Friday, January 18, 2013

Time to Vote: Stripes and Polka Dots

This weeks challenge was all about stripes and polka dots and how to incorporate them into a design.  Today we are excited to share with you all the different directions that our designers went with this challenge. 
Remember, after you've looked through all of the eye candy to go over to the left hand side bar and vote for your favorite!  (Please remember that it is one vote per computer, IP address.)
The Crafty Cupboard-- Stripe a Cord
Turquiose Tot
My inspiration for this “Stripe a Cord” (short for corduroy!) outfit stemmed from necessity!  My daughter has very particular taste when it comes to clothes, especially the material and the fit.  I had to carefully pick every item, but now this little drama queen is ready for an evening out with her daddy, looking fashionable in her jeggings, cowl-neck dolman tunic, and stylish corduroy jacket.  Comfort is key for this outfit, and the stretchy jeggings (made using an existing pair of leggings as a pattern) are her current favorite, especially since she can put her boots on without worrying about her pants bunching in the boot!
The sweet striped dolman top is made out of lightweight jersey knit.  It had the perfect drape for adding a cowl neck, so with a few alterations to a pattern made from an existing shirt, the shirt hangs maturely at the front in a little cowl while keeping the stripes horizontal.  A band at the bottom of the shirt and at each sleeve opening finished it off, making it much more than a regular t-shirt!  The material is super soft (VERY important to the little fashionista!) and such a cheerful yellow.  The neckline was finished with a serger and then hemmed using a double needle for a professional finishing touch.  Because a cowl neck dips lower than a regular t-shirt neckline, I made an undershirt from her dad’s t-shirt to keep it modest.
Jacket Details
The crème de la crème of this outfit is the cute and comfy corduroy jacket.  Based off of Simplicity 2526, I altered the pattern to create a more full (almost “skirted”) bottom with pleated front panels, and a pleated back panel. I also added a polka-dot pleated lining to the jacket, polka-dot side pockets, and the front faux pockets have the same polka-dot fabric on the underside. I completed the look with a row of yellow and white polka-dot fabric-covered buttons down the front.  She loved this jacket so much and insisted on wearing it everywhere, including napping on the way to the photo shoot and adding her own touch of wrinkles and drool to the ensemble ;)

To see more photos and learn more about the construction, visit my blog, The Crafty Cupboard!
Cathgrace--Polka Dot Art Smock 
 This weeks theme had my mind whirling with possibilities, until I found some great cotton fabric that looked like finger-paints had been swirled over them, and right then I knew I wanted to do an art smock! This outfit is made from the most yummy grey linen oil cloth, that has 18 cutout polka-dots, backed by the fabulous finger-paint fabrics in 9 different colors. (it sort of looks like a paint palette to me!) In order to make the finger-paint fabric as wipe-able as the oil cloth, I covered each circle in an iron-on vinyl coating before sewing in place, and top stitching in red. I found a fun art themed fabric to use as my lining, and then edged the whole thing in a striped fabric, that has enough of a painterly flair I figure it won't matter if paint ever drips on it, and then  I used raw wood buttons on the shirt and pants, that I splatter pained in matching colors and varnished, to tie in the theme (the pants fabric has hand painted polka-dots and stripes, lending to the painting theme as well!)  
 The whole smock is in one piece, with the only seams being the shoulder seams, as it slips over the head, so there are no closures to fiddle with (I have a super easy-peasy tutorial for patterning this type of top ready to share!) For under the art smock, I made a pair of polka-dot, skinny capri-pants, and a cute stripy peasant top. I used the hand splatter painted buttons in 2 sizes for the shirt, that has a soft ivory cotton embroidered yoke, and lace at the sleeves. I made the pants out of a gray cotton drop cloth like canvas, that I dotted with acrylic paints (mixed with textile medium,) and then I painted over all the seams in a yellow stripe. The pants are constructed on the bias, so that there is some stretch built in for when she moves and bends. The fly is functional with a zip, and there are front pockets and cuffs that turn up to reveal more of the striped fabric.  I would really love your vote if you like this outfit as much as I do, and I would love it if you would hop on over to my blog ( for more photos and details, as there is just too much to really capture here.

