Friday, April 13, 2012

Time to Vote! Week #1--Circle Skirt Pattern Remix

It's time to vote!!!!!  There are 8 contestants so make sure you scroll all the way down to see all of their designs.  The poll is in the left-hand side bar.  Oh and remember, there is only 1 vote  per computer!

We love our designers and appreciate all the time and effort they have put into their work.  Each of our contestants this season have such delightful senses of style and personalized aesthetics that we are confident that you will enjoy them as much as we do and leave only the most positive of comments.  (Which we know of course you will---because our readers are just as lovely as our contestants.) 

Alright, so quit reading and start looking at all the great clothing...and then get voting!

Sugar Bee's--Circle Swing Top
When I heard that we were challenged to remix the Circle Skirt, I knew what I wanted to do - I've made Dana's circle skirt in the past and loved it, and thought it would make a great swing top.
 I used this bright bold fabric that I bought in Hawaii and contrasted it with turquoise in the straps, pipping, and shorts.   For the bodice I shirred the fabric so it would be stretchy enough to get on and off without any closures - it also adds to the comfort and fit of the top.  I love how there are pairs of spaghetti straps and the spread out in the back for interest.
With children's clothing, you have to keep in mind to make it comfortable and fun, that way they will love to wear it.  The Circle Swing Top is super comfortable with great wearability because of the shirred top and simple elastic shorts to match.  The perfect thing for play clothes.  And it still has the signature "spin-ability" of the circle skirt.  To make it extra fun, I made a mini version for my daughter's doll, which was a huge hit!!

Melly Sew's-- Tiptoe in a Tulip
I have been pondering a tulip skirt for a while, but I didn't want a traditional tulip skirt, or one of the flat petal skirts I've seen; I wanted sculptural shape and coloring so that the skirt would really look like a flower. And then it clicked for me while looking at the themes for this season - a circle skirt is the perfect shape to adapt, because of the way it causes the petals to hang. 
The skirt is two layers of taffeta with a couple of layers of stiff netting in between, cut in circles then folded into sixths and trimmed to petal shape. I made the circles extra big to allow me to sew darts in each petal to give them shape. Then I hand-painted the petals, using lots of water (and a serendipitous rain shower while it was drying on the line) to blend.  I added some hand stitching where the petals overlap, so that they can't fall open and expose anything. I wanted the top to reference the calyx of a flower, so this tone on tone striped green knit was perfect (and on sale!). I played with the direction of the stripes while draping the t-shirt to add texture, curved the sleeve edges to resemble the curved hem, and then topped the look off with a flower made from taffeta scraps. Come on over to Melly Sews to see more pictures from our shoot on the lovely grounds of the city art museum.

Sew Together's-- Colour Blocked Twirl with a Twist
For us, it was impossible to look at Dana’s pattern and not be inspired by the gorgeous, glamorous gowns of the 1950s. So, for this week’s challenge we have created a modern, child friendly version of this iconic look. As any young girl will tell you, a twirly skirt really has to twirl. To make sure this happened we created a double circle skirt attached to a fitted bodice which we drafted ourselves. We supported the seven (!) metre hem using horsehair tape and a tuille petticoat in the same colour range as the dress.
A glamorous outfit always needs accessories. Keeping to the circular theme, we created a clutch with hand appliqued circles. We also covered 70 buttons and used them to decorate ballet flats, a headband and create a ‘necklace’ by encrusting the simple neckline of the dress.
As you can see from our twirling girl, this remix has all the fun of Dana’s circle skirt with a very glamorous twist. For more pictures and information about our remix, pop in and say hello at Sew Together – we’d love to see you!


A Little Gray's--Piece by Piece Chevron Skirt

At first glance, this looks like a cute little skirt made of some trendy black and white chevron fabric. In reality, it was painstakingly pieced together out of solid black and white strips, so that every seam and point would match perfectly, and every zig zag would cascade from the top of the circle. It's 160 pieces of fabric, arranged into 16 carefully angled panels, the perfect union of graphic pattern and classic circle-skirt drape. I lined it in white to hide all those carefully pressed open seams, and keep it practical and comfy to wear. I also remixed the pattern by changing the exposed elastic waistband into an encased one, with an extra wide facing that gives it the look of an adorable paper bag waist. 

