To cut or not to cut: Quilted Coats

In an effort to understand both sides more fully, I proposed the question to our Instagram community this past weekend and you guys certainly had your opinions (you can read all about it here), which has definitely helped inform my own thoughts so thank you!

Now, a few prefaces. I have a pretty good knack for seeing both sides to most issues and this is no exception. Hopefully I can bring both sides fairly to light. Additionally, some might be surprised that this is even an issue as I was at first. But, I’ve come to learn that the quilting community is passionate and loyal so I understand where most of them are coming from.

Should you cut up quilts to make a coat

With all that said, the comment I’m directly responding to is one from our How to Make a Quilted Coat post:

“Great tutorial–for demolishing an heirloom work of art. I’m ashamed of you and all the other “entrepreneurs” who ravish our quilt heritage.”

Some pretty strong language, and there were others in the Instagram posts with similar thoughts. So, let’s get to it!

My love affair with quilts

I first fell in love with the notion of quilted coats when I spotted this coat on Pinterest years ago (I don’t know the source but would love to know if anyone knows!):

Isn’t it exquisite? I love everything about it! The pattern, the colors, the scarf, the feeling. It’s cozy with its nod to quilt, but in a fashion way. I searched for ages for something similar to no avail, because they weren’t in style quite yet. I even contemplated making one myself, but it would have been a steep learning curve and a time commitment that I didn’t want to make. I looked into having someone make one for me or finding one similar from Etsy or eBay. I even found a company who makes quilts (don’t remember the name) from your own fabric. Ultimately, it was turning into a much bigger time suck to making it happen than I wanted to commit.

The trendy coat quilt

Finally, Gorman came out with a patchwork quilted coat a few years ago that mimicked the vibe I was going for, but they had made a design and printed it onto fabric. I don’t have a picture of me wearing it but I found this lovely lady here in the exact coat. I still have it and wear it ALL the time. In fact, they came out with a subsequent style and I bought that too and wear it ALL the time as well. In fact, they’ve been my pregnancy coats both times.

You can imagine when I started seeing makers and small companies coming out with quilt coats I went GA GA. FINALLY! Now, they weren’t necessarily marked at a price point that I wanted to commit to, though I understand why it is set that way. You can read about some of my favorites here (and I think there’s more by now!).

DIY Quilted Coat

We connected with one of our favorite clients (thank you Fiskars!) who come on board and I knew it was time to show people how to make a quilt coat of their own by someone who actually knew how to sew, Romy-Krystal Cutler of Sew Like. To me, it was important that we did it correctly by hiring someone who knows what they were doing versus us buying such a beautiful quilt and wreaking havoc on it. And she did a tremendously beautiful job!

My relationship to history

As I mentioned in the Instagram post, I studied art history and almost went into historic preservation. I have a deep love of old things and history. I even worked for an architect who worked with National Geographic whose mission was to preserve culture. With that in mind, part of the way that we celebrate art movements and culture is by bringing them to light and being inspired by them through our work. It’s a great talking point and remembrance of eras that might have been forgotten. Taking something that is old and making it modern is one of my favorite ways to keep history alive. And that’s how I feel about repurposing quilts into fashion.

Real Talk

Real talk, how many of us display our grandmother’s quilts? Or are they tucked away in a cupboard somewhere? How many of us plan on displaying them at some point? Or are they an heirloom that gets passed down from one cupboard to another? While this is a fine way to preserve an heirloom, I find that keeping it visible is an active way to celebrate our heritage. I’ve always loved the artful combined with the practical so turning the quilt into something that will be used is my ideal method of celebration and preservation.

Quilted coat
Photo by HoneyBea Design Hive

You wouldn’t believe the comments I get when I wear this coat out (I mean, it’s quite limited as I don’t get out much right now). “Did you make that?” or “is that your grandmother’s?”. The questions create such beautiful conversation starters and I find that I encounter kindred spirits wherever I go. In my opinion, much better than storing it in a keepsake box that I open infrequently.

Arts vs. Crafts

In graduate school, I took a class at the Smithsonian on crafts vs. arts. Are crafts considered art? Ultimately, I learned, it depends on who you are talking to. I believe that is the case here. In this case, are quilts art? Not all, I would say. Certainly, some are. I think you could talk with any quilt maker and they would tell you that not all of their work would be considered art. There are probably some quilt makers who don’t consider their work art at all.

Our regional art museum, Springville Museum of Art, has an annual quilt show that is well attended and looked forward to. You wouldn’t believe the amazing quilts that are shown. They’re incredible. And while I would consider some art, you might talk with some fine artists who wouldn’t. It all depends on who you talk to.

What’s the intent?

quilted coat
Photo by Psychic Outlaw

It’s the same with anything else old. In the practice of historic preservation for houses the argument is always–is this house/building worth preserving? Oftentimes it comes down to intent, design, and materials. Not all were intended to last. Especially those made with poor quality materials or tools.

