Creating With Cricut

This post was created in partnership with Cricut.  All opinions are my own.
#SewWithCricut #CricutMade #Cricut #Ad

Hey all!  Today I’ve got an awesome DIY project for you using the amazing Cricut Explore Air 2 machine!  I got this machine just a couple weeks ago and within about an hour of unboxing, had the whole thing connected to my computer and smoothly cutting out samples.

If you’re unfamiliar with the world of cutting machines let me just give you the teensiest preview: This baby cuts vinyl, iron-on, paper and cardstock, leather, chipboard and FABRIC to name a few (yes, fabric!! I’m already in love).

I’ve put together a fun video showing a step by step tutorial for cutting out and ironing on the flowers on this cute swing dress I made but I also wanted to share my favorite features of this little baby!
* It’s WIRELESS!  Excuse the shouting but I honestly am drowning in cords on my desk and am super short on space so I really appreciate a device that can cut from across the room.  And they even have a smartphone app you can design and cut from!
* It is beautiful and has handly little storage compartments where I can store tools for weeding, scissors, pens, etc.
* It cuts so. many. things.  Did I mention that already?
* It’s ridiculously user friendly.  I can usually figure out a device, given enough time, but guys – my MOM could figure out this thing (no offense, Ma, be we know you’re not that great with the technology).  Once you’ve designed your shape on Cricut’s super easy design site, you just set the machine to cut the correct material, load the mat and press ONE button.  It really is dummy proof.

You can read more about it and shop for your own HERE – Use coupon code ChristmasinJuly for free shipping (US only)!

Last thing…Today is just day one in an AMAZING line up of talented sewing bloggers who are featuring this awesome machine over the enxt 2 weeks.  Their projects are gonna knock your socks off, I’m serious.  I wanna grow up to be just like them all!  Be sure to check them all out and enter to win your OWN amazing Cricut machine at the link at the bottom of this post!

But enough talk!  Scroll on for the video and let me know what you think!

NOTE:  I essentially used this tutorial for my dress.  It’s one of the easiest dresses you can make and SO comfy!  Also, if you’re looking for the flowers I used in my design, you can find them here: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Enter to Win a Cricut Explore Air 2 

Week One: July 19th

Week Two: July 26th

I was invited to participate in the Cricut Party Blogger Program Kickoff.

This experience is based strictly on my opinion.  Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above.  I was provided the sample free of charge by the company or PR agency and I have given my honest opinion.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

DIY: Embroidered Shoes

Hop on the latest trend with this simple DIY:
upcycle an old pair of canvas slip-ons with colorful patches!

Have you guys been noticing all the fun embroidered patches popping up lately?  I’ve seen them on jeans, jean jackets, utility-style shirts and even shoes!  I spotted these cute striped slip ons recently and just died at the cuteness!  I love me a fun trend, especially where color and stripes are involved.  So I dug out some old striped shoes of my own and got to work!

The best part about this project is that it takes like 5 minutes…and shoes with this much character make the whole outfit!  I love them here with neutral pants and top but a solid colored dress or jeans and a tee would work well too.  I just love that fun pop of color and whimsy!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Patches – I used these for this project but also bought these bigger ones to try adding to a jacket or jeans later!Old shoes  – I had these from H&M last year but check out these and these!Hot glue gun, iron &/or super glue (see below)

This hardly qualifies as a tutorial, but this is what I did:  I first laid out my patches on the shoes to see how many looked good and how to arrange them.  I tried to get a good combo of colors and shapes, but it could be fun with just a single color or a bunch of the same design as well!

Depending on the patches you use and the materials of your shoes, you might need to try different things to attach them.  If you can find iron on patches, then that’s easiest obviously, but you’ll want to make sure your shoes can withstand the heat.  I used a combo of iron & super glue, although the glue did discolor the shoes a bit where it seeped out under the edges of the patches. Hot glue or gorilla glue could also work well!  If you try it and find something else that works well, let me know!

