Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Time to Vote: The Denim Challenge!

Lily Shine Boutique--Garden Party
Someone pinch me! I can't believe I'm still here!!! What an awesome adventure this is; I am so thankful for the support and love I've received during this competition! Week 3 was surely a challenge because I am just not a big denim kind of girl, so I had to get really creative with getting the most umph in some classic denim. I decided to pizzaz up the skirt with some hand embroidered leaves, stems and curly q's. I wanted the embroidery to be really visible in the photos so I made it bold and exaggerated. My sweet Kenzie loves flowers and loves when I make interactive outfits for her, so I decided to make the flower petals removable and interchangeable. Each flower head is attached onto a button. She can take them off, switch them around and make her dress into a party! I used her favorite colors as the flower petals; you'll see there's lots of pink. It was a bit challenging to take photos this round; most of the pictures show her playing with the flowers! PRP3collage2
I cut strips of denim on the bias and wove them into a curved bodice, lined the bodice and attached straps with lime green rick rack trim (strap inspiration from Rabbit Rabbit Creation's Hummingbird Dress). I wanted the flowers to really stand out, so I made a pettiskirt for her to wear to fancy occasions (you know, like to the playground, ice cream, etc) or be able to wear the dress by itself. I used the waistband sash detail from Ainslee Fox Boutique Pattern's Bow Peep Dress to bring some color and more detail into the dress. And, of course, what would a fun, interactive, party dress be without pockets? I added inseam rose pink pockets for storing treasures, or leaves. Since there are not many non-tropical flower gardens, I decided to make my own ginormous, sparkled denim rose. Kenzie thinks it's the coolest thing ever and now uses it for a pillow! PRP3_collage
  Skip, hop, or jump your way over to my blog to read more about my Garden Party dress and see more photos!

Shaffer Sisters--Darling Denim
 I remember when denim was popular as youth, and let me tell you I was the first to say I hated it! I remember it being so itchy, stiff, and straight-out unconformable. I remember thinking, why would anyone try using denim for more than jeans if it's only just bearable? Looking back I've found pictures with my entire family decked out in blue denim from head to toe with a denim background. In my mind the old denim trends read tacky and my style preference is modern take on classic styles. Needless to say when we received the themes, I knew this challenge would really push me to new limits.
I'm glad that as modern sewists we have the real advantage, that our moms and grandmas didn't have, of softer, more flexible fabric. We basically have any weight, color, or blend it all at our finger tips. Denim that used to be bulky, dark, and stiff now it has transformed to fabric that a young child can appreciate for the style and comfort. I put this advantage to work in creating my look. I considered the recent trends in fashion and tried to anticipate where it could go next. Color blocking, floral, geometry, patchy square denim had all been done. I tried to consider all of these in creating my shift dress. To soften the look and apparently the fabric too, I dyed white denim a baby orchid for this peacoat. My two-year-old is so happy and comfortable in this assemble. She loves the big flowers on the dress and the soft pink denim coat.  For more details on the project and how we modified patterns we used, head on over to our blog.
Modified Patterns Used:
For Dress: E+M Dress Pattern No. 13 with arm hole from MHC Caroline Party Dress

