The Sweet A-Line Dress

Now available in the pattern shop: The Sweet A-Line Dress ePattern. As a special treat I included a doll dress pattern that will fit most dolls ranging from 10″ to 15″ and even American Girl dolls. This knit pattern is a quick sew and perfect for almost any occasion. Make a comfy play dress or nightgown with the pattern or go down a size and make a fitted special occasion dress. Best part? I’ve included the largest range of sizes yet: 6M to 14 Years

 

Here is some inspiration from my fabulous pattern testers. I love to see the different takes on a pattern!

Katherine made an awesome play dress:

Melissa made a sweet floral dress:

 

Trisha and Chrystyna chose black and red palettes….perfect for the holidays:

 

And Melanie and Melissa chose funky! Love the color blocking effect!

 

 

Photo of the Day: Ferocious

Could you imagine being 2.5 lbs and only about 8 inches tall to the tippy-top of your ear? I guess I’d be on my guard all the time too if everyone around me was FIVE feet taller than me. And I might be a wee bit grumpy if my only 8 teeth stuck every which way too.

On another note, doesn’t Diesel look festive? Diesel turned 10 years old this week…..he still looks like a puppy.

2.5lbs of pure scary ferociousness…..until you add the Turkey hair clip

P.S. Sorry Chrystyna….we had to try the clip out on D! (Clip by Kenzie Kouture)

A Party Dress (A Tutorial)

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

I love this fun, sassy dress style! I made this cute circus style party dress for Lisa’s daughter Elle’s recent birthday:

 

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

I made a similar dress for Boo last Valentine’s day (click to see the photo shoot for the V-Graffiti dress):

 

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

The “built in” petticoat gives the bottom of the dress lots of twirl and volume. I used fabric spray paint and fabric markers to do all the graffiti:

 

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

 

I used my Twirl Skirt pattern but went up a few sizes since I wasn’t using stretchy material:

 

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

I cut an identical skirt out of a contrasting material but made it an inch longer for the petticoat layer:

 

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

I cut long strips 5″ wide and connected them together so it was about 8 or 9 feet long…..over twice the length of the bottom of the skirt. I folded the strip in half and sewed the top closed. Then I pulled the bobbin thread to gather the entire length:

 

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

I placed the ruffle as shown on the right side of the petticoat layer and then I sewed the ruffle to the bottom:

 

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

To create the cinching in the top layer of the dress bottom I used a ruler to mark 2 places on the seams……one 6″ above the hem and the other 4″ above the hem:

 

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

Then I used thread to sew through both my markings……

 

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

……and I tied the thread in knot underneath gathering the fabric into a bunch. I repeated this in several places around the skirt bottom.

 

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

For the top of the dress I cut about 1.5″ inches off the bottom of a tank top and added a scanned image of a vintage playing card (the same images used on the favor bags). The image was printed onto Dharma Trading’s Super Soft Transfer Paper and ironed on. I sewed the skirt bottom to the tank.

 

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

To embellish the skirt further I sewed polka dot ribbon and crochet trim on top of the gathered areas:

 

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

The finished dress!

 

How to make a party dress using a tank top or t-shirt via lilblueboo.com

 

Click on image below for more circus party posts!

Circus party ideas and printables via lilblueboo.com

Photos of the Day: Blue Steel

It’s super cool having an assistant that is also a very talented photographer. I desperately needed a few headshots for some projects and appearances coming in the next year (yes, I’m planning a full schedule….just giving myself some time to get better first!). I rallied yesterday and put on makeup and curled my hair. The hair only got half done because I got too tired…I gave up towards the back….but Lisa just shot around it. I’m not feeling great today (maybe I overdid it) so I’m glad we just went ahead! Headshots are for the birds!

I know it was like pulling teeth for Lisa to take shots….I never stop talking and I scoff at any artistic shots.

“Put my hand under my chin? NO way.”

“Hands on my face? I’ll look like a Palmolive commercial!”

“What do you want me to do? Look at the camera?”

“Can you fix my poor chapped lips?”

 

Here’s my pal Diesel….he just got a new haircut:

 

 

My sister-in-law Carolyn came out to help. Not sure what I was laughing at…I laugh at anything so who knows. My friend Stephanie says this photo makes me look “warm and approachable”…..biggest compliment ever. I hope I ALWAYS look warm and approachable…..and if I ever don’t someone please kick my rear-end.

