Holiday Food Delivery (& Tutorial)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone.
#ShareTheHoliday #CollectiveBias

Make delivering treats and meals to neighbors easy this holiday season with Rubbermaid TakeAlongs and a simple tote tutorial!

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Undoubtedly, my favorite part of the holiday season is the food.  Mmm, the foooood!  Thanksgiving feasts and cookie exchanges and Christmas parties and treats from neighbors…it’s all just such a glorious season for celebrating with delicious things.

While the cabinet where I keep my plastic food storage containers is always a big fat mess, I find myself running out of containers more and more at this time of year.  Whether it’s delivering treats to friends and family or storing leftovers from all our parties and big dinners, I never seem to have enough containers to store food (to say nothing of matching lids…where do those things GO?!).

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I love these Rubbermaid TakeAlongs from Walmart because they’re available in festive red, green and holiday prints (from now until December 24th!), are available in tons of sizes and they’re affordable enough to give away!  They’re super easy to open and close securely, and they can safely go in the freezer, microwave and dishwasher.  (You can find them on an end cap in the housewares department.)

I recently found myself wishing I had the perfect tote to carry several food storage containers so that I could more easily deliver dinners and treats to friends.  So today I’ve got a tutorial for a quick and easy solution!  This tote is the perfect size for the biggest of the Rubbermaid containers (as well as perfect for hauling a 9″x13″ casserole pan) and deep enough to stack several on top of each other.  There’s room for an entire dinner for a friend (with room for entree, side salad and dessert) or just use it for delivering several containers of cookies!

Click Read more for the tutorial…

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DIY Flutter Sleeve Dress

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Well, I’m officially pregnant enough that it’s getting difficult to dress this bump.  You’d think I’d have this great wardrobe of stylish maternity clothes now that I’m on my 7th go around but, alas…my under-the-bed box of big-girl clothes was pretty sad looking when I opened it up a couple months ago.

Sundays are especially hard because I want to look nice for church…and not just squeezed into a too-small T-shirt dress.  I went rummaging through the fabric stash a while ago and found this floral from Joann Fabrics I’d bought ages ago.  I was saving it for the perfect project and I’m thrilled with how this flutter sleeve maternity dress turned out.  It’d be perfect for just about any body shape, pregnant or not!

The tutorial is pretty simple, and I’ve included a free pattern for the flutter sleeves.  They’re a little trickier to draft than your typical sleeve but they lend so much more to a basic dress silhouette.  Read on for the full tutorial!

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Stashbuilder Box: Pinafore pattern hack

Jump on the pinafore-style dress bandwagon with this easy pattern hack!

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Have you guys heard about Stash Builder Box yet?  It’s this amazing little monthly box full of adorable fabrics, cute sewing accessories and an on-trend quilt pattern.  The company that sells them then takes 20% from each purchase and uses the funds to create quilts to donate to all kinds of people in need!  Sewing for a cause?  Heck yeah!

I about died when I saw the fabrics I received in my October mega box (1 yard of each of 3 super cute prints).  They’re from Maureen Cracknell’s Nightfall collection and the entire lookbook makes me drool.  I think I’m gonna copy that quilt on the cover because it is beyond gorgeous.

I knew I wanted to make a dress for Mimi out of the fabrics and finally settled on this pinafore style.  It’s the CUTEST little summer dress, and perfect over a long sleeve top for winter!  I’ve been meaning to figure out a pinafore hack from my Infinite A-line Dress pattern so read on for the full tutorial.

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DIY Reversible Shopper Tote

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Hey all!  I’ve got a quick, fun bag tutorial for you today.  These are seriously so easy and super addicting to make!  While I’m usually all about making clothes for me and the rugrats, bags place a close second on my list of addicting projects.  If I let myself, I could sew up more bags than a girl could ever use in a lifetime!

My aunt emailed me a while ago with pictures of a bag just like this that she bought on vacation.  She said she used it all the time and was really hoping to recreate some at home for gifts.  I was happy to help her figure it out and came up with this cute shopper tote!  They’re perfect for the library, grocery store, soccer practice, ballet class – you name it!  Plus the reversible factor just makes it that much more fun.  In fact, I think I’ll whip some up for Halloween treat bags!

I’ve already made 5 of them…the 3 not pictured were sewn up in an annoying My Little Pony fabric that my girls INSISTED I buy…I’m such a sucker! I’ve included a downloadable pattern for the adult size I’m holding here and the kid size Kira has.  My girls really loved the smaller size and I like to pack mine full of as much crap as possible.

