Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Time to Vote! The "Hand-me-down" Challenge!

Shaffer Sisters - Undiscovered Beauty

Growing up our mom had barrel of clothes that would get passed from one sister to the next. Each sister would pair outfits differently taking the clothing to all different styles (some more fashionable than others). Now as adults in dressing our own families recycled fashion has become our bread and butter; we like it that way too. When we go "fabric shopping" you can find us at the thrift store morphing our design idea as we troll through the isles to select the perfect fabric. There is something about selecting something cast off and forgotten, then morphing it into something refreshed and beautiful.

The fabric from this project came from a knee length women's cocktail dress & lace table cloth. The dress is a modified Candy Castle Princess Dress. The bodice pattern pieces were modified pieced and ruched to help utilize every available scrap.  The full length of the chiffon over skirt on the original dress was used with hand embroidered chain stitch pickups. The lining of the dress was cropped and hemmed at the appropriate length. The lace shrug was self drafted to compliment the dress and provide for additional modesty. For additional details about the outfit or phootshoot head over to our blog.

imagine gnats--take it slow

take it slow title photo
this week's challenge is all about creative reuse, which is a thing near and dear to my heart. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to approach this particular challenge. do I cut apart an old dress from the back of the closet, find something fabulous at the thrift store, rework a previously sewn garment? in the end, it was some well-timed inspiration from the amazing Alabama Chanin that sent me searching for ill fitting knit garments in my own closet. what I found were two long-sleeved t-shirts in shades of blue and one pair of heathered grey leggings that never did fit quite right, and what I did with them... well, it wasn't something I ever expected I would do! take it slow collage 1
as I tried out techniques for the reverse applique, I found myself enjoying the time I spent stitching and really feeling a wonderful connection to my work. I thought of the Slow Sewing Series from Sew, Mama, Sew and Carolyn Friedlander's Slow Sewing Studio, about mindfulness, and I decided that the entire outfit - yes, the hat, dress, and even leggings - was meant to be sewn completely by hand. I did not once use a sewing machine in the making of this outfit. in fact, even the muslins I made for the dress and hat were sewn by hand. for me, this look combines modern aesthetics and traditional techniques in a way that celebrates making, much like the mindfulness of creative reuse. take it slow collage 2c
stop by my blog, imagine gnats, to read more about the details of this outfit and see which patterns I used. and don't forget to vote!
Spiegelstiksels--Upcycling for Autumn

I had a lot of fun designing and sewing for this week’s theme. Never before had I sewn an upcycled outfit and at first I really didn’t have a clue where to begin. A trip to the thrift store however gave me enough inspiration to start with. The best find was a dress that could be turned into a cute skirt. For this skirt I cut into the bottom half of the dress and selected the most flowery part of it. I pleated this part of the fabric and just played a bit until I found the best way to shape the pleats. I had a lot of doubts over the blouse. A bottle green shirt matched beautifully with the flowers of the skirt. But, it was silk. Yes, silk for a 6 year old is not very smart, don’t you think? Plus, the shirt was not very big and had an ugly pocket sewn on. But the drape of the silk was so beautiful! My daughter also loved it big time, so I couldn’t resist. I started by carefully removing the pocket flap and then washed the shirt to see what would happen. After ironing, the holes of the stitches had al disappeared and the silk was still in the best shape. So then I removed the pocket and washed and ironed the shirt again. The drape of the silk made the type of blouse I wanted pop up in my head very quickly. Maybe you recognize the pattern I used for this. It’s the Apple Picking Dress by Oliver+S. I shortened the bodice pattern and adjusted it for a smaller placket. Then I added extra width for the right front piece to make it a blind placket.

The cape has been on my to-do-list for a few weeks, but I didn’t really find the time to draft and make it. It’s made out of a maxi wool skirt in navy blue. I made a few muslins during the past weeks to get the basic shape the way I wanted it. I put a lot of effort in the shape of seams around the shoulder, as I wanted the cape to have an opening for the arms. It was only last weekend that I really did start making the actual cape, so some night sewing was involved. The pocket flaps, the lining and the buttons are repurposed from the original skirt. I’m very glad I persisted because I really love the result. I drew it from scratch and I’m very proud of how it came out.

I hope you love this outfit as much as I do. If you want to see more pictures, head over to the blog!

