Back to School Outfits #1 with Gymboree

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything sewing related so I thought I’d jump in with some back to school outfit ideas with sewing pattern suggestions to achieve those same looks.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All affiliate links are marked with an *. All opinions are 100% my own though.

Dress and sweater outfit from Gymboree
Outfit via Gymboree*

First up is this cute outfit from Gymboree*. The pieces can all purchased separately, so switch it up if you’re not liking certain pieces! This a great outfit for those school days where it’s warm in the sun but gets cool in the shade.

The Dress

What I love about the dress is that it’s so flowy and roomy, great to move around in.

Pattern Suggestions:

A similar sewing pattern I found is the All Spice dress* from Paisley Roots. 

It’s a super cute dress and fairly easy to sew. I made a version that you can see here. Depending on where your child’s measurements fall in the size range it will look looser (like my version) or more fitted like the photo above, if you prefer a looser fit I would size up in the width. The pattern comes with a long sleeve version that you could modify to look more like the inspiration piece from Gymboree. The other major difference is that this dress buttons up in the front but it could be modified to look to have them in back.

Other similar patterns:

The Sweater

I love a chunky sweater, and I love the grandpa-ness of a v-neck sweater! Since the Gymboree sweater is knitted it will be difficult to get an exact match by sewing one but a similar look in thick knit fabric is doable.

Pattern Suggestions:

The V-neck cardigan is super cute and you can always leave off the buttons and buttonholes to make it a closer match (and quicker sew!) to the Gymboree sweater. I would also suggest doing appliques if you really want something as close to the original sweater.

Other similar patterns:

Complete the back to school outfit:

In the photo of the Gymboree outfit the girl has a cute little purse, I couldn’t find it on their website so I thought I would share my favourite little girl’s purse.

Darling Daisy bag sewn by Lulu & Celeste
Darling Daisy bag I sewed, pattern by Molly and Mama*

It doesn’t look anything like the purse in the photo but this is my favourite one I’ve made so far for my girls and I think would make a cute addition to any outfit.

Gymboree Sale On Now!

I’ll be back next week with another outfit and more sewing pattern suggestions. Until then!

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Stacking the Shelves #2: April 2018 Wrap Up

I’m back with another wrap up post for the books I’ve read and purchased in the past month. I went a little crazy with the book purchases so I’m going to be a lot better this month. On the bright side, a few of them were purchased either second hand or from one of those overstock sellers so the books are super cheap, so money wise it wasn’t too bad. I haven’t purchased any fabric this year so far so the money I’ve saved there has gone into books.

My goal this month is to do a lot of decluttering so I will stop myself from buying more than 2 or 3 books. I’m hoping this summer to purchase a couple bookcases so I can finally unpack the rest of the books but I also need to declutter so that I have room for said bookcases.

I decided (like two days ago!) to create a new Instagram profile just for my book and tarot posts. You can find that new one here: luluandceleste.bookish. I was feeling they didn’t quite mesh with my art and photo posts (which didn’t mesh at all with my sewing posts). On the one hand I feel weird about having so many different profiles but on the other hand I’ve noticed a trend where everytime I would share a non-sewing related post on my main IG profile (luluandceleste) that I would lose lots of followers. I get it, sewing people just want to see sewing stuff. Ha, so I decided that I would just post book and tarot related stuff on one profile (they seem to flow together ok), and keep my art and photo challenge posts (luluceleste.artnstuff) on the second profile. They’re still all me, but I do go through phases where I’m really into art or really into photography or really into books, so I’m not feeling overwhelmed at multiple profiles. I’m just more wondering if people will think I’m crazy, lol.

Completely off topic: Does anyone watch Riverdale?? Who do you think is the Black Hood?!? And more importantly, Cheryl better be ok! Argh… I hate having to wait until next week!!

And now back to the wrap up!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All affiliate links are marked with an *. All opinions are 100% my own though.

april books purchased


Clearly I went a little book crazy this month! On the bright side I haven’t bought any fabric this year, so there’s that.






