Monday, March 23, 2015


In the last week or so Mr. TRH and I have been working on a couple projects around the house.

Project 1. Built in Bookshelf with kitchen cabinets

Ever since we moved in to this house which was over a year and a half ago, one of the things on my "to do" list was built in bookshelves in our study. We used our IKEA shelf that used to be in boys' room to hold their books and toys as a temporary shelf, but that is pretty much what you see first when you come in to our house; I REALLY wanted to tackle that. Thanks to the inspiration on a DIY post I found on Pinterest (She used kitchen cabinets to create a built in book shelf!) and with 20% off on kitchen cabinets at Home Depot one week, our project finally start rolling! Here is a picture of the progress. Mr. TRH already installed the cabinets, and I will be ready to stain the wood to cover the top. We are waiting for more material to arrive, so we can build the shelf portion and it might take us about 3 weeks to get them, grrr... I just wanted to keep working and be done, but I keep telling myself "patience, patience". I get so giddy picturing the finished bookshelf in my mind.

Projects 2. Laundry room

When we bought the house I was pretty sure that I ordered a sink hook up and cabinet for the sink and a simple shelf on the wall. When we did the walk through, the hook up was there but not the sink!? I thought "no, I ordered it, that has to be on the paper" and when I checked it, it wasn't. How did we miss that? Ugh! I guess there is always something when you are building a house. So, having a sink was one of the other things on my list. We decided to do this too, since we are already ordering the cabinets for out other project. We took down the shelf, and I patched some holes... Mr. TRH is in the process of installing the cabinets.

Home improvement projects are fun, and I feel like we are making our house into our home. I will share the finished pictures in the future! :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sew Easy! 15 Minute Kitchen Towel Apron

I found this really attractive kitchen towel when I was strolling about at Crate & Barrel.

I have been needing to make a new apron for my kids for a while, the light bulb moment came to me right away. Today I will show you how easily and quickly you can make an apron with a kitchen towel.

{You will need}

1 Kitchen towel (mine was 21 1/2" x 30")
3/4" wide woven tape --- 3 yards (I am pretty sure mine is 100% cotton)
Matching thread

{How to}

1. Measure the top corner of the kitchen towel; 5" on the top edge, 9" on the side and draw a diagonal line.

2. Fold the towel in half with right sides together and make sure that the edges and corners are perfectly matched. Cut on the line.

3. Fold the diagonal lines twice(first 1/4" then 1") press with iron and sew with 1/8" seam.

4. Thread the woven tape from one side of the bottom to the top and then through the top on the other side and out the bottom. Then, treat the ends of the woven tape by folding and sewing.

That is it! Now it is ready to put to use. As you can see on my mannequin, a grown up can wear it...

as well as my 9 year old daughter. She was so eager to help in the kitchen that night wearing her new apron. :)

*Note: If the kitchen towel you are going to use is smaller than this one, you might want to change the measurement of the top corner. For example; 4" on the top edge 7 1/2" on the side.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Riley Blake Designs Knit Love Blog Tour + Skirt Giveaway!

When I saw the beautiful line of the Cottage Garden by The Quilted Fish it was love at first sight. I was happy to join in on the fun of Riley Blake Designs knit love blog tour! Usually, I am not big into sewing with knits. To be honest with you I didn't really know how and I never had much of a desire to do so. Until I saw these gorgeous knits.

Before we start, Let me go over some tricks to sewing with knit using your regular sewing machine(tested and approved!)in case you are new to this. If you already know how, you can totally skip this part. Also, I am giving away the skirt I made with the cottage triangles! The giveaway rules will be at the end of the post. So, here are some tips and things you might need to buy if you don't already have them.

* Tip 1 / Needles

You want to use Jersey Needle(Ball Point Needle) for straight stitching, and stretch twin needles(Ball Point Twin Needle) for taking care of the area you want to top stitch for example, the neck area and hems.

* Tip 2 / Presser foot

This makes a BIG difference when you are sewing with knit as well. A walking foot will feed the top and the bottom fabrics evenly.

* Tip 3 / Stitches

Take a look at the stitch options on your sewing machine and study your manual (I know, I don't like doing that either, but you can learn what your machine can do!). Most of the knit projects can be accomplished using zigzag stitch and straight stitch but your machine might have better options. For example, one of the overcasting stitches on my machine looks almost like it is done by serger. I used that to finish my edges, but a lot of the knit doesn't fray, so you might not have to worry about it too much.

You definitely want to use zigzag stitch to sew horizontal seams. You don't need to worry about in this project but when you are sewing the neckline, armholes and hem, using zigzag stitches are vital. The finished clothing needs enough stretch so you can pull it over your body. Also, knit fabric can stretch out when you’re sewing with straight stitch and fabric may not shrink back. You can use straight stitch for vertical seams such as side seams and pockets.

