WWYM I: Kelly from Sewing in No Man’s Land

I’m so excited to introduce Kelly from Sewing in No Man’s Land today with her creation for WWYM I (What Would You Make)! She was one of my competitors in the Project Run and Play contest. Kelly would send emails to all the designers competing listing out every detail she loved about each of our outfits…..she’s a good egg :) so thoughtful and so talented too! I looked forward every week to see her gorgeous photos and outfits and I think this new WWYM Challenge was partly created because I didn’t want Project Run and Play to end! Make sure to visit her blog Sewing in No Man’s Land to check out her sewing adventures in Dili East Timor (I had to Google it….I have no idea how the fabric I sent actually got there!)

I am positively giddy about being here at Lil Blue Boo today! I was so excited when Ashley filled me on on her wonderful idea of a fabric challenge. I waited patiently for mine to arrive (ughhhh getting mail here takes so long!) Then when I got it I tossed and turned about how to make an outfit fit for Lil Blue Boo but with a No Mans Land touch. It had to be super comfy, super cute and totally wearable aka not get in the way of playing (so are the things I think describe all of Boo’s super cute clothes). After many nights a tossing I came up with the Button Up Bloomers outfit:

The top is a simple tie tank and rather unoriginal, but the shorts, oh how I LOVE these shorts!! They are totally retro with their four big buttons.

They are made from one single pattern piece and are incredibly comfy


No getting in the way of any playing here!


Because it is made from one pattern piece there are no seams tugging or pulling, even on a chubby bum.

What absolutely AMAZED me was that unlike every single other item I have ever made Evie she did not fight me at all to put it on!

I was absolutely floored! She didn’t cry and try to get it off or anything. She immediately ran off and made a new friend


I absolutely love how they look in the fabulous fabric Ashley sent, flower overlay, such cool fabric. I actually used the wrong side of the fabric just to added some pop to the top.


My husband actually asked if I put the shirt on backwards ha! I am so excited to share the tutorial and pattern with you! Hope on over to Sewing In No Mans Land to see both!


Thank you soooo much Ashley for the fabulous fabric and a much needed visit to the beach….


Even if it did means some sand munching ha!


Thank you so much Kelly! Fabulous and amazing as always!
Stay tuned for another creation using the same fabric tomorrow by Adrianna from Crafterhours!

WWYM – A Creative Challenge

I love shopping for fabric….and I love dreaming up new projects for rare, unique finds. So I had this idea: What if I sent out the same exact fabric to a few creative bloggers? What would they make? How different would their creations be? Would they be inspired by what I sent? And so the WWYM creative challenge was born:

For the first challenge, I found this cool burnout cotton voile (apparently it had some synthetic content too….sorry Adrianna for the ironing issue!) and I asked 4 creative friends to make whatever their hearts desired with 2 yards of it:

I knew the fabric wouldn’t necessarily be something these ladies would ever pick for themselves….but that is the fun of it! All next week you will get to see what they made with it….so make sure to check in everyday! There will be a giveaway for 2 lucky readers on the last day for an identical bundle of fabric! We’ll call this challenge WWYM I.

More WWYM creative challenges to come!
Will you be next?

Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Design Challenge Winners!


Brought to you by:


This challenge would not have been possible without the generous prize donations from these amazing sponsors:

Dharma Trading Co.: Online store carries a range of products from Dyes, Paints, and Chemicals to Fabrics, Clothing Blanks, and Tools and has been supplying artists for over 41 years!

Paint the Moon: Professional Photoshop actions and fine art textures to make your photos shine.

Sew Hip Magazine: The UK’s number one sewing magazine packed full of sewing patterns, techniques, tips and tricks, and fabulous features.

Above all Fabric: Online store carries designer fabric, notions, supplies, trims, ribbon and sewing patterns available for instant download.

Stephanie Corfee: Freelance artist and graphic designer, her work includes logos, print ads, web promotions and large format printing. Her artwork and illustrations can be described as bohemian, whimsical, and full of vibrant colors.

The challenge was to submit a design using at least one of the following techniques: Tie-Dye, Dyeing, Silk Painting, Fabric Painting, Batik, Marbling, Stamping, Transfers, Screen Printing, Felting or Embellishments.

We received 97 design entries!

You can click on the slideshow to go to the album to view all of the amazing creativity.


Each judge brought a unique perspective to the Challenge so that no design style or color combination would be overlooked! Judges were looking for creativity, uniqueness, personality, etc. They had a tough decision to make!

