Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Work in Progress: Ruffle Neck Tunic Dress

I don't know what it is, but as soon as I sit down to sew or lay out fabric to cut (both of which are relatively silent actions) the Paws of Papoose descend as if I need their help. Every time, without fault. I love working out of my home studio so I can eat, take a break, and have my furry companions by my side when ever I want. Or as with the last one, when ever they feel like it!

Wickit decided it was time for a surprise quality inspection while I was finishing up the collar on the Ruffle Neck Tunic Dress. Luckily, I passed with flying colors, and just to make sure we all understood who is really in charge, he demanded some head rubbings before I could get back to work. He's such a micro-manager.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Spring/ Summer 2014 Collection: Bayou Bebe

It is finally here, and I feel like I need a mega introduction like those found on old scary movie posters. Don't walk, RUN! So fantastic it'll make you SCREAM! Not that I feel like collection is remotely scary, but I feel like I need a trumpet blaring whenever I release a new collection. This may happen one day, so I will put it now for future goals. Until then, Bayou Bebe is officially here with as much warmth and celebration as if a big brass band has been playing!
This collection has been a love story for me because I grew up in Louisiana so I feel a deeper connection to this line than past inspirations. I hope this relationship is evident in the clothing and speaks to people on a meaningful level, not just superficially. Although I hope people like the clothes for their own design merit, I hope people can understand the thoughts behind it and that I did my part in relaying a story.
Each piece has a significant name that is either derived from what inspired the design of the item or simply a name that is connected to Louisiana and/or bayous. For example the Cafe Au Lait Double Ruffle Top Bloomer Bubble Shorts is named so because of the color of the fabric used with fun little polka dots that reminded me of bubbles in a cup of chicory coffee Louisiana is known for. Also the Magnolia Leaf Green Ruffle Neck Tunic Dress is titled because I was inspired by the shape of magnolia leaves and designed the hemline and color of the dress after one of the most romantic and classic trees found in the south.
I imagined the little lady who wears this collection catching lightning bugs in jars, sipping iced sweet tea on a front porch, or dancing to zydeco music to make her skirt twirl. These are all things I clearly remember doing as a child and have fond memories of. I kept the studio pictures simple and mysterious, like a flash of clarity through the foggy bayou where anything could happen.
I am super excited to take model shots with the Little Papoose soon, I have so many ideas I want to see accomplished so stay tuned for those! Until then you can continue reading all about the individual details for each listing at the Etsy store.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Custom Teal Request

As I know I've mentioned before, I love custom requests. I will continue to say it because the moms I get to work with are truly inspirational with their visions. I have yet to meet a mom who asked for something so ridiculous, unreasonable, and/ or insulting that has made me turn down their requests, thankfully! It makes me so happy to have customers enjoy my aesthetic and appreciate my abilities enough that they feel confident in entrusting me with an order sight unseen, just information that hopefully has been relayed and accepted properly.
An awesome mom contact me a few weeks ago about the Beauty and the Beast Princess Inspired Ball Gown. She liked the design and saw that I had made a version of it in mint but wanted to see what other colors I could do. I told her I could do any color so long as I could find matching pom pom trim. She mentioned an aqua/ teal color, so I immediately checked Etsy to see what small businesses had to offer.

Luckily, I came across Jaceycraft, a lovely little Etsy shop full of sewing goodies, and Jacey was able to create a listing for me with enough trim to finish the project. I absolutely love the way it turned out, the teal color is amazingly gorgeous. It's always a little tricky and nerve wracking when it comes to matching trim to fabric, but I got lucky! The dress is beautiful, but the cutest part is that the Little Papoose calls the pom pom trim "tickle balls!" How adorable is that?!
Also requested were two matching hair clips that could adorn her pigtails. I can just see some precious little girl dancing around in her "tickle ball" dress with bouncing pigtails having the best time! I made a simple yo-yo and attached a grouping of the pom pom trim in the middle, and I think they came out as the perfect accessories for such a darling dress.

