Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Season 15 Week 2: Crafting A Story

Today is the day the designers get to reveal their looks inspired by the week 2 theme, Crafting A Story!  Grab a cup of something hot to drink, sit back, relax and enjoy these stories!

Phat Quarters - Swiss Family Robinson circa 2018

 Picking one favorite book is such a hard thing to do! Yet one of my childhood favorites has also become a favorite for my children and so this week I pulled my inspiration from the pages of Johann Wyss', Swiss Family Robinson. It is a delightful story about making the best of the cards you are dealt and learning to love the unexpected places you end up in life. I grew up spending many days on the beaches of California and I have fond memories of sailing with my grandparents to Catalina Island to camp. While I no longer live close to the ocean, beach life is a major theme of my personal style & pattern designs. This week I created two looks for my version of Swiss Family Robinson -circa 2018.


 I chose two of my favorite characters and brought them into the modern times. As I did last week, I hand drafted each of my pattern pieces for these looks. My first look is for Francis, the crazy tiger loving youngest son. I wanted to design a pair of shorts that had all the fun bells & whistles little boys love about cargo shorts, yet were more fitted like a pair of Bermuda shorts. The shorts have two classics back pockets and two seamed pockets. I also created a bonus hem pocket that is perfect for small treasures and shells. This pocket has an exposed zipper that gives the shorts an even bigger burst of color! I made two simple back pockets and a elastic back waistband. I love a good flat front waistband and the addition of grommets & faux ties secured with clear toggles, takes me back to the docks of the Yacht Club! For the top I drafted a knit raglan tank with an oversized hood. This is a great transitional piece for spring and will be perfect on cool summer nights after a day playing in the ocean. I created a larger curve to the armscye at the back of the shoulder blade just because I thought it would look nice and open like muscle tank, and I love it! Add a straw hat and a pair of 'cool guy' sunglasses and my Francis is ready to explore the island in style.


 My Roberta is ready for the beachy Christmas celebration in her new black gingham dress with her handmade ombre tassels. I drafted a simple bodice then cut the front neckline to create an age flattering V-neck. I created a deep scoop on the back bodice that features a tie that will ensure she can chase animals across the beach with ease. I made the tassels on the tie white and larger than the tassels that drape down the scoop. For the handmade tassels, that adorn the scoop, I used 3 colors of embroidery floss. I chose the bright coral color pallet to blend with Francis' vibrant shorts and to bring a bright pop of color to the black gingham. I placed the lightest color up at the top of her shoulder blades, the mid-tone in the middle, and the darkest coral at the base of the scoop, creating an ombre effect that highlights the beautiful curve of the scoop. Lastly, I accented the full neckline with a small white lace as a nod to the Victorian age that the book was created in. The skirts of the dress have a slight gather to each of the two layers. This design detail allows for the dress to be full but not overly gathered for my tween. I created an elastic casing between the bodice and skirts to have a flattering fitted waistline while still allowing the dress to be a pulled over her head when she dresses. The hemline of the dress has a men's dress shirt cut line, where the side are higher than the front or back. It is a very fun and on trend style that I adore right now! I finished off her look by making simple little tassel earrings and a huge floral crown. For more details & pictures please visit me at Phat Quarters.


Sew Country Chick - Modern Mad Hatter 


 Gigi wanted me to make something from Alice And Wonderland, and I wanted to make something from one her favorite books, The English Roses. So I'm doing kind of a mix up of the Mad Hatter meets the English Roses. The Mad Hatter is known not only for his top hat, but also for his large bow tie and his bold use of pattern and color. The English Roses are also very colorful and fun, but have more of a sixties look. Meet The Modern Mad Hatter. A mixture of pattern, color, and whimsy. Carnaby Street style!

This outfit is made from a rayon floral print and cotton gingham for the tunic, and stretch ponte knit trimmed with the same floral rayon ruffles for the leggings.