I put a lot of thought into what type of top to make for this skirt. It had to have enough style to stand up to the high impact of the skirt while not taking away from it. I decided to pair modern and retro with this throw back cap-sleeved bow collar blouse. I think the soft purple dots complement the black and white so well, while keeping things light and springy. 

I really love how this look turned out and I hope you do to! Head over to A Little Gray to see more of the process of putting the pieced skirt together and hear more about my inspiration.  

JCasa Handmade's--Tell Me a Story Skirt
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and then my freckle-faced daughter looked up with her bright blue eyes and declared, as if the answer were there all along, "Mama, how about we make a skirt for storytelling."  and that's just what we did.  off we went to my studio, where she and i selected four fabrics from my stash - a colorful vintage print with fruits and vegetables in pinks and greens, a large gingham in soft green, a vintage white linen tablecloth, and a Jay McCarroll Garden Friends bunny print.  then my girly proceeded to tell us a story about Hazel, Basil and Moss, three bunnies who travelled through many gardens and down the lane where they happened upon a most wonderful picnic.

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keeping true to my love of simplicity, our remix of Dana's Circle Skirt pattern features four fabric panels that encourage storytelling all day long.  prior to piecing, i took the vintage white linen (tablecloth) panel and stitched a series of differently colored lines fanning out from center - i love the unique graphic that was created, and how it balances the bold gingham from the opposite panel quite nicely.  the skirt hits the the knee, and depending upon what you pair with it, this little number is appropriate for school, church and even the playground.  for example in this look, i revived a (stained) white top from the girls' closet by creating an abstract freezer paper stencil and blending textile paints to make colors complementary to our palette.

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thank you for welcoming us to this space.  it has been a delight to work on this project alongside my daughters, and i hope you are inspired to create with your children + include them in the design process, as well.  more photos + details on JCasa Handmade!

I Still Love You (ISLY's)--Baby Doll Circle Top
 I had a lot of fun with this challenge. Trying to think outside the box to use Dana's circle skirt tutorial was a blast. Instead of going with a skirt theme, I decided to use the tutorial for making a little top. I know she'll get much more use out of this as a top anyway.
I combined a lot of unexpected colors here, and I love it. I know I wouldn't be able to go into any store to find any of these items, which makes this outfit a lot more fun.
Here are a few details to note: Bows in front and back, baby neckline and asymmetrical sweater with mis-matched buttons. Please visit I Still Love You to view more details on the construction, materials and inspiration for this project.

CP's-- Mermaid For Eachother

Recently Drew has been wearing and flopping mermaid fins all around the house and like every four-year-old girl, she lurves mermaids. As always, she inspires my sewing. I definitely wanted to keep this look as a skirt, instead of make it into a dress, because skirts are so versatile and easy for little girls. To Dana's pattern I gave the skirt a lot more gather around the waist for a really full look, gave it a peek-a-boo lining, and added what I believe is the *ultimate* waistband for girls. I would use this waistband for any skirt, shorts, or pants. It looks so professional, is super comfortable, and is fully adjustable to grow with her. She will be able to wear this skirt for 2-3 years I am sure. Which is great for all the hours I spent on the main feature of the skirt... the mermaids! I drew out the mermaid pattern and using fun fabric and fusible interfacing I attached them to the skirt, then painstakingly hand-stitched around each detail. My favorite thing about this skirt is that just relaxed and from a distance, the mermaids make a really cool looking pattern. But spread it out and you can see the individual mermaids and that is cool too!

Not to be overlooked is the adorable gingham top. The best part about sewing clothing is all the fun little design decisions and details you can make. I cut the pockets on the bias along with all the trim and found just enough of the vintage rosebud buttons for the perfect touch. The collar has a secretary-ish tie and I just love the look of this top together with the skirt. Although each piece individually could pretty much be worn with anything else Drew has in her closet. Check my blog to see more (and see this look in some action!).

