We were sitting at the table going over a lesson for school when inspiration hit. On the table, my daughter (age 6) pointed out a green piece of fabric, green toy car and a green crayon. She looked at me and said, “Mom, look at this color palette. I have an idea. We can make several of these using different colors. This would help baby boy (age 2) learn his colors.” What a sweet idea. I told her it was fabulous and we should work on it during quiet time. That was a pretty big deal for me, because I do enjoy my down time but saw this as an opportunity to encourage her creativity. I suggested we take photos of her creations (to the best of our ability of course). We scoured the house for items that fit into the color categories she chose. She would arrange the items for one color while I took pics of another. We went back and forth in that manner until each color had been photographed. I’m learning so much about how she processes information and what she values about her work process. I did make suggestions about object placement for the photos. We had lots of fun. Now we just have to figure out what to do with the pictures.
I am African-American. Of African descent, yet born and raised in America. Honestly, I still have questions about my roots, and almost allowed my lack of knowledge to keep me from participating. One thing I am learning is that conditions don’t have to be perfect before I can put my “yes” on the table. For now, I can celebrate what I do know: Those before me were born with purpose, and I am grateful for their strength and sacrifice.
*steps down from soap box*
I wanted to create an ensemble that reflects my appreciation for color found in African fashion and fit my 6 year old’s mature and hilarious personality.
When I think of modern African fashion, I think of bold and bright colors. I think of energetic movement and strength. The use of saturated solids, dazzling prints, geometric shapes and sophisticated silhouettes give a regal feel to garments and are breathtaking. Muted palettes are also favored in African fashion. There were several routes I could have taken when designing an outfit. Color was my inspiration for Curly Cutie’s creation (say that 10 times – lol). Feast your eyes on these beauties (pics will take you to source).
See what I mean? This was no easy task for a person with a go-to palette of black and white. I appreciated the challenge though. I feel a little more free now, like I could just about put anything together and say, “BAM, there it is!”
Here is my little one.
We thought it would be fun to add a baby wearing element to this ensemble. I have a friend from Ghana that taught me how to tie a wrap so I could carry baby #2 when he was just a little something. This wrap is just a yard of fabric.
Pattern used for shirt is the Aspen Ruffle Dress by See Kate Sew. As for modifications, I shortened it to make it shirt length. I extended the height of the collar by an inch to make it more pronounced. Decreased collar and elastic length. I extended the sleeves to accommodate CC’s long arms. Circle skirt is self-drafted with a contrasting waistband and back zipper. I used a random pocket pattern to add pockets in side seams. A pair of textured white tights and faux oxford shoes complete the look. I know some of you are basking in warm sun, but it’s cold here.
Now, about this hair and these accessories. I was totally in the moment with this hair.
I had the idea to pull CC’s hair up with a banana clip. I remember these from my younger days. So fun. The front part of her hair is simply left loose with a couple of hair pins to cinch some areas.
*back up on soap box and clearing throat*
Can I just say that I love natural hair? I’m talking just the way it grows from our scalp. There was a time when I didn’t feel this way and would incessantly straighten my hair by chemical force (lol) because I thought it was ugly and hard to manage. My eyes have been opened and I know these things are not true.
I do not believe there is anything wrong with chemically treated hair. I just did not appreciate the beliefs that fueled my commitment to the practice. It’s nice to have options: straight, curly, wavy, coily, etc. The opportunity to teach my daughter to appreciate everything about the way God made her is truly priceless.
The fabric flower and covered button earrings are both handmade. I wanted to find another place to incorporate the bold yellow fabric from her skirt waistband, and I thought a pair of earrings would be the perfect place to do that.
As for the shoes, they started out plain white. I know people paint shoes all the time, but I wasn’t necessarily trying to do that. I whipped out a blue Sharpie and white fabric paint marker and went to town coloring. I was going for an oxford look. Something simple that could be worn with other things. I removed the shoestrings so they could be worn free. There is a piece of elastic inside that keeps the tongue from shifting.
There are still a couple of days left, if you are feeling adventurous, to add a culturally inspired outfit to the link up. The prizes look amazing.
Thanks for visiting! Any questions or comments? Drop them below.
We are in the 3rd week of Project Run and Play.
This week’s theme is “mad for plaid”. I decided to sew for baby boy this week. CC gets most of my sewing energy it seems. For these four weeks I wanted to sew things the kids can wear in the upcoming cold weather.
