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{Mouse House Creations} Lulah Market Top & Skirt

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Miss A was just 18 months old when I came across an accomplished seamstress online (on, named Hayley Crouse.  I hopped over to her blog Welcome to the Mouse House and started reading.  Seeing her creations inspired me so I bought myself a sewing machine and dove in.  Over the years, she became a talented designer!  Now Miss A is 8 1/2 and is rocking Hayley's latest designs -- Lulah Market Skirt and Lulah Market Top.  (Bundle also available.)

These two pieces were designed to be worn together, but they are great staple pieces in your girl's wardrobe and can be worn paired with other items. Both patterns are drafted for knit fabric and cover sizes 6m to girls 12.

Lulah Market Top is a sleeveless top that features sweet ruffles on each shoulder and a scooped back.   I used an uber soft knit I picked up at Walmart in their new prepackaged bundles.  If you're new to sewing knit, though, I'd start with something with a bit more structure like cotton Lycra.

Lulah Market Skirt is a gathered vintage length skirt with two deep side pockets.  The waistband is structured with a wide elastic.  The skirt portion can be sewn in woven, but the waistband needs to be knit.

I'm not sure her hands left those BIG pockets!  As soon as she saw them, she wondered aloud, "How many LOLs will fit in those?!"  (I'm actually surprised she didn't sneak any with her!)

P.S.  Can we talk about these boots?!  When the box sported her name on it as the "style name" of the shoe, it was instant love.

For a girl who is normally not a fan of ruffles, she really liked these ruffles.  It helps that they are so soft!  For a fun look, eliminate the ruffle and use the pieced bodice for a fun colorblocked look!

Warning: Sentimental.... LOL   It's hard to believe that my life changed seven years ago.   Sometimes you wander through life trying to find your place.  Then you find it and wonder what took you so long to get there.  This isn't the first time in my life that I've felt an unexplained need to take a chance on something.  (The other time was when I felt I needed to move 800 miles to a brand new state where I knew no one.  A year later, I met my now husband.)

Find your passion.  Find your people.  Love your life.

{BLOG TOUR} Back to School 2019

👏👏👏 YAY!!! It's finally time to go back to school!  I'm probably in the minority here, but I love when the kids head back to school.  My girls love school and would honestly go year-round if it were offered.  We've been counting down since like, well, the 2nd week of summer break.  HA!!

I always look forward to participating in blog tours, especially ones that help kick my butt into gear for different occasions.  When I saw Karly of Paisley Roots was hosting a Back To School tour, I couldn't help but join in.  Not only has she put together a great lineup of bloggers, there's also an amazing giveaway.... allllll the way at the end!

My girls already had their first day of school outfits locked down, but I figured they also needed something cute for "Meet the Teacher" -- after all, first impressions are everything!!

First up is my oldest daughter! 

Her criteria includes:
           👉 must be fashionable
           👉 mini length is preferred
           👉 pockets are a plus
           👉 must pair well with her favorite black booties
           👉 incorporate her black sparkly belt

Back in March, Little Lizard King released the Lenox Dress and my 10 year old calls it her "tween-style" dress.  So, of course, I had to sew another Lenox (this is like her  Of course, I modified it to put my own spin on it. 

The first modification is to add the chevron bodice to it!  Adding this is so super easy and always looks so fab, especially when sewn with black and white stripes.  I could probably buy a bolt of these stripes because they are my favorite!  If you've not done a chevron pieced bodice before, here's a quick rundown: from the bottom center of your bodice piece, draw a 45-degree angle towards your armscye.  Add your preferred seam allowance to the center of the bodice.  Line up your 45-degree angled line with a stripe on your fabric. Cut out.  Flip your cut fabric over and line it up on your fabric so all of the stripes match.  Cut.  Place both centers right sides together and sew down the center at the chosen SA.  Take care to match up the stripes.  Press seam open and continue with the remainder of the pattern.

My next two modifications were to add side seam pockets and belt loops for her black sparkly belt.  I grabbed the free pocket pattern from Little Lizard King and attached them 2" below the top of the skirt along the side seams.  For my belt loops, I cut 3 pieces 1" wide by 1.5ish inches (sorry, I didn't actually measure) and folded them bias-tape style and topstitched both edges.  Then I folded each short end under and attached to the finished dress.  I do wish I had incorporated the bottom of each loop into the waist seam.  Also, I would add a couple more on the front of the bodice to hold the belt up better in the front.

