Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Time to Vote! Put Me in the Zoo Challenge

Petit a Petit + Family--Serengenti Tanzania

The kids and I decided to go on a little adventure, we went all the way to Africa for our Zoo trip and ended up in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. There we met the coolest Zookeeper and his Hip-O and the tallest giraffe  you ever did see. PRP for me, is all about creating those special pieces you've been dreaming for years but just never got around to it, are you ready?

For my first look, I created the a little hippopotamus inspired outfit one of my favorite animals and my daughter has a hippo plush she adores- perfect! When I think hippo, I think grey leather, cute little ears and a boxy kind of body. So, I recycled a pleather jacket I found at the thrift store, completely took it apart, I kept the pockets and worked around that. I self drafted my own pattern to create a boxy, short sleeve jacket with little ruffles at the sleeve cap. I had just enough of the pleather fabric to create a little hat with ears. I used the Oliver + S pattern from the book Little Things To Sew, I modified the pattern a little by removing the ear flaps and making the hats ears a little smaller. 
The next thing that comes to mind when I think hippopotamus is a ballerina. So to complete my outfit, I created a leotard and tutu. The leotard is self drafted, I added some front pleats and inserted a tangerine colored bow to brighten everything up. For the tutu, I followed the Oliver + S pattern from that same book. I modified the closure to add snaps, so my little one can get in and out of her tutu all by her self. I created the tutu with multi colors of tulle and made it reversible as well. 
Lastly, a hippo is never without his friend the bird, so I made a little bird with wings purse from an old turquoise leather skirt and added a touch of neon orange to tie the outfit together. 

What is a Zoo without a Zookeeper? For my son I created a jumpsuit, I've been wanting to make him one for a long time now. I use the Small Fry Skinny Jeans from Titchy Threads for the bottoms and then self drafted a safari style shirt for the top. I embroidered the word Zookeeper on the back, as if you didn't notice and used that same neon thread on all the grosgrain ribbon to tie the colors together. The fabric is a cotton twill I've been hoarding for 13 years now. I also had the perfect vintage badge which says Serengenti, Tanzania- and this is what gave me the idea for the photoshoot. How lucky, who says hoarding doesn't come in handy sometimes? The badge also has an embroidered cheetah which is my son's favorite animal.  Now what is an animal inspired outfit without an animal print, I ask? So obviously, I had to make a hat with a cheetah print which I created with a black sharpie. The hat is self drafted too.  If you would like to see close up's and details of all the clothing, please come say hello on my blog Petit a Petit and family. We had so much on this shoot and the kids really love their outfits- bonus!  I would love to travel with you some more next week? See you then, I hope!
Call Ajaire--Sunbonnet Panda Pinafore 

My 2 year old girl Bean is in love with anything panda (check out the #allpandasallthetime hashtag on Instagram to see how nutso she really is about them) so it was a sure bet that I'd use pandas as my inspiration for this Put Me In the Zoo theme.  I decided to use the basic color blocking of a panda as the inspiration jump-off point. I designed a backless pinafore with a sunbonnet attached that would cover all the white areas on a panda's body.  Over-exaggerating the sunbonnet made it extra cute for summer wear.  I had never made a sunbonnet so drafting one that didn't need a chin tie was no easy task, but I'm so pleased with the result.  The sunbonnet stays put while it's on Bean's head, but she can also flip it back if she doesn't want to wear it, without having to ask someone to untie it for her (or half choke herself in the process).  She's not a huge fan of hats, so this is my way of easing her into some head protection from the sun this summer.  The pinafore is backless and secured in the back with a buttoned strap.  The sunbonnet is attached to the pinafore at the back of the neck as part of the neckband.  This Sunbonnet Panda Pinafore is meant to be worn with a shirt for some sun coverage or on its own on those warmest of summer days we get here in Maryland.  I used a lovely polka dotted two sided double gauze for the fabric so it would breathe well in all the heat.  Even though the fabric is light-weight, the sunbonnet design holds its shape due to the origami-style folding I used at the nape of the neck and a sandwich of interfacing on the brim.

