Tag Archives: tween

Red Riding Hood Cape

For my niece’s 4th birthday I made her a red riding hood cape.  Macy sat by me and drooled the entire time I made it.  Only because I promised her that I would make her one next did she not complain that Emma was getting such an awesome gift.  Although the gift was a surprise, I think that my sister had mentioned she wanted me to make emma a red cape one day, so I already had a little  bit of direction to get started.  Im not great at making clothes, I can do basic skirts and dresses.  Im better at embellishing pre-made clothes but I figured a cape couldn’t be that hard.  I was right, it wasn’t hard, it turned out great and I can’t wait to make Macy’s soon.  (she has already picked out the colors – navy with a kelly green lining)

I ordered the fabric for this cape from Fabric.com.  Its a great resource if you want to shop from your sofa and are not too worried about seeing the fabric first hand before you buy.  They offer free shipping after $35 and all of their fabrics seem to be discounted (at least they seem discounted compared to NYC prices).  I choose a red wool but it was the patterned lining that I had more fun looking for.  I’ve been an admirer of Amy Butler fabrics for a while but I haven’t had a project in mind for them.  This was the perfect time to try one out.  I choose Passion Lily Cerise Pink from the Soul Blossoms collection.  Which by the way, you can also get in a blue colorway wallpaper from Graham and Brown

I’m brave enough to come up with my own patterns for most projects including a cape but I decide to give the internet a whirl and see what DIY offerings were out there.  I stumbled across a crafty site called FleeceFun.com that offers free printable pdf patterns.  It had the perfect cape pattern all ready for me to download and a video tutorial to walk you thought how to do it! So how does a printable pattern work? When you download this pattern its about 15 pages to print out, you line them up and tape them together to have a full scale pattern ready to cut out.  Although I liked the fleece fun pattern, there were a few details that it lacked for me. I wanted my entire cape lined, this pattern just shows you how to line the hood.  Also I wanted Emmas cape to function more as a coat, so the edges needed to overlap not just meet.   I can’t tell you how I made all that happen for me, I just did.  Thats how most of my projects are, I just do it.

Isn’t it beautiful?

And isn’t she beautiful in it?

Happy Birthday Emma!

P.S. You can see my sister’s photography site here!


Filed under Baby + Child, Paper + Fabric

The Chic Tween {Navy Base}

Macy Berry is The Chic Tween! Crewcuts Sweater, Lands End Shirt & Target Skirt

I am officially naming my 9 year old daughters style and coining the phrase “The Chic Tween”.   Macy definitely has her own modern yet classic style, she’s Chic.  We have always experimented with her fashion, towing the line between cutesy and mini-me.  I cant help but live vicariously through her clothes since its hers that need replenished more often than my own.  We have always loved some outfits more than others but recently I think she has come into her own style and it seems that we have been able to curate a collection rather than single outfits. I’m proud to say that after years of denying her character sneakers, sweat pants, hoodies and over styled graphic t-shirts, she can pull together a classy outfit without our assistance and with our beaming approval because we have figured out that its not about quantity of items she has, its about the quality and the style we carefully help her choose .

The Chic Tween - Target Dress & Sweater

A tween is a girl that is between a teenager and child, its a new term for girls that are younger than pre-teens.  The age of a tween is subjective, but basically around 7-11.  A tween’s clothing size is in the section for 7-14 year olds and we have yet to understand what a 7 year old and a 14 year old have in common in fashion or lifestyle.  Dressing Macy became hard a few years ago when she no longer fit in children’s size 6 and we were forced to scrape together age appropriate clothing out of clothing sections that frankly look like tramp starter kits.  The past year Macy has found a love for navy as a wardrobe base, (and I have too!)  It spans the gap between colors like no black or brown can and always looks spot on, whether dressed down with Converse or up with sailor stripes.

