Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Naptime Sewing-Summer Dress (Link to Free Pattern)



After a very long winter of knitting and crocheting, I was dying to break out my sewing machine.  The poor loyal friend had been hidden away in my office for months, begging to be used.

I consider myself a beginner. I have had two formal classes, only one of which I actually turned on my machine.  I can do the basics (totes, headbands, basic skirts, pillow cases) and I was ready for something a little more challenging.

Naturally, I went to Pinterest.  I have a few store bought patterns I wanted to use, but I am a visual learner, and I find I can better execute the instructions when I have a tutorial.  I found this pin and got to work (during nap time, of course).



A couple notes about this dress pattern.  When you download the free pattern from Craftsy, it only has one part and this had many (including myself) confused.  Be sure to read through the directions before starting.  You cut another piece for the skirt portion, and the straps, but it isn't in the PDF because you just measure it.  So do not be alarmed when you go to print and it isn't there.

The pattern comes in one size.  I simple cut mine a little bigger to accommodate my girl.  I'll be honest, I didn't measure.  I also made mine the dress length the pattern calls for, so it would be a longer shirt on my girl (who is 12 months).

 

And finally, I found it somewhat hard to get on and off her with the straps on the orange dress, something I attribute to the pattern being a smaller size, and my daughter having an enormous head.  Two things could have solved this: putting them further apart/thinner, or simply cutting the top portion bigger so there was a wider opening.  On the purple dress, I opted for tie shoulders and it did make it a bit easier.

 

I also suggest possibly adding some elastic thread to the waist so she can wear the dress for longer, as a shirt.

I really enjoyed making this. It was that quick project that I craved, and there was the instant gratification of seeing my daughter wear it.  Naturally, she went out in the Spring grass and got herself all dirty moments after snapping these pictures, but at least she waited until after! 

To see more of my projects, follow along on Instagram: @KnaptimeKnitter





Tuesday, April 28, 2015

ThredUp, An Addiction

Recently I began to down size my wardrobe in an attempt to organize my house, simplify things and fill my closet with only things I 100% love.  I usually would just take my unwanted items over to the consignment shop, but its a half hour away and with two small children, sometimes that wasn't something I could do easily.  I also don't like the inconvenience of having to make an appointment.

Then, I discovered ThredUp, after my sister sent me a link with a free $10 credit to give it a try.  What's better than that?  So I looked at the site, thinking I probably would use my credit and then forget about it.  I'm here to tell you, I haven't.

Basically, it's a giant online consignment shop, a thrifters dream.  You can create an account and then customize it to fit your likes and sizes.  For example, I love Anthropologie but can't afford it, so I set my ThredUp to show me their brands in my size so I can see what's available. 

Now, back to the down sizing portion of this post.  I ordered a ThredUp bag, filled it with items I no longer wear, and sent it in. I've actually done this twice now.  They take what they can sell and donate the rest. You can get the rest back for a fee, but I opted out of this.  You don't get a ton for your items, but since their prices are so reasonable, you can use your credit to get something else, or wait 14 days and it can be deposited to your PayPal.  I love this because it is so easy and it costs you nothing to send it in!  They even take kids and baby items, which is fantastic when trading up for different sizes.

The quality of the items is amazing, and they recently started accepting free returns. 

If you are ready to give it a try and want the free $10 that got me hooked, you can use this link here. Place your first order and then tell all your friends, and when they order you'll both get the $10 credit. You can literally get something for free here, friends, go try it out!



Monday, April 27, 2015

Money Saving Monday-Dyson

You know you've entered a new realm of adult hood when the prospect of a new vacuum gets you excited.  For years, we dreamed of a Dyson.  With dogs and kids, carpets and hardwood floors, we were in desperate need of a vacuum that not only worked, but lasted more than three months. I kept reasoning with myself that someday I would invest, but for now it was ok to just get a cheaper, more affordable one. Who cares if it doesn't last, I thought, we'll figure that out later.  Well, my friends, long story short, we were replacing it every year and that adds up.  By the time I tossed our broken ones, we could have definitely just got a Dyson.

 



--I should note, that as amazing as it would be, this is in no way sponsored by Dyson or anyone else--

Ok, back to my fascinating story, here's where it gets good.   A friend mentioned that QVC had them. I was all, ok, yea, maybe, but aren't those limited time offers and do you even really save anything. I'm here to tell you: YOU DO! And the deals are still going on. I'm not certain if they actually do have a time cap.  They also have a payment plan which makes it even easier on the budget.

There's a few models to choose from, you can check them out here on QVC.  You might be thinking, "But Amanda, that is still a very expensive vacuum and we're on a budget here."  Yes, I know. But its worth it!  We went with the DC 39 Canister.  The best part of this deal is that it comes with five attachments, something you would normally need to purchase separate.  I chose canister because we have stairs, and I like to be able to easily maneuver into little corners of the bathroom and small spaces.

A couple things I don't like about it, but honestly, this probably is our fault and not the vacuum's.  The canister fills up quick.  I know, that's not really their fault, we have kids and dogs and it gets dirty on our floors. The other is that the carpet attachment gets clogged somewhat easily and won't turn. Again, with the amount of yarn I drop on our floors, this is more my fault than anything. The good thing is, you can take it apart and easily clear it out.

We have had ours for about a year now and its going strong.  Usually by this point in our relationship with a vacuum, we would have broken up.  One actually started smoking once, that terrible rubber smell.  I'm happy with it, and it has been worth the investment.  In hind sight, I would have gone with the Animal, which is more expensive but is for just that: animals.  And when you have a Pomeranian, you need that. All in all, my only regret is that we didn't invest in one sooner.