Liberty + Champagne Super Tote

Froo & Boo: Liberty + Champagne Super Tote
This year, I decided not to sew handmade Christmas gifts. Instead, I did most of my shopping on Cyber Monday–without even leaving the house! Feeling super accomplished and stress-free. Which is a foreign feeling at this time of year because I like being a busy elf, tinkering here and there, feeling like I’m contributing to the magic of Christmas. My new zen outlook has me thinking I’ve been making work for myself.

With shopping (mostly) done, I had time to make myself an early Christmas present–a Noodlehead Super Tote! I’ve been eyeing the pattern for a long time and I finally settled on a fabric combination to make one.
Froo & Boo: Liberty + Champagne Super Tote
I chose a metallic pleather in champagne. So pretty. The fabric has some stretch, so the Pellon Craft Fuse 808 that Anna recommends really helped stabilize the pleather. The pleather was a pain to sew. To make it slightly more manageable, I followed these tips and used wonder clips, put 2 pieces of transparent tape under my presser foot and took it s-l-o-w. One wrong stitch and the puncture in the pleather lasts forever!

The Liberty of London Wild Flowers in tana lawn is my splurge of luxury peeking out at the front, inside the straps and the recessed zipper. The fabric is backed with a lightweight interfacing. I used a 12″ separating zipper instead of a closed zipper for a more polished look.
Froo & Boo: Liberty + Champagne Super Tote
For the lining, I used the print Brush Bear from the Timber and Leaf collection by Sarah Watts. The neutral colours of the print coordinate well with the champagne. The backside of the lining has 2 expanding elasticized pockets.
Froo & Boo: Liberty + Champagne Super Tote
I made 2 tiny modifications: a pocket for my iPhone 6 and a key loop. The only thing worse than a misplaced phone in your bag are misplaced keys. My bag can seem like an abyss at exactly the moment the phone starts ringing or when I’m in the parking lot with a cart full of groceries and squirmy kids.
Froo & Boo: Liberty + Champagne Super Tote
I had to change the inside pocket to accommodate my modifications. I eliminated the elastic casing and made a shorter, flat pocket with some pen slots and a wider slot to fit my wallet.

Here’s the bag with everything inside:
Froo & Boo: Liberty + Champagne Super Tote
There’s enough room for my iPhone, keys, wallet, pens, makeup bag, mini markers, snack bag (black polka dotted zip pouch), sunglasses, seeing eye glasses, wet wipes, tissues and a notebook. Before having kids, I never realized how important it was to have a snack bag lined with nylon–it’s a lifesaver. It’s just the right size for apple sauce pouches, a handful of almonds, crackers, clementines and emergency bribes candies. The wrappers and peels can go right back into the snack bag to contain the mess!

There’s room to spare for my camera and some reusable grocery bags (not shown). The front pocket is perfect for paper: school notices, preschool artwork and Macy’s coupons. You never know when you’ll need those coupons!
Froo & Boo: Liberty + Champagne Super Tote
I’ve been using my super tote for about a week and so far, it’s a huge improvement over my previous tote bag. While I loved the simplicity of that bag, I was getting fed up with collecting all of my things when they slid out without a zipper to hold everything in. I love the compartments of my super tote! It somehow makes my life feel uncluttered.
Froo & Boo: Liberty + Champagne Super Tote
The one thing I’m not completely happy with (oddly enough), is my choice in fabric. While the metallic champagne adds a touch of fancy to my casual style, the pleather is a bit sticky, or clingy, to be more accurate. If there are any stray hairs on my shoulder before I “wear” the bag, I will most likely pull the hairs out of my poor scalp. A small price to pay to have a lightweight, waterproof bag.

Otherwise, I love my super tote! The size is perfect. The pockets are awesome. The zipper is indispensable. The handles are just the right length. I would highly recommend the pattern if you’re looking to graduate from a diaper bag, but still need all the mommy essentials that won’t fit in a cute little purse.

This marks my last sewing project of 2014! I still have a birdhouse to paint with Froo & Boo, but my sewing machine will be taking an indefinite break. 2015 is promising to be very full–I’ve never been so excited to start a new year!

