Butterfly Birthday Party

Lisa here! Miss Elle turned 3 over the weekend! She requested a butterfly themed party and mommy delivered. It was butterfly overload! This was probably the easiest party to throw together. I’m going to tell you how I did it!

1. Party decor is focused entirely around the table. I rent child size tables and chairs from a local party rental company along with the table linens in a color to coordinate with the theme. I wrap tulle around the chairs for a little something extra.

2. I was inspired by this picture over at Martha Stewart. Instead of cutting out paper butterflies I opted for artificial butterflies, and I hot glued them everywhere ;-) Let me recommend Just Artifacts on eBay for the lanterns. You can search for artificial butterflies on eBay as well. These are going in Elle’s room, they will look so cute!

Butterfly Birthday Party Decor Ideas via lilblueboo.com

 

Butterfly Birthday Party Decor Ideas via lilblueboo.com

3. I can’t take credit for the centerpiece. This was my mother’s idea. We realized about 20 minutes before the party that our moss needed a little something extra, so she cut down a branch off one of the neighbor’s trees and hot glued butterflies on it. It turned out pretty perfect.

Butterfly Birthday Party Decor Ideas via lilblueboo.com

 

Butterfly Birthday Party Decor Ideas via lilblueboo.com

4. Upon entry to the party, our little guests received a pair of wings and a skirt. All purchased at the dollar store. If you don’t shop at the dollar store for party favors you are missing out! Plates and napkins were also purchased at the dollar store!

Butterfly Birthday Party Decor Ideas via lilblueboo.com

5. I hire someone else to entertain my kids, so I can enjoy some time with the other mamas, sit back and take pictures, and enjoy all the yummy food ;-) Is that wrong?

Butterfly Birthday Party Decor Ideas via lilblueboo.com

 

6. I decided to go with cupcakes this year. Wow, that made things so much easier! Last year it was about 100 degrees and cutting a cake while you have 15 kids waiting for a slice was a lot of pressure and I will never do it again!

 

Butterfly Birthday Party Decor Ideas via lilblueboo.com

That’s pretty much it! You too can throw a dreamy butterfly party for your little one. I’m not sure who had more fun, me or Elle ;-)

 

 

The Li’l List

A Li’l List of new and favorite things to share!

Anna from Noodleheads made this adorable peasant dress with one of my favorite patterns from Leila and Ben. She used the Lil Blue Boo Li’l Leggings pattern for the cute striped pants! Love this outfit!

I just got some goodies in the mail….one package was from a favorite upcycled clothing store: Dress Me. Check out Boo’s newest t-shirt! Pieced and blocked from recycled knits!

I’ve been trying to add more upcycled items of my own for boys…..here are some silk screened appliques from recycled t-shirts I made this week…..aren’t they cute?



I love Zazzle! I added my Swedish Dala horse graphic to some shoes for Boo:


We are still loving the ones with Li’l Mei and on them:


Finally, next week is Lil Blue Boo’s Two Weeks of Photography! Photography has come a long way. Years and years ago my father worked for Photo Corporation of America….he and a few friends left and started a photo company called American Studios which put photo studios into WalMart. As a baby I was used in many of their ads…..these are from around 1977/1978….check out the sitting fees and prices…..this was before digital too!


I found this cool sheet of photography stamps my dad gave me when I was little for my stamp collection:


I grew up around photography….but it was all now antiquated studio photography. I’m so excited about the next two weeks and ready to update my photography skills! Lisa has put together an amazing two weeks of posts…..and it all starts on Monday! Guest bloggers, tutorials, fun products, downloads, giveaways etc!

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A Template for Hemming

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com

 

I can’t stand ironing. Any clothing creation that calls for ironing…..ugh. I will do anything to shorten my ironing time, and I never had any luck with those metal ironing guides, so I created these little templates. If I have an outfit that I sew over and over again I’ll make a template that gets stored with the pattern pieces so it’s handy and I don’t have to remember what the measurements for seams or hems are.

This particular dress I worked on today I usually hem by ironing a 1/2″ fold and then a 1.25″ fold. I made a template just for this dress….so the whole process is foolproof and the hem is perfectly precise. I start by cutting a piece of poster board or heavy cardstock and then cutting small slits at 1/2″ and 1.25″ using an exacto knife. The slits aren’t continuous so that the template is more durable:

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
The template makes marking my folds a breeze….I can create hems with my eyes closed.

First, I just line up the template with the bottom of the fabric.

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
Then I use a disappearing ink pen to mark the entire length of the first fold…..

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
….and then the entire length of the second fold. I repeat this all the way across the piece of fabric.

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
Then I fold my fabric on the line and iron.

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
A perfect hem…….

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
……for a cute little silk screened party dress soon to be revealed in my shop :)

A template for hemming via lilblueboo.com
Just a little glimpse into my sewing process!

One week left until……

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Swedish Dala Horse Block Print (Tutorial & Download)

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com

I love dala horses. My grandfather’s family originated from Sweden and when I was little I received these Swedish handcrafted wooden horses as gifts. I thought a block print of a dala horse would be so cute to use for notecards, clothing and garland.

