free and dye-free products to wash out sizing and set dyes. The scarf is one loop and measures just over 9″ wide and 74″ around. Scarf is long enough to wrap around twice.

This scarf reminds me of celebrating Mardi Gras in the historic Soulard neighborhood in St. Louis! It also makes me want to book another trip to New Orleans!

Thanks for reading. Wish me luck!

DIY: Leather Studded Headband

I’ve been hard at work compiling my materials to make my Halloween costume once again this year. What do think of that pile of sequins, beads, and other craft supplies? I’m not giving away what I’m going to be, but I’m so excited!

Part of my costume demanded a studded headband with gold studs. Why buy one that just kind of works when you can make one for just under $5?

What I used:

  • 13mm gold metal studs or spikes with screw backs (Ebay: $2.99)
  • 9/16″ pleather (JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores: $1.89 for one yard with coupon)
  • Elastic hair tie
  • Sewing machine with a denim needle

What I did:

  • Looped pleather over hair tie and made two rows of stitches 3/4″ from hair tie to secure one end of the headband. Repeat on the other side.
  • Decide where you want your spikes! I concentrated my studs on the front 12″ of the headband and spaced them out evenly.
  • Cut TINY holes through the pleather at the places you want your spikes.
  • Push the bottom, threaded portion of the spike through the pleather.
  • Screw the top of the stud on. I used pliers to tighten my spikes.