ballet cuteness


One of my dearest loves in life is ballet, and I still remember how giddy I was when I discovered Clara magazine on one of my first trips to Japan. It is a magazine aimed at young girls that does an excellent job of blending the fairytale dream world of ballet with the discipline and hard work of its reality. coverclaramagcoverclaramag2mangaclaramaggiselleclaramag

The ballet illustrations are always adorable.


Eek! I love looking at ballet goods. Maybe for my birthday I can get an Odette/Odile thermos? A girl can dream…


For a while now, I have been searching for ballet-themed fabrics, and it is not surprising that most of my finds have come from Japan. I don’t have enough to make a ballet quilt yet, but I hope to one day.

I have two classifications of ballet fabric so far- “Cute Ballet” and “Pretty Ballet.” Given ballet’s popularity with young girls, the cute variety has been easier to find. I’ve made a few bags with some of these patterns, but am still holding out for the perfect project to come along. I am saving the “Pretties” for a quilt.

The Cuties:





The Pretties:



lavender ribbon

Being in a ballet mood, I decided to whip up some bows using a few of my favorite materials–lace, tulle, and chiffon. If you  want more ballet love, take a look at some of my Pinterest boards.


liz lisa inspiration

One of my favorite Japanese clothing brands is Liz Lisa because the designs are so feminine and romantic. But even more than just a brand–Liz Lisa has created an entire world of laciness, florals, and bows that quite match my aesthetic. They also have their own home goods collection called Chambre a Coucher that is so sweet and cozy! Imagine a wonderland dripping with roses and ruffles and even an adorable little pink sheep named Champouf, and you’ll see all there is to love! I’ve been curating my own little collection of Liz Lisa products, as well as using their beautifully styled photos as inspiration for some of my recent sewing projects.


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My recent souvenir from Japan, all packaged up! I must thank my wonderful family for bringing this back for me.


Here is what was inside. A pink satchel with lace and bows! Even some scallop detail. I never hoped to find a bag that was so “me.” The best part: it can be worn three ways– like a purse, carried by the top handle or with two straps like a backpack.

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I recently got my first Lucky Bag from Liz Lisa. I usually have subscribed to the philosophy that I’d rather spend a bit more, and get things I really, truly want, than get a bargain and be left with items I don’t really love. However, I really thought this floral bag was quite nice, and almost worth the price of the Lucky Bag alone.  It is quite large and sturdy. I think it would make an excellent dance or weekend bag.

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Bits and pieces of my collection. Of course a Llama jumped in the bag!


Organizing my closet. All pinks and florals for the summertime, I’m afraid.


My first inspiration piece. A ruffled heart pillow. These seem to be a staple of the Chambre a Coucher collections. I thought I could probably make a similar version (sans the huge embroidery of course).

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My version. It didn’t take very long to make, just gobbled up a bit of fabric for the ruffle. I might try a similar little cushion with a ruffle of lace, or a patchwork one.

bow pillow

I think these are quite cute, and something I haven’t seen other places. They’re soft cushions shaped like bows! It looks like the official ones are made of something soft and fluffy and lined in lace, but I just used what I happened to have on hand.


I decided to use this rosy tea time fabric I got from the clearance bin. I think I will definitely make more of these. I have some cozy floral flannel that will make a cuddly little cushion once the temperatures drop. Again, it wasn’t tricky, probably easier than the heart because it is basically a rectangular cushion cinched with a band. For the ruffle I cut 4.5 inch strips of fabric (pressed in half) x twice the perimeter of the pillow.


Ah the bows! Liz Lisa does favor a bit more charms and fluff in their accessories than I usually go for, but I do admire the amount of detail in each piece.


My take. Why have one bow, when you can have two? From the original inspiration photo, I decided to make a double bow. I took some white eyelet scraps and bits of floral calico to make these. They remind me of a floral dress with a white pinafore on top.

That is all I’ve done in the last couple of days. I would like to start a larger project soon, but for now I’ll keep busy with my ribbons and bows.

tokyo disneyland x alice

Some of my family members recently returned from their annual trip to Japan. I didn’t get to go along this time, but I was happy to live vicariously through their photos and videos.  My brother was even nice enough to bring me back some lovely souvenirs including several from Tokyo Disneyland.

I love Alice in Wonderland, particularly the tea themed things. (go figure) So I was delighted to receive some beautiful Alice boxed tea. The tea bags are the cards!

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A cute mini towel and some memo notebooks.


A new Alice charm for my new bag.


I was in such an Alice mood, that I decided to make something out of this Alice fabric that I’ve had for a little while. I like that it is pink and just a bit sparkly. I settled on a new tea cozy using this pattern, adapting it slightly by making it bigger and adding a more finished lining.

After sewing, I baked some matcha tea cookies. (I guess I am still yearning to return to Japan, myself). Here is the recipe. They were quite easy to make and the resulting cookie was delicately sweet.