Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween from Abby Cadabby

Happy Halloween! I decided I just couldn't wait any longer in sharing the cutest little Abby Cadabby ever! I gave a little snippet preview, but I never really explained the concept and construction of the costume. I really enjoyed working on this dress, even though I was swamped with orders and waited until the day before this little papoose was going to wear it out Trunk or Treat'ing! Warning: cuteness overload will now commence!

Initial Sketch Concepts
To be honest, I was a little stumped with how to design this costume! I felt like I was going in so many different directions and had too many ideas. It was a bit difficult getting the little papoose to decide on which costume she wanted in the first place, so my sister and I came up with the idea of giving her options. Tinkerbell, Fairy Princess, and Abby Cadabby were among the candidates. Of course, she wanted them all. After I drew a few designs and redrafts, we settled on an Abby concept that would be "heavily encouraged" for the little papoose to choose.

It took forever at the fabric store, but I think we made the best choice in the end! The fabric needed to be "magical" and not your every day cotton, so we looked in the prom and costume sections. We found tons of options but some weren't exactly the right color or some didn't sparkle enough. 

We had to have gone through three different fabric options for each shade. Every time we chose one, we would have to rethink the other two. In the end, we settled on colors that were reminiscent of Abby's dress that had enough pizazz (I just used the word pizazz, feels weird) and sparkle to create a fun fairy costume.

I started sewing the petal skirt first because I knew it would take the longest. I had to cut 16 pieces of blue and 16 pieces of purple, then sew them, but it was so worth it. I love the double tiers of petals with the purple peeking from behind the blue, it really came together nicely. It wouldn't have looked right without so many petals, it's such a full twirly skirt!

I made a separate tulle petticoat for underneath the dress to add volume and sass. I love the tulle because not only is it pink and girly, but it also has glitter all throughout (which also went all over the table and floor as I was sewing it). The blue has a subtle sparkle to it too from tiny rhinestones in the fabric. 
The bodice was super easy to cut and sew after the hassle of gathering all those petals together. It was a simple halter neckline with the neck straps sewn at the peak. I love the way the ends of the bow dangle down. The back of the bodice has elastic at the top for a better and more comfortable fit. 

 And these are just for your viewing pleasure, see if they don't force you to crack a smile:


I think the dress was a success! Her accessories were already on hand because this little papoose loves her some Abby! It was a fun outfit to make her, and I hope she enjoys wearing it and creates lots of fun memories. I remember watching my mom sew our Halloween costumes throughout the years and being excited about the outcome, so I'm glad I get to experience that with my sweet niece.

With Nana at the Trunk or Treat!

Baby duckies!

Dressing up is fun, but the real treat is the candy!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Christmas Party Dress 2013 Reveal

Well, it is finally here, the first official Christmas Party Dress 2013 by Papoose Clothing, and I'm not sure I could love it more than I already do! I wanted a dress that was slam packed with lovely details and enough festive charm to make every little papoose wearing it feel like a sugarplum fairy or Christmas elf or whatever she wanted to imagine herself as. I love the idea of a classic Christmas dress only worn for special occasions, and I think this dress has such a timeless quality that it could become an heirloom piece for future generations!
When I wrote earlier about the design and fabric choices, I mentioned I have a slight obsession with tiered dresses and skirts, but this one I particularly love because of the waving cut in the different tiers. I like how it flows visually and adds another element that really showcases the sheen of the fabric. The puff sleeves are amazingly puffy, I feel like Anne Shirley whenever I see them and think about when she went to her Christmas Ball in a festive party dress!
The slate grey and maroon colors look so incredibly well together, the maroon just pops off the dress is such a dramatic way. Not to mention the big bow at the back that provides another striking element, and I love the gathered ruffles at the front of the sash, giving dimension and interest. I didn't want to leave just the sash in another color, so I added the ruffle flutter sleeves to tie in the satin fabric with the body of the dress. I think it's the perfect touch without going overboard.
The back of the bodice is cut deep and has two darling little rhinestone and pearl buttons that offer up more glitz and glamour! A separate tulle petticoat can be seen peeking out from underneath the skirt to add volume and more sparkle with fun little rhinestone specks dotted throughout. This is seriously a fun and festive little dress, I can't help but be proud of it! I tried to keep it exciting and party-worthy with just enough details to make it pop without making it too fussy. The only problem is I am so ready for Christmas carols and warm fires and yummy foods after working on this dress, and we're not even done with Halloween yet!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Following the Yellow Brick Road

A sweet friend of mine graciously allowed me the privilege of making her little one's Halloween costume this year, and I was thrilled about the opportunity! Apparently, this little papoose is obsessed with The Wizard of Oz, and desperately wanted to be Dorothy. She even said their dog, Bella, was going to be Toto, which she was, and her momma was going to be The Wicked Witch, which she wasn't! She kept asking me on a weekly basis if I was going to be making her Dorothy costume, so I knew I had to get it right for this little fan!

