Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Season 16 Week 2: Sew Your Stash

Now we get a peek into the stashes of our designers!  They've pulled from their store of sewing supplies like a magician pulling a rabbit from a hat.  Prepare to be amazed...

Sew A Straight Line - Bohemian Beach

When I very first was invited to be a part of Project Run and Play, before knowing the themes, I knew immediately I wanted to do two things: make an embroidered top for my daughter using some gorgeous hand carved wood blocks I picked up in Thailand this past winter, and finally use the espadrille kits I have been hanging onto for far too long. When I found out Week 2 would be Sew Your Stash it seemed the perfect time to cross off those two bucket list items. Using the embroidery and espadrilles as my launching point, I quickly came up with a relaxed, bohemian mini collection. Bohemian Beach: cool clothes for a beach-bound summer.

bohemian beach 

Making a bohemian-inspired look for my son was a bit more of a challenge than for my daughter, especially using only materials I had on hand. Thankfully, I had a couple of espadrille kits in my size, and even more thankfully he and I wear the same size. I didn't want to use the pattern that came with the kit for him, I wanted to make something of my own, and try to make them a bit more masculine. I modeled the pattern I came up with from traditional oxford shoes, using scraps of linens I had in my bins. For the lacing, I cannibalized the leather laces off of my own pair of slippers. Desperate times. His shorts I have had in mind for quite a while. I used Ottobre 1/2013 #33 to get the fit and the basic pattern pieces. I drafted an exposed button fly (with cool metal buttons I bought in bulk 6 years ago). There are pin tucks below the hip pockets, giving a better fit and adding some fun detail. I made an exaggerated and asymmetrical back yoke and drafted a welt pocket. The cuffs are folded and bar-tacked in place. They are made out of some super soft green linen I picked up on the same Thailand trip as the wood blocks. Perfect for summer. His top is made mostly of scraps. I wanted a design that would mimic the shape of the embroidery on my daughter's top, and had this X fabric. Starting with a basic tee from Ottobre 1/2013 #35, I let the shapes of the scraps of black and white knits I had in my scrap bins dictate the shapes of the colorblocking I came up with. I think the black triangles are a little reminiscent of a rising and setting sun over the ocean. Or a shark fin. Or just triangles on a shirt. 

seth boho

Her top is completely self drafted. I wanted a loose-fitting, peasant-style top. It has raglan sleeves and a gathered waist to give it shape. The single gauze is leftovers from a maternity skirt I made when I was pregnant with her, so kind of special that way. I went to Thailand this past winter and picked up a few hand carved wooden blocks that had been used in the local textile industry. They are absolutely gorgeous in their detail, and I really wanted to capture that in something special. I first stamped the top with a white paint to follow, then I used embroidery floss and HOURS of time to stitch the designs. The colors of embroidery floss were determined by what I had in my stash. I originally wanted a more rainbow spectrum, but didn't have enough of all of the colors. But I LOVE how it turned out, and am so glad I was limited in my selection to these. Her shorts are based on a RTW pair she had, though in trying to redraft them, I ended up with a much slimmer fit. I love it. So so much. They are a light-weight, distressed denim I have no idea where I got, and have all the traditional jean-detailing: zippered fly, hip pockets, back yoke and pockets. But I changed things up at the waist closure. I had this cute green leather buckle in my notion stash, and it matched my son's shorts too well to not use. I did an off-centred waistband with the buckle as the closure. Finally, her espadrilles are to pattern from the kit, using a scrap I had held onto hoping to use as an accent on a top for me. I think I still have enough left over for that, too. Both pairs of espadrilles were hand sewn with crochet thread, instead of the recommended yarn, because I had crochet thread and didn't have the other. It seems to have worked just fine. And my grandmother's upholstery needles I inherited with all her sewing supplies were perfect for stitching through the soles of the shoes. 

ivy boho 

Two looks perfect for long walks on the beach and running from the waves. More details and beachy pictures of my kids on my blog HERE. They are casual, comfortable, and relaxed, but with unique and thoughtful details that make them special. 

bohemian beach flat

Sew Chibi Designs - Ice Cream & Sundays!

Welcome to Week 2 everyone, I'm super happy to have made it here! I was keen to the idea of the "Sew Your Stash" challenge because it's the perfect excuse for me to use some of my most treasured fabrics!  This week, I wanted to make some really sweet, super playful and girly looks! The fashion I like to make my kiddos is reflective of their bubbly and silly personalities: bright, diverse, and, most importantly, with a sense of humor. There's something about their smiles when they see fashion that they can identify with that is really special to me. Making things that are surprising and zany is what makes sewing fun to me and deeply fulfills my creative side. So for my 4 year old, I wanted to make something that I knew she would love: 🍦Ice Cream🍦! I have been hoarding this chartreuse, fleece-backed neoprene for about two years now because I wanted to use it on something really special!  I paired it up with the pink floral for my 6-year-old because together they make a rainbow color story and we are madly in love with rainbow things in our family! As I was drafting the second outfit, I asked myself, "Where are these girls (in these dresses) going?" Brunch! These two little ladies are getting all dressed up for a Sunday afternoon in downtown Portland, in one of the many hipster neighborhoods, the Hawthorne district, enjoying some eats and stopping at a few shops along the way! So that's why I decided to call this week: Ice Cream and Sundays (pun intended! 😊)

