Project Run & Play – Week 4 and re-cap

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I was in fourth place last week, out of four, so it was my last week competing, but since I had already been sewing, I wanted to share what my Week 4 entry would have been! If you go check out the other creations, I mean COLLECTIONS, that are in the final, you will be blown away. I am amazed at the level of thought and detail that went into every one of them! Be sure to vote, and check out the post to link up your own signature look creation. Bonus of this week’s link up is it’s also an audition for the next season of PRP 🙂

When we were given the pre-season credit to Cali Fabrics, I knew I was going to have to make a pretty definitive plan before ordering. I didn’t want to buy, and then change my mind completely, and not use any of it. So I spent quite a while on their website planning all four weeks, and it started with week 4. I found the perfect sweater knit fabric that was the jumping off point for my Week 4 look, and with that, I moved some things around in my plan, patterns, prints, etc… that I was already inspired to use. Then I ordered all of it, with a decent plan in place. The next day, I got an email saying that they were out of stock of the first fabric I chose, and wouldn’t be able to get any more. So all of a sudden, everything changed. Lol! They shipped the rest of the order, and it is all amazing! Their customer service, and quick and personal responses went above and beyond. But I didn’t have that first sweater knit I was planning on.

After another massive internet, and local shops search for a good substitute, I ended up with a knit from my stash that I picked up on a good deal at Joann last year. I love the greyscale, and was saving it for a top for myself, but it was too perfect for this, and letsbehonest, if I haven’t made it yet, it probably won’t be happening any time soon. Good thing I had plenty, because I ended up needing to re-make the top when the first version didn’t fit right. #alwaysmuslin #iwontfollowmyownadvice

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My girls wear casual clothes 95% of the time. The other 5% of the time, it’s as fancy as they can get. There is no middle ground. My oldest loves jeans, and flannel shirts in the winter, and shorts, and any kind of comfy top in the summer. My younger daughter cares a little more about pretty things, and loves to wear dresses often. Usually casual dresses, but she does enjoy being dressed up.

My style is simple, easy, comfortable, quality, with attention to detail in design. Proportions are important, and I like things to fit well. I did struggle a little in this competition with feeling like I needed to add difficulty, just to keep myself in the running, but generally erred on the side of sewing the things I knew we would love to wear, properly, and well. I’m so happy with everything I made, and the clothes have been in regular rotation with my girls already!

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This has been one of the best sewing experiences I’ve had. I was excited when Audrey asked me to join this season, and I have really enjoyed getting to know the other designers better. I’ve known “of” all of them, and had interactions with a few in the past, but now I feel like I have forged some new connections, and that is so rewarding!

I got into sewing again several years ago, just to fuel my passion for fashion, and since I am cheap, I mostly made my own patterns, having NO CLUE what I was doing. I saw a pdf pattern on Pinterest, and when I went to check it out, and saw it was $5, I was shocked anyone would pay that for a digital pattern. Lol! I followed fashion and sewing blogs religiously, and through one of them joined the Girl Charlee knit fix facebook group, to enter a giveaway for free fabric. I ended up not winning that giveaway, but won a later one in that same group, and with that free fabric, I was hooked on sewing with knit fabric. I was still doing my own thing, and purchased one or two pdf patterns that I had seen someone else sew. Jalie, and LouBee patterns were my first purchases, I think. Jalie was a good trial by fire. Lol! But I always tell people wondering if they can sew with Jalie instructions as a beginner, that it was one of my first pdf patterns, and if I could do it, they can too! Someone in that group recommended the PDF Patterns Sales and Promotions group on Facebook to me, and that was pretty much the end of it then! My eyes were opened to the wonderful world of pdf patterns, and I have learned almost everything I know from sewing with them!

The black dress is completely self-drafted, from an inspiration image I found. You should have seen my sleeve piece. Lol! I had never sewn a sleeve, or seen what the pattern piece should look like!

This yellow tunic was my first attempt at using a pdf pattern to make what I wanted. There were quite a few modifications to it!

I signed up to test a pattern from Heidi and Finn, and that was my first pattern test. After that, they came pretty quickly and easily. I loved getting to sew with a deadline, forcing me out of my indecision, and getting the pattern in return. Over the last few years, my experiences have blossomed into promoting for several companies, promoting for fabric companies, moderating and admining for pattern and fabric groups, and generally spending all my time doing the thing I love.

In the ways that those things have been a huge help, and growth for me, it’s also been a way I’ve let my creativity die a little. When testing, you have to follow the pattern EXACTLY. You have to make the size you measure, follow their tutorial, not make modifications, etc… which I think is very important, but by keeping busy with testing, I grew out of the habit of making what I imagined. Which is how my sewing journey really began. In sewing for Project Run and Play, you CAN’T sew a pattern straight from the package. You have to use it as a jumping off point for your own design. I was able to make all the design, proportion, fit, construction, and ease modifications I wanted to, and it was so rewarding, and refreshing. I enjoyed every bit of sewing I did for this competition, even all the muslins, and pieces I changed my mind about and didn’t use. It was all joyful.