Thanks for visiting!

Froo’s All Spice Dress

All Spice Dress Tour
Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving! It’s such a great holiday–a time to be intentional about gratitude. Black Friday, on the other hand, is sheer madness. If you’re here visiting instead of braving the crowds, then I’m especially thankful!

If you are visiting via the All Spice Dress blog tour, a warm welcome to the Froo & Boo blog! I first “met” Karly of Paisley Roots, when we were both competing in Project Run & Play (season 8)–I was really blown away by Karly’s designs for all 5 of her kids. She took 1st place and I was genuinely happy for her. I told her I would love to sew up her All Spice Dress and she held me to it! I’m excited to be participating in the All Spice Dress blog tour!

I had a completely different All Spice dress planned, but then I found the perfect navy and gold buttons in my button box that were destined to become an All Spice dress. I chose a stretch finewale corduroy in navy blue to complement the buttons. It’s a bit thick, but I thought it would work well for the season.
All Spice Dress Tour
I love the details of this dress! It features a square neckline, front pintuck pleats and a dropped waistline. I chose the button placket, but there is also an option to add a zipper closure. I used the same buttons in ivory to make a music class blouse for Froo.
All Spice Dress Tour
The sleeves are meant to be flutter sleeves, but I added gold piping, which meant I had to line the sleeves, losing the flutter. I love the effect of gold piping! After seeing gold piping used so beautifully on the hungie gungie blog, I knew I had to try it for myself. I added gold piping to the waist as well.
All Spice Dress Tour
I made the dress in size 6, without any modifications. After sewing up the bodice, I had Froo try it on. It seemed rather tight, so I took out 1/2″ on each side seam. But when I completed the dress, it ended up being a little loose. I’m not sure if Froo was just sticking out her tummy at the time, but I should have just left it as is–the fit is spot-on. The instructions were straightforward with plenty of photos for reference.

Froo is going through a no-smiling-for-the-camera phase. I’m hoping it’ll be short-lived. It puts a smile on my face, looking through the sea of pouty, scrunched nose, eyeball rolling photos. I’m just thankful that she will still pose for the camera anyway. Such a sweet girl. With a look of disdain:
All Spice Dress Tour
All Spice Dress Tour
All Spice Dress Tour
All Spice Dress Tour
All Spice Dress Tour
Is this a smile? I’m not so sure–even Froo seems unsure, but I’ll take it!
All Spice Dress Tour
All Spice Dress Tour
If you would love to sew up an All Spice Dress, Karly is offering a 25% discount with the code BLACKFRIDAY2014. There’s also a chance to win some amazing prizes (fabric! zippers!), with multiple ways to earn entries here. Also, link-up here, if you’ve made an item from any Paisley Roots pattern or made with Blend Fabrics. Good luck!
All Spice Blog Tour
I hope you’ll visit participating blogs on the All Spice blog tour–all of the dresses are beautiful. I always find it inspiring to see how others interpret a pattern to achieve a dress that is completely unique and reflects individual style. Thanks for visiting!

A Bamboo Sweater for Boo

Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
I’ve been having a bit of sewing guilt for the lack of boy sewing on the old blog. Apart from Boo’s ring bearer suit, I haven’t sewn anything for him since his birthday. The suit was a big project, but it’s unlikely that he’ll have an occasion to wear it again. The boy needs some everyday clothes.

I wanted to make something for Boo that he would WANT to wear. I usually dress him in cute preppy outfits, since I’m the one looking at him for most of the day. Hee hee. He doesn’t fuss about clothes, but he’s starting to notice that other boys dress differently–in the graphic tee and sweatpants kind of way. I would love to say that I wouldn’t mind if he dressed like that, but I just can’t. I can’t handle the way most graphic tees are too wide and too short. Too loud and super hero-intense. Too many cheesy clichés. Not to mention, some weird poly blend knit that pills with lint balls. Don’t even get me started on sweatpants…

Anyhoo, Boo’s all-time favourite tv show/toys/books are the Octonauts! They are the cutest crew of ocean explorers who learn about sea creatures on their adventures aboard the Octopod. When we were in Vancouver for Uncle E’s wedding, Boo drew this picture of his Gup-A:
Boo's Drawing of a Gup-A
I was shocked. Seriously amazed at my little boy’s ability to depict a 3D tangible object on a piece of flat paper, using only a handful of markers. Before Boo produced his work of art, I had only seen him draw scribble scrabbles–colouring pages without even looking down at the paper. A huge milestone. I mean, what kind of sewing mommy would I be if I didn’t make him a sweater with the Gup-A on it?