I decided to make baby boy a winter hat and coat. The pattern I used for the coat is the Jude Jacket from Shwin and Shwin. CC has an outgrown fleece hat I used to make a hat pattern.
I had some plaid fabric on hand I knew I wanted to use for the hat. I was going for a trapper style hat. Something to keep him nice and warm and handsome. I did not meet my goal this week to only use from my stash as I
needed wanted the soft sherpa-like fabric. I guess that’s what it’s called. It turned out exactly how I wanted it to!
And yes, these pics are taken in the kids’ bathroom. All I can say is, “It’s real out here!”. I needed a place to keep him contained. Lol.
Initially I was torn about using the fabric for the coat. I wondered if it would give the coat a feminine feel because of the light fabric combined with the sherpa. So, I did what I could to make it more manly by adding a few elements (dark buttons, sleeve patch, plaid pocket flap).
The ears can be flipped up too! I just used a string and clasp thingy from a purse we had around the house. See, nothing is safe. The sleeve patches are from an old winter coat of mine that is too through. And the buttons are from one of dad’s old coats.
Let’s see if we can make it happen for the last week which is a signature look.
It doesn’t matter what you make, just create!
This is week 2 of 4 over at Project Run & Play.
We were to create a design inspired by one of my all time faves……..CANDY!!!! It didn’t take me long to figure out strawberry twists would be my inspiration. You already know my favorite without me even having to say the name. This is about the closest I can get to this stuff since I have stopped eating it.
Inspiration can hit at some of the weirdest times for me. I was sure we would miss this week. I had one thing in mind, then realized I couldn’t get enough fabric from the blanket to go with that idea. I told CC I didn’t think we would make it. She said, “Nooooooo, we can make it.” Inspiration hit immediately. And here we are.
So, I made CC a drop waist bubble skirt accented with fabric twists. My husband saw me in the process and said, “Let me guess, you’re going to put a bow on that.” He knows me all too well.
Side note: I just realized that I’ve done some type of “drop” style these first two weeks. Stay tuned to see what’s dropping next week. Just kidding. Lol.
No pattern was used. Just simple rectangles using CC’s measurements. The twists were cut from 1″ fabric strips. Another winner for CC. Her only qualm…..”the twists don’t dangle”. It’s like that sometimes.
That’s a wrap!
So, my friend was getting married and I needed a dress.
I would be the only one standing with her and she wasn’t picky about what my dress should look like. She did make a request that it be strapless and floor length.
I decided to make my dress. Now, at this point I had only made myself about a few items like a maxi dress, maxi skirt, circle skirt…..you know, the easy stuff. I had no clue what to do for something more elegant, and the last thing I needed to do was mess up a dress. My friend was definitely on standby. She encouraged me to give it a go, and if it didn’t work out, well, we would have been shopping for a dress once I got into town.
It was an outdoor wedding that ended up being inside due to rain. The color scheme was turquoise and gray with orange accents. She also wanted her day to have a beach feel to it. Lots of shells, stones and colored sand were part of the decor.
I thought about making an all turquoise dress until I remembered my Mother-in-
law love giving me a moo-moo a while ago. I realized that the colors were the same as the scheme for the wedding.
It was a bit bold, so I didn’t know how my friend would feel. I sent a picture over to her and she loved it.
I was like, “ok, here we go.” I didn’t have much room for error. There was no way I could get another moo-moo, so I decided the fabric would be used best as some type of long skirt. For the bodice I used Simplicity #1606.
I didn’t have enough fabric for a long semi-circle skirt, so I made it an A-line. Of course, I made a muslin. I mean, this thing had boning and everything. I didn’t know the first thing about it. Sometimes you just have to jump in and not look back. I was able to use most of the moo-moo by cutting it right under the neckline. I used some of the remaining fabric to decorate the guest book.
Things got a bit difficult in trying to cut the skirt pieces. It was different from the skirt in the pattern so I kinda had to do my own thing, which would have been ok had I not cut the material a hair to short. I needed also to account for the back zipper to be put in. Either way, it wasn’t bad enough to throw the project out, but I did need a solution. So, here’s the dress with bodice and skirt attached.
There was a slight slant of the back zipper to the left side of the dress, and I couldn’t figure out how to remedy that. I would not be wearing it with that slant, trying to make sure the dress was twisted just right all night. No sir, no ma’am. My solution, add a removable peplum belt.