Almost done!
I kept the outfit fairly identical to the original with few modifications. I loved the way the blue gingham looks, it has such a classic appeal about it. I made the skirt a bit fuller than the original because, come on, a little girl needs a twirly skirt! I also kept the belt, bodice, and suspenders like the original. I altered the blouse somewhat and made a ruffled collar instead of the simple band. I also left out what looks like ricrac trim around the collar and sleeves. I kept the puff sleeves and added a band at the bottom to incorporate the blue gingham into the blouse for a cohesive look. 

Ready and off to see the wizard!
I know it's not strictly identical, but I think anyone could guess the costume. I added enough of my style into the outfit without diverging from the essence of what makes a Dorothy dress. Plus, I know for a fact the little papoose who wore it looked so darling and was completely ecstatic about wearing it! In the end, that's all that matters!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Midnight Moon: A Short Story

The Autumn/ Winter 2013 collection is in full swing, and I am so in love with this one! Fall is definitely my busy season, especially with Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving and Christmas dresses, but besides the regular staples I keep throughout the year, I have this gorgeous new collection I am so proud of. I had so much creativity flowing during the early stages, and while I briefly talked about the fabrics and feelings behind this collection, I never really expressed the story behind it.

While I was sewing up a storm, I imagined a little story based on the fabric from the Cats and Dogs Long Sleeve Bib Dress with Peter Pan Collar that came to be the center for the Midnight Moon collection. I pictured various animals getting into various shenanigans, but it wasn't until recently that I actually sat down to write a short backstory. It was so much fun creating a story based on my niece, the original Little Papoose, and letting my sweet feline friend, Wickit, be a part of it!

"Midnight Moon"

It was time for bed, but the little papoose didn’t want to fall asleep. She was a little, tiny bit, slightly afraid of the dark. After saying her prayers, her mommy and daddy her tucked in, giving lots of hugs and kisses. She was still a little afraid of the dark. She asked her mommy to check under the bed and in the closet to make sure no monsters were hiding. She even wanted all of her friends in the bed with her. 

As Little Papoose settled in and the midnight moon peeked into her window, she realized one very special friend was missing. She almost started to cry because she was left all alone. Just then, Wickit jumped up on her bed, grooming his face after a delicious dinner. Little Papoose calmed down when she saw her very special friend. She loved Wickit, and Wickit loved to follow Little Papoose around and sleep on her bed.

All of a sudden, a dark shadow flitted across the room. Little Papoose was scared. Wickit jumped to the window to look outside, but he only saw the garden gnomes raking up the fallen leaves. He walked back to Little Papoose and comforted her with his tender purrs.

As Little Papoose was about to lay back down, a strange glow shined into the room. Little Papoose sat up as Wickit checked to see where it came from. It was only the fairies sewing by candlelight to finish the Fairy Queen’s dress for the ball. Wickit returned to the bed and gave Little Papoose a reassuring rub.

Suddenly a strange noise was heard, and Little Papoose stared wide-eyed with fright. Wickit walked stealthily to the window and saw only the Mr. Fox and Jack Rabbit talking about the weather while drinking dandelion tea. This time Wickit came back to Little Papoose and gave her a gentle meow. They both soon nestled into bed, and Wickit’s soft purrs and warm cuddles quickly lulled Little Papoose off to sleep.
Experience the Midnight Moon collection for yourself and let your little papoose's imagination run wild with sizes from 2T-6T!

Feature Friday: Red Dolly Swimwear

Living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I jokingly say there are two kinds of seasons here: hot and humid and hot and arid. There are occasionally pockets of cold weather, sometimes an actual season of Fall and Winter, but mostly it's mosquito weather all year long! Although I'm not particularly the kind of girl that just goes to lay out in the sun all day long, I love to bring my sweet little niece to the beach for some fun and a picnic between splashing in the waves!

