Saturday, June 29, 2013

Little Once Boutique's Featured Company: Olive Ann Designs


Little Once Boutique is so very excited to be featuring Olive Ann Designs this week. Ann Blair and Mandy Fritz, a Mother/Daughter couture clothing design team, are based out of Portland, Oregon. This duo creates Fun and playful patterns for children that are also practical and simple to make. Their motto: “Easy to make. Easy to fit. Easy to wear.”
For this feature, I was able to select a pattern to make and create a tutorial on just how adorable and easy to follow, Olive Ann’s patterns are. With all the cute designs that these ladies offer, my choice was difficult. But, my eye just kept going back to the “To Tie For” dress pattern. As you can see this dress is so stinkin’ cute! It is comfortable on and super easy to make.

I asked Ann how they got started in this business 5 years ago, “I wanted to make clothes for my grand kids and take advantage of all the beautiful fabrics available now.” It was hard for her to find patterns that fit real kids- both in terms of size and practicality. Ann makes a really good point, “Kids clothes should be easy to make because they grow out of them so quickly and they should be comfortable enough that kids will actually want to wear them.” With some help from Anns' sister, Barbara Brunson, owner and designer of Vanilla House, Ann opened her own shop in 2009.

Each one of Olive Ann’s designs are made so that even those who are new to sewing can create a beautiful outfit for the special children in their lives. “I write my instructions keeping in mind that my daughters, who don't sew, should be able follow them” says Ann. She has always enjoyed creating things, even back in grade school. “I started sewing outfits for my troll dolls - they were mostly glued but there was some sewing.” :) She has come a long way since those early days. Her inspiration now, is her grand kids. What she loves most about making these clothes, is seeing her grandchildren wearing them, “they are definitely not trolls as you can see from the pattern covers”, she adds.

Whether you are new to the art of sewing or not, these precious designs are worth a look. Ann offers some crucial tips to those taking up sewing, “use your IRON and remember sewing is not perfect so don't stress if what you are doing is not exactly right.”. “Sewing should be fun” She adds.

What I adore personally about these unique patterns: most of them also include doll versions of the design. “We want the kids to be just as excited about wearing the outfits as their moms and grandmas are, and matching doll clothes often does the trick!” So clever!

Little Once Boutique was pleased to create a photo tutorial on Olive Ann’s “To Tie For” dress pattern…Enjoy! Please be sure to stop by their shop and facebook page to check out more cute patterns for yourself! You may also purchase this pattern there for a very reasonable price!

To head on over to the tutorial on how to make this beautiful dress, click here!

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Reversible Boutique Childrens Dress Tutorial

Is this not the sweetest little dress? This tutorial will guide you through this easy to do pattern by Olive Ann Designs, a Portland, Oregon, family company. This pattern is called "To Tie For" and it is a great pattern for those just learning to sew.

What I absolutely love the most about this particular dress pattern is that it is literally two dresses in one, and the details on this dress are so charming. It features an easy applique design on one side and adorable pockets on the other. It also ties at the shoulders, so the dress can "grow" with your child, allowing longer wear. An added bonus, you do not have to fuss with zippers or buttons, making it truly a super easy sewing project. All of Olive Ann Designs are geared towards making sewing easy and fun for everyone! 

To get started, bi-fold your fabric like pictured so that the two selvages (sealed/finished edges) line in the middle.

Lay your pattern on the fabric to pin and cut it out. I always trace-transfer my patterns onto tissue paper so I can reuse my original pattern. *Tip- Iron both the fabric and pattern paper before pinning and cutting for best results.
Align the "fold" labeled side of the pattern to the fold in your fabric. Mark using a special water soluble fabric marker where the pockets go on side 1, and the appliqued giraffes will go on side 2.

To make the pockets, I stuck a pin right through the pattern and fabric and marked the fabric. This will tell us where to align the pockets when its time to sew them on.

Prepare to sew on your pockets to side one. Fold down the top of the pocket and stay stitch it.
Now its time to stitch around the edge of your pocket like this (Shown below)
Here is how you do it. Notice from the picture above, we start at the fold line. Stitch loosely around the edge. Stop, drop your needle, and raise your presser foot to turn the corner. Drop your presser foot and continue stitching until you need to turn the next corner. (look at picture below)

Stitch the top down, trim the corners, and fold right side out.