Pants  || similar top

For the easiest DIY I’ve ever done, I think it has a lot of impact and makes me smile every time I look down!  Check out the widget below for some amazing ready-to-wear pieces sporting the patch trend, including the shoes that inspired these…

Photos by Let Me See You Sparkle Photography

DIY Wraparound Towel

This easy sewing tutorial is created in partnership with Collective Bias and its advertiser,
as part of a social shopper amplification.  All opinions are my own.
#CollectiveBias #FreeOfSulfates

Motherhood ain’t a walk in the park, considering all the things we have to protect our children from.  Most of the time I just choose to not think about the crazy dangers that could lurk around any corner and threaten my kids…otherwise I’d go crazy!  But I do think a lot about what foods and products enter our home since my purchasing power is one thing that I have complete control over. (Then again, maybe “control” isn’t the right word to use when describing my shopping habits, if you know what I mean.  Hehe.)


It’s not always easy to know what to avoid in your household cleaning products, but I recently learned that sulfates can strip away important anti-microbial proteins and oils that our bodies create to protect us.  Since we do SO. MUCH. LAUNDRY. at our house, I try to use detergents that are easier on our clothes and bodies (but will get rid of my children’s disgusting messes!).  I was excited to find NEW sulfate free all® fresh clean ESSENTIALS® which delivers a powerful clean without harshness.


It’s even one of the first laundry detergents to include a list of the ingredients on the back so you know you’re getting a sulfate-free formula! And on top of that, the sulfate-free formula infuses fabrics with essential, proven and effective ingredients for deep cleaning and stain lifting.  Look for it on the top shelves in the laundry aisle at your local Walmart (near cleaning supplies).  Also, click here for a $.50 cent coupon off any all® product (while supplies last)!

And if what goes into my laundry detergent matters, the ingredients in my shampoo and conditioner are even more important…I mean, we’re pouring this stuff on our heads multiple times a week! AVEENO PURE RENEWAL® Shampoo and Conditioner contains naturally derived cleansers and a sulfate free formula to gently cleanse your hair and scalp (and they’re also free of dyes and parabens!).


I’ve actually noticed that my scalp gets irritated and dry when I use traditional shampoos versus sulfate-free varieties; in fact I’m not the only one with sensitive skin at our house.  I mean, the whole point of shampoos and conditioners is that they make our hair look and feel amazing, right??

Look for it in the Hair Care aisle at your local Walmart and grab this $1.00 coupon off any AVEENO® product (while supplies last).

And now, on to our tutorial!

My girls are constantly using towels, sheets or any scrap of fabric they can find to wrap around themselves and pretend they’re princesses (Moana-style). So this towel idea is perfect for the little girls in your lives, as well as for any boys who think towels are optional when walking to and from the bathroom (ew).  You can even make a bigger version for all you grown ups who’d like just a teensy bit more privacy in your post-shower moments.  (Seriously, children!!)

So, let’s get making!


1 large bath-sized towel (mine measured about 30″ x 60″)
20-30″ of 1″ elastic
1-2 pieces of velcro (both sides)
coordinating thread


**A note about fit: My twins are skinny and I wanted to get 2 wraparound towels out of each bath towel so ours only overlap edges by a few inches.  My girls actually really like how they show some leg through the slit when they walk (ha!), but if you want more coverage/overlap out of yours, just cut your towels a little wider than shown below.  This tutorial shows how to make a towel that measures 28″ long by 24″ wide.

  1.  Fold your towel in half widthwise and cut along the fold.  (If you want your towel wider than this, simply cut down the towel by less than half.)
  2.  Turn your towel 90 degrees and fold over the top edge by 3.5″, then cut along this fold (this measurement determines length so cut more or less depending on your desired length).

  3.  Fold over the towel’s edge (that you cut in step 2) by about 1.5″ and stitch close to raw edge, all the way across the top of the towel.  I made sure to finish the raw edges of my towel before sewing together because terry cloth frays pretty badly (a zigzag stitch works fine for this).

  4.  Measure your model’s chest and then cut your elastic to this measurement (ours was 23″).  Slip a safety pin into the edge of the elastic and thread it through the casing you sewed in step 3.

  5.  Pull until the opposite edge of your elastic is flush with the edge of the towel and stitch through both edges of the towel and elastic.  I used a zig zag stitch here for extra security.