Kiki Create's--I'm A Fox Dress
I had so much fun remixing Dana's Circle Skirt for this week's challenge. This skirt has been on my to-do list for awhile, so after whipping a few up to get the idea of the pattern, I dove right in to making this dress. My very favorite thing about this pattern is the amazing drape that it gives, so I knew I wanted to keep that, but I had this idea to put scallops around the bottom and add fox pockets. (My husband makes fun of me because he says I add scallops to everything!):) I used a bright orange denim for most of my dress, and even using denim, the drape that I loved was still there. I added a simple waist band that was flat in the front and had elastic in the back and finished the look off with 2" attached suspenders that cross in the back and have big black buttons in the front.

My daughter has been the inspiration for a lot of my sewing and this was no different! She has such a personality and I love to make outfits that show it off.  I finished this look off with a ruffle collared, polka dotted shirt with 3 off centered buttons and a slip that added a bit of texture under the orange denim dress.  I made some sweet little bow ties to add to some plain black Mary Janes and when I sketched out this dress in the beginning, I knew I had to find some cat eye glasses to finish it off!  It turned out just like I imagined and my daughter loved it.  Can you tell?

Come on by Kiki Creates to see more pictures, see how this outfit evolved from my original sketch and grab this outfit in paper doll form!

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  1. I'm tempted to make some of these for myself!

  2. I love the fabric choices on the "tell me a story" skirt--such a happy palette!

    And the little button waist of the "mermaid for each other" skirt is perfect, I adore it!

  3. Hooray! I LOVE your blogs and adore this competition!

  4. Great job, ladies---hard to make a choice!

  5. Wonderful outfits! It is hard to vote for just one

  6. Wow, what a tough choice today! Great job, everybody, you're all amazing!

  7. My honorable mention vote goes to Kiki Creates. Her daughter is so adorable!

  8. Im gonna need to swich eight times from computer to computer... They are soooo nice!!!

  9. Wow!! These are amazing! My favorites are the Fox dress and mermaid skirt... but it is so hard to choose :) Fantastic job ladies!

  10. I love all the fun ideas and great color combos! You all did such an amazing job that it will be very difficult to choose! Good luck to you all!

  11. This is a very hard decision, Fantastic projects!!

  12. It is so hard to pick! They all are wonderful!

  13. One! I have to pick just one!. These are all very lovely.

  14. All the contestants did an amazing job. I just can't decide on my favourite.

  15. I am dazzled. How will I ever choose a favorite?

  16. Oh my! I'm a Fox is my favorite by far. I love the design, the thoughtful styling and it's very age appropriate and fun for any little girl. It's also something you certainly don't see everyday, and it's adorable! Everyone did a wonderful job though.

  17. Oh my goodness they are all so wonderful.

  18. I would buy ISLY's top in a second. All the other stuff is really well done and beautiful but I am always looking for great inspiration like her top when making my girls' clothes. I hope she stays in. Can't wait to see more!

  19. My favorites are the mermaid skirt, ISLY, and the chevron skirt. Really great ideas and styling there! All 8 are inspiring!

  20. Holy Cow these are amazing! I truly can not decide. Amazing work.

  21. Oh my goodness! so much cuteness in one place ..that was so hard to choose ;)

  22. Every single one is amazing. I think no one should be cut this week! Melly Sew's tulip is so pretty and creative, and J Casa's story skirt was delightful and so were the pictures.

  23. Wow! I'm so impressed with all the first looks! Each is so fun and creative. Thanks to each designer for showing their style in such unique remixes! Loving them.

  24. Oh geez this was difficult!!

  25. What an impressive grouping of inspiration! I want to add each of these to my sew list. Wonderful job, ladies!!

  26. That was a tough decision! They are all so amazing! I can't wait to see more in the coming weeks!

  27. I apparently missed the voting and that's probably a good thing since I don't know which one I would have ultimately chosen. I need to bookmark this specific post to come back to it - so many ideas for my own girls!


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