Monday, December 28, 2009

A Little Break

I'm taking a little holiday break {if you haven't guessed already}.  I am enjoying this time we get to be together with family, and I am gaining a whole new set of ideas for the new year, so will be back to blog next week!! Hope you all had happy holidays and a great New Years. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A whole new ball game

I recently discovered that my new computer came with photoshop elements.  Woohoo!  Not that I have had much need for it, but i started dabbling with it here an there, but I don't have a manual, and i hear people take classes on this stuff, and i just have no interest in getting that familiar with it.  But, I just may change my mind.  Yesterday i was trying to find a recent picture of my kids and i didn't really have one framable photo of all of them together.  They had a photoshoot not long ago where they got awesome individual shots but   the group shots of the kids weren't very successful.  They were all tired of pictures by then and there wasn't one picture of all of them even looking at the camera, let alone making a presentable face.  So I turned to photoshop and decided to go to youtube to find some good visual directions on how to transplant a head from one picture to another.  {Just a side note, i am a very visual person, and youtube is AWESOME, I have learned so many skills from youtube videos--anything from fun hairstyles, to sewing, to making hairbows and even how to play quite a few songs on the piano.  It's a great resource for learning things}.  I used this slightly odd, but very helpful tutorial here {beware of the cheesy start up music;)}.  I added a couple other fun coloring affects, and I think it turned out pretty good for my first time. . .

So now I am thinking this changes everything for picture taking!  If I can do this what other fun photos can I doctor up, I may never need a group photo of us again, I can just cut and paste everyone right into this same backdrop everytime I need a photo, ha!  Okay maybe not, it's always better to have a great original, but it is a good plan B :).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?

Christmas is fast approaching, and I still have done nothing for my neighbors.  I really have the best neighbors in the world, so I didn't want the season to pass by without giving them something.  My original plan was so do a cute jar with a pretty arrangement of sliced oranges and lemons, a bay leaf, cinnamon sticks and a few cloves to use for a simmering potpourri {my sister-in-law gave me one a few thanksgivings ago, and it looked so cute and smelled wonderful!}. So, I went to the hardware store for jars, and they had them stashed in their upstairs storage room.  I wasn't sure what size jars they even make (i'm not much of a canner), so the guy just had me follow him up there. I am feeling bad for making him go to all this trouble, so when he showed me a case of them i said that was it, and purchased them without looking too carfully.  I realized when i got home that it was one quart jars, which are quite big, and not the jelly jar size i was looking for.  I couldn't go return them after all that, so I needed to go to plan B. I went through a list of ideas that were starting to feel complicated this late in the game, but then I started wondering if i could fit a stack of cookies in there. It fit a dozen cookies perfectly. To guarentee their freshness I made them after dinner and once they were cooled i put them in the jars and brought them around.  As i was assembling them, the brassy lids were a bit of an eyesore, so i went to the garage and grabbed my trusty white spraypaint and did just one quick coat on the rings while the cookies were cooling.  While the paint was drying and cookies cooling I cut some Christmas fabric in circles that were big enough that the edges folded over the top of the jar, but not big enough that it showed from under the rings when it was screwed on.  I put it all together and really loved the weathered look of the white rings. It came together better than I expected so I thought I would share.     

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jedi Cloak. . . It's Coming. . .

GOODNEWS!  I finished my Jedi Cloak!  I think my son is really going to love it.  Santa and i have ESP and I just know he is bringing him a Light Saber and Obi Wan dress up, and since i am making my kids each something for christmas this year, i thought, he needs a cloak.  It was quite cheap and took me about a afternoon naptime, and in between the good parts of the Survivor Finale to finish it, so not too long to do.  Now for the BAD NEWS. . . i can't get a good picture of it until after christmas when i can put it on him, so, that is the project, and it is coming, with instructions you will just have to be in suspense until after the holidays to see it. 