Lily Shine Boutique--Timeless Treasure
Wahoo for Week 2! I am still in a bit of shock and awe at Week 1's results, and am beyond grateful to be a part of this adventure! If you remember from my post in week 1, I began prepping for the contest while visiting family back in Michigan. My mom is a great collector who has held on to some amazing items from our family to pass on to me when we moved back near home. I was blessed to acquire mounds of lace tablecloths, placemats, doilies, and such, handed down from generation to generation. My mom also kept a jewelry box full of unique, treasured clip-on earrings, broaches, pins, cuff links, and various trinkets from family members who have passed. I wanted to create an outfit that would be an heirloom ensemble for my daughter to cherish forever, but wear today. In creating my own high-waisted suspender skirt pattern, I layered strips of varied lace linens: crocheted, needled, embroidered, and more, all aged in shades of ivory, cream, gold and antiqued white. I used a pillowcase to create the straps for the suspenders and waistband for the skirt. I used a window valance as an underskirt for fullness and structure. PRP2_beforeafter
But, I couldn't just create a skirt so I set out to find something that would be the perfect upcycle to make into a top. I came across this muumuu style night gown at a second hand shop and it had the most perfect under-layer of lavender stripes. I started with Violette Field Thread's Pattern for the Josephine Blouse. I wanted the top to be nice and slim so it wouldn't bubble over the high waistband of the skirt, so I slimmed the silhouette. I omitted the ruffle detail down the button placket to keep the top simple and clean. I took the waist sash piece, extended it and used it for a necktie instead. I also rounded the tips of the collar. Who knew a muumuu could be so cute? Now, I know you've been waiting to hear about the shoes. Those.Shoes. My mom's jewelry box was full of treasured trinkets, most of which she told me were from her Aunt Margie. She said that Margie would wear a new outfit each day, loved clothes, jewelry, shopping and the sunshine. I'm pretty sure if we had met, we would have been best friends! I fixed each pin, broach, earring, tie tack, and trinket to the shoes (recognize them from last week's look?) and used the trim of the muumuu to make ruffled boot socks. There are trinkets dated back to the 20s in the collection, and many of the lace linens were from the same era. To think that Kenzie's ensemble is composed of items handed down in my family for over 90 years makes this week's entry truly a Timeless Treasure. PRP2_collage
Photo credit: Hailey Faria Photography
Compagnie M.-- The Grey Shirt Dress
The "Hand-me-down" makeover! My personal favourite theme in this Project Run & Play season. Every time I walk through the thrift store, I see up-cycling projects everywhere. I can never leave without buying something! ;) For this week's challenge I choose to sew a dress from a dull grey man's shirt. My personal mission: using all typical elements of this shirt in my new garment. Next to this challenge, I tried not to use new pattern pieces: I recycled all pattern pieces in this dress from my own patterns. Nothing new added!
This is basically what I did: I kept the collar that's now a little bit oversized. I did shorten the shoulder seams. Used the bodice of my Lotta dress and added a skirt (this one is just as wide as the fabric). I placed the Louisa sleeve on the lower part of the shirt's sleeve, but turned it in order to position the closure at the top. The sleeve was too wide, so I've sewn a dart to make it exactly as wide as my pattern piece. Didn't want to take of the cuffs, since I tried to sew as less new seams as possible. I added my new sleeve to the dress and closed the side seam! Easy as that. To turn this dress into a fashionable garment, I added in-seam pockets (again from my Lotta dress) and a small belt sewn from a more colourful fabric. Recycled from an old skirt from Essentiel (a Belgian fashion brand).
To accentuate what I did, I topstitched all new seams with some 'Compagnie-m-yellow' thread. I didn't just top-stitch, but did it in a very 'unusual' way. I started at the hem, then moved upwards at the side seam, at once, I did the sleeve and then went downwards again to the back hem. I've sewn all the way to the other side and repeated these steps. Without stopping I top-stitched all new seams! My personal signature to this up-cycling project. This yellow is the main colour also of the little cardigan. I just copied the curve of my own Julia sweater to cut the sleeves. To make the outfit complete, I've sewn some super cute leg warmers that I made from the sleeves. Both recycled from an old cardigan of mine. Lisa's first reaction when she saw this cardigan: Now I have the same one as you! Too small to realise that it was actually mine! Super cute! :)
I have more pictures and a detailed tutorial on my blog to show you how I made this outfit: hop over to Compagnie M!
Monday, September 22, 2014

Week#2: The "Hand-me-down" Makeover (and the Week #1 Sew Along Winner)

Here we are at week #2 and I just have this amazing feeling that it is going to be an outstanding one.  I love this theme....especially for kids.  We all have a hand-me-down pile and this week we get to use it to create something extra-ordinary and so inspiring.
I can't wait to see what you all have been working on for this challenge!
But, we also need to announce the Sew-Along Winner from Week #1.  And after much deliberation our sew-along judges chose...Glitter + Wit's Beetlejuice Inspired Outfit!  Congrats Tasha!

