Thursday, April 17, 2014

Project Run & Play: Season 9, Week 4 - Signature Style

Signature Style Challenge is definitely my favorite.
(Here is a description of my style from last year.)
I try to tackle the most challenging sewing projects during this week. 
But this time it almost turned out to be MISSION IMPOSSIBLE - Almost!

 I started sketching and drafting this trench 4 or 5 weeks ago. 
Wow, this was a labor of love (and hate)!

If I was gonna draft and sew the whole trench coat, it had to be a real deal, 
nothing short of an adult Burberry trench :)

When I started searching for the fabric, I didn't find anything that I liked in the local stores. 
So I had to improvise. 
I hit the thrift store and got so lucky when I found a man's large trench in an excellent condition. 
I cut it up into fabric pieces. I thought I'd have enough for two 3T coats, but boy was I wrong.
I had to get really creative to accommodate all my pattern pieces.

Almost every seam has four lines of stitching 
(initial straight stitch, zig-zag seam finishing, and two top stitching). 

I started with a generic dress pattern to copy basic proportions of the bodice and then really went to town...
I created double-breasted front, princess seams, two-panel sleeves, linings, facings, gun flap, storm flap, wrist straps, shoulder tabs, belt loops (at the waist, arms and shoulders), collar stand, collar, belt, 
bound button-holes and what not....

I so hate my button hole maker foot, I was excited to try the bound button holes out. 
I'm very happy with the final result, but it was so much work!

I had to find 15 matching buttons, which turned out to be impossible. 
I bought what they had and thought I'd improvise. Luckily, it took me so long to finish this coat, my local store refilled its stock of these buttons, so I got missing buttons at the last minute!

 I wanted to add unique design elements to the classic trench, 
so I drafted the storm flap and pocket flap with interesting pleat details and added buttons at the center.

 I embroidered a little message & my logo onto the facing. 
I made sure to add strong loop for hanging the coat. 

It took me many hours of internet research and browsing through some odd patterns I own to figure out the lining+facing the way I wanted. LOVE the result!

I tied the belt at the back since it's much flattering that way on little kids.

I LOVE THE FIT of this TRENCH! Don't you agree it's spot on?!!

 OK, I think sewing an elaborate trench coat is worth a three piece outfit, but still, I couldn't help myself to create at least another piece for the look. After all, it is Project Run & Play Signature Style Week!

So I made a nice summer tunic. 

This is basically the same self-drafted pattern as the last year's signature style dress.
I elongated the bodice with its princess seams. Added length only to the inner side of the side panel and gathered at the shoulders for a new look. 

I added a mini pompom trim at the gathered shoulders and a twill tape to tie at the back.
The tunic closes at the back with a single snap fastener.

 And that's it.
Can't wait for the next season of Project Run and Play!!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Project Run & Play: Season 9, Week 2 - Spring Break

I've thought about this week's look for weeks.
I had everything decided in my head and even sketched the designs in my notebook.
However it took me forever to finalize all the items and had to post a rough photo of the outfit at the very last minute to make the deadline.

Good news is that I kept my promise and was able to photograph the outfit at the daylight 
and here they are!

I've been dreaming about Key West, Florida vacation and
imagining all the beautiful sea creatures I'd see when scuba diving over natural coral reef formations.
These thoughts brought me to my inspiration for the today's look - coral reefs!

I love the colors of the sea creatures swimming over the coral reefs;
I love all the intricate shapes one can find under water.
Still, when it comes to the garments, I tend to levitate towards solid and understated pallets.
So when I found this beautiful coral color cotton (in Joann's!), which has coral shaped sheerness, I knew I had hit the jackpot!

My plan was to create outfit suitable for the trip to the beach. 
First, I drafted this simple silhouette swim suit cover up. It's such an easy pattern (a rectangle with neck opening and stitching lines to separate bodice and sleeves.

At the waist, I added buttonholes and created a simple fabric belt with crocheted coral-like details.
I just love mint and coral together!!

The neckline is definitely my favorite part of this tunic. 
The neck opening as well as the slit at the front are trimmed with continues ruffle piece and bound with a bias tape. It closes with a small clip hidden by the cute little bow.

The sun hat was inspired by ruffly cabbage coral. 
I used his adorable FREE tulip sun hat pattern & tutorial and added width and length to the petals making the hat more ruffly. I attached more crocheted coral, shells and star fish to match it to my concept for the week! 
This hat will serve so well during sunny summer days... if they every come!...

Next on the list was a new swim suit for my almost 4 year old. 

She is learning to swim and often wears a training vest in the swimming pool. 
With these vests, a rush guard is a must, otherwise delicate skin gets rubbed against the vest.
So I made her a rush guard with a twist  - a peter pan collar.
(The pattern is an adaptation of McCall's 6393)

For the bikini, I flipped a simple pattern to include cute little ruffles at the sides 
(The initial pattern is McCall's 6729 - highly recommend! I did go up a size for a little more roomier fit.)

The fit of both of these pieces is pretty spot on!
I get nervous when attaching elastic to the swimwear leg/waist openings, because it stretches so much.
But I had nothing to fear here!

Phew... I'm sooo glad I made it this week.
I had grand plans for the next week, but I double I have enough time...
So maybe I should start on the Week 4 instead.... We'll see if that happens!