I cut the back bodice stripes horizontally and added some light pink/white buttons to pick up the pinks in the skirt.

I feel like I blinked and my little girl that was headed off to Kindergarten is now in her last year of elementary school.  Each year goes faster than the previous.  Before I know it, she'll be sporting a purse and a cup of coffee.  For now, though, we'll stick with her clear "iced coffee" (aka water in a Starbucks reusable cup).

My younger daughter has an entirely different style than her big sis and while they will share clothes, if she gets full reign over design choice, the end result will be a direct reflection of her boisterous personality.  She is not one to blend into the background.  If she could announce her arrival with a neon flashing sign, she absolutely would! HA!

Her requests:
           👉 must be fun
           👉 mini ruffle sleeves (her latest obsession)
           👉 hopefully match her pom pom headband (best dollar ever spent!)
           👉 must be able to dress herself

Recently Little Lizard King updated the Leiden pattern to include dress length and I decided it was the perfect pattern for her.  The front bodice is curved which mimics the rainbow fabric she selected (funny story, this fabric was actually a crib sheet on clearance at Target).  Plus, it buttons in the front so it checks off her "must be able to dress herself" box.

I added the mini ruffle sleeves from the Lenox Dress.  Her love for these ruffles took me by surprise because she has been anti-ruffle for a few years now.  I love them too though!

I was originally going to sew a top version to pair with a pair of jean shorts but before I cut, I double checked and she looked at me like I had two heads.  Dress it is, I guess!  The dress has a natural high low hem.  She's a happy camper and is even showing off her toothless grin!

When she first saw her new dress finished, she thought it was hilarious that I put the buttons on the front.  She laughed and asked why I made her dress backwards. LOL  No, sweetie, that's so you can do it all by yourself.

I hope her teacher is ready for her!!  She has loved all of her teachers and thinks each one is the best one yet.  Last year's teacher also shared her birthday with her so there are big shoes to fill this year.  I think she'll win her over with her personality though.

Now that you've made it to the end, be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the tour and enter the giveaway!!  Good luck to you 💕

2 yards from Mimi's Custom Fabric
10% off all patterns from DIBY Club with code: B2Sblogtour (expires Aug 25, 2019)
2 patterns of choice from DIBY Club (bundles excluded)
 2 patterns of choice from Rad Patterns
2 patterns of choice from Paisley Roots

1 pattern of choice from Sisboom

1 pattern of choice from Little Lizard King

1 pattern of choice from Titchy Threads

I Dream in Color for Riley Blake Designs

I'm pretty sure I just sewed my daughter's dream outfit. Rainbow may very well be her favorite color.

When I saw the chance to sew up Riley Blake's newest collection featuring Crayola -- I Dream in Color -- I jumped at the chance!   This collection comes in a variety of prints in 3 colorways -- white, light blue and black.

I sort of selfishly wanted to sew something for my preschool room, but I knew that my youngest would also adore the collection so I asked her for her favorites.  Without a moment of hesitation, she picked the Rainbows on Black.  I also added in the Polka Dots in Black for accents.

I love a good toss print because they just scream circle skirt to me!  My girls love anything that twirls so I turned to our favorite pattern company and selected Lenox by Little Lizard King (  Because it comes in a mini length, they think it's a tween-style dress.

 I only modified the pattern a teensy bit this time because I was inspired by Natasha from LLK to add the Carpi tie to the neckline.  It was a great way to incorporate my dot accent.

See those sweet mini ruffle sleeves?!  This is my first time sewing them and it's pure love.  Despite not liking ruffles, my daughter also fell in love too and now wants them on EVERYTHING!!  This fabric makes it so super easy to get nice gathers.

She could literally twirl all day long.  I also love circle skirts because adding a pop of color at the hem is my favorite little surprise.

Her dress inspired her to a spur-of-the-moment drawing sesh so I grabbed some random papers and crayons from my car.  Had I been prepared, I'd have printed out the Lenox Coloring Page available at Little Lizard King for her to color... I hate when I miss key opportunities.

She had fun drawing her own little LOL! Dolls though.  I love seeing her imagination pop through in her drawings!  She can't wait to wear this dress to school -- she is anxiously counting down the days.