Now fold in the edges following the stitching and press. Pin to dress making sure you align the pockets to the marks on the dress and stitch in place.

Using your fabric marker, trace and cut out your giraffe applique designs for side two

Attach your giraffe appliques to side two using iron on adhesive. (For this I used Iron on Hem tape instead) lay down a barrier to protect your iron board. Trim away any excess adhesive afterwards.

Place your giraffes onto side 2 of your dress, lined up with the marks and iron on, again using a barrier.

Add iron on tear away stabilizer to the back of dress, side 2. Then Zig-zag stitch (using a short stitch length) around the outline of the giraffes. You may wish to practice this stitch on a piece of scrap to get it how you want it.

This is how it should look on the back and front. Cut loose threads and tear away excess stabilizer after you finish.

Placing the wrong sides of you dress together, pin and stitch up the sides of the dress for sides one and two. (you now actually have two separate dresses. Its time to attach dress 1 to dress 2.
Slip dress (aka side 1) into dress 2 (aka side 2) such that the correct side of the fabric for each dress is facing each other.
Aligning the 2 dresses (check to make sure the front of each dress is aligned) pin and stitch around the collar, under the arm and along the shoulder ties. (if you are having trouble getting them aligned check to make sure the front of one dress is not aligned to the back of the second.
After you stitch, trim away the excess edges of fabric along where you just sewed, careful not to cut to close to your stitching. This will reduce bulk when you turn your dress right side out.

Fold the dress right side out and press. It should now look like a reversible dress.
To do the hem, lay the side with the pockets (side 1) facing out. Fold the hem of side one under by 1" . The wrong side, of side 2, should be hanging out the bottom now by about an inch. 
Take the hem of side 2 and fold it up and over the right side of side one. Press.

Fold the raw edge of side 2 in on itself again and press so that it hides the raw edge (for me, this was the trickiest part of the whole dress, so take your time and be friends with your IRON!
Stitch the hem down and you are done! Remember to take your time and remember to pull out your fabric as you stitch, so it does not bunch. If you need to stop to pull out your fabric, always remember to drop your needle into your fabric before you lift your presser foot.
See how cute this hem is!
This dress can grow with your child, I purposely made this a half of a size up so as fall roles in, she will still get some wear out of it with some leggings and a shirt underneath. This pattern can also be made into a top. Equally adorable as both!
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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Simply Stylish Wooden Initial Decor

Perfect for the front door, family room. or nursery. This is so simple to do and it will cost you only a few dollars. Really, you can do this!

What you need:
Mod Podge- you'll put this stuff on everything! (I have the Matte finish)
A paint brush
A wooden letter
Decorative scrapbook paper
A pencil


1. Trace out the letter (facing backwards) on the back side of your paper, Be careful to lay the letter on the paper the way you want you pattern to run on your paper.

2. Carefully cut out the paper

3. Using the paintbrush, apply a thin and even coat of Mod Podge to the back side of your paper (do this rather quickly as it dries fast)

4. Carefully position the paper to align over the correct side of your wood letter. Once the paper is positioned correctly, gently run your fingers over the paper, pressing it against the wooden initial.

5. carefully check the edges of the paper to make sure that all have adhered to the wood, gently lift the paper and apply more Mod Podge to areas where paper is loose.

6. Allow the Mod Podge to fully dry (15-20 minutes) before next step.

7. Apply 2-3 coats of Mod Podge over top of the paper to seal it onto the wooden initial. MAKE SURE that you allow each coat to dry between applications.

You can also add to your initial decorative buttons, ribbons or flowers and beautifully personalize any room!

I encourage you to try this and remember to share it on our Facebook page

A special Thanks once again to Lundies Photography!

This technique can be used for multiple home decorating ideas. For other ideas, be sure to take a look at this Monogrammed Drink Coaster tutorial!

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Star Spangled Ruffle Embellished Tank Top

Celebrate your red, white, and blue, with this cute and super easy ruffle tank!