(links to Goodreads)

Total books read for Goodreads challenge: 25/45 …I upped my book goal (you can see my “Read in 2018” shelf on Goodreads here)

Book Reviews posted:

Stacking the Shelves #1 (March 2018)

I have been reading so so much lately that it’s only natural that I start sharing what I’ve been reading. I can’t justify having a separate blog right now for just book reviews (designing a new blog would just take away from my reading and sewing time!) so for now they’ll both be on here. Perhaps in the future I’ll separate them but for now this is how it’ll be. I will continue to keep my two Instagram profiles separate though. For mainly sewing and sometimes craft related it’s on @luluandceleste and for everything else (kid’s crafts, art, tarot, books) it’s @luluceleste.artnstuff. I’m aiming for 2-3 book reviews per month with at least one being craft related, and a monthly round up of the books I’ve added to my shelves (ie Stacking the Shelves).

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality and the aim is to show our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries (or friends/family), purchased in store or online or downloaded onto their e-reader.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All affiliate links are marked with an *. All opinions are 100% my own though.
Books added in March:



For Review:
I joined NetGalley in March and received the following eARC’s for review.

Books read in March:
  • High Dive
  • The Rules of Magic
  • Today I’ll be a Unicorn  (not included in my reading challenge on Goodreads)
  • A Newfoundlander in Canada
  • The Virgin Suicides
  • Bridge to Terabithia
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Total books read for Goodreads challenge: 17/35 (you can see my “Read in 2018” shelf on Goodreads here)

I don’t include the books I read to my daughters in my total count for my Goodreads reading challenge.

Books in my currently reading pile:

Seems like a lot but the first is in French (so I can’t read it on the bus since I need to be able to focus more), the second is a book of essays (I’ll read one or two per night), the third is a book of poetry (I’ll read a few per night, I don’t read poetry often and feel this is the best method for me), the fourth is fiction (and will make the trip with me on public transit to and from work) and the fifth is a book I’ve read already and I’ll read a few chapters of it in between books I’ve borrowed from the library (or in place of the one from the library if I don’t like it). The fiction one is the one that gets finished the quickest and switched out. Hope to finish these all by the end of April though.

Book Review: What Alice Forgot

I was planning on making a separate blog for book reviews for novels (I have some reviews of craft books coming up too that would have been on here), but I don’t really want to have to come up with a new theme and all that blog stuff right now. Maybe at a later date. For now, here goes.


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All affiliate links are marked with an *. All opinions are 100% my own though.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

What Alice Forgot by Lianne MoriartyBook stats:

Format: Paperback
Source: borrowed from my sister
Genre: Fiction
Published by: Berkley
Pub. Date: First published 2009
Pages: 496
Formats Available: Paperback, eBook

Buy ItAmazon*



Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.

Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.


After finishing the book I went and read some reviews of it on Goodreads. There were many positive reviews but what interested me most was that many readers either didn’t mention the side stories (her sister’s or her grandmother’s) or they didn’t like them. Interesting for me because in a way it was her sister’s story that affected me the most.

In a way I can relate with Alice: she’s married with young children (although her amnesia means she doesn’t know them), has problems in her marriage (what married couple doesn’t fight?) and we’re about the same age (her 2008 age I mean). When she comes to realize that she’s drifted away from longtime friends in the 10 years she’s lost, I can relate. Kids, jobs, marital situation, all have a factor in how often you can get together with a friend (I mean husbands like it if you spend time with them too usually). Her apparent 2008 social life and financial situation I don’t relate to whatsoever, ha. Although I’m more like 1998 Alice than 2008 Alice. I’ve always been more like 1998 Alice, so it’s hard for me to see how she could change so much in just a few years and all because of just one person really. Other than that I really did enjoy her whole storyline and seeing how her week or so of amnesia helps her to rebuild relationships.

Her sister Elisabeth’s storyline is something I can relate to really well. [POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING] Elisabeth has been having fertility issues with multiple miscarriages. Now that is something I can truly get. I do have to beautiful daughters but I’ve also lost four to miscarriage. I wonder if Elisabeth’s story line is why my sister practically forced me to borrow this book from her. Elisabeth’s story is woven throughout the book in the form of journal entries she writes to her therapist. At one point she describes her second miscarriage (and pregnancy) and how they kept that pregnancy hidden because they didn’t want to jinx it but then when the miscarriage happened she felt the need to tell people about it anyway.

