STYLO4 DEETS: part 1

 

We hope you all had a chance to scroll through STYLO4.  Pretty amazing group of talent there- we truly are honored to share pages with this group of designers.

Today, we wills share the details of our first look.

As soon as we were invited to contribute to this “high-fructose” themed issue, we knew the brand spanking new Battle Building at the University of Virginia was the place we would take pictures.

Most of you readers know that Caroline’s youngest child, Wes, has been in treatment for over a year now for Stage 4 high-risk Neuroblastoma.  Wes has spent roughly a third of his last year in a hospital, with most of that hospital time at UVA.  When he’s back at home enjoying life, he still has to go to clinic appointments a couple times a week at the Children’s Battle Building.

This building is stunning!  Each floor features a bold cheery color on the walls, lots of natural light floods through, and the design is clean and modern.   We wanted Wes to be a part of STYLO, so we created a little theme in our heads.

For Ellery and Avery (Wes’s cheerleaders) we made some color-blocked circle skirts in some happy colors (various Cotton couture solids by Michael Miller).  The skirts are fully lined in soft solid voile, and attached to a wide gray rib knit waistband (rib knit from Joann Fabrics).

Their racerback tanks are made from a cotton/lycra blend by Elite knits(purchased locally at Les Fabriques).  We used the Sporty Maxi pattern by Heidi and Finn, and just scooped the back out more so the the racerback was a bit more defined and not as wide.

Back when we were deciding what to make, Ellery and Avery (well, all of us actually) became obsessed with this fantastic sister version of Boom Clap (the awesome original one here by Charli XCX).  It’s a catchy tune and we thought BOOM + CLAP would be cool stenciled on their shirts.  We used the old freezer paper technique.

On to the MVP, WES!  We made Wes a sleeveless hoodie (also made with Elite knits) using the Titchy Threads Rowan Tee pattern.  And some laid-back Mini Hudson pants (Anna Maria Horner pretty potent knit).  we found some Old Navy shoes that were perfect with the girls’ Natives (from Amazon).

We spray-painted the hula hoops for a fun prop to have.  Avery is a crazy-good hula-hooper and can do a couple at a once, and she can basically hula for minutes at a time- it’s so nuts.

It was good to have a prop that helped the girls loosen up- at first they were NOT liking the stares and smiles from onlookers!  Getting kids to do what you want is just impossible if they are uncomfortable.

We recommend lots of small treats, and potty jokes to help you get through it.  Kids love when Moms make jokes about poop!

We will be back some time in the next couple of days with details from our 2nd spread, so come on back soon!

Erin + Caroline

STYLO!

We were thrilled (understatement) to be contributing editors to volume 4 of STYLO magazine!

If you haven’t heard of STYLO, it’s a beautiful online magazine focused on fashion-forward children’s clothing- all handmade by people like us!  It’s like the Vogue of the sewing blog world, and it was cooked up a couple of years ago by the immensely talented Jess of The Sewing Rabbit, and Celina of Petit à Petit and Family.  It features stunning photography, gorgeous fabrics, tons of inspired sewing patterns, adorable kiddos, and so much more.  You will want to put the babies in front of the TV for a while so you can enjoy it in peace!

 

We created two different looks + photoshoots.  Our first features colorful, sporty looks for Wes, Ellery and Avery.  We had a loose “cheerleader” theme going on there- Avery and Ellery cheering on their hero (and cancer ass-kicker), Wes.  We shot those photos at the amazing new University of Virginia childrens Battle Building- it was perfectly fitting for the fun, bright vibe we were going for, and of course fitting because little Wes has spent so much time there over this last year.  You can see that spread beginning on page 17.

 

The second look was more high-fashion, combining a couple of bold prints with some great indie sewing patterns.  We wanted this to feel cool and fresh and wearable, but not over-the-top.  Basically, we wanted it to be very “Hungie Gungie-ish”!  We took the girls to a cute little cupcake shop in town and let them relax and just hang out together snacking on sweets and orange soda.  Like a little kid coffee date.  This spread begins on page 233.

So go!  Go now!  Check out STYLO!

We will be back this week with more detailed blog posts about the clothes we made and photos galore.

Thank you for reading, it means the world!

Caroline + Erin

(*for detailed posts about each look, visit PART1 here and PART2 here*)

FLAMINGO!

Recently, I sewed a couple of custom girls dresses for a friend.  I turned her loose into the world of online fabric stores and she chose an adorable Flamingo print.  I posted a picture of the dresses on Instagram, and joked that I would like to nominate the flamingo as the new fox.

Can I get an amen?

This quirky, long-legged, pink-all-over giant bird has just completely won me over.  Flamingos are cool, man.  And I want more of them in my life!