I know I talked a long time about myself, and not the clothes, but I wanted to re-cap my experience, for myself, and for anyone who might be thinking of joining the next season!

The patterns I used this time were the Sunny Day shorts from Oliver+S. I shortened them quite a bit, graded them out added height to the back rise, and pieced the front to add the slant pockets I drafted. I added a faux drawstring to the waistband as well. This is some glorious chambray from Cali Fabrics. These shorts have been worn a few times now, and this fabric wears really well. It doesn’t wrinkle up all short like some cottons do.

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The top is a mash between the neckline of Blaverry’s Star, with my own modifications to the body and sleeves, and the hem band from Blaverry’s Sami top. I made this boxier and shorter than intended, and added cuffs to the sleeves.

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My daughter’s pink dress was from the Hally pattern from Ainslee Fox. I purchased One Thimble issue 16 just for this pattern, but like we all know about me, hadn’t sewn it yet. Ha! I made quite a few modifications to it, but it was a perfect starting point. I wish I would have shortened the dress, and lengthened the ruffle, but I second guessed myself, and didn’t do it. I still love it, the rayon challis print is perfectly drapey and cool, and I loved sewing with it! This was also from Cali Fabrics. I think the first rayon challis I ever used was really cheap/discount, and I was also trying to use it on a pattern with pin tucks, so I almost swore off that substrate forever. Thankfully it hasn’t been as tricky since then, but I still think of it as a difficult fabric to work with.

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I had this camo fabric from Cali Fabrics also that wasn’t going to work, when my plans underwent upheaval, but I wanted to use it somehow, and also knew my outfits needed something more. I thought about sewing an outfit for one of my boys, and had great inspiration for it, but decided that the other one would feel left out if he was the only one not involved, and I didn’t think I could come up with two more amazing outfits, so I didn’t go that route. Instead I used it for the drawstring in her shorts, and made a fabric necklace! It’s just a tube of fabric, with beads pushed inside, and contrasting embroidery thread tying them off from each other. It’s a perfectly simple statement necklace. My younger daughter also got a fabric necklace. I used a piece of wire, bent in the curved shape I wanted it to hang in, and an old broken necklace of mine for the chain. I cut a strip of woven twill on the bias, so it wouldn’t fray, because I wanted to leave the edges raw, and pleated it irregularly onto the wire.

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Thanks for reading, and for all your support for me on this adventure! You guys always pushed me through high in the voting portion of the score, and I felt so thankful to be part of a supportive community of family, friends, and fellow seamstresses, sewers? sewists?? Please support Project Run and Play with your votes, and follow them for future seasons too. I know it’s going to be amazing every time!

Josephine

(Links contained in this post are affiliate links)

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This gorgeous dress pattern was featured in the One Thimble e-zine, issue 15, and it was on the cover!

I want to quickly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the One Thimble issues I have purchased, and am impressed at the quality, and substantialness of the articles, and tutorials included, on top of receiving around 10 full pdf patterns. The price is $25 AUD, which currently makes it quite a bit cheaper if you’re in the US, and even if you only want a handful of patterns in the issue, it’s still a great deal when you break it down to price per pattern!

Ok, so the reason I’m posting about this dress now, is the Issue 16 is almost here, and so the Josephine pattern has gone home to Bella Sunshine Designs! Melissa from BSD designed this dress for One Thimble, and it is now available for purchase individually, on her site!

This is a drop waist top or dress, with cap sleeves, and princess seaming on the bodice. The back is finished with a zipper. Three lengths are included, top length, vintage dress, and knee length dress. The inside is as beautiful as the outside with all seams enclosed, INCLUDING the cap sleeve seams, and the zipper! I made this in one afternoon in spite of the fact that it’s not a quick and dirty sew, and that included making decisions about fabric and trim. 🙂

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It comes in sizes 6mo-12. I think this is a gorgeous style for so many ages. My daughters do not love wearing the woven things I make them all that much, so while I was smitten with this design, I was afraid I was doing a lot of work for nothing, but since I made this a few months ago, I can safely say it has been in frequent rotation, and when she first saw it, she gasped, and told me she loved it!

The best part is that it’s on sale right now for only $5.50!! I think that’s a great deal for a pattern of this quality!

If you love it, go pick it up, and sew a gorgeous dress this week!

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Josephine

Fabric sources:

All mystery woven and trims from a hand-me-down stash