Afterward, I felt it had been wrong not telling the family about the baby, because then I wanted them to know about the miscarriage, so that they knew the baby had existed. […] People weren’t as upset as with the first one, and how could they be, when they’d only just heard it existed in the first place. I felt this ridiculous protective feeling for my January baby, as if nobody loved her[…]

THIS. SO MUCH THIS. This is exactly what I was going through when we didn’t say anything about the last one. I felt like nobody cared except for me. And people made offhand remarks that I’m sure they didn’t mean to be hurtful but still hurt. (Like telling my brother-in-law and his future wife that they were her last hopes of having twin grandchildren just four weeks after my last miscarriage. Ummm.. I didn’t remember talking to her about whether or not I was done trying yet). … Anyway, if you ever you want to know what a person may be feeling after experiencing a miscarriage then I suggest reading this book just to read Elisabeth’s journal entries.

It’s really hard to review this book without giving everything away. I liked how it wrapped up in the end. It’s a good, quick read if you’re into chick-lit and/or Liane Moriarty books.

Rating: ★★★★☆

(I gave an extra star just for Elisabeth’s story and took off a star because I couldn’t believe that someone could go from being quiet and shy to outgoing and domineering in about 8 years, haha).

More Info:



my currently-reading shelf:
Ula's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (currently-reading shelf)

Storage basket sewn by Lulu & Celeste

Breaking Ground Tour: Storage pod basket

Originally I was going to sew a doll pattern from a designer I hadn’t used yet but time ran away from me and lately I’ve been in a bit of a bag making binge anyway. I haven’t ventured into really advanced bag making that requires lots of hardware yet but that will hopefully happen this year since I have plans to advance in my sewing! Haha. Since a goal of mine is to majorly reorganize and purge the craft room (and well the rest of the house) I decided to make some fabric storage bins to hang in the craft room. I plan to make a few more for my daughters to use as well for both in their bedroom and in the craft room. I decided to try out a pattern by a new-to-me designer Calico Forest Designs*.

Storage basket sewn by Lulu & Celeste

I don’t know why I don’t take out a ruler when I look at the finished sizes in the descriptions, the basket was a lot larger than I thought it would be! I think I was kind of expecting these small little pods like I’ve seen elsewhere, but this is pretty big. It will be used to store my thread, at the moment all my thread is a recycled plastic container and it’s actually hard to to get at the ones I want.

Below is the listing photo for the storage pod

Pattern by Calico Forest Designs can be found here*


The pattern sews up really quickly. I think from cut to sew it truly is a 1-hour project (I didn’t actually measure how long it took though but the sewing was quick). I did change up the construction slightly so that I left a small opening in the lining to the turn the bag out and then topstitched around the top. (The pattern suggests pressing a 1/4″ hem along the top of both lining and outer and then stitching closed at the top but that method tends to mess up at some point for me and I need to unpick. Easier for me to just to leave the opening in the lining and stitching that closed).

The only con really is that the pattern pieces don’t line up perfectly which is even mentioned in the instructions.  So you may end up with a couple pieces where the fabric has a bit of a overhang on one edge like I did. I just trimmed the overhang so it wasn’t too bad. Also, this part isn’t a huge deal breaker, each page of the pattern is a separate PDF file. Obviously, they’re not a professional pattern designer so if that’s an issue for you I would look elsewhere. But if you’re ok with those smaller issues the end result is pretty good. I have only seen one other pattern similar although I didn’t check the finished size on it so I’m not sure if it’s the same really. So if you’re looking for a nice, big hanging fabric basket with a wide opening this is the pattern for you. 🙂

Storage basket sewn by Lulu & Celeste

I would suggest using the thicker type of quilting cotton to make your baskets. I used a lightweight chambray for the liner (which made amazing shorts) and had the outer been just as lightweight the whole basket would have been extremely floppy. So either add interfacing to the outer or use a good quality quilting cotton. I used some remnant of a fabric I’ve had in my stash for a few years now, I think it’s Amy Butler fabric but I’m not sure, I didn’t have any left of the fabric with the name printed on the selvedge.