I used the field trip raglan t-shirt pattern by Oliver+S to make Boo a bamboo stretch French terry sweater. I can’t get over how soft bamboo is! Boo’s stripy field trip raglan has been in constant rotation and is starting to get small, so I made a size 4 and increased the sleeve length by 0.5″.
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
I used Pellon Wonder-Under to applique each shape onto the front of the shirt before using a triple-stitch to secure the fabric pieces. I placed a piece of Swedish tracing paper underneath to stabilize the fabric, tearing it away afterwards. I’m really happy with how my Gup-A turned out!
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
This is my 3rd go at the pattern and each time I make it, I have trouble with the neckband–it always seems too short and narrow. I tried attaching the neckband with the same fabric (twice), but then I gave up and used ribbing, adding 0.5″ to the width. Soooo much better! Just a small tip: when attaching the neckband using a serger, disengage the cutting knife, just in case you have to try a 3rd time to get it right.
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
I added my usual cuffs and hem band. Since there is a lot of stretch in the ribbing, I shortened them for a tighter fit. I like how the sweater stays put at the waist.
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
Boo is really happy with his new Gup-A sweater! The Gup-A he’s holding is not the same as the one in his drawing. His collection of Octonaut toys is getting bigger with each visit with Mama & Yeye. This boy even watches Octonaut toy reviews on YouTube–he is an expert on all things Octonauts.

I paired the sweater with his linen art museum trousers. I had to let down the hem by 1.5″, giving the trousers new life, but they are still a bit short! I’ll have to let them down some more–the only thing worse than sweatpants are pants that are too short.
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
My sewing guilt has been absolved! I even sacrificed my old turquoise pajama tee for the Gup-A applique. The blue fleece is from Boo’s garden gnome costume and the grey French terry is from the sweater that I made for Mama (which she still wears!). The yellow is from the beak and feet of a penguin stuffy I made for Froo. When I was pregnant with Froo, I became obsessed with the book Cute Dolls and churned out stuffy after stuffy.

These little guys welcomed Froo into her nursery:
Cute Dolls
Thanks for visiting!

Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt

Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
When we were in Vancouver, I took Froo fabric shopping and she picked out the cutest catnap fabric and coordinating peachy-pink knit to make a skirt and a shirt. I didn’t have a pattern in mind, so when I read that Marte from Compagnie-M was looking for pattern testers for the Lotta skirt, I submitted a request and was given a test pattern!

I made the Lotta skirt in size 6, with the hem lengthened by 1″. It features a flat waistband with a gathered skirt. I love this look!
Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
I think the pockets are what makes this skirt so unique. I used leftover coral pink voile from Froo’s practice flower girl dress to create the contrasting inside pocket. I used heart-shaped brown buttons to stitch the pocket flap in place.
Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
There is an invisible zipper in the back of the skirt and the waistband is adjustable using buttonhole elastic. I couldn’t find buttonhole elastic, so I stitched my own buttonholes on some elastic and it worked perfectly fine.
Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
While making the Lotta skirt, I thought I would make a Mara blouse, to keep within the same patten company. It’s been almost a year since I first made a couple of Mara blouses. I made a size 7 (since it was already cut out) in a lycra blend cotton knit fabric.
Mara Blouse by Froo & Boo
I made quite a few changes: overlapped front yokes for centered buttonholes instead of loops, replaced pintucks with gathers, narrowed long sleeves without elastic casings and a hidden bias-bound collar using my method for a single-fold bias tape hem.
Mara Blouse by Froo & Boo
I made one slight change (that isn’t noticeable from the outside, but more of a technical construction tip)–from the inside of the blouse, I pressed the seams of the front yoke out (towards the shirt), then I stitched-in-the-ditch between the piping and the shirt on the front side. The instructions tell you to press the front yoke upwards, but I found that this makes for a wavy front yoke that doesn’t lay completely flat since there are curves and a lot of layers with the piping.
Mara Blouse by Froo & Boo
The Mara blouse and Lotta skirt as a complete outfit is a bit matchy-matchy for my liking. I love each piece separately and they still work together, but I think the knit shirt would look lovely paired with jeans and the skirt with a shirt tucked in.
Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Mara Blouse + Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Lotta Skirt by Froo & Boo
Marte is releasing her Lotta skirt pattern today! It also comes in teen/adult sizes–I wish I had purchased more than 1 metre of the catnap fabric to make one for me. There is a 10% discount on the purchase of your Lotta skirt pattern during the pattern tour, with a chance at a giveaway. Bonne chance!

