Think of all the things you can do in 20 minutes….You can drive your kids to school, fold laundry, watch an episode of Last Man on Earth (are you watching that?  SO funny),


You could sew a really awesome pencil skirt!
And all your friends will think it came from their favorite store, because it’s gonna be all professional and amazing looking.

This might be my favorite MADE Everyday video to-date!….because the project is so easy, with big payoff.
HUGE return on your investment.

• We’re going to make the skirt fit your body perfectly
•  We’ll sew on a standard machine—my BabyLock works wonderfully, and I’ll show you a few stretchy stitches I like to use on my machine.
• We’ll make a really polished-looking waistband that’s easier than you think—no stringing the elastic through a waistband!

And when you’re done, you’ll spend the next 20 minutes (20 hours?) in stripey style.

Okay, I’ll stop talking and let you watch.
Hit the play button below and enjoy!

MADE EVERYDAY with Dana is a fresh new sewing show, where we create everyday items  you will love and use.
To watch other episodes:
• Click the VIDEO tab at the top or….
• Subscribe to my Youtube channel so you’re updated as soon as the episode goes live.

For these skirts you can use Jersey knit or Interlock knits (read more about sewing with knits HERE.)  The fabrics I used are from Hobby Lobby and from the LA Fabric District.


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Building a new home: The STUDIO, Before

by Dana on March 26, 2015

I say this every time… but it’s been forever since I did a home update!
So let me show you one of my favorite spaces in the house—the Studio.(If you’ve missed my other posts, our family spent the last two years building a custom home in the Austin, TX area. Check out my previous post from the series here.)

Okay. Just down the hall from the kitchen and Great Room is this spot. It’s a bright space, with glass doors, just asking you to come in.

Last time we walked through here it looked like this:

And now it looks like this!

A white open room, with still a lot of work to do.
In fact, this post is more of a “Before” or “Current” status of the room, because it’s a long work-in-progress.In the old house our Office looked like this:

(You can see more pictures and info here).

That space was perfect for our family at the time. But when we started discussing new home plans, we knew we wanted to create a room that was more than office. We wanted a nice large studio space, with lots of windows, and room for the whole family to enjoy.

It would be a workspace for me, a creative room for all, computer room, photo studio, craft zone, dance club (which happens often), and video set for MADE Everyday.

Yep! That wall right there is where the video magic happens (with bookshelves and tables moved around a bit). It’s also where I draft patterns and take photos with an all-white backdrop.

I love this space so much, and feel blessed to have a nice open room… because honestly, the whole family uses it more than I really imagined. The kids are in here every day coloring, writing stories, listening to music. And when friends come over, they drag them in here too.

Of course where do they do all this coloring?

At the big invisible island in the middle of the room!

Yes, we do actually have an island/workspace there, but it’s also a work-in-progress… like the rest of the furniture in here (which feels dwarfed in this larger room).

We always planned to have an island in the middle, but it needed to be just the right fit. All the “pre-made” art tables I found were too small, or not tall enough, or not the right color, etc.

So when we first moved in I started researching simple ideas for making a large craft table, with 4 chairs and some shelves. And you know when you have an image in your mind and you do a Google search and the very thing pops up?? And it’s totally awesome?! Yep. That happened. Thank you Ashley for reading my mind.

So we bought two of these and hauled them in, using our strongest workers.

Honestly, she insisted.

And I started to set up shop in the middle of the room, creating my own cutting table and art station.

Per Ashley’s recommendation, we purchased an oversized construction door to work as our table top, because it’s really hard to find a tabletop large enough, and wide enough to accommodate 4 chairs in the middle.

And for the last while this table has served our family well.
But here’s the problem… it doesn’t look quite as finished and polished as I envisioned.
And–as the art projects show here–there are pen and crayon marks everywhere on the wood (which makes it really hard to use the wood as a photo backdrop… though I do have decent photo-editing skills).

So, (I promise I’m going somewhere with this)… I went back to one of my original thoughts with the table top. If I want something custom… then why don’t I have someone make me a countertop for the island? Just like you would in a kitchen? Maybe a Formica® Laminate countertop?… something I can easily wipe down, that will look awesome, that will pull the room together… and it can be whatever size I want?

And guess what happened?
(just another reason I love blogging)
Last month, the company emailed asking if I’d like to review their new Formica® Laminate Jonathan Adler Collection?!

What? Yes! All they had to say was Jonathan Adler and I would have reviewed anything. He has such a fantastic mid-century modern and colorful style.

But back to countertops.
Formica® Brand teamed up with Jonathan Adler and created 9 new patterns, which you’ll find at Lowe’s home centers and in certain kitchen and bath distributors around the country.

And these are not your grandma’s countertops.

