Petit a Petit + Family--Serengenti Tanzania
The kids and I decided to go on a little adventure, we went all the way to Africa for our Zoo trip and ended up in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. There we met the coolest Zookeeper and his Hip-O and the tallest giraffe you ever did see. PRP for me, is all about creating those special pieces you've been dreaming for years but just never got around to it, are you ready?
For my first look, I created the a little hippopotamus inspired outfit one of my favorite animals and my daughter has a hippo plush she adores- perfect! When I think hippo, I think grey leather, cute little ears and a boxy kind of body. So, I recycled a pleather jacket I found at the thrift store, completely took it apart, I kept the pockets and worked around that. I self drafted my own pattern to create a boxy, short sleeve jacket with little ruffles at the sleeve cap. I had just enough of the pleather fabric to create a little hat with ears. I used the Oliver + S pattern from the book Little Things To Sew, I modified the pattern a little by removing the ear flaps and making the hats ears a little smaller.
The next thing that comes to mind when I think hippopotamus is a ballerina. So to complete my outfit, I created a leotard and tutu. The leotard is self drafted, I added some front pleats and inserted a tangerine colored bow to brighten everything up. For the tutu, I followed the Oliver + S pattern from that same book. I modified the closure to add snaps, so my little one can get in and out of her tutu all by her self. I created the tutu with multi colors of tulle and made it reversible as well.
Lastly, a hippo is never without his friend the bird, so I made a little bird with wings purse from an old turquoise leather skirt and added a touch of neon orange to tie the outfit together.
What is a Zoo without a Zookeeper? For my son I created a jumpsuit, I've been wanting to make him one for a long time now. I use the Small Fry Skinny Jeans from Titchy Threads for the bottoms and then self drafted a safari style shirt for the top. I embroidered the word Zookeeper on the back, as if you didn't notice and used that same neon thread on all the grosgrain ribbon to tie the colors together. The fabric is a cotton twill I've been hoarding for 13 years now. I also had the perfect vintage badge which says Serengenti, Tanzania- and this is what gave me the idea for the photoshoot. How lucky, who says hoarding doesn't come in handy sometimes? The badge also has an embroidered cheetah which is my son's favorite animal. Now what is an animal inspired outfit without an animal print, I ask? So obviously, I had to make a hat with a cheetah print which I created with a black sharpie. The hat is self drafted too. If you would like to see close up's and details of all the clothing, please come say hello on my blog Petit a Petit and family. We had so much on this shoot and the kids really love their outfits- bonus! I would love to travel with you some more next week? See you then, I hope!
Call Ajaire--Sunbonnet Panda Pinafore
My 2 year old girl Bean is in love with anything panda (check out the #allpandasallthetime hashtag on Instagram to see how nutso she really is about them) so it was a sure bet that I'd use pandas as my inspiration for this Put Me In the Zoo theme. I decided to use the basic color blocking of a panda as the inspiration jump-off point. I designed a backless pinafore with a sunbonnet attached that would cover all the white areas on a panda's body. Over-exaggerating the sunbonnet made it extra cute for summer wear. I had never made a sunbonnet so drafting one that didn't need a chin tie was no easy task, but I'm so pleased with the result. The sunbonnet stays put while it's on Bean's head, but she can also flip it back if she doesn't want to wear it, without having to ask someone to untie it for her (or half choke herself in the process). She's not a huge fan of hats, so this is my way of easing her into some head protection from the sun this summer. The pinafore is backless and secured in the back with a buttoned strap. The sunbonnet is attached to the pinafore at the back of the neck as part of the neckband. This Sunbonnet Panda Pinafore is meant to be worn with a shirt for some sun coverage or on its own on those warmest of summer days we get here in Maryland. I used a lovely polka dotted two sided double gauze for the fabric so it would breathe well in all the heat. Even though the fabric is light-weight, the sunbonnet design holds its shape due to the origami-style folding I used at the nape of the neck and a sandwich of interfacing on the brim.
To go with the pinafore I drafted a cute shirt which would be able to stand on its own and not just be a layering piece. I added puffed short sleeves, gathering the sleeve at the band as well for a little girly flair. A Peter Pan collar and banded bottom also help to make it stand out from a basic t-shirt. The shorts started out as a pair of Oliver & S Sailboat Pants, but I cut the legs off to about a two inch inseam, gathered the outside legs, and added a band to make them bubble style shorts. Of course I added some panda fabric to the shorts' facing so there is a fun surprise for bean when she takes them on and off. I used the same fabric, fussy cutting the panda faces to make the panda buttons too. The shorts paired with a self drafted pair of tights round out this adorable panda themed outfit. We are lucky enough to live close to the National Zoo so we headed there for a fun photo shoot. Bean was so excited to see the pandas and of course she had to sit in her favorite panda's lap and introduce her Pammy Panda to him.
I'd love for you to stop by Call Ajaire where you will see all of the outfit details including the Sunbonnet Panda Pinafore no-shirt no-tights (no-shoes) summer styling.
If Only They Would Nap--Sharp as a Shark
Hop over to If Only They Would Nap to see lots more pictures!
