Visting with Michael Miller Fabrics ~ Part 1

I am thrilled to share that I have a guest post (my first!) over on making it fun, the blog for Michael Miller Fabrics.

Click here to go visit my post, or you can also scroll down…
 making it fun

Friday, February 28, 2014

Lesley Poole and the Littles!

Hello there, I’m Lesley Poole from Poole Party of 5 .  This summer I attended Alt SF and was extremely excited when I found out that Michael Miller Fabrics would be one of the sponsors for the event.  I originally found out about Michael Miller Fabrics from my favorite fabric boutique in Seattle, Drygoods Design, where the owner, Keli, turned me onto the Mini Mikes collection.  The Etsy line that I sew incorporates modern fabrics that I then appliqué onto classic silhouettes for custom gift giving.  I have found that it can be difficult to find fabrics with patterns that have small enough repeats for my appliquéwork.  And, as it turns out, many of the fabrics I go back to again and again are from Michael Miller.  While I was at Alt, I made it a priority to meet the Michael Miller team and share with them how much I love to use their smaller patterns for the appliqué and embellishment sewing I do for Poole Party Designs.

The MM team recently contacted me to tell me about a brand new collection about to be launched that was designed with my type of work in mind.  It incorporates the small repeats I am always looking for, as well as multi-directional patterns, which can help to maximize fabric usage.  When I received a package of this new collection, The Littles (designed by Shawn Wallace of MMF), I just about swooned!  There were so many fun and whimsical prints to choose from.  I immediately set to work on some fresh new appliqués to test out the versatility of this line.
*pictured above ~ Little Whales, Clown Stripe, Little Sailboats
*pictured above ~ Hospital Gown, Clown Stripe, Little Sailboats
*pictured above ~ Ta Dot, Hospital Gown
The “little sailboats”, “little whales” and “clown stripe” worked so well for the baby onesies and burp cloths.
*pictured above ~ Which Way Stripe
And I love the “which way stripe” and “hospital gown” geometrics in the kid shirts. You’ll definitely be seeing these items show up on Poole Party Designs soon!
Stay tuned- I’ll be back with Part Two of the Littles very soon!

Like Magic

Author’s Note (01/25/14): Zaarly is no longer operating in Seattle, which is a bummer, but, oh well ~ such is life with start-ups!  The Poole Party Design items are still available on Etsy, though, and most of the other vendors can still be found at local farmer’s markets.  Happy Shopping!


Do you Zaarly?

If you haven’t heard, Zaarly is an awesome new service that has recently launched in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Kansas City and New York.  Zaarly handpicks vendors to bring the local marketplace online.  It combines local flavor and personality with the ease and convenience of online shopping!  Looking for your favorite farmer’s market salsa guy or amazing caramels?  Searching for a new personal trainer or some everyday help?  Look no further.  Zaarly prides itself on bringing only the best providers to you, by showcasing references and reviews, as well as a personal story by the vendor.  By the time you are ready to purchase, you know a little something about who you are buying from.  What a nice change from the often faceless feeling of buying online!  Zaarly is becoming known around Seattle as one of the best new resources in town. Many of the vendors even offer FREE local doorstep delivery in the greater Seattle area!  More vendors are being added daily to give you even more selection.  Stay tuned for fun events and developments!

When I became a parent, I tried for awhile to function as I did BK (Before Kids).  This was easier with one child than with three, obviously.  In some ways we have achieved this lofty goal – we still like to go out to dinner to restaurants on occasion and we still like to explore our city and natural surroundings.  But, one area that has changed dramatically since BK  is that I adore any company that will deliver to my doorstep.  AmazonFresh and Amazon top the list, but sometimes I am looking for more niche items and I don’t have the time or patience to search all over town.  Since moving from our old neighborhood of Ballard, for example, I am still on the hunt for the perfect croissant and savory scone nearby.

As it happens, Poole Party Designs also recently opened a storefront on Zaarly.  I have gotten to know the website, as well as some of the people behind it and I am thoroughly impressed.  I am excited to be part of something new in Seattle and I am thrilled to get to share it with you.  Check out some of our latest items here:

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Have a birthday party coming up this weekend that you haven’t had a moment to shop for?  Baby or wedding shower later this month and you don’t know what to get?  Show how thoughtful you really are with a custom gift for your loved one.  The best part is, you can order online and your gift will show up on your doorstep!  Voila!  Like magic…

That’s how I feel today!  Somewhere in Seattle, someone is baking up some savory biscuits that will appear on my doorstep tomorrow!  Like magic!  I can’t wait…

Oh, and another thing.  If Zaarly hasn’t made it to your city yet, check out the Handmade Goods category and find lovely artisan quality items that can be shipped all over the world.  Homemade Marshmallows or Seersucker Bow Tie, anyone?

Happy Shopping!

A Look Back

Things are a bit crazy right now!  It is the first week of summer for the kiddos and things are also getting busier with Poole Party Designs!  I have been spending a lot of time at the sewing machine and it makes me think back to what was going on a year ago!

Here is a look back at some of my favorite moments from June 2012:

1.  We were celebrating the upcoming birth of a good friend’s baby:  Inspiration


2.  School was coming to an end and my thoughts were on how to document time:  Holding A Memory


3.  My baby was still spitting up and the Poole Party Burp Cloths were born:  Product Testing


Time can feel like it goes by quickly, yet look how much has happened!!

