A Big Day

Today was Sienna’s FIRST haircut….it was a pretty big deal. It hasn’t been touched in 2.5 years! Daddy met us at the Trio salon for moral support.

A Big Day Sienna's first haircut via lilblueboo.com
Right before he arrived I snapped this photo of her in the boutique portion of Trio: “HEY….look at my new underwear” is the quote of the day. I didn’t post the one of her mooning the mirror. I never mind waiting at Trio because I love browsing the clothes…..especially the children’s clothes.

A Big Day Sienna's first haircut 2 via lilblueboo.com
Playing on the round pink sofa. Dress is made from an old t-shirt: Geek IS the new chic! and some knit material from Chez Ami (who is having a rockin’ sale right now!)

A Big Day Sienna's first haircut 3 via lilblueboo.com
Our friend Tara has been ready to cut Sienna’s hair since she was a week old…..

A Big Day Sienna's first haircut 4 via lilblueboo.com
…..and 2.5 years later I let her cut half an inch off!

A Big Day Sienna's first haircut 5 via lilblueboo.com
Even Sienna’s godfather Derek stopped by to discuss the cut and style (he saw us through the window on his way to a meeting…..I love living in a small town).

A Big Day Sienna's first haircut 6 via lilblueboo.com
What toddler doesn’t want her hair blown out for the first time?

A Big Day Sienna's first haircut 7 via lilblueboo.com
Who is this child with the long luscious locks?

A Big Day Sienna's first haircut 8 via lilblueboo.com
Sienna admiring herself in the mirror.

A Big Day Sienna's first haircut 9 via lilblueboo.com
Oh, yeah…..I was there too.

A Big Day Sienna's first haircut 10 via lilblueboo.com
Sienna’s favorite part was playing “assistant” and helping Tara wash Daddy’s hair.

A Big Day Sienna's first haircut 11 via lilblueboo.com
Thanks Tara!

The Sawyer Dress and Lil Sawyer Dress

The Sawyer Dress is my dress design submission for Shabby Apple Dresses Dare to Design!

The Sawyer Dress and Lil Sawyer Dress via lilblueboo.com

(Click image for larger version)

Inspiration: I wanted to create an adult version of the dresses that I make for “Boo” and what better than a “Spring” version. The pattern is obviously already in the works and maybe this will be the “push” I need to finally get the pattern finished! I love the fit of the dress I designed, I love the fabric variations, I love the yummy thread colors:

The Sawyer Dress and Lil Sawyer Dress 2 via lilblueboo.com
Here are some of the features I included:

:: A wide “boatneck”and slim elbow length sleeves.
:: Slightly fitted to the waist, the skirt portion of the dress follows an A-line to the horizontal seam mid-thigh and then flares out in a “pieced” tier. The dress falls to just below the knee.
:: Seams are reversed right above the bust line, at two points at the waist, mid-thigh and in the vertical center of the bottom portion of the skirt. All other seams are hidden.
:: The reversed seams are a subtle contrast color to the main color of the dress.
:: Fabric: stretch cotton or polyester/rayon/spandex blend.
:: An “inspired” girls version….with capped sleeves and similar seaming.

Update: I actually got around to making a simplified version (click for the post):

The Sawyer Dress and Lil Sawyer Dress 3 via lilblueboo.com

Wedding Part III: Dresses and a Rad Engagement Photo

I made these matching dresses last night for my sister’s rehearsal dinner….both are versions of the Sienna dress. Mine is just an adult version I cut last night. Really simple and fitted….maybe a little too fitted….might need to invest in some Spanx LOL! We don’t have any full length mirrors in our house….so this little mirror in the guest room was the best I could do….

Wedding Part III: Dresses and a Rad Engagement Photo via lilblueboo.com
Sienna is a little grumpy today….allergies and a cold….but she likes the dress.

Wedding Part III: Dresses and a Rad Engagement Photo 2 via lilblueboo.com

Check out this amazing preview of my sister and her fiance’s engagement photo shoot. It was taken in downtown Charlotte, NC by Ash Little Photography. So crazy amazing.

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial)

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

 

Here is my new camera strap cover. I made it from ribbon scraps the same way I made my daughter’s scrap ribbon belt.

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) 2 via lilblueboo.com
Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) 3 via lilblueboo.com

I had some great new ribbon to use thanks to Jennifer at Strano Designs. If you need ribbon scraps, Strano Designs sells it by the quarter pound!

