A Maxi from Scratch

While searching through a box of stuff at my Aunt’s recently, I stumbled upon a fab piece of fabric.  My sister got it at the Salvation Army for a hundred  and ninety-nine pennies several years ago but somehow it got lost in the shuffle of moving, marriage, babies…you know how it goes.  Well, finders keepers, right Farrah?  Or, I asked her if I could have it and she said “yes”.  Either way, it’s mine now…har har har. blueorangemaxi 001

My plans?  A maxi skirt.  How I did it?  Read and learn…and then make one yourself because it’s that easy!

Things you’ll need:
-Sewing machine (or your hands, a needle, and thread if you’re that good)  I used to use a hand-held machine I bought at Wal-Mart for $15.  That’d work too.
-Elastic – at least 1/2 inch thick
-Measuring tape
-Pins – stick and one safety
-A piece of fabric (read on to determine measurements)

First, I cut my newly-acquired fabric to the desired size.  I didn’t mess with the length but did have to cut some off the future waistline.  All cut my fabric measured 60 by 44 inches.  (Detailed measurements below.) 
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Then, I sewed a straight stitch up the side, connecting the two cut ends and making one large tube of fabric.  I finished that off with a zig-zag stitch for fray protection.   blueorangemaxi 003

Next, I grabbed a package of two-inch wide elastic I purchased awhile ago at JoAnn’s for this exact purpose.  (It should read “Underwear & Pajama & Maxi Skirt Elastic”…note to Dritz.)  :) blueorangemaxi 004

Then I folded and pinned down a hem at the top of the skirt into which would fit the elastic.  Since I was using 2 inch wide elastic, I made a 2.5 inch hem.  You want to make sure the pocket that houses the elastic fits around the elastic snugly so that, once installed, the elastic doesn’t have room to twist.  (Side note:  the top and bottom ends of this fabric didn’t need to be hemmed since I was changing the length of the skirt.  I just left them the way they were – you can see how they looked in the above picture.  If your piece of fabric is cut on either of those ends and needs reinforcement or if you just want a sewn hem, you’ll have sew that in now before you continue to the next step.) blueorangemaxi 005

Starting close to my sewn side hem just because, I sewed a straight stitch all around the top of the skirt, making sure to leave a 3 inch opening through which to feed my elastic.  I also made sure to backstitch at each end…very important if you want your stitch to stay intact.  This just involves sewing a few stitches, reversing over them, and sewing forward.  At the end of a hem it’s the same – reverse a few stitches and go forward a few stitches. blueorangemaxi 006

After cutting my elastic to the desired length, I attached one end close to one side of my hem opening and to the other I attached a safety pin.  Attaching the safety pin helps you feed the elastic through the hem.  
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You just push and pull the elastic through while holding onto the safety pin through the fabric, like so: blueorangemaxi 009
(Just make sure you feed the elastic through without twisting it!)

Eventually I maneuvered the elastic all the way through until the ends met once again. blueorangemaxi 010

I sewed those together…blueorangemaxi 011

…and then sewed the opening I left to thread the elastic through closed, making sure to backstitch at each end again.blueorangemaxi 012

Just in case you want some measurement technicalities to make your own:
The piece of fabric I used measured 60 inches (hip/waist and bottom hem) by 44 inches – a big rectangle.  I’m 5’9” so without cutting the length, 44 inches allowed me a 2.5 in hem at the top to house the elastic with the bottom of the skirt grazing the ground just a tad…just the way I like it.  I cut the elastic to 27 inches long, allowing a 1 inch seam overlap once the two ends were sewn together.  So, the finished elastic piece measured 26 inches.  I’m a size 2-4 generally so this length fit snugly around my hips and will hopefully accommodate a growing belly…thank God for elastic.  For each size up I’d say add an inch, however it’s always best to pin it around your hips first before cutting.  I tend to wear skirts on my hip vs. my waist.  Keep how you wear yours in mind when figuring out elastic length.  :) 

I did all of this in a half hour time period yesterday morning and wore it to church last night like this:blueorangemaxi 058

Top:  Goodwill – altered
Skirt:  Home.Made.
Flips:  unseen but Wally World
Baby belly:  Well, you know.  ;)
-Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for (drumroll) What I Wore Sunday!-

But hold up!  I’m not stopping there.  I got a little crazy and went all “How We Wear It” with Shana and Camille

I typically wear maxi skirts with a form-fitting shirt, tucked in.  See?  So blahzay, I know.  But, to amp up my plain jane pairing, I figured out a few ways I could “maximize my maxi.”, if you will.  Here’s how:

> > >By adding a sarong over the top.  If I had an orange or even a yellow piece of extra fabric lying around, I would’ve used it for a blast of color with a hint of pattern buuuuut, all I had was the excess fabric.  So, I grabbed it and tied it around, creating a multi-layer skirt.
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(Throw an intermission into the photo sesh…a twin awoke.)