To go with the pinafore I drafted a cute shirt which would be able to stand on its own and not just be a layering piece.  I added puffed short sleeves, gathering the sleeve at the band as well for a little girly flair.  A Peter Pan collar and banded bottom also help to make it stand out from a basic t-shirt.  The shorts started out as a pair of Oliver & S Sailboat Pants, but I cut the legs off to about a two inch inseam, gathered the outside legs, and added a band to make them bubble style shorts.  Of course I added some panda fabric to the shorts' facing so there is a fun surprise for bean when she takes them on and off.  I used the same fabric, fussy cutting the panda faces to make the panda buttons too.  The shorts paired with a self drafted pair of tights round out this adorable panda themed outfit.  We are lucky enough to live close to the National Zoo so we headed there for a fun photo shoot.  Bean was so excited to see the pandas and of course she had to sit in her favorite panda's lap and introduce her Pammy Panda to him.

I'd love for you to stop by Call Ajaire where you will see all of the outfit details including the Sunbonnet Panda Pinafore no-shirt no-tights (no-shoes) summer styling.

If Only They Would Nap--Sharp as a Shark
Sharp as a shark
When I first saw the theme for week one, I almost immediately knew I was going to use a shark as my inspiration. My four-year-old thinks sharks are really fun (you know, in books.. not in real life, of course!) and the look came together nearly exactly as I pictured it in my head. And how often does that really happen? My goal with this outfit was to have pieces that were very wearable and that could be worn separately. I also didn't want to be super obvious with my inspiration. The hood of the jacket, of course, is the most obvious - shark's teeth! - but there are hints of inspiration throughout the whole look. For me, boy looks are all about the details! From the piping to the pockets to the seam lines, this outfit is full of details that took a lot of time (and a bit of seam ripping), but are sooo worth it in the end.
  shark collage
The jacket is made from a black denim that has some stretch. I based the jacket very loosely off of the shape of a raincoat we have in our house. There are a lot of pieces in this jacket, and a lot of seams. It was definitely a labor of love! The jacket is fully lined, and because of the stretch in the denim, I cut the lining on the bias, matching the stripes to match the lines of the fins.. or the waves. The pockets are set in the front seams, and peak out just a little. I love the contrast of the front zip. The tee is made of a super stretchy and comfy knit, self-drafted to be more fitted and with longer short sleeves, because I love that 70s T-shirt look. I have the geometric trend on the brain right now, so the triangles (added with iron-on vinyl) are a nod to that and the shark's teeth and fins. The pants started from a pair of ready-to-wear pants, with a lot of changes in the fit and style. The grey twill is super comfy, and I love how it looks with the red piping and top stitching. There also seemed to be something fitting about using red with a shark look.... am I right?? The pants have a zipper fly and an elastic back waist, inset front pockets, and back patch pockets (some of those aforementioned details!) I love every part of this look, and even more than that, my son loooves it. He's already worn it and stained it, and it's been washed and worn again. Which is the best stamp of approval from any kid, don't you think?
shark collage details
Hop over to If Only They Would Nap to see lots more pictures!
It's Always Autumn--Safari in the City
adorable hand sewn girls clothes by itsalwaysautumn.com
Honestly, the "take me to the zoo" theme was a little terrifying at first, but I quickly settled on a giraffe for my inspiration animal because I knew I wanted to make a blouse with a high neckline and pretty detailing. I decided to use a white swiss dot for the top since there's not much I love more than a pretty white blouse on a little girl, and I chose a black and white giraffe print cotton and a pretty rust sweater knit to mimic the color and pattern found on giraffes. Then I worked to design three pieces that were inspired by a safari animal but are very much at home in the city, and--most importantly--comfortable and wearable for a 3 year old. All pieces are self drafted using other items in her wardrobe for reference. adorable hand sewn girls clothes by itsalwaysautumn.com
My vision for the blouse involved a high neckline with some interesting details but I wanted to figure out how to execute that in a way that wouldn't be constricting or uncomfortable. I started by trying to pleat or ruffle fabric but couldn't get the easy sophisticated look I was going for. In the end I sewed rows of shirring using elastic thread on a large "donut" of fabric, then used that to create a combination V-neck, yoke, and faux cap sleeve. I attached a gently gathered bodice and finished off the arm holes and V-neck with narrow double fold bias tape. The shorts feature an elastic waist with a ruffled waistband, back zippered welt pockets, front slant pockets, a cuffed hem, and a perfect fit. The zippers and front pocket lining are in a bright gold for a pop of color. The soft cardigan sweater comes together at the waist, forming a V-neck to mimic the blouse, and then curves back out for a hi-lo hem. I took special care hand finishing the edges of the sweater to be sure it lays completely flat and looks as good on the inside as it does on the outside. The long sleeves can be pushed up to 3/4 length for more of a spring-time look. The sweater can be tied closed in front, or it can be worn open with the tie gently cinching the back. All together, the pieces form a look that's stylish enough for a girl in the city and comfortable enough for a girl on the playground. adorable hand sewn girls clothes by itsalwaysautumn.com
See more photos (and find out my daughter's nickname for this outfit) on my blog, It's Always Autumn. Thanks!
Googie Mama--birds of a feather