Winter W3--Collegiate Cool
This week's challenge was one I looked forward to stretching me out of my comfort zone.  I rarely use mixed prints in my designs... so this was the perfect challenge to push me past my fears and to dive into mixing prints in a wearable way.  I thought about it and immediately remembered that my favorite outfit on baby girl last summer was a subtle very pale pink on white striped onesie with a polka dot skirt in the same subtle tones - both pieces were hand-me-downs from different people and alone were 'ok', but when paired together became WOW!  Of course I didn't want to recreate this look so I decided I was making something for the BOYS ;o)  But the idea of subtle patterns mixed together stuck and was my starting point for this look - a starting point that then had to get shaken up with the addition of my very loud, very non-subtle, very most favorite color ~ RED!
I made every piece you see here (except the shoes and cell phone ;op). And every piece incorporates at least one stripe or polka dot. 
Button Up Collared Shirt: White on White Dot - Check
Tie: Shades of Grey Dot w/ Red &White Dot lining - Check
V neck Sweater: Shades of Grey Dot internal neck binding - Check
Blazer: Black&White Stripe w/ White&Red Dot - Red&White Stripe lining and Shades of Grey Dot Trim - Check
Pants: Black&White Stripe and Shades of Grey Dot detailing on front and back pockets and fly - Check

I love how this look turned out, and I love how my little man looks in it!!!  Check out the many many more photos and details HERE at my blog.
{LBG} Studio--Dotty Denim and Aqua Stripes
Woohoo! It's week 2 of Project Run and Play and it's been quite the week! Lots of late nights and 'make it work' moments. Ok, down to business...this week's challenge was to incorporate dots and stripes into our design. That was actually kind of tough for me. I really wanted to use the aqua/white stripe french terry in my design and needed to work around that. Since it's pretty bold, I wanted to combine it with something subtle and that's where the polka dot skinny jeans come into the picture. Polka dot denim is definitely on trend at the moment and I thought it would be a good fit for the stripe-y v neck pullover. I used french terry cloth for the entire pullover and added a small jersey knit pocket for a pop of color. Again, I used Rae's Skinny Tee pattern as a sloper for drafting my pattern. This was my first time sewing a v neck style top and found a helpful tutorial here.
Polka dot denim is not something I could just pick up at my local fabric store (boo!). I thought about trying to paint or print my own but luckily I struck gold at Old Navy's clearance rack. I found a pair of women's size 0 polka dot skinny jeans and figured I might just be able to get enough fabric to create my own pair for the kiddo. I do want to clarify that the jeans I made were not a re-fashion project but made from scratch using "salvaged" fabric. I used a pair of Syd's toddler skinny jeans and used the rub off method to create a pattern. I then took the purchased jeans apart at the seams and cut my pattern pieces from the available fabric. I did not use any existing features from the jeans in making the new smaller pair of pull-on, elastic waist skinnies. All in all I'm happy with this cute outfit and think it will be a great addition to the kiddo's wardrobe! For more photos and details, head over to my blog! Thanks :)
La Inglesita-- Dot me
lainglesita dot me
Dots are second nature to me. I grew up in the south of Spain where girls have flamenco dresses even before they can walk. Sewing a flamenco dress was the easy option for me but I wanted to take it further. I got a typical polka dot popelin from my local store, a special kind of fabric sold for flamenco dresses because is stiff, crisp but light (also cheap). And then I spent days asking myself: What would be the opposite of a flamenco dress? ha! capri pants, a T-shirt and a A line jacket.
 lainglesita dot me
 I made the pants entirely with the polka dot fabric, except for the pockets piping and the inside of the waist, where I used a tiny flower print. The pattern is by Burda Style Magazine.  Because red polka dots can be quite overpowering and may turn the outfit into a Minni Mouse costume, I decided to smart it up a little by adding a clean and simple black band to the jacket for contrast. The red buttons were a must because if I don´t sew a red button I´m not happy. The pattern is Oliver and S Firefly jacket.
Under the jacket there´s a white T-shirt to which I stitched black ric rac forming the stripes. The pattern is Rae Flashback Skinny Tee, modified to add volume to the body. It´s tight in the chest but wider at the bottom. I´m not good with the serger so for the neck band I pretended I was sewing with woven and added a facing with a slit and a button loop instead. (My daughter picked her T shirt button.) 
lainglesita dot me

I love the vintage look of capri pants paired with a cropped jacket! If you do too there are more pics in my blog la inglesita
Have a nice weekend!

Little Kids Grow--Vintage Flavors
 I love experimenting with pattern and texture. I'm also a big fan of vintage style and tailoring. For this week's polka dots and stripes challenge, I wanted to combine some of my favorite "flavors" into a vintage inspired, tailored look. By using a monochromatic color palette of soft greens, balanced with tans, and browns, I was able to play around with pattern proportion (hopefully, without overwhelming the senses :)) The neutral color scheme also helped soften the edges of the "big boy" tailoring to make it more age flattering.
For the "dressy" knit shirt I started with a soft knit and added a button placket, collar, and cuffs in white shirting fabric. For the lined vest I moved away from the traditional cut by rounding out the neckline and adding diagonal insets for interest and depth. I used top stitching to create the wide vertical stripes on the front of the vest as a contrast to the narrow vertical stripes on the back. For the pants I wanted something tailored but easy to clean (Ha!). I started with an "easy care" cotton khaki fabric and designed a high waist, button fly pant that I tapered at the leg. I drafted a full length tie (we couldn't forget the polka dots!) and completed the look with a lined driver's/ flat cap for fun. For more on my design process and extra pics, visit me at LittleKidsGrow for details.

