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
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 [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:

Do you crochet? (Updated)

I taught myself to crochet last night from an online video (see video here) as I caught up on some reality TV. It wasn’t as hard as I thought! I had to rewind the video a few times and I kind of made it up as I went:

I made this little snow hat for Boo’s doll. Doesn’t it look great with the silver halter prom dress?

I’d love some recommendations for a few easy patterns. Boo’s larger dolls could use some little shoes and cardigans! I think I could turn the hat upside down and add a strap for some shoes if I thought through it enough. I think I’d need some major help for an item of clothing…..

It was 76 degrees here today….but there was snow! Boo’s school had snow made for snow day….it was the first time she’s actually ever seen snow.

So what do you make when crocheting? Do you use a pattern? I’d love to know!

Updated: Thank you all so much for the amazing links! I already bought a new pattern yesterday and started making Boo’s doll some shoes (pattern from Turtlekeeper)! Next up maybe a doll dress or cardigan?

Project Run and Play: Week 2

I made it through to the second week of Project Run and Play! There is some tough competition! (click here to see last week’s challenge) This week’s challenge was to take the Leila and Ben Sweet Dress pattern and reinterpret it. I love the simple, basic lines of the Sweet Dress pattern….it’s always been one of my favorites. Using some vintage trim and a braided leather headband as my inspiration, I made a bohemian peasant dress: The Li’l Boho

The Li’l Boho Dress is a two-layer dress with the bottom layer peeking out from underneath. The color palette is muted using 2 tones of ecofriendly, organic cotton. I altered and recut the sleeves to be a delicate double flutter.

I added a slightly frayed, embroidered vintage trim to the front that double wraps to tie in the back, creating an empire waist.

Our desert setting was a perfect location for a carefree, barefoot photo shoot.

The Li’l Boho dress represents a free, independent, and spiritual little girl:

I love this photo….it looks like she’s getting ready to cast a spell :)

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

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!


Spring has Sprung!

Pre-orders for the Spring 2011 collection have officially begun. Orders are expected to ship mid February, and there will be a few additional pieces added throughout this week. Looks like the most popular items right now are the Lily Belle and Holland Days. There is still a good selection of sizes for these pieces although they are now limited. We are thrilled you love them as much as we do!

We had a fun little contest on facebook over the weekend where YOU named some of the spring line! There were some great names, but unfortunately we could only pick one. Here are the winners! If you are one of them, please email us at lisa @ lilblueboo dot com with your mailing address. We will send you a Lil Blue Boo beret!

Grace’s Dress

named by Kyle Montalbo


Very Plaid to Meet You
named by Becca Robinson


Save the Trees Please
named by Priscilla Bockelman


The Lily Belle
named by Jessica Barnes


Holland Days
named by Tiffany Lewis


Swiss Miss
named by Monika McSweeney


Mint Julips
named by Jane Perillo


Thank you to everyone that participated in the naming contest! If you have questions about pre-orders please feel free to contact us and keep an eye out for additional pieces to be added soon!

More Spring LBB (by Monika McSweeney Photography)

Monika McSweeney takes the most beautiful natural light photos. She recently took photos of a few pieces from my spring collection…..and I just can’t stop looking at them! Her daughter Grace and her BFF Mary Rose are naturals….here they are modeling “Grace’s Dress” and the “Swiss Miss” Drop Waist Knit Dress:

Artwork on both dresses was designed by artist Stephanie Corfee especially for Lil Blue Boo and each piece is hand silk screened:

Thank you Monika! I had to share them all :) couldn’t narrow it down!

Tomorrow part of my Spring 2011 Lil Blue Boo collection will be available for pre-order (click here to view)! I jokingly named it “What the Folk?” since there is a folk art them throughout the pieces…and the name stuck. Check it out if you get a chance!