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{Riley Blake Designs} Liberty Fabrics: The Emporium Collection


We're currently in a cold snap and it's also accompanied by rain, but I'm dreaming of Spring and warmer temps.  It's easy to forget about the dreary days though when sewing up Liberty Fabrics' newest collection, The Emporium Collection, coming soon to Riley Blake Designs. 

This collection is inspired by the historical architecture in Liberty's iconic London store.  Each colorway represents a different area of the storefront.  The Emporium Collection is a mix of floral, paisley, and geometric designs.  You can read the inspiration of each print here!

Look at these gorgeous prints!  I've been dying to see Liberty Fabrics in person and it does not disappoint.  I actually originally chose the bright floral print in the middle front (above picture), but the yardage I needed wasn't enough.  I went back to the drawing board and was drawn to the Two Daisy Bazaar A -- this print was inspired by a paper impression in one of Liberty's oldest pattern books.  How cool is that?!  To coordinate, I found Turner A which picked up the green accents in the tiny flowers of main print.  This print is based off an old fabric swatch in their archive from 1880!!

These fabrics were giving me preppy vibes and I wanted to pick just the right patterns to show them off.  I thought about a dress but my daughter has SO many dresses (and more slated to be sewn) so I enlisted her help in the design process.  We turned to my extensive collection of pictures of my past sews to see if she found something she liked.  We stumbled across a picture of her sister from a few years ago in her Saltwater Skirt by Ainslee Fox for One Thimble Magazine.  With the skirt sorted, we needed a top now.  I remembered the woven crop top from Duchess and Hare's Give Piece a Chance, also for One Thimble.  Using just the lining pattern pieces and a little modification to both the length and the side seams, we had a perfectly preppy Spring outfit.

I ended up making modifications to both patterns to create exactly what I had pictured.  The Saltwater Skirt has instructions for a faux wrap skirt, but I simplified it even further so the front wrap is attached to the skirt seam.  It reduced a few steps for me and the end result is almost identical.  Of course, I added the pockets!  She always wonders where they are when I don't take the time to add them in.

For the top, I knew she would not want a crop top length.  I added two inches to the front and three inches to the back.  Then I added vented side seams.   It ended up being the perfect length in the front to show off the cute tie.

I love the weight of this fabric.  It has the perfect "poof" in this short, full skirt.   When I started to hem the skirt with the deep 1" hem, I realized I really didn't want to see my hem stitches on the the front.  I decided to switch to a blind hem and it was absolutely worth ripping the original hem out.  (Check out this tutorial I wrote two years ago for step-by-step instructions for sewing a blind hem.)

It looks like The Emporium Collection has been delayed until March, but it is absolutely worth the wait!  I'm so in love with the quality of it as well as the outfit my daughter and I designed together.

{Peony Patterns) Now in Doll Size

 I'm no stranger to sewing doll clothing, but it's been a hot little minute since I've taken the time to sew some up.  When I saw Peony Patterns was expanding to doll sizes, I had to try some out!  My girls love their Peony Patterns dresses and I couldn't wait to see them sewn up in miniature.   Once I started, I couldn't stop.  In the end, I made 2 of each (but one didn't make the photoshoot since it was an earlier version).

For the doll pattern debut, WattleIvy and Poppy are first patterns in the library (still hoping for Jasmine, Marigold and Daisy too!!).  These are truly miniature versions of the full size girl patterns, but they close with velcro the entire length of the back so it's easy for little hands to dress their dolls themselves.  These doll patterns come in two sizes: 18" and 15" doll.  I sewed up the 18" sizes for our 3 brands of dolls (American Girl, Our Generation and My Life).  The 15" size fits Miniland/Minikane dolls (those are super cute by the way!!)

I sewed up Wattle in some knit scraps I had from Spunkin Honeyhead.  Jojo is a super cool girl with a purple streak in her hair.  She styles it with some mini chucks.

Next up is Ivy.  Vivienne is on her way to a summer wedding so she selected the maxi length and couldn't say no to the special touch of hand embroidery on the bodice using the Briar Embroidery pattern.

Of course I had to make a regular length version of Ivy too!  Julie is ready for a warm spring day, but secretly hoping for rain so she can jump in some puddles!

And here's Poppy!!  Bianca is happy girl who is always looking for the rainbow after the storm.  She was lucky and got a custom color rainbow on her bodice with the Iris Embroidery Pattern.

Another Poppy! Grace is a rock star in the making and is sure to dress the part in hopes her dreams come true.  She's rocking in GemStones Brights fabric by Riley Blake Designs and pulls out the pink accents of the fabric by styling this with her pink star glasses and cool pink boots.

I know most people make matching dresses to their daughters, but I was having too much fun raiding my scrap pile!  Which pattern will you be sewing first?!  (Poppy is my favorite of the bunch and I really need to sew up a tiered version!!)

{Little Lizard King}: Introducing Boulder & Telluride

 Hold onto your skateboards (hehe), Little Lizard King has a fantastic double release planned tomorrow in both girls and women's sizing!!  (Hmm, does that make it a quadruple release?!) My tween has been living in this set since I sewed it up so she is either stuck (send help!) or she really loves it and this is her subtle way of asking for more.  I going with the latter!