FYI: The tutorial has LOTS of pictures…not because it’s hard but just because it’s easier that way!   Ready??  Click Read More below!

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DIY Kimono Sleeve Maxi Dress

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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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DIY Diaper Caddy: Simplify Motherhood

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SuperAbsorbent #CollectiveBias

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Hey mamas!  Today’s post is all about simplifying life as a busy, crazy insane mom….specifically, diaper time!  Plus a super easy sewing tutorial!  Click read more below!

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Easiest Swimsuit Cover-Up

Up your pool style quotient this summer with this super easy swimsuit cover-up!

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I’ve got a super easy tutorial for you guys today! This super cute and simple swimsuit coverup is my new favorite project.  If you’ve got a yard of fabric and 20 minutes, you’re well on your way!

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Ultimate Pool Bag Tutorial

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Hey guys!  I’ve got a really fun and easy tutorial for you today to help make you summer adventures easier.  If you’re here visiting from Nap Time Creations, then welcome!  I hope you love it.

Does anyone else find themselves playing the part of sherpa when it’s time to hit the pool or beach?  It seems even my big kids become completely incapable of carrying their own towel, goggles, pool toys, etc. and I’m walking around with my arms piled high with SHTUFF (and pool stuff x 7 kids = a big headache).  So I dreamed up this bag that would hold all our pool necessities without any extra effort on my part!  The best part is that it’s a backpack so that I can hold hands/babies while we walk down the street to our community pool.

Ready??  Let’s do it!

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What you’ll need:

1 yard sturdy canvas-type fabric (any outdoor home decor fabric would work well, bonus if it’s water-resistant!  I re-purposed a heavy duty curtain from Target)
Extra long zipper (mine was 65″ – you probably won’t find this at your local craft store; I bought mine at an upholstery shop where they sell them by the yard.)
Heavy duty coordinating fabric for pockets (optional: clear vinyl or other waterproof fabric to make one pocket a wet bag!)
2 yards 1″ elastic for towel loops
1 yard 1/4″ elastic for pockets
Twill webbing for straps (about 1.5 yards)

  1.  First, I cut my fabric into 4 rectangles, each measuring 17″ x 21″ (2 pieces will be the outer portion of the bag and the other 2 will be the lining).  Then I used a cup (or other circular object) to trace around the corners and round them off.

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  2. Sew on your towel loops!  Take one of your rounded rectangles and sew strips of elastic onto the right side (my strips were about 13″ long);  I placed my strips of elastic in pairs, so that they’re running parallel to the long side of the fabric (see picture).  Sew down both raw edges to form a loop (using a zig zag stitch to reinforce each edge well!) It’s totally up to you how many loops you sew and the spacing, but I ended up with 6 loops, to hold 3 towels, since our towels are pretty bulky.  If needed, I could also stick just one towel in each loop so I could schlep twice as many!
  3. Next, you need to sew on your pockets.  I cut my smaller pockets measuring 6″ x 7″ and my larger pockets were 13″ x 8″.  Take two of the other rectangles of bag fabric, and begin by arranging your pockets as desired on the right side of the fabric.  I chose to put the two small pockets on top of one side (for sunscreen and little toys) and the large elasticized pockets everywhere else.

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  4. To sew on the small pockets, finish the raw edges (I used a serger but you can also just zigzag them), fold them under 1/4″ and topstitch along the top of your pocket.  Then stitch the sides and bottom right to your bag lining (leaving the top open!).
  5. For the bigger pockets, finish your raw edges and press under the bottom and sides 1/4″.  For the top of these pockets, you’ll press under 1/2″ and sew right along the raw edge, forming a casing.  Thread your 1/4″ elastic through the casing and gather the fabric as much as you’d like, pulling the elastic taut.  Stitch the elastic to the fabric on both open sides of the casing to keep it in place.  Then topstitch the sides and bottom of your pockets to your lining just as with the smaller pockets.  Don’t stretch your elastic to sew the sides…just let it pull the top of the pocket inwards so that the elastic will keep your stuff inside!
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  6. Next, sew your straps to your last rectangle of fabric.  I didn’t make mine adjustable since I’ll be the only one wearing it, but that’s an option as well!  I simply topstitched one raw end of the straps to the edge of my fabric, right at the top (see picture) and then tried it on, measured where I wanted it to hit under my arms, trimmed the webbing and sewed the other ends to the sides of my fabric.
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  7. Now, you’ll be sewing your lining to your bag exteriors.  Match up one exterior piece (i.e. with the elastic loops) to one lining (i.e. with pockets), right sides together.  Begin sewing together just a few inches from the center of the bottom short end, all the way around (one long side, the top short side and the other long side) to a few inches from the center on the other side of the bottom.  Leave 5-6 inches open to turn.  Repeat with other two fabric pieces.  REMEMBER to make sure your pockets are facing UP!
  8. Turn both pieces of your bag right sides out and press the edges well.  Fold under the raw edges of the part you left open, and stitch the two pieces of the bag together, along this opening (this will be the bottom of the bag that keeps the pieces connected, even when the zipper is unzipped.