Fashion as art

So, if quilts indeed are considered art, what about fashion? Certainly, some fashion is art. Look at haute couture. It can be breathtaking. On the other hand, I wouldn’t say my COVID/postpartum look is art. AT ALL. But quilts AS fashion? Again, it ALL depends! I would like to say that sometimes I treat my fashion choices as art–I love mixing colors and patterns and expressing myself in that way. Hence, when I see quilts as an art form AND fashion as an art form, the two together are magic.

Fast Fashion vs. Slow Fashion

One argument I saw a few times over was calling out fast fashion for being part of the problem. Is it? I kind of suspect it’s not as it would take A LOT of work for fast fashion companies to 1) gather all the quilts and 2) design to each unique quilt. It would require a new pattern each time and that’s not a good use of their time. It would be much more efficient to create their own fabric. The textile industry is one of the most harmful to the environment (I’ve heard is the second most polluting industry) so creating fabrics is not optimal. I’m going to venture to say, and this is just a guess, that it’s small companies who see the the repurposing of quilts as an art form and have a reverence for them. They probably wouldn’t spend their time scouring markets for quilts if they didn’t love them.

What to do with the scraps?

I saved onto the quilt pieces that from the coat I had made and we recently repurposed them into a sleeping mask and I’ll be making a face mask soon. There are so many things to make with fabric scraps and we’ll be sharing more of them soon.

Prices go up and resources become scarce

Now, of course it’s a bummer that when I go and look for quilts on eBay that the prices are much higher than they would have been just a year or so ago. These small companies are no doubt trying to get their hands on whatever they can. That doesn’t feel good, but perhaps we could also ask–who is selling these quilts? And why are they selling them?

Quilts as heirlooms

A lot of people mentioned quilts as family heirlooms. Much like the argument of whether quilting is an art form, I think it all depends on who made it and their intention. If a quilter makes hundreds of quilts in their life, is each one considered an heirloom? Is it possible or necessary to treat each one with reverence? I’m going to guess that the quilter had ones that they preferred over others. It’s the nature of creating.

I have a friend who quilts as a hobby. She literally has hundreds of quilts that she’s given away and my son was the lucky recipient of one of those. He received it as a baby gift when he was born. I will keep it forever because she is a dear friend. Perhaps he will give it to his child one day. And now that I think of it, it would be quite cool to turn it into a kid’s jacket so that he would be cozy in the winter. In this instance, it’s a matter of if I want to use it as a quilt for warmth in a bed or warmth against the elements. To me, both are important and show reverence.

When it goes out of trend

Sadly, we all know that when something becomes a trend it will eventually become untrendy. It’s the nature of the beast. I’m sure some people will want to get rid of their quilted coats and when they do, please offer it to me first! I will take each one! And you know what, there are other people who will love them and the cycle will continue. That’s assuming that we all sell or donate our used goods.

Quilts that are imperfect

Many people also mentioned that the quilts that they use for cutting up are ones that had deteriorated in some form. How wonderful that instead of going to a landfill, the quilt could have a second life.

Photo by Carleen

On that note, think of how fabric is first created and intended. It’s designed to be cut up in one way or another. Is the designer of that fabric sad about that? I doubt it because they know the outcome. Perhaps we just need to get more comfortable with the idea that repurposing can be a good thing? Just a thought.

History of the Quilt

One of my favorite arguments on the Instagram thread was bringing to light the history of the quilt. Quilts came to be when scraps were left over from making clothes and turned into a useful blanket. A ha! It all comes full circle. Clearly, I wouldn’t turn every quilt into a piece of clothing.

What have I learned in contemplating both sides of the story? Well, 1) there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t agree with you and you know what? We have to be fine with that (unless it’s harmful!). Hopefully, we can express ourselves without feeling the need to tear each other down. I feel like if we’ve learned anything in the past year it’s that we need to do better at communicating with respect.

I absolutely CHERISH the quilt coat that Romy made me. I have worn it nearly every day since I received it. It’s beautiful and cozy and perfect. Quilts have a such an amazing ability to communicate exuberance and joy all while telling a story. And if they are used on the bed or the body, I feel like we should make the decision thoughtfully.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me a comment!

If you liked this, you might be interested in

Quilted Coats we love
The NY Times article about quilted coats

Meet: The Lars Girl (+ everything she needs for summer!)

Who is the Lars girl? Hopefully you!

The Lars Girl is the person we all are in our imaginations. With some intentionality, we can all become her! She is a person who loves color and whimsy. She has solid goals. Some seem lofty and impossibly, but she has a plan for each step along the way. The Lars Girl loves to explore different ways of being creative, especially with how she dresses. Though tempted by the occasional trend, she has her own stylistic fingerprint. Those who know her can look at something and know it is ~her.~ 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the person I’d like to be is someone with quiet confidence. Someone who listens, someone who has a ton of fun but doesn’t lose sight of what she really wants. She is adaptable and flexible, but stays the course. And yes, she is prone to the occasional moment of obsession over a pair of shoes… I’m trying to be realistic here!