Thanks for visiting!

Max & Ruby Repeat

Froo & Boo as Max & Ruby... Again Froo & Boo as Max & Ruby... Again Froo & Boo as Max & Ruby... Again halloween2014_02 Froo & Boo as Max & Ruby... Again Froo & Boo as Max & Ruby... Again Froo & Boo as Max & Ruby... Again Froo & Boo as Max & Ruby... Again
I totally lucked out this year–both Froo & Boo willingly chose to be Max & Ruby again! Yay for me! It was such a great feeling to relax on the days leading up to Halloween. I only had one thing left to do–I had to let down the hem on Boo’s overalls. I made them extra long last year, but now they are the perfect length. Oh, and I also had to spot remove some chocolate stains on Boo’s bunny hood. Sheesh.

The day started off with oodles of much needed rain. The rain lasted until Boo & I met Froo at her school for a Halloween parade (kids walking around the school once). I took photos of Froo & Boo at the roundabout–it’s become somewhat of a yearly tradition since we’ve moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. The flying skeletor is still haunting the neighbourhood. He has faded to a shade of charcoal gray from sun exposure, but still spooky nonetheless.

We are heading off to trick-or-treat in our neighbourhood. I realize that I am recycling my content, but look how much they’ve grown!
Froo & Boo as Max & Ruby... Again
Have a Happy Halloween! Stay sweet and safe.

The Cookie Zipper Blouson

The Cookie Zipper Blouson
I’ve had the Cookie Zipper Blouson by Waffle Patterns on my sewing radar for quite awhile, but had forgotten all about it. Then we were in the midst of planning a last-minute trip back to Vancouver and I was suddenly in need of THE jacket to solve my persistent outerwear dilemma. So I finally did something about it–I made myself a blouson!

My outerwear problem stems from my need to wear 3/4 length sleeves. Also, long sleeves rolled up to a 3/4 length. Shirts with sleeve tabs are awesome. I LOVE 3/4 sleeves! They hide the jiggly bits under the upper arms and they are more practical than long sleeves–when having to wash up after your kids, there’s no need to constantly push up your sleeves.

Anyhoo, if you wear 3/4 sleeves as often as I do, you’ll understand that choosing outerwear becomes a challenge. Cardigans are out–the sleeves are too narrow, causing the 3/4 sleeve to bunch up. Same problem with blazers. Wool coats are too wintery for the Bay Area. Besides, I’m not interested in anything past hip length anymore–it makes me look shorter and I’m definitely not about to compensate by wearing heels. So parkas, coatigans and trench coats are out, too. Finally, I wish I were cool enough to wear a cape. Nope, I am not. Do you see the dilemma?

Worn with my favourite Wiksten Tova 3/4 length shirt (yay!):
The Cookie Zipper Blouson
The Cookie Zipper Blouson
I feel like singing the Peg + Cat “problem solved” song! The Cookie Zipper Blouson is roomy in the arms, hip length, with a loose-fit, while maintaining a flattering silhouette.
The Cookie Zipper Blouson
The fabric is a heavy-weight stretch woven cotton with silver thread that gives it a metallic sheen. I bought it at Dressew in Vancouver and it’s exactly the same fabric as Froo’s coat dress. It’s the colour of black coffee–a really dark brown that Pantone would describe as a “warm black”.

