Monthly Archives: June 2012

Audrey’s 1st Birthday Outfit

It is always so much fun to sew for children – everything is miniature! This is a custom outfit for Baby Audrey’s first birthday party. Audrey’s Mom contacted me because she was looking for a colorful romper that tied around the waist. She had been looking in stores and had no luck.

This was a photo that she sent me for inspiration. Her favorite parts on this romper were the ruffle around the collar, a tie around the waist, and the shorts on bottom.

Here are pictures of what we came up with for Baby Audrey!

The whole theme of the party centered around this fabric. Audrey’s Mom took a swatch of the fabric to a baker and had a cake decorated with the same design. She even used pieces of scrap fabric to make thank you notes for guests!

Black Alligator Designs


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Black Alligator designs a HOUSE – Part One

Nic and I have officially made the plunge into home ownership. Not only did we buy a home, we remodeled a home! I physically went into and looked at 63 houses, spent countless hours on Zillow and with our realtor, and I had my heart broken twice (like sitting on the kitchen floor crying broken heart) when a house was snatched right before we could get it. All so that we could wait for God’s perfect timing with this home.

We were only mildly considering the possibility of a remodel, but we knew the minute we walked into this house that it had to be ours. Within 3 hours, our old neighbor, who is a professional home builder and general contractor, was walking the house with us so that we could make sure we weren’t jumping headfirst into a money pit. The next morning our offer was accepted, and 8 weeks later we moved into a 90% remodeled home (the 10% untouched is the original tile in the bathrooms and the outside of the house).


We are big on setting up home quickly…we have been here 2 days now and have made good headway on unpacking (which is a little more difficult than usual at 8 1/2 months pregnant). I will post the after pictures once we are fully set up in a week or two! For now, here is the 1958 rough cut stone that was just waiting to get polished up by some loving owners.

This was your view when you opened the front door – quite cave like. The formal living room is to the left, and a coat closet and AC unit are on the right. Straight ahead is the family room.

The original family room had solid wood paneling, shag carpet, and a single fan to light the entire room. On the other side of the left wall is the kitchen. On the other side of the right wall was an fully enclosed bedroom (no windows to the outdoors). The entrance to the bonus room was in the back right hand corner of this room.

From the back left hand corner of the family room there was an opening into the breakfast nook. Please note the built in planter with faux ivy!

The original galley kitchen had solid wood cabinets that were set below fur downs (that in my opinion only make the 8 foot ceilings look lower). Two fluorescent panels shed a ton of harsh light. The kitchen is on the west side of the house, so the fan was probably a necessity with the inefficient HVAC system. The stove was a whopping and unnecessary 36″ wide with 4 electric burners. The doorway entered into the laundry room, pantry, and hot water heater closets. The flooring was vinyl bricks.

If you take a left from the breakfast nook, you enter the large formal living and dining room (one large room). We kept both bay windows (one in this room and one in the master bedroom). Goliath has never lived on carpet, so visiting the house before the carpet was torn out was a HUGE treat for him to play on and rub his nose in.

Built into a corner of the family room, there was a doorway into the “bonus room”. In 1978 the owners enclosed their sun porch. The brick wall you see on the right hand side of this picture was the original back wall of the house. In the back right hand corner they installed a wet bar. While this was great for an additional 250 square feet, this large room was definitely awkwardly placed in the house’s layout. The biggest downfall of the bonus room was that it enclosed the windows on 2 of the bedrooms. That’s right, a window into another room of the house.

Here is the most problematic of the rooms, the wood panel bedroom. With only one window to the bonus room, the wood panel bedroom was literally a cave. If we closed up the window we couldn’t legally sell it as a bedroom – bedrooms have to have a closet and a window to tax roll as a bedroom.

This is the second enclosed bedroom, but it did still have a window that opened to the outside (the long skinny one). Those are butterflies on the wall paper 🙂

The second bedroom had a pink jack and jill bathroom with the master bedroom.

Here is the view of the other side of the jack and jill bathroom. The butterflies continue!

This is a view of the master bedroom from its main entrance. The door on the left goes to the jack and jill bathroom. We loved the idea of built in sconces and knew from the get go that we would leave the bay window.

Here is the other side of the master bedroom. In the nook area there was a built in vanity and an entrance into the guest bathroom (that is also accessible from the hallway). You might be putting the puzzle pieces together at this point…yes the master bedroom accessed both bathrooms!

Here I am unhappy with predicament of getting rid of the vanity (which I think is awesome) if I want a larger closet.

Here is a view of the guest bathroom. I know that some people are REALLY into the travertine and granite craze right now, but for me there is nothing more classic and wonderful than hexagon tiles in bathrooms. Some might call it dated and out of style, and I’m totally fine with that. I love it 🙂

These pictures give you an idea of the largest project that I have ever experienced. I am so thankful that I have a creative and visionary husband – we never could have bought this house otherwise. Even with the best contractors on the planet. For now, that is all – give me a few weeks to get boxes put up, and I will post the “afters”.

Black Alligator Designs


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Sawyer’s Nursery

Sweet baby Sawyer Jane has come into this world with style! Sawyer’s mama came to me with 3 clear wishes for her baby’s nursery: grey & yellow geometric prints, not overly girly so that the same bedding can be used for a future son, and a tailored yet fun look.

Here is a snap shot of the three fabrics we chose:

{Waverly Bedazzle Silver Lining}
{Waverly Buzzing About}
{Waverly Sidewalk Stripe}

To balance a not overly feminine look, we picked 2 different fabrics for the bumpers. Buzzing About, the lattice patterne with bees and dragon flies, was her more feminine choice. Sidewalk Stripe, the grey and yellow toned stripe, was her more masculine choice.

Sawyer’s bumpers have the Buzzing Around print facing the outside of the crib, so it is more visible with her nursery’s full view aesthetics. I attached the ties to this side, but they can easily be removed and attached to the striped side for a boy.

I made her two curtain panels that would be topped off with a cornice built by her Dad. The panels were made from Buzzing Around with a 3 inch Sidewalk Stripe ruffle on the inside edges. The cornice was made from the damask, Bedazzle Silver Lining.

One element of her desired tailored look was achieved with using a simple box pleat bed skirt:

– Black Alligator Designs

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A Canine Customer

Dear friends, please meet Aussie. What a fun customer to work for!


Aussie needed a new cover for his outdoor bed. The cover needed to be super sturdy yet easily removable for cleaning. In not so many words, he expressed how pleased he is with his new bedding!

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