Becoming

It is my firm belief that having a fiercely-held idea of what you want can get you there. A *realistic* picture of the person you want to be can help you grow. Of course, there is a lot more to it than that, but I’m not the self-help guru. I am passionate, however. I am driven. I am excited, excitable, and at times entirely too frivolous. I’m who I want to be right now but I am conscious about how I have changed and how I hope to change in the future. 

Sorry for the mush!! This project of mine is designed to help you live a more beautiful life, and sometimes that means more than helping you pick color schemes. Don’t think I’m above that though – I love for color schemes. If you’re still having trouble picturing what you look like as a Lars Girl, check out our shopping links below! It’s got everything a Lars Girl needs for her summer style. Of course, there is more to a person than what she wears, but fashion is a perfect way to show who you really are. 

Go wild, my dears!

A lars girl summer style

A Lars Girl Summer Style

Summer dresses

You know I love dresses. I LOVE THEM. You can read all about why I only wear dresses and where I buy them, here. When we did our Dress the Rainbow series, I managed to find no less than 60 dresses in every (and I mean every) shade of the rainbow. Though I might never have the energy to tackle something like that again, I will never get tired of buying a new dress here and there. Even though I make dresses work all year round, even through snowy Utah winters, it is nice to be in the season where everyone loves a good dress.

 

Sun hats and accessories

When we can’t find the perfect sun hat, we just make our own! But the hats and accessories below are pretty darn perfect already.

 

Swimsuits

This past Lars girls’ bathing suit and matching pink pool has us day dreaming a long and colorful summer. Shop any of the suits below, and let us know if you find a matching pool 😉 At the very least pick out a matching pool float!

 

Sandals

Every year we set out on the hunt for the perfect summer sandal. And this is one way 2020 really does feel like our year!

 

For more fun summer style ideas, follow us on Pinterest here! And check out our fashion board that I add to all the time.

Palm Springs Style You Can’t Miss

The city really took off after the 1940s when the Golden Age actors of Hollywood wanted a retreat from the growing sprawl of Los Angeles. With all of that wealth coming to town, architects came along with it. William Krisel and John Porter Clark and Arthur Frey and Jack Meiselman and so many more created masterpieces and tract houses alike in this town. While you and I probably can’t commission the architecture gods to build us new homes, we can take cues from their style! It’s also a very real possibility to snag one of the homes for yourself if you’re in the market.

John Porter Clark home. The sky is bright blue, the house is modern and flat-roofed and brilliant white, and the foreground is beige gravelAlbert Frey home made of glass and steel tucked into the plants and rocks of Palm SpringsA white and black Jack Meiselman Home at sunset. Palm trees sway in the background, and the front yard is xeriscaped.

Color Reigns

The look of Palm Springs is one of openness and ease, minimalism with playful twists. With the pervasive sun and expansive sky, most of the homes in the area are painted white but you’ll be hard pressed to find a neutral-colored door. Pastels and neons reign! Hooray! There is this random house that isn’t one of the rat pack mansions or anything, but it has become famous because of #thatpinkdoor. A few cans of paint is all it takes for you to bring this Palm Springs styling tip home with ya! 

Vertical image of a modern white home with a pink door, agave plants, and structural landscaping

Don’t Forget to Look Up

If you go visit Palm Springs, odds are you’ll be so busy looking at all of the fabulous architecture that you might not notice the sky. Who am I kidding – it’s huge and bluer than you’ve ever seen it before. You can’t miss it. The architects who polished this corner of desert into a gem certainly didn’t! It’s almost as if they designed with the sky as the centerpiece. Check out this picture from my good friend Frank’s house. Architect E. Stewart Williams wasn’t messing around – he was showcasing the skies. My favorite Palm Springs houses have windows that are higher than I’m used to seeing. They also have cantilevered sections and skylights. This stunning photograph of the Sunnylands Estate, AKA “Camp David of the West” shows how important the sky is to the design of the property. By the way, Obama and Xi Jinping hung out here a few years back. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me! 

Image of a house with a huge blue sky, topiary-style trees, modern flat roof, and a pink ramp leading into a flat blue pond.

Geometric Ease

Okay, thanks for humoring me while I ranted about the sky for a bit. A huge part of the appeal of Palm Springs is its ease. I just look at pictures and feel relaxed. The design is simple to understand; it’s all about straight lines and symmetry. I love this photo of a room at Twin Palms – the sunburnt orange color is definitely an homage to the earth tones outside. I love that color as a headboard! The symmetry of the room is so precise and uncomplicated that it looks good from every angle. Imagine having a wall of matching prints of identical size behind you for zoom calls! The exteriors of Desert Modernist homes tend to have breeze block and hardy plants that are almost impossible to kill. What’s not to love about that? 

