09 March 2011

Le Petit Prince: Kathleen of Grosgrain

If you haven't heard of Kathleen of Grosgrain, I think maybe you don't have the internet?  There are so many things I admire about her work: she can work piping like no other [a girl after my own heart], and her designs simply feed the eye,
but it doesn't stop there.  Oh, no.  That's just the beginning.  She not only finishes her edges and clips her threads, but she forgets no other detail.  Just take a look at that amazing do.
And then! her backdrops and locations.  The pictures say it all.  You think that would be enough. There's more.  She also does addictive series like Embellish Your Knits, Shoe Sugar, and Frock by Friday.  Pulling up her blog is like creme brulee for anyone who has ever picked up a needle and thread, something to please all the cravings.

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Thank you Katy for including me in your theme! I was so flattered! I guess my favorite childhood story (next to the Velveteen Rabbit) would be "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry'. I remember my mother reading it to me when I was very young. And although it has a slew of underlying themes and deeper meanings I still loved the surface story.

Even as a little girl I was facinated by the sad little prince who loved a rose, wandered the universe, befriended a stranded pilot in the desert and ultimately fell victim to a snake. I remembered the way the pilot drew poor sketches for the prince and how the prince understood what they were when adults did not.

Molly is at that stage where some of her drawings are difficult to discern. But I feel like if the little prince were here he'd know exactly what they were.

So I made a little skirt for Molly out of chalkboard fabric so that- like the Little Prince- she can draw anything that she imagines whenever she wants. Be it a glass case for her rose or box for her sheep;)
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Now, I didn't want to buy chalkboard fabric online and have to pay shipping. Although I would say that buying chalkboard cloth would be the easiest way to go. You can usually get some on etsy. I tried my hand at making my own. I couldn't find any online tutorials on how to do this so I was a bit skeptical about how it would turn out.

First I bought utility fabric at Joann's. It was 100% polyester with a smooth sheeny side and a soft fabric porous side. When you choose a material to use it should be flimsy like regular cotton fabric but have a less porous side. But nothing too plastic otherwise the paint will just bead on top. Oil cloth might work too although I haven't tried it myself. The 'utility fabric' worked well because it had just enough sheen on top to not soak up all the paint but still feel soft like fabric.

First I sprayed one one coat of primer on the fabric. After it dried I sprayed one coat of chalk paint.
Then I wiped it down with chalk and resprayed a second coat of spray on.
If you notice flecks of paint coming off respray again.

Then I measured Molly's waist x3 and cut that length of fabric from the new chalkboard fabric and made it 12" wide.

Hem the bottom of that fabric by 1". Or alternately you can cut scallops into the fabric hem like I did using half of the rounded edge of a spray can.

Cut a small square piece of fabric either from the chalkboard cloth or another fabric 5"x5". Fold over edges by .5" and iron. Sew to front side of skirt fabric on sides and bottom of square. Voila! You have a pocket!

Gather the fabric to the length of your daughter's waist.

Cut a piece of fabric the length of her waist +1". Make it 4" wide. This can be in the chalkboard fabric or to mix things up you can use another fabric.
Fold in half and iron.

Sew the gathered chalkboard fabric to the folded waistband.

Sew in a small zipper to the back.

 Now your daughter can carry her personal sketch book anywhere she goes just like the Little Prince.

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Genius.  I suspect I ought to buy some chalk stock after this tutorial.  Thank you, Kathleen, for a most clever and schooling experience!

Also, don't forget about the Sew! Mama! Sew! giveaway here, and the Little Fox Shop giveaway here!


  1. Okay that is trully an amazing idea. Very impressed.

  2. Okay that is trully an amazing idea. Very impressed.

  3. Never in a million years would I think to make a skirt like this... brilliant!

  4. You know, I think I should make myself some pant using this method, since my kids tend to draw on me anyway ;)


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