{Winterberry} by My Mind's Eye for Riley Blake Designs

Hey y'all!!! Happy Christmas in July!!! It's a tad hard to think about Christmas when it's averaging near 100 degrees daily, but Christmas Eve is 5 months from today 🤯

Thanks to My Mind's Eye and Riley Blake Designs, my youngest and I had fun planning a new Winter dress in a fun Christmas plaid -- just one of many fun fabrics in the Winterberry fabric collection.  Winterberry offers an assortment of plaid, pine trees, poinsettias, flurries, Santa heads and more in 3 colorways -- red, green and black.

It was really hard to pick!  I really loved them all.   I knew if I didn't pick the plaid though, I would regret it.  I chose the black colorway -- Winterberry Plaid Black and then grabbed some Winterberry Flurries Red for lining or accent. 

Of course, then I had to pick a pattern and the little sundresses I've been sewing lately just didn't work with the winter-y theme.  I turned to my secret sewing board on Pinterest and found a pin that I had saved a few years ago.

Of course, the pattern I'd need didn't exist, but I do love a good modification so I started with a muslin (so I wouldn't screw up my pretty plaid).  I got lucky and it fit great the first time through!!  YAY!

The pattern I started with is Lenox by Little Lizard King -- I shortened the bodice several inches, added a mini ruffle collar and mini "V" opening at the center neckline, 3/4 sleeves with elastic above the elbow and added a gathered skirt in lieu of the circle skirt.

My daughter was ridiculously excited for this new dress.  She even surprised herself and fell in love with the mini ruffle at the collar.  I realized after I had taken pictures though that I had meant to add a little red bow on the front from the Red Flurries that I had lined the dress with.  Have you ever done that?!  I was so happy that the pouring rain had stopped just before I finished the dress and I was also trying to beat the dinner timer that I was in a rush to grab pictures before more rain came.  (I guess I have 5 months to add it... lol)

One of my favorite things about sewing plaid are the built in cutting guides! HA!!  Seriously though, I figure out where I want my hem or seam line and then I just cut it accordingly and it all lines up!! (with pins of course!)   Every single seam line is lined up -- so worth the extra bit of effort!

One of the reasons I needed to make a trial run was to ensure I'd have enough ease to get the dress on overhead without a placket since I had shortened the bodice by several inches.  Since Christmas is 5 months away and she's bound to grow some, I did size up in length and width.  I used a 5 width and 7 height.  For the skirt, she'd normally wear it a bit shorter so if she doesn't grow as much as I think, I'll hem it again at the preferred length.

As we walked out into the summer heat, she said it'd be really cool if it snowed right now!!!  As much as I love Summer, I'd love for a quick snow flurry to fall to cool things down.  (I'm sure some of my Australian sewing friends would love to send us some!)

My kids are not alone, I'm sure, but they count down to Christmas literally all year long.  SO, of course I had to add below how many "sleeps" are left until Santa arrives.  Grab your stash of Winterberry because Christmas is coming!!!

{Ravello} by Little Lizard King

I'm so excited to share the latest release for Little Lizard KingRavello is a strappy boatneck dress with either a simple or contrast panel bodice, button back and optional front pockets.  This classic silhouette is for sizes 12m to girls 14 and is suitable for woven fabrics.

I've been on the lookout for a boatneck dress and this one did not disappoint.  I've made the super simple version -- no colorblocking, piping or pockets, but I knew this floral on black and white stripes would be perfect for this silhouette.

The back is a button back with placket. (If you look close enough, you can see that I took the time to line up those flowers on the back The placket instructions result in a perfect placket every single time.  I used to dread plackets because they would always pucker.

Let's talk sizing --- be sure to measure before sewing!!  After measuring, consult the sizing chart and please don't get hung up on "sizes".  My girls are anything but average sized. It doesn't mean the size chart is way off.  The size chart is there so you know what measurements they are drafted for.  My girls happen to be petite and need to be tailored as such.  Once sewn, you cannot see sizes.  All you see is a perfect-fitting garment.  For reference, my 10 year old (above) measures a 4 chest, 2 waist and a 7 height.

If you ever need any size blending help, please feel free to reach out to me!! I've been blending extreme sizes for a few years now.  

She loves this dress and felt very fancy in it.  I can always tell by how well her photos turn out -- she gave me so many great pictures so I know this is a winner!! I even dug out my Kate Spade purse for her to "borrow" ... little glimpse into her teenage years, I guess.