  6.  Fit the towel to your model and continue pulling the elastic/safety pin out of the towel until desired tension is achieved.  Then stitch through this edge of the towel, closing the casing and securing the elastic.  Cut off remaining elastic.
  7.  Finally, sew one  piece of velcro onto each top edge of the towel, right on top of the elastic. Be sure that you sew one piece of velcro on the inside of the towel and the other piece on the outside so that they adhere when the towel is wrapped around.  If you ended up with more overlap than we did, sew your velcro farther in on the towel instead of right on the edge.

And that’s it! A perfect post-bath towel or cover-up for the pool.

Don’t forget to grab a bottle of sulfate free all® fresh clean ESSENTIALS® to wash your cute new towels with. And also try sulfate free AVEENO PURE RENEWAL® Shampoo and Conditioner, both at Walmart!

 Find the tutorial for the leotard/swimsuit Kira (on the right) is wearing HERE.

DIY Finger Print Table Runner

This easy, kid-friendly DIY for mom (or any special woman in your family’s life) is part of the #HallmarkForMom shop compensated by  #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.  All opinions are my own.  

May is a big month here at our house: my birthday, Mother’s Day this Sunday the 14th and today is our 13th anniversary!  We also have several other birthdays and occasions so I’m often planning gifts weeks ahead of time to lessen the chaos factor.

I’m loving this fun table runner that the kids and I came up with for my mom this Mother’s Day.  It would also be a great birthday gift for any mom or Grandma.  I find myself cursing my kids’ dirty little fingerprints that I find all over my house but this project takes those cute little fingerprints and turns them into something adorable!  This was a fun, short little afternoon project for the kids and me and they all loved it.

We also picked up some Hallmark Signature cards at Walmart to go along with our gifts because my mom always told me that reading the card was the best part of getting a gift.  As a kid, I never really believed that (how can a card be better than a PRESENT??) but now I feel exactly the same way. There’s nothing I love more than reading a sweet note from one of my kids.  It makes cleaning all those sticky fingerprints more than worth it!  I also really relish the chance to sit down once a year to put my feelings for my own mom into writing.

Walmart has an awesome selection of Hallmark cards (they’re offering an entire line of new Mother’s Day cards), from hilarious birthday cards for kids (we also grabbed one for a birthday party we were headed to) to seasonal cards and more.  Is anyone else guilty of just sitting in the card aisle and reading funny cards for a half hour?? Grab coupons and find tons of creative gift giving ideas for mom here!

You guys ready for the DIY?  It’s SO easy!

4-5 colors of fabric paint
2-4 yards of woven fabric (depending on the size of the table)
5-7 yards of decorative trim or bias tape

  1.  First determine the desired length and width of your table runner.  I made mine 20″ wide and 120″ long (10 feet).  Also decide where you want your decorative flowers to be.  I had to piece my table runner together from 2 pieces of fabric, so I covered the seams with some leftover bias tape and decided to have the kids make the flowers in between these two strips of bias tape.
  2. Squirt a little fabric paint on a paper plate and show the kids how to make the flowers.  Simpy press a finger pad into the paint, tap off any excess and then press your fingerprint on the fabric.  One fingerprint makes the center of the flower, and 5-6 surrounding prints make the petals!  Easy peasy.  The kids really got a kick out of making rainbow colored flowers and even mixing some paint colors.  Just watch the littlest ones to make sure they don’t wipe their fingers on the fabric to clean off excess paint (thanks, Vivian).
  3. Once the flowers are all done, let the fabric dry completely and then you’ll need to set the paint with an iron. Just lay a scrap piece of fabric or an old towel over the paint and press with a hot iron for 5-10 seconds.  Voila!  Paint is set and your table runner is now washable.
  4. Add your decorative trim or bias tape to the edges.  I used double fold bias tape here (just sandwich the raw edge of the table runner with the bias tape and stitch close to the folded edge of the tape) but I also love the idea of using ric rac, pom-poms or tassels!  Just be sure to finish the raw edge of your fabric first if you won’t be enclosing it inside bias tape.  A zig-zag stitch works fine for this.Now package it up in a cute gift bag and grab a Hallmark card from Walmart to tell your sweet mom how much you appreciate her putting up with your crap over the years. And don’t forget to add a little chocolate.
    Chocolate always wins!