If you’re looking to add some freshness to your space, try channeling the vibe of Palm Springs! Its simple color scheme, sky-inspired design, and linear geometry create such a feeling of comfort and relaxation. That’s exactly what I want right now!!

Shop Palm Springs-Inspired Decor

Shop Palm Springs-Inspired Fashion

Palm Springs-Inspired Accessories

Looking for more style guides? Don’t forget to check out our In the Mood For series! We’ve found fashion, home decor, and accessories inspired by Frida Kahlo, Josef Albers, The Queen’s Gambit, Andy Warhol, Alma Thomas, Monet, Wes Anderson, The Royal Wedding Anniversary, Jane Austen’s Emma, Iris Apfel, Little Women, Alexander GirardAnne of Green Gables, and Hamilton.

Image sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Summer Paper Flower Wedding Bouquet Kit

A couple years ago, we posted a number of DIY paper flower wedding bouquets. Some of our past ones include this colorful Cinco de Mayo bouquet, a stunning white peony bouquet, and the royal wedding inspired bouquet. It was time for another wedding bouquet, as well as a kit! That’s right, you can buy all the materials in one place–our shop!

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

Wedding flowers are usually HUGELY expensive. They are gorgeous and undoubtedly worth the money if you can afford it. HOWEVER, not everyone has the cash for lavish floral decor, accessories, and bouquets. Then, at the end of the big day, most of the flowers get tossed and the ones you keep fade away much too quickly. I have even heard brides talk about coming home from a honeymoon to wilting flowers and feeling all the wedding and honeymoon hype slump down into post-wedding blues. How sad!

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.A bride in a white dress against a pink background holds a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

But why not make something that will be just as beautiful and will last so much longer? Our paper flower wedding bouquet kit is unique, breathtaking, and won’t wilt. Honestly, if you keep it away from water and out of flames, this baby should last forever!

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

Make Your Own Paper Wedding Bouquet

We have the perfect paper wedding bouquet kit ready for anyone who wants to make their own flowers. To help you get started, we gathered the materials for you (including a lovely ribbon to tie everything together!) so that there’s one less thing to think about as you plan your wedding.

close up of a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

We understand that it’s not easy to find the right materials in the correct colors and amounts. It turns out that lots of these materials (I’m looking at you, crepe paper) only come in bulk! Getting started and gathering the materials is probably the hardest part, so we took care of that for you! By buying our kit, you’ll save a lot of time, headache, and money, as well as templates and instructional videos.

A bride in a white dress against a pink background holds a paper bouquet made of dahlias, roses, shamrocks, Mexican jasmine, and foliage.

If you’re not confident about how your paper flower wedding bouquet will turn out, ask a friend and/or family member for help and have a bouquet-making party! The point is, enjoy your time planning while making something meaningful for your special day. This bouquet will become such a meaningful memento of your wedding and the memory of making it will be even more meaningful!

Look for this kit in our shop to make your own, and tag us with #LarsPaperFlowers

 

BLOOM Inspired Style

BLOOM Lifestyle Photos

Here are a few of our favorite photos from the BLOOM lifestyle shoot:

We had to work in a quilted jacket somehow. I’m in love with this one!

The floral embroidery on that blue dress is just exquisite! I knew we needed it as soon as I saw it.

I’m loving the retro vibes of this shot.

Don’t you just love those pink pom poms paired with the pink phone?

Those tiny purple and blue flowers? Are you kidding me?! So gorgeous.

Secret garden fabric paired with secret garden phone case? A match made in heaven, especially with that lovely gold bracelet.

BLOOM Inspired Style

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Don’t you just love the idea of a wardrobe refresh to match your new phone case? Here are all the beautiful blouses and dresses we used:

And here are the BLOOM inspired accessories:

More Inspiration

Make sure to check out this post featuring our newest Casetify collection! And if you haven’t seen it yet, head over to our Casetify honest review to see how these phone cases have held up for team Lars! Also, check out our first Casetify collection here. Love our phone case designs? You’ll probably be interested in our Casetify inspired crafts, like these nesting Easter eggs, or our painted mini pumpkins.

How to make a quilted coat

6

Everything you need to know to make a quilted coat

Now, I knew I couldn’t make it on my own because I’m very much a novice seamstress and didn’t want this to be “lessons from a fool”, so I reached out to one of my favorite local sewing inspiration sources, Romy-Krystal Cutler of Sew Like Romy, to make it happen. Romy has a knack for knowing the latest and greatest trends and making them her own. I’ve been following her for awhile because she does such a great job. And guess what?! She does it during nap time! Romy will be giving us an expert’s tips on how to get the best results.