Today I wanted to introduce to you all about the most darling shop for swimwear! Heather Stepanik at Red Dolly Swimwear is the mastermind behind this incredibly fun retro inspired line for women and children. Her women's line is feminine and sexy while still leaving room for the imagination, allowing a woman to feel comfortable in public, and her children's swimwear has so much sass and happiness rolled into it! Influenced by classy pin-up pictures, Heather creates fabulous swimwear that is beautifully made, stylishly fun, and modest at the same time.

1. How do you define art?
Art is Creating in some way or another. I think everyone can be artistic in their own way, whether it be painting or writing, or even speaking. Art is for Everyone!

2. How would you describe your art?
I love creating, and I also love fashion, so I started my swimwear lines in a way that I can create something others love and can use, and still live out my passion of being a designer.

3. Name three adjectives that describe your artistic point of view.
Simple, Classic, & Timeless

4. Who has most personally influenced and inspired you as an artist?
My Mother.. She always gave us creative freedom, and introduced us to all kinds of things, places, and ideas that left my mind open to the possibility of becoming whatever I wanted.

5. Has your artistic sensibility changed since you first began?
As a Young artist I was interested in the messy, crazy & weird designs that I could create. As I evolved I found that I and most people were more drawn to the simple pieces. I found a way to tone down my ideas and design pieces that were simple but still stood out.

6. What inspires your art?
I guess I am my biggest customer. I started designing swimwear because I wanted a suit for myself, and had a hard time finding something modest, yet cute. So most of my designs are based on finding fabrics, and trims that I love and making suits that I would want to wear.

7. Do you have a favorite artist from another field?
There are too many to love... so no I cant just pick one. : )

8. Who is your favorite competitor from your field?
I love Stop Staring dresses. they have a classic look, with a modern feel.

9. Do you have any occupation hazards or mishaps?
Not yet!

10. What did you wish you would have known when starting out?
How to Run a Business! But figuring everything out has taught me a lot, and made the journey more meaningful.

11. What is your favorite item currently for sale in your shop?
My Favorite suit has been and still is My Red and white polka dot One piece suit.

12. Who is your favorite author? What was your favorite book as a child?
Another Hard one. I don't have many favorites, I like such a mixture of everything!

13. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A Fashion Designer ; )

14. Where is the farthest you have travelled? Where did you dream about visiting as a child?
So Far its Kauaii. I have always dreamed of going to Egypt. I'm fascinated by the pyramids and would love to go someday!

15. Which musician or musical group inspires you the most? What was your favorite childhood song?
The Beatles.

16. Where can people find you and your art online?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Feature Friday: Claudelle Girard Art

I am always amazed at people who can do things I am impossibly hopeless in. Painting will consistently be in the top category of "Things I Desperately Wish I Was Better At." I have certainly given it my best, but it's just not in the cards for me. Though I have no real talent in that area, I love  paintings and going to art museums and finding new artists who inspire me! 
This week, I want to introduce you all to Claudelle, the incredibly talented artist and her shop, Claudelle Girard Art. I am in love with her paintings, they have so much life and vivacity to them. Her use of color is amazing and bold, it is so cleverly and exquisitely used while still being grounded. There is so much depth and life in the eyes of the animals she paints, you can really see how she captured their spirit. She has a gorgeous range of selections from original works of art to moderately priced prints; you can even purchase a custom pet portrait, so there is something for everyone!
1. How do you define art?
I by no means pretend to be any sort of authority on art, but the definition of art for me personally is something along the lines of "That which inspires feeling, provokes thought and has an aesthetic appeal to the viewer."
2. How would you describe your art?
Colorful and graphic in style. Honest, good-natured. My intention is to draw the viewer in to the mystery which is the subject, and to hopefully appreciate its natural beauty and life.
3. Name three adjectives that describe your artistic point of view.
- Conservational
- Intuitive
- Graphic

4. Who has most personally influenced and inspired you as an artist?
Both of my parents are very creative and have always been very supportive of my creative whims and aspirations. We are shaped by those who surround us. Family, friends, teachers, and our furry, sometimes feathery (and much more) companions on Earth! A notable historical figure of much importance and inspiration: Charles Darwin, and his contemporary counterpart: Richard Dawkins.

5. Has your artistic sensibility changed since you first began?
Perhaps it has through an ever-growing acceptance of who I am as an artist by not trying to force  specific vision but rather by welcoming my intuition. That's a really deep and complicated question!

