Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Season 24 Week 4: Signature Style

 It's always bittersweet to announce the final week of a Season...but that's where we are!  Week 4, Signature Style.  Don't you think we've been seeing these ladies Signature Style all along?   But just wait until you see this...

As usual, make sure to get all the way to the end of the post so you can support TWO of these talented sewists with your VOTE.

Made by Kates - Simply Summer



Wow! I can't believe I actually made it through all 4 weeks.  It's been a whirlwind (and my sewing room looks like it!). Deciding what to do for this week was MUCH harder than I anticipated!  Looking back at weeks 1 through 3, I covered winter, fall, and spring.  So it was only logical to include summer in my final look!  Plus, when I asked my daughter what she thought my signature style was she didn't skip a beat and said, "swimsuits and rompers!"  Those are her favorite things I make for her so I wanted to be sure to include that.  I'm a pretty practical person and like to make things that can be worn more than one way.  Summer plus practical put the idea of a little summer capsule in my mind and we are already definitely dreaming of summer.  This look 100% sums up my signature style - clean lines, classic styles, fabulous fabrics, coordinating colors, and fun little details.  This look can go from resort ready to everyday chic seamlessly.  I hope you love it as much as I do! 


Let's start with the swimsuit. Just this week we wrapped up construction on a backyard swimming pool so I was all for making another swimsuit for my girl.  She has been begging me for a zipper swimsuit just like one of her favorites from a popular company.  We took our own twist on the design and the Breakfast at Tiffany's vibe is my favorite!  I started with the Mairin swimsuit pattern from Sew a Little Seam and changed the neckline and added some color blocking to the front.  I redesigned the back to include a high back, cut in shoulder lines, and a circle back cut out.  I also added a tie to go around the back.  The gold zipper down the back to get in and out of the suit easily is her favorite feature - I personally love the contrast with the white neck ruffle.  It's fully lined and made from high quality swim fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  I love that she has a well fitting, unique swimsuit she feels amazing and confident in. 

When we aren't swimming, I wanted to create some pieces she can mix and match and feel comfy, cool, chic, and classy in.  She definitely has an opinion when it comes to what she will wear and her style is becoming a little more sophisticated.  She absolutely loves all the looks she can get with these pieces.  I love clean, classic lines and little details so I made sure to include that aesthetic.  The white linen top started with the bodice of the Fringe Dress from Chalk and Notch.  I added three vertical pleats in the shoulder as well as arm ties at the sleeves.  The skirt is a self drafted a-line skirt with an elastic back and a flat front with an inverted pleat.  I designed rounded patch pockets with the same pleat design from the top, and included white trim on the pocket as well as outlining the belt with the white linen.  The fabric for both pieces is Robert Kaufman Linen from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  She requested a romper, but was ecstatic for the faux romper we made out of one of my favorite fabrics- rayon challis.  It's so dreamy to wear!  This is a retired club print also from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  The faux romper look allows her to wear it so many more ways!  I used the Linville Romper pattern from Hey June for both pieces, modifying them to be how we wanted them.  I made the pants joggers with an elastic ankle and a paperbag waist - of course they have pockets too!  The top has a cascading circular sleeve, with a white contrast facing and white poms attached.  These brought a huge smile to my girls face, but they also warm my heart. A friend of mine passed away unexpectedly and I got some of her sewing stash - including these.  I've been waiting for just the right project to use them for and I know she is proud!  I also added a back placket with a tie for a little fun in the back.  

Thank you Project Run and Play for allowing me the opportunity to push myself and take time to create some things I wouldn't have made time for otherwise.  Sewing for me is connection, resourcefulness, memories, and community and I have felt each of those things during the past four weeks.  For more pictures and details, check out my blog post HERE.  


Deriving Mommyhood - Encapsulating Style

I'm beyond honored to be here for the final week! This competition has been a challenge but I'm so happy with what it has pushed me to try (Pattern making, looking at you!). Let's dive in to my final look....well, looks. Because when I thought about my signature style, I realized that I often sew in mini capsules. I have made so many mini capsules for each season, for each kid as well as myself because all of us can struggle sometimes having amazing clothing items, but nothing that coordinates. Any designer I have worked with knows that I think in full wardrobe, not just single piece. So of course, I made her a mini capsule to take her from fall to winter as my finale. Another big part of my process is that my little muse gets a say in absolutely every detail of everything I make her. We sit down and look at inspiration together, pull fabrics together, and sketch our designs. I love having her involved in the process as she genuinely has great taste and loves wearing what I make her so much more if she has a say.

This capsule encompasses both of our style, but it also shows my absolute obsession with clean finishes. I would gladly wear every piece I created for her myself, and think that they will stand the test of time and be great for her little sister in a few years. It also shows how I take inspiration from fashions from the past and try to bring them into modern looks using edgy details like metal and leather. I'll start with the jeans I made her, using gorgeous stretch denim I bought in Paris. I decided to do a more tailored version, starting with the Stay + Stitch Avenue Flares as a base. I made them wide leg instead, and changed the top to be a high waist sailor style (with pockets!). I did facings in satin from Minerva and subtle olive topstitching, with jean tack buttons and a nice deep hem. Next, her pixelated print top. It makes the artsy mathematician in me quite happy to have a geometric floral print (stretch chiffon from Joann's). I made her a simple, tailored top using the Juniper from Sew a Little Seam for the base. I left off all plackets, choosing a faced keyhole instead. I used french seams throughout the shirt and topstitched every little seam, as well as making split sleeves (she is currently obsessed with bishop and bell sleeves and all flavors of flowy sleeves). I tacked the elbow as I originally had chosen to do a wrist tie but she really wanted them open instead. I finished the neckline with narrow self made bias and did a narrow curved hem.