My friend Virginia Lindsay of Gingercake came through for me at the right time.  She released this fantastic new book called Pretty Birds 18 simple projects to sew and love.  While I couldn’t participate in her actual book tour due to my head spinning from another certain project (eeek! STYLO called!), she offered to send me the book anyway and I could make a bird from it in my own time.  What a gal she is!  (Really, she is awesome.)

There are so many cute birds to sew in this book, and they all require small amounts of fabric- perfect for those sweet odds and ends that you’ve been holding on to.

I remember first flipping through the book and deciding that I’d sew this bird, no that bird, no this bird.  And then, towards the end, I happily found my flamingo.

I decided to keep my guy in all solids, but how cute would this be with the wings  or the belly made in a print?  I took some liberties here and decided to incorporate more wool felt into my bird- Virginia suggests you use wool felt for the face, beak, and feet, but I decided to use it for the wings and the legs as well.  I stitched it on using a blanket stitch- hand stitching is not my forte, but this was fast and fun!  I love working with felt and I think projects like these tend to get more fun as the project goes on and your creativity comes out and makes you move in a different direction that originally planned.

A friend of mine had a baby girl a few weeks ago and I’ve decided to give this to her.  Handmade stuffies are kind of a perfect baby gift. I think it’s so cute hanging out on that stack of baby books.  I made my bird’s legs extra long, and then the other day, I caught Coco swinging him around and pulling so hard on them that the felt stretched out even more. HA! (I can laugh now….) But, it didn’t matter.  The exaggerated long legs is I think what I love most!

Pretty Birds would be a great book for a sewing friend, a bird lover, or yourself!  It’s such a pretty book to look at too.

Thank you, Virginia!

I love having this book on my shelf.  Now, c’mon friends, have some more babies!

-Erin

DIY Fairy House Party

 

I’m no party planner.

It’s not something I enjoy that much- the stress part leading up to it is just not for me!  But, I thought I’d share what we did for Ellery’s 7th birthday, because it turned out to be a fun success and was relatively easy to pull together (oh, and I happened to take a bunch of iPhone pics)!  At first she wanted a zebra party (ummm??? that came out of left field) but then settled on a fairy party.  My Mom had recently made a little fairy garden outside at her house for the grandkids to enjoy, and Ellery really loved it.

Thanks to Gee for the inspiration!

I bought both the terracotta saucers and the  wooden houses for about a buck a piece.  Only one guest commented that they were bird houses, not fairy houses.  SHHH, kid! No one has to know! 

The kids spent a nice long chunk of time making their houses- they each seemed to have a clear vision.

  I found a bunch of great things in the dollar section at Michaels- little chalkboards, the wooden stake signs, paper butterflies, etc.

Other than that, we used everything we already had at home to decorate- paints, glitter, feathers, marbles…

I found a little pack of tree stumps so we hot glued pieces together to make little stools.

I tried to find little fairies, but there was not much out there- and nothing affordable.  I happened to walk by the clearance yarn bin right by the clothespin doll section at Joann, and the light bulb went off!  Ellery and I made these sweet clothespin fairies a few hours before the party.

We had the BEST time hot gluing crazy beehives and frizzy curls to their heads- the orange yarn had wire in it, so it was easy for us to shape it.  I used a felt-tip permanent marker to make the eyes and nose, and we used a toothpick dipped in red paint for their mouths.  Really, I could’ve sat there all day doing it.  So fun!

I had intended to cut paper wings to glue to the back, and make little skirts, but of course we ran out of time.  We had some tulle on hand, and realized if we wrapped it around a couple of times and then tied it at the back, we could have a twofer!  I love the fluttery tulle wings and I’m glad we went that route.  It took all of five seconds.

Ellery wrote on the chalkboard signs.  She did a great job helping me that day- and unlike the random crazy meltdown she had on her actual birthday days before that even brought ME to tears, she was a complete angel on party day.

Birthdays, man.

We served sticks + stones (pirates booty and pretzel rods), fairy mints (Ellery has inherited my taste for these butter mints- she had to have them!), strawberries, and juice boxes.  Nothin’ fancy!

Elle is my foodie and loves French macarons!  So we had those (okay, so a little fancy) in place of cake, though I did last minute buy a pack of mini cupcakes just in case someone preferred those.

The kids loved taking their houses home and they were all so excited and talking about where in their yard they’d put them, and if fairies are real.  It was a great day!

I leave you with a couple of shots of my new 7-year old.  Equal parts very tame and very nuts.

 She is a unique, strong-willed, often reserved, very capable, loving, wild-laughing, tender-souled little girl who saves the best of herself for me and her Dad.  She’s my best little friend, my husband’s little stinky cheese, raw oyster-loving sidekick, and I love sharing things with her because I know she just “gets” things that other kids don’t.

We love seeing her blossom.