> > >By adding a belt.  It’s as simple as it sounds.  Throw a belt around the elastic.  Could work for a grocery run but since I hate, hate, hate those, I’ll wear it to Target instead.blueorangemaxi 071

> > >By tying a scarf around the waist.  This might be my favorite.  All I did was grab a coordinating scarf (really any color would work) and tied it in a big ‘ole knot under the 19 week fetal bump.  Bam!  Ship me to Barbados, I’m ready!
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How do you wear a maxi skirt?  Head over to Ain’t No Mom Jeans and Life In Mod and share (or use hashtag #howwewearit on Instagram!)  And, as always, comment with any questions or send me a line at beaninlove.gmail.com!  I won’t ‘skirt’ around any issues you might have, promise.  ;)

Drilling & Filling

I’m sorry if the title of this story has you hearkening back (or forward) to the treacherous scenes of a dentist’s office but I assure you, I’m not going there.  I (with a knock on the table at which I’m perched) have never had a cavity so I’ve avoided that which I’ve heard such bad tales of thus far.  To go the rest of my life without saying so is I’m sure arrogant…Lord help me on the day my teeth meet that sort of metal.

Anyway, I digress.  The desk.  It belonged to Anthony in college.  He purchased it at a local thrift store for 10 beans and now it’s traveled the country with us.  It’s an antique and was missing one handle, sporting a rope strung in it’s place.  Well, way back when I primed the thing, I scored some super cool knobs and handles for it on super clearance at Target.  The only problem was that the new handles were shorter than the original handles which meant I had to drill new holes.  After feeling gutsy one afternoon and too impatient to wait on Anthony, I decided to break out the drill and do it myself.

I’m sure there’s a much better and smarter way to do this butttt…first I measured and made marks where the holes needed to be drilled.  Then I grabbed a drill bit that fit through the existing holes since the new screws fit in them just peachily.  Next, holding the drill as vertically straight as I could, I drilled myself four new holes.

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(Old holes on the outside, new on the inside…in case you’re a curious feline.)

Next step was to fill the holes.  First I placed a piece of tape on the backs of the holes, inside the drawer, to hold in my filler.  Then, using some paintable wood filler, I simply pressed it into each hole until they were over-filled.  After waiting a few hours for them to dry, I took a fine-grit sanding block and sanded over them until they were smooth.  If for some reason you need to fill more, you’d have to repeat this process  - over-fill and sand.  

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Here’s the wood filler I used:
holes 002
I got it at Wal-Mart awhile ago and my only complaint is that the filler in the nozzle dried so that I couldn’t squeeze anymore out.  So, I had to cut off the end of the tube and now tape it shut when I’m done.  It’s seemed to keep well so far.

This next step is optional but since wood filler tends to dry a little less smooth (however it’s not very noticeable except to these perfectionist eyes) due to the fibers in it, I sanded a little more and filled in the very tippity top of my holes with some spackle.  I also used the spackle to fill in a few dents in the face of the drawer.
 holes 001

The last thing I did was swipe some primer over the areas I filled before I got to painting.   holesf

A couple of things: 1) if you’re planning on staining something you’ve filled in holes on, you wouldn’t be able to get things ultra-smooth with spackle…I don’t thing it takes stain well (not sure on that though) and 2) also if you’re planning on staining vs. painting, make sure you use stainable wood filler.  Your holes/dents/cracks should blend right in.

And that’s that.  I’ll have the finished desk up next week (with just maybe a sneak peak on Instagram…check the sidebar over there ---->
or follow @beaninlove). 

Have a great weekend all you folks out there!

They…Are…Numba One

Cause two we’ll  have another and three…well, at the rate we’re going, probably another.  But, back to the present because who wants to think about the chaos of three under two much less the possibility of four under three (shudder with a smile…if God giveth, we will taketh).

The twins turned the big ONE YEAR OLD and on that blessed day we went to the zoo.  A week or so later we threw a little birthday shin-dig for them with family that was in town.  I know maybe some of you expect my party planning skills to be detailed and cute and all that jazz considering my diy loving heart but that is just not the case.  I had a very teeninsy (think $10) budget to work with so I threw up some dollar store tablecloths as ceiling decor and laid out a tablecloth, napkins, and paper/plastic eatery provided by me madre and called it a par-tay, capital P.  I love me a cute little themed party but into planning them I am not…I’d rather be painting junk.  :)

Anyway, the party went off with a few hitches and all was great, grand, and wonderful.

The twins were adorned in the cutest birthday suits ever, consisting of lots and lots of pink and lots of tulle, courtesy of their Auntie Debbie.