 The top pattern was drafted by me using the basic bodice and sleeve slopers provided in the Building Block Dress Book from Liesl Gibson. I used the same slopers to create my pattern for my Let's Go To Egypt dress from last week. To make the bodice, I created an empire waist bodice by raising the waistline, then I added a rectangular gathered skirt . I pivoted the sleeve pattern to create bishop sleeves, and added little cuffs to gather the sleeves into. I made a tie neck bow collar by cutting a wide piece of gingham on the bias. Cutting the bow on the bias makes it drape more softly around the neck. The legging pattern was made from tracing an old piece of leggings she already had. I sewed three inch lengths of fabric right sides together then turned them right side out and gathered them down the middle to create ruffles with no exposed seam allowances for the pant hems. Gigi has always liked those ruffly leggings, and I've never made her a pair. And of course, this year it's all about ruffles and giant sleeves!


 To see more photos of my design please visit my blog post at Sew Country Chick. Bye, now! 

SewSophieLynn - Charlotte's Web 


 This week's theme was sure a fun one! I sat down with my kiddos to brainstorm all our favorite story books and we kept coming back to a sentimental favorite, Charlotte's Web. We read it together last summer and I loved sharing one of my treasured childhood stories with them. I adore everything about this book. I love the message that no matter how small you are you can make a big difference in the world. The friendship between Wilbur, Charlotte, and Fern is such a great example of looking past physical differences and really embracing other's diversities. The power of words is a huge theme throughout the book and I knew I wanted to use that in my look this week too. Since Charlotte's Web is such a classic book, I went with a vintage inspired look that pays tribute to that amazing spider and her friends.

  PicMonkey Collage(2).jpg 

 For my son's look, I know he's all about comfort. I mashed a ton of my favorite patterns for one easy-to-wear classic look. For the jacket, I used my favorite raglan sweatshirt pattern, the Samson Sweater from Love Notions, and made a bomber jacket featuring welt pockets and a simple black/grey combo that can be worn long after the competition is over. I used techniques from the Ollie Bomber from Sew A Little Seam to construct it and sized up for a more relaxed fit. All of my fabric this week was provided by Raspberry Creek Fabrics. I knew I NEEDED to use the amazing spider-web print and love that I was able to get everything else there too. The jacket is fully lined in the web print and I did an inside pocket with the saying, "With the right words, you can change the world." Such an incredible message taught by such a tiny character! The t-shirt is an Oliver + S School Bus Tee with a ringer tee mod. I wanted a retro look to go with the 'Terrific' vinyl (one of the words Charlotte wrote in her web) and the slim fit of the School Bus Tee was perfect for it. The pants are modified True Bias Hudson Pants in a rayon linen blend. I really want to make myself a matching pair! I drafted fun cargo pockets because a kid can never have enough pockets- this outfit has seven which should be plenty for all his treasures!


 I also need this outfit for myself too! I wanted to do a take on Fern's classic overalls and went with a modern linen version for comfort and style. I used the Linville Romper pants from Hey June as a base. I went down a size for a slimmer look and brought them in a bit as well. I trimmed the waist and drafted the waistband, bib, and pockets. I wanted these to fit for a while as well and the back drawstring closure will hopefully help these last for a few seasons. The leotard underneath is the perfect blend of some of my favorite elements of a couple of patterns. I love the fit and leg cut of the Camilla swimsuit from Made for Mermaids so I blended that with the top of the Boo! Sleeved Leotard for a great under layer. I finished this look with a self drafted headband for the perfect vintage-inspired accessory. For more pics and details of our fun outfits head over to SewSophieLynn.


Call Ajaire - On the Night You Were Born

 I'm so happy we made it through to week two so I can share with you one of our favorite books. On the Night You Were Born, by Nancy Tillman is one of the sweetest board books and one we enjoyed reading over and over and over again to Bean when she was little. This book is the full package: beautiful illustrations, poetry-like writing with a perfect cadence, and a sweet story that instills confidence and wonder. When I was trying to choose a book to base this week's look on, I kept coming back to the illustrations in this favorite of ours.


