Friday, February 28, 2014

Etsy Kids Interview

Things have been starting to come together so well lately, and I am excited about what's in store for the near future! An offer we put in on a house has finally been accepted so our move date is set for the middle of next month. There is a lot to do in order to make that transition go smoothly. We've been in the rental for eight months, and it's surprising the amount of stuff you can unpack and accrue in that relatively small amount of time, especially when it comes to all of my sewing supplies that seem to be bursting out of every nook and cranny!

I am excited to settle into a studio again and really focus on my shop. The Etsy Kids blog recently interviewed me with a few fun questions that I enjoyed answering like why I chose the name "Papoose Clothing" and what my personal philosophy is behind my shop. It's always fun to get to know shop owners, and they are interviewing several Etsy shops throughout the month so be sure to check them out if you have any littles in your life.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dresses of Bayou Bebe

I think dresses are the quintessential item for any girl to wear on any occasion, unless it's a sport activity or something similar,  of course. The right dress can make a girl feel feminine, pretty, and comfortable all wrapped up in a nice package. I have a lot more dresses in my closet than I do pants because I think they are so much more versatile and comfortable. I designed more dresses than outfits for the Bayou Bebe collection without even thinking about it, but a little girl needs that perfect dress too!
This gorgeous dress with its teal criss-cross trim is inspired by the root systems of cypress trees found in Louisiana bayous. I think the way the teal pops against the dark blue of the dress is amazingly beautiful. Many of my designs for the collection have a similar criss-cross effect because I loved the way it turned out, and cypress trees are so indicative of Louisiana. I let a few of the bodice trims cascade from the bodice so they can twirl and dance in the wind like branches in a storm.
This is a beautiful neutral dress that can be worn to so many occasions because of its versatility. Any color would coordinate beautifully with the soft creams and tans. I love the polka dot fabric of the main dress, and a matching fabric is seen in the pleated belt and appliqued flower petals. I think the pleated detail adds just the right amount of interest to keep the dress from looking boring. A sweet little keyhole cutout adorns the back too!
This has to be the sassiest dress in the collection, I can totally see a little papoose wearing it throughout the summer on simmering days spent outside and drinking sweet iced tea. I took the criss-criss idea and created a new pattern that allowed me to use the trim for shoulder ties that dangle playfully down the bodice. The double tiered skirt makes this dress beg for a dance full twirls to zydeco music playing in the background.
I had to have this polka dot print when I saw it because the colors were the perfect ones I had in mind for this collection. Greens with pops of teal makes everything seem alive and mystical. I used the pleated detail again in this dress but changed the style up a bit by creating a collar and two side belts instead of one. I love the simplicity of the dress, but it is so darling and carefree too with its timeless details.
As I was planning and creating designs in the initial stage, I had collected images and ideas that were inspiring me. Magnolia trees were definitely at the top of the list because I remember having the best magnolia tree in my front yard as a child, it was the only magnolia tree on my block you could actually climb as all of the other trees' limbs were too high to reach. I remember being fascinated by the blooms every year and how the leaves were a different color underneath, so I took those wonderful memories and stuffed them into this classic design full of ruffles and a big dramatic bow.

This dress has become my favorite design from among the collection because of the precious fabric used and the sweet little details. The print is of a swamp scene where various bayou critters are having fun with a little party that makes you want to dive right in and join them. The ruffle collar with a little keyhole and a big dramatic bow in the same polka dot print seen in the tiered underskirt work so well together in creating a timeless dress fit for any little papoose with a thriving creative imagination!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Green Fairy Outfit Helps Celebrate Purim

I love the idea of my creations going out into the world and making little papooses everywhere happy. I want my clothing to give them the freedom to explore and use their imagination to create wonderful childhood memories. I get excited with every sale I receive, but the idea of international orders makes me so giddy for some reason. Maybe it's because I like to travel and want to see more of the world instead of my seemingly stale neck of the neighborhood, or maybe it's because I imagine my clothing going on a wonderful adventure that I can proudly claim to be a small part of.
A mom all the way from Israel contacted me awhile ago about the Green Fairy Dress Outfit with Matching Bloomer Bubble Shorts. I was delighted with her order and story because her little papoose is going to wear it for her birthday party and to celebrate Purim. She kindly explained it's the Jewish holiday equivalent to Halloween, and I thought that was so incredibly neat. I did read up a little on the holiday just because I was that intrigued; it is fascinating to learn new things, and Purim is such a big cultural holiday.

This is such a fun dress up outfit too, it's so carefree and whimsical with all the impish qualities of a fairy. It is sturdily sewn together to withstand all the wear and tear children give clothing, and I love that it has a scruffy, disheveled look to it, like the little papoose wearing it has just finished flying around the forest on the most wonderful adventure.

