The Toddler Tie (Free Pattern Download)

I finally managed to get my Toddler Tie pattern I made for Boo’s “Annie Hall” look during Project Run and Play into digital format! It’s available through my Facebook Downloads for a limited time! Just click the image below to download the 10 page PDF pattern and tutorial. There are options for an easy elastic option and a regular necktie option!

For the love of horses….

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
-Author unknown

Gorgeous photos by Paint the Moon Photography. Horse Dress and Ruffle Capris by Lil Blue Boo. Thank you Annie for the beautiful photos of your daughter!

My best memories growing up are of my horses and my friends I rode with. We spent every minute we could at the barn with our horses: riding, grooming, mucking and goofing off. I can categorize my younger years by which horse I had at the time: Blitz, Chocolate, Beowulf, Tweed, and Andy. Each one was perfectly unique in spirit and taught me something completely new about myself…..

Blitz was my first pony….he’d been hit by a motorcycle years before he and I met and lost much of the feeling in his face….he’s about to drag me across the street in this photo (I’m on the left with the sweet perm and pegged jeans):

Here I am with Harris Tweed (wow….20 years ago)…..he had the reputation for throwing his previous owners into jumps. He continued that tradition with me…..but only in the show ring when we had an audience. Out in the field, with no saddle and no fear, we’d stack up cinder blocks on top of oil drums and make the jumps higher and higher and it was like we were invincible…..

And then the love of my teenage life: Andy

Andy didn’t make it as a racehorse….and that’s how he ended up with me. He was perfect…and just a little bit crazy. I took him fox hunting a few times and he would take off in a full run with the hounds as if he were back on the track……the type of fast where you can barely feel the horse anymore.

How many of you are horse lovers? :)


Hand Painted Leather Headband (A Tutorial)

I ordered a bunch of Angelus leather paints from Dharma Trading recently and nothing made of leather in my house is safe now!

I found these little hair clips recently that my mother made for me when I was little…and loved the hand painted details she added.

I was inspired to try and hand paint something of my own for Boo.

Step 1: I took some scrap leather (you can find pieces at fabric stores and craft stores…or you can cut up an old purse/shoes/jacket etc to salvage pieces)……

……and cut the leather into several strips:

I also cut out 2 leather flowers….the largest one is about 1.25″ at its widest point:

Step 2: I took a small paint brush and cut off most of the bristles so it would paint small details easily:

Step 4: I painted some small “swoops” to resemble vines:

Step 5: I added small details like little leaves and little dots for small flowers….

…until I felt it was finished:

Step 6: I allowed the paint to dry thoroughly. To darken and soften the leather I used a technique that I used to break in all my horse bridles and saddles and to keep them clean and supple. I took some olive oil…..

…..and brushed the leather with a light coat.

Step 7: Once the oil had a chance to soak in, I put some Murphy’s Oil Soap onto a wet rag and wiped down the leather to remove any excess oil residue:

Step 8: I let the leather dry completely and then used a tiny hole punch to add holes at the end of the pieces:

Step 9: Using DMC thread, I stitched the pieces together end to end….

….in a simple “X” pattern:

Step 10: I stitched the flowers using the same type of thread:

Step 11: I stitched 1/4″ elastic (I would have used black but all I had was white) to the bottom of each end of the headband. I wrapped thread around the stitches to cover them:

The finished headband!

Now to find something else to paint :)

Project Run and Play Recap

It’s been a week since Project Run and Play ended and I already miss it! I loved being challenged to make something new each week with a different theme. I didn’t win but I had so much fun and still can’t believe I made it to the finals with Katy and Kelly! Here was Katy’s winning look in the final challenge….amazing:

Here’s a look back at the looks I created…click on the photos to see the original posts:

Li’l Ice Princess

Li’l Boho

Alexander McQueen inspired

“Annie Hall” inspired


Li’l Mod Rockwell

Boo was my ultimate judge….she loved all the looks. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome! Thanks everyone for following the contest and helping to vote! Micalah put a ton of work into it and all the other designers really brought it each week! It rocked.

