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 Giveaway!

Please….no more requests to publish my knit doll dress pattern…because it’s done! Finally! It will be listed in my Big Cartel shop (where it can be downloaded instantly) tomorrow but I thought I would hold a giveaway first!

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!

::This giveaway is now closed. Winners of the pattern are facebook comments
#96 Katie Kruger, #82 Theresa Melodick, #34 Jamie Zanovec, #20 Tami D’Amico, and #89 Julie Wilkinson. Please email ASHLEY@LILBLUEBOO.COM within 24 hours. thank you!

Note: If you don’t have a Facebook account you can enter by mentioning the new pattern on your blog and leaving the link as your comment below!

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… 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: 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!

30-Minute Personalized Belt (A Tutorial)

Are you thinking about holiday gifts yet? This is such an easy belt to make and can be personalized with any words or images. My plan was to make a belt for myself that had a favorite quote on it but all my favorite ones were almost a paragraph long….so I decided to make my belt with the longitude/latitude coordinates of where Mr. LBB, Boo and myself were born (similar to the pendant I made for the SYTYC contest).

So many ideas came to mind when making this…here are just a few to help you brainstorm for gifts:

*A kid’s belt with your cell phone number when at Disneyland in case they get lost!
*A Pi belt for a numbers lover: 3.141592653589793238462643383.
*A belt filled with names or birthdates of grandchildren for a Grandparent.
*A mini nesting doll belt or skull/crossbones pirate belt.
*Personalized tote bag/handbag straps.
*Inspirational quote or verse belt.

All you need for this project are: cotton/belting webbing (must be cotton, the iron will melt any plastic webbing and if you plan to dye the webbing a different color), D-rings, and Super Soft Transfer Paper.

Step 1: Set up your images or words and print off a copy to make sure it will all fit on your belt. Print the final copy off onto Super Soft Transfer Paper. Make sure to print in reverse! (I use Powerpoint to set everything up and then save the image as a picture that I can easily import back in and drag to reverse.) Note: I used “1942 report” font. You can download it here.

Step 2: Cut a piece of cotton/webbing long enough to fit around your waist adding about 10-12″ for overlap. Cut out your images/words and place them along the top of the belt in the order you want to add them.

Step 3: Follow the instructions of the transfer paper…..but make sure you use a hard surface like table….not an ironing board. For the Super Soft Transfer Paper you will use the hottest setting and iron firmly back and forth for about 20 seconds.

Peel off the transfer paper backing the image is left behind!

Repeat for each image until you have covered the belt:

Step 4: Insert the D-rings onto one end of the belt…….

…..and fold the belt over and secure it by sewing it together as shown below or you can also sew it shut with a needle and thread:

Step 5: Fold the other end of the belt over about a 1/2″…..

…..and secure it by sewing it shut:

Step 6: Treat the raw edges so that they won’t fray using Fray Block or craft glue.

I love the finished result: A funky, one-of-a-kind belt filled with special meaning…..a perfect conversation piece!

What will YOU make with this tutorial? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Pulley and Big Cartel

I think I am in love. Finally a way to sell digital files through Big Cartel without having to deliver each file manually! I read about Pulley on the Big Cartel blog and immediately signed up. Pulley is still in test mode but you can still sign up and start selling with Pulley as your digital delivery. If someone buys your product they receive an order email and are able to click a secure download link to obtain the file!

I finally added my Lil Blue Boo ePatterns to Big Cartel and now if you purchase a pattern from my Big Cartel shop you be able to download the file immediately instead of waiting 24 hours for me to send it! It also allows several downloads in case you lose a file!

Now I have about 2 extra hours in my day to create :)

Shop LBB Patterns Today to Sponsor a Child!

Last night we decided to sponsor a child through Three Angel’s Children Relief to start teaching Boo how we can help others outside of our community. My goal today is to sell enough patterns to sponsor another child! Three Angels Christian Academy (TACA) provides uniforms, textbooks, instruction and often, the only meal of the day for over 300 children from preschool to 6th grade.

Through midnight tonight….all net pattern proceeds go towards sponsorship of a child from Three Angel’s Children Relief!

Just a note about why I picked Three Angels Children’s Relief: I became aware of Three Angels last year through Shannon Hoffman, the director. She was looking for some sewing projects to teach some of the girls in a sewing class. She explained to me that a simple sewing project, whether a toy or a dress or a Christmas ornament, could be the only hope some of these girls/women would ever have. It just moved me beyond belief that a simple pattern or craft idea that we take for granted everyday could eventually be a livelihood for a young girl somewhere else. Then the earthquake hit Haiti. I found that by selling patterns for a specific cause I could raise more money than I could ever afford to give on my own! Thank you for helping!
Update: $145 in total raised! All donation receipts are always posted once the donation is made. While charitable amounts could probably remain anonymous I think that any website/individual who is asking you to “buy” something to raise funds should provide a paper trail.

So much news! Where to start?!

The past week has been a blur because my sister is here visiting for LPGA Q-School. She made the cut today so cross your fingers she plays well tomorrow! Yay Perry! While she’s here though I made her model one of my new silk screened adult tees that I made for the store. The Chinese Dragon silk screen was designed by Stephanie Corfee exclusively for Lil Blue Boo:

I LOVE when the weather starts to cool off in the desert at night! Look at this view!

I’ve finally started to make more BOY things! Introducing BOY by Lil Blue Boo!

Of course as soon as I made the dinosaur shirt Boo thought it was hers….so I had to make a pink version:

I’ve been working on this new slouchy, layering shirt style….the Layer Cake Top. I hope to publish a pattern for it soon!

Mischievous (don’t worry, she didn’t squirt me with water)…..

I’ve also added new “Made to Order” items in the store available for a limited amount of time (about a week) and then I’ll rotate in new designs:

And the biggest news? I’ve taken on a lot over the last few months with my little handmade clothing line….it’s kind of taken over and I’ve realized that I need help! After months of talking about it, I finally convinced my friend Lisa (you might know her from Ellebows!) to come and work with me full time! She’ll be helping me with everything from photography to creative design so that I can spend more time on tutorials, patterns and new things! I am SO excited! She starts in 2 weeks….so just bear with me until then!

So stay tuned!!! Lots of amazing stuff coming soon to Lil Blue Boo! Have I mentioned lately that my “to do” list is about 50 pages long?

Saturday LBB Gallery Share – One AMAZING Ladybug Party

I LOVE getting photos of kids wearing the dresses I’ve made…..but these photos take the cake! Claire’s mother Melissa put together the most amazing ladybug-themed birthday party. Click on any of the photos below to see the fabulous decorations, food and games!

A few more fun photos…..

Sandi sent this one in of her daughter yesterday….a perfect September 11th tribute!

And another great photo from Kristina of her daughter and her friend having an impromptu modeling shoot in Lil Blue Boo dresses:

P.S. I know I’m a day late on the gallery share. Just pretend I posted it yesterday :)

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