6. What inspires your art?
Nature; Texture; Color; A piercing eye that makes us want to examine more.
Also, watching this video! Seriously.

7. Do you have a favorite artist from another field?
I have great respect and admiration for the illustrator Matt Lyon. He is a master of color and shape.

8. Who is your favorite competitor from your field?
I don't know if I could view her as a competitor per say, but I admire Christina Mrozik for her creativity, technical abilities, and for the complexity of her work.

9. Do you have any occupation hazards or mishaps?
Hazards… everlasting poverty? Mishaps…. all the time! There is no easy "undo" with canvas and paints!
10. What did you wish you would have known when starting out?
I wish I'd have known that following your head will probably never win over following your heart, no matter how long you stick to it. Not in my experience, anyway.

11. What is your favorite item currently for sale in your shop?
There's a special place in my heart for this Great Horned Owl painting, and I recently started being able to offer prints which are of super-great quality. Therefore, this is currently my favorite item:

12. Who is your favorite author? What was your favorite book as a child?
I love to read both fiction and non-fiction books. From the last 5 or so years to currently, I'd have to say my favorite author is Haruki Murakami. From when I was a child, "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott stands out.
13. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was an avid collector of novelty pens, pencils and erasers, and dreamt of owning a shop with all sorts of paper products and cute things like that! My most cherished eraser was a little pair of eraser roller skates tied together with a string. I still love the smell of erasers.

14. Where is the farthest you have travelled? Where did you dream about visiting as a child?
I suppose I'm currently in my furthest travel, having moved from Canada to Norway in 2008. It seemed like such a remote area before I visited for the first time! I've had the privilege of traveling a bit around the country.. indeed remote, yet full of life.

As a child I moved around a lot with my family. I probably dreamt about staying put! And of living with The Snorks! ( )

15. Which musician or musical group inspires you the most? What was your favorite childhood song?
There are just so many depending on the mood and moment in time! A current favorite from my adoptive city of Bergen is Mari Kvien Brunvoll. A "tried and true" classic favorite: Pink Floyd.

Favorite childhood song: The Inspector Gadget theme song is definitely up there!
16. Where can people find you and your art online?
I sell through Etsy at
Am perhaps most active on Facebook:
And have a personal portfolio site at

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Christmas Party Dress 2013

Besides the Fall/ Winter collection, I wanted to make a very special dress for the upcoming holidays. I've been thinking about it for the past few weeks and really wanted to get it right since it will be the first Christmas dress Papoose Clothing will be issuing. I've been steadily releasing a Fall dress every year, but there is something special about a Christmas Party Dress I find exciting!

Christmas Party Dress 2013
After several design ideas, I finally decided on one that I was happy with and felt was festive enough for any party. It has a lot of fun little details I'm excited about implementing. I have a slight obsession with tiered skirts, and this dress has several. I wanted more "oomph" though than my regular dresses, so there's a fun tulle petticoat underneath this one that will really makes it into a party dress. I knew I wanted a more festive fabric than cotton, and I found some really lovely fabric choices.

I didn't necessarily want to go the whole green and red route or choose a pattern like poinsettias and Christmas trees that screamed Christmas. I wanted something classier and more mature than the stereotypical designs you usually see in stores, and I wanted some fun infused into it to. I think the gray and maroon colors work really well together, especially for a party seasonal party dress! Hopefully I will be able to finish it up within the next week and have something to show you all!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Origins of Papoose Clothing

So you know that part in Home Alone when Kevin is going through his older brother Buzz's room, looking around in stuff he shouldn't be messing with, and he finds that picture of an unattractive girl and goes, "Buzz, your girlfriend! Woof!" That's exactly how I feel when I look back at what I was making three years ago when I first started out. It's actually quite painful, and I don't know how I sold anything. Even though I had absolutely no clear design aesthetic at the time, I knew I enjoyed sewing and wanted to see if I could make a go at it.

