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Show & Tell: what comes around goes around...

 "Show and tell... get to know me a little better and I'll show you something cool that is related to what I told you about me!"

It was almost 10 years ago, in April of 2004 that I started my little label called Laïla B, it was a collection for little girls made from recycled fabrics. You can see some photos in my "I SEW" page and a few more on my Flickr- I should really upload all of my photos... one day. 

The term up-cycled didn't even exist then and recycling clothes for kids was sometimes frowned upon. For years, I visited thrift stores going through rows and rows of second hand clothing to find the right fabrics to create my little clothes. I then washed and dried all these clothes to then pick them apart and create something new. 

It's one thing to make your daughter a dress form her dad's shirt and it's a whole other world when you are producing a collection to sell. The clothing you find isn't always the same size, some come with pockets and some don't- you need to fit your pattern pieces with the fabric you have. As much as I loved it, I have to say it was a lot more work than just finding a roll of fabric and cutting into it. However, there a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you've created something from an old shirt or skirt, not only have you created something beautiful but you've also recycled, reused and reduced! 

2 years ago, with 2 little kids and new priorities, I took the decision to moved on and got a full time job. I still, every chance I get up-cycle some clothing for my kids and I enjoy it so much more without having all the pressures that come with selling a collection. Can you tell I am a poor business woman!  

I can't tell you how impressed I was when I saw KALLIO at Playtime. It took me a little while before I realized the clothing was made from recycled Men's shirts. Every style was impeccable. The clothes were adorable. Every piece was nicer than the next. You can see for yourself in their Etsy Store, I had such a hard time choosing my photos for this post. 

Not only is everything made from pre loved men's shirt, everything is re-sewn in ethical factories in New York City. Nothing is wasted, the clothing from the past becomes the ones of the future - what comes around goes around. Every item is one of a kind and has it's own little story to tell. 

I know the hard work that goes into making every one of these one of kind pieces and I commend KALLIO for their incredible job. They created a collection that is contemporary, fun and easy to wear. 

They even have some cute boy styles...

Just look at all the lovely details!
You must check out the KALLIO website for a really sweet video.
I can't wait to see all the future creations! Here's to amazing sustainable fashion! 



Nice to meet you... Luk♥ma

I think you probably already know how much I love Pinterest, but I don't think you really know how much I love Pinterest!!! I love it not only for all the wonderful images, inspiration, DIY project, home decor and the list goes on... but I also love it for all the wonderful people I meet and I love it when I explore beyond Pinterest to discover even more beauty! That is just what happened with LUKUMA... from one little comment I discovered Claudia's blog Handmade Con Amor and from there I discovered Lukuma the Etsy shop

I love the simple cuts & the pop of colors. I love that it's handmade & sustainable. I especially love the price point, nothing is over 30$! Honestly, I'd rather spend my money here then on Zara!!! The only problem... what to choose! The flower or the polka dot skirt, the grey or the hot pink sweater, what about those mary-janes? Love it all...

You should check out Claudia's blog as well, it's filled with wonderful images, lot's of inspiration and even cute tutorials, the latest one is of this upcycled t-shirt romper... perfect for those hot summer days!

And I almost forgot, follow her on Pinterest, you won't be disappointed!



OEUF, be good... Thank you!

We received a package a few weeks back and I was so excited to share it with my kids. However, it took a little while before we opened the gifts, only because my son is going through a rough patch and I didn't feel like he really deserved anything until this weekend...

So,  I entered a giveaway on Dotcoms for Moms, thanks to Rachel,  and won not 1 but 3 amazing knitted goodies from Oeuf. I've talked about Oeuf a while back on the blog, I've been a long time fan and now that I've seen and felt the goods, I'm an even bigger fan!

The gifts were beautifully wrapped by Sophie, creator of Oeuf, and her kids; Mister M had the great idea of making the bunting decorations into some necklaces and Miss E has kept her bag and I won't dare recycle it just yet! The kids were really excited and really loved their gifts. Mister M thought the snake was a scarf, why not? Miss E wears her tooth as a bracelet and well the crown is just magical... You wouldn't believe how soft the wool is and well executed these goodies are. Precious!