My sister Perry and I both joke about our “horse teeth”……my dentist even had to file them down when I was  younger haha…..it takes work to keep my mouth closed…neeeeiggggh!!!

 

Too cheesy for my taste…it looks like a photo you buy with a frame.

OH MY GOSH…..my shirt is on inside out!!! I think I’ll keel over in embarrassment now.

 

Just normal….but you can tell my hair curling isn’t that great in this photo! I’d love to be Mariah Carey for a day with a personal salon in my house.

 

If there’s a “brown thumb” (i.e. green thumb) for hair styling….I’ve got it. I never had the knack for doing hair……BUT I love the curling wands. No clamp….you just wrap the hair around it. My hair stylist Tara taught me a trick….if you are right handed, hold the wand in your left hand and bend your arm over your head and then it’s easier to wrap the hair around it. Reverse it for the other side. Maybe everyone else knows that already and no one ever shared with me?

 

 

I didn’t like this photo at all but it’s Lisa’s favorite so I’m posting against my will lol.  She got all artistic on me. It’s me pretending to do my “blue steel” look…..but maybe it could be a superhero look! (if only my darn shirt wasn’t on inside out)

“I’ve chosen not to let fear rule.”


Thanks so much Lisa! Love you! you can make anyone look good! Sorry I gave you the finger….hey, at least I’m still feisty. (funny, at first glance this photo looks like I’m censoring boobies)

Dear Mom, I censored the fingers so you don’t have to call me….I know it’s not nice or lady-like, you taught me well, don’t worry. Love, Ash

 

 

DIY Superhero and Boy Peg Dolls (A Tutorial and Download)

DIY superhero peg dolls with free download via lilblueboo.com

You asked for it! The boy-version of the Box o’ Princesses: Boy-Ville! It’s a combination of a pirate ship, a superhero headquarters, and a medieval knight. There is something to appeal to any boy…or even a girl!

Note: A few people had a hard time finding the wood dolls from the last tutorial….I found a source online at CraftParts.com but I’m sure there are many out there!

 

Handpainted superhero peg doll tutorial with free download via lilblueboo.com

Stephanie Corfee created the adorable printable background and I painted the wood dolls to match. (See the full tutorial on painting the dolls). I used double sided tape to make the little sword stick.

 

DIY Princess and Super Hero Peg Doll Valentines or Gifts via lilblueboo.com

Instead of a box like I used for the princesses, I used a metal tin that I purchased at the craft store.

 

I used the same spray adhesive to attach the “boyville” graphic:

 

Paint Pirate or Superhero peg doll  via lilblueboo.com

Can you spot the “diesel” inspired doggie in the background?

 

Paint Superman and Spiderman peg doll  via lilblueboo.com

 

You can customize the wooden dolls however you want and make them as detailed or simple as you like depending on your painting skill. Just remember….small brushes are your friend!

 

Click the image below to download Stephanie Corfee’s free graphic download:

 

Free superhero PDF peg doll download via lilblueboo.com

Make sure to visit the original tutorial for all the details!

 

DIY Princess and Super Hero Peg Doll Valentines or Gifts via lilblueboo.com

Photos of the Day: Making Things

Making things brings me complete joy. So even when I’m confined to a bed because I’m not feeling 100% guess what I do? yep…I make things!  I’m not afraid to paint in bed…….I just put an old comforter on top:

Here’s what I painted….the boy version of the Box o’ Princesses……it’s a mixture of superhero-pirate-medieval. Tomorrow it will be unveiled once I’m able to get the final photos taken!  Wait until you see the adorable artwork that Stephanie Corfee made to go with it!

 

 

Tonight keep Kami of No Biggie in your prayers! Her sweet baby girl Afton was delivered at 26 weeks. Mommy and baby are doing well though just have quite a road ahead of them!

Guest Post (and download) – Laura Winslow Photography

Over the next several weeks you will see guest posts popping up here and there from some of our friends in the blogging community. They have generously donated their time to write a post for the Lil Blue Boo blog as Ashley goes through chemotherapy. We are incredibly grateful to these wonderful people, and we are excited to share their posts with you. We gave them a subject to write about: how do you find joy in blogging or crafting? They were welcome to interpret that however they wanted. Enjoy!