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) 4 via lilblueboo.com
Step 1: I traced my camera strap onto some plain muslin with a disappearing ink pen……

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 1 via lilblueboo.com
…..and added 1/8″ to the outside of the traced line. Then I cut around the entire shape leaving 1/2″ for the seam allowance.

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 1 add 1/8 via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: I lined up ribbon the same way I did in my scrap ribbon belt tutorial except I made sure to sew along the outside line I drew with my disappearing ink pen.

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 2 via lilblueboo.com
Please see my ribbon scrap belt tutorial for sewing and weaving the ribbon…..

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 2 sew & weave ribbon via lilblueboo.com
…..and repeat the steps for the entire length of the muslin piece.

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 2 sew & weave ribbon repeat via lilblueboo.com
Step 3: With all the ribbon attached, iron the sides of your muslin inward on the opposite side.

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 3 via lilblueboo.com
Step 4: Carefully trim any excess ribbon that hangs past the muslin. I zigzagged all my edges at this point to keep the ribbon from fraying.

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 4 via lilblueboo.com
Step 5: Retrace your camera strap and trim the ends to the same shape leaving 1/4″ excess.

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 5 via lilblueboo.com
Step 6: I used pre-made bias tape, and folded around the edges of the strap so it overlapped 1/4″…..

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 6 via lilblueboo.com
….and sewed it on using an 1/8″ seam. You can use regular fabric for this as well, just cut enough to go all the way around. The raw edges are left in the back.

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 6 seam via lilblueboo.com
Step 7: Trace your entire camera strap cover onto a coordinating fabric and cut all the way around leaving 1/2″ excess.

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 7 via lilblueboo.com
Step 8: Somewhere on one of the sides, mark a 4″ gap to leave open so that you can insert your strap when the cover is done.

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 8 via lilblueboo.com
Step 9: Fold the contrasting fabric all way around at the 1/2″ mark.

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 9 via lilblueboo.com
Step 10: Topstitch 1/8″ between the two marks you made for the gap…..

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 10 topstitich via lilblueboo.com
….and topstitch both ends 1/8″.

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 10 topstitich ends via lilblueboo.com

Step 11: Placing both pieces wrong sides together, topstitch 1/8″ from the edge all the way around to connect the two…..

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 11 via lilblueboo.com
….making sure NOT to stitch your “gap” or ends closed where you “pre” topstitched.

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 11 don't stitch gap via lilblueboo.com
Step 12: You’re done! Insert your camera strap ends through the gap and to each side….pull the entire strap into the cover. I got the idea on how to insert the camera strap from Petchy. Petchy made hers with the ends narrower too so that the cover doesn’t slip to either side.

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) step 12 via lilblueboo.com
No one will ever mistake my camera for their camera….and now my husband will probably be embarrassed to use mine!

 

Scrap Ribbon Camera Strap Cover (A Tutorial) finished via lilblueboo.com
If you aren’t interested in going through the tedious process of making a scrap ribbon camera strap…..check out Shealynn’s designs in her Etsy shop! They are great and she’ll add custom features for you!

Super Girl (Updated)

Sienna wants to be a superhero for Halloween. I made her this outfit using my hoodie pattern…..but I tapered it a little and added a skirt to it. It is SO hot here today I left off the sleeves. I have a great pattern by Burda for a vest/jacket (that I still plan to make one day before Sienna gets too big)….and I like how they do the armhole trim like you see below…..almost like a men’s athletic shirt. (See the bottom of the post for the directions for armhole trim)

Super Girl (Updated) via lilblueboo.com
I shaped the center pieces to resemble a “Wonder Woman” belt.

Super Girl (Updated) 2 via lilblueboo.com
The hood trim is larger than normal….almost like a boxer’s robe. The stars on the hood trim and belt piece were added using a freezer paper stencil and fabric paint. Jacquard paints are the best I’ve used….they are soft and wash over and over again without fading! The color I used is Sky Blue and is by far my favorite color.

Super Girl (Updated) 3 via lilblueboo.com

The hood is her cape.

Super Girl (Updated) 4 via lilblueboo.com

During naptime today I made some wrist cuffs with stars.

Super Girl (Updated) 5 via lilblueboo.com
To make the wrist cuffs, I cut 2 pieces of ribbed knit (with spandex) into 6″ x 6″ squares. I used my large star scrapbook punch to cut out 2 stars from Pellon Wonder-Under and applied them to some scrap yellow knit.

Super Girl (Updated) 6 via lilblueboo.com
I sewed the appliques on first.. Then I folded each one right sides together and sewed the long end. Turned them right side out and sewed the ends together to complete the cuff.

