Image Slider

{Project Run & Play} Project Art Studio: Blank Canvas

 An empty canvas is a living wonder - far lovelier than certain pictures.
- Wassily Kandinksy

When I joined Project Art Studio, I began brainstorming ideas.   Art is individual and no two are alike.  As I saw more and more ideas from others come in, I became more stumped.  I've always tended to stray from "what everyone is doing" and be completely unique.  My youngest daughter is very much the same way.  As I worked my way through available fabrics, I was drawn to this simple white canvas fabric.  Every artist starts with a blank canvas and figured we may as well too!

The Degas Dungarees are a labor of love.  The tutorial is amazing though and walks you through every little step.  The finish honestly looks like I went to the store and bought these.  She kept this outfit on for an appointment afterwards and received compliments on it too!

As long as the Dungarees took to sew, the Easel Tee was like "I got you".  I'm pretty sure it took longer to piece the pattern pieces and cut than it did to sew.  Dolman sleeves and bands make it incredibly easy.

I know white is notoriously hard to photograph... haha - what was I thinking?!  Also, this child in all white may probably last about 2.5 seconds.  She totally embraced the concept though.  "Besides, white goes with everything, Mom!"  She's at the age where it must look store bought and "cute" is no longer allowed.  

She's a blend of a few sizes, but prefers her skirts on the shorter side.  I used an 8 height with a 6 waist blend.  If I had to sew it again, I'll probably go a straight 8 or use a 7 waist, which is her hip size.  It is slightly small at the hip area, but still comfy in her book.

The topstitching is SO worth it.  The only issue I ran into is the installation of the jean buttons -- only because the local brand is not that great.  The bib buttons were Dritz and went on so much easier.  Highly recommend only using Dritz brand.

One of Kandisky's famous paintings is Squares with Concentric Circles.  I had a little fun in Photoshop with a portion of my own rendition of his famous work.  


{Riley Blake Designs} Leafy Keen by Amanda Niederhauser

My youngest entered middle school last month which means her style has started the shift away from being too "kiddish and young".   Luckily, I've already gone through this with my oldest so I've learned to take a step back and give complete control over the design process.

One thing that never becomes too "young" is animal print.  The moment I saw Leafy Keen by Amanda Niederhauser for Riley Blake Designs, I knew it would meet my daughter's new requirements.  I loved the unique color combination of shades of pinks, gold, and greens.  We ended up picking 5 different prints -- 3 for a dress and 2 for a coordinating mini backpack.  We chose Leafy Keen Main Blush Sparkle, Leafy Keen Cats Hunter, Leafy Keen Sketch Daisy, Leafy Keen Sketch Razzmatazz, and Leafy Keen Spots Clover.

Earlier this year, I designed a mini backpack for a travel themed pattern capsule for Project Run & Play.  My pattern, Passport to Paradise Mini Backpack became a quick favorite for my girls and they loved that they could order a matching accessory to their new outfits.  

On this version, I decided I wanted to incorporate a few techniques I learned from the Little Lizard King Vada Backpack pattern.  By adding a zippered slip pocket to the front lining and moving the zipper forward, I could enclose the gusset/front panel seam which makes it a little neater inside (and a quicker finish).  The back panel/gusset seam was finished with handmade bias.

I also added a fusible fleece stabilizer to add extra structure.  I will likely forgo that on the next version because it ended up a little wrinkly after turning it out.

I love the deep gold that matches the kitties on the green fabric.  My daughter was super happy to see a bonus pocket inside too!

For her dress, she picked out the Posie Dress by Peony Patterns.  She loves the extended shoulders, large pockets and the overall fit of the dress.  I love that you can add in a coordinating fabric on the side panels.  I added the Razzmatazz Whiskers as faux piping and the little pop of color looks great!

She styled it with her white tennis shoes and a gold hair tie on a high pony.  She looks sporty and cute!  Apparently tennis shoes with dresses are very "in".   I'm learning as I go.. haha.

There's just enough twirl to satisfy her.  HA!  I hope she never outgrows that!  I will admit, it's a little harder to go through the shift with my youngest.  It doesn't seem possible that she's inching closer to being a teenager.  

What will you make with Leafy Keen?  Check your local quilt shop to pick your prints -- the collection is already in stores!

{Riley Blake Designs} Bee Ginghams by Lori Holt

Fall is right around the corner and that gets me in the mood to bake!  For years and years, I loved baking cookies, especially chocolate chip.  One day my mixer died and I decided at the time, it wasn't worth replacing.  When I saw the Bee Gingham collection by Lori Holt for Riley Blake Designs, it reminded me of all the batches of cookies I loved baked.  It was the perfect excuse to add a mixer back into my kitchen.  Oh my, I had forgotten how good homemade cookies could taste.

To keep with the baking theme, I thought my girls would like new aprons.  They love helping me bake and they had outgrown the aprons they got years ago.  Trying to narrow down my choices from 36 options was no easy feat.  I actually decided to try the towel panel (because every kitchen needs towels!) and drew my color inspiration from there.  I ordered a Alpine, Daisy, and Cayenne colorways in a couple of different sized gingham.  