Painted Leather Shoelace Accessories (A Tutorial)

With this tutorial you can make bohemian-inspired accessories using ordinary leather shoelaces just like the headband Boo wore in the second week of Project Run and Play:

In this tutorial, I make a shorter version of the headband resulting in a bracelet. You could also make a belt, keychain…so many options just by varying the length of the braid.

Here’s what I used to make mine…most supplies can be found at your local craft store in the jewelry section and the leather paints are available through Dharma Trading:

Angelus Leather Paints
Optional: Angelus Duller (if you want more of a matte finish to the paint)

Leather “latigo” laces (1/8″ wide)
Sueded laces (these come in a variety of colors….mine was turquoise)
3mm beads (I used 3mm silver plastic pearl beads)
Ribbon clamps
Soft leather trim (you can purchase this at a craft store or upcycle from an old purse or jacket)
Waxed cotton cord (these come in a variety of colors….mine was lime)

Step 1: Paint the leather laces using the Angelus leather paint.

Note: I used a light coat so that some of the original leather color showed through to give it a distressed look.

Paint both pieces and allow to dry for about 15 minutes.

Step 2: Cut two long pieces of waxed cord and sandwich them together between the 2 leather pieces and apply your ribbon clamp:

Step 3: Draw out a few flowers onto the soft leather trim piece…..

…..and cut them out using detail scissors:

Step 4: Punch a small hole into the center of each leather flower (you can also punch a hole through using a small nail and a hammer):

Step 5: Take one piece of the waxed cord and place it through one of the flowers. Follow the flower with a bead…….

….and then thread the cord back through the hole in the flower. Work the cord through the bead and flower until it is flush with the top of the clamp. The bead will keep the flower in place:

Step 6: (Note….this might get a little confusing but once you see all the photos it will start to make sense.) With the flower in place, follow the flower with 2 more beads. Take the 2nd piece of waxed cord and wrap it around the back left of the 2 leather pieces.

The 2nd cord piece will go under the 1st cord piece with a single bead settling on either side as shown. The 2nd cord piece then wraps around to the back again and to the other side where it began, going under the 1st cord piece:

Step 7: You will repeat Step 6 over and over again and the top will look like this:

The back will begin to look like this:

Step 8: Whenever you want to add a leather flower just add it onto the 1st cord piece instead of the 2 beads, follow the flower with one bead……

…..and then thread the cord back through the same hole like the first one you did. Continue the beading and braiding as in Step 6.

Step 9: Once your braid is as long as you want it, tie off the cord….

….and add a ribbon clamp to the end making sure to secure both pieces of leather and the 2 pieces of cord:

Step 10: Tie a piece of suede lace to each ribbon clamp:

You can also decorate the suede lace with a bead if you don’t want to tie it directly to the clamp:

A finished braided leather bracelet….made from latigo laces!

Happy braiding!

The Blue Beret Pattern (Free Download)

The Blue Beret Pattern Free Download via

In case you missed it through Facebook….you can now download my beret pattern here! I renamed it The Blue Beret from the Adelaide pattern since it is a unisex hat...didn’t want the boys to feel left out!


Click image below to download the PDF pattern:

The Blue Beret Pattern Free Download via


The whole pattern started with a hat I made for Boo for a collaboration with artist Stephanie Corfee. I silk screened Stephanie’s “When I Grow Up” print for a small limited edition for my shop a few months back. Boo’s hat has led to many, many more hats. Some are upcycled and recycled from t-shirts:

The Blue Beret Pattern Free Download via
Some are dyed and silk screened:

The Blue Beret Pattern Free Download via
As featured in Sew Hip (click here for entire post):

The Blue Beret Pattern Free Download via

One of my favorite upcycled hats photographed by Monika McSweeney on her daughter Grace:

The Blue Beret Pattern Free Download via

Project Run and Play: Final Round!

It’s the final round! I can’t believe I’ve made it this far with all the amazing designs that have been submitted. This week’s theme was “wild card”….basically we were supposed to create a signature piece. I struggled more with this challenge than any of the others…part of me wanted to make some elaborate piece that would just WOW everyone but that just wouldn’t be true to my style. So I asked myself this question: if I could make anything I wanted this week, what would I make? The answer was: something comfortable (anything I make for my daughter must be soft, forgiving, tagless and easy to maintain) and something unexpected.