Fiskars new sewing tools

We are big fans of Fiskars for all sorts of paper crafts and DIY tools, so we were thrilled to learn that they had a new line of sewing tools too. We got our hands on their classic rotary cutter, and their comfort grip rotary cutter, along with their new Sewing Essentials Set, which includes their classic orange handle scissors (a classic), thread snips, which came in handy for this coat, acrylic ruler, measuring tape, and sewing gauge for accurate measurements, and a seam ripper. It’s so helpful to feel prepared! As nerdy as it sounds, I’m pretty stoked to add the sewing gauge to my arsenal for Paul’s hems!

They also equipped us with seamstress scissors, which cut like BUTTAH! And please note: no one better use them for paper! Do I feel like my mother OR WHAT?!

How to make a quilted coat

Romy did an amazingly thorough job with this tutorial. Let’s go!

How to find awesome vintage quilts:

I scoured Etsy, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace for vintage quilts that I loved. If you know the style of quilt pattern, search that term, or search “antique quilt” or “vintage quilt”. You could also search “quilt topper” only as there might be more available there. 

Materials:

See above

Buzzwords:

  • Bias Tape/Binding: Narrow strips of fabric cut on the bias used to finish edges. Can be bought premade.
  • Heavy Duty Snaps: These are to close your coat. They come in two options — Sew-in and heavy duty hardware. The heavy duty requires extra tools to secure them in place.
  • Thread Snips: Small, sharp scissors for precision cutting loose threads.
  • Muslin: Plain weave cotton fabric, usually sheer. Used for toiles.
  • Toile: A test version of a garment in cheap fabric.
  • Grade: Trimming your seam allowance to a smaller width.

Preparation:

Not all quilts are the same. Be sure to check that your quilt will fulfill your warmth needs. For this particular coat there was no batting and the back was muslin. If you find yourself in the same position first head down to Tips and Tricks.

Selecting your size. Consulting the finished measurements and comparing these to an existing coat in your wardrobe is a good place to start. If you want to be extra cautious, a toile is an even better place to begin.

Read your patterns instructions and gather all your supplies.

Instructions:

  1. Measure yourself and determine which size of your chosen pattern you are going to use.
  2. Prepare your coat pattern pieces and cut them out with paper scissors.
  3. Lay out your quilt, pin down the pattern pieces, and cut out all pieces for your coat using your fabric scissors. Refer to the cutting layout of your pattern to ensure you have it right before you cut!
  4. Follow the coat patterns sewing instructions.
  5. When the pattern states to finish or serge the seam you will be using bias tape to finish the edges.
  6. For the inside seams: Sew the bias to one edge of the seam, fold over. Grade ¼” (cut down) the other seam and then pull over the edge with the bias to one side and sew down.

7. Follow the pattern instructions to bind the edges of the coat.

8. Lucky last part: Attach your sew in snaps to the front.

9. Do a happy dance and enjoy your new coat!

Tips and Tricks to make a quilted coat

Pro Tip 1:

The top design of a quilt can come just by itself (commonly called a quilt top). They’re usually cheaper since they weren’t made into a formal quilt. The one used on this project was such a case. To get it ready to turn into a coat the steps are simple, the “fabric sandwich.” To complete this you will need to buy backing fabric and batting. Once you have those on hand you create the layer sandwich: Quilt top on top, batting in the middle and the backing fabric on bottom. Once that’s together secure with safety pins throughout to keep the layers from moving. Using a walking foot and quilting thread, you’re then ready to quilt the pieces together. Best part: the design is entirely up to you so the sky’s the limit.

Pro Tip 2:

Reversible coats are not only super functional but so fun! Bias tape is your best friend here. Finish one edge with bias tape and fold over the edge. Grade ¼” (cut down) the other edge of the seam and then pull over the edge with the bias tape and sew down. Presto reversible! Just be mindful of your pocket placement and snaps if you decide to do this!

Pro Tip 3:

Hand sewing can seem never ending but it’s made a lot easier and faster with beeswax. This helps strengthen and stabilize the thread and prevent tangling and shedding. A great investment for the long run with any hand sewing.

Pro Tip 4:

Try on your coat before you add your snaps/buttons. The placement of these on patterns are recommendations but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will suit your body. Try it on and mark where you want your snaps for the best fit.

Thank you, Romy for your expertise. I hope you all have a good experience making your quilted coat! Please show us the results with #LarsMakes! 

This post is sponsored by Fiskars. Thank you to our brands who allow us to make beautiful, original content for you! 

When Life Hands You Lemons care package and tablescape with Spoonflower

My favorite Mother’s Day inspired Spoonflower patterns

I spent a good amount of time going through the Spoonflower Marketplace, which is thousands and thousands of independent artists and great designs. Yes, it took awhile, but I came upon some really beautiful options and had a hard time narrowing it down. I saved my favorites in this collection on their site.

Which ones are your favorites???

