Saturday, April 27, 2013

Black and Skinny (Jeans)

I picked up these jeans from JCPenney for a whopping $4...I know, amazing right?!?
They are one size larger than I normally buy, but the waist was about the only part of the pants that didn't fit.

For $4, I figured I could try to tailor them myself...and even if I failed, I would only be out $4. So I snatched them up, like Widget with play-dough :)

Here is the before shot (in our 'under construction' bathroom).

Check out the above butt gap...anyone else have this issue with pants?

I grabbed some 4" wide elastic, and cut it into strips approx. 7" in length.

I folded the strips in half, and zigzagged the ends together (like a side seam)-I then flipped the elastic around, and sewed the fold together the same way (so that the 'loop' wouldn't shift while I was working with it)
I opened up the side seams of the pants

I cut the waist band open-because I wouldn't need all that fabric since I was making the pants smaller

Now the next part is a little harder to explain...and since it was all trial and error, it was even harder to photograph
*not shown: I attached one side of the double elastic panel to the front of the pants (making sure to sew very close to the start of the pocket without sewing over the metal rivet). I then sewed the elastic to the side seam (back panel only) of the pants-so the original pocket is mostly covered up by the elastic. Once that is done, you can then sew the front panel of the pants into the side seam, created with the elastic, and gradually taper the seam down the leg to meet with the original side seam (which for me was approximately 9" down from the waist band). Remember to make the new seam very gradual so you don't have any weird 'kinks' on the side of your pants.

I flipped the pants right-side-out again, and top stitched the elastic (to keep the excess fabric neatly tucked away) and top stitched the side seam approximately 10" from the top of the leg (to mimic the original decorative seaming on the pants)
Can you see the top stitch on the elastic?

The back still gaped a bit (you know, the above butt gap), so using an idea I saw from Cheri from I Am Momma-Hear Me Roar, I grabbed some 1/2" wide black elastic (any color would work, just match your thread to your pant color). I used the belt loop as the middle mark and decided the width of the brand name (printed in the back of the pants) would be a good area to gather. I tacked down the elastic (starting on one end of the brand name) and continued sewing while I stretched the elastic (creating the rushed effect). I had to pick up the needle once I got to the belt loop (then back down after the belt loop) so as not to make the belt loop unusable.

Then, I ran the pants through the wash...I hate when the dye from jeans and pants color you finger nails (among other things) when you wear them the first couple of times :(

Here are the pants on...My Hubby said they ended up being one of the best fitting pants I own (I'm not sure I agree 100%, but they do fit pretty good).  Anyway, here is a full shot of the pants in action.

For more ideas on altering jeans/pants, see these links:
video tutorial adding width to waist
Playgroupsarenotforchildren take in waist band
Hem pants using original hem

How do u like them Apples?

Thursday, April 18, 2013


So, I guess I've been keeping a little secret from you…but it's time to let the cat out of the bag :)
I am attending SNAP! this year…actually, today!
Posts have been a bit sparse lately, sorry about that, but I've been working on other aspects of my blog. Have you noticed the new header/logo? And the new blog name?
Yep, that's right, I am now officially Apples By Ashley found at (but will still get ya here)

I was a little nervous about the changes, and about partying it up with a crowd of awesome bloggers, and starting a new chapter in our family's life---so I have mainly been hanging out on Instagram and Facebook instead of on my blog. But I have hopes to overcome my fears and step-it-up around here.

Thanks for your fabulousness and super support of my little 'ol blog! I love sharing my bit of creativity with my stalkers, and I hope you can enjoy it as well. Check back later for a SNAP! recap at a later date ;)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Quilt Inspired Birthday Card

A while ago, I submitted some of my cards to a competition on Practical Scrappers. I didn't make it very far, but I had fun creating cards to meet each week's challenge. I was cut before this creation could be posted, so I thought I'd share it with you.

The challenge was to create a card, for a man/boy, taking inspiration from the picture below---what ever inspiration: colors, shape, etc.

Well, my first thought was to not be too literal.

The color in this picture is way off-it is all a lime-ish green with aqua blue accents and charcoal stripe.

But, then I got busy cutting tiny pieces of paper.

I like the variety of paper scraps I was able to use, and still maintain a cohesive design/color feel. Some of the smallest triangles are actually made out of Washi Tape instead of gave me more pattern options.

And, the last picture is a more true color representation.

Have you made any cards or scrapbook pages with a quilt as inspiration?