Arm hole trim:
To sew the arm hole trim you basically need to cut a piece of ribbed knit (with some spandex) in the following shape. Iron the fold and leave it folded. Sew it around the edge of the armhole (open edges lined up with the raw edges of the arm hole) before closing your side seam:

Updated: Photos of the cuffs…..we went to a Halloween Carnival this afternoon.

Super Girl (Updated) 7 via lilblueboo.com
(Holy cow….my roots are 8 inches long….time for extreme makeover this week)

Now she wants a pony……she chose the biggest one! Not scared at all!

Super Girl (Updated) 8 via lilblueboo.com
It was SO hot….look at those flushed cheeks!

Super Girl (Updated) 9 via lilblueboo.com

A Day in the Life

Worked on fixing this sewing machine for my friend……
A Day in the Life via lilblueboo.com
Put some layers onto a portrait commission I’m working on….
A Day in the Life 2 via lilblueboo.com
Worked on this nursery painting…..
A Day in the Life 3 via lilblueboo.com
A friend came over and I helped her pick out some ribbon for a baby shower. She brought me a stack of t-shirts, yay!
A Day in the Life 4 via lilblueboo.com
Lunch: Cooked broccoli in the wok with garlic and soy sauce….ate with steamed rice and Diet Orange Crush in front of the computer while reading email.
A Day in the Life 5 via lilblueboo.com
Finished this nursery painting….
A Day in the Life 6 via lilblueboo.com
Worked a little on Sienna’s flower girl dress. Trashed the instructions. Hand-stitched the lining while watching recorded Project Runway from last night.
A Day in the Life 7 via lilblueboo.com
Placed some orders and put together a stack of outgoing mail.
A Day in the Life 8 via lilblueboo.com
Washed and folded some new fabric:
A Day in the Life 9 via lilblueboo.com
Picked up Sienna from school. Went to the post office. Went “bird-watching” in the back yard…..
A Day in the Life 10 via lilblueboo.com
……and we practiced our photography. Sienna had a snack of cheddar goldfish and jelly beans which is all over her face.
A Day in the Life 11 via lilblueboo.com
Started dinner while watching Fox News and flipping through new magazines. Menu: taco salad
A Day in the Life 12 via lilblueboo.com
Sienna worked on a new sticker book waiting for Daddy to come home for dinner.
A Day in the Life 13 via lilblueboo.com
Now back to watching the news and hanging out with the family…..working on the zipper of the flower girl dress. I’m pooped….. Have a great Friday night!

Combining LBB Patterns

Nothing gets past you guys. I’ve had question after question about the ability combine the Sienna Dress Pattern and the Hoodie Pattern.

The answer is: yes. With one adjustment. To add the hood to the Sienna dress you have to trim the neckline about an 1/8″ to 1/4″ all the way around (just pin the hood before you cut to check the size).

These photos aren’t great, but I didn’t really think about sharing them until the pattern questions came up. Just a few things I’ve made my daughter from my scrap bin (yes, I said scrap bin so don’t hold the “un-cuteness” against me):

Sienna Dress with the following options: Hood added (from Hoodie Pattern), Capped sleeves option (from Sienna Dress Pattern), Bottom Band added (from Hoodie Pattern), Trim added to sleeves (modified from Hoodie Pattern)

Combining LBB Patterns via lilblueboo.com
Combining LBB Patterns 2 via lilblueboo.com

Sienna Dress with the following options: Made in a larger size, Hood added (from Hoodie Pattern), Capped sleeves option (from Sienna Dress Pattern), Bottom Band added (from Hoodie Pattern), Wrist trim added (from Hoodie Pattern)

Combining LBB Patterns 3 via lilblueboo.com
Combining LBB Patterns 4 via lilblueboo.com
Sienna Dress with the following options: Hood added (from Hoodie Pattern), Capped sleeves option (from Sienna Dress Pattern), Bottom Band added (from Hoodie Pattern), Trim added to sleeves (modified from Hoodie Pattern), Horizontal seams are serged in reverse

Combining LBB Patterns 5 via lilblueboo.com
Just email me if you have questions!

Wedding Part II: My Grandfather’s Book

I was flipping through this scrapbook I made and it brought back lots of memories of my own wedding. I made the scrapbook in 2003 when my grandfather passed away. For his wake before the funeral I enlarged my favorite photos and afterwards I put them in the book with the words from his eulogy throughout. I used a Canson spiral bound scrapbook, spray adhesive and a silver gel pen.
Here is my grandfather and my little sister at my wedding:

 

Wedding Part II: My Grandfather's Book via lilblueboo.com
My grandfather loved his rose garden. It was huge. For my wedding flowers he cut EVERY rose bud and flower from his garden. When he passed away, I went and dug up every rose bush and moved them to our NC house.

