Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Time to Vote! Spring Break Challenge

The Crazy Tailor--Springtime in Paris
I began with a completely different idea for where this week was going to go...but as it turned out, I rather like where it went! As I was drafting, changing my mind, and generally ripping out seams, it just started feeling more and more like a European look. I've always admired European children's fashion, and just lately have been loving Kelly's amazing Parisian photography over at Wild Wandering. The travel bug hit, and off to Paris we went! Springtime in Paris is still an unpredictable time of year, so layers are ideal. I started this look off with a self-drafted skirt with some fun little details! The front and back yokes are lined in a cotton print and the small pleats give lots of room to run and play in. The front yoke has working buttons to allow for easy dressing, and the pockets are a nice little part of the whole front yoke design.
Then I made a lightweight raglan sweater with 3/4 length sleeves and added a sweet little peter pan collar. The front of the sweater was embellished with sequins, and the cuffs and hem were finished with binding. 
Finally, I finished off this look with a cropped trench coat. This really was a labor of love...I think I redid every seam in this jacket as I changed my mind! It turned out as a lined, bubble-hem, cropped trench, with the signature storm flap and double-breasted look. I did bound button holes for the first time and really love how they turned out! This is a classic little outfit to get my daughter through the spring...even if we never see Paris! Head on over to The Crazy Tailor to see many more photos, and find out more about the Eiffel Tower on my wall!

Petit a Petit + Family--California Dreaming
Oh, how lovely to be back again this week! Thank you for all the lovely comments and for the votes. Today, I am headed to sunny California for my spring break.  Since I've never been on the west coast, I figured California had everything I was looking to create a unique little outfit- it's a little retro, a little bohemian, a whole lot of awesome.
When I think of California, I think the beach, surfers, skate boarding and taking it easy. I think I am a beach bum at heart! So I created a reversible bathing suit- I make everything reversible when I can! I used the Fancy Pants leggings as my starting point, modified the leg, scooped the back, doubled the front panel and extended it to make the bodice. I even added some elastic to the back to keep everything in place. I made one side solid with some tie- dye fabric I had in my stash and I color blocked the other using some thick lycra I found at my local fabric store. I am really excited to say that this will be my next pattern release in collaboration with Laura who created the Fancy Pants Leggings. You've got to have a camera to capture all the special moments while vacationing! So I made a Polaroid bag, with some cotton canvas I had, some grosgrain ribbon, a tiny bit of red felt and a some striped ribbon for the straps. I deliberately made the camera with raw edges and white stitching and stuffed it to give it the 3-d effect, and added a functional pocket at the back to keep small valuables such as seashells and other treasures. I had so much fun coming up with this bag and just love the added retro vibe it gives to the whole outfit.
Next up, is the cover up wrap around tunic. No patterns were used for this little number, it was completely draped on a mannequin, pinning and pleating until I got it just right. It has taken me a year to cut into this Nani Iro fabric I bought from Miss Matatabi and I am so glad I finally did. The lace is from a vintage table cloth my mom gave me.  I created a hi-low hemline and the entire tunic is finished with bias tape as well as a facing at the hem. I call this my little work of art! It wraps around and closes with a fine lace ribbon, making it quick to go from roller-skating to swimming. Since the top is a tunic length at the front, I also created some shorts. They are self drafted and made from a lush double striped knit. I created faux pleat and added some vintage buttons to give it that sailor look. The facing at the waist and bias at the leg is also a fine jersey knit I had on hand. Lastly, I created a reversible visor- one side has the pastel colors to go with the tunic and the other has a bold pink to match with the color blocked bathing suit. I used some striped picot jersey on one side and some terry on the other, tying at the back with a large ribbon. The visor part is made from a plastic binder I found at Staples, which I cut into and finished the edge with some bias tape for a sleek look.

Don't forget to check out my little blog Petit a Petit and Family for many more details and some really fun photos. Hope to see you here again next week!