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Inaction Figure...or Perry Party Favor

So, last week, in my Where's Perry? post I showed ya'll  some 'parts' of Perry we had cut out of wood and spray painted. Now you can see the final platypus in all his glory :)

If you are not a fan (or even familiar with) the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb, then you may not know what I'm talking about. Let me give you a little more information:

Perry the Inaction Figure is a wooden toy that is modeled after Perry. Phineas and Ferb pitch the toy idea to the Har-D-Har toy makers and it becomes a huge hit. (taken directly from  Check out a short clip from the specific episode:

 As soon as I told the Hubs that I was planning a Phineas and Ferb Birthday party for Widget, the first thing out of his mouth was "And I can make some Perry Inaction Figures for each kid!" Let's just say he was just as excited about the Perry Inaction Figure as I was about the party details (that's pretty darn excited, folks!). And shortly thereafter, the Hubs got onto Google SketchUp and created a 'mock-up' of our cute platypus.

Feel free to comment or email me if you'd like the actual SketchUp file

During the commercial for Perry the Inaction Figure, sixteen different backgrounds are shown, and the commercial makes note that "exotic backgrounds are not included". And, sticking to our theme, I created our own version of the commercial (without sound) to mimic the original...but since I was in St. Louis when I planned this post, our Perry just happens to be seen around the hotel in which we lived out the week. Take a look:
And because Widget could not stay away from the focus of my camera for very long, I have photographic proof that Widget helped take Perry to the different places in and around the hotel.

Later, we found that the local Disney Store had a sale on their extra large stuffed animals. Guess who got to come home with us???

How do u like them Apples?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Neatly Messy and Vintage

First, I wanted to show you a glimpse of some treasures we found in a couple of different houses (for sale) we have seen recently.

A tile framed mirror (actually two) in the master over each vanity. The tile matches the work around the tub.

And this lovely Dressmaker sewing machine. Yes...I am the crazy lady posting pictures of other people's crafting/creative endeavors. But, I thought you might get a kick out of this vintage machine. I am very glad I have such a nice machine to use today, but sometimes older machines (like above) are quite exciting to work with. Do you or have you sewn on a vintage machine?

Okay, more pictures of the 'shower building' process. I'm so glad a few young men in our neighborhood came over to help move the shower base and glass doors upstairs (together weighing approximately 300 lbs).

(sorry for the blurry phone pics...sometimes you grab the camera in closest proximity when in the middle of creating messes)

Of course, Widget likes to be where the action is happening :)

The glass door/walls propped against a wall in our bedroom, just outside of the master bathroom.

The hole for the shower base was cut out of the tile flooring before we received the base in the mail. We used the measurements given us from the distributor to cut the hole, but after trying multiple times to maneuver the heavy base into place, we figured out the hole turned out to be about 1/2" too small.

So, the Hubs had to cut the tile a second time before placing the base into it's final resting place.

Have you ever remodeled a bathroom? Any part? I can say with a surety, it is a neat and messy experience!

The bathroom has pretty much been a mess since we started this process.

How do u like them Apples?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Where's Perry?

So, I know I have yet to post all the glamorous pictures of 10 children skipping happily running frantically through our house smiling sadistically during Widget's Phineas and Ferb Birthday Party (I gave the theme away with the invitations I made here) was so traumatizing...Just Kidding!...okay maybe a little traumatizing...that I have not yet been ready to re-live the fun by editing all the pictures and writing about the chaos (and being out-of-town for a week also makes life a bit crazier, too).

However, I'd be happy to share a few more 'getting ready for the party' pictures with ya'll...

Did you already figure out what we made as party favors when I posted the picture below in this post? If you follow Apples By Ashley on facebook, you may have already seen some special comments (made by the parents of the attendees) about our little favors :)  

(if you didn't catch that, calling this project little is quite an took a full week and two people on the job at all times to finish up these cute critters)

Oh, but they were worth it! I still have a post coming up dedicated to this project, but you can get a sneak peek of the plans my cute hubby drafted by heading over to my facebook page.

I also made awesome striped Jell-o in mini dishes---Widget picked the color order, so it's a bit difficult to see the orange next to the red...BUT they were still awesome, and most the kids wanted seconds with their lunches :) That proves they were a success! (and I'm sure the rainbow colored mini spoons each child received to eat their Jell-o didn't hurt the situation either--cummon, who doesn't love cute little things?!?)

And so, I we were busy the entire week leading up to her party with projects specific to the party... and also ripping out the mini master shower, family visiting, and unpacking. Phew...just thinking about it makes my sanity start slipping away. At least we have made some major progress on our shower (now that the base and door were shipped, and arrived safely) and we are home again. Hopefully I can make some time to start working on other projects I've been thinking of, and pinning...
Thanks for stopping by!