The original Little Papoose
As some of you may already know, I started making children's clothes because of this sassy thing up there! None of use knew how much "sassafras" we were in for three years ago, but she definitely keeps us laughing. I wanted to make little keepsakes for her, so I stitched up a handful of items before my sister gave birth. She was kind enough to graciously accept them with praises, but looking back, I can only imagine what was going through her head. "Thaaaanks...(I guess)..." She even let Harper wear some, which is beyond me, as you can see.
"Woof" is definitely a correct term!
My precious little family members were kind enough to encourage me though, and it coincidentally coincided with a local street fair that was coming up. I decided to pursue purchasing a booth and sewed like mad for two weeks. I really did have fun sewing the items because I just let my creativity run loose. I'd raided my mom's sewing stash beforehand and had collected gobs of trims and fabrics so I really used whatever I had on hand, which didn't amount to anything impressive, just a bunch of mish-mash, unimaginative and boring items. I can see my mix of colors and vintage inspired style though and how it developed to where I am now.
My sweet husband staying with me for moral support!
How sad is that booth? I just threw things in there and hauled out whatever easily portable furniture we had. Amazingly, I sold a few things, though I spent more that day than I received in sales. It was a blast though, if just for the people-watching factor. Fairs help get your brand name out there, it's good for networking, and you get to eat delicious fair foods! I have definitely grown leaps and bounds from those days, and I am proud of what I've been able to accomplish so far. There is still more to learn though. I can't wait to see what happens next, and I hope y'all can join me on the journey!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Feature Friday: Teaka Marie

As a children's clothing designer, I am constantly looking for my next inspiration. It could come from a line of music, colors in a work of art, or the weather outside my front door. I am constantly amazed and inspired by other handmade artists in particular, so I decided to begin an on-going series featuring some fellow artisans who create beautiful things with their own two hands.

My first interview is with Teaka from Teaka Marie, a line of beautifully designed women's clothing and accessories. Everything from fabric choices to photography is carefully crafted to create this incredible shopping experience inspired by the Canadian prairies and vintage styles. I fell in love with her charming design aesthetic of vintage elements that are highlighted in wearable updated creations, and I hope you enjoy her shop as much as I do!

1. How would you describe your art?
The art of sewing it something I'm constantly learning and because of this I guess I would describe my "art" as a constant learning curve. It's hard to not get distracted by other designs and want to incorporate their styles into my own. Yet I try to always remain true to my first love and keep my designs simple. This also helps keep life manageable as I have to be able to grade the pieces in small, medium, and large size. That being said I enjoy when I'm able to challenge myself and try new designs. That's what keeps sewing interesting.

2. Name three adjectives that describe your artistic point of view.
I'm not sure I have an artistic point of view but let's give it a shot.
1) Vintage prairie 2) Simple 3) Girly

3. What inspires your designs?
My inspiration comes from memories during my childhood, growing up on a Saskatchewan prairie farm. I seem to go back to that, and try to picture each garment in that setting. Sometimes it's hard for me to narrow down designs, so when I get overwhelmed I try to imagine whether that garment would look like suitable standing nostalgic like in a field, or playing by a barn. My designs tends to be simple and hopefully cute. Nothing modern or overly bright.

4. What is your favorite item currently for sale in your shop?
Oh this is a hard one because I love so many of my pieces. They become like my babies after spending so much time with them. But to make this bearable for you guys my two favorite pieces are my Scallop Hem Shirt. I wore mine own so many times this summer. I love this shape and fit of this top.
I also love the Ivory Pocket Dress. This one is simply adorable and I love the baggy fit when first put on and how girly it looks when tied up with a belt.

5. Do you have any occupational hazards or mishaps?
There are not many hazards or mishaps I've experienced. I know some gals can find their finger sewn to their fabric if their not careful but thankfully I've been safe so far. I think the worst thing is being in my sewing room and knowing I've dropped a dozen sharp pins over a few months and never being able to find them. I know they're some where's in the carpet. I pray my eyes find these pins first before my feet. Haha!

6. Where can people find you and your art online?
You can find my shop at, for updates and giveaways check out my Facebook page and my blog at

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Paws of Papoose Clothing

As much as I love to design and sew, the day to day business side can be a little overwhelming. I did not know what I was getting into when I first started out, but I have learned and grown so much these past three years. Though I wear many hats as owner, designer, and maker, just to name a few, there are those who need to be acknowledged for their unrelenting support and overall helpfulness behind the scenes. Thus, I give you the paws behind Papoose Clothing!

Woolrich, Project Manager
Responsibilities Include But Are Not Limited To:

Organizing and Inventorying Trims
Keeping Supplies Clean and Tidy
Maintaining Ironing Board's Efficiency
Keeping Subordinates Productive and Appreciated
Wickit, Quality Control Inspector
Responsibilities Include But Are Not Limited To:
Packaging and Shipping
Promotional Advertising
Inspecting Patterns

Office Supervisor