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  9. Finally, stitch your zipper to you bag but sewing one zipper tape to one side of the bag, beginning right where you sewed the two halves together.  You’ll stitch the zipper tape to the bag ALL the way around, and then do the same with the other zipper tape and other side of the bag.

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    Thanks for reading!  I hope this tutorial helps lighten your summer load!

    Be sure to head over to the Nap Time Creations blog to see more posts in the Summer Fun Series!

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Spotted Sheath Dress DIY

This easy tutorial and free pattern will have you whipping up a cute pullover style sheath dress in no time!

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And my obsession with dresses continues!  Especially when it comes to spring and summer sewing, I just can’t get enough.  They’re cool and cute and flirty and fun; not to mention, they take no time at all to sew!

This spotted sheath dress is no exception…read on for the super easy tutorial!

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1.  First, you’ll need to download and print the free pattern here (be sure to print from Adobe Reader/Acrobat and NOT a browser! Make sure your printer is not scaling the pages).  Then tape all your pages together (just overlap the margins of the pattern pages before cutting- no need to trim them off!).
I drafted it to fit my body pretty loosely, and my measurements are 37-29-38 (about a size 6 or medium).  If you’re bigger or smaller than this, you can grade the pattern out or in, simply by adding or subtracting inches to your bust, waist and/or hips.  Since the pattern piece represents 1/4th of the dress’s measurements, you’ll only need to add or subtract 1/4 of the difference in our measurements.

For example, if your bust is 2 inches larger than mine but your hips are 1 inch smaller, then add 0.5″ to the bust area (2″ divided by 4) and subtract 0.25″ (1″ divided by 4) to the hip area.  I hope that makes sense…it’s really simple once you get started!

I made my dress a little looser than a traditional sheath dress because I wanted to avoid needing an opening (my fabric also had some stretch to it).  If you’d like a closer fit or are using a fabric with no stretch, you’ll need to insert a zipper or other opening.

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2.  Now, cut out out your fabric by laying the straight edge of your pattern pieces on the fold of your fabric (where indicated).  You’ll need to cut one bodice front (along the lower neckline curve) and one bodice back (along the higher neckline curve), as well as 2 sleeve pieces.   Now, cut out a neckband bias strip measuring 27″ (68 cm) x 2″ (5cm).  You can avoid cutting this piece on the bias if your fabric already has stretch to it, as long as you cut with the stretch running lengthwise.

**Remember after sewing each seam, to finish your raw edges and press well!

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3.  Sew your front to back bodice pieces together at the shoulders, and then at the sides, RST, using a 3/8″ (1cm) seam allowance.  Sew your underarm seam by stitching the sleeve to itself along the short, straight edge, RST.  Repeat with 2nd sleeve.  Turn dress inside out and sleeve right side out; insert sleeve into dress at armhole, pin together, keeping raw edges even and matching side seam to underarm seam.  Ease through the shoulder curve to fit.  Baste sleeve to dress and check for puckers or folds.  Stitch sleeve to dress and repeat with opposite sleeve.

4.   Stitch short ends of neckband piece together, then fold loop in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and press again.  Pin neckband to RIGHT side of dress neckline, raw edges even.  Stitch neckband piece to neckline, using a scant 1/4″ (.6 cm) seam allowance.  Fold neckband to inside of dress and press well.  Topstitch neckband in place, close to fold.

5.  Hem sleeves and dress as desired.

And, you’re done!  A quick, easy project with a big “wow” factor.   Let me know how yours turns out!

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Add Modesty Panel to a V-Neck Top!

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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!

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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!

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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″).

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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.

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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!

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