The inside of the jacket is super soft and feels like brushed flannel. But the best part is the pretty bias tape binding that I used to finish my seams!
Bias Tape for Cookie Zipper Blouson
I made oodles of 1″ bias tape to make 1/4″ double-fold bias tape. I love the vintage look of this print. If there’s one thing I would do differently next time, it would be to make wider bias tape. 1/4″ leaves very little room for error, especially with thick fabric.
Bias Tape for Cookie Zipper Blouson
At the hem and pockets, I finished the seams with my serger. The hem needs to stretch and I couldn’t figure out how to ease the bias tape around the tight corners of the pockets. I should have changed the thread colour!
Bias Tape for Cookie Zipper Blouson
The pockets are a little snug. I have tiny hands, so it doesn’t bother me, but the opening of the fabric could be longer by 1″. The opening didn’t extend past the end of my 5″ zipper, so topstitching became tricky. The pocket fabric is the same stretch cotton twill used in Froo’s Sunki dress.
The Cookie Zipper Blouson
I was a little nervous about sewing up a separating zipper for the first time, but the instructions were very clear and easy to follow. Each step of the pattern is clearly illustrated–the pattern is a serious gem. But anyhoo, gold zippers! It adds a dressy element to the blouson.
The Cookie Zipper Blouson
I was really hoping to find the kind of thick rib knit fabric used in bomber jackets, but I couldn’t find any. I ended up buying a regular rib knit fabric at Jo-Ann. It was the colour of coffee with half & half, but with a package of Rit Dye in Dark Brown, I got it to a shade of coffee with milk. I didn’t get the perfect match I was hoping for–I should have mixed the dark brown dye with a bit of black dye. It was my first experiment in dyeing fabric, which wasn’t the horrible experience I was expecting, but nonetheless, a long process involving guesswork with an uncertain outcome.

I had to adjust the width of the knit pieces. The rib knit is extra stretchy with not-so-great recovery, so I trimmed 1″ off the cuffs and 2″ off the collar. I left the hem band as-is because I had already sewn on the end pieces, but it could have been shortened considerably, for a better fit.

All of my colour references are about coffee–I have been a zombie mommy. Luckily, we are in the land of Tim Hortons coffee and babysitting grandparents. This weekend, we drove to the North Shore to visit the Capilano salmon hatchery, but took a detour to Deep Cove–I convinced the hubs to go for honey doughnuts. They are like fluffy cake doughnuts, with a crispy exterior drenched in honey. Mmm…
Deep Cove Honey Doughnuts
Deep Cove Honey Doughnuts
The Cookie Zipper Blouson
The Cookie Zipper Blouson
The Cookie Zipper Blouson
The Cookie Zipper Blouson
One final comment–I’m sure I’m being picky, but since I had a lofty goal, I need to dissect every detail! I sewed up the 38 and I think it would be perfect for a non-stretch fabric. With a stretch woven, I think I could go down a size. Stretch wovens are my new favourite apparel fabric! I will definitely be making another one. Although the pattern doesn’t come with lining, there’s a tutorial here for instructions on adding lining.

I hope the weather in the Bay Area will finally cool down when we return. We left during a heat wave–I’m sooooo ready to hide in my cozy blouson, while drinking a much needed coffee, in chilly autumn weather!

Wishing you a wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving! There’s always oodles for me to be thankful for.
The Cookie Zipper Blouson
Froo & Boo in Canada
Froo & Boo in Canada
Daddy & Boo
Thanks for visiting!

Perfect Pattern Parcel #5: Sunki Dress

Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
It’s time for Perfect Pattern Parcel again! For the 5th edition, the pattern collection is curated for Girls & Tweens. Purchasing your parcel is a great way to support indie pattern designers, while making a donation to Donors Choose, a charity organization supporting students in need.