You will need:
A tank top
About 1/2 yard of fabric (cut into a 2 inch strip) or 1 inch ribbon
A sewing machine
Scissors & Pins
Embellishments, if desired


1. If using fabric, cut it into 2 inch strips and press in half, lengthwise. If using ribbon, skip to step 2.

2. Fold under the end of the fabric/ribbon and pin it to the seam of one shoulder on the tank. Repeat along the neckline of the tank until you reach the other shoulders seam.

3. Top stitch down the center of your ruffle, carefully guiding the fabric under the presser foot of the sewing machine. Remember to remove your pins as you go. It is best to go slow, drop your sewing needle when you lift your presser foot to move your garment to stitch along the collar line. Always remember to back stitch a few stitches at the beginning and end.

4. Follow this fabric flower tutorial to make flower embellishments. (For this design, I left the raw edge of the fabric on the outside of the fabric to give my flowers a shabby chic look) Trim away and loose threads on the raw edge of your flower once complete.

5. Hand sew your flowers onto your tank wherever you like.

Bloomers are available at our shop, check us out at

Happy Independence Day! Hope you will share what you made on my Facebook page, don't forget to share the love, Pin & Like us!

Professional studio photo courtesy of Lundies Photography.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

DIY Easy Baby Leggings

These leggings are so easy and inexpensive to make, who could resist? Great for pictures or for stylishly protecting a tiny crawlers, sweet little legs!

Here is what you'll need:

  • Girls tights or leggings, at least 1 size up (Note- if you use big girl tights, you can make more than one pair of leggings)
  • Ribbon, fabric, or lace in a coordinating color, at least double the length of the opening of the legging
  • Scissors
  • A sewing machine or you can sew this by hand, using a coordinating thread color

1. Cut off the feet and waist of the tights (leaving just the long straight section for legs

2. Fold up the top and bottom raw edges by 3/4 inch and top stitch a hem.

3. Ruffle up some fabric, lace, or ribbon using this tutorial.

4. Sew the "ruffle" over the top hem of the leggings. If you wish to repeat this on the bottom hem you can.

And it's that easy! Now you try!

Don't forget to stop by to see us,
A Special Thanks to Lundies Photography for the portrait of this beautiful family!

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Must Have Baby Travel Tips

Summer has finally arrived, and with it comes summer vacation! Although by now I have taken several trips with our daughter, who is nearing her 18th month of life, traveling and packing for a baby or toddler can be a bit overwhelming. I have also learned quite a bit along the way. Because I like to always have everything that I need, the end result is, an over-packed suitcase. That my friend, gets old quickly.

I have resorted to a plan, to make travel and packing easier and simpler for myself. I thought that I may also share my experience with those of you seeking some help. Now before we go anywhere, I always make a list of the things I use and need on a daily basis, when It comes to the baby. I actually do this as a checklist in the "Colornote" app on my smartphone. That way I have a saved list to reuse and tweak each time we go somewhere. When you travel, and as your baby grows, you will learn that each stage requires unique needs, so keep that in mind.

When making my checklist, I consider the things we have needed in the last few weeks and what we would need, specific to the types of activities we plan to do on vacation. I try to also consider all the things that I can purchase, borrow, or rent, once we arrive to our destination, to lessen the load on the trip.

Now for those of you who are mommy warriors, seasoned by more than one little angel, you probably have figured out a plan long ago. If that applies to you, keep reading anyway because you may be able to offer up some crucial tips for new moms (or dads) about to jetset!

 Oh yeah, let me also just disclose with you that I am a breastfeeding momma....still. Yep. Although at times it can be a pain, literally, it works for us. For me personally, it has been a more convenient way to feed my baby, given our situation. I especially love this convenience when we are traveling! I understand and am judgment free about the fact that all moms do what they feel is best for their little ones. Since I do not have much experience in formula feeding, I ask that those of you who do, feel free to leave a comment below on any suggestions you have based on your experiences.

 Alright, onward! Below you will find ways to reduce what you really need, down to getting the most use from versatile picks and my favorite must have items! There are also a few simple tips to keep baby happy, and more importantly safe while you are away.

1.      Stick to Packing the “Versatile Pick’s" and “Must Haves”
Lessen the amount of baby gear that you really need by using multi-use items. For example: for a flight last summer, we used our Snap and go stroller because of its versatility. It uses the car seat as a stroller seat, instead of packing a separate car seat and a stroller. (just don’t forget the car seat base.) This is a perfect option for younger babies (under 22lbs) 

 *Tip- Car rental companies can also rent car seats, just let them know when making your reservations.

Skip the stroller all together! Consider wearing baby in a sling, wrap, or pack instead. Most hold babies that are over a year old. (We still use our backpack carrier for our 18 month old)

Purchase what you can there. This includes items such as diapers and wipes. Just remember to pack a few for when you are traveling to your destination.

     *More “Versatile Picks” to consider-

Sanitizing hand wipes can be used to clean toys, surfaces, and hands, eliminating the need for multiple sanitizers. It also eliminates the need for a high chair and grocery cart covers.

Naturally water proof, flannel receiving blanket, are good to use to cover up a chilled baby, but also as a barrier for diaper changes, or even for privacy for while nursing in a pinch, just make sure its clean.

Find a nursing cover on the snap! When in a bind, here are some things you can use: Scarfs, even a lightweight one in warm weather works well. Wear it or tie it around your purse. When at the pool, I just counted on my baby's large sun hat to shield me while nursing. You can also use a towel.

Baby Wipes- Clean hands, face, or anywhere else. I use them to get stains out of clothes and goop off the car seat. Sometimes when im really desperate, Ill take a shot of hand sanitizer to one and use it to disinfect a highchair or grocery cart.

     *Must haves-

Blow up baby bath tubs are wonderful! They retail for $12 and up and are worth every penny. They fit easily in luggage, and give you peace of mind about where baby is bathed. This item can easily be used for bigger kids too. Hotel bathtubs are gross, sinks are worse! They may look clean but trust me, they are not! We take ours camping and my little one loves her “outside” baths.

These clips are awesome, making them a must have! They can actually be used to clip a blanket around your neck to make a nursing cover out of a blanket. (Kinda like at the dentist) You can also use these to make a  baby bib. Just clip on a napkin or disposable pad! So, they are versatile too! They can be found all over etsy. The ones pictured of from Eden to Grace.

For the beach or pool, we love reusable swim diapers. Baby sunblock sticks are also a must! They are small, convenient to apply, delicate enough for baby's face, or anywhere else, so the entire family can use it! I like Neutrogena Baby.


 2.      Do your best to keep baby content while on the go by:

Packing a few small toys that baby has never played with before, just for the trip, may help you stay sane. Save some items to spread out over the course of your travel time, like a new toy every 30 minutes or an hour. You can even look around the house for some small safe items that are interesting for a bored or cranky baby. Items like stickers, post it notes, mini magna doodles work well in small spaces such as an airplane. Just remember to make sure these items are safe and watch baby carefully while playing with them, use common sense. So, if they are sitting in your lap on an airplane, all of these items should be pretty safe.

Try to plan travel around the baby's nap time as best as possible. In a pinch, I will show home videos on the cell phone to my daughter, she is always entertained by watching herself. Also remember to keep baby fed. Formula to go packets, are nice. They come in small, premeasured, packets, just pour & Shake. For solid feeders, fruit and veggie puree pouches, instead of bowls, spoons, and jars of food are convenient. Remember baby wipes are also great for cleaning spills, wiping faces, hands, and noses. Dont forget to pack a good carry on bag filled with all that you need for about 24 hours. Remember to take breaks as often as you need to and try not to stress.

3.Simple Safety Tips:
Once you reach your destination, remember to keep baby safe in their new environment. Consider moving furniture to cover danger areas such as stairways and outlets. Make sure furniture is stable and not top heavy. Pack a few outlet covers if you have some. Call ahead and ask for baby items provided or details about potential hazards where you are staying. Consider potential height (such as stairs or balconys) & water hazards, and how to avoid them.
Smart cell phones now have several apps where you can turn your cell into a baby monitor. Your cell phone can also download games and cartoons to entertain a baby during travel. I would invest in an otter box phone cover to protect the phone if it is dropped. If you have an IPhone or IPad, Fisher Price makes cases to turn your technology, toddler worthy.

 Store local pharmacy, hospital, and urgent care addresses and phone numbers in your cellphone just in case

Breathe, Relax, Have fun!

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