And as our Sew-Along winner, she will be receiving a $25 gift certificate to our very own
Thank you lowpricefabric.com!
Now....let's get this linky party started...with your "hand-me-down" makeovers....

Friday, September 19, 2014

And the Week One Results Are.....

This week was so much fun!!!
And now we have the results.
After we combined both the judges scores and the readers votes the winner of week one is:
Cassie from Lily Shine Boutique
And sadly we have to say goodbye to:
Our friend Bonnie from Fishsticks Designs.
But she won't leave us empty handed.  She will receive a gift card from one of very favorite fabric stores in the world:
And we will be back Monday for week two and our judges pick for a sew along winner!
See you then!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Time to Vote! 80's Cartoon Inspired Outfits

Imagine Gnats--I Pity the Fool
pity the fool title 550 px
Woo-hoo!! I'm so excited that today is finally here and I get to share my first look with you! I am super in love with this outfit, and I hope you will be too. When I heard the theme, it took me a little time to settle on a cartoon... and then my dear friend Kat reminded me about this, "Catch the action! Catch the mystery! On my show! The best show! Mister T!" That's right, my friends, today we are celebrating Mr. T. More accurately, a pre-teen-girl-Mr-T-inspired look. I wanted all of the pieces of this outfit to relate back to the classic Mr. T wardrobe, but be totally wearable at the same time, either together or separately. If there's one sewing thing that drives me batty, it's spending a bunch of time of garments that I know won't be worn more than once. pity the fool collage 1
So, let's dive into the details of this outfit, shall we? The pants are self-drafted elastic-waist pants with elastic also at the hem (inspired by the Papercut Patterns Anima Pant), made with a funky brown and green animal print. The shirt is my own pattern, the imagine gnats tumble tee, with a modified neckline and fully lined so that it is two comfy layers of natural double gauze, double hemmed, and the arms are finished with gold bias tape. On the back neckline of the shirt is hand embroidered "I pity the fool" in gold metallic thread. I also started with the tumble tee pattern for the vest, drafting an updated and more feminine version of this Mr. T staple but keeping the denim look by using bradford herringbone twill and accenting the back with a piece of metallic gold pleather. But the thing I love the most about this vest is the amazing lining, which is white silk (yes, silk!!) with metallic gold feathers printed on it. I wanted to interpret Mr. T's bling in a wearable way, but was totally stuck on how to do that until I found this amazing gold lamé quilted fabric, and bam! I knew that a chunky infinity scarf (made using this tutorial) would be perfection. The final accessory is a pair of clip-on feather earrings, a super simple jewelry project using feathers from the craft store and basic clip-on earring posts.
pity the fool collage 2
Come check out more pictures and details from the photo shoot on my blog, imagine gnats, but don't forget to vote first!
Spiegelstiksels - A dress for Cheetara
Hello everyone! How I loved the first theme for this season! I’m sure I wasn’t the only one having a very hard time choosing the 80’s cartoon I loved most. Finally I chose ThunderCats to be my inspiration. It was the character Cheetara who drew my attention, especially those figures around her eyes. Thinking about what Cheetara would look like in a dress, I decided to take these red figures as my starting point. The figures were drawn into the bodice pattern and from there on I simply added more lines, to end up with this pieced dress. Well, actually it wasn’t that simple. I needed to be sure that the basic pattern had a perfect fit before adding the lines, because once the pieces were cut I couldn’t make any more adjustments. Otherwise the corners of the different pieces wouldn’t turn out crisp. So some muslin dresses were involved in the process.
Of course Cheetara would need a jacket for chilly evenings. What else could I choose then a faux fur as the main fabric? For the lining I was actually looking for a dotted fabric (a cheetah is basically a large beige cat with black dots, don’t you think?), when I remembered a beautiful off-white lawn in my stash with little black cats printed on it. Don’t they remind you of Cheetara’s hair as well? The jacket is a very basic pattern. It’s simply a bodice with a little extra width and length, of which all darts are eliminated, and a basic sleeve pattern. Finally, I made a headband with cat ears out of the faux fur and the lawn, added to a piece of gold-like bias tape. I ended up crimping my daughter’s hair for the pictures. After all, these were the 80s.

Head over to the blog to see more pictures!