 

Wedding Part II: My Grandfather's Book rose garden via lilblueboo.com
I opened another one of my shadow boxes to snap a photo……this is my great-great-grandmother’s garter belt! My Aunt Sharon gave it to me for my “old and blue” when I was married. My great-great-grandmother must have been a toothpick….I couldn’t even get it over my foot!

 

 

Wedding Part II: My Grandfather's Book grandmas garter belt via lilblueboo.com
Mr. and Mrs. Lil Blue Boo…..married May 5, 2001 in the backyard of my childhood home:

 

Wedding Part II: My Grandfather's Book Ashley's wedding via lilblueboo.com
Ok….I know I’ve been on the grandparents kick lately, but I miss them. I just wish they had lived long enough to meet my daughter and to see my brother and sister get married.
My grandfather was awesome. Seriously awesome.

 

If you get freaked out easily don’t read any further….but I have a quick story to tell:

My grandfather (“Paw-Paw”) fell walking his dog in 2003 and broke his hip. I was able to see him before he went into surgery and he assured me he would be fine and everything would be okay. After surgery he had complications and went downhill quickly. He was in intensive care for a while….he would drift in and out of consciousness and ask us “who is the young man at the end of the bed?” I don’t know maybe he was hallucinating….or was there someone waiting for him at the end of the bed…..
My grandfather passed away one night soon after that.
A few months later my step-grandmother Brownie passed away suddenly from a fall. The entire family packed up Paw-Paw and Brownie’s house and sold it. Soon after my sister called me:

Perry: Ash, Paw-Paw just called my phone.

Me: Shut the eff up. What are you talking about?

Perry: My cell phone rang….it said “PAW PAW Calling” and I didn’t answer it.

-silence-

Me: Well….did……he……. leave a message?

Perry: Um, yes……it was……..just static.

Me: Call the number back.

Perry: I did. The number is disconnected. It doesn’t exist.


When I saw the movie White Noise I had to walk out of the room. If you’ve seen it you know why.

 

Some other favorite photos from the book:

Wedding Part II: My Grandfather's Book Berlin Wall via lilblueboo.com

Chipping away at the Berlin Wall in 1989

Wedding Part II: My Grandfather's Book Farm via lilblueboo.com

Paw-Paw as a young man on the farm in Kansas.

Paw-paw was incredibly detailed and meticulous. He was mathematical and methodical. He was fanatical about documenting his family history (you can see some of that here in “Paid in flour and potatoes”). I’m the same way. We both majored in math. So did my dad. Funny how things happen.

 

 

 

 

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow

In 2 weeks we head back to North Carolina for my little sister’s wedding! I’ve got a lot to get done before then! Sienna and I finished the ring pillow last night. My sister sent me a ton of photos of what she wanted and a box of fabric to match her dress….

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow via lilblueboo.com
Here is how I made it:

I cut two 11″ x 11″ squares.

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 1 via lilblueboo.com
I sewed all the way around the squares using a 3/8″ seam and leaving a 4 inch gap to turn it inside out (large enough for my hand to fit in as well).

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 2 via lilblueboo.com
Then I cut two long strips measuring 6″ x 48″ and 10″ x 48″ and folded each in half right sides together. I sewed the long end closed using a 3/8″ seam.

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 3 via lilblueboo.com
I took the larger of the strips and turned it right sides out (I did not iron because I didn’t want any creases) and tucked one end into the other…..

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 4 via lilblueboo.com
……and sewed the two ends together using a blind stitch.

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 5 via lilblueboo.com
With a needle and thread, I sewed a gathering stitch all the way around the fabric “tube”…..

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 6 via lilblueboo.com
….until it looked like a large ruffled flower:

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 7 via lilblueboo.com
I took the square pillow and turned it right side out…..

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 8 via lilblueboo.com
…and marked the center using my disappearing ink pen.

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 9 via lilblueboo.com
I pinned the large ruffle flower to the center of the pillow attached it by hand-stitching it to the pillow in between the pleats.

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 10 via lilblueboo.com
I repeated the entire process using the smaller fabric sleeve.

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 11 via lilblueboo.com
I “smushed” the small ruffled flower into the pleats of the large ruffled flower and hand stitched them together.

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 12 via lilblueboo.com
I cut a 4″ circle from the fabric….