The Chic Tween - Crewcuts Dress & Necklace

The Chick Tween - Lands End Shirt & Shorts

Its my goal this year to document Macy’s outfits and clothing collections more regularly to share and inspire other moms to have fun with their daughters wardrobes.  Keeping a Chic Tween in fashion doesn’t mean always shopping at Bloomingdale’s or Crewcuts but definitely check out their sales and clearances for great items.   Most of Macy’s clothes come from Target, Lands End and Zara, catch their sales and it costs next to nothing!  From our experience pulling together a clothing collection doesnt happen in one trip.  Some parents do one shopping trip for the start of school, then maybe for winter season and then summer season.  But in reality, buying new clothes really never has an ending with kids, I mean they are kids, growing out of clothes, ruining them and losing them.  Their wardrobe is never complete and always in need.  We are constantly picking up a new piece here or there, to replace or add to Macy’s wardrobe.  We have limits and regrets and after 10 years have learned that we have to really love the item to get it(high or low priced) and I will never pay $100 for crewcuts ballet shoes.  A couple of other good rules to go by: Don’t jump too early for over priced items, they will go on sale.  Don’t settle for the wrong item, if it doesn’t work or your daughter says so wont wear it, she wont and its a waste no matter how inexpensive you get it.   And know when to just get it, even if its a swim suit in January, because its sad to come back and find that perfect piece is gone.

The Chic Tween - Navy Base Collection

 The very heart of Macy’s wardobe is currently styled around navy basics.  We feel using navy as her neutral has allowed us to use color as layers, not as the canvas and we have been able to buy better pieces because we’ve kept the quantity she needs lower.
Here is how Macy’s {Navy Base} comes together:
Shoes – A riding boot, a ballet flat, a sneaker and a special occasion.
If you stay away from the department store shoe sections you can actually find REAL leather boots for girls that cost half as much.  Gap always has a leather riding boot and this brown one is from Zara $36.
You can pick a ballet flat almost anywhere, this navy one with toe cap is Zara $20
Converse is the most versatile tennis shoe for girls, it looks great with jeans or a dress.  Gym day doesnt have to mean a no style day.  All converse are not created equal.  We prefer Jack Purcells, they are made better than Chucks and they stay looking great longer.  They cost more but are worth it for the look, longivity and comfort. A basic blue is always available but Macy has rocked them in watermellon before too.  You can find them online at Zappos or Piperlime, J Crew carries them also, $50
I say special occasion but what little girl doesnt try to wear her sparkly shoes with every outfit?  Being a dancer, Macy especially appreciates this jazz shoe style from Zara $25 
Dresses – A long sleeve and a short sleeve
The style is up to you and whats on the market but we have been very happy with a nautical stripe cream and navy dress similar to this navy and white stripe from Crewcuts $43
A great collection going on right now is the Harajuku Mini at Target designed by Gwen Stefani, it has a nautical theme and many pieces are navy.  This vintage looking dress is  from Target and only $24 ! 
The reason I say a long sleeve and a short sleeve is because by adding tights and a cardigan either of the dresses can be worn in the middle of winter.  And as long as the fabric isnt a winter weight (corduroy, velvet or wool) the long sleeve can be worn with sandals on transitional spring and fall days.
 Skirt – a pleated full or apron style
A five pocket denim skirt is a standard, but try stepping out of the crowd with a chambray apron style skirt, it was a steal from Target $12.
If you dont find any this style you can always get the standard school uniform skirt, nearly all the stores carry them every season now.  Choose the one that is cotton instead of the cheap polyester.  Macy has never had to wear a school uniform but has wanted a navy jumper and the pleated skirt every year (to accessories with pins and colorful knee socks and cardigans).
Cardigan Sweaters – these you really cant have too much of
Jackie O, Boyfriend, Cropped, Wrapped and Embellished, there are SO MANY styles continuously on the market.  This is where you add your color layer so don’t buy navy.  Macy is really into this apricot color, she identifies it with “J Crew” but other stores are picking up on the color, this one is Crewcuts (and on sale) $24  Yellow always looks perfect with Navy too, Gap $30.  Other favorite colors of the past have been Kelly Green and Raspberry.
Shirts – Striped and Graphic
A striped boatneck shirt will never go out of style for you or for your daughter.  Look for a 3/4th sleeve for greatest versatility.  Lands End has a great one every year, Macy is pictured in it above.  This one is from Crewcuts (and a more than I would pay) $50. 
There is a fine line between good and bad graphic tees.  More than often they are over the top and just ugly in my eyes.  We look for simple graphics and little works of art. Some words are okay but never brands or logos  Sometimes they are from gap, sometimes like this heart one are from crewcuts $20.
Skinny Jeans and JODHPURS
I still love flare and boot cut jeans, but they just arent in style or on the market at the moment.  Skinny Jeans – Yes.  Jeggings – NO!  I didnt even picture jeans, we all know that they are a navy basic, they always have been.  Just wanted to hate on Jeggings for a moment.  So jodhpurs are classic ridding pants…that go great with ….riding boots!  But the style has jumped the ring and doesnt necessarily read equestrian anymore.  Instead of stretchy leggings look for a thicker knit pant, they arent always refered to as jodhpurs or have the patch at the inside of the knee but they keep their shape better, are warmer and arent skin tight.  Ralph Lauren stocks them at department stores, Gap ususally has them and these are Crewcuts $38
Trench coat – your mini me daughter!
How cute are little girls dressed in trench and pea coats?  Macy rocks this classic from Zara $40 in navy.  Many stores carried them this fall and I suspect will still next year, look for a fall clearance one now to wear in the spring.
Accessories – Belts and Jewelry
Macy loves belts, in fact I think she’s becoming obsessed.  It started when one of her dresses came with a skinny navy belt.  We added it over the cardigan layer and BAM!  realized that she could do this in so many outfits.  Now she has started shopping in my closet, this braided leather one from Zara $10  wraps around a couple of times and fits any size because the pin goes through the braid.   Keeping her happy in sparkles, a glitter belt like this one is like the glitter dance shoe, it goes with everything too, Zara $10
 I’m not a huge jewelry person, I like my basic silver pieces but I try to help Macy not get in a rut like I think I am.  Plus being a little girl she can have more fun with her pieces than me.  J Crew’s woman’s jewelry is over priced, period.  But their Crewcuts pieces are reasonable and sized to fit.   Macy usually gets a piece of  jewelry for her birthday and we have seen that Crewcuts lasts longer than something from Clares.  We also love to add to her charm bracelet with the Charm It collection at the Gap checkout counter.  The necklaces and bracelets pictured above are from Crewcuts $10-16.
So thats it!  If you look at the collection board above you can see that everything will work together, the outfits are endless and its only a handful of pieces!  Macy is pictured in several of the pieces above but when she looked at this board she started getting excited, “oh this will go with this, and that goes with that”  I think she put together a few new outfits!  I honestly cant say that this is really all the clothes she has, she has a few other shoes and clothing that is not navy but one day we realized that we were gravitating toward navy more and more and then it felt like her mornings became easier to get ready.  I hope my examples can help you build a collection with your daughter, whether its with navy or her favorite color its really not hard to make the right pieces go a long way.
Close on on Macy’s kitten heels is my 4 year old niece emma, here she is in a sweet Harajuku Mini dress, “waiting for the boys to come home” in Fort Bragg, NC.  Photographed by my sister CapturedbyJes