If you haven’t seen Formica® Laminate in a while, it’s really cool, and really current… and can be used for more than just countertops. Look at those orange cabinets!

And I love the tagline:
Countertops that pop. Surfaces that shine.

Yes, please.
Could the timing have been better??

So. Now I’ve got a choice to make.
Which of the 9 patterns do I choose for the Studio island?
I ordered free samples from the Formica® Corporation website (which was easy to do and they arrived quickly).

I really love the Lacquered Linen patterns, specifically in Green, Crème, and Orange.

But… you know me.
It will likely come to this…

Because come on:

He and I could totally hang out together.

And… you could totally win a $100 Lowe’s gift card by leaving a comment below!
So, to enter for a chance to win, give me your input–which color would you do?? And how would you use Formica® Laminate in your house?

Okay. I’m off to measure for a new countertop…
We’ll talk soon….

Giveaway RULES:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 3/26/2015 – 4/23/2015
Be sure to visit The Formica® Brand’s page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!


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RECIPE: Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

by Dana on March 17, 2015

You know those cold months when you’re just aching for some yummy homemade soup….

THIS.  This is the answer my friends!
It’s quite possibly the easiest homemade soup to make.  And it tastes way better than anything from a can.

In fact, I should be making this twice a month.
You should too.
So let’s just declare it outloud—Chicken Noodle Soup every other Tuesday!

The thing I love about this recipe is that it comes together quickly and uses simple ingredients.  And everything is measured in single cups—because I love things that measure easily.  So it’s 4 cups of this, 2 cups of that….all in one pot of deliciousness.

8 cups of Chicken Stock (Two 32 oz boxes)
4 cups of noodles (from a 16 oz bag)
3 cups of diced veggies (celery, carrots, onions)
2 cups of diced chicken
1 cup of water

• Start by peeling and dicing the veggies into bite size pieces.  You’ll need about 3-4 carrots, 3 celery stalks, and one onion—just dice them enough so that you have 3 cups total.  I say 3 cups because you can choose how much of each veggie you prefer.  I love carrots more than onions, so I do about 1 1/2 cups of carrots, 1 cup of celery, and a 1/2 cup of onions.  Do what sounds good to you.
• Prep and dice the chicken.  I typically buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store or Costco and dice (or shred) it into chunks.  You can also boil or bake a few chicken breasts and use that.  But this soup is great when you can use left-over chicken you have in the fridge.

Now let’s cook….

• In a large pot, melt 1-2 Tbl of butter and sautee the veggies for a few minutes, stirring periodically.
Now this step isn’t totally necessary—it mostly adds some extra flavor bits to the bottom of the pot.  So, you can always just throw the veggies into the pot in the next step instead.
But I will say….when you want to eat chicken noodle soup for dinner, you want that aroma to infuse your house as soon as possible, which is exactly what this step does.  Mmmmm.
• Add the 8 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of water to the pot and bring to a boil.  If you find that there’s too much liquid, you can always back off the amount of chicken stock.  I find that all 8 cups are necessary.
• Add the 2 cups of diced chicken and 4-5 cups of noodles to the pot (use 5 cups of noodles if you want the soup more thick and chunky).  Cook about 8-10 minutes until the noodles are done.  Most chicken soup recipes call for egg noodles, which are great here.  Or get creative and use whatever noodles catch your eye.
• When the noodles are done, salt and pepper the soup to taste.  Add any other seasonings you might like, such as fresh chopped parsley.  Or for an extra boost of flavor, throw in a vegetable soup pack mix?  My sister-in-law—who inspired me to make this soup—does that and it’s yummy as well!

Then ladle the soup into large bowls, serve with warm crusty bread,
And dinner is ready!

….and if you have a favorite bread recipe, let me know!   I’m looking for a crusty sourdough to try out.  Thanks!


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How to sew a Lined Zipper Pouch

by Dana on March 10, 2015

Remember when I showed you how to sew a zipper, two ways?
Well now you get to put those skills to use!

We’re gonna sew zipper pouches!
Lots of them.
And give them to every person we know.  Because they’re just the cutest, fastest, most usefulest project.

So grab your favorite zipper color (I bought most of these here and here), grab your favorite fabric, and I’ll show you how to sew a little pouch with a lining.  Yep, a lining!  That might sound complicated, but it’s super easy.

Plus I’m using metallic linen fabric, with gold hearts inside.
Isn’t that beautiful??  I wish I’d bought 3 yards.

Just hit the play button below and enjoy!

MADE EVERYDAY with Dana is a fresh new sewing show, where we create everyday items  you will love and use.
To watch other episodes:
• Click the VIDEO tab at the top or….
• Subscribe to my Youtube channel so you’re updated as soon as the episode goes live.

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