So here it is….

Li’l Mod Rockwell

For this look I created a dress, leggings and hair piece. I wanted to combine knit (a requirement for comfort), a vintage cut and several kinds of fabric/prints. I wanted Boo to look like she was straight out of a “modern” Norman Rockwell painting with a dash of Alice in Wonderland.

The top of the dress has cap sleeves and was made with comfortable floral 2×1 knit. The bottom of the dress features a full, billowy “bubble” style skirt made from two layers of a beautiful cotton voile. I made the black and cream lace print capri leggings from a soft, buttery modal knit. The large bow on the dress is made from a Japanese fabric featuring a cute folklore print.

The elaborate hair piece was made by layering lace, sun-printed fabric, and Chinese silk jacquard:

The large bow is removable so the dress can be converted from “dress up” to playground wear. Put a sweater over the dress and the result is a “skirt” look….very versatile!

It’s been so much fun creating these looks every week and thank you so much to everyone who has visited and voted! Katy and Kelly and the other women in Project Run and Play are such amazing talents and I’ve just been so honored to be included among them!

And what could be more signature than Boo’s graffiti shoes…..always a perfect addition to her style:

Please go over and support the contest this weekend and vote for your favorite design!

Also, have you started your design for the Lil Blue Boo/Dharma Trading Design Challenge? It can be anything: hair accessories, clothing, shoes etc! Awesome prizes! A challenge for the new year!


Last minute Valentine Cards!

Super last minute. I almost forgot that Boo had to take Valentines to school tomorrow! So late afternoon we were printing and cutting and signing but I think they turned out pretty cute!

Thank goodness for the Valentine’s themed Project Run and Play photos I had for this week…..I set up one of the photos in Powerpoint (I just think Powerpoint is super easy for manipulating graphics and text to print):

I printed the image on cardstock and cut it into individual cards:

Using an exacto knife I cut two slits in one side to put Tootsie Pops into:

Boo signed each card herself…..and added “Batman” masks to a few to make them extra special:

Handmade rocks :) and I’m sure the Tootsie Pops are still good from Halloween right?

"Miniaturizing" a Men’s Shirt (A Tutorial)

I made this “Annie Hall” inspired outfit for Week 4 Project Run and Play using the material from a men’s shirt and a pinstriped skirt of mine:

It’s fairly easy to re-tailor a men’s shirt to fit a boy or girl:

Updated: I woke up early this morning to find a photo of a shirt that Lisa over at Stuff Mummy Makes had already made using this tutorial and wanted to share since it shows a boy version! So cute!

Here’s how to make your own:

First I took one of my husband’s old dress shirts:

I marked where the new smaller arm holes would be….

….and cut my new shirt. The width of the shirt will be reduced by where you cut the new arm holes. I checked my shoulder measurements by trying it on a toddler sized dress form:

Note: you can see here that it was slightly too big and I had to cut them down about an inch. I cut the hem based on the dress for as well….so the bottom of the shirt was a few inches below the waist.

To cut the sleeves, I took one sleeve and used one of Boo’s shirts to figure out the length:

I used a disappearing ink pen to trace the arm curve…you will want to add a little “swoop” at the the bottom of the sleeve opening to account for the curve under the armpit:

Here is the first sleeve I cut….you can see that I just cut straight through the cuff:

Note: Make sure to leave the cuff wide enough for the hand to fit through….you’ll be sewing it closed as a “faux” cuff.

I used the first sleeve to cut an identical second sleeve:

I pinned the center of the sleeve first to the main shirt piece:

….and then pinned each side before sewing the sleeve on:

I sewed the sleeves and sides of the shirt closed and finished the seams. I left my shirttails long to they would tuck in easily but if the tails are to be left out you can hem them. Here is the finished shirt with the “high-waisted” pants I made:

Think twice before throwing out those old shirts now! You can make them into something cute for your little one!