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The 9 Year Evolution of Macy’s Bedroom

My baby girl turns 9 in just a few days.  I always like to look back at old photos around this time of year and now that she’s older we look together.  It’s amazing that places and things I thought she’d never forget, she has forgotten.  I decided write a post showing the transformation of her room from Nursery to Tween; it would be fun to do and great for her to look at too.  I came across some decent vintage photos last week, although I never had publishing them on a blog in mind when I took them, I think they are good enough to share.  What is most important from this post is that you will see how I took Macy’s nursery design to a toddler design; to a whirl wind of changes during our moving adventures; to what she is now an: 9-year-old on the brink of a being a teenager or whats now called a tween.  Her colorway has not changed in these 9 years but amazingly enough I have made it work and grow with her.  We’ve had some major transitions in our lives but I’ve always made sure that no matter the space, size or shape she has had a familiar room that she was proud of.   Now that she has become older with less toys and her own taste we have promised her a design change this winter. She wants blue and I dont blame her!  She’s been surrounded by pink for 9 years & I want a change too!

Macy's Nursery 2002

Summer Fruit Bedding From Pottery Barn Kids

Macy’s Nursery

There was no theme for Macy’s nursery.  I simple picked what I liked based on colors.  Her bedding was Summer Fruit by Pottery Barn Kids and although it set the colorway for her room I didnt add fruit anywhere else.  I had a logical reason for choosing a butter yellow color for her walls, I knew the rest of the room would have entirely enough pink in it.  From toys and clothes to accessories and art, I didnt need to be surrounded by it on the wall too!  But I couldnt resist, the top 20 inches of her wall was a cotton candy pink!   It said “baby girl” without screaming it.