Lily Shine Boutique--Shine Brite

I'm a proud 80's baby and when I first read what Week 1's theme was, I literally squealed out loud with excitement! My first reaction was Rainbow Brite, and then all of my other favorites came to mind- My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, TMNT, and so many more. I currently live in the "rainbow state," with a horse-obsessed four year old so I stuck with my gut and started drafting my Rainbow Brite inspired entry: a flutter sleeve jumpsuit and rainbow parachute/circle skirt.

Immediately following the welcome email, I left for a three week vacation on the mainland with my two girls. I had to be creative and flexible with my design so that it wouldn't keep me tied down to a machine all night, and made from supplies I could easily pick up at a local fabric store. I wanted to somehow incorporate rainbow colors without being too cheesy. One of my favorite memories as a child was when we got to play with the parachute in gym class (you know you loved that day the most too!). I thought to make a circle skirt from iridescent sheer organza, with a soft knit waistband to keep it light for parachute play and functional for wear. I adored wearing jumpsuits as a kid, so comfy and easy (especially those MC Hammer styles!). I drafted a triple flutter sleeve woven top, inspired by the pinafore style worn by Rainbow Brite, and a roomy pleated knit pant together to create a playful romper that would be perfect for a bare-back horse ride. Jumpsuits and rompers are super in style right now, and I loved to create a unique take on a hot trend. I hand dyed the material to a subtle rose pink, knowing she would be modeling on a pristine white horse. I hand beaded each of the three flutters and across the top of the bodice to emulate rainbows and to add a pop of color. And thanks to some wonderful friends at Hardy Farms, my daughter got to play with a beautiful white horse, Doc, just like Rainbow Brite! The jumpsuit is the perfect ode to the 80s and the parachute/circle skirt will be a well loved novelty for my girls. The entire ensemble is a view into my joyous childhood. It was wonderful to share a flashback to my youth with my daughter and see her beaming with delight at the experience. Head over to the blog to see more!

Compagnie M.--Super Mario
Hello I’m Marte from Compagnie M. and I’m proud to present you my first PR&P outfit. When I received the ‘80s cartoons theme, I started digging into my memories. I can remember that my sister and I got our very first Gameboy with the iconic game Super Mario in the late ‘80s! I must not tell you that this present was a special one to me? My very first computer game! As I’m totally into dungarees at the moment, Super Mario and his friend Luigi became my inspiration for this first challenge.
I paired my own new Charles pants / dungarees pattern with the Ole cardigan by Zonen09. This way the total outfit is designed in Belgium! Hooray! :) I added some small details like the button badge, an ‘80s hair tie and look at those sneakers. We love them! For the Charles I choose a dark blue denim, that matches with one of my all time favourite Petit Pan fabrics perfectly well. I don’t have to tell you anymore that I’m a big fan of piping? Especially white one. Always matches and it’s a beautiful contrast with the dark blue. The buttons were sewn on in a ‘flower shape’. The Ole pattern is a reversible cardigan, sewn with nicky velours and some stretch terry with a very light golden sparkle. For true stars! Just like the ‘golden kamsnaps’. When you pair this Ole with my Charles, the orange colour is perfect. But what if you want to pair it with a more subtle outfit? Just turn it inside out and this Ole can be matched with all your favourite garments. Extra soft and warm to wear for the coming winter.
Want to read more about my first PR&P outfit: I have a lot of pictures waiting for you over at Compagnie M.

Shaffer Sisters--Top Duck
We spent most of the 80s in diapers and toddler-hood, so we were introduced to the cartoons of the 80s in after school reruns in the 90s. A favorite after school catch was Duck Tales. To 3 girls from a small town the global experience of 4 little ducks, their uncle and his pilot Launchpad was one of intrigue and excitement. But even with the most extreme situations they always returned home safely. In a small way the story line of duck tales illuminates the essence of childhood dreams; making big plans, having adventures, and returning safely home.