 In the above collage there are two excerpt pages from the book, including the polar bears dancing which is also the cover page. These two pages were my main source of inspiration, but the entire book is full of the most beautiful illustrations. The shape of those polar bears was the inspiration for the chunky, oversized tunic. I wanted that bubble shape of the lower polar bears to hover right around short dress length, but be able to be pushed up or down to create more or less of the bubble shape and be worn as a tunic. With spring right around the corner, my first design of a chunky sweatshirt (which I ADORED so you can bet it'll be a pattern I eventually release!) seemed like more of a winter design, so I opted for a jumper shape over a long sleeved top. The top has exaggerated bell sleeves, which have elastic at the ends to mimic the bubble shape of the tunic/polar bears and a mock turtleneck with a pussy bow attached to add a little more flare. To go with the tops I made a pair of gusseted leggings in this dreamy burnt orange/rust fabric I found through Cali Fabrics. It's super soft which is just right for my sensitive girl and the color is the exact color of that umbrella from the inspiration pic so I was thrilled when the fabric arrived. The hat is a mashup of an earwarmer and a nightcap that I drafted this winter and I'm in love with the combo. All of these designs in this look were drafted from scratch by me and I'm super excited about some impending pattern test calls as a result.


 To create the look I was going for, I began with a solid white sweatshirt fleece from Cali Fabrics for the tunic and a microfleece for the top and then dip dyed them with a blue Rit dye. When I tested my swatches of both fabrics with the dye, I was excited to see how they each accepted the dye in a different shade since my intention was to represent many of the blues that are shown throughout the book. The top on its own (bottom right two pics) looks great with the leggings and I know we'll get lots of wear out of it before the weather turns. The pussy bow in a mustard ponte was a last minute addition (I was originally going to use a gold which would have been too much) to represent the night stars and pull the look together, rounding out the blues, white, and rust. The sweatshirt tunic will be great on its own once the weather warms a bit and my girl loves how soft and cozy it is. And of course those gusseted leggings offer comfort and a wide range of motion (not to mention great booty coverage, ahem) so they're by far my girl's favorite leggings.


 I'm so pleased with how this entire look came together and so is Bean. What a fun walk down memory lane we had, reading this book and coming up with ideas for a look that both she and I would love. Please head over to Call Ajaire where you can find even more details about how this On the Night You Were Born look came together.

Pear Berry Lane - Arena Ready


 Week 2 is here. I chose a young adult novel many of you are probably familiar with... The Hunger Games. I went with this because I teach middle school (or have for the last 10-ish years) and this series is one I know my students will be sharing with their kids. It's full of action, adventure, and young people that impact their world. For my look, I created an outfit inspired by what Katniss wore in the arena during the games. I love this because in the book, Cena is a designer that actually designs what she wears in the games. I was trying to channel my inner Cena as I was tirelessly working on this look. For more details, be sure to swing by my post here.


 To start off my look I wanted a top that was functional and would make for a great daily wear shirt after this project was completed. I started with the Perfect 10 pattern from Little Lizard King as my base. I blocked the top and reworked the neckline to create a sleek, breathable look with some amazing athletic knit. The black knit has such a fun texture and if you look closely it is somewhat transparent. It took strategic planning to keep the pieces covering important "parts" but is also very on-trend in athletic wear right now. Next was the pants. I knew I wanted a skinny cargo style so that I could pair the look with some boots. I started with a very plain pant pattern and basically just used the inseam from the pattern. I added a yoke to the back and all the pockets (front, back, leg) are my own. I also added a strap to the leg of one side for an extra bit of fun-ctionality. If I was a military wear designer I would call this feature a built in tourniquet. The pants are by far my favorite piece of this look. They are trendy yet totally wearable for everyday. They can be paired with boots or we have rolled them up to capri length and paired with converse sneakers for a modern look.


 To top of the Katniss inspired look I made a raincoat. I began with the April Showers coat pattern as my base. I modified the front by removing the button placket and replacing it with a zipper front. I added the drawstring waist to give it a bit of shape. It also features a hood and a curved hemline. I'm going to share a few tips on my blog about how I survived sewing with the laminate fabric in case you're interested in tackling a project like that. Man, that fabric wasn't my favorite, but I kept on trudging through and finished. Together all these pieces feature bits of Katniss inspiration with wear-ability for the everyday girl.


Alright everyone!  Vote for your favorite Crafting A Story look.  Voting starts now, and closes at 8pm EST on Thursday March 22.