Macy's Toddler Room 2006

Kasey Quilt and Madeline Bed from Pottery Barn Kids

My DIY Version of a Land of Nod storage unit

Macy’s Toddler Room

Out with the baby gear, in with toys!  While Macy was still in her toddler bed I created a toy storage unit to vertically house her bulging toy boxes.  This is a copy from a storage unit in Land of Nod but mine was custom designed to match her room by me!  It was available for years but is gone now so if you like it you’ll have to make it and dont worry,  its sew easy!  I bought the wire shelving from Bed Bath and Beyond, its not cheap but its sturdy and can be used anywhere later on if you decided to do away with the cover.  I made the cover out of 2 pairs of cotton duck cloth drapery.  I actually only used 3 of the panels and opted to not cut the 4th because I only needed a small section for the top of the unit. (I saved the 4th panel and used it a few different ways in her room you will see) I added a coordinating stripe fabric on the top, scallop and inside front, but that was all extra and not necessary.  I came up with the idea to use drapery because it has a good hanging weight and its already hemmed on the sides and bottom.  It also proved to be cheaper than buying fabric by the yard.

When Macy was 3 1/2 she got a big girl bed.  The Madeline canopy bed from Potter Barn Kids.  To avoid changing the wall colors and the rest of the rooms accents, I went with a quilt and sheeting that had the same yellow, light pink and dark pink combinations.  I guess I made a good choose because her Kasey quilt and Madeline bed are still a staple of PBKs collection.  The transformation of her room literally happened in a few hours.  The white glove delivery put together the bed and we rearranged the room.  I made a few additions like the dress up wall but that was basically it, everything else already matched!  Her dresser became the nightstand, the rug was a neutral, the shades with ric rack that I sewed on still matched and the yellow fabric and striped fabric on the toy unit were a perfect match to the quilt!  Here I used the extra drapery panel on the canopy at the headboard to block an unsightly electric panel.

Macy's Mini Bedroom

Macy's Full size Manhattan bedroom

Macy takes Manhattan

Not long after Macy got her big girl room we had to pack it up and put it in storage :(  We moved to NYC and lived in corporate housing that was fantastic but not meant for a child.  Macy was small enough that she could fit back into a toddler bed temporarily and we were able to give her a slice of her bedroom design in the corner of our one bedroom luxury apartment in Lower Manhattan.  Look at how cute she was!  She only had to endure this “mini bedroom” for 5 months until we made NYC our permanent home and transferred our own furniture there.  I feel that decorating in a small space is more about editing than adding and although I didnt attempt to do any painting to the 13 foot walls, her beautiful furnishings made her room her own.

Macy 2nd Manhattan bedroom with the view of Trinity Church

Trinity Church bedroom view at Christmas

Macy's 2nd Manhattan bedroom gallery wall

Macy's Manhattan Playloft

The Pottery Barn Kids Kitchen in the Playloft

Macy’s 2nd Manhattan Bedroom

While on our first tour of NYC we moved into a second apartment within the same building and Macy got an even better bedroom.  This was her view! A 13 foot window and balcony view of Trinity Church.  It was breath-taking during all the seasons, especially winter when it looked like a gingerbread castle dusted in powdered sugar.  Her room was similar to the first apartment just bigger.  Big enough that we put the christmas tree in there instead of in the living room.  This time I did do some decorating on the walls, still not painting but a gallery wall that also had an Ikea shelf as a writing ledge.  But most fantastic about this apartment is that Macy got a playloft!  Lucky Duck!!  It was her little hide away or tree house we called it sometimes.  She had so much fun up there!

Macy's Tween Room 2010

Macy's Tween Room Storage Unit and Cafe Table

NC children's bedroom gallery wall

Chinese lanterns over the canopy

Macy’s Tween Room 

For our 14 months in North Carolina, Macy’s room was updated from a toddler style but had the same foundation in colors.  She had new polka dot sheets instead of fish but we kept the Kasey quilt and pink gingham duvet.  We gave her a bolder pink wall and a fabulous chinese lantern installation over her canopy!  The largest lantern was illuminated with a switch that she could operate while in bed.   We gave her PBK kitchen to my niece Emma, but Macy kept the food and dishes, I couldnt get her to give those up as she still likes to play pretend sometimes!  The toy unit was still in use but its near the end of its life and the girly cafe set from Target that she got for her 2nd christmas is soon to be replaced this christmas with a modern boy version for Hudson. And I finally used that 4th drapery panel on a window!

Now that we are back in NYC, Macy and Hudson share a room but their bedroom styles remain separate.  She has her half of the room and he has his. We have painted his side but are refraining on hers since she will get an updated look very soon.  Check back this winter to see how it turns out!!

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