Presents were a hit and mostly clothes (much needed for these growing weeds) until somebody turned all party pooper but since it was her party, we let her cry if she wanted to, cry if she wanted to.


We haven’t exposed the girls to many sweets but this day we went all sugar overload - funfetti cupcakes with rainbow chip frosting (theee best eva).  Everything was running like a smooth, oiled machine until Daddy lit the birthday candles and Seraphia grabbed her flame, sending her into a fit of tears (do you blame her?), a lifting out of her high chair, some halting their musical notes and some fighting forward creating a clash of Happy and youuuuu…, Cecilia wasting no time digging into the cupcake in her face, me just trying to get a good memory shot, and well, I’m sure you get the picture.  Oh look!  Here she is (top and left) a split-second before charring her tiny phalange:

We did manage to “fix” the broken finger and the birthday party ensued.  I think they liked the cake, no? 
They get their sweet teeth from mwah.

Funday Sunday, truly.

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At one neither of the girls have yet to take steps however, Cecilia can stand without support and without any motivation to do anything else.  They both climb and stand on whatever is in front of them though and as a result, have had plenty of crashes and bangs.  I had to stop breastfeeding the girls three weeks before their big day due to a decrease in milk supply at 13 weeks pregnant so we switched right then and there to whole milk.  They get about 16 oz. per day – four in the morn upon waking, five around two in the afternoon, and seven at night.  As far as eating solids goes, I never knew how much I would love the day that they could basically eat anything under the sun.  I never minded making baby food but my life has become ten times easier know that I can just cut up little pieces of our dinner and serve it on the platter of a high chair.  They’re big eaters in little bodies, shoveling in a cup or more of bits at each meal before they’re finished.  You’d never know.

We haven’t been to a one-year check-up yet, I blame busy summer, but I expect much of the same – tall for their age, lean for their age.  They still nap twice a day and sometimes me too.  :)  They babble like it’s their job.  They’re into EVERYTHING.  Cecilia is the ring leader when it comes to trouble-making and thinks “no” is a joke, giving me a four-toothed grin and laugh when she hears that word and sees my stern face.  Seraphia listens like an angel and moves on to other trouble.  We just got some cabinet locks in the mail today and I can’t wait to get them on.  My daily exercise regimen of picking up scattered tupperware, cleaning supplies (no solutions, don’t worry Grandma), and pan and pot lids is 16 screws from over.

They sleep through the night most nights, sprinkling a few I-lost-my-pacifier crying sessions in the mix that bring one of us into their room, groggy as all get out, and usually on our hands and knees groping the carpet under one or both cribs, which reminds me, I really need to make some crib skirts.  Maybe that would help the situation.

Anyway, I don’t know what else to bore you with.  I like to type down details in case another mother out there is wondering about the “whats” of certain stages but I realize most of you probably could care less.  If you have any questions, send me a line or just wing it.  It’s worked for us thus far.  ;) 


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P.S.  If you’re wondering about progress on the desk, it’s sitting pretty with one coat of paint except I’ve had a little bump in the road to smooth out.  The plan is to be done with it and all details spilled to you and yours next week. 

P.P.S.  Also in case you’re wondering, all of the above picture collages were made with Pic Monkey (picmonkey.com).  I recently discovered this site and let me tell you, it’s amazing!  Making collages has never been so easy peasy!  Go there.  Use it.  :)

P.P.P.S.  How do you like the blog’s new design?  I’m really excited about it!  It’s still in tweaking stage but coming along as fast as my very amateur html/css skills can move!

Desk and Chair

If you follow us on Instagram (@beaninlove), you maybe would’ve noticed this little picture upon scrolling through yesterday:
It’s the what with of the what I’m working on this week.  Skipping around, here, there, everywhere…you know how I roll. 
All of this is going into/onto the desk in our guestroom/office.
Except it’s currently taking up house in our bedroom, the only place I can paint indoors that’s safe from four eager hands and hundreds of tiny fingerprints.

I primed it a long time ago and am finally getting around to painting it.  When it’s all said and done, it’ll be the coral color on the paint lid in the Instapic and that hardware will be adorning it along with some matching knobs.  The fabric is going on the seat cushion of the chair after it’s painted white and it’ll be one happy decor marriage between the two pieces of furniture.  I’ll have lots of leftover fabric so I’m going to line the inside of each drawer with it.  Of course I’ll post all the details and how I undertook it all once I’m done.  Should be fun!  You should come by and see the after!  :)

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What are you working on this week?  A little project?  Maybe some painting?  Or do you have a big ‘ole reno in progress?  I like those kind!  Or maybe you’re just trying to stay alive, make sure your kids stay alive, and your house is semi-clean.  Those are my kind of weeks too.  :)

Trouble Underfoot

We need a larger rug in our large living room.  Tiny knees and bums need a bigger area to tinker.  I want something a lot more simple that the one we currently have but something with a large-scale geometric design.  Last year I stumbled upon Jenna Sue’s blog, specifically this post about her new Rug from Rugs USA.  I had never heard of the company before but now longed for one of their amazing geometric rugs at their seemingly reasonable prices!   