Friday, December 18, 2009



I have been an antiquing fool lately.  It all started with my piano.  I thought the dark paint highlighted some features that, when it was monotone, were unsightly.  So i keep trying it with other things, different color combinations, and it hasn't failed me yet.  I cannot of course have everything in my house distressed or antiqued, so i am giving it as gifts now :).  Hence today's post.  An unnamed family member is getting this beauty for christmas.    But before i cut the glass (i personally don't cut the glass, you know what i mean though), put a picture in it, and get the hardware on the back I am going to show how easy it is to do on any old frame (or piece of furniture for that matter).  This frame is actually newly made by my hubby, but you can get any old wooden frame and make it look designer.
-Spray paint a frame a light color. (do a couple of coats)  I love Krylon's Almond color.
-Next take a darker color, i use those little craft paint tubes you can buy in walmarts craft section for less than 50 cents, and squirt some on a plate.  If you have lots of crevises to your frame you can thin the paint with a bit of water.  But if you do a flat frame like the one i have shown, just use it as it is. 
-Take a paper towel and dab it in the paint.  Then smear the darker paint over top of your finished frame appling it heavier where you want it to stay darker. 
-Then Lightly with a clean paper towel wipe it off to remove excess paint.  Start removing the paint in the areas you want to stay lighter.    {Do these two steps one edge of the frame at a time, becuase the paint dries quickly and you want to be able to remove it from the places you choose.}
-Once you are done you can do any touch ups you need, and then let it dry.  I dont even put polyurethane over mine because they are out of reach of the kids hands, but you could poly it for extra protection, then you are done!  It looks awesome with frames that have all sorts of nooks and crannies, too!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Men's Shirt Makeover

I am getting pretty sick of my wardrobe, so yesterday iI wandered over to my husbands side of the closet.  I know the "boyfriend" look is back so I wondered if he had anything I could pull off. . . he didn't. . . but it did get me thinking.  Some of his shirts could look decent (on me) with some alterations.  So, i wondered if i applied the same ideas for the Sweater Dress, and made one of my husbands shirts smaller for me.  So, I asked him which one i could possibly destroy and put it on and pinned it while i was looking in the mirror.  I marked where my armpits were, where i went in at the waist, and where some darts should be in the back. Then i got to cutting and sewing.  When it was done I used the scraps i made a tuxedo ruffle down the front next to the button holes.  It turned out better than i thought, and i loved how it is longer, and the sleeves are longer than if i had bought it. Here's the finished product!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

You Win some, You Lose Some. . .

This time I lost.  I was going to reconstruct this shirt of mine into something cute an sassy for my oldest to wear.  She has this cute sparkly tanktop, and so i wanted a fun rocker shirt for her to wear over it.  I went to JoAnn's and got some fun metallic angel wing iron on's for the back.  Last night i cut, i sewed, and waited to make sure it was just right for her this morning before i ironed on the wings. It fit (and was mighty cute, i should add) So, all excited, she got on her jeans and tanktop and met me at the ironing board.  We read the directions, we followed them carfully, and still. . . it burned!  One wing got scorched onto the shirt.  So, shirt and decals ruined, we can toss this project into the scrapyard.  Half a Jay Leno show, and $3 wasted.  It wouldn't be the first time my time and money was wasted.  So, on to another project. . . hopefully with a better outcome! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Curtain Call

I don't love working with large amounts of fabric. I have only made curtains once and we moved soon after and of course every place has different windows, or amounts of windows and since we were moving so often i gave up on curtains all together and stuck to blinds.  But I found some fabric i just loved, and wanted to make use of it in my bonus room, so my ever-so-crafty mother in law convinced me to make curtains.  She showed me how to make some valances that are super easy, and look so great.  They have made my room so much cuter.  I am not a very frilly person when it comes to my curtains, i like it simple, and these are simple to sew (it's just a rectangle), and simple decor. . . but it adds a lot of personality.