Happy Summer!!

Custom Gifts


One of the most fun things I get to do with this mini-business / hobby is hear when people have something exciting going on in their lives.  My girlfriend called the other day because a new baby had been born in her family!  She wanted to celebrate the birth by giving a gift to her nieces when she goes to visit next week.  She asked if I could help and we came up with a plan.  The new sisters share a letter, both of their first names start with “H”.  We decided to make them a coordinating t-shirt and onesie combination with a big “H” for big sister and little “h” for baby.


I love how they turned out and I hope that the girls enjoy sporting their special letter around town.  Sisters get to share so much – how fun that they also share a letter!  This gift will look fantastic in pictures with the new baby.  I love that it celebrates both the family’s new addition and also big sister’s new role!


Remember that Poole Party Designs is happy to work with you on special projects and gifts.  If we can help you come up with the perfect gift for a special someone in your life, that makes our day!  Hopefully it makes your life easier too…


On another note, the blog has a new look!  Spring is around the corner and the blog needed some freshening up!  I am still working out some kinks, so please excuse me while we transition!  I love hearing your comments, so feel free to let me know your thoughts on the new format!



My favorite projects start out with a custom request!

My wonderful friend Andie said, “Hey Lesley, I have a god son who has begun losing his teeth.  I would love to be the one to give him a tooth fairy pillow.  Any chance you could make one?”  What a fabulous idea!!  I played around with a design until I was satisfied and now Andie’s god son has a sweet little home to keep those baby teeth safe until pick-up from The Tooth Fairy.

And now, the pillows are available for your little ones as well on Poole Party Designs!


As I look at what I am creating these days, it has a lot to do with milestones.  Shirts that recognize how many years a child has under his or her belt or a onesie that announces the letter or name that is bestowed at birth.  We celebrate birthdays at our house with quite a lot of hoopla and other milestones seem to be the same.  As time passes in both a whirlwind and quite imperceptibly, it feels like the only thing I can do is notice, document, and celebrate!



One milestone that we are inching ever closer to, but have yet to hit is the losing of baby teeth.  This rite of passage officially moves a child from baby years into kid years and is one more thing to relish and celebrate.  The Tooth Fairy.  Yikes.  As a parent I look at it this event with a bit of trepidation as well.  Here is yet another imaginary individual who we, as parents, will answer questions about with false confidence in an effort to make this legend appear magical versus creepy.  The fact that we allow a fairy to enter our home undetected time after time is already enough to make me lose a bit of confidence in the telling.  One more legend (like the darn Elf on the Shelf) that I will try desperately to remember and try not to totally screw up.  Then there is the actual execution.  My children are light sleepers.  I do not look forward to entering their room once they are (finally) asleep only to possibly wake them up while rummaging around under their pillow!  And to remember to do this over sixty times?!?!  Wish us luck!!  Maybe a personalized pillow will help?!?!  Here’s hoping.


Note:  My husband would like all readers to know that our family does not necessarily endorse the giving of paper money if and when The Tooth Fairy visits.  As I said, we have yet to cross this bridge and don’t have a clue what we are doing!  Paper money has been used above for artistic purposes only!

Poole Party Gift Ideas


:: Order your holiday onesies for wearing now…

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:: And your monogram totes and shirts for easy gifting!



:: Free gift wrap available and custom orders encouraged!

:: We are happy to send gifts directly to your recipient, to help you check things off your list!

:: Happy Holidays from Poole Party Designs

Make It Personal

When my second son was born, my favorite presents were those that differentiated his arrival from his older brother’s.  Having been through it once, we already had all the equipment, clothes, and “stuff” we needed and the correct gender to boot.  I loved receiving things that were personalized for him.  Whether it was a name or a letter, I found this gesture of individual recognition to be so very thoughtful.  I have kept that sentiment in mind to this day.  Often, when I give a gift to a family that already has one child, I try to personalize it.  It is nice to recognize those older sibs as well!

The “letter” and “number” shirts have arrived!  Simple cut.  Clean lines.  Gotta have ’em.

American Apparel 3/4 sleeve, personalized, raglan tees.  Now available for the big kids!  Poly-Cotton construction.  Durable rib neckband.  Available in sizes 2-8.  The perfect gift for big brother or sister.  Great for birthday parties and sibling photos.  An ideal tool for teaching letter and number recognition!  Start your engines and get ready to be a monogram trendsetter at school!  Head over to Poole Party Designs to start shopping the new collection!

Pretty Packages

Because who doesn’t love receiving mail… and a pretty package at that?  All Poole Party Designs packages come “ready for gifting” with beautiful tissue and bow.  Gift wrap included.  Why, you ask?  Because I love making pretty packages and hopefully it takes one thing off of someone else’s to-do list.

This clearly is a family affair.  My assistants went with me today to the post office to mail the first round of shipments out to our customers!  My what a great help they were!  I know you are jealous.  These guys are the best in the business.

Thanks everyone for all your wonderful words of encouragement!  I appreciate it so much in these early days!

Poole Party Designs :: OPEN for Business

Based on the all the fun I have been having sewing and the positive feedback from both Inspiration and Product Testing, I decided to open an Etsy shop to sell my handmade items!  We’re pretty excited around here!

Click on the above page titled Shop to see what we’re up to!

Thanks for visiting!

~ Lesley