I blog about the things I love and sometimes or might I say most of time I can't afford to buy all the lovely things I dream about, I cannot tell you how happy and lucky I am to have won this giveaway. I don't think my children are big enough to fully appreciate what was given to them, but I do. 

I cannot thank you enough Sophie, and her kids, for this extremely generous gift and lovely note.
Thank you Dotcoms for Moms and Rachel for hosting such a great giveaway.

THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts...



My Virtual Advent Calendar... 3 Days to go!

3 Days to go... oh my! I hope I finish my knitting on time...

Today's selection is a felted mushroom from Muskhane. It stands 11 cm tall and is environmentally friendly. It's handmade and ready to play with or just a real cute decorative item... don't you think?

Find this yummy mushroom for 6,50 euros at Yume, an great little online store.



Nice to meet you... SUPAYANA

I really enjoy showcasing Montreal children's designers, but I have to say it's not always easy. So I was really excited when I found out that Supayana was making kids clothes and really cute ones too. 

Not only is the clothing cool, edgy and adorable, buttyo top it off the collection is produced locally and made from recycled or eco-friendly fabric. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. 

Yana Gorbulsky creates her own illustrations and prints them digitally onto cotton which she then uses in her collections, making every garment truly unique and practically a piece of art! 

Need I say more? 
The prices are reasonable too... L.O.V.E.
From sizes 1-3 months to 3T. Too bad they don't go bigger!
Check out Yana's Etsy Shop for her Woman's and children's collection... 

I really hope to meet you one day soon Yana!



Hit or Miss: Frii bicycle...

Image source

The Frii bicycle. Do you love it? Hate it? Or not quite sure...
Let us know by clicking on ( ) hit , ( ) on the fence or ( ) miss button below!!!

This bicycle hasn't been produced yet! This was a final school project imagined by Dror Peleg at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. I don't think it was intended to be for children either, but I immediately feel in love with it and though Mister M & Miss E would fall heads over heels for it too!

What is AMAZING about this design, besides the great color stories and look of the bike, is that it is entirely made from recycled plastic. Every component is injection-molded into modular shapes that snap together, making it strong and lightweight as well as customizable! They are still in the development stages, and are having a few issues with strengthening the bike, so I would suggest they start with a kiddie bike! Hehe!

So did I convince you yet... Hit? On the fence? Miss?



Save the Date: SWAP

Are you in Montreal July 9th and 10th? Yes! Great, then you must come to the SWAP: Take off your Clothes Montreal event. Now you're thinking what on earth? Yes! Come and give your earth a little love by swapping some clothes... What is yours is mine, right? This is a clothing swapping event where you basically bring 10 clothing items, that are clean and new looking (including shoes and accessories) and in exchange you get 10 items of your choice. The entrance fee is 10$ for anyone older than 12. What a bargain, thrift stores don't have such amazing deals!!!! And any left over clothing will be donated to Fripe-Prix Renaissance. 

Do you know that this event has been going on since 2007, and that 23,000+ items have been swapped, 21,000+ items were donated to charities, and that 44,000+ items were kept out of our landfills … and counting! Oh! and it's a non-profit enterprise and is entirely run by volunteers.

Their mission:

1. Provide good quality clothing to charities, who then use the clothes for their local community programs
2. Provide communities with an alternative to new clothing consumption (e.g., 
collaborative consumption)
3. Promote eco-friendly and socially conscious clothing consumption
4. Develop upcycled items from used clothing, textiles and waste materials from the garment industry (check out our sister project, 
Style & Conscience)
So where will you be Saturday, July 9  from 1:00PM – 6:00PM or Sunday, July 10 from 12PM – 5:00PM?
I know I'll be at la PLACE DES ARTS – GRAND FOYER CULTUREL (INDOORS), right in downtown Montreal!!! See you there!