We measured the width of the window and cut the fabric it the width of the window plus half of that measurement. {If you want to have it really bunchy you can double the size of the window for you fabric}  I think mine dropped down 15 inches, but you can do that side whatever your preference is, just remember you will be tying it up at the end and you will need to fold it over to make a pocket for your curtain rod, so you may want to have it hang just a bit longer than you think.  I lined mine with a cheap tan cotton muslin so the sun wouldn't distort the front fabric. 

With both piece of fabric right sides together sew around the edges like you were doing a pillow.  Leave a 2 or 3 inch openining, so you can turn the fabric right sides, and then fold those few raw edges in and top stitch there.  Then fold it over on the top, from front to back, just enough to make a pocket to fit your curtain rod.  Sew a straight line, leaving the hole open on both ends to slip the rod through.  Finally, you can iron it, Hang it and tie two ribbons around the whole thing you can either turn the bows to the back so you can't see them or leave them in front.  Now go, dress up that plain room!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Where the Magic Happens

It would be ideal to have a nice creative space that is overlooking a pond, or beautiful mountains. Mine, although a wonderful space, overlooks a grey wall. I love the color, but it has been needing something. I wasn't sure what, until i saw THIS wreath hanging in my friends house. I noticed it immediatly and asked her where she got it. She told me not only that she made it but that she had stuff for me if i wanted to make one too. Just a book and styrofoam wreath ring from the dollar store, and a  couple dabs of brown paint. Now I love a $2 project but free is even better! Thanks for doing the leg work Kayla! Click here for the directions at Living with Lindsay.I put it together in bits and pieces while i was watching shows here and there during the last week.  My five year old even helped. It was pretty mindless work, but it uses A LOT of hot glue so have a bunch of sticks handy. It is a wonderful addition to this beautiful large desk my husband made for me to do all of my little projects on. It's slowly becoming an inspirational space.  Now for a few cute desk decorations and maybe one of those cute sewing machine covers and I'll be set!

Friday, December 11, 2009

How To Make Rosettes

After making that Christmas Party Dress and adding that rosette at the end i was suprised at how easy it was and started thinking of all the possiblities for cute rosettes: headbands, necklaces, hats, scarfs. . . so i will show you how i made the rosette and you can decide what you want to dress up with it.

I made my original by sewing, but i tried it with a hot glue gun and that was faster, so that is how i will show you.

WHAT YOU NEED:                          

1 strip of fabric ironed into thirds, making the width less than 1 inch (you can choose your own length)
1 Hot Glue Gun


I glued as i went, rolling the first part evenly and tight, then after rolling that a few times i started pinching the fabric as i went so it wasn't so neat looking in the end.  When you get to the end of the fabric tuck it under the bottom and secure it with glue.  Make sure you are liberal with the glue (not so libral that you have it oozing out. . . that won't be pretty)  just enough that it stays secure.   The width and length will determine how large and how far your rosettes will stick out in the end, so keep that in mind.  The one i did in the picture is 1 inch width, and i would not do it larger than that, i would say half inch or less would be perfect to lay nice and flat on accessories like hairclips and necklaces.  That is it. . . you just sew or glue it to a plain accessory.  I was thinking it would be cute to dress up some of those one size fits all Walmart gloves that you buy in packs for a couple of bucks.  A few tiny ones on the wrist.  I my kids teachers will be getting some beaded necklaces with these on them. . . here are some things i have done with them.  Have fun! 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas gifts on a Budget: T-shirt Scarfs

We are nearing the end of the week, there are so many ideas and only so much time for me to actually get them done, pictures taken, and have them posted.  And even though it won't make it in this week, i have a Jedi Cloak on my list of things to make, so when i figure it out, it is sure to be easy and inexpensive, cause that's how i roll.  I just need to make it to JoAnn's with my 40% off coupon to get some fabric first.  So be looking for that hopefully next week sometime if you are needing a good gift idea for a little boy.  For today, we have a scarf made from a T-shirt {or two if you want to switch up the colors a bit}.   You could do this for a boy or a girl, It would look so cute for a boy with navy, red and gold Tshirts or differnent kinds of camo. 