DIY Girl’s Leotard

Make your little girl her own unique leotard, and save a ton of money while you’re at it, with this free pattern & tutorial!

I’m so excited about today’s DIY because it’s so cute, fun and functional!  My girls LOVE leotards, whether they’re jumping on the trampoline, doing gymnastics & dance classes or just dressing up.  The only problem is, if you want anything other than plain black, they’re ridiculously expensive!

After making swimsuits for the girls last year, I decided it couldn’t be all that hard to make my own leotards.  And turns out, it isn’t!  Really!  The best part is that you can give your little girl as much coverage as you’d like.
Read on for the full tutorial and free pattern!

NOTE: the pattern fits about a size 6, but scaling it up or down is not too difficult.  It’s designed for a little girl with a crotch-shoulder measurement of about 36″ (loop a measuring tape from one shoulder, down your model’s front, between her legs and up the back to the same shoulder).  You’ll just need to add or subtract inches from the center of the leotard in order to go up or down a few sizes.

If going up or down more than 2 sizes, you’ll also need to add/subtract a bit of length in the shoulder straps.  Performance fabric is super stretchy though, so it’s very forgiving!  You might try laying a swimsuit that fits your little girl on top of the pattern and seeing where you need to make adjustments.

You’ll need:

*Printed copy of the free pattern (download here – make sure your printer’s set to “do not scale” or “print at 100%” before printing! Overlap short edge of each page with the next without trimming & tape together)
*1/2 – 1 yard of performance lycra or spandex blend (i.e. swimsuit fabric) My favorite source for cute prints is The Fabric Fairy!
*1.5 – 2 yards clear elastic (like this kind)
*coordinating thread

STEP 1: Cut out the paper pattern and decide whether you want to do any color blocking or stripes.  For Kira’s leotard here, I  decided I wanted two diagonal stripes (black and pink) running across the front.  I drew the stripes where I wanted them on the pattern, then cut out a center panel of the pattern piece.

I cut out the top and bottom of the leotard front out of the floral fabric, and then used the center strips I cut out from the pattern to cut black and pink strips.  NOTE: you’ll always need to add a seam allowance (I used 1 cm) where you’ll be sewing these pieces together.  For example, I added an extra 1 cm to the top and bottom of both the pink and black stripes before cutting and sewing them to each other and then to the top and bottom floral pieces.

Also cut 1 leotard back and 1 gusset out of matching or coordinating fabric.

STEP 2: Sew front and back pieces, right sides together, along the shoulders and side seams, leaving the crotch unsewn for now.

STEP 3:  Sew gusset to inside front of leotard (wrong sides together), matching up one short end of gusset with raw edge of leotard front.  Sew along this short edge and both sides of gusset (leaving the other short end loose).  Then match up the leotard back and front crotch and sew, right sides together.

STEP 4: Here comes the only tricky part! Measure your model around her shoulders and upper thigh, where you want the edge of the leotard to sit.  Keep the measuring tape taut, but not too tight.  Then cut a piece of elastic about 2 cm SHORTER than this measurement, for all 4 openings (2 arms and 2 legs).  Do the same for the neckline, for a total of 5 pieces of elastic. Be sure to not mix them up!

STEP 5: Stitch the elastic to the edge of each opening using a zig zag stitch, stretching slightly as you go so that the elastic fits the opening.  I overlap it a teensy bit where the elastic edges meet.  (This is a good time to try leotard on your model and adjust opening if necessary!)
Then fold the raw edge under to hide the elastic and topstitch close to the fold, again using a zig zag stitch.  Repeat for all openings.

**If you have trouble getting any of the openings to fit correctly, you can also try basting the elastic in place and then trying it on your little one.  After you do it a couple times you’ll get the hang of it!

Voila!  Aren’t you so proud of your mad skills??  Now go whip up 3 more and make all the little girls in your life squeal with joy! (and save yourselve oodles of dough.)

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How to Hem your own pants – new video!

Never miss out on the perfect pair of pants again – just because they’re too long!