Besides all of the amazing patterns, the best part of your purchase is choosing your price! The minimum price is $16 for 5 patterns. You can also unlock the bonus pattern with a minimum price of $28.
Pattern Parcel #5: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win!
Patterns included: Peek-a-Boo Patterns Lily Knit Blazer / Filles a Maman Mimi Dress and Shirt / EYMM Asymmetrical Drape Top / Fishstick Designs Playhouse Dress / Greenstyle Everyday Yoga Pant

Bonus pattern: Figgy’s Sunki Dress
Pattern Parcel #5: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win
With fall approaching, I decided to make the Sunki dress for Froo. I love a great 3/4 sleeve dress worn with leggings and a pair of boots.
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
The boots only lasted a couple of shots until Froo started complaining–it’s still sunny and warm in the Bay Area.
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
After taking Froo’s measurements, I made the dress in size 8/9. She was at the upper edge of 6/7, but I want her to be able to wear this dress into next year. I’m all for sizing up and wearing dresses until they become tunic tops. One of the reasons why I avoid full-length sleeves on Froo.

The front of the dress:
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
The back of the dress:
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
The fabric is a large scale floral print in a soft, stretch cotton twill. I bought it on sale at Fabricana when we were up in Canada a couple of weeks ago. I was undecided on the fabric–I wasn’t sure if it was screaming grannie’s curtains (I could almost hear my mom’s voice asking me why I would put something old-fashioned on my daughter) or if it was updated vintage, which is a style that is always on-trend. Then I noticed that the leaves were grey and quickly purchased the remaining 1.5 metres. Had the leaves been green, I don’t think I would have purchased it.
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
This poor little bunny was hiding in the washing machine before I pre-washed a pile of dark fabric. It used to be a pale pink, but it was dyed a pale purple-blue. Oops. It was gifted to Froo when she was a tiny newborn. She then gave it to Boo when he was born, because he was born in the year of the rabbit. Then Boo gave it back to Froo, saying the new colour is yucky. Froo loves the bunny’s new look and took it back. The drama!
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
The style of the Sunki dress is unique and has some flattering features: pleated sleeves, integrated pockets, overlapping shoulders and curved seams. However, I had some trouble figuring out the instructions. It’s not a difficult dress to sew, but the instructions are concise and slightly vague. For instance, “stitch the zipper to the garment” left me wondering where to line the top of the zipper and where the stitching should line up from the edge.
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
If you are making this dress, I would recommend the following links for clarification: charm stitch was super helpful in navigating the pattern, very shannon gave useful tips for sewing the zipper and finally, Figgy’s has a photo tutorial for the pockets and side panel.
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
Perfect Pattern Parce #5: Sunki dress
Thanks for visiting! You can purchase your Perfect Pattern Parcel #5 here, but only until October 3. Make sure you check out what participating bloggers have created with their parcels:

September 19 Pienkel || Cookin’ and Craftin’
September 20 Sew Busy Lizzy || The Life Of A Compulsive Crafter
September 21 Keep Calm and Carrion || Felt With Love Designs
September 22 Radiant Home Studio || Sewing Sober
September 23 Sew Fishsticks || La Pantigana || Amanda Rose
September 24 Shawnta Sews || Sprouting JubeJube || Knot Sew Normal
September 25 Make It Perfect || Mimi’s Mom || Climbing the Willow
September 26 Needle and Ted || Our Family Four
September 27 Froo & Boo
September 28 Stitches by Laura || Vicky Myers creations
September 29 Cookin’ and Craftin’ || The Crazy Tailor
September 30 mama says sew || FABulous Home Sewn || The Inspired Wren
October 1 lady and the gents || That’s-Sew-Kari || Sewing Sober
October 2 Gracious Threads || Blogs Like A Mother || SewsNBows
October 3 sew chibi || Lulu & Celeste || Made by Sara

Sew Ready to Play

Froo & Boo: Sew Ready to Play
Today, I’m guest posting at Louise’s blog, I’m Feeling Crafty. She has organized a series dedicated to sewing projects inspired by your favourite game. Froo & Boo aren’t into board games yet, preferring to make up their own games instead. To see what I created for the Sew Ready to Play series, please head over to I’m Feeling Crafty!

p.s. In case you were wondering, this is how Froo’s Build-A-Bear birthday cake turned out yesterday!
Froo's Build-A-Bear Birthday Cake Froo's Build-A-Bear Birthday Cake Froo's Build-A-Bear Birthday Cake
Thanks for visiting!