This challenge—and I know for a fact all my fellow designers will agree—was tough. these simple simon girls must have been evilly cackling as they plotted this, because i was stumped. In the end I found myself mentally walking through our local zoo (Philly shoutout whatttt!) and evaluating each animal…monkeys? too sad, and too…brown. big cats? too cheetah-printish. shudder. zebras? too reactionary. and pigeons plot in secrecy…wait, where was i? prairie dogs? reptile house? hyenas???? truth is, i’m not a zoo lover. so i narrowed it down further: what—if anything—do i actually enjoy seeing when i go to the zoo? and then it was easy…
IMG_6575_1472flamingo dressesflamingo dresses
the flamingos. from their gracefully silly long necks, to their fluffy pink plumage and right on down to their goofy backwards bending scrawny legs. i finally had my inspiration, and it led me right to my two littlest girls in coordinating spring dresses. both dresses are done with a a combo of the same two fabrics: a lighter peach-pink knit, and a darker flamingo colored taffeta. (no lie—the thread i bought to match the darker color fabric? it’s name is “flamingo”. high five) elliot’s dress features a comfy knit top, with a taffeta skirt and waistband. the entire dress is lined, and has a built in slip for the Essential Puffiness Factor. the skirt is covered with lots and lots AND LOTS of hand-cut fabric “feathers”. i explored tons of ways to get a feathery look on a skirt—even down to using real feathers. but this was the winner: comfy, non-wrinkling, washable, tons of movement, and plus she straight-up loves it. the back has a contrasting button placket with pinkish rhinestone buttons running from top to bottom.
Untitled-1flamingo dresses
 gigi’s dress features more of the taffeta in an a-line with a invisible side zipper and two lines of contrast piping down the front. the back was inspired by the fluffy flamingo butts. yup—more hand cut feathers peeking out from the back cutout and peekaboo skirt, along with two pink rhinestone buttons for a little bling. she also has a matching jacket, with contrast ruffle around the neck and rhinestone button; and separate slip for the Puffiness Factor. (everything was made from self-drafted patterns) and if you’re making dresses inspired by flamingos, you may as well jump in with both webbed feet, right? so both my girls got handmade hats/fascinators, topped with fluffy peachy-pink feathers and netting.
Untitled-2flamingo dresses
for more pics of my girls behind bars/more info about the dresses/answers to your burning questions (like just how many fabric feathers DID you cut out?) flap on over to my blog—googiemomma
The Crazy Tailor--Buffalo Baby
I'm so excited to be here, and at the same time I can hardly believe that it's HERE already! Where did this last month go? When I found out the themes for the first week, I was thrown for a loop - animal inspiration? I had to look waaaaay outside the box. I based my look around a fabric selection, buffalo check (or buffalo plaid), and went from there. Since I find boy clothes more of a challenge, and also because we can always use more boy inspiration, I decided to do this look for my little 15 month old munchkin. I drafted a bodysuit-styled shirt with the buffalo check shirting and love the fit on this - no more untucked shirts on my little crawler! Next up were some buffalo-inspired jeans with some cute detailing from the original belt loops. This was my first time making a pair of jeans, and although they were time-consuming, the results were totally worth it! page1

