mini boden challenge

{ sewing } mini boden challenge: appliqued skirt

Next up on on my Mini Boden list:


The apple pocket jeans skirt.

Except I didn't use a denim skirt, or make beltloops, or make giant apple pockets.  I did, however, make a simple tube + casing skirt from a fine wale corduroy and added appliqued flower pockets.


I found the cute t-shirt top at Target yesterday on clearance, so I bought two and cut up one for appliques.  Don't look too close at the appliques.  My topstitching leaves something to be desired.  As do my rounded pocket corners.


Whatever!   The pockets are fun! 


So much fun that I have very few decent photos.  But that is what you get when you ask a girl nicknamed Fidget to stand on a bed for photos.   And she doesn't sit still long enough for anyone to look that closely anyway.



Oh well.  I'm still going to call this one a winner!

about 1/3 sale fabric ($4?)
clearance shirt, $4.70
total outfit: 8.70

(added to the flickr mini boden challenge pool... check it out!)


{ sewing } boden challenge dress 2

Without further ado, let's talk about my second dress challenge.  It was based on this one from mini boden:


Warm, heavy fabric, jaunty zippers, bold color, simple cut. 

Okay, I get that.

mini boden challenge, dress 2

Simplicity 2484 seemed like a good fit.

mini boden challenge, dress 2

It is perfect for ukelele practice.

mini boden challenge, dress 2

Or world discovery.

mini boden challenge, dress 2

It even has places to put your stuff.

mini boden challenge, dress 2

Aside from wrapping my head around the zipper placement  (which wasn't nearly as tricky as I thought it would be), this little dress is pretty simple.  I have a a strong track record of attaching my seam binding to the wrong side of arm holes and this one is no exception.  I went ahead and left it there for contrast.  It works.  I might actually even like it better that way.

Pattern, bought on sale for .99
Fabric, bought on sale for $7
Zipper, thrifted, .25
Time: about 1.5 hrs

Boden dress: $54 (w/tax + shipping)
The PPF Challenge dress: $8.24

And mama does the happy dance.   Woohoo!

(I also kind of want one in my size.)


{ sewing } mini challenge: winter coat

Fidget's Wanderings Coat (which is not like anything in the mini boden catalog, but I am still counting for the challenge) is complete!

the wanderings coat

After rediscovering this sweet pattern in my studio, I decided to go in the Princess Coat direction.  I also knew, immediately, that I wanted it in peacock blue wool.  And orchid pink inside...

wanderings coat

perfect for princessing about the grounds.

wanderings coat

I found some yummy faux fur online, hand sewed it into a loop and attached it by hand to the hood so I can machine wash the rest of it when needed.  The pattern showed fur at the cuffs as well, but I thought it was too much for this version.  I like the pink peeking out of the sleeves, anyway.

wanderings coat

As for buttons... There were so many options!  Toggle or regular?  Colored, wooden or metal?  I felt like there were a hundred tiny decisions to make and, really, any of them would have looked fine.  In the end, I went with an antiqued pewter.  (I did start to fear it was looking a little civil-war-esque, and maybe it does, but whatever!)

wanderings coat

The buckle is vintage and shipped from England.  So very appropriate for this coat, don't you think? It showed up black and antique gold, but I added some craft paint so it would match the buttons.  I had no idea how difficult it was to find belt buckles.  Joann's did not carry them and so many of my online sources carried boring stock!  Thank goodness for etsy

I love how the back of this coat is gathered.  It is even pretty from behind.

wanderings coat

Once I was mentally prepared to tackle buttonholes, I discovered that my machine did not, in fact, want to make them either.  Too many layers or something... So I hand finished each buttonhole with a super tight blanket stitch around and around and around.  I had basted the layers together at first and then liked the look so much that I went ahead and made them permanent. 

wanderings coat

This ended up being a nice little exercise, really.  Much less stressful than setting the machine loose on my precious garment and watching in terror, as it happened, through parted fingers. (Although it did add about 4 hours on the project.  Ahem.)

The inside was delicious fun. The pattern calls for secret pockets and embellishments, so I gave her plenty.  This little circle will get her name embroidered this week:

wanderings coat

There are two little pockets -- one with a button, and one open -- on her left panel. The pockets are lined too.

wanderings coat

The right side has a zippered pocket for extra safe keeping.  She has her Found Jewels in there already.

wanderings coat

By golly, she likes it!  She really really likes it!

wanderings coat

As any princess should.


{ giveaway } Herringbone Lane Frock

size 3 charcoal

The mini-boden challenge is still underway. And I am still working on the coat.  The gorgeous faux rabbit fur arrived yesterday and it is PERFECT. 

But oy, that coat has slowed me down.

So let's make this fun again, shall we?

size 3 charcoal

I'm going to give away a PPF charcoal gray toddler dress, size 2-6, just like this one.

