"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!

Project Run and Play: Week 5

It’s week 5 of Project Run and Play! The theme for this week was Valentine’s Day. I have to be honest I was already a little burnt out on the holiday since just finishing the LBB V-Day Collection so I decided to do something really fun and funky. So here it is:

The V-Graffiti Dress

For this outfit, I reclaimed fabric from a vintage-inspired floral sheet and used some leftover drapery lining for the underskirt:

I used several colors of fabric spray-paint, silk screening and marker graffiti to add color and design:

The dress is 2 layers on the bottom and a soft knit tank-style on top….

…..comfort is ALWAYS my first priority when dressing my daughter! She has to be able to run and play and not feel restricted.

I love how playful the outfit turned out…..it reminds me of something Betsey Johnson would wear:

Running and playing…..getting a photo with Boo actually in the frame can be hard!

I barely got this entry in on time…..I waited until the very last minute to make it and my sewing machine broke. I ended up having to borrow Lisa’s!

I edited all these photos using a set of actions (Moxie & Blessings) I am testing for Paint the Moon! They will be available soon to purchase from her shop so keep on the lookout!

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

Check out my past designs in the competition too if you get a chance! This has been so much fun!

Evy’s Tree for Lil Blue Boo

Do you love Evy’s Tree as much as Lil Blue Boo does?! We are so excited to be partnering with Amy from Evy’s Tree for our Spring Collection. We’ve sent Amy our silk screened fabrics and she’s transformed them into her amazing hoodies and zip ups to coordinate across the first wave of Lil Blue Boo “What the Folk?” Spring pieces:

Evy’s Tree Brilla Hoodie and Lil Blue Boo Striped Pants and Silk Screened Folk Art Tee

Evy’s Tree Ruffle Zip Up and Lil Blue Boo “I Dye” Leggings and Holland Days Tunic

Evy’s Tree Ruffle Zip Up and Lil Blue Boo “I Dye” Leggings and Holland Days Tunic
Evy’s Tree Ruffle Zip Up and Lil Blue Boo Striped Pants and Silk Screened Folk Art Tee
Evy’s Tree Brilla Hoodie and Lil Blue Boo Striped Pants and Silk Screened Folk Art Tee
Evy’s Tree Brilla Hoodie and Lil Blue Boo Striped Pants and Silk Screened Folk Art Tee

Evy’s Tree Brilla Hoodie and Lil Blue Boo Striped Pants and Silk Screened Folk Art Tee

Evy’s Tree Brilla Hoodie and Lil Blue Boo Striped Pants and Silk Screened Folk Art Tee

Make sure to follow both the Evy’s Tree and Lil Blue Boo Facebook pages to keep up to date on new items!


Boo turned 4 yesterday and we took her to Disneyland today for the first time!

For those of you that know me well…you know that this was a huge thing for me for several reasons:

1. I can’t stand crowds or lines (especially amusement parks and sporting events).
2. I am germ-a-phobic.
3. Princesses….boring.

And…finally…don’t hate me:
4. Disney is creepy.

Yes, I said it. I think all of their movies, and many of their rides, have a weird dark streak to them. I’m convinced Boo will have nightmares from a few rides that were marketed to kids and should have had an “R” rating on them to warn us. Even Sleeping Beauty’s Castle tour was ridiculously creepy and scary.

But, regardless, Boo had an amazing time…..and that’s all that matters. We did Disney and we don’t have to go back for another 20 years now, right?

She loved the tea cups….

My mother-in-law was in town and it’s her birthday this week as well so it was a special treat to take her to Disney too:

Boo loved riding with Daddy on everything:

I wasn’t about to stand in a princess line for a photo op, so we just kept our eyes peeled and finally found Sleeping Beauty. The conversation went a little like this:

Boo: I’m four today.
SB: It’s your birthday! What is your name?
Boo: Um, have you seen Cinderella or Belle?
Me: Sienna, let’s just take a photo….maybe we’ll see Cinderella later.
Boo: I don’t want you to take a photo. I just want to eat my hotdog. (we had just bought it when we spotted the princesses)

Then Sleeping Beauty (or Aurora? no idea what I’m supposed to call her) taught Boo a princess curtsey which I’m pretty sure Boo thought was a little ridiculous judging from the look on her face (I don’t blame her, who “curtseys” in a recycled knit dress):

Then onto Snow White:
Boo: Hi. It’s my birthday today.
SW: Let me guess….are you four?
Boo: Yes. Um, have you seen Cinderella or Belle?
Me: Sienna, please let’s just take one photo….maybe we’ll see Cinderella later.
Boo: I don’t want you to take a photo. I just want to eat my hotdog.

We never saw Cinderella….but I kept reminding Boo that she DID make an appearance at her birthday last year. We went to Toon Town and met Mickey and Minnie…ho hum…

….until we checked out Minnie’s refrigerator. Cool!!! We love the unexpected:

Rides we rode that were WAY too scary for a toddler? (learned my lesson and didn’t ride anymore dark rides)
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin

Favorite rides that we rode over and over?
It’s a Small World (Boo woke up singing the song first thing)
Mad Hatter Tea Party
Casey Jr. Circus Train
Alice in Wonderland (Boo wanted to know why the Queen was so mad)
Finding Nemo (One small scary second)
Astro Orbitor
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Gadget’s Go Coaster

Random Photos

Wow Disneyland is beautiful at night! I loved the park more once the sun went down. Then I do what I always do in crowds….randomly snap photos on random settings to see what I end up with:




Paint cans

Toon Town Ride

We stayed for almost 7 hours. As soon as I saw this face I knew we were done…even though she insisted we stay longer:

Happy 4th birthday Boo! We love you!