Welcome to the Breaking Ground Blog Tour 2018. This week over 20 bloggers are joining together to break new ground by trying a pattern designer that is new to them, try new techniques, new styles, or whatever way they want to push themselves. The Full Tour includes all these creatives… we hope you’ll visit us each day:

Monday March 12- mahlicadesigns, Sewing Vortex, Sewing A La Carte, Little Heart Threads, The Sewing Scientist
Tuesday March 13- Musings of A Seamstress, A Custom Clothier, Octaves of Color, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sew Altered Style
Wednesday March 14- Flaxfield Sewing, Chook n Duck, Tales of a Tester, Sewing By Ti, Sewing Vortex, Kathy’s Kwilts and More
Thursday March 15- Very Blissful, Manning the Machine, Sew and Tell Project, Musings of a Seamstress, Stitches by Laura
Friday March 16- Lulu & Celeste, Tenille’s Thread, Sewing A La Carte, The Bear and Pea Atelier, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sprouting Jube Jube, Kathy’s Kwilts and More


We’d love to see how you’re Breaking Ground this month. Share with us what you’re working on by using the hashtag #BreakingGround2018 across social media.  Better yet, join the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests facebook group to sew along with the Breaking Ground theme for the entire month of March. In the group you’ll find support and encouragement for your projects and fun themed challenges.

 Lulu&Celeste signature

japanese knot bag sewn by lulu & celeste

Monaluna Journey tour: Japanese knot bag set

I absolutely love Monaluna Organic Fabrics! I’m so happy that I was able to be on this tour hosted by Gemia of Phat Quarters because it forced me to cut into this beautiful fabric I had received instead of just stashing it away. I have some other Monaluna fabric stashed away that I had purchased in the past and I keep changing my mind about what I want to make with it. But after sewing these up I’m determined to sew with the rest of my Monaluna stash.

The fabric was generously provided to tour participants by Jennifer of Monaluna Organic Fabrics. This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk (*).

Originally I was going to make a different bag but just before starting the project I realised I didn’t have enough interfacing and no time to go shopping. So I switched things up and made myself a new tote to replace my super sad one that I use for carrying my lunch to work in. (The handles are nearly non-existent).

I’ve been seeing tutorials for the Japanese knot bags all over the place but most of the finished bags were super tiny. Finally I came across the Lil Knot bag pattern* by Indigobirddesign. The pattern comes in three sizes. I sewed the medium size, which is still a little smaller than I would have liked but it’s large enough for my needs.

Japanese knot bag with monaluna fabrics

The pattern is reversible! Most likely I’ll be keeping the Desert Floral on the outside for the most part since it’s dark and I’ll be carrying it around on public transit but I love Dry Garden too. So pretty!

Since I had a lot of scraps leftover I decided to make myself a pretty notepad cover. I also had received some Paintbrush so I incorporated it into the other two projects. I used the dimensions from a tutorial I had found to cut out my pieces but I randomly pieced together the outside fabric. I’m in love with it. I used a vintage button from my stash. It doesn’t show too well in the photo but it’s pearlized. I also made myself a new key fob. They’re so easy and quick to make.

Notebook with monaluna fabrics

Inside notebook using monaluna fabrics
The inside

Notebook with monaluna fabrics
Front and back

Bag and Notebook with monaluna fabrics

I still have a few scraps (about a fat quarter each of the two florals and a fat eighth of the Paintbrush) left so there might be a couple new projects showing up at some point.

We have a giveaway happening for this tour thanks to our friends at Itch to Stitch, Grammies Dolls, Bella Sunshine, SisBoom, Little Moo Designs, Izzy & Ivy Designs, The Cloth Parcel, Jalie, Designs by Call Ajaire and Love Notions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the rest of the stops below!
 Japanese knot bag with monaluna fabrics