There are a lot of good ones, right?! I was going for a springy, floraly vibe that also felt refined and could be used throughout the year. Here were some alternative options I was eyeing:

Citrus fabric tablecloth with Spoonflower

Ultimately, I ended up going for this Multi Citrus Grove Toile by Danika Herrick. It has the right touch of deGournay with its chinoiserie feel. Plus, I always love some good citrus–it makes everything feel instantly refreshing.blue and orange table ideaCustom Home Decor Options

Perhaps you remember when I redid my bedroom in all Spoonflower? Right–so not only can you order fabric by the yard, but you can order things for your home to be made in the fabric of your choice and it’s all sewn right here in the United States. For my bedroom it was the wallpaper, duvet, pillow cases, curtains, and this time around I ordered a tablecloth for the Party-For-Mom that I will be throwing. I paired it with this Indian print inspired marigold print by Andrea Lauren because I loved the contrast of the yellow to the blue in the main selection and decided to use them for the cloth napkins.Indian block print napkins

Visualizing the process

What I find useful in their new home decor option is the ability to see them on a variety of products. You can do that by selecting Home Decor in the “Also available in” section to view all of the different home decor products and then it automatically shows you how it will look.

And the marigold:

Because of that, I was able to visualize what it would really be like. And it was going to be GOOD!

Pattern on pattern advice:

Pairing a pattern on pattern can be tricky, but there are a few ways to make sure it works:

  1. Identify the colors of the palette. The first pattern I worked with has a lot going on but I drew out the main colors: blue, yellow, orange, and green.
  2. Along the same lines, draw out the colors that you’d like to highlight more. If there’s a color in the fabric that you don’t necessarily love, don’t highlight it! On the flipside, if you like a color more than another, bring that color out more.
  3. The two fabrics should be of different scale. The first pattern has a very large scale so I knew I needed to go smaller on the second.blue and orange table idea

Citrus tablescape

To go with our Mother’s Day party, we created a centerpiece of citrus–grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, to sit atop the tablecloth. We matched with with some yellow plates, blue bowls, and goblets to tie it in with our beautiful fabric. Plus the pretty chargers that add some depth. And a dash of flowers to keep it fresh!

Mother’s Day Care Packages

Because we are keeping friends and family at arm’s length right now, we have been brainstorming DIY ideas of how to share uplifting moments with our loved ones near and far. We decided to make a tote from Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas –it’s the perfect thing to fill up with goodies and send along to someone who needed a dose of joy. A handpicked, handmade gift for someone you love can be the best surprise!oranges table idea

To match the amazing fabric, we made our gift bag lemon themed! You know, the classic, “When life gives you lemons”. With everything life is throwing at us lately, let’s just say we have been making A LOT of metaphorical lemonade. We filled our gift bag with lots of lemon themed hand soap, lotion, candles, and more. Everything our loved ones need to make this extra hand washing fun!

When Life Hands you Lemons Care Package

Additionally, I wanted to create a care package to send along to my mom as Mother’s Day approaches. Social distancing could have interrupted the celebration of such a special holiday, but instead it turned into something that lets us show our love for our mothers in a new way. After turning the beautiful fabric from Spoonflower into a tote (the tutorial is now available in the Lars shop!), I wanted to fill it with goodies that were fun and practical. So, candy was a must (der!), as well as hand sanitizer and other necessities. Paul and Jasper joined in as well to create a tote-turned-gift-basket for Paul’s mom too to send to her in Denmark.

Follow these simple steps to make your own gift tote bag:

DIY Tote bag

(inspired by the famous Baggu tote!))

Materials:

Instructions:

Step 1: Print off our tote bag template found here

Step 2: Cut your bag pieces out of the fabric using the pattern, making sure to note which part of the fabric you want to highlight on your bag and which direction it will face when complete

Step 3: Starting with the main bag piece — face right sides together

Step 4: Sew the sides with a single stitch (and finish off the edges with a zag zag stitch if desired)

Step 5: Pull the edges of the notched part of the cut fabric, on the bottom of the bag, together to form the flat bottom of the bag. Sew a single stitch straight across these edges you have pulled together

Step 6: Turn your main bag piece right side out to prep for future steps. Now to move on to the handle straps!

Step 7: Take one of the cut handle strap pieces and fold the long edges in a quarter of an inch. Use your fingernail to crease the canvas fabric fold well.

Step 8: Once both long sides are creased, fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet

Step 9: Pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of the strap. This will flatten the strap and make both edges look the same.

Step 10: Repeat steps 7-9 for the second handle strap. Next for the shoulder strap!

Step 11: Repeat steps 7-9 for the shoulder strap — to repeat, crease in the long sides a quarter of an inch, then fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet. Sew a single stitch down both long edges of the shoulder strap.

Step 12: Now you will attach all straps to the main bag piece — to do this, make sure your bag piece turned right side out

Step 13: Position the handle straps in the center on the bag opening, on either side, facing down towards the bottom of the bag with the short edges aligned with the top opening edge of the bag. Pin them in place and sew them on.

Step 14: Attach an end of the shoulder strap piece to both edges of the bag, with the strap facing down just like you did with the handle straps, and sew them in place.

