Mastering Zipper Techniques

by Dana on September 3, 2014

Do you ever worry that life will be too short to learn everything that you want to??
About once a year I think, eek!  I still need to learn to build furniture, and play the guitar, and use Photoshop, and C-walk (Yep. That’s high on the list).

Well thank goodness we live in a digital playground where there are so many, many resources available for learning!  I love sharing with you guys; and love learning from others in return.

And this month I decided to improve my knowledge about zippers.

You see, I am not a master of zippers.
I know my fair share, but I wanted to learn more.  So I did a most logical thing…I headed over to Craftsy and clicked on their free Mastering Zipper Techniques class.  FREE!  Yay!

Of course before I could even click on the sewing class category, my eyes wandered to all the other fabulous categories they offer….like improving my photo skills….

And what??  There’s a class on making artisan bread??  I need to do that.  Today.  YES.

If you’re new to Craftsy, like me, just start clicking around.  Because there’s really something for everybody (and probably a lot of things from your must-learn bucket list).

In a nut-shell: Craftsy is like an online school full of interesting courses, taught in a video/lesson setting by interesting teachers.  In fact, some of the instructors will be familiar faces!  Many classes you pay for, and in return you have access to the videos and download content forever and you’re also able to ask the teacher questions.  Some classes are offered as Free mini-classes—like this one I took here—and they give you a good taste of the Craftsy brand before jumping in.

And hello…you get to learn about zippers!
I clicked on the Sewing category and checked out this:


The class is called Mastering Zipper Techniques with Sunni Standing.

And it walks you through 6 different lessons, from a very basic zipper, to invisible zippers, and even how to sew one into tricky spots where there are linings and facings, etc.

It might sound complicated.  But you know what….with the way Sunni talks, in her really calm manner, and how she carefully walks you through the steps, it makes you feel like you can sew a wedding dress, with zippers at every seam.


….which sounds like a horrible design idea.
But really.  She makes you feel like you can do it all.

The class really gives you a grasp on all types of zippers, what the differences are, and how to install them.
And since I’m a girl who likes to wing-it most of the time, I appreciated learning all her proper methods (so that I know when I’ll want take short-cuts. At least that’s my philosophy).

So.
Wanna become a zipper master too?  It’s easy….just click the link and hit enroll (for FREE).
And if you’re interested in other Free sewing courses, click through all the categories because each one offers a few mini-classes.
Have fun sewing!

This post is sponsored by Craftsy.

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Living in Texas: Fort Worth Stockyards

by Dana on August 29, 2014

This weekend marks exactly 5 years since we moved to Texas!
Wow.  I honestly can’t believe it’s been that long.  Or that Owen was younger than Clara when we arrived here (read more about our decision to move from California to Texas here).


Over the years we have really grown to love Texas.
I mean, we loved it from the get-go.  It’s charming.  And the people are so kind.  And there’s tons of great food, right?  But I guess there are things you never know about yourself until you move somewhere different….like how much I love wide open spaces.  I grew up in the suburbs of Orange County, California and then lived in Los Angeles for my young adult years, where people and street sounds were constant.  And it was great! And fun!  And I knew the best back roads and alleys to avoid the 405/101 interchange at 5pm (the SNL Californians. heh heh).  But today I love breathing in the space around me.  Every day I drive down a wide country road to get to Target, the freeway, Clara’s school.  And I just love it.

I guess there’s a season of life for everything.
And one day we might be back in the bustle of cityscapes.
But for now we’re exploring Texas.

Here’s a taste of our adventures so far:
Texas Bluebonnets
The Poppy Festival
Friday Night Lights
Lake LBJ
3 days at the beach
The Kite Festival
Trip to Dallas
Shopping for fabric in Texas
Weekend at the Lodge

And this summer we made it to Fort Worth! (which is near Dallas) and spent a couple hours at the Fort Worth Stockyards, which friends have recommended over the years.  The irony of our adventure is that the stockyards are great to visit with your kids….and we left ours at home (thank you Grandma and Grandpa for the day of freedom!)

So if you’re looking for a fun family outing, here you go.
And if you see this in your rear-view mirror it means (A) something fantastic is about to happen or (B) you parked in the wrong spot.

It was a little of both.

But mostly fantastic.

