A Life Sustained Sponsor: Big Sister Designs

Please welcome A Life Sustained sponsor, Big Sister Designs!


Maria sews eco-friendly toddler skirts from reclaimed materials, as well as mei tai baby carriers. In her words: "My name is Maria and I am the owner/creator of Big Sister Designs, stay-at-home mom to two beautiful little girls who are 4 and 2, and wife to an amazing husband. I've been sewing for over 10 years and started my Etsy shop two years ago when I wanted a mei tai to carry my youngest but couldn't find one locally to try on before buying. I started making pillowcase skirts when I stumbled across the sweetest pink pillowcase with embroidered butterflies all around the edge that I immediately knew would make an adorable skirt. A two-year-old girl can really only use so many skirts so I started putting some up in my shop so I could keep making more. I really enjoy running Big Sister Designs from designing, to sewing, to packaging and shipping. 


Tell us about your journey to becoming an artist/maker of things. Who taught you to sew?

The first thing I can remember attempting to sew was a new shirt for myself. I traced an existing knit shirt onto some cotton, cut it out, and stitched where it should be stitched. I was about 7-years-old at the time and of course I couldn't get it on. I had a few more projects over the years but really got into sewing when I started dating my (now) husband while in high school. My mother-in-law is an amazing seamstress and helped me get started. She still helps me now if I have a question about something. 


What inspires you?

I am inspired by the different cast-off fabrics I find. I love to look through the curtains, sheets, pillowcases, and clothes at the Goodwill just to see what speaks to me. How can I turn something old and unwanted into something new and useful? 


Why is it important to you to use sustainable/reclaimed materials in your work?

The current system of constantly buying new things, more things, cheaper things is not sustainable. I'm hoping that by making quality clothes out of repurposed materials I can help show people there is a better way. 


Tell us about your favorite piece in your shop and describe your process of designing it.

I'm not sure I can pick one favorite piece! I really love the yellow pillowcase skirt with the brown ruffle and lace. I wanted to add a little something extra to my standard skirt so I attached a ruffle to the lining to peek out the bottom. I also have a huge box of lace and ribbon bits that I bought at a garage sale. That's where the lace came from. It's easy to go to the fabric store and pick out coordinating fabrics and trims to make a cute skirt. I enjoy the challenge of finding matching pieces from different eras to create a truly one-of-a-kind piece. 




Maria is generously offering to one lucky A Life Sustained reader their choice of one of her fall skirts! Every skirt is made from 3 different up-cycled t-shirts with each band of color slightly bigger around than the one above for some extra twirl. These skirts come is size 2T-5T and each is a one-of-a-kind creation. Casual and comfy, these skirts are completely machine washable and dry-able. To enter the random drawing to win, just leave a comment on this post.

Get two additional entries! First, you can Follow A Life Sustained through Google Friend Connect and second, you can add Big Sister Designs to your favorites on Etsy.

Be sure to leave a comment for each "extra" so that they can be counted. Comments will be closed and a winner will be chosen in the evening of October 8.

And the lucky winner is...Katy~The Country Blossom!
"I would love the chance to win this for my niece! :)"

62 comments:

  1. I love the French Country Eco Toddler Skirt 2T by Big Sister Designs. So cute :]

    rg86(at)nau(dot)edu

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  2. I added Big Sister Designs to my Etsy Favorites! :]

    rg86(at)nau(dot)edu

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  3. I follow A Life Sustained on GFC.

    rg86(at)nau(dot)edu

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  4. I love the upcycled ooak Christmas skirt !! belensmama at gmail dot com

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  5. I follow gfc, belensmama at gmail dot com

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  6. I added to my faves on Etsy !! (bebugs) belensmama at gmail dot com

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  7. My daughter would look so cute in this! Thanks for the giveaway! Cute blog too!