Step 15: All straps should now be sewn on the outside of the bag, facing downwards, so they when folded up inside the bag to face up the seam will not show. You are almost done!

Step 16: Take your facing pieces, on both pieces, crease one long edge in a quarter of an inch.

Step 17:  Face both pieces right side together and sew both short edges

Step 18: Place the sewn facing pieces around the opening of the bag, over the edge of all the straps. Make sure the creased edge is facing down and the un-creased edge is aligned with the top opening edge of the bag.

Step 19: Sew a single stitch around the top opening edge of the bag, attached the facing pieces to the bag

Step 20: Turn the facing piece to the inside of the bag, making the straps fold upwards and the seams will all be hidden inside

Step 21: Turn the bag back inside out for the final step – Sew around the bottom creased edge of the facing pieces to keep that inside edge from fraying.

Step 22: Your bag is finished! Turn it back right side out to admire your work!

Send a Mother’s Day care package

What a wonderful way to send love when you can’t visit in person! Plus, who doesn’t love surprise presents in the mail? We think that, in lieu of a visit, sending gifts for Mother’s Day can be the next best thing! orange and yellow tableorange tablescape

Mother's Day table ideaDIY Baggu bag templatehow to sew a baggu toteWe’d love to see your Mother’s Day party-for-ones or care packages. Tag us with #LarsLovesMamas so we can see them! 

Discount for Lars readers

Lars readers can get 15% off with code LARSTABLE15 for all Table Linens and Tea Towels.

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower, who we love for their many home decor and fabric options. We love working with sponsors who allow us to create awesome new content for you!

Loungewear in every color of the rainbow

Colorful Loungewear

This rainbow of comfort is sure to cure your quarantine blues. Find your hue! Or mix and match them to bring a smile to your face every day! Our top picks you should keep an eye out for are: wide-leg sweats that totally count as pants. Spring linen drawstring pants in amazing shades (if you still have enough self-control to change out of joggers every morning.) Lars approved Tie dye, so you can be totally on trend this season. And … all of it. We love it all.

 

Blue light glasses for working from home

Have you tried blue light glasses yet? Our team loves ours! Anyone who spends all day working from home on a screen should get a pair. I can work all day headache free with my blue light glasses. Try out one of the fun colored frames below!

 

Slip on shoes and sneakers to complete your loungewear look

 

In the Mood for: Little Women

Which Little Women character are you?

Little Women was on our list of 50 creative and inspiring movies, and we’ve compiled some style inspiration for you based on the March sisters. Find your style picks below!

Meg

Meg March, the perfect example of fashion on a budget. With the right eye, you can fill your closet with classy pieces without breaking the bank! Below you will find our balance between comfort, price point, and glam:

And we can’t forget, Meg is also a supermom! Her love for children will always come before her love for fashion and luxury. Accessories like this pearl headband instantly glam up an outfit, while staying right out of the reach of a little Boo’s reach. Even in the middle of all your many mom duties, don’t forget to set aside time for romance! Put on this dainty statement necklace and hit the town with your true love! Take a note from Meg’s diary, little details like pom pom shoes and puff sleeves will take your wardrobe to the next level this year.

Jo

Jo, fiery, ambitious, and forever on the go. Below you will find items for the Modern Jo March:

If you are the tomboyish and passionate kindred spirit to Jo, we have curated this list with you in mind! Nothing can get in your way, you are sure to trade heels for sneakers, so we included our favorite pair in just the color scheme for you. For you and Jo, accessories are an after thought, but you don’t have to sacrifice sensibility for fashion – these geometric earrings will catch eyes at interviews and elevate your style with ease. We imagine Jo’s favorite current print trend would be leopard print, so this print necktie is just the touch. Of course you will need a good writing desk and a pencil case (you never know when the right story will hit you!) Even if these items seem a little girly, like this floral purse, don’t be fooled – this is all about function (maybe with some style tips taken from Meg.)

Beth

Oh Beth, the sweet and soft sister we could all learn to be more like. Beth’s list is all about comfort. If you’re a homebody, we have you covered:

This knit sweater has such a lovely bit of lace even the most selfless of us are tempted to slurge. Even in the middle of all your giving, don’t forget to take care of yourself! Have some fun this this cute sloth phone case, or these velvet hair bows! Your home is your sanctuary, so dress it up right in this subtle floral wallpaper. (We imagine Beth’s favorite current print trend would be florals.) Make memories with all your loved ones with this pastel polaroid camera!

Amy

For the bold artist in all of us, Amy’s list is full of color, shapes, and fun! We know even everyday items like hand soap and staplers can be masterpieces, as you’ll see below:

Refined, artsy, and stylish – our vision for Amy’s interior design style. We imagine Amy’s favorite current print trend would be abstract shapes, and are dying over this paint stroke light shade. For you Amy March Soul Sisters, we found this amazing purple chore coat (imagine your paint brushes in those pockets! Ah!) and these painted vases. Whether you have been to France yet or not, want to carry around this phone case everywhere you go? We say oui! You are art, dress like it with this floral sweater.