 

To read past guest posts please click here.

 

 

Please welcome Laura from Laura Winslow Photography.

 

Hello sweet Lil Blue Boo readers! I am beyond happy to have been asked to be a guest blogger and to share with you a little about what I love about blogging. I am Laura–a photographer, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, blogger and lover of new experiences. I love to dream up my next vacation and to let my mind wander about what I will do next.

I first met Ashley at a conference that we were both speaking at (though we had “known” each other online for awhile before), and the real-life Ashley exceeds in amazingness the one that you all know and love online. Seriously. She has a mega-watt smile that is absolutely genuine and filled with happiness and speaks with such ease that you feel you have known her forever. She made me giggle every morning when I saw her stride in, McDonald’s breakfast in hand and ready to chow down. There is just something humorous and honest to me about a California blonde that looks like a model yet is a self-professed lover of McDonald’s and eats it like nobody’s business (I imagine Ashley would confirm this and not be embarrassed in the least :)) She is at the same time a serious businesswoman and fun person to be around and when I found out what she has been going through I just sat in sad disbelief. Ashley is a strong and positive soul, though, and has further inspired a great many with her attitude and by choosing joy.

 

choose joy free printable art by laura winslow for lilblueboo.com

 

This phrase resonates with me in that I have long been a lover of poems, quotations and words that in some way move me, motivate me or inspire me. That is what I love about blogging–it is my own little part of this world where I can share images that inspire me, things that I find interesting and lovely, and words that are powerful. I have a weekly feature called “Memorable Words Monday” where I share a new free printable each week. I do this because I want to share with others things that stir my soul. Things that brighten my day. Things that make me happy. I thought it fitting to offer a free printable to the ever-fab Lil Blue Boo lovelies that is a tribute to sweet Ashley–Choose Joy. Download it, print it out, frame it and place is somewhere where you can see it daily. Think good thoughts of Ashley, lift your own spirits or share it with someone you know will love it, too. Live the message and pass it on. We love you, Ashley! You rock our world! :)

8×10 Choose Joy Laura Winslow for Lil Blue Boo

Photos of the Day: Little Presents and Harmony

An early Christmas surprise for the LBB team: a coffee machine!

 

 

Lisa’s “best friend” Diesel is at the groomer this morning so I gave her the Yorkie mug:

 

 

This morning we were all getting ready for errands before school. Boo was supposed to get a vaccine at the doctor. They called and said since I was going through chemo and the vaccine she was getting was a “live vaccine” that she couldn’t get it until I was completely done. Who knew?!

My present from Boo this morning:

Boo: Mommy, do you want me to help you take a shower?
Me: I’ll be okay! But thank you! You are such a good helper to Mommy.
Boo: Ok, I will just sit outside here and watch you…..just to make sure you are okay.
Me: I’ll be okay….promise.
Boo: Well, Grandma watches me take a shower so I’ll be okay, so I want to watch you to make sure you are okay.

I can’t imagine how hard it is for a child to see a parent sick. There is so much they don’t understand. We try to explain things so they aren’t scary but I can see the little wheels in her head turning. Last week when I got home from chemo, I walked in and the second she heard my voice she ran out “Mommy!” and grabbed me and buried her face into my arm crying. She said she was scared that I wouldn’t come back. We pray every night together for God to take away the spirit of fear from her.

Gale brought me this little gem the other day from her daily devotion:

There is nothing to fear from the events of my life.

Piece of Cake

Chemo was this morning. Gale (my MIL) took me so Brett could take Boo to school and keep her morning routine normal. Barry (my FIL) also meets us there. I feel like I have an entourage….and they rock! The good news: my levels went down from last week’s 5066 to 3416! It looks like they are dropping by a 1/3 every week. Thank you God.

I lost 3 more pounds since last week…I felt like I was finally eating more but it doesn’t seem to be helping me out yet. Can I get an IV of butter or something?

