Posts Tagged ‘sponsored’

Sponsored: Full-Coverage Wrap Skirt Tutorial


Inspired by this month’s style theme for the Fiesta Movement, I wonder what styles are out of your comfort zone? Bold patterns? Hats? Harem pants?

Have you seen those little challenges they post monthly? It’s cool what Fiesta Agents have been doing, taking on challenges outside their respective comfort zones. Last month I went outside my comfort zone and sewed up some harem pants, and I’d say they were a hit! I wear them at least once a week (which is tight rotation considering my closet).

I don’t do hats. Maybe that’s next. What clothing item would you like to find within your comfort zone?


I love this skirt. I didn’t know how much I would wear it because of the bold pattern, but it gets just as much play as the other skirts in my wardrobe. It’s been amazing to wear this fall. My legs don’t freeze to Otter Pop status.

This skirt (as mentioned in the original post) has a super power. It’s a full-coverage wrap skirt. It’s not going to show off my lady bits with a small gust of wind. NO. It’s going to take 15+ mile an hour winds to achieve that.

When you’ve got winds that crazy, you don’t want to be wearing any kind of skirt anyway.


Now let’s make ourselves a maxi wrap skirt that won’t give you a red-faced Marilyn moment, shall we?

Full-Coverage Maxi Wrap Skirt Tutorial



  • 2 yards rayon challis
  • pins
  • scissors (paper and fabric)
  • seam ripper
  • ruler
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • paper
  • large roll of paper
  • sewing machine
  • coordinating thread
  • coordinating buttons
  • iron

You could get away with any drapey fabric. A knit, a silk georgette or a cotton lawn. Rayon challis is going to give you a lot of drape and it’s not terribly expensive.

If you don’t have a large roll of butcher paper on-hand, several small sheets taped together will do. You’ll still want a large-ish floor or table space to draft up your pattern.

Let’s get drafting!


Sponsored: Business Cards & Laser Cutting



Ponoko is your personal factory, an online laser cutting and 3D printing service. Upload your design file to make your own jewelry, home accessories, and more. Check out Ponoko on facebook.


Last year I put in about 30+ man hours into my business card. Between all the laser cutting and assembling, it was a TON of work. This year, I wanted to go simpler, but still fun and impactful. Out of pure chance and some diligent searching for DIY laser cutting I found Ponoko. And I’ve been so excited to work with them. My head was (and still is) spinning with ideas.


Since it came down to trying to keep things simple, I landed on this key chain idea. I used cell phone straps instead of split rings (I knew the split rings would make me want to cry, trying to assemble those). I also didn’t remove the protective backing (not pictured) because doing 200 of those would have also made me cry. These cards took about 11 man hours to assemble. So much better.


I had some issues with the actual card, the first stamp I ordered was not very legible. It sort of sent me into a panic, but the stamp guys I send my stuff to were more than accommodating. Phew!! Most of the cards were on the white stock, since the ink on black stock wasn’t as readable. I really wish there was a white/silver stamp ink that was more brilliant. If you know of any brands, let me know. The American Crafts stamp pad is the best of the ones I’ve tried, but I’ve had that pad for a couple years now, and it’s not as brilliant as it once was. I can’t seem to find it anywhere, either.


I used Strathmore art board for my stock, it’s super thick. The black is really lovely and much easier to cut than the white. I actually just took the art boards to Alphagraphics and they cut the paper for me. It saved me a ton of time and the potential flesh wound. I sort of regret not going with the I Still Love You motto, but I really love these little diamond pieces. They’re reminiscent of the new background design and gender neutral.

melissaesplin-ponoko-business-cards-4 I had a few extra pieces from assembly, I made earrings out of them. I dig. Wouldn’t these be fun in wood or metal?

What would you make out of these little acrylic shapes? Leave a comment below. I’ll pick a winner next monday and ship them out to you! 

Find Your Art


This post is sponsored by Find your art and love your space with’s prints and museum-grade framing. just relaunched their website (in the most amazing way) and to celebrate, they invited 25 bloggers to San Francisco to eat amazing food and talk about art. I was just thrilled beyond the moon to be included. The trip to San Francisco just so happened to fall on the weekend before we made our big move, which was perfect. I left the stress of packing house behind for my favorite city. The city that first inspired me to pursue art.

lush garden by kim parker

We were all asked to pick out a favorite art piece for our homes. While together, we each took turns talking about why we chose our art, it’s amazing how deeply personal art is, no matter the genre or history.

I find it quite ironic that the art major girl (me) chose her painting based on looks and how well it would go in her new home. I know. Upon finding out more about the artist, Kim Parker, I found out about the mission behind her work. She creates paintings that are beautiful, accessible and from the gut. I’m a big believer that art shouldn’t be aloof, or unreachable by the uneducated. I love art that draws you in with its beauty, but then keeps you interested longer by its meaning, history and symbolism.

What kind of art do you gravitate towards? If I were to put any one genre in my home exclusively, it would likely be abstract expressionism and the works of KlineRothko and Calder (who may not have been technically in the genre, but whose work is stunning).

