Carly stepped out on the Daytime Emmy’s red carpet wearing custom printed Organic Cotton Sateen featuring a fan’s artwork.

When it was time for Carly Ciarrocchi, the host behind the arts and crafts reality competition The Big Fun Crafty Show, to hit the red carpet during the Daytime Emmy® Awards, she knew she had to think outside of the box. After all, if the contestants on her show were, shouldn’t she? Cue the grand entrance of Marcy Harriell, aka Oona Balloona. With Marcy’s sewing prowess and Carly’s community of talented tiny artists, the two joined forces to create the most spectacular red-carpet worthy dress. Keep reading to find out how it all came together and how Spoonflower got to join in on the colorful fun!

Marcy and Carly get ready to promote the design challenge to The Big Fun Crafty Show fans.

Marcy: My girl Carly, fellow actress, singer, dancer, and lover of life, had a red carpet to go to and no clothes to wear. Nominated for two Emmys for her work in the children’s show The Big Fun Crafty Show, I thought the solution was obvious: ask the parents of her fans to submit their kiddos’ artwork, we’d choose a favorite, have the masterpiece printed on fabric for me to sew and Carly to rock! We announced the challenge on Instagram, with a little mockup of my nephew’s art-turned-fabric, to get the ball rolling.

We have a winner!

The timeline to make the dress was tight. With Carly’s Emmy’s trip happening in about a week from the time we hatched our plan, artists had a little over two days to submit their work. We made our pick from over 60 entries (not without some stress…there was so much talent in that pool!), and this gorgeous triangle canvas designed by Emma, one of Carly’s fans, was on its way to becoming fabric.

Before it was a dress, the winning design was painted on a canvas!

Emma’s mom, Victoria Anne—you may recognize Victoria from Spoonflower’s Braugust celebration!— sent me the highest resolution pic she could, and I got to ‘shoppin. Photoshoppin’ that is. Don’t be intimidated. To be honest, my PS skills consist of playing around till I like what I see. Although there’s a wealth of information out there on how to do this to perfection, my methods are definitely more guerilla!

Step 1. Flatten the image in Photoshop.
Step 2. Add special effects!

The first thing I did once I opened the drawing in Photoshop was adjust the perspective so that I had a flat image: Filter>Lens Correction>Custom>Vertical Perspective>Horizontal Perspective>OK

Then, again in Filters, I started playing around in the gallery with pre-set effects: Filters>Filter Gallery>Artistic>Watercolor>OK

The “Watercolor” mode instantly inverted the colors to a palette that played beautifully with both Carly’s skin tone and the red carpet. Bonus, it kept the watercolor nature of Emma’s painting intact!

Because our timeline was so tight, I didn’t worry any further about playing with the image for layout. I simply saved it at the recommended size (150 dpi), and used Spoonflower’s tiling and sizing options to create two versions of Emma’s print: a smaller version of the print for the mini jumpsuit (1116 dpi) and a larger version for the dramatic overskirt (463 dpi), both in the half-brick repeat option.

The larger scale of Emma’s design was used for the overskirt.
The smaller scale of Emma’s design was used for the mini jumpsuit.

The subtle sheen of Spoonflower’s Organic Cotton Sateen was red-carpet ready for the Daytime Emmy Awards Show, and the wide width of Sateen (56″) meant less stress for deadline sewing! When the fabric landed in the flesh, I couldn’t wait and draped up a quick look…

Before the dress was sewn together, Marcy draped the fabric on her dressform.

Then it was time to sew…always my favorite part. 

I won’t lie– there was some last-minute stitching before my girl flew west, but we finished! And I was so enamored of the bounty our burgeoning artists produced, I picked five more artists out of the original pool to create my own red carpet look for the NYC Ballet (although my carpet turned out to be pink. Which pleased me to NO END.)

I hope these two dresses gets you eyeing those masterpieces on the fridge…they deserve to be paraded!

Photo by Julie Skarratt

Whether it’s designing a red-carpet ready look like Marcy, cozying up to bedding featuring their monster drawings or a handmade dress showcasing their rainbow drawings, turning your child’s artwork into fabric, wallpaper and home decor will open a whole new door of creative possibilities.

Katie Kortman’s son Luca couldn’t be happier to see his sketchbook characters turned into bedding! See how Katie turned his artwork into the bedding of his dreams with her step-by-step tutorial.

With the help of her dad Michael, Ava turned her rainbow artwork into a show-stopping dress! See more of this dynamic father-daughter duo over on Instagram @daddydressedmebymg .

About the Guest Author

A Broadway, Film & TV veteran, Marcy started sewing over a decade ago. Writing and creating for her blog, Oona Balloona, she shares her New York escapades with her partner-in-crime, Rob. You can catch them both on the fashion and entertainment series Re:fashion on NBCU’s Bluprint, see more adventures on their new youtube channel, and grab some technicolor eye candy on her Instagram feed, @marcyharriell