This sums up my morning:

The nurse walked in with the needles today and I freaked out….they were the longest and widest needles ever….like the ones they used in the hospital and I said “NO way are you getting those near me!”  Seriously, they looked like horse needles! I thought they would go straight through me to the other side. The only good news about losing so much weight is that they can use the kids needles on me…..my butt is starting to look concave. The nurse went back and changed out the needles to the kid-sized. It was worth the hissy fit I threw : )

They let me choose to lay down or stand up for shots. I think standing up is easier.  BRING the kid-sized needles ON….piece of cake!

 

 

 

All my blood tests show my liver is doing great and blood counts are perfect. I’m just looking a little sleepy…..maybe it’s my slippers I wore into the office. My eyes really aren’t that dark…..my sister-in-law Carolyn brought me some new eyeliner….liquid eyeliner. I’ve never used it before. I felt a little like I was drawing with a Sharpie this morning…..I’m not sophisticated enough for liquid eyeliner yet. I need some lessons!

 

So how do I feel overall? I feel really positive and inspired.  I’ve been super happy and I’m just glad to be here.  I can’t wait until my body can keep up with what I want to do again. Boo, Mr. LBB and Diesel are doing really great. Boo’s been bubbly.

A few physical things I’ve noticed recently…..for anyone who might be curious:

:: My incision gets better and better each day. I’m totally used to my belly button being an inch off center now. I’m glad my doctors get my sense of humor because I mention that every time they ask how I’m doing.

:: They said my hair wasn’t supposed to fall out…..but I’ve been losing a ton of it…..about 10 or 20 strands at a time. It’s everywhere. As long as it isn’t coming out in clumps I think it probably has to do with how high my HCG (pregnancy hormone) levels were. I have a lot of hair thank goodness so I guess it will just get thinner. It’s only hair though….I just feel bad that everyone finds it all over the place!

:: My right arm must be where the majority of my blood transfusions were done in surgery. I have a few hardened veins that are pretty painful. I was worried at first that they were blood clots and might travel…..but my father-in-law said the clots won’t move and there is probably some scar tissue. It should go away over the next few months. As long as they aren’t clots that move around I can deal with that!

:: I just realized…..my uterus is gone….does that mean no more periods? YES! But it kind of freaks me out that my va-jay-jay has an end to it now…..apparently they sew it closed where the cervix was before. Gross and double gross. That’s the last time I’ll mention that.

:: I’m still wearing spandex pants and no underwear haha. My abdomen is still super tender and I walk with a slight hunch. I’m forcing myself into a walking regimen to start re-strengthening my stomach muscles.

:: I caught the worst cold which hasn’t helped the no appetite thing. Have you ever not had the strength to cough or sneeze?  My stomach muscles aren’t even strong enough to blow my nose! Lisa said she’d get me one of those baby suction things….um, no thanks : )

My friend Monique made us a dish that had spinach, quinoa and almonds in it……it was the first thing I was able to eat more of a cup of in a few weeks. So I’ve recreated it for several meals now….I don’t know why I’m able to get this down and not much else. It doesn’t even sound that appetizing to write about but I eat every bite. I steam almonds and broccoli and mix it with quinoa. Then I add fresh squeezed lemon juice…….a serious amount of it….like 3 lemons worth. Brett tried it and almost gagged. It works…and it’s healthy!

 

The fresh lemons will hopefully help me get over this cold soon. My mom put notes on the doors for shoe removal and hand washing reminders but I guess we can’t keep all the germs out….but we try. Everyone knows what to do now, even Boo. Things overheard recently at our house:

Boo: Make sure you use hand sanitizer before coming into my room. It’s sitting on my table by the door.

Me: I’m not feeling so hot today.
Boo: You must have forgotten to use hand sanitizer.

Boo: Would anyone like some hand sanitizer?


Since I was stuck in bed today trying to breathe I worked on finishing up my newest pattern…..the Sweet A-Line.  Everyone’s been asking for larger sizes in the girl dress patterns so this one goes all the way up to size 14! I’m hoping it will be in the shop by the end of the week!

I’m very behind on email. So many of you have sent personal stories and links for me to check out etc. I just want you to know that I have every email saved and I’ve read them all…..I just want to send a meaningful reply and that’s why it takes me so long to respond. I’m trying my hardest to get through them all one by one.  One day at a time right? Some people are more understanding than others….but that’s life for ya. Much love to you all!

XOXO,

Ash