I packaged everything up nice and tight for the long trip to Israel, adding extra layers of tape to all sides. I like to include a little gift for all the moms and dads who purchase something from me because they specifically chose Papoose Clothing when there are many other options (including chain stores, not just small business owners). I am always amazed at that so I let them know with a little thank you note too! I hope the little papoose's birthday and Purim celebrations are amazing and memorable!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Work in Progress: Mermaid Bandeau Top

This has been the coldest winter in a long time for us down in south Mississippi, and I think it has been the same for the rest of the country. Winters here are relatively mild, but it actually snowed and stuck to the ground! I mean, we're not talking enough to even make a puny little snowman, but still, I feel like we deserve a medal. I know many people up north love to hear us complain about the cold and snow because you guys deal with it on a much larger scale, but flip the seasons around and imagine living through a summer of our heat with all the mosquitos and bugs. There'd be some talk too about it, and we'd be like, "Honey, bless your heart, but lemme tell ya somethin'..."

I was working on the bandeau from the Mermaid Princess Inspired Purple and Teal Outfit, and it definitely made me pine a little for warmer weather. I was literally huddled under three layers of clothing while sewing this together, thinking it would be so nice to sit on the beach and soak up some sun. I am not a tanner, I don't just sit out in the sun, but imagining the warmth of the sun on my face helped me get through the outfit with cold fingers. (I also had a furry helper whose tail you can see peeking out from the bottom right of the picture.) 

This top has a lot to it with multiple gatherings and a dramatic bow at the back, but it is all so worth it. I love the way it comes together when everything is sewn up, and I can drape it on the mannequin and giggle at the whimsical girliness of it. I think it's the perfect example of mermaid style without revealing too much. I want my clothing to be proper and decent but still allow the little papoose wearing it to feel like a kid who can express herself and entertain her imagination!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Blue Ball Gown Reveal

Last week I talked about the custom request for a blue ball gown and posted the initial sketch concept. After talking it all out, a design was officially settled on that differed from the one I posted but still turned out beautifully. The Little Princess who receives this ball gown is going to look amazing, and the Queen Mother who wanted these specific elements from my other dresses definitely has an eye for design. I love that someone can have an idea and share it with me, then have the collaboration turn out so stunningly!

This dress is basically the top bodice of the Neutral Dusk Short Sleeve Peplum Dress from the Midnight Moon AW13 Collection and the skirt and back lacing of the Frog Princess Green and Yellow Dress from the Fairytale Collection. I think the different elements came together beautifully in the pale blues and whites I found in super soft cottons.

A little bling was requested to bring in some princess glam to the dress, and luckily I found a white fabric with silver glitter sparkles in a fun wispy filigree pattern that reminded me of magic trailing out of a wand. I used this for the ruffle on the bib, the bottom skirt, and the sash that laces down the back bodice to tie into a dramatic bow at the waist. I found two pale blues that complimented each other and had an angelic, fairytale quality to them that really worked well with the white. The skirt almost begins with the darkest shade and fades into the white like a soft cloud. 

I think this dress is beautiful with all the right elements sewn together, and I hope the Little Princess has the best time wearing it! She will be going on a family vacation soon, and I'm sure she's going to have a perfectly magical time dressing up and bringing out her inner princess!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Life Like Honey Interview

It has been an amazingly busy time for me in the studio, and I am excited about where the business is heading. The Spring/ Summer 2014 Collection has been launched, and I have had so many positive comments on it that it leaves me giddy. I am anxiously awaiting a response to the application I have in to be a part of a local juried art show so hopefully that will turn out well. Exciting things are happening, now if only it could get just a little bit warmer!

In the meantime, Teaka Ritz from Life Like Honey blog and Teaka Marie clothing was wonderful enough to give a fabulous interview on yours truly and Papoose Clothing. You may remember her from the first Feature Friday post back in October, and she was generous enough to show me some love on her own beautiful blog. Check out the interview where I spill the beans on my backstory and how I came to open Papoose Clothing!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Blue Ball Gown

I was contacted recently about designing a new ball gown for a sweet princess who loves to play dress up, and I jumped on the opportunity to create something custom for her. Queen Mother knew exactly what she wanted, and after looking at several of my listings, gave me an idea of all the details she wanted in the new dress. I love that she took elements of three different dresses I have listed in the shop to come up with a design fit for a princess!

Original Design Sketch
I am going to the store to look for princess fabric that has a little bling to it, that was the only stipulation to the fabric choices. Although I don't use a lot of trim or flashy prints, I'm sure I can find something that excites her and still stays true to my design aesthetic. I'm going to stick with soft blues and whites, maybe throwing in a bit of silver to keep things alive and dramatic. I think the dress is going to turn out beautifully, I can't wait to get started on it and see the finished product!