Call Ajaire--Cape Cod Casual
When choosing a favorite vacation spot for this week's challenge I didn't even have to think.  Though I live in Maryland now, I was born and raised on Cape Cod and it will always be my favorite place - vacation or otherwise.  Since the theme was Spring Break and it's not exactly hot in Massachusetts in the spring, I stayed away from bathing suit/beach wear and stuck to a very traditional (and really en vogue this spring) Cape Cod casual look.
My first thought was of a pair of Nantucket Red capri pants with a "critter" style embroidery on them.  It was hard to find the right shade of red so I bleach dyed some fabric to get that pinky/berry/more-red-than-salmon color.  And of course if I'm going to choose a critter to embroider then it's going to be a panda, hehe.  I designed a little baby panda profile and hand embroidered them onto the fabric prior to cutting out the pants, using a dark navy and white floss.  The pants themselves were modified from a self drafted pair of pants I made for Bean way back when she was just learning to stand.  I took my pattern (originally used for knit fabric), graded it up, added some ease, made side vents at the ankles, and created a working zipper closure.  I also added functional welt pockets to the back to match the angle of the yoke pieces.
The rest of the outfit fell right in line.  A basic boatneck shirt (I used the bodice I drafted for the shirt in last week's look, changing the neckline and sleeves) made with stripe and lace fabric, was lined with a soft navy ponte de roma fabric to really make the white lace stripes stand out and offer some coverage.  I designed a cropped, fully lined blazer with princess seams on the front and back.  Using more of the navy ponte de roma made it soft and more kid friendly than a traditional woven blazer and functional welt pockets helped to tie the blazer in with the capri pants.  The accessories really pulled the look together:  traditional rope bracelet, headband with a Josephine knot, floral infinity scarf, and boat-shoe Toms.  To see more details of the accessories I made and hear about how RAINY and WINDY the harbor photo shoot was please head over to Call Ajaire.

It's Always Autumn-- A Little Jane
super cute handmade kids clothes inspired by Jane Austen
When I saw the week 2 theme was a look inspired by a favorite (or dream) vacation spot, I immediately thought of the English countryside where many of Jane Austen's novels are set. If I could take a "dream vacation" I'd travel not only to the village where Lizzy Bennet grew up, but also to the time period in which she lived. I decided to make an outfit clearly inspired by Jane Austen's time and place, but translated into a modern, wearable look. So my outfit for week 2 is based on the standard Jane Austen heroine's "uniform": a long, white empire waist gown and a solid colored long sleeve jacket that hits just under the bustline. (Anyone else ever watched those movies and imagined herself in one of those gowns? Click through to my blog to see my look side-by-side with the inspiration photo.) adorable handmade kids clothes from itsalwaysautumn.com
To modernize the look (and because my daughter doesn't have many places to wear a gown), I ditched the dress and made separates instead. I made a comfy raglan sleeve tee with a gathered sheer panel layered over the body of the tee, complete with a gorgeous wide lace trim. The soft overlay gives the shirt a bit of a romantic look, but the trendy color blocked baseball sleeves keep it modern. The tee is paired with slim-fitting cropped jeans that feature plenty of double top stitching along with back pocket detailing. Faux front pockets and a faux fly complete the stylish look while keeping the stretch denim jeans super comfortable for a 3-year-old who changes clothes a million times a day. adorable handmade kids clothes from itsalwaysautumn.com
Finally, I updated the standard "Jane" jacket into a cropped motorcycle inspired jacket with an asymmetrical zipper. I added quilting on the shoulder panels and lower half of the sleeves, elastic across the back hem, and a bright gold separating zipper to give it the "cool" feel of a motorcycle jacket. I sewed it up in a pretty green bottom weight cotton to reflect the green countryside in Britain and lined it in a pink and green plaid for warmth on windy spring days. I like that the romantic inspiration is clear in the finished outfit, but there's also a strong modern feel, especially when the jacket is worn unzipped and there's a peek at the pink t-shirt sleeves. All pieces were self drafted using other clothing as a reference. For more photos and details, remember to visit my blog - thanks!.