It's Always Autumn--Safari in the City
Honestly, the "take me to the zoo" theme was a little terrifying at first, but I quickly settled on a giraffe for my inspiration animal because I knew I wanted to make a blouse with a high neckline and pretty detailing. I decided to use a white swiss dot for the top since there's not much I love more than a pretty white blouse on a little girl, and I chose a black and white giraffe print cotton and a pretty rust sweater knit to mimic the color and pattern found on giraffes. Then I worked to design three pieces that were inspired by a safari animal but are very much at home in the city, and--most importantly--comfortable and wearable for a 3 year old. All pieces are self drafted using other items in her wardrobe for reference.
My vision for the blouse involved a high neckline with some interesting details but I wanted to figure out how to execute that in a way that wouldn't be constricting or uncomfortable. I started by trying to pleat or ruffle fabric but couldn't get the easy sophisticated look I was going for. In the end I sewed rows of shirring using elastic thread on a large "donut" of fabric, then used that to create a combination V-neck, yoke, and faux cap sleeve. I attached a gently gathered bodice and finished off the arm holes and V-neck with narrow double fold bias tape. The shorts feature an elastic waist with a ruffled waistband, back zippered welt pockets, front slant pockets, a cuffed hem, and a perfect fit. The zippers and front pocket lining are in a bright gold for a pop of color. The soft cardigan sweater comes together at the waist, forming a V-neck to mimic the blouse, and then curves back out for a hi-lo hem. I took special care hand finishing the edges of the sweater to be sure it lays completely flat and looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside. The long sleeves can be pushed up to 3/4 length for more of a spring-time look. The sweater can be tied closed in front, or it can be worn open with the tie gently cinching the back. All together, the pieces form a look that's stylish enough for a girl in the city and comfortable enough for a girl on the playground.
See more photos (and find out my daughter's nickname for this outfit) on my blog, It's Always Autumn. Thanks!
Googie Mama--birds of a feather
This challenge—and I know for a fact all my fellow designers will agree—was tough. these simple simon girls must have been evilly cackling as they plotted this, because i was stumped. In the end I found myself mentally walking through our local zoo (Philly shoutout whatttt!) and evaluating each animal…monkeys? too sad, and too…brown. big cats? too cheetah-printish. shudder. zebras? too reactionary. and pigeons plot in secrecy…wait, where was i? prairie dogs? reptile house? hyenas???? truth is, i’m not a zoo lover. so i narrowed it down further: what—if anything—do i actually enjoy seeing when i go to the zoo? and then it was easy…
the flamingos. from their gracefully silly long necks, to their fluffy pink plumage and right on down to their goofy backwards bending scrawny legs. i finally had my inspiration, and it led me right to my two littlest girls in coordinating spring dresses. both dresses are done with a a combo of the same two fabrics: a lighter peach-pink knit, and a darker flamingo colored taffeta. (no lie—the thread i bought to match the darker color fabric? it’s name is “flamingo”. high five) elliot’s dress features a comfy knit top, with a taffeta skirt and waistband. the entire dress is lined, and has a built in slip for the Essential Puffiness Factor. the skirt is covered with lots and lots AND LOTS of hand-cut fabric “feathers”. i explored tons of ways to get a feathery look on a skirt—even down to using real feathers. but this was the winner: comfy, non-wrinkling, washable, tons of movement, and plus she straight-up loves it. the back has a contrasting button placket with pinkish rhinestone buttons running from top to bottom.
gigi’s dress features more of the taffeta in an a-line with a invisible side zipper and two lines of contrast piping down the front. the back was inspired by the fluffy flamingo butts. yup—more hand cut feathers peeking out from the back cutout and peekaboo skirt, along with two pink rhinestone buttons for a little bling. she also has a matching jacket, with contrast ruffle around the neck and rhinestone button; and separate slip for the Puffiness Factor. (everything was made from self-drafted patterns) and if you’re making dresses inspired by flamingos, you may as well jump in with both webbed feet, right? so both my girls got handmade hats/fascinators, topped with fluffy peachy-pink feathers and netting.
for more pics of my girls behind bars/more info about the dresses/answers to your burning questions (like just how many fabric feathers DID you cut out?) flap on over to my blog—googiemomma!
The Crazy Tailor--Buffalo Baby
I'm so excited to be here, and at the same time I can hardly believe that it's HERE already! Where did this last month go? When I found out the themes for the first week, I was thrown for a loop - animal inspiration? I had to look waaaaay outside the box. I based my look around a fabric selection, buffalo check (or buffalo plaid), and went from there. Since I find boy clothes more of a challenge, and also because we can always use more boy inspiration, I decided to do this look for my little 15 month old munchkin. I drafted a bodysuit-styled shirt with the buffalo check shirting and love the fit on this - no more untucked shirts on my little crawler! Next up were some buffalo-inspired jeans with some cute detailing from the original belt loops. This was my first time making a pair of jeans, and although they were time-consuming, the results were totally worth it!
In keeping with the buffalo theme, I made a pullover with a leather buffalo applique and used Kam snaps for the button-up collar. Such a nice layering piece! And then to finish off his look, I went with a classic camel-coloured corduroy blazer. I know....not a buffalo, but camels are at the zoo too! I had so much fun putting this look together, and I love it for it's versatility and style!To find out more about my pattern modifications, and to see LOTS more pictures, head on over to my blog!