To me, the new is a brand that helps you reach for more meaningful experiences with what you hang on the wall, not just to help you find something to match the pillows.

Check out the cool video above. We got to see and hear about the behind-the-scenes work to make this bit. It was amazing how much work went into it!

Beyond having a new fancy-pants design, now offers a much easier way to browse through their hundreds of thousands of images. Search by genre, movement, color, subjects and collections. You can make your own collections using your facebook login and arrange them on a wall or even your own if you have an image! Great things are going on over at, I suggest you check it out.

Get InspiredYou + ArtCraftsmanship • Art Apps • Photos to Art

Handmade: Sportswear for Pen


This post is brought to you by Baby Lock. Baby Lock is dedicated to the love of sewing by creating a full line of sewing machines all with ease-of-use, high quality and a touch of elegance.

Connect with Baby Lock on Facebook and

I just want to thank everyone for all of your support last week on Penelope’s circle top outfit in Project Run & Play. I’m really happy to still be in the game for this week’s challenge: sportswear. When I think about the things I make for penelope, I’m all about making practical items that she could wear on a daily basis, so naturally, the wheels were turning on overdrive for Miss P.

The inspiration for this look was something that Penelope’s school teacher said some time ago: “Penelope is the girliest tomboy I know!”

I made her a tomboy outfit with girlie touches for impact. I used two floral prints, one large and one small. They’re not meant to match each other, but I feel like they coordinate really well.

I made a raglan top with the large floral on the sleeves and a cobalt ribbing for the neckline. I made the sleeves extra long and skinny at the wrist so bunch up nicely.

I made little chambray shorts with a floral cuff using the small floral print. I made these shorts with a flat front and an elastic, gathered waistline in the back to allow for growth. The shorts are just the right size to allow for growth over the summer months.

I top stitched all of the seams on Penelope’s shorts, which gives it a nice finishing touch and reinforces those seams against all of the abuse they’ll be enduring this year.

She really loves her new shorts. A LOT.

I had every intention to make her some sweet leather kicks for her ensemble, but the shoes ended up being more work than I could accomplish within the time frame. It has made me think that I should become BFFs with my local cobbler and learn everything I can about making cool kicks.

Instead, I made her a little leather tote bag. This will be perfect for play dates, church and errands around town. I’m considering making her a matching wallet to store her “monies”. This leather was a dream to work with. I had this cream leather on hand and I bought the blue leather for her shoes.

I’m thinking the blue leather might make for a nice tote for me instead.

I also made Penelope sweet little lace socks from a stretchy lace I found. They’re long, so they can go well peeking out of her little boots or bunched up around her ankles.

After seeing the competition in works last week, I thought this look wouldn’t be complete without a little hair accessory. I braided the jersey used in her look and added a little knot at the top for a turban-ish look.

How cute is Penelope? She’s such a wiggly girl! She sure does love her new look.

Fabric supplied by Fashion Fabrics Club. Connect with FFC on Facebook and Pinterest

Legxicon Tights Review & Giveaway *CLOSED*


This post is brought to you by legxicon tights.

Again, you know how picky I am about tights. After reviewing tights for Hanes, I was so glad to hear I’m not alone in my tight snobbiness! Shortly after the review, Legxicon asked me to try out some of their tights to see how I felt about them. Gladly I accepted!

Legxicon has a wide variety of printed tights, which immediately piqued my interest. Do you see the above tights? They’re perfect for jazzing up my boring black dress. Oh, and by the way, this is the maternity dress that Chris hates, if you wanted to know. He hates the polyester & thinks it’s a witch dress. I love it. It was my mom’s or at least I think it was. I rescued it from the Scott family dress-up pile years ago.

I love these tights for their subtlety. Mixing & matching prints & patterns is so “in” right now, these tights while patterned are so perfect for pairing with even the busiest of prints. I also liked how surprisingly thick they were. I’m not seeing runs any time soon.

Seamed tights are the BEST! They instantly add a touch of vintage flair to any outfit. I have a similar pair from Victoria Secret, but they don’t compare. The waistline on my old pair is high, tiny (who has an 18″ waist these days?) and not stretchy. Legxicon’s waistband is soft, generous & low.

I thought I’d try out some leggings as well, and I love them! They’re a tad on the sheer side for me, so I wore black leggings underneath in this outfit. They’re stretchy, comfortable, rouched at the bottom and did I mention comfy? So comfortable, in fact, I wore them to bed the other night.

I’m very impressed with the quality, style & fit of Legxicon tights & leggings. I’ve had a lot of fun pairing outfits with them and I think you would, too! Legxicon is offering one lucky reader their choice of two pairs of tights. I know you’ll all fall in love as I have. Here’s how you can win:

  • Visit Legxicon’s site, check out their tights & sign up for their newsletter (at the bottom right) – it’ll automatically enter you in their monthly drawing for a pair of free tights!
  • Leave a comment on this post telling me what tights are your favorite
  • This contest is open for US residents only
  • Only one (1) comment per person
  • Comment by 11:59pm (MST) Thursday, October 28, 2010
  • No purchase necessary
  • One (1) winner will be chosen via & announced Friday, October 29, 2010

Good luck!!

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