Hey all!

I’m SO happy to post my first DIY video for you today…  It’s the perfect tutorial for the beginning sewer: how to hem pants!

If you’re under about 6 feet tall, then chances are good you’ve found at least one pair of pants you love that are too long for you.  Well, no more, my friends!  Save your alteration money and put that dusty machine to good use by hemming your own.

The video also includes instructions for hemming stretchy pants like leggings, as well as creating an invisible hem on nicer slacks like suit pants.  Enjoy!

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DIY Sequined Party Dress

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DIY Sequined Party Dress

Make the perfect party dress with this simple tutorial.  You can make it maternity-friendly or not!

Sequined fabric from Joann Fabrics (in store) || Heels: Sam Edelman (on sale!)

I don’t get to go to a lot of fancy parties…but when I do, I’m always scrambling last minute to find something dressy, flattering and not too skanky to wear!

If you’re panicking about New Year’s Eve (tomorrow!), it’s not too late to whip up the perfect party dress.  This sequined number is super easy and can be made to cover as much or as little as you want!

As you can see, I don’t mind covering a 7 month pregnant belly in sequins thereby resembling a giant disco ball, …but obviously this dress can also be made more fitted for a non-maternity version.

Read on for the full tutorial!

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Girls and their dolls






The holiday season is creeping up and I’m getting so excited!  I fully realize that we still have Halloween and Thanksgiving to get through but Costco’s decorations and toys were already out today so I couldn’t help it!

And if you’re in the market for gifts…everyone knows handmade is always better!  Have you guys seen See Kate Sew‘s new line of doll fabric and coordinating prints?  Seriously the cutest, most genius idea ever.  The dolls come pre-printed ON the the fabric, so all I had to do was cut them out, sew them together and stuff them!  My kids went crazy over them!

Click read more to see all the pics!

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DIY Kimono Sleeve Maxi Dress


Fact: It’s September, yet Phoenix weather is still ridiculous.

Fact: I’m pregnant and not yet cutely so.

Ergo, flowy dresses for the win!  When I realized that I couldn’t make it through the week without wearing one particular knit dress more than 3 times, I decided it was time to make something that felt like pajamas but looked just slightly more upscale.  What with all the loose 70’s top and dress trends right now, it’s a GREAT time to be chubby!


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Add Modesty Panel to a V-Neck Top!


Is there anything worse than finding a dress that’s almost perfect? When I found this fun color-blocked dress at H&M a couple months ago, it was love at first sight…except for that plunging neckline.  Always the challenge to appropriately cover the nursing-mom cleavage, can I get an Amen?  So instead of passing it up, I figured out a DIY solution!


The neckline was actually low enough that it allowed nursing access, but I wanted to be able to cover up the cleave when I was done!  I created this little panel that snaps open and shut.

Get the tutorial below!


First, try your dress or top on and measure how high you want your panel to go (i.e. how much cleavage you’ve got exposed! Mine was about 4″ high).  Then, lay your dress or top face down on a flat surface to measure the width.  Be sure you’re not stretching the opening.  Mark how high your panel will go on the dress with a pen (i.e. 4″ above the bottom of the opening).  Then measure across the width of the opening at that point, and add about 1.5″ to overlap underneath (mine was about 5.5″).


Now you’ll need to cut out your triangle of fabric for the panel.  Since my dress was made of a polyester knit, I used a black cotton knit that looked similar enough to the dress fabric.  I folded my fabric in half, and then cut out a triangle measuring the width you calculated above (5.5″ for me) and the height you measured above plus 1″ (about 5″ for mine), with the fold of the fabric at the top.  I wanted to use the fold as the top edge instead of hemming my fabric there.


Now just finish the raw edges of your triangle sides…I used a serger but a simple zig-zag stitch would work too.  Then hand-stitch the bottom of your triangle flap to the inside of your dress, just below the neckline opening.  Mark where your panel hits the dress when closed, and hand-stitch snaps to both the top of the panel and inside of dress.  Or, if you’re not nursing and don’t need access, just hand-stitch the top in place as well!


Voila!  Now go enjoy your new top/dress, in confidence that nobody’s staring at your chest!