Good Guide...

So I don't know if you have noticed, but there is no theme this week on my blog.... Unfortunately there will no longer be a theme to my weekly posts. Why? Well I have a new job, and that means new responsibilities and a much less flexible schedule.... So I don't officially start until september, but the whole weekly theme concept takes a lot of time and energy.   Since, I won't be working from home anymore and summer has finally arrived,  I would like to spend more time with my kids and a little less time on the computer. No worries I will still be blogging, just a little less often and a little more spontaneously... I hope you will still enjoy it as much!

Today, I came across the most amazing website, perhaps you knew about it already, the Good Guide...
With GoodGuide, you can:
  • Find better products that are healthy, green and socially responsible
  • Search or browse over 100,000 food, toys, personal care, & household products to easily learn about the best and worst products in a category
  • Rely on our scientific expertise and sophisticated rating system to simplify complex and confusing product information 
  • Get mobile advice while shopping in a store by downloading our iPhone app
  • Create and share personalized favorites lists of products that are right for you and your family
Since Summer decided to show up, I was trying to find the best sunscreen for my kids, and this guide gives a list of products and a rating with 3 criterias: Health, Environment & Society.
So I found out that the Johnson & Johnson's Baby Lotion SPF 15 was top ratted, and the bottom rated sunscreen is Banana Boat's Ultra Mist Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen! So guess what I'm going to buy this summer!!!
I also found out that Little Marc Jacobs scored 5.5 on the scientific rating... 6.0 for Environment... Facinating!!!
Here's a screen shot , to give you an idea how it works...



WaterAid + H&M

Did you get your H&M WaterAid outfit yet? I did! I just happened to go into H&M today and was surprised to see their new collaboration ( I'm a sucker for collaborations!)... Who is WaterAid? They are an international aid organization that helps provide the world's poorest communities with access to clean water. So how can you help? When you buy an item from the WaterAid collection at H&M, 25% of the sale price will be donated towards this cause... So hurry up, before they run out of stock! If you're in Montreal, the collection is available at the downtown store on St-Catherine...

Here are some of the children's designs...

Here is what I got... I might go back for more!
For Miss E
And Mister M



Sew Edited... Mister M...

Do you wish you could "edit" your kids sometimes?
So today's post is supposed to be yesterdays post, however since blogger was out of order for over 18 hours, things got all mixed up!!! So this post is for Day 5 of KCWC, and I had some more fun and made Mister M an upcycled tee. Fashion for boys is always a little trickier than for girls, and when it comes to upcycling, in my opinion, it's even harder! But, you can't really go wrong with a t-shirt!

Here are some graphic tee's I'm loving these days:
Mini and Maximus

1. JCrew 2. Rock River Tees @ Etsy 3. Mon Trésor by Zozoï @ Smallable
4. Milk On the Rocks5. Imps & Elfs 6. Zorro @ Smallable
Mini Rodini
The Green Apple
 Here's what I came up with... BEFORE & AFTER: 

I've had this t-shirt for a while, I always found it kinda cool, but it was an XL... and now it's a size 4T!

Mister M taking a ride:
The tee is  a little big, but at the rate he's growing, it will fit all summer!
By the way if you are interested in seeing what others are sewing up... go check out the Elsie Marley group on Flickr!



wardrobe upcycling.... sew much fun!

Finally blogger is working! 
Today, I'm excited to show you what I've been up to... after that tutu fiasco, I decided to go back and try out some sewing I'm used to! Wow, I had soooo much fun doing this little number. I bought this t-shirt at H&M, a long long time ago. I really love the color and the texture, as well as the cute ruffle detail on the sleeve. But it never really fit quite right, I tried it with a belt, with jeans, with leggings... my sister tried it, and it just never looked quite right! So it's been in my "to do" pile for years... and I finally got around to transforming it... I think it turned out pretty cute!


MISS E enjoying the sun...