I can't wait to make another with the blocking, piping and pockets!!!  Grab your copy today!

{Sweet Melody} by Lila Tueller for Riley Blake Designs

A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it.  It just blooms.  -- Zen Chin
I am so smitten with one of Riley Blake Designs' latest fabric collections.  Sweet Melody by Lila Tueller is full of gorgeous watercolor florals and birds.  It comes in 3 colorways -- white, pink and blue, along with coordinates.  This collection was inspired by a mama bird who flew into Lila's house and got stuck overnight!  Read the full story and see more pictures of this stunning collection here. 

I fell in love with the Sweet Melody main print at first sight and chose it in blue to compliment my daughter's blue eyes.  (Plus, it's her favorite color!!)

To showcase the beauty of the fabric, I selected a simple summer dress with a dainty sweetheart neckline -- Augusta by Little Lizard King.  It's become one of my favorite patterns to sew!

I always choose the elastic back option (great for unexpected growth spurts and it's super quick!)  She also loves that she can dress herself without any help from me.  I know this dress will be on repeat for the rest of the summer.

Living her best life -- carefree and happy, just twirling on the sidewalk barefoot on a warm Summer day.  I love how vibrant this fabric is!  It's like my own little walking flower garden and just brightens my day.

Thank you Riley Blake Designs and Lila Tueller for this lovely fabric.  My girls always love when Riley Blake Fabric mail arrives.  When this daughter saw the fabric, her eyes lit up and claimed it for herself (... it was picked with her in mind LOL).

{Duchess and Hare} Fete to be Tied

As my sister's wedding quickly approached, I knew my girls would want a new fancy dress for the rehearsal.  When I saw Fete to be Tied by Duchess and Hare filling my feed on Facebook, I knew this was just the dress for this joyous occasion.  This dress comes in both extra twirly circle skirt and maxi lengths.  The real showstopper is the strappy rouleau back that looks like you spent hours creating, but takes just minutes.  At just $7.50 for sizes 2-10, it's a fantastic deal.

As we went shopping for new fabric (because fabric from you stash is never what you're looking my oldest came across this Paris fabric.  My sister has promised my girls a trip to Paris when they get older so there was no hesitation that this was the perfect fabric.  As most Walmart stores seem to be clearancing their fabric, my local Walmart has received bolts and bolts of new fabrics.  This happened to be one of them!!   

This back is my most favorite!!  If you're like me and blending very different sizes (4 chest, 7 length), be sure to sew a muslin first.  Because the pattern piece wraps around the back, I found it a bit more challenging to blend.  It comes together really quickly though!!   (To make my muslin even faster, I used ribbon in lieu of the rouleau straps.)

I chose not to sew the circle skirt on this one because my daughter really wanted all those Eiffel Towers standing upright.  I just popped on a gathered skirt using the length of the circle skirt and the width of the maxi as my guide.

My youngest found this very lightweight mystery fabric with a slight tie-dye vibe.  I lined the top with regular quilting cotton just to give it some structure.   When I tackled the double circle skirt, the lack of structure in the fabric became a bit of a pitfall.  No matter how hard I tried to cut it just right, the portions that hung on the bias hung lower than the rest.  So I ran back to Walmart and grabbed some more fabric and used the length of the circle skirt pattern piece as my length guide and cut 2 pieces the entire width of fabric for extra fullness.  It's a very lightweight fabric so it didn't really add bulk to the waist despite being really gathered.

Another swoon-worthy back!  I think it was everyone's favorite part.  It kind of like having your cake and eating it too -- looks gorgeous, but also very comfortable for the hot Summer heat.

The twirl was the best part!!  As much as my youngest loved twirling in that extra full circle skirt, this one is almost just as good and my perfectionist heart is happy with the even hem. HA!!

 I know this pattern will be used over and over.  It's surprisingly a fast sew and those rouleau straps are so easy!! (I want to put them on everything!)  I also love that you can sew a maxi or knee length skirt.  I'm off to look for some cotton so I can sew that extra full circle skirt now!!

Everyone ooh'd and aah'd over their dresses, especially the backs.  My girls felt very fancy, yet uber comfortable!

P.S. My youngest had shoes but failed to mention until we were getting ready that her shoes were too small despite just wearing them a month prior for a different event.  So yeah, she carried them. LOL

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