One third of the designer's score is based on your vote!
One third of their score is determined by the panel of judges.
One third of their score is determined by this week's guest judge, Liesl from Oliver+S!

Are you inspired to sew along? Link up your creation here in our sew along for a chance to win a prize!!
Monday, March 19, 2018

Season 15 Week 2 Sew Along

First of all, we are excited to announce the winner of the 7 Wonders of the World sew along.

Basic Elements with her What A Wonderous World look.

Next, it's time to open up the week 2 sew along for the theme:

Crafting a Story
Famous authors live as legends in the craft of storytelling.  Create your own path to fame by weaving elements of your favorite children's storybook into this week's design.

Here is my design, inspired by the story The Velveteen Rabbit.  More details here.  I can't wait to see your creations in the link up below!

This sew along is going to be judged by the 6 designers.  They are the most familiar with the theme, don't you think?  One look will be chosen and announced Monday.  That winning creation is going to receive a $40 gift certificate to Raspberry Creek Fabrics!

If you're sewing along, we'd love for you to grab the HTML in the box below and put it up on your sidebar to let everyone know you're sewing along with Project Run & Play!

grab button for Project Run & Play
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Friday, March 16, 2018

Week 1 "7 Wonders" Results

Wasn't that a fantastic week?  It's so delightful to see these courageous designers putting out their very best sewing creations for everyone to see and judge and be inspired!  

Without further ado, the 7 Wonders of the World look that stole everyone's heart is:

Modern Mayan by Tami of SewSophieLynn

Bari J. the week 1 guest judge had this to say about Tami's look:

My favorite overall is the Modern Mayan!  The shorts look so comfy with the top.  It looks easy to wear and move in.  And I love her color and pattern choices.  The detailing on the dress is so beautiful and unique.  And the styling with the accessories is just perfect.  It all goes together beautifully.

And now the hardest part of the week, it's time to let this designer go:

This Hanging Gardens of Babylon by Raphaelle of Deux Souriceaux.  

Thankfully she does not have to go home empty handed, but (in addition to the $50 pre-season shopping spree at CaliFabrics) she is receiving these gifts from some of our wonderful sponsors:

$25 gift certificate from Simply by Ti

2 patterns of her choice from Winter Wear Designs

Now it's your turn!  You have until tomorrow night at midnight (EST) to finish your 7 Wonders of the World creation and link it up for a chance to win a $40 gift certificate from Raspberry Creek Fabrics!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Season 15 Week 1: 7 Wonders of the World

Today is the day the designers get to reveal their looks inspired by the theme 7 Wonders of the World!  You may notice a few technical changes, but one thing has stayed exactly the same: the Project Run & Play designers have brought their very finest sewing to this event!  Prepare for WONDER and amazement!

Deux Souriceaux - Hanging Gardens Of Babylon 

 When I saw this week's theme, my mind went straight to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and wouldn't let go. They've never been found and some even think they're purely mythical. I wanted to go for lush green and flowers, using ancient Greece as an inspiration for fabric and shapes. My first piece was the cardigan I drafted. I used an old silk dress of mine. It wasn't flattering on me but that print! The cardigan is made up of all rectangles, in keeping with how clothes were made back in ancient times. I used French seams everywhere I could. The neckline and opening are faced with black silk charmeuse and all raw edges are bound. My daughter wanted to be able to close the cardigan so I added a single button and thread loop.

 For the pants, I wanted that easy, loose shape that I love to wear in the heat. I started off with the block from Pattern Making for Kids' Clothes. I modified it to get an elastic back waist with flat front and wide legs. I chose green linen and embroidered some tropical leaves with green silk thread. I flat felled the inner leg and crotch seams. For the outside leg seam, I did a plain seam but with wrong sides facing. The seam allowance is then covered with gold and green ribbon. Inside, there isn't a single seam allowance flopping around.

 Finally, I made a white cotton/spandex tank top to wear under the cardigan. I used the Jalie 2565 tank top and modified the bottom to get a shirttail hem. I added two lace pieces. If you look closely, you'll see that the smaller one is upside down. That's not a mistake! I wanted the flower to look like it was hanging. For more rambling, including my daughter's thought, please come to my blog!