Project Run and Play: Week 4

It’s week 4 of the Project Run and Play competition and I’m so excited to still be in the running! For this week’s vintage/retro inspired-style I chose the classic “Annie Hall” look that Dianne Keaton made so popular in the 70’s: menswear for women.

Annie Hall:

Boo is a “daddy’s girl” so this has by far been her favorite outfit in the competition.

I took a men’s dress shirt, cut it apart, and re-tailored the pieces to fit a toddler using a dress form. I reused the collar, cuffs and buttons and made the shirt a slim fit with an extra long shirt tails to fit nicely into the pants.

The pants are fitted with an extra high waist and flair out to a wide leg. Instead of using an itchy wool suiting, I made the pants from poly/spandex pin-striped fabric reclaimed from an adult skirt…..they are soft, comfortable, and machine washable.

An adult sized tie can easily be cut down to a child size for a girl or boy.

I love ties on girls:

Styled with a men’s style fedora, sneakers, tousled “bed” hair and a little extra confidence……

……I think Annie Hall would approve of Boo’s “tomboy” urban style!

Classic Boo:

The Imago Gallery was the perfect setting for an “urban” shoot in the desert:



Find the tie pattern below:

Behind the Scenes: Some Favorite Tools

I’m on vacation with my family right now skiing in Colorado but before I left I snapped some behind-the-scenes photos of some favorite things around the Lil Blue Boo studio!

Large rolls of marking paper and pattern paper
The lightweight marking paper is used for drafting new patterns and the heavy manila pattern paper is what I use for final templates. The manila paper is heavier than card stock and is really durable for everyday pattern use.

Recommended tools for pattern making via lilblueboo.com
Pattern Hooks
All of my pattern templates are hung around the studio for easy access. I can hang about 20 patterns on one hook.

Recommended tools for pattern making via lilblueboo.com [Read more…]

Printing and Painting Fabric (A Tutorial)

Can’t find the perfect fabric for a project? You can make your own! Here’s Boo wearing the jumpsuit I made for Week 3 of Project Run and Play….it’s a basic style, I just needed to make the perfect print for it!


The basic jumpsuit consisted of 4 pieces of gray knit:

First, I silk screened several different layers of a butterfly print……

….in dark gray, turquoise and bright yellow (see basic silk screening tutorial here):

Using Setacolor transparent fabric paints….

…..I mixed a diluted hot pink color:

I used a large paint brush to paint areas of the fabric to add dimension:

After the fabric was dry I heat set the entire outfit using an iron to make it permanent:

The inspiration for this outfit was Alexander McQueen.:

But the print and style had to be something more childish and less botanical….whimsical and fun….comfortable and easily washed (Lil Blue Boo criteria!):




You can use either of these techniques to create something for the Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading 2011 Design Challenge!


Project Run and Play: Week 3

I made it through to the third week of Project Run and Play! This week’s challenge was to make an adult inspired outfit. So here’s my design for the week….The Papilionidae….too bad I can’t even pronounce the name, but I felt like it needed something extravagant/dramatic to live up to my inspiration:


My inspiration for this challenge was Alexander McQueen. I love the butterfly prints and hair pieces that several of his past collections have included and wanted to do something similarly inspired but still appropriate for a child.

I took a basic light grey cotton/lycra knit and created a whimsical butterfly print using different colors of inks and diluted fabric paint. The butterflies are silk screened in different colors and additional colors were added by hand painting the fabric.


I created the pattern for a halter jumpsuit “Project Runway” style…..using a toddler mannequin. The final version is double layered in the chest and straps…….


……..and elastic was added at the ankles for a fun retro look.

For styling, I took a flamboyant head band and added in some butterflies for more drama. This outfit is comfortable and forgiving….perfect for toddler play! Sassy! (Note: my daughter calls this her pirate pose….argggh!)


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

Oh, and how could I forget!? A special thank you to my little model Boo…..for putting up with me and cooperating during this contest. Cheese!


A Cupcake Party – Handmade

Last weekend we went to my niece’s first birthday party….cupcake themed! My sister-in-law Jenn did an amazing job and made everything herself…..including 50 cupcakes and tissue pom-poms that I helped hang from the ceiling :)

Homemade cookies:

Homemade cupcakes:

The banners:

Cookie decorating station:

A “candy” bar:

My niece Sawyer did some damage to her cake:

Isn’t she precious? Her mom made her outfit and headband too!

Boo had a blast at the party with all the activities: pinata, coloring station, cookie decorating and playing with her cousin Jordan. Don’t they look like they are up to something here?

I had TWO nieces turn one over the weekend. A day apart! I made both these little outfit sets for their gifts:

I silk screened t-shirts using my contact paper method:

Paired with my new favorite cuffed leggings from Target:

Made a few matching knit hair poms (see pom tutorial here):

And wrapped them all together into a cute little matching package: