When I first saw Strawberry Biscuit in late 2015, I could not wait until the release! I put in a lovely big pre-order for my shop and began counting the days until heavenly bliss descended upon my sewing room in the form of a fabric line that seemed to be designed with my dreams in mind. Elea Lutz has designed some stunning prints, and I had already been introduced to her work when I chose fabric for a quilt I was making as a gift, but, for me Strawberry Biscuit seems to be the Cherry on top (if it's okay to mix your berries!) the creme de la creme of fabric collections! All the glorious colours, a blend of pastels and vibrant brights, sweet strawberries in scalloped shapes dancing across vivid backgrounds. A place where little bluebirds sing, happy bunnies gather pretty posies and kittens and puppies share delicious cakes and take tea together! Strawberry Biscuit has a dash of vintage style thrown in that also reminds me of Enid Blyton book covers, summer picnics and nursery decor from the 50's/60's. (I'll take a break here to let you know a funny confession: I have been mentally calling one of the creatures featured on the fabric a panda, what a cute panda! Then I read some of the other lovely blog hop posts...and hmmm..it's a puppy. How I missed that and the tail and everything I have no idea. It really just goes to show how gorgeously distracting this fabric has been for me.) Now I have that embarrassing secret off my chest, we can continue!
I was over the moon excited when Elea asked me to be part of this blog hop. I can tell you my brain went utterly wild with the creative possibilities. There was probably a parade and hot air balloon in the original plans, but after I calmed down and realized I don't quite have super hero sewing abilities, I decided on a more sensible approach. You have to understand, I have sewn so long for a clothing business, and have done quite a bit of custom work so being asked to do the blog hop was like that but without the creative restrictions. It was just the thing to get me out of my slight creative rut. Sewing wise, I was probably more in creative hibernation. I am only new to patchworky things, and I wanted to do something special, so I decided to leave the patchwork and quilty things to the experts. There are some pretty amazing ladies out there, as I have been witness to throughout this hop! No, I decided I'd do clothes...that's something I am pretty used to and as my Mum would always say "You never try out a new recipe on the same day you are expecting guests" That's kind of how I felt about the blog hop - keep it simple and keep it to something I know I can make. I did lament at first that I do not make patterns or tutorials but this was a showcase, to share, ignite and inspire those creative sparks so I figured I could just slide in under the radar and no-one would notice!
I decided to make a sort of celebration set. An outfit, a bunting and a dress for Owl, if you were having a one or two year old's milestone/birthday photos. That was my concept anyway, and it gave me an idea to work around. I always found ruffle bloomers were such a great garment for quilting fabrics in particular, where you have a story of prints that look lovely all stacked up and blended together - ruffles allow that to happen. Plus, who doesn't love a cute set of ruffles?! I made a matching peter pan collar blouse, carefully fussy cutting the collar pieces to show the aforementioned adorable kittens and
pandas puppies! Strawberry Biscuit is also perfect for tiny little pictures so I covered some buttons to keep the cute factor continuing onto the back of the blouse. I used my own patterns for the set, but I am certain you could create something similar from your own pattern stash if you wanted to!
This dress, like all wonderful things, was not part of the original plan. It came about really because I had to reschedule the photos with our gorgeous model, and in the days in between, I got a creative itch and this dress was the result. It turned out to be my personal favourite of the two outfits. It was just SO. ADORABLE. on this little Miss. We walked up to see the chickens, seeing as they would provide an interesting distraction while we clicked away. She looked just too cute bobbing along, fifties style. The Play Date print really lent itself well to this style - it has that whimsical, 50's/60's charm. I made the skirt very full and putting a pettiskirt underneath allowed me to really show off the design. I opted for a vintage lace collar I had in my stash to embellish the neckline, tying it off over a scooped back.
I kind of had an on again, off again relationship with the bunting. Mentally that is. It took me awhile to work out how I was going to make it. I didn't just want to do the traditional triangle flags, I wanted to do something a little different and fun with this rather lovely fabric. I almost didn't make the bunting but couldn't come up with another idea, so settled on making it after all. The question of what I'd do with the bunting when I had actually finished it also became an element in the decision/design making process. There was no way a 3 metre standard length and size would be of any use in the house or sewing room. I chose to do a mini. That way there was sure to be a blank spot of wall or shelf to house it, and I could focus on making it really special. Like some kind of boutique mini bunting. My family thought I'd lost the plot, piecing together 1/2 inch hexagons (there are no fellow EPP people here!) but I persisted and actually they were quite fun. I do like my hexies. I cut a triangle template out the size I wanted the finished flag to be (complete with seam allowance) and then kept it with me while I formed the hexie flag. Then once the hexagons covered the surface area of the flag, I cut out the backing fabric to the template, stitched the hexagons to the lining, trimmed, turned out and presto, one teeny little hexie flag. I didn't have the stamina for another hexie flag, slack I know. So I created a few different shapes to shake things up. The hexie flag takes pride of place however. I stitched a pom-pom on the end you see - like an upside down party hat. The little kisses/crosses stitches in DMC embroidery floss and a cute strawberry button from the button stash completed the tiny detailing.
Owl is the result of previous creativity but she needed a new dress and had to fit into the celebration set idea/concept/thing. Don't tell her, but I reused her socks and head wrap from a previous outfit because they just matched so well. I used a pretty bias binding for the sleeves so cheated hemming them and added gorgeous detail in one swift move. A little cotton label added a little designer detail, just in case Owl was feeling left out - which she might have done, because the chickens proved far more alluring and interesting to our little model than Owl in all her finery did. Never mind, you wouldn't know it from her happy expression, would you?
The final little item in my makes is a subtle one but a detail that just completes the two outfits and that is a sailor bow, in the blue play date print. Again, I just drafted my own pattern but there are quite a few tutorials on pinterest if you need to do a quick search. This one looks good.
I've really loved working with the Strawberry Biscuit line, and haven't quite put off the idea of possibly, maybe, potentially making a quilt out of it. It'd be so pretty, it's just whether I have the gumption for it or not. The one Sedef from Down Grapevine Lane made is particularly enticing.
If you would like to see the entire schedule, you can go here.
And if you are feeling particularly inspired by all the goodness on this blog hop tour, you can hop on and grab some Strawberry Biscuit for your very own stash from the Dolly Henry shop!