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!

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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!