SewSophieLynn - Modern Mayan


 I'm so excited to share with you our first look of the season. When browsing through the many lists of the 7 Wonders of the World, I knew we just HAD to do Chichen Itza. El Castillo is the center of the ancient Mayan city and definitely a wonder to behold. It holds a special place in our hearts as it was one of the first vacations my husband and I ever took without our kids (hallelujah!) and in the years since we've enjoyed bringing the whole family to visit this beautiful place. Mexico is our happy place and we love to explore the culture and people whenever we're there.


 My main piece this week is a stunning dress that really brings in the amazing architecture of El Castillo. I used a brilliant ocean blue chambray from CaliFabrics and I love the subtle sheen it has. I love the vibrant colors of Mexico and was excited to use them in our looks. For this dress I used a basic bodice and went from there. I did a reverse embroidery technique with the woven front bodice to mimic the steps of the pyramid. I brought the same step look to the back of the bodice as well and used an invisible zipper to finish it off. I drafted an open split sleeve with a built in bow because I'm all about the statement sleeves! The skirt is a subtle high low with pockets (of course!).


 Little sister's look is a fun take on a tourist meets local vibe. The blouse started as a basic button-up pattern that I hacked to my hearts content, moving the placket to the back and finishing with a bold exposed zipper and neck facing. I added a flounce to the sleeves for a bit of flair. The shorts feature a fun ruffle waistband and gaucho fit. I took a basic shorts pattern and drafted new pockets, waistband, leg flair, and invisible side zipper. The felt floral headband was a fun accessory to create and added the perfect finishing touch to these outfits. Make sure you head over to my blog, SewSophieLynn, for all the pattern details and TONS of photos from our shoot. These girls were sure troopers pretending to be on a tropical vacation instead of in our chilly winter mountain valley home!


Sew Country Chick - Off To Egypt

 Hello Project Run & Play readers! It's good to be back! This week's project was a challenge, and involved a great many pattern pieces. About forty in all! My inspiration for the Seven Wonders Of The World are the Great Pyramids of Giza. My dress was inspired by photos of female explorers and Egyptologists of the early twentieth century. To make this dress, I used Liesl Gibson's Building Block Dress Book, and pattern pieces from two of her other patterns; The Jumprope Dress, and The Classic Shirt.
The collar, the button placket, and skirt pattern pieces were taken from the Jumprope Dress pattern. The pleated flap pockets on the skirt were taken from the Classic shirt pattern, and sized down for the bodice. The bodice was taken from the Building Block Dress book. I slashed it and created a yoke, then I added width to the remaining bodice piece to create a gathered bodice. I used my old school pattern making textbook to make the yoke and redraft the bodice, which doesn't have a shoulder seam. The sleeves are also from the Building Block dress book. I used the directions in the book to create the puffy sleeve and the sleeve band. The buttoned tabs are self drafted. So is the set in waistband. Because the dress is fitted at the waist, and the bodice has a placket that doesn't go down to the skirt, I added a side zipper. I don't see side zippers much anymore, but most of my fitted vintage patterns include them. I prefer them because they aren't as obvious as a center zipper, which has to be sewn perfectly, or else it looks home made. The two piece waistband is constructed similarly to the yoke. There is a facing inside that covers all of the raw seam allowances. For more construction details, as well as photos of my inspiration and my design sketch, you can visit my blog.

 The pyramid embroidery on the hem of the skirt was found on Urban Threads. I was very careful to try to evenly space this design on the skirt, as I haven't used my embroidery unit very many times. It's a Bernina 560, and after this, I will be using it a lot more. it's not as hard as I thought it would be. I was so worried about ruining the skirt, since I had already spent so much time sewing on those flapped, buttoned pockets! And I also had no extra fabric. I feel it's the finishing touch the dress needed and creates the relationship between my explorer/safari style and the Pyramids of Giza theme. The buttons are all vintage ones I found a long time ago at an estate sale, and the fabric is plain old quilting cotton. The hat is vintage and the shoes are a lucky thrift shop find. And of course, my old leather suitcase. One of my favorite things. Perfect to go exploring in Egypt. Even if it does weigh a ton. I'm very happy with how Gigi's dress turned out and she loves it. I hope you do, too!