Some old Tshirts (at least 2)
Sewing Machine or Serger

COST: $0--or maybe a disgruntled husband after he finds out you cut up all of his beloved Tshirts. 

I am starting with a shirt that i am not sure how we aquired but it is too big for my oldest and since no one has claimed it it is being reused!  I am making a long skinny scarf, but you can make the blocks any length or width you want, just make them all even widths, so when you are done the sides will all be straight.  Sew each block together and iron seams flat when done.  That is the front. For the back cut long strips of equal width of another Tshirt (or heck now that we have rediscovered fleece, you could use that for the back too!).  Cut enough that when sewn together the are the same length as the front of the scarf.  Sew the backing strips together, and iron seams flat.  Then with wrong sides together sew down the length of each side (LEAVE THE ENDS OPEN!).  Then turn right side out, fold in each end and do a top stitch across it.  You could even do something fancy like a zig zag stitch.  DONE! How easy was that!?  Not to mention. . . oh so cute!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas gifts on a Budget: Makeover Your Playroom

If you really want that WOW factor Christmas morning, nothing will make those kiddies eyes twinkle like a made over playroom.  I was feeling like our playroom had no pazzaz.  I could see why my kids didn't want to play in it, it was so boring!  There were a bunch of blah plastic containers filled to the brim, and blase colors on the wall.  So since my kids spend most of the cold winters inside, we decided to give our playroom a facelift last year.  Since our kids don't like playing in our basement it was easy to keep it secret, but most of the stuff we assembled on christmas eve after the kids went to bed.

Some spare paint
Acrylic craft paints (they come in little tubes for 40 cents at walmart)
Spare wood trim
Maybe a window two (these are surprisingly easy to come by in New England, people are always giving away old windows after they replace them)

For ours, we only purchased the fabric for the awning, the curtain rod that is hidden beneath the awning, the cash register, and the play food.  It totaled less than $30. 

We just sectioned off a part of the wall, and painted it* some spare tan paint we had in the garage. I wanted it to be something that they could not just see but also feel and touch and be a part of.  So, we added real windows overtop of the painted windows on the general store that we got for free at a local lumber yard that had spare halves of windows, then we turned them sideways so they would be long and screwed them right into the studs (if you are going to add real windows make sure you know where your wall studs are before you paint what will go under them so they will be secure in the wall). 

For the awning, I measured how big i wanted it, and hemmed it under before we needed to assemble it.  Then we stapled the top end to the back of a piece of wood trim that was cut the right length, and turned it forward so the fabric then came down overtop of it, and we screwed the wood piece into the wall, but you could sew across the top and put it on a curtain rod and hang it.  Then, so the awning came out a bit, i positioned a metal curtain rod (those really cheap ones that are meant for valances, and turn in towards the wall) about a foot below, so it would lay over it, and hang out a bit from the wall.  You could nail the sides of the fabric to the wall if you want to make it nice and tight. 

I painted a door with the acrylic craft paint in a chocolate brown.  My husband then placed trim around the door to make it pop--so to speak (actually my kids thought we really had a store behind there, they kept asking how to get in!) and we had ourselves a little general store.  We found a bookshelf in our garage that was about to go to the dump and painted it red to put some play food on (the crates the food are in are from the clementine oranges you get at the store this time of year).  We also found another odd piece of furniture for their cash register to sit on, and i got some clearance bushels from walmart after the fall holidays for shopping baskets (i am sure the dollar store would have some cute baskets too). 

Santa brought my kids a kitchen** and table for christmas last year as well, so now they can go straight from the grocery store, to their little home to make dinner for each other.  It really has made our playroom so much more exciting.  My friend, after seeing our basement, offered to make a cute little General Store sign for it.  I have all sorts of ideas for more playroom fun, a small stage for their dress ups to sit next to, so they can perform for each other and with their friends, or a classroom with a chalkboard, and little desks.  All it takes is a little time and a little creativity to make a space for your kids imaginations to grow in. 