Froo’s 6th Birthday!

Froo's 6th Birthday
Just popping in to wish my Froo bear a big happy 6th birthday! We celebrated Froo’s birthday a week early in Vancouver with our friends. It was a great way to get together and have all 12 (a dozen!) of our kids play together in my parents’ backyard. It was a little surreal–it’s the same backyard where I had my childhood birthday parties.
Froo's 6th Birthday
Tomorrow, we’re looking forward to a Build-A-Bear party! I’ve been wanting to throw a Build-A-Bear party before I even had kids. Today’s plans include: baking a bear cake together, filling up Froo’s day with arts & crafts happiness and eating dinner at her favourite restaurant.

This year, there aren’t any epic handmade birthday gifts. (For Froo’s 4th birthday, I made her a quiet book, for her 5th birthday, a pair of funny bunnies.) Instead, I bought Froo a shirt from Target and handstitched shiny beads in the shape of the no. 6 in one of the sparkly hearts. It’s a little wonky, a little last minute, but it’s a little something handmade.
Froo's 6th Birthday
I’m always astounded at the developmental growth that happens at each birthday, but this year, I feel like there’s a different kind of jump–more of a giant leap out of the toddler years into the beginning stages of big-kidness. The independence and acceptance of responsibility, combined with a soft and caring heart, makes me so proud of my Froo. She is growing up in a way that isn’t just measured in inches, pounds and physical milestones.

My heart swells.

xoxo.

The finale: flower girl dress & ring bearer suit

Uncle E & Auntie Y's Wedding Day
Finally, a post about the wedding! We are back in California, still recovering from an amazing visit back home. The hubs’ little brother has all grown up–I’m so proud of him! He was still in high school when he was a groomsman at our wedding and now he has a beautiful wife, ready to begin the adventure of married life.

I took the photos of Froo & Boo’s flower girl dress and ring bearer suit after they had been squished in a suitcase for several days, with chocolate mousse stains, donut frosting and all. Yikes.

This dress:
Froo's Fairy Tale Flower Girl Dress
Ooh. Aah. The one and only fairy tale dress pattern by Oliver + S, in size 6. It was a tonne of work, but it really saved me when I needed to work out the vision stuck in my head. The main fabric is a heavy polyester satin in ivory and the skirt looks like rosettes stitched onto tulle. Both fabrics were purchased at Fabric Outlet in San Francisco.

I made a couple of modifications. I mentioned before that I lengthened the bodice by 1 1/2″ and took in the center back by 1/4″. With this dress, it’s important to make a muslin to get the exact fit. Instead of taking the bodice in at the sides, I chose the center back because the side seams were located in just the right position–most likely from what’s left of Froo’s toddler tummy. As of next week, she will no longer be a toddler!

I also cut a one-piece skirt and widened it to 60″. I did this because the width of the satin was 60″, which meant that I could cut a single piece from selvedge to selvedge, eliminating the need to finish the seams. There are 4 layers of the skirt! The rosette tulle over a layer of satin over a layer of crinoline over a layer of lining. Fewf!
Froo's Fairy Tale Flower Girl Dress
The back of the dress:
Froo's Fairy Tale Flower Girl Dress
This is probably my favourite detail about this dress. Just a simple angled line to create a dramatic v-back. The bodice is lined with the same fabric because I wanted to ensure the neckline would stay fairly stiff. I really like the polyester satin because it doesn’t wrinkle very much.