As the young(er) people would say, “That peplum is everything!” Lol. It was such a welcome addition to the dress. I was comfortable, felt beautiful, and no one knew that up under it my zipper was on tilt. Lol.
This dress form does not do it service. It looked really nice steamed and on me. But hey, this is what I could make happen for the sake of the blog. And for about $11 (moo-moo = free, bodice fabric = $6, boning = $3, thread = $1.50) and a little bit of my time I’ll take this dress any day.
I thought I could make it with the whole sleeveless thing, but alas I could not. The night before the wedding I made myself a bolero. I didn’t have my machine, so it was a hand-stitching type of situation. I couldn’t believe myself, but I was desperate. No pic of that, but if I get one I’ll update the post.
I’m starting to see things in a whole new light. We’re told that we have to do things a certain way……..walk a certain way, talk a certain way, spend our money a certain way. Who makes up this stuff? Before I started cooking from scratch (which I don’t do ALL of the time by the way….matter of fact I’m in a cooking rut even now, lol), I could only buy food prepared in some way by others (boxed or fast). Before I learned how to sew, I could only buy clothing items made by others. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with those two things. I just want to emphasize that my options were limited, and I knew no other way. It didn’t even dawn on me that I could make my own spaghetti sauce instead of buying it in jars. My thoughts on our capabilities are changing, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to just go along with what’s normal, because someone says it’s normal. My normal looks quite different than it did a few years ago. I’m ok with that. I’m ok with this journey, and looking forward to dropping even more of the stinking thinking I’ve been accustomed to.
Didn’t plan on the post being this long. But, hey, if you’ve made it this far you might as well go ahead and tell me something that you do now that, at one point, you thought was impossible. Or one area where your eyes have been opened, and you no longer see things the way you used to.
Curly Cutie has done it again. Turned a year older that is. Where has the time gone, and what am I supposed to be doing with myself now that my baby is growing up? Kindergarten is a thing of the past, and before I know it she’ll be done with high school.
Well Curly Cutie and J-Renee had a blast at their little joint celebration. This may be a yearly tradition for the two families. It is so special to me that my friend and I are able to come together year after year to celebrate our daughters. This was the friend that was told she would NEVER have children. The last time I checked, it was the Lord who gives and sustains life. Well he gave to her, she gladly received and we were both wobbling around at the same time with our first blessings from God. Our girls are only one week apart.
And just as I did last year, I made them birthday outfits. So, I thought I would share them. I was going for the cute and simple look, and I believe I accomplished that with these Pillowcase Tunic’s and Ruffled Capri Pants.
Aren’t they just darling? There is a slight difference in the Capri Pants. J-Renee’s have a wider leg than Curly Cutie’s. I used a pair of size 5 capris from CC’s stash to draft the pant pattern. I used a strip of fabric for the ruffle that was almost twice the width of the pant measurement and gathered that right on up.
There are so many tutorials out for pillow case dresses. I did not settle on one to use to construct these tunics, but once you get the process down you can make one in your sleep. I did find inspiration on Pinterest though.
This a Double Layer Pillowcase Dress by Aesthetic Nest.
I did not make this double layer tunic, but decided to recreate the look with a simple contrasting band for the hem. So, I made CC’s tunic first. She tried it on and was underwhelmed, but nice about the situation.
CC: This is nice mom. You did great work, but I’m not all that crazy about how big this top is.
Mom: Is it too big for your liking?
CC: Yeah, I think so. It seems like a lot of fabric.
Mom: Would you like me to take it in some?
CC: Well, I really don’t want you to have to do it over again, but I think I would like that better.
Mom: That is not a problem at all. I can fix it.
CC: Ok, thanks! (and off she ran to continue playing)
This is such a sweet kid. Not to mention, she has an eye on her. She often gives me suggestions I then incorporate into the items I make. I allowed her to choose the fabrics for these two outfits.
To fix the tunic, I turned it into more of an A-line top and cut arm holes from there. Much better fit on the little ladies! CC had a big smile on her face. At that point I knew the design was complete.
I didn’t get a ton of pics, but here are some other shots.
Let me know if you’ve had any fun celebrations lately.
This is another installment of Curly Cutie’s Summer Clothes.
I saw this Paper Fan dress by Anna Maria Horner and decided I would make one for CC. It is a free download you can find here.
I had to slightly modify the pattern since I didn’t have any 1″ buttons for the back of the dress. I cut a size 4 for CC, and it fits perfectly.