In keeping with the buffalo theme, I made a pullover with a leather buffalo applique and used Kam snaps for the button-up collar. Such a nice layering piece! And then to finish off his look, I went with a classic camel-coloured corduroy blazer. I know....not a buffalo, but camels are at the zoo too! I had so much fun putting this look together, and I love it for it's versatility and style! prppage1
To find out more about my pattern modifications, and to see LOTS more pictures, head on over to my blog!  

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  1. amazing job by all of the contestants! congrats!

  2. What a difficult choice - well done ladies, well done

  3. Great job! Wish I had more than one vote. It was too hard to pick just one; I felt guilty not voting for the other one or two that I thought were just as amazing!

  4. WOW ladies you all did an amazing job! I feel so honoured to be in such great company. :)

  5. Wow, I couldn't be more impressed. Soooooooo difficult to choose. Well done you amazing people.

  6. Girls you blow me away! Amazing work!

  7. In typical PR&P fashion, you ladies have made the voter's choice incredibly difficult!

  8. It's almost not fair that we only have to choose one! They are all so fabulous!

  9. Wow, what an amazing set of designers! These are all so great! Congrats ladies :)

  10. I can't vote yet-- not until I click on each of the 6 blogs & look at the details & photos. Then I'll return to VOTE here. Such TALENTED moms sewing LOVE into these outfits for their kids! BRAVO to all! Sarah Helene, Minneapolis

  11. blown away, as always - - amazing!!

  12. Everyone's look is so amazing! I feel so honored to be in such a talented group of women!

  13. Seriously, every one is so amazing! Holy cow. What a great week of designs!

  14. So much fun stuff! Fantastic job everyone!

  15. Can't I PLEASE vote for them all??

  16. Wow, that panda is fantastic! She took all the parts that were panda and translated them into modern, adorable clothing - the hooded pinafore is brilliant! Well done!!

  17. Amazing job everyone! I can't get enough of this safari theme! So adorable and so very hard to pick just one!

  18. Way to kick off Season 9 in such fine form, ladies!!! I've already come back to see your wonderful creations at least 5 times this morning.....

  19. Oh my gosh!! They knocked it out of the water on the first round didn't they?? I love them all! But when it came down to it, it's probably pretty obvious who I voted for. LOVE.

  20. beautiful work! Hard to decide who to vote for! I wish I had time to sew along this week. Funny, my first thought totally went to the book, not the actual zoo and animals! funny!

  21. Such amazing outfits! picking just one was nearly impossible! Good luck to all of you ladies :)

  22. There was something I loved about each of these! Wish I could have voted for more than one entry! Best of luck ladies, you all rocked this theme!

  23. I had no idea how seriously everyone took these challenges until I saw each person's work. I am blown away at the level and quality of all of these designs.

  24. How are we supposed to choose between fabulous and more fabulous? Amazing and so creative all of you are so inspiring and increcible.

  25. Man I don't think voting for this has EVER been as hard as it is right now!! Everything is fantastic!

  26. Qué difícil fue votar! Todos los trabajos son hermosos! Felicitaciones a todas sus creadoras!

  27. This was a great week. Really really hard to choose who to vote for because everyone was so creative and attentive to detail. I'm super impressed! Great job, ladies. I don't want anyone to go!

  28. I've been following PR&P for awhile. Glad to see the evolution toward truly wearable clothes. The details and designs are as unique and challenging as special-occasion outfits, but these are clothes that the kids can really run and play in!

  29. Great creations! Great theme too!


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