Look What I Made Linky Party 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Out With the Old

In with the new! I am making way for the new collection with a little sale on select items from the Spring/ Summer 2013 line, Color Me Ruffled. It's bizarre how quickly time went, I feel like I was just promoting these clothes a few weeks ago, and here I am getting ready to release a new Spring/ Summer collection. The discount is already represented in the price so no coupon code to remember. I have a limited amount of fabric left so when it's gone these styles will be gone too!
Was $47, Now $37.60
The skirt is made out of cotton materials. The full under skirt has a fun circle pattern to it in luscious purples, with the an elastic waist the is set an inch below the top to create a ruffled effect. The top apron skirt is in a coordinating purple color, and it has gathered ruffles all around the hemline. A long bow in the same fabric is pulled through the top waistline and tied at the side to create a lovely little skirt!
Was $42, Now $33.60
The pants are cut from a darling cotton Swiss Dot fabric in a lovely beige/ camel shade. This color will truly go with anything! The legs are cut straight down for the wide leg look, and it has an elastic waistline with the elastic set an inch below the top of the pants to create a sweet ruffle effect.
Was $42, Now $33.60
The pants are made entirely from a cotton material in differing shades of purple. The pattern is of repeating subtle graph lines that criss-cross together. The waist has an elastic set an inch below the top to form a sweet little ruffle. The bottoms of the legs are shirred for gathering, and a darling tie cinches around the leg and knots at the sides.
Was $35, Now $28

These sweet little shorts are cut from a fabulous houndstooth print cotton material in a teal color. The waist and legs both have elastic gathering for that "bubble" effect with extra room in the seat area. The elastic is held below the waistline and above the hemline for a double ruffled look, very sweet and sassy!
Was $59.50, $47.60
The dress is made from cotton fabrics, and the main body is a soft white cotton. The neck is gathered with elastic and cut from a green shamrock pattern to create a darling collar. The sash is made from a beautiful teal fabric that accents the green of the collar beautifully, and it wraps around the waist twice to tie in the front.
Was $45, Now $36
A little appliqued heart is cut from a sweet cream and brown polka dot fabric, and your little one's first name initial will be embroidered on it! If you would prefer, you can choose any fabric choice from the Spring Summer 2013 Collection to use as the background for the heart to match any other item from the collection!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Feature Friday: ArtistiicAbandon

There is some art that makes you just take a step back and think. It could be a song you need to play over and over again with the speakers up high, a picture you really could write a thousand words about, or a painting that makes you stop and think. Alas, I can do none of these beautifully artistic endeavors; scratch that, I can attempt these, but they would not produce the same emotional, pensive state I'd love to produce in observers that only true artists can do.

In comes John (Seminary Road Artists) at ArtistiicAbandon, who can do precisely that. When I first came across his shop, I was amazed at the depth of his oil paintings and spent quite a long time looking through his listings. I love that through all the resell items and mass produced chaos on Etsy I can find an artist with such incredible talent. Each painting is just as breathtaking as the last, there is no way I could choose a favorite as they are all incredibly beautiful and moving. With well placed strokes and an abstract eye, John's creations are thought-provoking and insanely covetous.

1. How do you define art?
Art is an attempt to convey an intellectual or emotional experience or feeling, through any pictorial means. This is a little pedantic. I apologize for that.

2. How would you describe your art?
My art is an expression of loneliness, solitude, and longing. That’s kind of bleak, isn’t it? To justify the bleakness, let’s say there’s a lot of beauty in those things.

3. Name three adjectives that describe your artistic point of view.
Isolated, apart, and sentimental. Sentimental is surely a dangerous word to use. It might be better to use a word like melancholy, but I know that deep down inside I am indeed sentimental about life, about love.

4. Who has most personally influenced and inspired you as an artist?
I hope it’s all right to say I don’t know of anyone who’s much influenced me or my development as an artist.

5. Has your artistic sensibility changed since you first began?
Not really.

6. What inspires your art?
Talking about inspiration is a problem for me. Rarely do I feel inspired. Each day I get out my paint and brushes and try to make something out of the blank canvas in front of me. Painting has always seemed to me more struggle than inspiration.

7. Do you have a favorite artist from another field?
Not really. I’ve never been very good at being a fan or follower.

8. Who is your favorite competitor from your field?
As far as creation goes, we’re all equals (provided we’re all working hard at it). If I seem to have dodged your question here, perhaps it’s because I wouldn’t really know where I’d put myself in my field.

9. Do you have any occupation hazards or mishaps?
I can’t think of any. Oil paints, brushes, and canvas tend to be pretty innocuous. Sure, flake white is lead-based and cadmium paints might cause cancer if you use them improperly, but knowing your risks and how to manage them is a big part of life anyway.

10. What did you wish you would have known when starting out?
The thing is, I didn’t really know I was starting out when I was starting out, and everything that’s happened since has simply been part of learning what does and doesn’t work. Kind of like life again. One thing I knew at the beginning and that I’m happy I knew is that the only real way to get anywhere at what you do is lots of hard, hard work.