This was certainly a fun dress to make. Curly Cutie was very pleased. She ended up wearing me down to put barrettes in her hair. A while back, one of my friends gave us a huge bag of them. I am not very fond of those things. I mean, every two seconds I was turning around because I thought someone was spilling water. That’s what it sounds like as she walks around the house. But oh, she feels like a princess so dad and I just carry on. Lol. Bonus hair pics at the end.
And a close up of the shoulder detail. I simply took a strip of fabric, pleated it and stitched it down on the shoulder. I thought it added a nice little touch.
Bonus: Curly Cutie’s braided hair
You should have seen the excitement on her face as she picked out barrettes to coordinate with her dress. I guess it’s the little things they enjoy sometimes. And even though these barrettes can be on the verge of annoying (to me that is), it was my pleasure to grant her this request. She will probably be in this zone for a little while, especially when she has braids. How precious are our little ones? Very!
This is how we’re clothing Curly Cutie for the summer!
For a while now I have been trying to figure out a decor solution for the children’s bathroom. I really like black and white, so I chose that for the color scheme. I was feeling so uninspired until I ran across this number quilt.
I thought this would make a perfect wall hanging for the bathroom. It’s cute and can be used as a learning tool. As a matter of fact, I have already begun using it while baby boy sits on the potty. He goes right into counting before I can even think that it’s hanging on the wall behind me.
I went through my stash to find black and white fabric to make this project. I used fabric from yardage as well as…………curtain remnants of course!
I think it turned out great! I had a little more wall space I wanted to cover so I added a polka dot border around the quilt. I also made it to the end and decided not to actually quilt the project. It was a turn and top-stitch only type of situation. There is a layer of batting in the middle, and it helps to give it a little weight. It is backed with a simple gray cotton.
There is a wall adjacent to this one that is still empty. I am thinking about putting the alphabet on it in a fun and creative way. I just don’t know what that will look like yet. If you have any suggestions let me know.
I took a short break from sewing clothes to do this project, but it was still made from a free downloadable pattern and instructions. I think this would be really neat as an even bigger wall hanging in a children’s space or an actual quilt you can use. I also like the original version in color.
And the sewing fun continues……
And who is that off in the distance?
None other than baby boy with toothbrush in one hand and car in the other. Gotta love it!
I heard that SeeKateSew was hosting a sew-along and I decided to jump in. She provided a free pattern for an envelope style clutch and walked you through the construction process from start to finish. It didn’t dawn on me that I needed to have my clutch done like yesterday. I like tackling little projects like this since it’s more experience/learning under my belt and I come away with cute items.
I decided to upcycle a couple of items for this project. A good ole faithful curtain remnant and a tunic style shirt.
Pretty easy sew. I still managed to get some crooked seams in there. If I attempt this again, I will definitely need to find a way to make the clutch more stiff. Heavier fabric or interfacing. This particular fabric is a little too flimsy for me even with heavyweight interfacing.
I really like the texture of the stitched flower. Clutch is nice, shiny and elegant looking. Not to mention this project was $Free.99.
Uploading this to the flickr group just in case you want to see what other ladies have done with the pattern.
Week #3 of Project Run and Play Season 6 is here. The theme for this week is a boy look. So quite naturally I used the tot I have on hand. This theme was quite intimidating if I may say so. I had not yet ventured into making clothes for my sweet baby boy just yet. I am really enjoying this sew along because it’s forcing me to go where I have not traveled.
I am all about simplicity, so I decided on a simple sweater, pair of pants, and a hooded sweater vest. And you already know where my fabric came from. My stash.
Golden sweater is 100% cotton. Tan sweater is a soft wool. Dark chocolate pants are a stretch corduroy. AV baby’s outfit is comfortable and moveable. Just perfect for bringing all his stuffed animals into submission. Lol!
I ended up using clothes he already wears as patterns. They seemed to work out just fine. I definitely knew I needed to make a pair of pants to cover the largeness of his bottom with a cloth diaper on. We are still going strong. Well, maybe slightly weakened. I need to find another solution as this little guy is an extremely heavy wetter. These diapers just don’t stand a chance for more than an hour. I digress. Here are more pics of my guy.
Doesn’t he just look like a little peanut butter and chocolate morsel of goodness? My husband loathes when I refer to colors as food items. I’m sorry babe, but I just can’t help it. Lol. No matter what color he’s wearing, he’ll always be my chocolate drop!