Pear Berry Lane - A Garden For A Queen

 It's time to reveal our Week 1 creations! To see more details on my creation, don't forget to head over to my blog here. For my inspired look, I chose the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The Hanging Gardens have several different theories around the creator. Most accounts describe the Gardens being built by Nebuchadrezzar II for his wife that was homesick for her mountainous and green land. Our look incorporates inspiration based upon these notions. First, the garden was built for a queen. I wanted to create something elegant to honor that by using satin and chiffon. The gold lace flowers across the bodice are a nod to the garden life itself while the gold represents the wealth of the kingdom. The green color of the dress is to represent the greenery of the garden. The garden is believed to have multiple tiers or layers in its design, so I included a layered skirt to nod to this feature.

 Let's talk about design, construction, and technique. I did start with the Lil Luxe dress as a foundation. However, if you are familiar with this particular pattern, you won't see a lot of it here. For my bodice, I used the pattern more as a block and went from there. I designed a cross-over bodice in the front. I brought the shoulders out slightly and narrowed them. I included a V-Back in this design as this was a nice way to break up the softness of the chiffon. After designing, I began with a matte satin base. I hand draped the chiffon to get the desired detail features across the bodice pieces. I blocked the back bodice to show off the satin, but brought chiffon around to keep a cohesive look. Due to the elegance of this dress, I think most would agree that the invisible zipper was a must. I made all the free standing lace features that trail down the bodice and onto the skirt using my embroidery machine. I'm probably most proud of this piece of the design.


 For the skirt portion of the dress I went back and forth on whether this should be floor length or not. The final decision was practicality. Even though the garden queen probably wore floor length gowns, it isn't something that would get much wear at our home. I opted for a shorter length. I love this exact length. It is trendy for today's time landing above the knee, yet is still tasteful. The skirt features a gathered double circle skirt in satin with a chiffon overlay. Both skirts feature french seams as that seems appropriate for the fabrics. The lace flowers trail down the side of the skirt for an extra touch of beauty. For styling, we paired the dress with gold shoes to coordinate with the lace flowers and stitched a little lace flower into her hair for fun. I hope you've enjoyed all the details. I'd love to hear what your favorite features of this design are.


Call Ajaire - Chichen Itza Skort


 When I heard the week 1 theme of Wonders of the World I knew Chichen Itza would be a perfect choice for inspiration (click here to see images of Chichen Itza). The geometric shapes of the Pyramid of Kukulcan along with the bright colors of the Mayan people were the jumping off point for this Chichen Itza inspired skort.


 I began by drafting a knit pencil skirt with a front panel and wide flat waistband. The front panel would be pleated to mimic the long skinny staircase that run down the center of the pyramid. As a nod to the overall pyramid shape, I designed a full circle skirt to fit around the pencil skirt, starting and stopping on either side of the front panel. The circle skirt fabric would be woven so by leaving the center panel open the knits would stretch more than enough to get the skort on and off without a closure. Since the outside edges of the Pyramid of Kukulcan also have large steps, I first made a faux chenille out of layers of sateen (in Mayan inspired colors) and then cut the circle shape out of this manipulated fabric. The layers were sewn together with the elastic waistband and the fit is excellent. I have found that though I love pencil skirts on my girl - at 6 1/2 years old - a pencil shape shimmies up her lean body throughout the day, so my answer to that has been to sew in attached shorties. They add a level of modesty, but also help to keep the skirt layers in place while she's playing. So really there are three layers in this skort - self drafted shorties with a gusset for comfort, pencil skirt, and circle skirt - and they all interact just right to ensure the skort looks great and stays in place.


 To really allow the skort to shine, I drafted a simple mock turtle neck sleeveless top. Around the entire neckline, I inserted and then coverstitched a length of pentagon shapes made out of the same ponte knit I used for the pencil skirt. The top is made of a super soft liverpool fabric and is lined with the same fabric for structure and comfort. For accessories I made three bracelets in bright colors to go with the skirt fabrics, put some fun feather extensions in her hair (she was VERY excited!), and paired everything with a simple sandal.