11. What is your favorite item currently for sale in your shop?
It’s so hard to have a favorite. If the painting’s in my shop, I’ve got some kind of love for it. That said, one painting I much like is The Wet Day. Another great favorite of mine is The Palais de Dance, but that sold yesterday.

12. Who is your favorite author? What was your favorite book as a child?
Right now I’m reading lots of P. G. Wodehouse. Wodehouse makes laugh out loud and want to fall in love. When I was a child? Probably an odd little hard-bound book titled Wolf Story.
13. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid I never thought much about growing up. Maybe I was planning to be a kid forever.

14. Where is the farthest you have travelled? Where did you dream about visiting as a child?
I’ve never been farther west than California or farther east than Hungary. As a child I must’ve been happy where I was because I never dreamed of being anywhere else.

15. Which musician or musical group inspires you the most? What was your favorite childhood song?
I listen to Beethoven, his late string quartets, when the painting’s not going well and I need something to shut out the silence.
16. Where can people find you and your art online?
Right here:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Work in Progress: Dress Bodice Top

I believe the Spring/ Summer 2014 Collection, Bayou Bébé, will debut sometime this weekend or early next week, although there is no official date set as of yet! I am THIS CLOSE to finishing last minute details, and I am excited to see it completed and out for all to see. This little preview is from the upcoming collection, a dress I have already completed but have not taken studio pictures of yet.

I recently acquired a new toy for my work, the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker, and get way too giddy when using it. I've had my eye on this puppy ever since it came out, but at over $100 at some stores, I thought I could keep doing it the old-fashioned way until I had the funds. Lo and behold, I was scanning one of my regional Facebook resell pages and came across this little gem for only $15, never used! Ummm...yes, please! It has definitely come in handy, especially with this new collection.
I have been using it like crazy with this trim detail I'm adding to many pieces in the collection. I love the structure it creates through the lines and hidden shapes. The idea came to me from the root systems of cypress trees that grow on the bayous, criss-crossing and growing out in random angles. I love the teal trim against the dark blue fabric of this particular dress, it really pops and adds so much interest and vibrancy.
This particular photo by Scott Campbell caught my eye with the roots of the cypress tree stretching and demanding your eye, so much so that if you're not paying attention, the tree just might grab hold of you! There is so much mysticism and wonder associated with bayous, they are breathtaking and foreboding at the same time, and this picture is amazingly beautiful. Hopefully my next post will be all about the official release of the new collection!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Spring/ Summer 2014 Collection: Fabrics

I am SO CLOSE to finishing the collection, and I'm getting a little anxious because the deadline I had set for completion was about two weeks ago. Oops! Christmas frenzy happened and orders keep coming in (not that that's a bad thing at all, hooray in fact), so I am in juggling/ prioritizing/ small-business owner mode now more than ever. I have so many goal and plans I want to accomplish right now and this year all together, so getting this collection out will be a relief!

Seeing as my theme is Louisiana inspired, I knew exactly what colors I wanted to use. I went with moody blues and swampy greens with a bit of teal in the mix for a splash of color and interest. I felt the darker tones needed to be lightened up since it is a Spring/ Summer collection. I also used a few neutrals because they reminded me of reeds and the various trees found on the bayous.

I particularly fell in love with this pattern because it was regal enough to remind me of the Fleur de Lis in the scrollworks, but it also had my colors I wanted. There is a bit of an ancient, weathered look about the design with intentional cracks and spots throughout that is so perfect for this collection. Louisiana has so much intrigue and romanticism about it, there has been some incredibly fascinating history in the state.

One item I am prepared to reveal from the new collection are these darling little cuff shorts. I love the pattern from the fabric, that it's not too overwhelming. I think these shorts can go with so many tops because the blue is a beautifully neutral hue with soft whites and teals accented throughout. I would love to begin taking pictures sometime this week, so here's to hoping!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Little Happy for the New Year

I just wanted to give a quick little head's up about the FREE SHIPPING going on right now at the Etsy shop to ring in the new year! This is awesome because now you can get the clothes your little papoose really wanted for Christmas instead of those pajamas (or was that just me who got pajamas every Christmas). Simply enter coupon code "SHIPITTOME" during checkout. Happy shopping!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Rapunzel Princess Inspired Purple Cascade Day Dress