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
I decided on a simple image to use on both paper products and clothing:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
To make a block print, you’ll need:
Speedy-carve block
Basic carving tool set
Brayer
Screen printing ink or fabric paint for printing on fabric or craft paints if printing on paper
Small piece of glass (I took mine from an discarded photo frame)

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Step 1: Print off your image in reverse and make sure it fits onto your carving block:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: Transferring the image to the block. Use a warm iron to transfer your image from a freshly printed laser or ink jet image. Just press firmly, make sure not to melt your block and burnish the back of the paper periodically until you start to see the image left behind on the block.

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
The transferred image will be fairly light but you can see it more clearly by tilting it in different light.

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Use a pen or pencil to draw in your image more clearly:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com

Step 3: Carving out the image. Using your carving tools carefully carve out the outline of the image and all the “negative” areas:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Carefully carve out the area around the image:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
And finally, cut out around the image as shown below:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Step 4: Applying ink to your print. Apply a small amount of ink or paint to your piece of glass. Using the brayer, roll a small area out to a thin even layer:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Using the brayer, apply a thin, even coat of ink to the block carving:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Place the carving face down on fabric or paper and press firmly. Carefull lift up to reveal the printed image.

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Your first print will be a test to see which areas of the block you still need to carve out….you can tell in the image below that some areas were left outside of the horse image that needed to be carved out:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com

With a little practice you will get a perfect print:

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
I used this particular dala horse print as an applique for a shirt. Make sure to heat set your prints if you are printing on fabric.

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com
Some ideas? You could print a pillow, a t-shirt or the bottom border of a dress. You could also print on paper to make some simple artwork, notecards, garland, or a notebook cover for a gift!

Swedish Dala Horse Block Print DIY Tutorial and Free Download via lilblueboo.com

Download my Swedish Dala Horse Print to make your own project!

Copyright © 2010 by Ashley Hackshaw/Lil Blue Boo. All rights reserved. This dala horse image is for personal and home use only. Please email me at ashley (at) lilblueboo.com for more information. Thank you for respecting my copyright! View copyright information here:

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The Li’l List – A New Start

New! The Li’l List! Instead of doing my weekend photo shares I’m reworking these posts to include favorite photos of the week, favorite links, reviews, new LBB clothing and other exciting stuff I might have stumbled upon.

Last week was Lisa’s first week working at Lil Blue Boo! I can’t even tell you how relieved I am to have help and we had so much fun. It is nice having someone to work with who is just as excited about LBB as I am…and it’s the icing on the cake that she has a business background and loves photography. We mostly organized this week and got all the “made-to-order” limited edition “Goodnight & Goodluck” dresses out in the mail. Lisa took some photos of Elle in the dress over the weekend….I’m glad one of our kiddos likes to model!




The new MTO for this week is the new Weekender Top with Stephanie Corfee’s “When I Grow Up” print on it…..only available through this Tuesday.


I’ve been working on a new pants pattern with my asymmetric style worked into the bottom….Boo approves even though she doesn’t cooperate for photos. She’s standing in front of her painting still in progress….she says it still isn’t quite finished. (Dress is by Dress Me….one of our favorite clothing stores)


Another thing we accomplished this week was implementing an order tracking system. Materials needed? Laser level (I love my Black and Decker), clipboards, nails. I ran out of clipboards…

Aren’t these the cutest little cards? I needed a business card with my contact information on it because I’m always writing my information down on paper napkins or scrap paper around town. Stephanie Corfee designed these cute little mini cards for me. I purchased them through Zazzle but I know Moo sells them as well.


A hole punch and some string turns mini cards into hang tags!


My new doll dress pattern is finally up in the store! Thanks for being so patient. It’s only in Big Cartel right now because that is where it can be instantly downloaded! This doll dress pattern comes complete with photo by photo instructions and three pattern sizes fitting a variety of dolls including 10″ and 15″ Waldorf-style dolls (like our Apple Tree House Doll Li’l Sally, my muse for the dress) as well as Pottery Barn babies, American Girl and Bitty Baby Dolls:


Another pattern coming end of this month and many more in the works! More to share soon! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

The Li’l Sally Doll Dress Pattern

Please….no more requests to publish my knit doll dress pattern…because it’s done! Finally!


This doll dress pattern comes complete with photo by photo instructions and three pattern sizes fitting a variety of dolls including 10″ and 15″ Waldorf-style dolls (like our Apple Tree House Doll Li’l Sally below):


The sizes also fit American Girl and Bitty Baby/Twins. Here is our Pottery Barn baby Abby modeling the 15″ size:


Li’l Sally has a LOT of Li’l Sally Dresses:


We have so much fun matching Boo up with her dolls (you can use my Sienna Dress Pattern to make a knit girl’s dress to coordinate):


And if you happen to have a 2.5 pound Yorkie like we do…..well, things get out of control sometimes!