*I actually first saw this idea done on plywood boards that were painted as a little village and then screwed into the wall, so if you are in an apartment you could paint it on plywood and screw it into the studs {just make sure you buy some nail filler for when you move out ;) }!

**The Kitchen is that cute pink target kitchen, but, since i wanted something gender neutral, i got a can of cherry red Krylon (love that brand) spray paint and painted the 3 small pink pieces on it before we assembled it, no priming or anything, and it has held up great.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas gifts on a Budget: Make your own Barbie Dresses

Okay, next on the list is small, sweet, and could possibly save your fingers from hours of prying bitty doll clothes onto stiff plastic Barbie arms.  That is, if you make some of these simple barbie special occasion dresses.  The key is to keep it free of pant legs and arm hole openings and then your little princess can put them on and off all by herself. 

Really what started me making these were that my 5 year old asked for Barbie clothes for christmas. But knowing her, i know she only loves the long fancy dresses, and as i looked around i was paying $20 for maybe 2 long dresses and the rest a bunch of shirts tops and shoes that would get lost.  So, i thought, maybe i will try to make one, how hard can it be?  Turns out, not hard at all!  And, i am using up all these little scraps of fabric that i have lying around.  I have made three so far, and none have taken me longer than my baby's naptime.

What you need:

Sewing Machine
Fabric Scraps:
1- 5 1/2 X 2 inch piece of fabric
1-10X (however long you want the dress) piece of fabric hemmed
measuring tape, and scissors.

$3 for velcro


For my smaller piece of fabric i fold it in half or in thirds lengthwise to keep from having too many raw edges to deal with.  Then i fold over the ends of each length (see above picture--white stitching on the blue fabric) and hem, so if i have no raw edges that will need to be sewn after the dress is assembled.  Next, the dress will need some darts to make the waist line small, so in the center of the smaller piece of fabric 3/4ths inch apart mark 2 lines for darts {NOTE:  these measurements are for a barbie doll, but you may need to make your own measurements for another fashion doll.}

Next, take the fabric you have for the skirt part of the dress and the side that isn't hemmed sew a basting stitch, and pull the strings to gather the fabric until it is about 5 inches (or about the length of the bottom part of the top of the dress.)  Then sew wrong sides together, and turn inside out and sew the skirt part from top to bottom, leaving the top part of the dress open for a velcro closure.  If you sew up past the skirt, then the dress will not be able to pull up past Barbie's booty :).   Cut velcro to fit up the length of the top part of the dress ( I couldn't find very thin velcro so i also cut mine in half lengthwise). Stitch on the velcro (or you could get sticky velcro to make it even easier) and you're done!  Add any other embelishments {I added a big white bow to mine}. You could do ribbon straps or halter, add ruffles or flowers.    Once, you get the basic idea down the possiblities are endless, so let out your inner designer and try out some new fashions! 

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas gifts on a Budget: No Sew Blanket

FIRST UP:  Something soft warm and cuddly.  Can be used as a tent, cape, eggshell, slide for the stairs, reading cave, fort, an island in the middle of boiling lava, but otherwise known as a blanket ;)


2 yards of fleece print fabric
1 pair of fabric scissors
1 good movie

COST: (depends on the deal you get on the fabric)  But for me $8 ($4 for fabric $4 for shipping)

Okay so i know the idea of a no sew fleece blanket is nothing new.  And i am also aware that fleece used to be found only in prints that you would find on grandma's old holiday sweaters.  I once didn't want to touch fleece with a ten foot pole.  But seeing my two older kids LOVING their fleece blankets has made me readdress this fluffy, character printed fabrick once again.  And i have found that there are actually some super cute prints out there, and it really is so easy.  My older two kids recieved these good sized blankets when they were born, and i put them up for later use because they seemed so big.  I pulled them down a while ago, and they haven't been able to part with them.  It is so fun to see all there many uses for them.  So, now my youngest, who is a year and a half, is jealous.  She pulls out here baby fleece blankeys and tries to get someone to tie it like a cape , but it's just doesn't work as well as these wonderfully knobby, large, easy to cuddle in blankets. So this is one thing on her christmas list. 