Which modern March Sister’s style are you drawn to the most? We would love to hear in the comments below!

If you loved this Little Women inspiration, check out more of our “in the mood for” style inspiration here. And if you love the book, check out our Little Women book club from January.

Christmas gifts for men

Christmas Gifts for Men

If you’re looking for more Christma gift suggestions, I got you. Here’s my complete list for Christmas gifts for men. Let me know if there’s something you think is crucial to add to the list!

Acrylic everything please

My husband is also a color lover and informed many of these selections. He especially loves acrylic anything so I included a tic tac toe set and those hysterical pills. Ha! In fact, I just stumbled upon this shop, which has a ton of acrylic products in bright colors, which is definitely his jam.

Also, did you see those beard lights? You stick them in your beard and they light up. Come on!

That’s not it, we have more gift guides for you!

Christmas gifts for women
Christmas gifts for kids
Holiday decorations
Christmas Gifts for men

Let me know if there’s a specific gift guide you’d like to see. I’m happy to add in more. Stay tuned for stocking stuffers, design books, and Christmas gifts for the crafter! 

Alma Thomas: Black History Month Kickoff

Who Is Alma Thomas?

Alma Thomas

Back in 2020, we dedicated a blog post to Alma Thomas, which you can read here. Long story short, she was an amazingly talented black artist, famous for her mosaic-like technique for painting. Her story is amazing, and we’d recommend reading the unabridged version in our blog post here.

What Does the Course Include?

For a complete list and the link to the Alma Thomas class itself, click here. If you’d like, you can also purchase the full course here, which gives you access to courses featuring six different historical artists, including Alma Thomas, Rembrandt, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, and Michelangelo. Don’t forget to use the code ALMA50 for a 50% discount on the Alma Thomas course! It’s available for the entire month of February.

Inspired By Alma Thomas

Alma Thomas was a genius when it came to color. Want to be inspired by her in what you wear, but aren’t sure where to start? Here are some clothing items to get you started, as well as some accessories, if you’re not quite bold enough to wear all the colors of the rainbow in one statement piece. Adding a small pop of color can really transform an outfit.

Here are a few crafts you can make in honor of black history month and Alma Thomas:

Heirloom Plush Dolls

These Heirloom Plush Dolls are a fun way to decorate and remember that it’s black history month. They’re a jazzy, creative twist on our Family Heirloom Ornaments.

Alma Thomas Paper Dolls

Alma Thomas Paper Dolls are another interactive way to celebrate black history month. They’re a great way to teach your kids about black history while crafting at the same time!

Other Black Creatives

We hope you’ll treat this month as a learning opportunity and be inspired by the black creatives all around you. Alma Thomas is a great icon, but there are other ways to get involved during black history month as well.

Books, Movies and Shows

In this post, we compiled a list of black-authored books to read that are both eye-opening and engaging. It’s a great place to start if you have a goal to be more informed about black history this month. Bonus: if you’re more of a screens person, that same post also includes some really great movies and shows by black creatives.

If you’re not familiar with many black creatives, here‘s a list we complied a while back with some of our favorites. You can also check out this post, where you can learn how to make your own heirloom ornaments featuring your favorite black creatives.

Interviews

If you’re interested in getting to know some different artists of color, this post is for you. We compiled a list of interviews with some of our favorite artists of color. We loved getting to know them and what they do!

Black-Owned Businesses

Here are some amazing products we love from black designers. This is a great way to support black makers.

Happy Black History Month! We’d love to know: what are you doing in honor of Black History Month?

 

A trend we love “cherry” much!

Trend Alert: Cherries!

Some of our favorite cherry inspired projects from Lars past are our paper cherry wreath and our tootsie pop cherry gifts! So of course now that cherries are majorly on trend WE ARE HERE FOR IT.

Click here to learn how to make your very own cherry wreath!

Very Cherry Statement Pieces

Cherries can make a statement in literally any area of your life, as you’ll see below! We found cherry inspired fashion, decor, stationery, art, and more! As the weather warms up, usher in spring and summer with some fun nods to this current trend.

Imagine a cherry 🍒 themed party?! Hang this garland, lay out these napkins, and you’re on your way! These cherry gift balls from Meri Meri are hiding fun party favors, and these clips from Ban.do make perfect party gifts too! Here are some of our favorite unique ice cream sundae flavors that will literally be the cherry on top of your party.

Cherry pillows are such a fun statement item! Find the grown up version here for your living room, or the kid’s version here!

Lars Exclusive

Our newest design in our exclusive wrapping paper line features this trend! And it is on sale right now!

Originally made to be valentines, our tootsie pop cherries can be given as gifts all year round! Think birthdays, teacher appreciation, and random acts of kindness to brighten someone’s day!