Photobucket Annie from Paint the Moon

Photobucket Corina from Corina Nielsen Photography

Photobucket Ashley from Make It and Love It

Photobucket Dana from Made

Photobucket Kristin from Sew Mama Sew


Winner of the:
:: $25 Gift Certificate from Dharma Trading Co.

Vanessa of Punkin Patterns!
Check out her process for the Messenger Bag HERE

Winner of the:

:: $50 Gift Certificate from Dharma Trading Co.
:: $25 Gift Certificate from Above All Fabric
:: $25 Gift Certificate from Lil Blue Boo

Sarah from 2 Giggle Boxes!
Check out her process for the Seahorse Sunsuit HERE

Winner of the:

:: $100 Gift Certificate from Dharma Trading Co.
:: Sew Hip Magazine: 1 International Yearly Subscription ($120 Value)
:: Paint the Moon Photography Actions Set for Photoshop or Elements ($50 Value)
:: $50 Gift Certificate from Above All Fabric
:: $50 Gift Certificate from Lil Blue Boo
:: Art print from artist Stephanie Corfee ($30 Value)

Gin from Earthtone!
Check out her process for the Chinese New Year Dress HERE

Congratulations Gin for winning the Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Challenge!
The remaining entries that made up the TOP 10! In no particular order…



Thank you to everyone that entered the Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Challenge! We were so impressed!

Stay tuned for more fun contests and challenges soon!

This is NOT my Creative Estates post….

….I had to prepare you….because you KNOW Lisa took some amazing photos….I just haven’t had a chance to upload and write about all the fun yet! These are MY photos…from the infamous iPhone that I couldn’t figure out for 2 months. Melanie from Above All Fabric is my hero and figured out what was wrong and I was finally able to post some photos on Facebook and Twitter while I was at the Creative Estates conference the last few days.

In short:
1. I didn’t want to mix my lame iPhone photos with Lisa’s gorgeous SLR photos.
2. I feel so inspired to return back to my “old blogging roots” that I couldn’t wait to write about something….anything.
3. Creative Estates was…..the best. And I haven’t yet figured out how to put the whole experience into words…..

Here are my three….yes, THREE…..photos from the last few days:

Driving to the conference:

Lisa and I at the handmade market:

Here is Becky Higgins talking about balancing small business and motherhood. She and the rest of the panel (Melanie from Above All Fabric, Megan of Brassy Apple, and Becki of Whippy Cake) were super inspiring and gave a ton of practical advice:

I felt like the time just flew by and before I knew it the conference was over and I only got the chance to meet a handful of people!

My parents are visiting and this morning no one woke me up…..I slept until 10:30am….the latest I’ve slept in 4 years! Look….no puffy eyes:

Boo served me “breakfast” in bed:

We went for our daily donut…I haven’t had a donut in 3 days!

And then we lounged in the sunshine for the rest of the afternoon :)

Stay tuned for the REAL Creative Estates post in a day or so :)

Nautical, Sugar and Spice, and Bubbles!

There’s been lots of work and photography behind the scenes at Lil Blue Boo that I haven’t blogged about so here it goes :)

We can get pretty busy here keeping up the blog and the clothing line. Everything is handmade in-house so we are busy little bees. We create patterns from scratch, silk screen our own designs and clothing labels, sew and finish all items etc. It can get pretty overwhelming some days…..but I have a great little team of Lisa, Gicela, Dawn (and Boo of course) and everyone pitches in where they need to!

Here is our new favorite: The Sugar and Spice Tunic and Shorts

We screen print every single tunic the old fashioned way….no fancy machinery here!

Boo and I had a “practice” Easter hunt last weekend. She’s wearing a Vintage Lucy’s Easter T-shirt and our new Super Soft Asymmetric Leggings in Sage.

Boo’s adorable headband was made by my sister Perry from Perfectly Perrywinkle!

We have a new bubble dress style! This is the “Surely Temple” dress….Boo was taking some measurements:

A removable oversized bow:

The “Surely Temple” dress is a version of the Li’l Mod Rockwell dress that I made for Project Run and Play:

We LOVE our photography affiliates!

Here are some photos of our Golden Afternoon Bubble dress (now sold out) taken by Monika McSweeney Photography:

The “Sweet Matey” dress and “Sea Glass” leggings from our new nautical line! The anchor artwork was designed especially for Lil Blue Boo by Stephanie Corfee.

A new addition to our nautical line coming this week….the “Rock Lobster” ruffles and coordinating t-shirt. Beautiful photography by E. Miller Photography!

