Guest DIY: Janae Hardy

Janae_HardyHello! My name is Janae Hardy. I am a photographer, wife and mother….. and I love making things! I am so honored to be a guest blogger today on A Beautiful Mess. Elsie has been a huge source of inspiration to me for the past few years. We live in the same town, and I am so thankful to have creative people like her surrounding me! I have a one year old daughter named Hazel. I love having a little girl, and we have lots of fun together.


I find that it is an uphill battle finding cute baby clothes. Everything is overly pink or has baby motifs all over them. I also don't like paying lots of money for an outfit. So, I wanted to post a couple DIY ideas on making baby clothes a little cuter!I found this dress at a local store for $7. I didn't LOVE it, so I thought I would  enhance it a bit. I find that most baby clothes are boxy(short and wide). I always sew up the sides of Hazel's clothing. It will give the outfit a more tailored look. A tailored look with baby clothing can make a world of a difference.

  Picture#2Picture#3 Next, I find things around the house and in my craft bins that would work with the outfit. I found a little flower made out of bunched fabric, left over trim from reupholstering our sofa, and some vintage buttons.

  Picture#4  After I sewed everything on, the dress already looks better.

 I thought it needed a little more, so I used green string to sew along the edges of the collar, sleeves and trim at the bottom.

Picture#6  Here is the finished product:

  Picture#5 Lastly, I wanted to share my favorite DIY for a quick dress. It takes about 20-30 minutes! Most of the work is already done for you! Find a great vintage pillow case at your local thrift store (I found this one for a quarter). 

I measure everything to my baby. So hold up the pillow case and see how tall and wide it needs to be. Next cute an a-symmetrical line up both sides. Use the opening of your pillow case as the bottom of the dress. You trim is done for you!

Picture#7  Sew sides together. Sew an extra piece of fabric on chest, from shoulder to shoulder ( about 2 inches tall).

Cut and sew the straps according to the size of your baby

I also added a small piece of elastic on the back of the dress, to make it more snug.

Picture#8Sew the straps on. You can criss cross them, or just put them on like regular straps.Add some of  your favorite vintage buttons on the ends of the straps and you're done!

Picture#9 This seriously takes about 20-30 minutes and the outcome is super cute! 

Have a wonderful day, JanaeJanae hardy

  • Awesome tips Janae! The little accessories made the dress look better and the dress you made out of a pillowcase is so cute and colorful, it’s worth giving a try!

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    • Yes, we do need to stop sometimes and think of enjoying the little things in life. This is a good way to express our creative side. Really great piece!

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  • What a great idea! I have a five month old daughter and I definitely have to try this. So cute!

  • These are the sweetest ideas – it makes me wish that my daughter was a baby again.

  • I love the idea of jazzing up some otherwise bland clothing, but PLEASE be careful people when adding adornments like buttons to babies/toddlers clothing. If they come loose they can be a choking hazard.

  • So cute! What a wonderful little family… I can’t wait to have kids with my fiance!

  • I have a daughter so this is great and right up my alley! And that dress is so sweet! Thanks for sharing this!

  • Thanks guys! All of your comments are soooo sweet.
    @ Lauren I love the name Ogden! boys clothing is a challenge. I don’t know what I will do if I have one!

  • how cool is it that I just found a really cute vintage pillowcase at my local thrift store for 0.50 the other day?! Now I have something really neat to do with it for my little baby girl. Thanks!

  • I love Janae…Thanks for having her as a guest Elsie…and I love you too!!

  • oh your little hazel is a gem. 🙂

    that pillow case dress = cute! i’m totally going to try that for a sweet little girl i know!


  • I dream of doing projects like this and it looks super cute and easy!!!

  • what cute ideas! i love them.
    my son, ogden, is ten months old and WOW is it difficult to find attractive boys clothing that is also affordable… i love seeing adorable DIYs for girls, but i never see any for boys 🙁 they really do draw the short straw when it comes to fashion so i paint and applique onesies and make him pants 🙂

  • these are really great, Janae!!! i love your tips! can’t wait to make something for Penelope. :))

  • great tutorial Janae!! I’m totally going to be on the hunt for pretty pillow cases now. 🙂

  • oh, the outfit looks so cute with those small little touches to it.

    love this.

  • Love that cute little stripe and polka-dot dress that you altered. and the pillow case dress? Yeah, too cute…and you made it so easy. thanks!

  • Janae, love the pillow case dress idea! Such sweet photos of you and Hazel at the top, too.

  • So nice how you give that dress a makeover!

    I just have to watch your blog!


    Judith ^Hartje-Bloem^

  • oh my gosh how i envy how talented all you girls are, you make it sound so easy! 😉 the pillow dress is sooooooo adorable! i love how yours came out. 🙂 these blog party d.i.y.’s are fun!

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