So, the stockyards are a slice of old Texas life.  It’s the place where cattle were once sold and traded and was considered the “Wall Street of the West” (read more about the history here).

Twice a day at 11:30am and 4pm, the Longhorn Cattle Drive comes trailing down the main street, giving you a glimpse of real Texas longhorns.   It’s a pretty short procession and kinda gimicky, but it’s colorful and cattle-y and so very Texas.
Hook ‘em!


And just like that it’s back to normal life….

…or to the awesome stockyard maze.

Just make sure you stamp your timecard.  And head to the lookout platforms if you’re totally lost!


There are spots for goodies,

and silly photo-ops (I need one of those signs).

And plenty of moments to look like you’ve mixed up your “Wall Streets”.

(which is what happens when the outing is planned at the tail-end of business meetings)

So head to MJ Leddy’s and you’ll be looking like a local soon.

Seriously, this store is worth a stop!  There is a boot for EVERYbody.



….and the boots are all fixed by the chimney with care….

Annnnd, we still look like idiots.

Sorry Texas.
But hey, need a knife? Need an alley?  We found both.

And this guy definitely made my day.

My name is Chong Wang.
John Wayne?
Chon Wang.
That’s a terrible cowboy name!

On the drive home we found a fantastic little hole-in-the-wall taco joint called Melis Tacos. Delish! The egg and bacon breakfast tacos (add cheese) were my favorite.  And we ate under a scrap-tin roof while the rain poured down.  I’ll always remember that moment.  And the sunset that followed us home.


Thank you Fort Worth for a fun outing.

Country roads, take me home,
To the place I belong….

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Before and After: Front Porch furniture

by Dana on August 28, 2014


Back when we were just thinking about building a home, I knew there needed to be a front porch.  I mean, there’s always a front porch.

…but how bout the kind where you can actually have furniture?
And sit outside with a cold beverage, watching the kids ride bikes and scooters down the street?

Or….maybe a porch is just an excuse to go shopping at the thrift store and not feel guilty about walking out with an entire bench and two chairs?  Yea, that sounds about right.
And when I saw this patio set at my favorite antique store in town, I just couldn’t pass it up!
The style was perfect.  Kinda beachy.  Kinda craftsman. Very simple.

They just needed a little facelift.
My first thought was to paint them orange like the flower vase above, or yellow like the basket below (which I also “had” to buy at the antique store.  Isn’t it cute??)

I asked on instagram (find me @danamadeit) for your input and the ideas were all over the board!
“Navy Blue!”
“Turquoise”
“Kelly green, black, yellow, white, red…..”
So I went with the obvious choice,

My mom.

She and my dad were in town and asked what projects they could work on for me.  So we pulled out the sander, pulled out the brushes, and they finished the whole darn thing for me!

Thank you mom and dad.

And thank you Sherwin Williams #7005 Pure White, for always being a fantastic paint choice.


Yep. I went with white.
Actually I really considered Navy Blue or Black. But against the gray color of the house it just had to be white!


And I love how it turned out.
You can see the white contrast against gray as you drive up to the house. And with flowers in the planter boxes, it’ll all come together.

Now I just need to make some pillows, and get out the bikes, and make some lemonade.
Your thoughts on these fabrics? (all of them are duck cloth from Hobby Lobby). I’m leaning toward the two V shapes.

Have a great day!

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MADE Everyday VIDEO: Placemat Bibs!

by Dana on August 26, 2014

Remember those quick little placemat bibs I made for Clara?
Back when she a wee little one?

Well she’s still wee.
And she’s still messy.
So I still have bibs lying around.

And so, I turned the project into a MADE Everyday episode!
Hooray for VIDEO!….which means you get to see this little girl in action.  It’s Clara come to life.
Seriously friends.  This project is one of my all-time favorites!
For about $1, I’ll show you how to turn a placemat:

Into this:

(baby and banana not included)
(and will take more time to make)

In the video I’ll even show you the PROPER way for sewing-on Bias Tape, which you’ve seen in my detailed tutorial here.  But seeing in video makes it all come together.  And you’ll get to brush up on your ribbing neckline skills which we worked on in the T-shirt video.

Just hit the PLAY button below and enjoy!

MADE EVERYDAY with Dana is a fresh new sewing show, where we create cool things using everyday items.
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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