I had a friend tip me off to cheap fabric cuts at  So i checked there before heading to JoAnns.  Just type Fleece into the search box, only make sure to change the area you are searching in to supplies, up popped tons of cute fleece patterns and some of them were so cheap.  I got mine for only $2 a yard!  Of course then you have to pay for shipping, but i thought it all evened out and i could do it without trekking into the New England cold.


Put in your movie.  Find a comfortable seat.  Take your fabric and trim off any salvages that are unsightly. Cut slits all around the edges that are 2 - 2 1/2 inches deep, and a 1/4 inch apart.  {When you get to the corners you will end up loosing a little square of fabric to keep it from looking funny}  Then start tying each fringe in a knot on itself, like you are tying the end of a balloon.  Enjoy the rest of your movie--That's it!  Mine took me less than an hour.

Christmas Gifting: On a Budget

It's Christmas time, and my project plate is full of inexpensive, simple, and adorable Christmas gift ideas.  This week, i am going be posting kids christmas gift ideas.  Sometimes i find that taking my time during naptime to make some of the gifts Santa may bring, is easier than trying to find a kid-free time to get to the store, and i spend way less when i am not hypnotized by big gleaming sale tags :) 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Stockings Were Hung. . .

It took me a while to settle on christmas stockings, every year i would mull over what style i liked, and if i could find that style a few years from now if our family grew, or if i should buy out all of them to cover my bases.  I never planned on basing my family size on what number of matching stockings i could find, but it was starting to get tricky.  Plus, they're not cheap.  It's a good $20 for a good stocking.  So, after a couple of failed attempts i decided to start from scratch.  I looked at the ones from the store and found details i liked {that i thought i could duplicate on my own} from the ones i was attracted to. I didn't want to start anything too fancy that i wouldnt have the energy to keep up with later, but i wanted them to be cute, and have a similar look, but each one being unique.  So i went to the store, got some felt, stuck to geometric shapes and whipped out the first three in a few days.  Then with each additional one, i still have the supplies, and it has still been just as simple as it was the first time.  I made a pattern out of paper, and store it in a shoebox bin with the felt, and some thread to stitch it on, and I love pulling them out each year.  My only criteria for the designs on the front are that they can be made from geometric shapes, so that i can keep it all simple, quick, and cute. And instead of embrodering names on each one {which i couldn't do if i tried}  I stuck with a simple monogram.  Spending less, and making it easy doesn't always mean it has to look cheap ;).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Party Dress (From an Old Skirt)

My two younger kids, who care nothing about what they wear, both ended up with christmas outfits this year.  It was totally by default; collected from hand-me-downs or last years clearences that are now fitting. My oldest LOVES clothes.  I could shop for her even more than I could shop for myself {and i LOVE shopping for myself}.  Alas, i am trying to be really good over the holidays at not overspend, and she really doesnt need a dress, she has plenty, but my heart tells me that she NEEDS a Christmas dress, because she is the one that really wants one.  So, my gears start churning and i think, how can i get her a dress and not spend a dime.  Do we have anything that fits that has velvet or sparkles? 

Aha!  It came to me as my daughter was digging in a bin looking for something and she found a red skirt of mine i bought at Bannana Republic a while ago.  I hadn't worn it in at least a couple of seasons, and it was RED!  The perfect start.  I told her i would make her a skirt out of it {she always loves getting clothes made out of my clothes, I think because she likes trying on all my clothes when she is in my room, so having something she can actually wear out of my room makes her feel like we share clothes :)} and she said she wanted a dress.  I wasn't sure if i would have enough material there for a dress, but i told her i would try.