 

Nesting Doll Belt (with Download)

 

After making my latitude/longitude belt last week, Boo needed a belt of her own. I dye some cotton webbing and made a little nesting doll repeat to make this cute D-ring belt for her. This is an extension of my 30-minute belt tutorial and I’ve added a download of the mini nesting dolls if you would like to make one of your own!

Note: The result of this project will only be as good as the quality of transfer paper you use. The Dharma Trading Super Soft Transfer paper is the only brand I use…..it leaves no plastic look or feel and the pigment actually becomes part of the fabric. I just checked and they have it back in stock too!
I started with cotton webbing/belting and used iDye to change the color…instead of putting it in the washing machine I just used a bucket making sure all the dye was completely dissolved before I added my belting. I like to leave the belt to “bob” and soak in the solution because I think it adds some marbling/distressed texture but if you don’t like this effect just make sure to stir often and keep the belt submerged in the dye solution.


The color ended up slightly darker than I expected…..

….so I gave it a quick dip in a diluted bleach/water solution:


Like my other belt tutorial I printed off the images onto transfer paper and cut them into strips:


I ironed them on according the directions….one after the other….


until my belt was full of cute little nesting dolls:


Add your D-rings as in the original tutorial and you are finished! Another simple gift idea!

Nesting Doll Repeat

Copyright © 2010 by Ashley Hackshaw/Lil Blue Boo. All rights reserved. This nesting doll repeat and individual nesting doll images are for personal and home use only. Please email me at ashley (at) lilblueboo (dot) com for more information. Thank you for respecting my copyright! View copyright information here:
MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

Sewing Machines, Fabric and Christmas

Last Saturday I took my sister Perry (visiting for LPGA Q-School) on a trip to L.A. to go fabric shopping. Our first stop? Alberoni Sewing Machine for a new industrial Juki machine. Roy Alberoni was there to greet us bright and early…..his father started the business in 1929! I love businesses with that much history. Alberoni is like a candy store for the serious seamstress….a machine for practically everything you can think of. They even make custom feet attachments for any type of binding or hem etc. Their machines make True Religion jeans, life jackets, Kevlar vests for the military….you name it, they make it.

Then I met Able. Able has been a sewing machine technician for 30 years. He’s soft spoken and serious….and is an expert on these machines. I think I asked him a total of 4,000 questions. I learned more from him in 10 minutes than I’ve picked up in years of sewing! For example, I mentioned that my other serger blades had been dulling more quickly recently…..immediately he knew that I had just been over-tightening them.

Speaking of machines….how long do you think it takes to thread this sewing machine? 33 needles, 33 spools of thread. It takes Able about 3 hours. And if a thread breaks….they have to start all over again. I don’t think I have that kind of patience! Can you guess what this machine makes? See the bottom of the post for the answer.

After Alberoni, Perry and I headed to the Fashion district in L.A. and came home with lots of fun stuff:


I’ve already made a small dent in my new finds:



My sister spent the rest of her stay making a nursery painting for a friend of hers using all my supplies. I had total deja vu with this painting…..I swear it looks EXACTLY like I painted it…handwriting and everything. (Compare to some of mine here)


A new “made to order” dress added to the shop this week! I thought it looked like a holiday dress so I added a silk screened Christmas tree to it:


Then I had some requests for a matching doll dress….which I can never pass up. Each dress comes with a small bag of scraps so you can make hair accessories if you like:


I am so in love with Boo’s Apple Tree House doll….I think I’m in the queue for another custom 10″ doll and I can’t wait!


Boo and I finally got our matching LBB shoes in the mail! I think they turned out so cute! Mine are all wet in the photo because I was chasing Diesel around the yard early this morning as he attacked the gardener Zacarias.

Working on lots of new patterns and Lisa starts this next week finally so hopefully I’ll be publishing some new patterns soon! I’ve got one coming up really soon but it isn’t being published by me so you’ll have to wait and be surprised!

Have a wonderful weekend! I’ve got a contest on my Facebook page right now to name a new style of top I just finished…I’m liking the name “The Weekender” but I can be persuaded to change it if a better name comes up!



Answer to the machine question: It makes those rows and rows of gathering on ruched tops!

Goodnight and Good Luck – Made to Order & Semi-Custom

A new “made to order” dress in my shop….available to order for one week. I’m starting to offer a new style almost every week so to keep continuous stock available….most are based on one-off rare knit finds that I stumble upon! You can customize your sleeve style as well: my elephant ear (oversized flutter) sleeve, short sleeve, long or 3/4 sleeve.

“Goodnight and Good Luck” is a silk screened asymmetric dress/tunic with a hand silk screened Chinese “luck” symbol on the front and back. The bottom knit is a silky lycra knit that falls beautifully over jeans or leggings without getting hung up.

Photos by Kristina/Imagine That Photography of her daughter Katy wearing this style of dress. Love these!


And today is the last day to order the “made to order” funky fall “Owl C Ya dress”…they will all be cut tomorrow!

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