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!

Streak, Stroke, Stripe! Project Run & Play – Week 3

I can’t believe I’m here to share week 3! Thank you for your help getting me to this round! This is the final round before the Signature Look, and three designers will get to share theirs. The theme for this week was Streak, Stroke, Stripe. I know there will be a lot of good designs to see this week, and don’t forget, you can be sewing along to win prizes too! Link up at Project Run & Play your best stripe look!

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This week, I had another long time pin that inspired one of my pieces. This maxi wrap skirt is something I’ve been wanting to make for a while, but in the rhythm of life, I don’t get/take time to make the things that I really want to. I started shopping for the perfect fabric as soon as I knew the theme for this week, and you wouldn’t think it would be that difficult to find, but finding the right scale of stripes, in the right substrate took me all over the internet, and in local stores too. I should have gone to Raspberry Creek Fabrics first. They’re one of my favorite online shops, and they have the most amazing selection of knits and woven for apparel purposes! I bought all 5 yards of this pin stripe rayon challis they listed as in stock. My first plan was to create a full dress out of this fabric, but the inspiration never quite came together in my mind.

For the skirt, I used the Made for Mermaids Isabel wrap dress pattern. This is designed for knit, and it is a dress, not a skirt pattern, but I knew the tulip cut option of the skirt would be perfect. I measured the length I wanted for my daughter, minus the amount of ruffle I wanted, and re-drew the curve. For the ruffles, I added 2 layers, and made them longest at the back, gradually getting shorter around the front. These were a small bit of labor, as I had to piece together the width of fabric, so I eyeballed the slope of ruffles, and cut them with scissors as they lay in all their glorious length across my living room. Rayon challis is notoriously shifty, so it was a little bit of a fussy task. But this fabric is surprisingly less shifty than other rayon challises I’ve used, so I was very happy working with it. I enclosed the top of the skirt in-between the layers of the waistband, leaving some extra length on the outside end for one tie, and added the second tie in the side seam of the other side of the waistband of the skirt. There is a button sewn into the inside layer of the waistband to secure it closed before it’s tied. My daughter LOVES this skirt, and was begging to wear it to her VBS program the night after it was finished!

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I wanted to play with pattern mixing in this outfit, so I chose a larger scale stripe for the shirt. I also wanted to use an assortment of fabric types, scales of prints, etc… to show variety and interest within the theme. This is a knit I picked up at Joann, for a different project, but I decided it would go well with this outfit! I used the Jalie pattern, Bobbie, for the base of this one. Bobbie is a dolman sleeve pattern. The modifications I made were widening and scooping out the v-neckline, shortening, and widening the body of the pattern, and adding ruffles on the sleeves. The facing is a full tank facing that ends mid torso, so it’s comfortable to wear. I love this outfit together. It has an easy vibe, and it’s flowy for cool comfort in the summer!

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For the other outfit, I wanted to use a more abstract stripe, I guess this would be more in the streak or stroke realm. I love this olive stripe print from Cali Fabrics so much! I have never shopped there before, but they sponsored this competition, and generously sent credit to the designers to use for the season! This is an ITY, which makes it cool to wear in the summer too. This dress started from the Havanna pattern from Cali Faye Collection. I’ve owned this one since it was released. I am obsessed with the style. But true to my procrastinating form, I’ve never sewn it. It is a blouse pattern designed for woven, but I wanted to make this from knit, so I made a muslin, and then a few modifications. I added length to make it a dress, drew a completely new back bodice piece, modified the crossover portion in the front to eliminate the need for a button, and added pockets! I also curved in the sides so the heavier knit wouldn’t be overwhelming. I played with the pattern placement on this, though I was slightly limited, as I used all of the 2 yard piece I had. But I was able to flip pieces in different directions to make the most of it, and match all the stripes! This is such a simple style, but it still makes a statement. I want to make one for every day of the week for my daughter this summer!

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We headed downtown on a warm (hot) night for photos. I knew the neutral colors in the clothes would need a background that would let them shine. This parking garage is not in regular use, and while it was too windy for us to get good shots with the city in the background on the top level, we were able to get our photos on the ground level. The hair and styling were fun for this one. I tried to add subtle stripes wherever I could, without making it look cuckoo! Then we headed home to beat the 100 degree heat with slushes. I’m thankful for my girls who are such good sports, and are all in with me in this competition. They were on board before I began, and I wouldn’t be anywhere without them! Thank you for reading. You can check out all the other entries over at Project Run and Play, and vote for your favorite!!

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GO VOTE!