A few other amazing photos we’ve received recently:

Another tunic coming soon….they match our yellow/blue nautical shorts:

Love this photo of Boo’s hair getting in her way of hopscotch….these were some ruffle pants we offered recently (now sold out). The editing in the background is a Paint the Moon Photography texture!

Thanks to everyone who sent fabric donations for the girls at Three Angel’s Haiti Children’s Orphanage…..we are packing up the box to send beginning of next week! The school has 3 new machines for their sewing classes and sewing will be a life changing skill for many of these children!

Thank you to everyone who purchased patterns 2 weeks ago for Mercy Corps’s efforts in Japan. We raised $1,365!!!!

Last note, we love working with photographers! If you have an interest in becoming a Lil Blue Boo photography affiliate click below:

A Mermaid Tail for a Doll (with Pattern Download)

Boo’s favorite princess is Cinderella…..but Ariel is a close second. Her doll Li’l Sally has a Cinderella dress we made for her but Li’l Sally needed a mermaid outfit too! Here’s how we made the mermaid tail and you can even download the pattern template at the bottom of the post. This is a super simple project…..even if you’ve never sewn before!

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com

Step 1: Download and print out the template and use it to cut out two pieces for the front and the back of the tail:

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
The template will work for several types of dolls. For skinnier dolls you might need to reduce the width slightly…just check that the doll looks like a reasonable fit:

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: Place your tail pieces right sides together and sew the sides and bottom closed using a 3/8″ seam.

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com

Step 3: Place the tail on the doll and fold the waist down to the correct length (so the top of the tail hits the lower chest):

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
Step 4: Sew 3/4″ down from the top of the tail, leaving a 1″ gap, wide enough to thread elastic through:

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
Step 5: Cut a 1/2″ piece of elastic long enough to fit around the doll’s waist….

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
….and use a safety pin to thread it through the casing:

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
Sew the elastic closed at the two ends and then sew the casing closed:

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
Step 6: Stuff the tail with poly fil….

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
….so it’s nice and plump:

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com

A finished mermaid tail!

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com
We made Li’l Sally a simple bandeau top with a strip of knit fabric and cinched in in the center with another scrap. Boo made the little miniature shell necklace for her:

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com

“I love Li’l Sally as a mermaid! Can we make one for ME now?”

Mermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.comMermaid tail for doll free diy download via lilblueboo.com


Painting a Monogram on Leather (A Tutorial)

No leather is safe in my house now that I have a full set of Angelus leather paints!

I’ve always loved the look of the custom Louis Vuitton monograms…a pricy luxury, right?

(photo source)

I found a $5 leather purse at the thrift store and made Boo her own Louis Vuitton-inspired purse….a “Boo-tton” (thanks for naming it Melissa!). I have a VERY shaky and unsteady hand so if I was able to paint this….anyone can!

Here’s how you can create your own:

Step 1: Make sure the purse is clean and free of oils:

Step 2: Print out a sample monogram using a text or word program. The font shown below is Academy Engraved LET. Draw lines to block off each letter:

Step 3: Using a light colored pencil mark where you want the monogram to be painted:

Measure and mark the other guide lines:

Step 4: Start painting! You will need small tiny detail brushes. For my smallest brush I cut off half of the bristles (see the photo of this brush in my painted headband tutorial).

Step 5: The key to painting very detailed letters is to start very skinny…it’s easier to widen the letters as you go. Add additional guide lines if you think you need them!

Step 6: Use adhesive contact paper or painters tape to block off any stripes or additional blocks you want to paint:

Paint just a very thin layer to use as your guide….paint will seep under the tape just a bit but you will be able to see your lines to work with and touch up the edges as you go. You can keep a clean damp paintbrush nearby to quickly clean up any mistakes.

Step 7: Slowly paint the lines with your smallest brush rotating around to different parts of the purse to allow other areas to dry. You will probably need several thin coats on each area:

It will take several tries and touch ups to get everything just right:

A finished monogram with stripes!

….and it looks detailed and professional!

Boo approved….not that she needs a hand painted purse at this age….but I think it’s something she’ll appreciate when she’s a little older!

It’s going to be in the mid 90’s here today! Boo is testing out our new Lil Blue Boo nautical shorts and a tunic we are offering soon for summer:

Make sure to check out these “painting on leather” tutorials too!