This is the rug I really wanted:
But it was ‘out of stock’ for months and months and months.  (Except right at the moment…of course.)

So, this one made a great substitute, the Moroccan Trellis in tan:

Jenna used a Rugs USA Groupon to purchase her rug so starting last summer, I checked my Groupon email every single day like it was my job.  Finally, around Christmas, they came out with one for our area.  It took me 30 seconds flat to whip out our credit card and pay the $70 they were asking in return for a $170 credit.  That rug was going to be mine and it was going to be mine for cheap. 

So, more waiting ensued.  If you know me, you know I like sales.  I wasn’t just going to hop on over to Rugs USA and buy the rug immediately.  I was going to wait for one of their big sales – 60% off or more (Jenna got hers during a 35% off sale so I knew they had sales).  With all this waiting and watching, I realized that their rugs are almost always 50% off, meaning they always have some 50% off sale going on.  Finally, after waiting foreva and getting a little too close to our Groupon’s expiration date, Rugs USA had a 65% off sale so I went over and happily clicked and clicked and clicked until I had my cart as I wanted and was about to enter the Groupon when DUN, DUN, DUN…  Guess what?  You can’t use a Groupon AND get their sale!  I was mad.  Really mad and really annoyed (remember, I waited patiently for months and months).  They must’ve changed their policy since Jenna got hers.  Here’s their thing now:  You have to enter a coupon code from Rugs USA (spring65 for example) to get the 65% off and you can only use ONE code.  So my Groupon code + their sale code = no burrito.  Dumb.  In my opinion, if you’re an online store and you’re advertising this shirt is half off, you shouldn’t need to enter a code to get the half off.  You should either be advertising that it’s half off or “enter this code to get this shirt half off”.  Catch my drift?  Am I crazy?  Well, it doesn’t end there.

I knew from chucking that rug into my online shopping cart that fateful day I never ordered it that the original price was listed at $803 (8.5 x 11.5) making it $281.05 with 65% off.  After getting a promotional email from Rugs USA a few weeks after my conundrum, I went back and checked on the rug again and during a 50% off sale it had an original price listed at $669 ($334.50 with 50% off).  Hmmm…  I’ll admit I got a little excited because I thought “Wow, they lowered the price so maybe during another 65% off sale we could actually get it cheaper thinking $669 at 65% off is $234.15.  Not so fast.  THEN, a week later the fourth of July rolled around and I got another promo email saying they were having a 75% sale.  I danced over with excitement thinking I was going to get this rug for a steal when what did my eyes see but a $1123 original price on that baby ($280.75 with 75% off). 

In case I’m all over the place, here’s the price run-down:
-original price during 50% off sale = $669
-original price during 65% off sale = $803
-original price during 75% off sale = $1123
-original price during no sale = $400.98

Are they for shizzle???!!!  So basically they’re altering the price with every sale, raising or lowering depending on the percentage off, so that they get almost the same amount every time for the rug!  Is that a joke or what?  Maybe it’s some business scheme I’m not aware of (I asked my Bachelor’s in Business hubs and he said “I don’t think so.  That just seems a little ‘shieshy’”.

-With all of this said, I might mention that we did use the Groupon on a desk from Rugs USA.  It was listed at $182 so we paid $12 (plus the $70 for the Groupon) for it and it’s now in our guestroom.  I really like it but it’s the first and last thing I’ll be buying from that company.-

I know all of this is probably hum-drum and depressing and maybe you really don’t care but I just wanted to get it out there to inform those of you who are looking into a rug from Rugs USA.  Their rugs still are reasonably priced even with their shifty price changing but I just have a hard time supporting a company who’s a little lazy with their honesty.  Did you know that the same exact rugs are sold on Overstock.com.  Actually, during this whole commotion, we were actually accidentally shipped a couple of rugs from Rugs USA (I’ll spare you the details) which I sent back but the return address on them was from Overstock.  Weird…

Aaanyway, back to my house and our rug.  We’re still planning on upgrading and I’ve found the perfect way.  Lowe’s sells 8 x 10 carpet remnants for around $90 so my plan is to go scoop one of those up once I find one in a color I like and use this pinned rug…
for inspiration to paint some simple zig-zag lines on it.  I’m not sure how painting a large, semi-plush rug will take to vacuuming so that’s why I’m going to go with a super-simple design just in case.  Stay tuned.  :)

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Anyone else realized this little “thing” Rugs USA has going on?  Am I crazy for thinking it’s madness or is it just common business practice?