Of course it would look more professional if you used Serger to sew garments but there are ways to sew knit. Don't let the fear of knit stop you from trying! It is a good idea to practice with knit scraps before you jump in to sew with really pretty fabric.

{To sew this maxi skirt you will need...}

1 1/3 yard of Riley Blake Designs knit ---- it is 58/59 Wide. My skirt is XS/S size and it was enough width to cut out front and back skirt. If you are making M size and up or tall size you will need more in length.

1" of Non-roll elastic

Matching thread

{How to}

1. Fold the fabric towards the middle to the width you need. I folded one of my maxi skirts in half and laid that on to the folded fabric. Make sure that both folded edges line up perfectly. Pin the skirt to the fabric. You can either trace around the skirt and then cut or cut right away. Don't forget to include the seam allowance for the top, sides, and the bottom. I know 1/2" seam is standard but I don't like thick seams, so I made mine with 3/8" seam for the top and sides and 3/4" for the bottom.

2. Cut out the belt as well. The measurements are:
(2 1/2" + seams) High x (width of your top of your skirt without the seam x 2 + seams on both ends) Long

3. Fold the belt in half and sew the ends together. Don't forget to leave the opening to put the elastic through later. Open the seam and press with an iron. Fold the belt loop in half horizontally and set aside.

4. Pin and sew the sides of the skirt. Press the seam with an iron.

5. pin the belt loop to the top of the skirt right sides together. Sew.

6. Put the elastic through. Sew the ends together, I used a triple decorative stitch, but you can use a zigzag or other stitch if you prefer.

7. Hand stitch the opening shut.

8. Fold the hem and press with an iron. Use starch twin needle and sew.

9. In no time I was able to whip up two skirt! :)

I went shopping in my closet and found a top that would go great with the skirt and the shoes I painted last summer. Now it is time to try it on...

Now, are you ready for the giveaway details? I got to work with two beautiful knit fabrics. I am keeping one for me, and I am giveaway one to you! I love floral design, but I also LOVE this triangle design. A bit modern huh? This is that same size as my skirt which is xs/s.

Here is the very simple giveaway rules;

1. Simply leave a comment on this post. (1st entry)

2. Follow me on Instagram. You can find my instagram on the side bar on the right. (2nd entry)

That's it! I will pick a winner on the night of April 2nd which is end of blog hop and announce the winner on the 3rd. If I can't contact the winner and get the shipping info in 48 hours, I have to pick a new winner. So make sure to come back to see if you are the lucky winner. :)

Thank you so much for visiting today I hope you enjoyed my post. Make sure to check out all the Knit Love Blog posts here.

Monday, March 9, 2015

New Top for Spring

One of the things I have been wanting to sew is a new top for spring and summer. Not just any top... I had the exact design in my mind of how I wanted the top to be like. There are similar patterns out there, but I haven't found one that I was completely satisfied with. For example, the neckline is too wide open, or the arm hole is too big so when I move around it shows everything, or the tip of the shoulder is pointy and stands up the way I don't like and so on and so forth.

I bought a yard of beautiful tana lawn by Tula Pink last summer with the intent to make the top. I wanted to make sure that I created a pattern that I love and use that to sew the top so I would definitely wear it.

After some measuring, drawing lines, erasing and drawing again, I finally had a pattern that I was pretty confident that I would love. Right away, I put the pattern to the test and here is what it looks like...

My favorite type of neckline is a little below the collar bone.

The arm hole is open just right, it is comfortable and I have full range of motion, but it is closed enough that you don't see anything from the side when I raise my arms.

I also added belt loops on the side seams. I made it very close to the fabric, so it is not very noticeable. I thought I could wear it with or without the belt.

There are a few options that I was considering for the bottom seam. I decided to go with a nice curved line instead of a straight cut.

It was so fun trying it out, but it is a bit too cold to wear it outside. Tana lawn is very thin material, and it is perfect for sewing tops like this. I can't wait for spring and summer though.

I am so happy with how it turned out, I am going to make a couple more tops with different fabrics (I already have some Liberty of London in my stash. Yay!). I know I can use this pattern as a base and tweak it a little bit to create something different as well. I wore this with a skirt, but it would look cute with skinny pants and pair of flats. Wouldn't you agree?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Riley Blake Knit Love Blog Tour

Did you know Riley Blake Designs offers a great collection of knit fabric as well as other fabrics too? They are hosting a fun blog hop tour this month until April 2nd and it is all about sewing with knit!

To tell you the truth, I usually avoid sewing with knit... just because I don't really know how. But when I saw the beautiful knit fabric designed by Amanda of Quilted fish, my desire to just jump in and join the fun went sky high! Here are the fabrics I am playing with...

Aren't they gorgeous? I will post what I made on March 11th and I am so excited to share them with you all! Be sure to stop by! :)
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