Googie Mama--Tale of the Cod
when i first read this week’s challenge my idea was immediate and definite: PARIS. it’s my dream vacation, and one day…one day. but that’s been done, and done well. my next thought: bermuda, where the googiedaddy and i had spent our 15th anniversary last fall. but i think the chances of getting my soon-to-be-12 son in a pair of pink bermuda shorts and knee high socks is < 0, to be honest. so back to the drawing board i went, and it wasn’t too hard to come up with the winner. the place my family has been vacationing at every year since i was 8 and it was just my parents, my brother and i—clear through until now, when it’s parents, brothers, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, grandkids, and sometimes friends or other family.
IMG_6627_1532cape cod outfits
CAPE COD, MASS. it’s practically a second home at this point. and the transient weather—one minute sunny and warm, the next cool ocean breezes making you shiver and reach for a jacket—inspired both looks for my kiddos this week. let’s start with ava.
Untitled-1cape cod outfits
AVA is wearing a very traditional pair of sailor style pants—from the high waist to the wide leg and the shiny buttons in between. they have an invisible side zipper, the top is fully lined, and the lining was hand stitched down for a smooth finish. and they fit PERFECTLY. she has just the right shape to rock these pants. i knew i wanted a simple blouse tucked in to the pants, and this white fabric is sooo cool. it’s alternating stripes of woven fabric and elastic strips. i trimmed out the boat neck with a tiny coral and white trim, and finished the back with a cool turndown and four coordinating coral buttons. it needed a little more, so i drew out an anchor shape with my vanishing fabric pen and randomly filled it in with coral thread using my free motion foot. then i hand stitched the gold chain trim around the anchor. the jacket…ahhh, the jacket. 150% a labor of love. i went for a military styling—the gold button epaulets, the high collar, and the double breast. it can button up for warm or button open for style. to keep it feminine i gathered the neck slightly in back, gave it a high-low hem and finished the inside with a fun fabric and more of the tiny coral trim. i took time making sure the inside of the jacket is just as beautifully finished as the outside, and i am in love with this jacket—in fact, with this whole outfit. and i’d wear it if i could. all the items ava is wearing are self drafted.
Untitled-2cape cod outfits
HARRISON is pulling double duty—he’s my spring break look, and my upcycle look. his pants began life as a pair of men’s 42x32 cords, and they were so beautiful i almost hated tearing them apart. but i did it—recut the legs and waistband, took out the front pockets and reinserted them, along with some cool green and white striped trim on the outside seam. i love the way they turned out—enough little detail to make them mine, but cool enough that he wore them to school. his tshirt came from some raw yardage, a maternity t, and a large men’s t. i pieced them all together to create a baseball sleeve top, then freezer paper stenciled across the front. harrison’s jacket was another labor of love—i used a man’s 2XL rain coat, and XL fleece. i broke the raincoat completely down and recut all new pieces, creating this stylish raincoat with grey and blue trim. i used the zipper to add a little decorative element to the back, and reset the pockets in the front—one on the bottom and one sideways towards the top. then i used the fleece pieces to give it a layered look, but without the bulk. i kept the zipper for closure, and the bottom hem so it can be pulled snug. i also finished the inside of this jacket with trim to cover any raw edges.
for more details, and some shots of my abbott and costello being their usual goofy selves, head over to my blog! thanks!

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  1. I have no idea who to vote for. GREAT week!

  2. Reversible tasteful girls bathing suit!? Fabulous! And I am so in love with tale of the cod! And that Paris coat! Can we vote for all of them ;-)

  3. AH I am finishing a Paris inspired look too =D
    It is so hard to vote for just one look. i kept going up and down, trying to decide... seems like it takes me longer and longer each time to pick one only. Good look everyone!!!

  4. Another parade of fabulous designs ladies! So inspiring!

  5. Oh my goodness, I love them all! I don't know who to vote for. I think everyone should get a pass this week. They all are inspiring and well done.

  6. Oooooohh! This is a hard week, but Petit a Petit stole my heart! LOVE the colors and design and now I need to go to the beach and shop and eat ice cream on my roller skates!

    Maybe afterwards, I'll stop off at England, Paris & Cape Cod. No one REALLY needs a college fund right?

    Great job, ladies!

  7. Really guys, there are things I love about each look and had to put some major thinking into the look I chose to vote for. All of you did great and each seemed to really have your look thought out. <3

  8. nope. can't do it. this is legitimately the first week i've never been able to decide. each one of you captured the essence of your chosen vacation spot so well, i knew where we were going next simply based on the pictures. amazing, amazing looks!

  9. I have to say this is one of my favorite weeks! All of these looks are absolutely amazing!

  10. I absolutely love the Parisian trench coat and the Jane jacket is amazing too.. Well done ladies!!!

  11. Wow. Seriously amazing all of them. Really really hard to vote.

  12. hate to repeat everyone....but wow!!! amazing :)

  13. Okay there is no possible way to choose! These are all incredible! Way to go ladies!

  14. I just close my eyes and click!.lol

  15. I'm a fairly new subscriber of a few weeks, so I don't know how you choose the order of your entries, but I would like to offer a suggestion to consider--to put the entries that are at a statistical disadvantage (as opposed to quality) first, or earlier in the post. I find that the clothes for boys, or the ones for older children, that aren't as frilly and bright, no matter how innovative, difficult, or well-done, get fewer votes, and I think that putting the fancy little girls' clothes first puts the others even lower down in voters' minds. A little even-ing out would be my suggestion! Enjoying them all!

    1. Natalia,
      Thank you for your suggestion...I'm not sure that our readers notice but we actually rotate the contestants place in the posts each week. Who ever was on the bottom one week will be on the top the next week and the top position moves down into the second place position in the post. (And so on and so forth throughout the competition.)

      We feel like that is the only fair way to decide who's looks go where within the post....we would never do it by blog size or gender. Instead we will just continue to rotate the designers locations each week.

      Thank you for your feedback.

  16. I love Googie Mama's but I'm too late to vote. All the pieces look like they fit well and are beautiful wearable designs. I've gotta keep up!


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