For the skirt, I started with a basic half circle skirt, and slashed and added to the pattern to have knife pleats around half of it. I chose to do a wrap style, borrowing a little from a kilt look (and did some mitred hems at the corners to reduce bulk). The waistband is also self created, a contour waistband that encloses all the seams at the top. For the closure, I used rose gold vinyl pieces with some metal purse hardware, and little metal snaps that mimic the look of rivets but also help stabilize those closures. The fabric is some mystery textile my husband purchased in bulk for me from one of his many Thailand trips...I assume it's a ponte though. The second top I made is from some soft white french terry provided by Minerva. I started with the Knoxville from New Horizons Designs  as I like the general ease of it for a sweater, then changed the front to have a curved placket of rose gold grommets that I made a tie to go through. I echoed the skirt pleats by adding a few deep knife pleats on the sleeve caps and now desperately need this whole sweater for me. The facings for the grommet strips make for a nice finish inside the hem as well.

Last, she of course needed a layer for some warmth. I had originally decided I wanted to make a leather moto jacket, but those split sleeves meant I needed something easier to get on and off, so I drafted a capelet from some wool coating (Mibs Fabrics). I started with a circle, cutting the neckhole offcenter for a high low effect, then added a deep funnel collar inspired by Violette Field Threads Alba dress. There's a keyhole with another tack button closure on the back. I used self made satin bias to finish all the seams as the mustard wool is fairly bulky, so I understitched the collar to catch that binding on the inside, then did a thicker binding around the hem so that it peeks out. Last, it got two rows of snaps so that she can choose to cinch it in and create sleeves. She and I are both obsessed with all the mix and match looks she can make from these 5 pieces! Check out lots more pictures and info on my blog!


Annie Sewzalot - Stripes Go With Everything

I am so excited to be here for the final week! Signature Style is something most would find easy, but this was probably the hardest week for me, thus far. I would say my taste is somewhat eclectic, as I love a variety of styles and fabrics, but the one thing that has always been a constant for me would be stripes. I LOVE stripes of all varieties but black and white stripes are my all time favorite. So, I decided to make a practical look this week, incorporating some of my favorites, as well as some of Dalilah’s. 


I knew I wanted to start off with a basic pair of jeans. Dalilah doesn’t love jeans because we can never seem to find a ready to wear pair that will fit her. She has the waist of an 18 month old, the hips of a 4 year old and the height of a 5-6 year old! It has been a while since I made a pair of real jeans and have yet to actually draft a jean pattern, but now seemed like as good a time as any to do both! I started with my basic block and drafted a slim fit, boot cut with a fully functioning zip fly. Since they are fairly basic in design, I decided to add striped bow pockets to the back. The stripes are made from the same fabric as the jeans (stretch denim from JoAnn Fabrics) along with the white from the jacket fabric, topped off with a mustard bow. I love how they turned out and she loves the fit! 



For the top/shirt, I wanted to go with something I knew would be worn over and over again. Dalilah’s all time favorite fabric is double brushed poly. She is seriously obsessed with it so when I saw this floral at JoAnn’s, I knew it would be perfect! It is super soft and had all the colors I wanted. I started with Magnolia by Little Lizard King as the base. I straightened the waistline and adjusted the neckline to a slight “V” neck. I am, always have been and likely always will be, completely obsessed with ruched sleeves so I drafted a ruched sleeve and added a basic gathered skirt. Dalilah is happy with the fabric and I love the look! 



For the jacket, I started with the Hamilton jacket I drafted last week as the base. I took out the princess seams in the back and reshaped the bottom of the bodice. For the front, I omitted the removable plastron, added width and reshaped the bottom. I added a gathered skirt which is longer in the front and back and shorter on the sides. I added an embroidered heart patch with her monogram so there would be no mistaking who the jacket belonged to. The sleeves on the Hamilton jacket were a standard set in sleeve, so I redrafted the cap as I wanted a high gather to accommodate the ruched sleeve on the shirt. I decided to go with a pointed hood to exaggerate the chevron look on the back. I think the view from the back is my favorite but now as I type this, I realize that I really love the front as well! I am obsessed with how the sleeves and bodice align!  The jacket is fully lined with the same soft double brushed poly as the shirt and we decided on a zipper closure, as that is what Dalilah prefers. 



I have had quite a bit going on throughout this whole competition and I am so pleased with everything I have been able to accomplish, as time has not been on my side. The looks for each week have all been completed within 1-2 days! I am surprised that I have made it through without completely losing my mind and have learned alot about myself and what I am capable of, so win or lose, I am happy. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me and will continue to support me this week. If you want to see more, please follow me on Instagram at Annie Sewzalot.


Now it's your turn!  Use the voting widget below to support TWO of the designers with your vote.




This week, our guest judge, Shauna of Shwin & Shwin really, really will have her work cut out for her to determine the scores!


The designer scores are determined as follows:

1/3 of the designers score is determined by the guest judge
1/3 of the designers score is determined by the panel of judges
1/3 of the designers score is determined by YOU, the audience!

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