This sporty duo consists of Telluride which is a fun top with a twist in the back and Boulder which are leggings with a cool side pockets, perfect for colorblocking. 

My tween asked for a skateboard for Christmas and was over the moon when she received it.  I set out to make a set that would be perfect for skateboarding.   I started with cool Paint Splatter cotton spandex from Spunkin Honeyhead and paired it with a magenta mystery knit from Walmart.  The mystery knit had really great drape and I knew would be perfect for the dolman style sleeves and open back.

How cool is this back?!  This shows the tied option or you undo the bottom tie and let the tails hang loose.  I really love the upper triangle cutout.  The way the pattern all comes together is really cool too! I've been dying to figure out how you would get the middle linked and hemmed and it all makes so much sense now!  I think this back would be really cool with two different colors.

This is not your ordinary pocket.  The shape is super cool, and it's self-folding which means the whole pocket piece is just one piece -- no seams to make it a pocket! 

Of course, these are just some of the options available in the patterns.  You can also opt for long sleeves and thumbhole cuffs as well as a no pocket option on the Boulders.  Instead, it's just a fun color block piece.  You can also choose 2 lengths in girls and 3 in women's sizing.

Set your alarms for tomorrow's release!!

P.S.  YES, she has protective gear to ride her skateboard -- just kind of took away from these fantastic patterns.  

{Little Lizard King} Roseville Hand Embroidery


It always pays to dwell slowly on the beautiful things -- the more beautiful, the more slowly.  -- Atticus

In a world that seems to be rushing by, I had the best time taking my time to create this stunning hand embroidery to add to my daughter's dress.  I'm completely guilty of adding a million things to my to-do lists and I realize that this *is* technically one more thing added, but it forced me to sloooow down and appreciate the art that I was creating stitch by stitch. 

by Little Lizard King is a collection of hand-embroidery patterns that includes both floral and heart versions.  With a variety of sizes included, this pattern can help you embellish the smallest of pieces (like a hairbow or collar) to pockets to full bodice sizes.   I chose the full bodice size to pair with the Amsterdam Dress.

I was drawn to the floral version  -- it's a combination of stitches including French knots, modified lazy daisy, satin stitch, lazy daisy, woven wheel and backstitch.  As I went in search of coordinating fabric, I found a couple of yards of this bright floral print I'd picked up on clearance a couple years ago.  I love how bright and cheery it is!   Luckily, I am always saving my fabrics for "just the right project".  (My husband may disagree on that...HA!)

The great thing about embroidery floss is the variety of colors and can tailor the choices to suit your fabric.  I recently picked up a whole little kit and I was able to find several "perfect" matches.  Then, I had fun deciding each flower color.  After seeing all the other creations with this embroidery pattern, I can tell you it looks fabulous in all sorts of different color combinations. Each one is stunning.

The pattern comes with a great tutorial that thoroughly explains each step as well as an embroidery stitch guide for the design you choose.  This helps you quickly know how many threads you need for that step and whether it's single fold or doubled in the needle.   I used it as a coloring guide too so I could remember my choices!  

Also, don't be intimidated if you're new to hand embroidery.  I can count on one hand how many I've done!  You can absolutely create a beautiful masterpiece with little to no experience!

I added the embroidery pattern from the newborn-3m collar to the one of the ends of the 3" Nara Bow and I'm so smitten with how cute it looks!!

Slow down. Enjoy the process. Admire the beauty around you. Stop and smell the roses. 

{Riley Blake Designs} Gingham Gardens by My Mind's Eye

 I love that feeling when you look at a new fabric collection and you immediately fall in love.  I was actually hooked with just the name "Gingham Gardens"  (I love gingham!), and confirmed my opinion after looking at the swatches.   

Gingham Gardens is designed by My Mind's Eye for Riley Blake Designs and pairs gingham and floral (hence, the name).  The majority of the collection is soft shades of aqua, green, coral and gold.  While I'm normally drawn to the aqua colorway for my blue-eyed daughter, the charcoal colorway jumped off the screen for me.  I love the bold contrast and knew the perfect pattern to showcase it!

I chose Gingham Gardens Main Charcoal and Gingham Gardens Check Charcoal.  I love the gingham is on the bias!

I chose to sew the Iona Dress by Little Lizard King.  This pattern features a full skirt and gorgeous off the shoulder bodice with shoulder straps.  I couldn't wait to see how the gingham looked on the bodice and it did not disappoint! 

I love the contrast of gingham and a bold floral.  I chose the charcoal colorway for added drama against her fair skin and blonde hair.  I sewed up a quick Nara Bow (3" size here) by Little Lizard King for her hair -- she has soooo many coordinating bows because they take literal minutes to make!

Riley Blake Designs fabrics are always consistent in size across the whole fabric design.  This is especially important when you want to match the fabric pattern across the button placket.  If you have followed me for any amount of time, you know I can't NOT match this across the placket.  It's actually pretty easy -- here's a blog post for step-by-step directions so you can too!

It's hard to believe in 3 short weeks, my daughter turns 10!  She's not turned into full "tween" mode yet and still loves pretty dresses and bows in her hair.  She really loves this style dress and is smitten with how it turned out!

Gingham Gardens is now available!  Check your favorite fabric source to get your yardage today.  It's perfect for Spring!

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