Sew Your Stash! Project Run & Play – Week 2

 

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Hi! I am beyond excited that I made it to the next round of Project Run & Play season 16! Your votes carried me through, and I really wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you. I was blown away by all the creations last week, and I can’t wait to check out everyone else’s look this week too. Don’t forget, you can sew along, and link up for a chance to win a prize every week too. This should be an easy theme for everyone to jump in on!

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The theme this week was “Sew Your Stash.” The intention was that everything you used in your project was something you already owned. Fabric, patterns, notions, thread, etc… I have no shortage of stash, and for this one time, I was super thankful. Haha! I decided to use both knit and woven this week, since I have both. I have three tubs of woven fabric. One is sheets, some vintage prints, and some solid colors that are great for muslins, or even for final garments, one tub is “scraps” something I couldn’t make a full dress from, and one is cuts that are a yard or larger. Most of the things in these tubs came from hand me downs. A friend who owns a sewing machine shop passed a couple of boxes to me from a customer’s mom. Another friend let me come “shop” her grandma’s estate sale. other friends have gifted me their stash, and I have been blessed by all this! I don’t buy much woven because of it. Last year, a local shop, Faithful Remnants, opened up a brick and mortar location, instead of only selling online. When I discovered her, my woven purchases increased a little, because she buys estates and re-sells fabric for super cheap! And you can find all the fun, quirky, unique prints you might not find at Joann. The floral fabric I used for the maxi dress was one piece I purchased from her.

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For the red dress, I used a cut of stretch lace I bought from Joann a year or two ago. I had a specific pattern in mind, for my daughter, she had requested the color and style, but I hadn’t gotten around to sewing it yet. I also bought some poly knit with it, but I couldn’t find that piece, so I used some red double brushed poly I also had in my stash for the lining. I don’t own any red serger thread, I only have a stock of neutral serger thread, so I sewed this entire dress on my sewing machine. Some of it would have needed the sewing machine anyway, but typically, I would have constructed anything I could on the serger for a knit garment. 🙂

Once I had decided what fabrics to use, and what general styles to do, I muslined both pieces. I knew if something didn’t turn out, I would have to rethink my entire plan, since I didn’t have any more of these fabrics. For the maxi, I changed my design, and made two muslins before the final piece.

I wanted to create two completely different pieces, but have them tied together in some way, so both have a “V” element in the back. I got my inspiration for the red dress first, from a picture I’ve had pinned on Pinterest for years. I finally got to make it for this! I drew the “V” shape for the lace panel, and sewed it in, enclosed between the lace and lining layers. I had to do a little research from other patterns I own to determine the best way to construct the whole bodice, but I am happy with how it turned out! All the lining seams are enclosed, except for the armscye. I started with the Uptown Downtown dress pattern from Sew Straight patterns for this.

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The maxi was the one that went through the most changes in my mind, and in muslin form before I ended up with this. I knew I wanted a V shape in the back here too, but didn’t decide to use the straps to tie in that shape until the last iteration. The bodice shape came from Made for Mermaids Quinn pattern. I lowered the back by a few inches, re-drew the sides, and drew and added the front tie overlay portion of the bodice. Instead of tying at the shoulders, I used spaghetti straps from the front bodice, to lace through a small buttonhole in the center back bodice, creating the “V” shape. Those straps gave my loop turner a workout! I used a small scrap of eyelet for the bodice, and lined it with a piece from a white sheet. For the skirt, I used the remaining length of my fabric, so I could create as deep of a hem as possible, and gathered the whole width. It’s hard to see, but I added some beads from an old favorite bracelet of mine at the bottom of the straps as well. The hair bow is from Maggie Rocket’s sock bow pattern, and I used the same eyelet from the bodice for it.

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I pictured a flower crown to go with these outfits, and the day of our photoshoot, I decided to try to make one! I used fake flowers for my wedding bouquet, and it has been taken apart and used for different things over the years. A few years ago a local theater company borrowed it for use in their production of Cinderella, which is where all the ribbons on it came from.
I had a spool of wire I bought a while ago to make myself some hoop earrings, and I used teal washi tape to tape it together, since I didn’t have any floral tape. It was a really fun project, and I love how it turned out! My girls will have fun wearing this for other special occasions, I know!

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For our photos, I was planning on going to our local botanical gardens, but when we got there, the streets all around it were jammed with cars for blocks, so I knew we wouldn’t be able to get in easily, or get good photos. But we were dressed, and hair done, so we just took photos on the sidewalks outside the gardens, and they are still beautiful! I hope you love these looks, and I would appreciate your vote! Go the the post here to check out all the looks, and vote for your favorite! Thank you for reading!!

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GO VOTE!