Last month I wrote about my hopes to finish a new princess creation in time for Little Papoose to receive it as a Christmas present, and thankfully, I was able to complete it! Since she had asked Santa Claus for a "My pencil" doll and it's her favorite fairytale, I knew I had to make one even if I didn't have time to do anything else. Although it was a busy time, I managed to make it, take pictures, AND list it! BOOM! So here in all its fairytale glory is the Rapunzel Inspired Purple Cascade Day Dress!
As with all of my fairytale creations, I kept the fabrics simple and elegant without much fussiness when it comes to screaming patterns. I chose not to have any patterned fabrics with this dress as I thought the colors blended so beautifully together in their muted tones already. I felt a pattern would distort and confuse things too much.
I think the feminine colors were the first things I decided on to inspire this outfit, as all other details from her dress I created to fit my aesthetic. I like playful, imaginative dresses that are inspired by the fairytale but still wearable and totally Papoose Clothing. I wanted something different, so I created a ruffled panel out of the lilac and pink fabrics. It brings interest and pops against the darker purple.

I sewed a diagonal detail seen in the front of the dress' skirt, but I made it into a peplum/ apron skirt. I also used the lace-up detail for the back to created a dramatic bow that hangs down the skirt, emphasizing the skirt length. I think it is so darling with all the colors mixed together and the way it cascades.
Since I was going with the lace-up back bodice, I knew I needed an underdress. This made it necessary for two pieces that can be worn together or wear the underdress separately that is still darling on its own. The lilac underdress has the most dramatic hi-lo cascade waterfall detail ever, and I thought it brilliantly coincided with the idea of Rapunzel's cascading hair! I felt like a genius coming up with that synonymous detail, but I'm sure it's not that big of a deal.
The Little Papoose wore it several times and insisted on keeping it on so I'd say it was a success! I'm so glad she liked it, and she looked darling in it, although I was too tired to take any pictures then. Next time though, there will be a mini photo shoot. Until then, this precious little dress can be found on the website and Etsy in sizes 2T-6T!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year in Gatlinburg

I have been remiss in my posts because I was in Gatlinburg last week and was not a good blogger who pre-wrote anything to post throughout the week. I was just not mentally prepared for that as I scurried to pack for the trip and finish orders before I left. It's funny because as a small business owner, it's almost not worth taking a vacation because you have so much to do to prepare to leave and just as much (if not more) to do to catch up when you get back. It was a nice vacation in the mountains though, and we made lots of fun memories!

It snowed on Thursday, and while it was lovely to watch and what most people hope for when staying in a mountain lodge, it has a treacherous undertone to it when one is not prepared for driving in it. By the time we were ready to head back to the cabin, all the water had frozen the steep driveway and the snow has compacted. We couldn't get any traction and the wheels kept spinning and I had a mini panic attack. I just envisioned spinning over the edge of the mountain or crashing into a parked vehicle, creating a domino effect of crashed cars down the street. We eventually decided to park at the bottom and walk up. This was thankfully our only "adventure" of the week!

My absolute favorite place to eat in Gatlinburg is Pancake Pantry; it is the most delicious breakfast you will ever eat, and the atmosphere is perfect! I was promised breakfast there every morning, but sadly, we went only once. There will always be a line wrapped around the block, but it will always be worth the wait! I think all these local breakfast restaurants are run by little old ladies because our breakfasts weren't served by anyone under 50, but I think they do that on purpose for that "down home, country" feel. It totally works, too.

Another favorite is the Applewood Restaurant in Pigeon Forge where they have the most delicious apple fritters. I mean, really, de-li-cious! It took all I had to not claim the whole basket to myself and share, but I am a giving person. This place is known for all their foods baked, cooked, and showcased with apples in mind. It's a huge attraction with several eateries and shops that are always fun to walk around in.

And of course, what is a trip to the Gatlinburg area without a visit to the Dixie Stampede? A sad one at that, I say. It is a treat to enjoy the rodeo show with a friendly competition between the North and South, and since this was during the holidays, it was between the North and South Poles. Sadly, we were in the North Pole section, and unfortunately lost, but we won't linger on that subject. The food is finger-lickin', mostly because you are not provided any utensils. This does not hinder me devouring all the yumminess, I'm specifically referring to the soup here, as I'm sure anyone who's gone can vouch for me here. The soup is definitely the highlight of the meal.
Although not a local restaurant, we had dinner at the Melting Pot one evening. My sister had never been so it was fun introducing her to all the fondue choices and overall deliciousness. She enjoyed it, of course, so it was worth the somewhat more expensive price. Albert and I managed to take one decent picture this evening, but he was in a particularly funny mood and decided to make faces in most of them. This is me shamelessly deciding to post those in retaliation. (Love you!)

Happy New Year, everyone!