August 31, 2014

Elsa Frozen Dress for My Daughter

My daughter, along with many others, set her heart on having an “Elsa Dress” after watching Disney’s movie “Frozen.”  I know many moms have been making their daughters Elsa and Anna dresses, and I’m no exception!Elsa Frozen Dress - AnnaVirginia Fashion

The dress I made is stretchy and has no zippers (although it does have an unnecessary button closure on the back neck), so that my daughter can pull it on and off without any assistance.  This is so nice!  I used a Simplicity pattern (#1785) for stretch fabric to give me a sizing on the top part of the dress.  This could have been done tracing a shirt of hers, but I felt a little more comfortable using a pattern.  I modified the pattern to have a change of fabric-type just above the armpits and to be longer than the included dress pattern.Elsa Frozen Dress - AnnaVirginia Fashion

The fabrics I chose were all from Joann Fabrics, although the white sparkle fabric was from my stash.  The teal fabric for the main part of the bodice doesn’t have sparkles, but the sheer fabric for the long train is very glittery!Elsa Frozen Dress - AnnaVirginia Fashion

I got my grandmother’s serger (it came to me when she passed away) up and running, so I decided to use it to attach the pieces together.  This was a good thing since my sewing machine hated sewing these fabrics together and made a big mess whenever I tried!  Unfortunately, I ended up having to make the length of the dress quite a bit shorter than I had intended because the sewing machine ruined a section of fabric.  So glad I have the serger available!Elsa Frozen Dress - AnnaVirginia Fashion

Initially I had the train sewn right into the seam along the back.  However, after it got stepped on it started to pull right out of the seam.  So I took the dress back to my machine and added Velcro to make the train detachable.  The idea is that if it’s stepped on, then it will pull off, but the Velcro is pretty strong!  It has been nice to be able to take it off when she wants to play hard but keep the dress on.Elsa Frozen Dress - AnnaVirginia Fashion

It didn’t turn out perfect, mainly because of my lack of experience with stretchy fabrics (and my frustrated sewing machine didn’t help!).  But the serger made it a quick project to put together and my daughter loves to wear it.  She plans on using it for Halloween, but that’s still a couple months away.  I wonder how many girls will be Elsa for Halloween this year?

I’ve made my family their Halloween costumes in the past.  Check out my Cinderella, Mickey Mouse, Ladybug/Bumblebee and the Jedi costumes!

August 12, 2014

Decorating Around the TV

We live in a world of flat screen televisions that are often mounted to the wall (I’m sure you’ve noticed).  The not-so-long-ago old days of hiding your TV in a fancy entertainment center is not really an option anymore, and this can be kind of interesting to work around if you want your TV to add to your home d├ęcor instead of distract from it.

Decorating Around the TV - AnnaVirginia Fashion

We recently rearranged the furniture in our living room and I wanted to make our new location for the television be visually stimulating whether the TV was on or not.  I looked up a few ideas on Pinterest and came up with what I wanted to do.

Here are some of the television walls and decorations that I was inspired by:

Decorating Around the TV - AnnaVirginia Fashion

Emily A. Clark’s post about this space talks about using a dresser instead of a TV console.  What I liked about this is the placement of the pictures.  I also like how the off-centered TV is still balanced because of the artwork behind and around it.

Decorating Around the TV - AnnaVirginia Fashion

Pottery Barn catalogs are always a source of inspiration for me.  I guess their style really appeals to me (too bad all I can afford are their free catalogs… maybe someday!).  In this picture I liked the letters and the plant.  I think the plant makes the “electronics zone” a bit more organic. 

Decorating Around the TV - AnnaVirginia Fashion

The blog post about this picture from tells about making your TV “disappear” while it is off.  You can do this by styling around it with things that draw your attention to them.  Like a big lamp.  I don’t have room around the TV in our house for a lamp, but I drew inspiration from the scale of things in this example.

Decorating Around the TV - AnnaVirginia Fashion

Although I think the decorations are a little distant from the television, I still like the asymmetry used here, by The Velvet Door.  It’s simpler to coordinate and still visually appealing to balance things that aren’t perfectly matching.

Decorating Around the TV - AnnaVirginia Fashion

And this set up from Miss Mustard Seed is so fun with the plates and topiaries surrounding the television.  The plates are perfect in this space with those chairs and TV console.

To make the changes for our space, I only used items that were already in our home (pretend you’re shopping in your own house!  Go throughout the rooms and see what you can use to make up the redecorated space).  In the end, this project cost us $0 (yes!) and a bit of muscle to move things into place.  And I may have made a couple of erroneous nail holes in the wall (shh!).  We’re currently renting our home, so our TV is not mounted to the wall.  Plus, I like the flexibility of being able to rearrange furniture so I’m not sure yet if we’ll mount it to the wall even when we do own our place!

Here’s how our Center of Entertainment is done:

Decorating Around the TV - AnnaVirginia Fashion

  • The TV (source: Fry’s)
  • House plants to bring in some life to the space.  (source: Friends who were moving to Germany)
  • Multi-colored metal star for color.  (source: Joann Craft and Fabric)
  • Framed black-and-white poster as the large nearly-center item. (source: Distribution Services)
  • Three-photo frame of family pictures (source: Walmart)
  • “Family” plaque. (source: Wedding gift)
  • A mirror (source: Ikea)
  • A red clock (source: Walmart)
  • The Console is an electric fireplace (source: Costco)
  • Favorite electronics. (source: various electronic stores)
  • And a pair of speakers that sit on the floor to the side of the fireplace.  (source: mail order)

In another angle, you can see that we also have “Pot Shelves” at the tops of our walls.  This detail is pretty popular where we live, but it’s been difficult to figure out how to use the space.  We have some books and other various trinkets up there that also detract the attention from a TV that is turned off.

Decorating Around the TV - AnnaVirginia Fashion

How do you decorate the space around your TV?

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