There are so many things I want to share with you about this look so please hop over to Call Ajaire. There you will get all the details about how the circle skirt faux chenille fabric was made, how the pencil skirt front panel was pleated, pics of the gusseted shorties layer, close ups of the neckline detail, links to the accessories I made/used, and so much more!

Phat Quarters - Queen Of The Nile

I knew right away when I saw the prompt of "The 7 Wonders of the World," that I would choose to create a look inspired by the Great Pyramids of Egypt! I love the clean lines and sophisticated style of the hieroglyphics & ancient cultural Egyptian clothing. I knew this would be my starting point! I was immediately attracted to Cleopatra's Nubian men & women statues, with the short structured skirts and flowing over-skirts that often hung from bracelets on their upper arms. I thought that this could be a great 'tween' look if I make a few tweaks to bring it into the modern age. I felt that a fun tank top would bring the look together and allow me to pull inspiration from the crop tops and beauty often expressed in the clothing of Cleopatra herself. From these elegant lines and visual aspects of life at the base of the Great Pyramids I offer my first entry; my modern take on the "Queen of the Nile".


 My Queen is wearing my modern take on the Nubian skirt. I used over four yards of silky Art Gallery Fabrics rayon to create the flowing skirts which are attached as one piece to her structured shorts. The high/low bias cut of the front portion of the skirt allows for a beautiful drape that accents the clean lines of the underlying shorts. The skirt portion was constructed with french seams and finished with a multicolored rolled hem, so seam-lines would not distract from its' elegance. It is attached to the back waistband of the shorts and finished with a faux hand-stitched waistband & front ties knotted at the waist. The tailored lines of the Cloud 9 yarn dyed metallic broadcloth shorts are juxtaposition to the drape of the skirt and the perfect way for my modern queen to run & play yet still feel dreamy and beautiful (something that my little tween still wants and needs). The shorts have two center pleats that allow for fun wide leg look, which is accented by folded cuffs. The front waistband is flat & sleek and the back waistband is gathered with elastic for dressing ease. She is so comfortable and happy; ready to walk among the ancient dunes of her ancestors and people.


 My modern Queen needed an elegant top to complete her look, however she is still too young (like, she will never be old enough in my books) for an exposed crop top like those that adorned so many Egyptian women. Instead, I designed an Art Gallery Fabrics knit razor-back tank with a high/low cropped flounce. The excess fabric and inverse curve of the flounce mimicked the drape of the skirts. It was also the perfect location for the jewels & sparkle that are part of ancient Egyptian dress. I choose a monochrome jeweled trim that attached to the hem of the flounce. I love how the iridescent shine of the navy accentuates the drape of the flounce. It also creates a very posh look for my little modern Queen and makes her feel special. The tank top was constructed as a top and lining using the burrito method. The lines of the razor-back are yet another nod to the sleek lines found on the walls of the Great Pyramids, however they also allow the tank to be age appropriate and pretty for my tween.  


 To tie the full look and inspiration together I used a few simple pieces of gold jewelry and black shin-high sandals, laced with bits of fabric from the shorts and its skirts. Keeping these details simple allowed me to keep the modern look that I was aiming for. The full look pulled together beautifully with its deep jeweled colors, hints or gold, and Egyptian flair. She really feels as beautiful as a queen in her outfit. She also looks sophisticated and is ready to take on the world. I love creating looks that inspire my girls to feel powerful, beautiful, and happy. When I think of my modern Queen this is what I hope she feels like; a beauty among lilies, ruler of her own destiny, cherished by her family, a true Queen of her own Nile. I hope that you enjoy this look as much as I enjoyed creating it and she enjoys wearing it. This was the most fun challenge and I look forward to being able to show you more wild imaginations of of my heart.  Visit my Phat Quarters blog for more information about this look!


Alright everyone!  Vote for your favorite 7 Wonders of the world look!  Voting starts now, and closes at 8pm EST on Thursday March 15.

One third of the designers score is based on your vote.
One third is determined by the Panel of Judges.
One third is determined by this week's guest judge, Bari J.