Gicela’s Spicy Chicken Soup

Gicela is one of our Lil Blue Boo helpers and we have recently discovered that she is an amazing cook! The last few Friday’s she’s taken a break from sewing to make us a huge pot of her spicy chicken soup for lunch! Gicela cooks without measuring so Lisa took notes yesterday so we could share the recipe:

To make the soup you’ll need:
2 chicken breasts
1 onion
2 large tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers
1 handful of small carrots
1 handful of broccoli
2 potatoes
1 1/4 cup rice
1 1/4 cup barley
Chicken flavor bouillon
Garlic salt
Salt and pepper

Cut chicken (2 breasts) into cubes and add salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste, mix.

Coat bottom of pot with vegetable oil and heat up. Add chicken, cover (any oil that settles on top of soup can be removed at the end).

Add one sliced onion to chicken, cover.

Once chicken is cooked thoroughly, add water – fill to about the middle of the pot, boil.

Some chicken fat will form on top of soup from the chicken – you can remove this with a small ladle:

Add 2 chopped tomatoes and 2 sliced jalapeno peppers once the water begins to boil.

Add chicken flavoring and more salt. Let boil for 5 minutes

Add barley, boil for 5 min. Add washed white rice, let boil another 5 min.

Slice potatoes.

Add potatoes and carrots to soup.

When the barley and rice are fully cooked, add the broccoli.


And the tree was happy….

I’m so excited to be a part of No Big Dill’s Once Upon a Thread this month!

One of my favorite children’s books (and Boo’s) is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. You can tell the book has been loved….


It’s cover and edges are worn from years and years of reading:

Some people think it’s a sad story….but I view it as a story of unconditional love…..

…..comfort and sharing……and the joy of giving:

Here’s a jumper I made for Boo inspired by The Giving Tree:

A simple, monochromatic colors…..reminiscent of Shel Silverstein’s style:

I chose a plain light taupe fabric to silk screen “sketched” apples on. I used my Paper Doll Dress Pattern to sew up a simple jumper style……

…..similar to the one the boy in the story is wearing with a criss crossed back:

To silk screen the apples, first I drew some apples in the Silverstein style onto contact paper….I used my left hand so that they would end up looking more primitive:

Then using a razor blade I carefully cut out the apple silhouettes (disclaimer: an exacto knife is always safer, I use razor blades because I replace them often):

Once all the apples were cut I peeled off the backing of the contact paper and adhered it as a stencil to a screen (for screen printing):

Next, I took some scissors and cut off the marker lines……

….and placed the insides of the apples onto the screen.

I screen printed the apples onto my fabric (see the link to my detailed “Screen Printing with Contact Paper” at the bottom of this post):

The Giving Tree-inspired apples!

The finished apples on the dress!




For more details on screen printing with contact paper visit my tutorial below:

Boo’s Heartache

What do you do if a 4-year-old’s little heart is broken?

Today Boo was asked to say prayer for her school’s morning circle….she stepped into the middle of all the children and teachers and prayed with everyone repeating after her:

Thank you God,
for food and drinks…

(long awkward pause)

and Ava.


Ava is one of Boo’s friends at school…a year older than Boo. Boo has a doll named after her, she writes Ava letters a few times a week and Ava is the topic of almost every conversation. Boo even named one of our new sewing machines “Ava.” Every morning when we drop Boo off at school she doesn’t even say goodbye….she takes off across the playground straight for Ava.

But last week…..Ava moved away with her family.

And Boo is devastated.

She tears up at any mention of Ava’s name. She cries when we drop her off at school. Her lip trembles if we ask her to talk about Ava. And things that were okay last week aren’t okay anymore. Reading The Giving Tree last night she got a little teary and said:

“I don’t want to read anymore of the story where the people take all her stuff. I don’t like when they take all her stuff. Why would they take all her stuff?”

While brushing her hair tonight I asked her if we should draw a picture of Ava so we could hang it up….the corners of her mouth turned down, tears formed, and she said “I can’t remember exactly what she looks like.

And then…..I found a letter tonight on our dresser…..a letter she wrote Ava using a box of old papers and antique photos I let her play with:

It reads inside “I don’t miss you” (she still writes backwards) and I can’t make the words out at the bottom.

She chose an old antique photo of two girlfriends…..as if that would be her and Ava one day:

So tomorrow….I’ll ask the school and see if they can find out Ava’s new address for us and hope that if we write Ava…..Ava will write back.

*As teary as this entire post makes me as I write it…..I can’t stop giggling at two things:

1. She chose a photo slide of an elderly couple for the card as well.
2. The last time she said the morning prayer for the school she thanked God for “kittens, puppies…..and Sienna” (herself) which was hilarious with everyone repeating after her.