imagine gnats--cut from the same cloth
cut from the same cloth header
never one to pass up the opportunity to learn all there is to know about fabric, I started this week's challenge with a little research about denim. I learned lots of good stuff, but most importantly that denim is woven is a very specific way, with the weft passing under two or more warp threads, which gives the fabric its distinctive diagonal ribbing. the one thing I already knew about denim is that it's rarely used in my household because neither of my girls wear jeans. gasp! in fact, I'm hard pressed to get 6yo Brenna into any pants (leggings are king around here), with one exception: hosh pants! so, the first thing on my list to find was some awesome stretch denim for some kick ass hosh jeggings with some fancy details. I've already hacked the hosh pants pattern in so many ways that I have multiple hosh-based patterns already on hand. I used a very slim version of the pattern and added a seam that runs up the front center of the leg for some visual interest. seaming and top-stitching stretch denim, I'll tell you, is not the easiest thing I've ever done, but I love how it turned out. I also added a waistband pocket for little 6yo treasures. the shirt is self-drafted and made out of grey double cloth cotton. those pleats... I could just stare at them all day. it's fully lined with shot cotton and has a sweet vintage button on the back to match the jacket buttons. speaking of the jacket......... oh, this jacket! collage 5b
from the beginning, I knew that I wanted to make a denim jacket, but that I wanted it to be made in the style of a mod color-blocked swing jacket that you would more traditionally see made with something like wool. I love the idea of making a 'jean jacket' that has a totally different feel. this was definitely a pattern drafting challenge. I started with my meridian jacket pattern but changed the front overlap, added a bit more swing, and split the sleeve pattern pieces into two to add a slightly more structured shoulder than you normally see on a raglan-sleeved garment. after I got the shape how I wanted it, I put together the front and back piece of the jacket into one big pattern piece and split them apart again along the color-blocking lines. so that I could make the body of the coat without side seams, I actually set in the sleeves. the fabric for the jacket is all medium weight denim with a slight stretch. again, the stretch made all of the seam matching and top stitching a challenge, but it all came together and I love the colors together with the pants. the body of the jacket is lined with another double cloth cotton to make it warm and comfy. the vintage buttons on the front of the jacket cover snaps as requested by my model. collage 5
stop by my blog, imagine gnats, to read more about the details of this outfit (and see where "a love like denim" came from). but don't forget to vote!
Spiegelstiksels-- Origami jumpsuit
origami jumpsuit

This denim challenge was the hardest for me so far. The material has a lot of possibilities, but also a lot of limits. I knew soon I wanted to make a jumpsuit in a dotted jeans. But what should it look like and, even more important, how to find a good balance in the design? After a lot of drafting and draping and thinking, I finally found my inspiration: origami. Lately I’ve been watching Shingo Sato’s Youtube Channel, where I came across a technique for an origami pocket I wanted to try in the jumpsuit. I applied it on the back of the pants. To the front I added large slanted pleats in the pants and drafted a large asymmetrical fold over collar. For the back of the bodice I kept it simple and only used two little silvery buttons to close it and left the rest of the back part open. The opening is only slightly curved.

origami jumpsuit

To keep the look balanced, I wanted a simple design for the vest. For the pattern I started with a t-shirt pattern with a raglan sleeve. The front, back and sleeve pieces were widened a little bit to be useful for a woven fabric. The neckline was adapted a little for the knit collar. For this vest I chose a Liberty fabric that matches the indigo of the denim beautifully, and a light grey sweater fabric with a little bit of glitter. I also liked the back side of the sweater fabric and wanted to use this for a detail in the vest. Staying close to the origami theme I drafted and cut a triangle piece from the sleeve and the side of the vest. The vest is made completely reversible. The Liberty and the sweater fabric are used the other way around on the inside. The vest seems a very big hit and has been worn all the time since the photo-shoot. When PR&P is over, I definitely have to make one for the oldest boy as well. And I want it for me too!
origami jumpsuit

I hope you like this look. My daughter surely does! For more pictures and details, head over to the blog.

Related Posts


  1. oh I love that everyone used such fun denim!! so hard to choose!! I'm not going to make the sew a long this week, but I plan to next week! Love this series! Emily@nap-timecreations.com

  2. It's getting harder... how are we supposed to choose?
    You are all fabulous ladies <3
    Irene @ SergerPepper.com

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Well, I happen to think they are all gorgeous!! I did have a favorite but they were ALL lovely and worthy to be on Project Run and Play!!! Good job ladies!

  5. Love the "blocking" for the dress and the adorable orchid pea coat from the Shaffer Sisters. Way to go!!

  6. Can somebody point me to where/how I can vote?

    Probably it is not necessary to comment that you find something unflattering. This is not a classroom where students have enrolled to learn from you and have requested your critiques of their work. This is something fun and challenging. Please consider the feelings of somebody who has worked hard and taken a risk in putting her creativity and photos of her child out there in the world. Slipping thorns in between a few compliments isn't very clever.

    1. You can vote at the end of the photos and before the comments. There is a little voting widget. Just click the dot next to your favorite and click Vote. If you don't see it, it could be your browser. Maybe try another? :)

    2. Yes, I think it's an issue with my browser -- thank you!

  7. Loving all these entries, especially the little princess from Lily Shine Boutique! These kids are so photogenic and the designers are so talented!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.