When Leah Reena Goren’s beautiful Feline Karma Dress first appeared at Anthropologie a couple months ago it immediately catapulted to internet popularity. Along with pictures of the dress have been rumblings about making DIY versions, and I decided to try my hand. I’m still hoping to snag the dress (please go on sale!) but am happy with the shirt it inspired me to make!

If you can, support Leah’s designs via the Anthropologie link above or her Etsy, which includes many beautiful items!

I’ve been wanting to learn to sew for years, and my lovely husband surprised me with a sewing machine for Christmas! I have been having an absolute blast using it! So far I’ve made a few too many pillows, a tote bag, two aprons, and a knitting needle case.

I’d ultimately like to make clothes, or at least learn to alter my own clothes. I have a major fitting problem–for every ten items I take into a fitting room, nine go straight back to the shelves because of fitting issues. Until I can make my own clothing, I made something similar to clothes–an apron! Aprons are one of the reasons I wanted to learn to sew because I really love them. I find half-aprons more comfortable, so that’s what I’ve been making.

Need a last-minute homemade gift?

I’m sure many have their shopping finished, but some of us aren’t that perfect, okay? I’m always amazed at my sister-in-law Melissa, who smartly begins shopping months early. The rest of us are just avoiding the mall this week.

So here are things that you can make in just a few hours.

Since we’re moving back home to Texas in just a few weeks, I felt I needed to make something to commemorate our time here. So while Joseph was out of town for a bit, I embroidered nonstop. I don’t even want to know how many hours I logged on this. No exaggerations, I worked from the time I woke up until I went to sleep every single day for three weeks.

The top and bottom are lined with all the countries we’ve visited in the three years here: Austria, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Switzerland, France, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia.
In the center are some sites we’ve seen, circling around the Eiffel tower. Clockwise from the top: the Dolomites (where we live), a castle, the Great Pyramids of Giza (with a tiny camel!), Venice, Milan Duomo, and the Colosseum. I drew them all myself except for the Eiffel Tower.

I liked the front… kind of. I was disappointed that it didn’t really hold up to the amount of work I put into it. I would have loved to make the entire pillow myself and have a patterned back, but I don’t sew just yet. So I decided to double the amount of time I spent on the pillow and filled up the back with stitches.

The back. I’m still not decided on whether it’s finished now. I might add something to the inside eventually but can’t decide what.

One of the corners when I was only three rows in.

Even though it’s not exactly what I wanted, I’m really pleased. It’s so satisfying to complete a project that took an incredible amount of work and planning. And now I have something to display in my home that will represent the fabulous first three years of our marriage!

I’ve been knitting for a while now–my mom taught me the basics when I was 14, and everything else I picked up through books and online (things really took off when we got high-speed internet and I could watch tutorial videos!). I decided it’s finally time for me to learn to crochet, and YouTube videos helped tremendously. I watched a couple explaining the chain stitch, and that’s simple enough. I had a hard time figuring out what to do from that point and how to go onto the next row–this is the only vide I found that explained it. After that I was ready to go–crocheting is very easy!

Crocheting is very tactile, which took me a while to get used to.  It allows a lot of creativity and is not very structured.  I think I prefer knitting still; it’s strange having to search to pick up the next stitch rather than have it on the needle. I can knit anything without looking at all, but crocheting doesn’t allow for you to enjoy a movie while working.

The very first day learned to crochet, I knit myself this bow headbands (that’s how easy crocheting is compared to knitting!). I’m still torn on whether it’s too childish or if Lady Gaga made bows okay, but I love wearing it. Headbands don’t normally work on me, but this one does. It’s also very comfortable and stays firmly in place.

The dress is from American Eagle. It’s so light, and I love the design! I only wish it weren’t so prone to wrinkles.  I fixed that particular headband so that the bow hangs crooked; the other ones I made are straight in light with the bands.

After a few friend told me they wanted to buy one, I spent a day making a few of different colors. I put five on my Etsy, but four were gone within two hours.

Sadly, I’m nearly out of yarn, but I placed an order for more yesterday so should have some fun headbands available soon. If you want to bookmark my shop for later, I’m selling them for just $5 each!