The invisible zipper was a little tricky with all of the skirt layers. To get around this, I basted the rosette tulle onto the satin skirt, leaving an inch unsewn at each end. I sewed the zipper onto the satin skirt only and continued to follow the instructions. Afterwards, I hand stitched the rosette tulle close to the zipper seam. I hope that makes sense!
Froo's Fairy Tale Flower Girl Dress
I almost forgot to include Froo’s hair jewels! It’s a jeweled and beaded applique that was stitched on tulle, purchased at Britex Fabrics. I hand stitched it to a piece of white felt, then carefully cut around the finished edge of the applique. Afterwards, I used E6000 glue to attach it to a satin covered headband that I bought at Jo-Ann.
Froo's Flower Girl Hair Jewels
Boo’s ring bearer outfit is a cute little black suit. The fabric is pretty awesome, also from Fabric Outlet. I reckon it’s the absolute best fabric to make a child’s suit. It’s a thick stretch sateen cotton, with 2 layers fused together. The sheen of the fabric makes it formal, with enough stretchiness for a squirmy boy and the thickness of the suit makes it virtually wrinkle-free.
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
Boo’s blazer is the Basic Blazer pattern by Blank Slate Patterns. If I were to make it again, I think I would try to get a better fit on Boo. There was just a little something that didn’t lay flat at the shoulders. I think it’s the shape of the arm scythe and the way the sleeves are set-in. I noticed it in his practice blazer, but thought it might be a problem with the sleeves being too short on Boo. But I’m being super picky and Boo was ever so cute!

A salesperson at Britex Fabrics recommended satin covered buttons for a tuxedo look. They aren’t something I would have previously considered, but they do look sharp and I’m happy with how it turned out.
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
The lining is a cotton voile in black plaid. I also added a hem facing to the lining, to ensure the blazer had a nice crisp hem.
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
The pants are the art museum trousers by Oliver + S. I didn’t add the belt loops because tuxedo pants are not worn with a belt. For the elastic, I placed it at the side seams instead, to keep the front waistband flat. The fit is perfect.
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
I had a major hiccup with one of the welt pockets. I had to throw it in the bin and cut a new pant leg. I couldn’t risk another frustrating pocket, so I decided to go without. I’m pretty sure it was because the fabric was too thick, because I know I can make a great pair of welt pockets!
Boo's Ring Bearer Tuxedo
I took a couple (hundred) photos of Froo & Boo in their finale flower girl dress and ring bearer suit. They are such crazy clowns! By the end of the photoshoot, the artwork from the magnet board had disappeared. It’s always a surprise when I upload my batch of photos. Please know that these sweet looking kids are really full of mischief.
Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit
I mentioned in my previous post that I didn’t take too many photos on the day of the wedding. My photography is usually limited to a tightly controlled environment, where I can set up my camera and shoot 500 photos in 3 minutes, with sweet and sticky bribes as a reward (see above). When in public, I usually feel like a fraud, holding a dslr, while taking blurry photos, with sweat running down my face, ruining my makeup. No thanks.

So here’s a combination of iPhone photos and some random shots:
Uncle E & Froo Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer SuitFroo's Flower Girl Dress Froo & Boo's Flower Girl Dress and Ring Bearer Suit Froo's Flower Girl DressBoo eating donut frosting
I do regret not getting a photo of me with the kids. The hubs asked the wedding photographer to take a couple of shots of our family, so we’ll have to wait for those. I’m not sure if he was being sweet or frugal–hoping they turn out so I won’t make him take family portraits again!

Froo & Boo with my older sister and younger brother:
Uncle E & Auntie Y's Wedding Day
Uncle E & Auntie Y's Wedding Day
The wedding was oh-so-beautiful. It was heartwarming to connect with Uncle E’s bride. They started dating at around the time I was pregnant with Boo–I have no idea how we survived that year with a toddler and newborn! My memory is still hazy… then we moved to California when Boo was 1, so the distance has made it difficult. But I’m confident that Uncle E and Auntie Y will have a wonderful marriage! She is lovely, genuine and makes Uncle E happy. I can see how the love Uncle E has for Auntie Y has really transformed him into a man who will become a wonderful husband. He gave an emotional speech at his wedding that had me (and everyone else) in tears.

Congratulations Uncle E & Auntie Y! xoxo.

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