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 13 via lilblueboo.com
…..and stitched around the folded edges….

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 14 via lilblueboo.com
….to form a small yo-yo.

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 15 via lilblueboo.com
I placed the yo-yo face down into the center of the ruffled flowers and used a blind stitch to attach.

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 16 via lilblueboo.com
I took the shadow box I made of my grandfather’s military things from our photo wall……

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 17 via lilblueboo.com
….and used his United States Navy pin for the center. He passed away in 2003 suddenly and I always thought he would live to see all his grandchildren get married.

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 18 via lilblueboo.com
My sister wanted some bling, so I added some rhinestone buttons.

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 19 via lilblueboo.com
Here is my little helper before bed handing me buttons as I sew….we look so disheveled, oh wait, we always look disheveled!

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 20 via lilblueboo.com
Lastly, I sewed a small ribbon between the ruffle layers for the rings to be tied on with.

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 21 via lilblueboo.com
One ring pillow finished!

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow step 22 via lilblueboo.com
Next project: Sienna’s Flower Girl Dress….I’m drowning in tissue paper….this is scary….I can’t even figure out how to cut the fabric!

Wedding Part I: The Ring Pillow next project via lilblueboo.com

Generations – Beauty

My hoodie pattern was released today…..and I’ve spent 50% of what should have been a productive happy day dealing with “original designer”/blog drama in the background. So, I thought I’d write about where my inspiration DOES come from…..and it will let me introduce you to the grandmother I have not yet written about!

I am aware that there are many other clothing designers out there that use recycled clothing for their one-of-a-kind creations. I’ve never come across any patterns helping the home-sewer to do it themselves. If they exist please let me know, because it would be great to exchange ideas with them! So many people are scared of knits and I can understand why….when I first started sewing knits it was a disaster. But I kept at it and I figured out ways around all the frustrating problems that sewers (especially beginner) run into on a regular machine.

All of my patterns are very basic and encourage you to take liberty with customization. I can’t for the life of me read a regular pattern….I’ve never had any formal sewing instruction or design education….and for some reason this makes my patterns unique. Every pattern has been hand-drawn from scratch, tested, revised, hand-drawn, tested, revised….dozens of times….and then there is the tedious process of converting it into a computer drawing (don’t even get me started). The first drafts are disasters. Just ask my friend Karin whose son tried on the first hoodie……his poor arms were stuck in a skinny-sleeve-mess. Believe me it would have been much easier to copy someone else’s pattern. I am always the first to give credit where credit is due because I would want someone else to do the same for me. What goes around comes around. But then there are things like pillowcase dresses, a white t-shirt, ruffle pants, burp cloths, t-shirt pants….who do you give credit to? Who was the first? Where did they come from? What do you do when your work includes the most basic of styles?

Everyone draws their inspiration from different places. In the words of my wise friend Shari: Nothing in art is new; we are inspired by everything around us; and we need to respect each other’s right to individual expression and creation.

I draw inspiration from my grandmother, Beauty. I love this photo of her as a young child:

Generations - Beauty via lilblueboo.com
My grandfather was a firefighter in Washington, DC. When my mother was a young girl, he was in a horrific fire that seared his lungs and they gave him 4 months to live. He moved the family out to the Potomac river. It was difficult to make ends meet but my grandparents ended up taking in 3 foster children in addition to their own children, my mother and uncle. To clothe the entire family my grandmother took in second hand clothes and re-purposed them into unique one-of-a-kind clothing. I can’t imagine what it took to do that. My grandmother never even learned to drive…. I really take my impromptu trips to the fabric store for granted.

Here are my mother and Uncle in some “repurposed” outfits in May of 1960:

Generations - Beauty 2 via lilblueboo.com
So, sorry for the long post….but it is something I felt I needed to write about. Unfortunately, the blog world can be fickle sometimes. I’ve had weird things happen like thinking someone stole my idea but then I discovered we actually posted the idea 2 days apart and she posted before me…..and so then I worried that she might think I stole her idea! I actually emailed this person about it a few months back (because I’m weird and get anxiety about not giving someone credit for something) and we came to the conclusion that maybe we were the “same” person in alternate universes. As I wrote in my interview today over at Brixton Life…..I’ve come to be okay that when I post something on the internet it really isn’t mine anymore…..so take my ideas, take them all, I give them freely, no regrets, happy to do it ;)

Oh, and my grandfather ended up living long enough to see his granddaughter born: me!

This post is for all my readers and customers who are so supportive. Thank you.

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