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Friday, May 31, 2013

Little Boys Bow Tie - Tutorial Review

I'm kind of obsessed with bow ties, especially on baby boys and toddlers. I made one for my son to wear to a family wedding last summer. I also made a few for a show I designed and I made one for a friend. 

This tutorial makes a bow tie that will be the right size for pretty much any age (I've made one for a 6 month old and one for a 16 year old) and if you want a hair bow, just skip making the neckband and add a barrette.

I have used this tutorial from A Lemon Squeezy Home every time I have made a bow tie  (also modified it to make an over-sized hair bow). The tutorial is really well done. Its really easy to follow and there are pictures for almost every step. 

The only thing I did differently, was use snaps instead of Velcro on the neckband. I made the neckband a little longer than my son's neck measurement so that I could add some extra snaps and make the strap adjustable. I have also made this bow tie with and without the batting/felt, I don't think it makes a huge difference if you don't have it for the added fluffy-ness. Although, the batting inside makes for a great drool catcher, no need for a bib!

Its always hard to find cute projects to make for little boys, but this one is perfect! It goes together pretty quickly (if you don't have a little person distracting you), and has turned out perfectly every time I have made one. I absolutely recommend  using this tutorial to anyone looking to sew up something for a sweet little boy. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Camera Strap

Tessa, from Tessacotton, is a pretty awesome chick! We went to college together down in Mississippi, and I loved her then and love her now! She is one of those ridiculously talented and creative people. 

A little while ago Tessa asked me to make her a strap for her new DSLR camera. Aside from being kind of jealous, (I would love a DSLR!) I was really flattered that she asked me to make something for her. 
Finished Camera Straps

When we started talking about fabrics, she said she wanted "Something along the lines of too many colors to clash with anything..." HAHA! How awesome is that? So we looked for something that wouldn't clash with whatever she was wearing to her shoots. We finally found this great Spoonflower print. Check out my post about the fabric.

I wanted to make a real camera strap. Not just a cover for her existing strap. There are a lot of tutorials for covers, but I only found one tutorial for an actual camera strap. I would like to be very clear here, this is not my tutorial. Someone has done the hard work and I just used their tutorial. I believe that if someone has already invented the wheel, why try to reinvent? *I did not charge Tessa for this strap, so I am not stealing this woman's hard work for profit*

I did a lot of looking for a good tutorial and found a great one on ikat bag, How to Make A Camera Strap. It really is a good tutorial. She had provided a simple pattern and info on where to find the materials. I particularly like this tutorial because it produces a very stable strap, nothing flimsy here. It also has adjustable sliding bars, so you can make your strap exactly the length you want.

The only thing missing from this tutorial is a little pocket for a camera lens cap. I wanted to add a little pocket or something to keep the lens cap in so that it would be easy to store away and get to when needed. Tessa is often shooting outdoors, and I didn't want her lens cap to be lost in the grass. So, I made up a pattern. I will include that tutorial/pattern in a future post.

I also added a few inches to the original tutorial. I made one at the length that is suggested in the tutorial (roughly, 20"), and I made one that was the same length (roughly, 27") as the strap that came with Tessa's camera. After I shipped the strap to Tessa, she said the length was perfect. I think since the strap is adjustable anyway, it wouldn't be a big deal at either length.

I made two because I had plenty of materials.
I am planning on doing a GIVE-A-WAY!

Now on Bloglovin!

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tribal Vest - Super Easy DIY

A few months ago I did the costume designs for a new version of The Jungle Book at Synetic Theater. I had a really great time working on this show and imagining what the characters should be wearing. We wanted to go with something pretty edgy and not too animalistic. In other words, we needed to find a way to portray the animal characters in a new, modern, and essentially human way.

A lot of this came from the costumes, I used animal prints and tribal influences. I was really inspired by all the awesome tribal art out there and especially how it is influencing fashion. Tribal fabric is so beautiful and unique. I'm sure the patterns and colors have some deep meaning in the cultures that they come from, but for me and, I would guess, most American's they are just beautiful expressions of a cultures art.

Tribal Vest

One of the costumes I was most excited about was a simple denim vest I designed and painted for one of the wolf pack characters. I loved it so much that I had to make another one that I knew wouldn't just sit in costume storage collecting dust until the next performance. The only problem was that I can't wear motorcycle vests, they just don't do my figure any favors. So, I made one for my sister!
Tribal Vest in Fashion Action!

Here is the thing with this project, its SUPER EASY! Seriously, this is one of those projects that you can do in an afternoon with a good cup of coffee and some reruns of The Office. There are no rules when it comes to tribal patterns, graphic is good, and monochromatic makes the pattern really stand out, but there is nothing saying that you have to make your vest look anything like mine.
Tribal Vest - front

Tribal Vest - back

I purchased the vest from Forever 21, and used a black fabric marker for the first vest I made (the costume). The only problem with using a fabric marker is that I got a little lightheaded working on the vest. I used fabric paint on the vest I made for my sister, and that worked just as well. It just depends on what you are more comfortable using.

Tribal Vest - Super Easy DIY

  • Denim vest (you could use pretty much any light-wash vest. Check out a thrift store! I got mine from Forever 21.)
  • Black fabric marker or fabric paint and brush (I used black, but feel free to try out other color combos!)
Find some inspiration for tribal patterns, decide what you want your vest to look like. I painted only a few sections, the front panels and the bottom band.  I thought about painting a tribal elephant on the back, but that didn't end up happening. 
Plain old vest - needs something awesome!
Tribal Vest - painting 

After you have decided what you are doing, just get to it! Paint or draw on your pattern. If you are painting, make sure you put down newspaper or something to protect your surface. Don't be hindered, just go for it! Like I said, there really isn't a way to mess this up. If you have an area that you don't like, just fill it in. 

Tribal Vest - painting progress

See? Super EASY!

Here is the pattern that I used (I don't have any rights to this photo, check out for the original source):

Kate Moross - Multicolour Tribal

Here are a few other tribal inspirational ideas (again, I don't have the rights to these photos):
Pattern by Sandra Dieckmann

Tribal Crayon by Vasare Nar

Tribal Henna Elephant

Tribal Elephant Sweatshirt

Indian Woman by AnastasiaMarie

Tribal Feather