    Jenna
    callherhappy.com

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  8. Wonderful! : ) I so love all of Big Sister Designs' gems! : ) Especially the gorgeous Batik Leaves Mei Tai Baby Carrier. Thanks so very much for this truly delightful give~away! : )

    leahita[at]gmail[dot]com

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  9. I am following your wonderful blog via GFC as Leah! : )


    leahita[at]gmail[dot]com

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  10. And, I "hearted" Big Sister Designs on Etsy as leahita. Thanks again! : )

    leahita[at]gmail[dot]com

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  11. Great giveaway!

    jamieadkins@mail.com

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  12. following you on gfc as "lilium cavaliers"

    jamieadkins@mail.com

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  13. added her to favorites on etsy


    jamieadkins@mail.com

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  14. I would love the chance to win this for my niece! :)

    thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com

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  15. I am already a blog follower of yours! :)

    thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com

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  16. I hearted Big Sister Designs on etsy! Katy010305

    thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com

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  17. The Vintage Fall Eco Toddler Skirt is so cute

    appetizerforacraftymind(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  18. Thank you for hosting a lovely giveaway!!
    lizziebees at hotmail dot com

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  19. How neat! I love the mei tai!

    hrfarley at gmail dot com

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  20. I love the OOAK Upcycled Toddler Skirt size 2T Dots and Stripes
    mframe00@gmail.com

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  21. GFC blog follower- mframe00
    mframe00@gmail.com

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  22. I added shop to my favorites- mframe00
    mframe00@gmail.com

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  23. oh so sweet! I think I love the yellow one with lace and brown ruffle too.
    lisa.otis6 at gmail dot com

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  24. I follow via gfc. (Lisa Otis)
    lisa.otis6 at gmail dot com

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  25. I hearted the etsy shop.
    username: lisawith4
    lisa.otis6 at gmail dot com

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  26. I have some lovely little nieces that would love a skirt like this :)

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  27. Very cute skirt!

    unforgetable_dreamer_always (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  28. I love the orange red and brown in 2t!

    Aronsen40@aol.com

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  29. I love these skirts! One of my faves is the French Country toddler skirt. That's so neat that it's made from a pillowcase.

    Snowflake Day Play at gmail dot com

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  30. hearted Big Sister Designs on Etsy as ColorBomb

    Snowflake Day Play at gmail dot com

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  31. google friend follower as SnowflakeDay (Audra)
    Snowflake Day Play at gmail dot com

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  32. That is a really adorably skirt! I would love to win one for my daughter!

    megnate at telus dot net

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  33. I follow you on GFC as zaira_faith

    megnate at telus dot net

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  34. I heart Big Sister Designs on etsy! ID: megnate

    megnate at telus dot net

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  35. Those are cute skirts! Bet they would look adorable paired with leggings!
    jenius 47 (at) hotmail dot com

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  36. i would love to win a cute skirt!
    uk7ss At yahoo DOT com

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  37. i am a public gfc follower of your blog as uk7ss AT yahoo DOT com

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  38. I would love this for my daughter. I also like how Big Sister Designs reuses t-shirts to make her skirts. Thanks for the review.
    mummytocharis at yahoo dot com

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  39. GFC follower.
    mummytocharis at yahoo dot com

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  40. Added Big Sister Designs to my favorites in Etsy (GortreeRoadKnits).
    mummytocharis at yahoo dot com

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  41. Loving her stuff!! My 5 year old would rock her skirts!
    shanna.u at gmail dot com

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  42. GFC follower!
    shanna.u at gmail dot com

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  43. Added to Etsy favorites!
    shanna.u at gmail dot com

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  44. I love the fall leaves skirt!

    krafterskorner21@yahoo.com

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  45. I am following your blog.

    krafterskorner21@yahoo.com

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  46. I favorited your shop.

    krafterskorner21@yahoo.com

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  47. So cute! Count me in for the give away (:

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  48. Love this skirt, so sweet!

    taylorgketchum@gmail.com

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  49. blog follower!

    taylorgketchum@gmail.com

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  50. so cute! i hope to win!
    brianaduda at gmail dot com

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  51. i'm a gfc follower! (briana)
    brianaduda at gmail dot com

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  52. i added Big Sister Designs to my favorites on Etsy.
    etsy: SimplyBriana
    brianaduda at gmail dot com

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  53. Thanks for doing this giveaway!!! :)

    KarisaTomkinson@gmail.com

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  54. "Hearted" Big Sister Designs on Etsy! :) (ImaginedTreasures)

    KarisaTomkinson@gmail.com

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  55. would love to win this! :)
    taraz9 at excite dot com

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  56. added to Etsy faves
    taraz9 at excite dot com

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  57. Great giveaway

    armadavolya@hotmail.com

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  58. Love this item Vintage Daisy Eco Toddler Skirt Custom Size by Big Sister Designs

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