It's made of the softest herringbone suiting fabric ever.  I know, you don't think suiting = soft, but take my word for it.  This Is Luscious!  Perfect with leggings or tights or jeans or bobbie socks.  Dress it up or down... and throw it in the wash when you're done.  Doesn't get easier than that.

size 3 charcoal

Just leave a comment at the bottom of this post for one entry.

gonna be a giveaway!

And link back to the this post for a second entry...

and share it on Facebook for a third!

(ok, I'm having a hard time figuring out who has shared it or liked or whatever on FB.  Any tips here from those of you who have?)

I'll announce the winner Friday morning.  We can celebrate while I'm on my way to Seattle for the Dottie Angel Workshop.  Wooohoo!




{ sewing } mini boden challenge

Did you think I had forgotten?

so close. but I'm all coated out tonight.

Because I so have not.

I have, however, gotten all up-to-my-ears in this coat for Fidget.  As I was waiting for the Duffle Coat pattern from Oliver + S to arrive, it occurred to me that I had never used the Wanderings Coat pattern that I bought two years ago from Sugar City. 

While I am very impatient, it seems I also procrastinate.  Ha ha!  I'm so complex. 

At any rate, Fidget's new Wanderings Coat is very close to completion (and I kind of want one for myself).  It is taking longer than the usual one or two-day project, so if it weren't so yummy and delicious I would have put it down a while ago.  My goal is to finish it this week.  

So, no.  I don't have anything new to show you.


I am thrilled that a few of you have posted some of your own back to school wardrobe knock-offs in the Mini Boden Challenge Flickr Group!  Woohoo!

 Emily is busy making adorable pants for her handsome crew:



Jill tackled ruffles (love!) and took them on overdrive with this sweet swingy tunic:



mcholley1 made her own little elephant jumper (with vintage denim, to boot!):


What clever, creative mamas you are! 

[ Got a knock-off up your sleeve?  Doesn't have to have mini-boden, my friend.  Anything!  If you said, heck, I could *make* something like that, and did, join in in the fun.  Make sure you link to the original, and I'd love to showcase them here! ]

Have a happy and productive week~

(oh and thanks for the sweet comments on the nursery!  It might be my favorite room of the house.)

miss chris

{ sewing } mini boden challenge: party skirt

We're plugging along here at the Fence, chipping away at the Mini Boden Challenge tear-out stack that is taunting me from the corner of my studio.

boden challenge 2: bubble skirt

Is it ever so fun.   And some of you have joined in!  Woohoo!

I went ahead and set up a flickr group, so we can all post our knock-offs and pat each other on the back and talk about how clever we are, over coffee.  Won't it be exciting to see how productive we've been? 


Today's inspiration was regretfully left out of the initial post.  It is a "bubble/balloon" skirt with a fun print that could easily get dressed up or down.  I didn't use a yoga-style knit waist like boden did, and I think that it would be a nice way to relieve some bulk at the top.  However, I did some pleating before running my elastic casing through the waist, so it isn't nearly as bulky as it could have been.

boden challenge 2: bubble skirt

I think this would drape and swish better if done in a rayon or washable silky blend.  I do have some of that, so we might just have another go-round.  This was pretty quick, once I had my head around the logistics of it!

boden challenge 2: bubble skirt

[ Fabric: Caitlin Blooms in Spice from Alexander Henry.]

There is a little removable rosette for the front for some texture.  It matches the quick hair bows I made for the pony tails.  After our little photo shoot, Fidget told me she "just loves looking beautiful.  Like this, mommy.  I love it when I get to dress up in pretty clothes you make for me."

Well then.  Okay.  How could I ever resist that? 

Moreover, Why would I want to?!

Happy Weekending, peeps!  xoxo
~miss chris

{ sewing } boden challenge dress 1

Isn't it funny to hear how many of us look through the mini Boden catalog for inspiration?!


Since announcing my obsession with the catalog on Sunday, I have completed my first attempt. 

Don't be too impressed,though.  It wasn't much of a challenge because I am a Butterick Sew Easy B5119  veteran and have made this enough times to know exactly how to modify it to get what I wanted. 
My biggest complaint with that original pattern is that the recommended allowance for neckline elastic is crazy long.  I almost cut mine down by a half. 

Anyway, take a gander at the inspiration photo:


And the B5119/ 1 hour result:


A fair comparison, in my book.  :) 


  • Fine Whale Corduroy from Joann's, marked down 50%.  I used about a yard.
  • Butterick, Sew-Easy, B5119 (it's a nightgown pattern)
  • Omitted ruffles
  • shortened sleeve length to the gather line + turned fabric for casing and elastic.
  • length is approx between the A and B views.
  • I always mark the back with some ribbon.  This one is easy to get turned around while dressing a squirmer!
  • That is my old jewelry box.  When I was 5, I wrote my name on the bottom.  The ballerina still works.  I love this photo of Rachel's.

OK.  That's it.  On to my next challenge.

I'm curious.  How many of you are doing this same thing?  From the sound of the comments for my last post, there are quite a few.  I'd love to start a mini Boden rip-off flickr group.  :)  hee.