While she was at school i started (and by the time she got home it was ready to try on, with only the straps and the sash left to finish {and she's only gone for half the day}).  Whenever I am making something from another article of clothing i always try to use as many of the original hems, seams, zippers, etc. to cut out the hard part for myself, and because they usually do a better job than I.  I finished that dress up so quick, and it is by far the CUTEST dress i have made!  I had really low expectations so maybe that helps in the joy of the finished product, but it really was a synch, and it's got all the fun, fanciness of a wonderful holiday party dress. 

Here's How I Did It:

I always start by taking measurements of who i am doing the dress for.  {you would think by now I would have them stashed somehwere, but kids grow up so fast, why not just do it everytime!}  I had a design in my head, and i had to tweak it to fit the material i had.  I laid the skirt on the ground inside out and using her chest measurements (and allowing an extra inch or so for seam allowances, i snipped from the top of the skirt the exess on either side of the skirt. (this skirt has a zipper, and i wanted to keep that centered so i had to divide the extra width by 2 and take of a bit on each side.  I went down to where her natural waist would be (for me that was 8 inches, and then stopped cutting.  Took a straight edge and from that point i made a diagonal line to the bottom of the skirt, so i could have the bottom be as full as the skirt would allow.  I took a pencil and traced the line on both sides, then continued to cut off the exess.  The skirt was now 2 pieces of a dress, and i sewed them together from top to bottom, backstitching at either end for a nice secure hold.  Since the fabric i cut off was not enough to make straps i went through my ribbon bin and found some wide groisgrain ribbon that was just the right shade of red, and sewed those in place for the straps. 

Now, a spaghetti strap dress is no good in the winter, as cute as it may be, so i needed something else, so digging through the fabric bins i found some great faux raw silk chocolate brown material, and a 6 in spool of chocolate brown tulle.  I knew the tulle had to be sticking out the bottom of the dress.  So i did a basting or gathering stitch down the center of the tulle that i measured 4X the bottom circumfrence of the dress, and folded it along the stitch and gathered it to the right length.  I then sewed that to the bottom of the dress along the seam that was already there for the hem, making sure it was sticking out of the bottom of the dress.

With the raw silk remnants i made a ruffled shrug, and a sash with a rosette for a fancy touch on the sash.  I ironed the sash the width i wanted and handstitched it and the rosette onto the dress while i was watchinging our latest netflix movie, but it could also be done on the machine. 

For the Shrug:

Here are what the pieces looked like that you need.  You need two sleeves and two front pieces, make sure if you are using fabric that has a front and a back that the 2nd front piece is flopped from this one shown so that you will have two curved fronts to match either side of the shrug.  You only need one back piece. I used a sweater of my daughters that had raglan sleeves for my measurements.   It is a raglan sleeve shrug rather than an inset sleeve, raglan are much easier, especially when you are doing sleeves without a pattern.  If you have never done this before, i would try it on some scrap fabric first so you can see just how it turns out in case you want to tweak it, and make the sleeves longer or the body of the shrug longer.  Once you know what pieces go where and how they fit together it is much easier to design them to what you want. 

Take one of the sleeve pieces and stitch the diagonal line from the back piece to one of the diagonal sides of the sleeve, and then on the other diagonal side of the sleeve stitch the diagonal line from the front piece.  Do the same on the other side. The top of each sleeve on a raglan forms part of the neckline.  After the diagonals are stitched then just under the arms and down the sides need to be sewn, of course with a shrug that is only about 3 inches of stitching.  Make sure it is inside out when you sew.  Then turn it right sides and you've got this (this is the front of the jacket, you may need to zoom to see the front panels, the fabric makes it hard to tell in pictures):

Now from here and you could put a binding or hem all the raw edges but i folded some fabric over and with a basting stitch made a ruffle.

 Then i stitched it to all the raw edges and ironed the seams really well after so they lay down nice and flat.  And Voila, a cute little shrug in about 30 min!