For the aprons, I sewed the Sugar Plum apron pattern by Little Lizard King.  For the teenager, I left off all of the frill except for the waist ruffle because that's part of the skirt.  I used the Daisy color for most of it and accented it with hints of Alpine.

My tween is much more whimsical so I used a portion of one of the 4 towels for the bodice.  She loves dogs and the truck fit perfectly on the large bodice.  I dusted her nose with flour for this picture and she was so confused.  "Why are you putting flour on my face?!"  Haha

The girls have never actually watched a mixer work so this part was super exciting to them!

One of the towels.  I love how it turned out with the small daisy gingham bias border.  

One of the towels on the panel had a cute hexagon pattern so I carefully quilted 7 of them onto Isul-Bright and then added a SA for the bias.  The bias took a little longer because I had to stop at each corner and head over to the iron.  This is the perfect size for a pan hot pad trivet.

I found a basket and set some eggs into it for easy grabbing for our baking session.

This hot pad was a last minute addition and it turned out super cute!  I started with a rectangle of Insul-Bright and layered my tiny gingham on both sides and then quilted a diagonal pattern.  Then I cut out a lemon shape.  Finally I basted a leaf in place and attached the binding.

Trying out the finished product!  Any guesses to which kind we baked?

Here are the delicious cookies we baked.  Snickerdoodles have always been one of my favorites, but I had never tried baking them before.  They were a big hit!

Keep your eye out for the Bee Ginghams, coming to a quilt shop near you!

{Riley Blake Designs} Imagine by Kristy Lea of Quiet Play


I know I just shared a Christmas dress a couple weeks ago, but summer is in full-swing here and it was time for my youngest to get a new dress.  She still loves getting a "little fancy" even to just run errands so I'm going to indulge it while I can.

Imagine by Kristy Lea of Quiet Play is a collection that is perfect for my daughter.  Rainbow is quite possibly her favorite color and she loves dragonflies.   The entire line covers the entire color spectrum.

I let my daughter pick her favorite print and she chose the Imagine Dragonfly Flight Yellow
and I chose the coordinating Imagine Hexie Sprinkle Green.

I had a vision for this fabric and set out to make it come to life.  I chose the Sarria Dress by Little Lizard King because I love the little side cutouts with the micro ruffles.  I decided this time that I would add the micro ruffle options between the layers.  While I love the outcome, it was a lot of work gathering all those ruffles.  If I had to do it all over again, I think  I'd add a gathered circle skirt to make the dragonflies appear to be flying all over.

I'm usually a buttonhole and button kind of girl, but I had the perfect color Kam snaps and it did make finishing the bodice quicker.

In the past, I always sew exactly to my daughter's measurements so the dresses are custom fit.  Sometimes, however, depending on the patterns' ease, she outgrows them quicker than she or I'd like.  This summer, she is hitting her growth spurt and seems to be growing quicker than normal.  This time, I decided instead of cutting between the sizes (where she measured), I would size to the next size up and the result is slightly too big.  I know in about a month or so, it'll fit perfectly, but I'm a little mad that I strayed from my normal practice.

Luckily it's not too noticeable, and it still twirls.  We really love these colorful dragonflies!

You can find Imagine at your local quilt shop!

{Riley Blake Designs} Nicholas by J Wecker Frisch


*clears throat* Ahem, I interrupt your summer (or winter for my southern hemisphere friends) with an important announcement: 

It's officially 6 months until Christmas!!  

My kids countdown pretty much year-round so once we get over the "halfway mark" hump, the anticipation really starts building.  Every year, my girls get a special dress (or two or three if you're the youngest).  I'm ahead of the game this year as long as she doesn't grow too much!  Fingers crossed...

Nicholas by J Wecker Frisch for Riley Blake Designs is a new Christmas collection that is sure to get you in the giving spirit.  It is full of holiday cheer with its tiny trees, snowflakes, holly berries and holiday postcards.  I was instantly drawn to the tiny trees on black.  I grabbed the red postal stripes and green snow dot texture for coordinates.

It took me ages to decide on a pattern.  At age 11, I know I'm on borrowed time for using themed fabric.  With my daughter's input, we chose Liberty by Little Lizard King, but took the liberty (HA!) to change it up a bit.  Liberty is a dress pattern with attached bib and if you use the same contrasting fabric for the bib and sleeves, it gives the illusion of a shirt and pinafore.  I omitted the bib and sleeves to make a true pinafore and then paired it with a knit shirt underneath.

For the shirt underneath, I used the Galena Dress by Little Lizard King and my starting point and simply lengthened the bodice to shirt length and omitted the skirt.   I love the bound neckline, the slim fit, and the included bishop sleeves.

I loved the contrasting band at the bottom of the skirt and let me daughter choose whether I used the Green Snow Dot Texture or the Red Postal Stripes.   I love letting her choose the details.  I used the Red Postal Stripe for piping detail outlining the bodice. 