The outfit was based off the aviator style of character of Launchpad. The blousiness of the tunic sleeves is a nod to the sleeve of Launchpad's jacket. The asymmetrical quilting on the aviator style vest  is representative of the unexpected twists and turns the characters experienced in each episode. The colors of Huey is reflected in the red tuxedo strip running down the leg, Dewey is found in the blue of the jegging, Louie in the color of the tunic, the pink flowers in the scarf are represent the character of Webbie. Scrooge and his love of the monetary is represented in the brass V on the side of the pants. Come check out the complete look and reflections at Shaffer Sisters.
Patterns used and modified:
Tunic - Simplicity 3668
Vest- Simplicity 2907
Fishsticks Designs--Go, Go Gadget Fashion!
I grew up in the 1980s, so I was really excited about the theme for Week 1, until I realized I had to pick just one 1980s cartoon! What a hard choice! I knew that I wanted to make this an everyday outfit, so with that in mind, I narrowed it down to a few choices. Since I was sewing for my seven-year-old, I enlisted his help to make the final decision. Jamie's choice? Inspector Gadget! Here's my Go, Go Gadget Fashion ensemble, an everyday outfit inspired by Gadget's own classic inspector's wardrobe with hidden accents that represent his robotic gadgets!
The set is made up of three pieces - jacket, top and pants. I designed the jacket with a trench coat style fit, but with a shorter length to make it more practical for my little guy. Sewn with gray cotton twill and lined with a cotton/linen blend, the jacket is pieced together in the front with plenty of matching topstitching, and it has two huge buttoned pockets for storing notepads and magnifying glasses. The Henley-style top is sewn with cotton pique fabric and cotton/spandex ribbing with cotton/linen accent on the placket. Finally, the royal blue corduroy pants feature double knees, a zipper fly, an elastic back waist, belt loops and a back yoke. For lots more pictures of Inspector Jamie and more details about all three pieces, click over to my blog: Fishsticks Designs.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Week #1: 80's--Cartoon Inspired Looks!

It's here, it's here.  It's finally here!  We are ready to welcome another season on Project Run and Play this week.  And this week---well, it' all about 80's cartoon inspiration.  We can't wait to see your inspiration---Inspector Gadget, Gummy Bears, Muppet Babies, Gem, GI Joe---the possibilities are endless!

Also, here is quick run-down of what the week looks like, in case you are just joining us this time (or keep forgetting the schedule like me!)

Monday-Thursday at 8 pm (MT)--the linky party is open for you to add your version of your 80's inspired look.

Tuesday-Thursday at 8 pm (MT)--the Designer's looks are revealed and the voting is open to choose your favorite look. 

Friday--the votes are tallied (half readers' poll and half judges' scores) to get our results.

Monday--our Sew-Along winner is announced and Week #2 begins!

And now---here's the linky party!    Let's see what you have been up to....

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Meet the Designers: Cassie from Lily Shine Boutique


Hey there! I'm Cassie, owner and designer of  Lily Shine Boutrique. I am originally from Michigan but am currently residing on the island of Oahu. I am a wife to an amazing US Marine and a mom to two beautiful girls. When I'm not sewing or crafting, I am shopping, teaching group exercises classes, co-coordinating a local Military MOPS group or playing with my kiddos!

Growing up, I learned to sew from my mom as I helped design and create halloween costumes each year and handmade gifts for my friends and family. I am so thankful that she passed on her knowledge, and I look forward to my girls learning the art of sewing and designing.

When my first daughter was born, I began sewing boutique style clothing for her and refining my skills through reading blogs, many of which were written by past PRP contestants! Friends and family took interest in purchasing items for their own children, and thus Lily Shine Boutique was born! I love to create custom dresses and outfits for special occasions, sewing cute and quirky everyday wear and recently broadened my work to creating custom pieces for photographers.

I've followed Project Run and Play from the beginning and am absolutely geeked out to actually be a part of the designer team this season! I am more than thrilled to share my passion for designing and sewing with you all and look forward to what this season will bring!
Monday, September 8, 2014

Meet the Designers: Bonnie from Fishsticks Designs

Hello, there, fellow sewing enthusiasts! I’m Bonnie Ferguson from Fishsticks Designs, and I’m absolutely thrilled to get to introduce myself at Project Run & Play! I live a constantly busy life that I absolutely adore as a pattern designer and business owner, and a homeschooling mom to six children. I’m also GiGi to a sweet 3-year-old granddaughter!


My children range in age from 24 all the way down to four. (Yes! I had a one-year-old when my first grandchild was born. I totally recommend it. It makes the transition from mom to grandmom so much easier!) Two of our children are all grown up and living on their own, but we have four still at home – a 16-year-old knitting-genius daughter, a 15-year-old theatre-crazy son, a 7-year-old lego-building-mastermind, and our 4-year-old climb-all-the-things-and-jump-off-of-them boy.  

I love to sew, and sew almost every single day. I have a tendency to sew things that are practical and useful, but still creative and fun to sew! The majority of my sewing is for my two youngest boys. I appreciate the challenge of making things for boys that are modern, cute and easy-to-wear. Now that I have a granddaughter, though, I’m enjoying sewing for her, too! Little girl stuff is too much fun!   I can’t wait to see all of the things sewn for this season of PR&P! Aren’t the themes amazing?! This is going to be so much fun!