Max California--Off The Grid                                            
Sewing for my son is my jam. It's what I do and so I decided to sew this week's theme for my son, even though making polka dots manly was a challenge! His style is partly trendy, partly punk, and partly with a nod to pop culture, so when I thought stripes I immediately thought of Beetlejuice pants. Well that idea somehow evolved into this cyber-punk-ish look! The stripes are pretty obvious in this outfit, but can you see the polka dots?
I modified the Toddler Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns to make the motorcycle vest. It has deep armholes and two metal zippers on the front. The zippers aren't actually pockets, when you unzip the zips you have 'holes' that go through to the pockets on the shirt {You can see more photos of that feature on my blog}. The vest is lined with polka dot fabric, and ironically enough, the name of the fabric is 'Spots and Stripes'. I used a cut off of the selvedge and stitched it into the lining of the motorcycle vest. The polka dot lining I used as pocket lining for every pocket in this look! Secret pocket linings are my cheap thrill.
Underneath, I made a raglan-sleeved shirt with reverse appliqué 'polka dots' on the sleeves. A big 'polka dot' circle pocket is on the front, built like a kangaroo pocket so he can slip both hands through. The pants were modified from the Skinny Jeans from Peek-a-Boo pattern shop. I cut the pieces out on the bias of white drill, so they had a bit of give in them, and hand painted stripes. They have a working zipper fly, and the butt pockets were changed into circle 'polka dot' patch pockets {with polka dot fabric lining}. Make sure you head over to the Max California blog for more detailed photos and why I named this look 'Off the Grid'!


  1. You guys are making it so hard to pick!!
    PLUS, I have the hard job of being a guest judge this week, making it even more difficult.
    Way to go girls!

  2. What a fantastic collection of designers. I love the subtle use of this weeks theme by everyone. All the outfits so beautifully use stripes and polka dots without screaming "I am a striped polka dotted outfit". They are all so beautifully wearable.

  3. I agree that it is almost impossible to vote for one outfit. You can see all the thought and WORK that went into each and every outfit. All I can say is that I'm glad I found this website so I can be inspired by these seamstresses. You have made me want to be part of the action. I completed my outfit even though I went through a home closing this week! I kept my sewing machine out of the packing until the end, and will finish my outfit up this weekend. Way to go ladies!!

  4. It is REALLY hard competing against you ladies! I MEAN LOOK AT THIS! LOOK AT WHAT YOU DID! How are they going to choose a winner amongst all this awesome?

    I'm so stoked to see so many boy's looks this week too!!

  5. I love seeing so many boy outfits this week. I'm so torn on my vote. I may have to vote for one at work and another at home. ;)

    1. i totally thought that last week and this week too! the workman ship by each designer is so is hard!!

  6. All of the designers did a fantastic job this week and I love the subtle use of dots and stripes. Collegiate Cool is my favorite look.

  7. I love seeing what the other designers came up with!!! I wouldn´t know which one to pick!! Good luck to all

  8. Oh seriously! You ladies are making this impossible to pick! They all have such great personality.

  9. Such variety this week!! Truly amazing work.

  10. These are all great outfits, but I have to say the boys are totally outstyling the little ladies this week! What a bunch of cuties!

  11. Oh my gosh!!! It's so hard to vote this week.... I am LOVING all the little boy outfits! Cute, cute, cute.
    Great work designers!

  12. Absolutely amazing work! I'm so inspired by the creativity of these talented designers!

  13. Wow! Tough to choose this week. So cute and creative.

  14. Oh wow. Can we change how voting is and vote for all but one? That would make the decision a little easier! :D

  15. Wow! This is a tough choice. Really great designs in this round!

  16. Amazing work from everyone!!!! You all keep me on my toes and pushing to get better and better ;o) Thanks for all the sweet comments too... this sewing platform is just so fun and encouraging!

  17. Wow!! These are all so amazing!! I'm seriously having a hard time to decide!! Great job everyone!

  18. I need way more than ONE vote this week. Absolutely stunning entries, well done!

  19. Amazing!!! I'm not sure how to vote!!! Wishing I could vote for at least three!

  20. This was such a fun week for entries! Amazing. Seeing these amazing boy outfits has me sweating for next week, though! Lol!

  21. Impossible to pick a favorite this week!!!

  22. i too am loving all the boys looks, here's to manly dots! i was amazed that so may designers stepped up to the boy plate on the stripe and pock-a-dot challenge.
    i'm in live with all the colour this week. great job to all of you!

  23. Our vote is for MAX!! Seriously hot stuff!!

    Xo Steph

  24. These are all wonderful! I love Vintage Flavor SO MUCH! I think it is one of the best PR&P boy outfits I have ever seen. <3

  25. I VOTE FOR MAX CALIFORNIA... i want this in my size!

  26. Hard week to pick. I think a boy might win this week!!!