I used nearly every inch of the fabrics to make this.  I had just enough to still make sure my print lined up across the back buttons.


The true magic of this pattern comes in the FULL skirt.  There's no need for a pettiskirt underneath, but undershorts are a must.  (I made these too!  I used the Solvang pattern by Little Lizard King.) The bottom ruffle is nearly 17 feet wide!  

How early do you start preparing for Christmas?  This is the second or third year that I've been months ahead of schedule.  I'm usually procrastinating up until the very last second so I'm still trying to get used to being early. 

Nicholas is now available at your favorite quilt shop!  Pick up your yardage today!

{Project Run & Play}} Project Jet Set: Relaxing in Palm Beach


Welcome back to the second day of the project run & play Project Jet Set in Palm Beach!  One of our favorite things to do on vacation is spend our day at the pool.  The beach is also fun, but the pool is most relaxing.  Grab a refreshing drink and meet me back poolside as we dive into these two teen/tween approved looks.

Once again, I revisited my mood board so I could see how all the fabrics coordinated with each other.  My girls and I had the best time combing through the Raspberry Creek Fabrics to find fabrics that complimented each other and that fit each of their individual styles.  We have ordered Raspberry Creek Fabrics swim material for several seasons and we love the quality.  Our goal with today's looks was to also coordinate with their backpacks from Day 1.

The variety of the patterns (and options within) in the Project Jet Set collection made it really easy to create a capsule to suit both girls.  Today's stop features the Saltillo Swimsuit (two ways!), PB Swim Shorties, Cancun Coverup, and a second look at the Cruise Culottes and Passport to Paradise Mini Backpack.

For the tween

cancun cover up:  My girls love a good pool cover up.  The Cancun Cover Up is a great pattern because it can be sewn in both knit and woven.  (I actually had a chambray version in my line up -- more on that later.) I picked out the yummiest navy and off-white stripe modal jersey that I'm kind of mad that I couldn't keep it for myself.    The pattern recommendation was to size down in width for knit so this is one size down in width with the hip length for her height.  She wears it daily to the pool!

The pattern comes with two hood and two length options.  This is the regular hood and hip length.  I loved the construction and the included pocket.

saltillo swimsuit:  My youngest loves one piece swimsuits so I knew this pattern would be perfect for her.  She requested to leave the flounce off and I'm glad I got to see how it looks both ways.  I sewed this version up after her sisters so I constructed this one slightly different in how I added the elastic.  I've sewn a lot of swim over the past several seasons so I used my preferred method.

The straps can be worn several ways.  I initially chose the crisscross straps, but during her fitting, she wanted the straps to come to center back.  I happily obliged -- it's such a simple fix and it's more comfortable for her to wear it that way.

passport to paradise mini backpack:  Having her own bag to carry her items in to the pool is great.  She has easy access and can store whatever she wants!  She put her sunglasses & case as well as her goggles inside.  I love that it teaches her responsibility to keep track of her own items.

For the teen

cruise culottes:  My original plan for her cover up was the Cancun Cover Up in the chambray I used for her sister's Too Wild Dress.  She, however, has her own ideas and wanted to pair her culottes with her suit and I loved how it looked paired together! I'm so glad she injects her own ideas in our projects.  She has a great sense of style and I'm always taking notes.

saltillo swimsuit (modified):  I can't get over how cute this turned out!  When I was trying to figure out a top to pair with her swim shorties that still fit her teen style, I thought the Saltillo would make the cutest tankini top.  I simply cut the bottom portion of the pattern off where it dips inward for the waist.  I constructed the top as instructed in the pattern, but I knew I'd want the bottom elastic to be enclosed inside the seam.  I left a small portion of one side seam of the lining open so I could turn it out after adding in the elastic, making it hidden.

pb swim shorties:  Oh my word, I don't think I could love a little pair of swim shorties more.  I've always loved ruched detailing in patterns so that was a must for me!  The construction is simple and the seams inside are completely enclosed.  I cannot wait to sew her more!

The Saltillo Swimsuit has several strap options and as soon as she saw the halter option, she had to have it!  The PB Swim Shorties look so amazing in stripes and there's no center seam to worry about matching up the stripes there!

passport to paradise mini backpack:  We're back with another look at her light yellow twill mini backpack.  I didn't know a backpack could bring so much joy to my teenager, but she literally brings this EVERYWHERE.   So many times before, she'd carry just her phone in her hand and I was always so worried she'd set it down somewhere and lose it.  Now she won't have to worry about leaving it anywhere.

This backpack is the perfect size for my teen to carry a book, sunscreen and her phone.  She can put some cash in the zippered wallet in case she needs to buy a snack or two.

I hope you loved a peek at our vacation as much as we loved sharing all the details with you!  Now, it's time to sit back and enjoy the sunshine!! Happy Summer y'all!

If you were inspired by today's looks,

head over to the shop to pick up your patterns!

Custom Post Signature

Custom Post  Signature