-Erin

 

KCW: The Mini Hudson Sisters

I’m back with some girly mini Hudson pants.  I love this pattern!

I also love the pattern name- I went to school (CIA) in Hudson Valley, NY- right along the banks of the Hudson river, and I also lived in Hudson Hall.  What a dirty little dorm that was… But so so fun too!

Anyway, unlike last time, these Hudsons were gladly accepted and patiently waited for by my darlings, Ellery and Corinne.

I changed them up slightly from one another, but used the same main fabric- pink French terry from Les Fabriques.  The dark coral knit is also from there, as is the cream- both of those cotton/lycra blends are my favorite to work with.  They are by a company named Elite knits, and they’re just perfect for most of my knit projects.

The sweet floral on Coco’s pair, is from Girl Charlee.

I kept thinking of strawberry desserts as I was sewing these up.  It’s about that time of year.

I sewed a size 7 for Ell, and a 3 for Coco.  Both fit pretty great, though I think the French terry is more apt to sort of stretch out and not bounce back as well while sewing- I think once I wash these they will fit a little better.

I also decided to forego the buttonholes again, and just tack on a strip of knit for a faux tie.  It works for me, and shaves a solid 15 minutes off of messing with my machine.

The girls are in their Team Wes shirts which my talented Mom made last year- for each family member!  She sews all the time, and currently is really into machine embroidery and applique.  She makes her grandkids the cutest little shirts all the time for every holiday and occasion.  She’s the best Grandma!  She even has a etsy shop – if you ever need a personalized shirt or some doll clothes, she’s your gal!

Ellery made a couple of “Wes” signs too as props.  She loves to write notes to Wes at school too- they usually say something like, “Dear Wes, I love you. I love playing with you so so so so so so so so so much. Love Ellery, To Wes.”  They love their little cousin!

That’s it for me this week- the KCW fairies didn’t show up so my house is a hot disaster.

I’ll leave you with a classic Coco dance move:

– Erin

KCW: mini hudson pants

Oh, I wanted these pants to work out.

Grant is my easy-going lounger after-all.

“But Mom, they look like leggings.”

Yes.  But, they’re spider-man colors, dude!

Oye.  I will be shocked if he ever puts these on again.  He took them off as soon as I said “here’s your marshmallow.”

 It’s too bad, because I love these on him!

They’re the Mini Hudson pants by True Bias. But, you already knew that because until now, everyone has made these but me!

I made a size 5, probably should’ve just made a 6 (he’s an average brand new 5 year old).  I mean, I can see that the ankle cuffs could feel like wearing leggings a little bit.

The pattern is really great though- I have 2 more pairs cut out and ready to go for the girls.  I envisioned myself at the end of the week just tossing mini hudsons into the air and yelling, “YOU get a pair! YOU get a pair! YOU get a pair!” a la Oprah and her car keys.

The main navy fabric is a cotton/lycra blend bought locally at Les Fabriques here in Charlottesville. The gray rib knit is from Joann and I love having it on hand for cuffs and things.

I had a hard time making buttonholes, so I just tacked on a long strip of red knit for a tie.

Oh well.  He likes the pockets.

Stud pose:

I shall see you back soon with some girlie versions!

Good luck with your KCW sewing this week.  May magical fairies clean your house, fold the laundry, play with your kids, and make healthy dinners for you so you can bust some awesome stuff out!

-Erin

Bird Dress

Coco is very “3” lately.

Which is fine now because she actually is three.  But, a few months ago when I took these pics, I remember just seeing it coming at me like a train.  My agreeable, cuddly, smiley 2 year old was ch-ch-ch-ch-changing…

Now, whiny, clingy, shockingly inappropriate, wild, goofy, opinionated (MUST WEAR SOCKS AT ALL TIMES AND IF THEY COME OFF THERE WILL BE HELL TO PAY), sweet, sassy, and sensitive- somehow all appear now within the same 10- minute period.

She likes to steal my iphone and run from me while asking Siri if she poops on the potty, to which Siri often replies:

“This is about you, not me.”

I honestly cannot keep a straight face- she does things Ellery would never dream of.  Ellery (almost7) still says that she heard Grant say the “S-word”.  At 2, Coco was slinging the word “Stupid” around like nobody’s business.

Tourettes-style.

STUPIIIIIIIID!!!!!

  I’m convinced that the third child (a-hem, I’m one too) gets the crazy genes.

Anyway, this dress is not for Coco- she’s not really into dresses at the mo.  But I had this sweet metallic bird fabric to use up, so I made this dress anyway.  I ended up giving it to a good friend’s sister with a little girl Coco’s age.

STATS: Bohemian Babydoll, size 3, main fabric is Flight in Mint by Violet Craft, lining fabric is Cotton Couture in Orchid.

I love this kid so much.  I really see myself in her- I’m sure my  mother would agree!

-Erin