Since my youngest is still so small (to me, anyway), I thought it would be a fun opportunity to make her an ice cream dress! I used the Blake dress with pockets as a base and added a lined "ice cream" overlay in bubblegum pink. For the neckline, I created a casing between the layers with topstitching, opted for stitched eyelet openings over inset ones and inserted an itty bitty green piping into the channels, setting them into the shoulder seams. I made tiny puff "cherries" for the green tie ends because an ice cream is best with cherries on top, right?! As an accessory, I made her a pair of rainbow-pieced and floral scrunchies. Neoprene is such a great fabric for those with curious kids because it doesn't wrinkle and this particular fabric washes really well too! To be honest, she got the dress a little dirty after our outing (but I still needed a few more shots), so when we got home I washed it on a gentle cycle. All of the garden photos in the collage above were actually taken after it was washed! She loved her dress so much that she requested to change out of her pajamas in the middle of the night to change into her ice cream dress and has been living in it ever since!

For my middle girl, I made a crop top set! I didn't have a crop top of this shape in my repertoire so I drafted her blouse from my personal blocks (to her dimensions) in Illustrator. I added darts to the front and back to give the blouse a slightly more fitted shape. The sleeves were slightly eased to maintain crisp lines and also have a little cuff finish. For the bottom, I made a gathered circle skirt with a fitted waistband and invisible zipper closure rather than an elastic casing to maintain the clean lines of the outfit. For a peekaboo surprise, I made the waistband using a quilting technique that I have frequented in the past: improv piecing!  Basically, I take scraps of fabric (the more irregular the better) and match them up with other pieces. Then I sew, using a super short stitch length directly on a paper copy of the pattern piece. The short stitch perforates the paper so it can be carefully torn away from the paper! It's a lot of fun! It gives the waistband a sort of abstract art, belted look. I used the same technique to make a geometric fabric "kitty" necklace with nickel chain and lobster claw clasp closure. She was really excited to have a proper necklace and it was her favorite animal too! To finish her look, I made a hair accessory from my own free pattern and tutorial that I made ages ago but haven't made in a while: a bunny ear headband! It wraps around her head and then the ends have wire in them (I tucked the wire ends and inserted the wire into a channel, then stitched the openings closed to keep them in place). Instead of knotting the ends, all you have to do is just twist a couple of times and that's it!  Stays in place perfectly too! As a last minute garment (not pictured) I made matching green knit biker shorts (using a pattern of my own: the Natsu shorties) so my little girl could spin and prance and play to her hearts' content while still maintaining her modesty. I took a secret video of our walk back with her skipping and twirling and having fun in her outfit that you can check out on my blog, Sew Chibi Designs (along with the full story and more pictures!) It was such a fun and whimsical week for sewing! I hope you like my Ice Cream and Sundays Collection as much as we do here!

Mabey She Made It - Country Chic 

When perusing my stash I decided to finally use a trio of Joel Dewberry voiles that I got a few years ago and have been waiting for just the right project. These beautiful prints are variations of one of my favorite color combinations—aqua and orange—and I knew I wanted to create something light, summery, and sophisticated for two of my girls. After looking around for lots of inspiration I got really excited to do a look centered around asymmetrical button plackets and breezy peasant tops. It’s perfectly chic with the relaxed feel of the country and I couldn’t love any more how the paradox plays out.


The teal linen was screaming to become a jumper, so I started piecing together a bodice where the front panel is cut with the skirt, the button placket is on the left, and a third panel on the right balances things out. I love how the skirt sides are gathered and come to a square while the center is flat and sleek. It gives the skirt just enough volume without being too cutesy or detracting from the bodice. In the back, I wanted there to be a smooth curve around the shoulder blades but to be taller in the center. Kind of like refined overalls, which pair perfectly with a subtly-printed peasant shirt I drafted using a tutorial on Indietutes.


My second look includes a flounced peasant shirt and straight-legged culottes with an offset button placket to tie in with the jumper but have its own look. I started with the Number 9 trousers from Shwin Designs in a lightweight stretch denim I had on hand (from when I decided I was going to make all my girls’ school clothes and then promptly realized that wasn’t going to happen since we were moving.)  I also split the front leg pieces to add a front seam, eliminated the front faux fly, and added a button placket to the left front leg. In adding the waistband, I attached it so it’s aligned with the button placket for fully functioning opening in front even though the elastic-backed waist makes it so this wasn’t necessary.  I love all the details on this outfit including the brass buttons, welt and slash pockets lined with a third voile print, and front leg seams.  Head over to Mabey She Made It to see even more details, the story behind the buttons, and the rest of the photos from our shoot.

It's Liesel - Roses are Red

DSC_8943-title copy 

 This theme was a fun one for me! I have a stash. Hahaha. Plenty of woven, and plenty of knit. I wanted to use woven for sure, since I don't grab it as often when I'm sewing, but thought it would be fun to use some knit too. Most of my woven stash has been given to me, from friends, and friends of friends. Often quilters, or other women who sewed in the past, but are not sewing anymore, so I haven't chosen a lot of what I own. There is still a lot of beautiful fabric that has come to me in this way, but this floral piece is one I picked up at my local shop a while ago. The eyelet was a hand me down, and I used a white flat sheet for the bodice lining. The red knit lace was something I bought a year or two ago, with specific plans for a specific daughter, but hadn't gotten around to it yet.

  Week 2 collage 2.2 

 The floral dress was imagined after I decided I wanted to use my whole 2 yard cut. And my daughter loves maxi dresses. I used the bodice from the Quinn pattern from Made for Mermaids, altering the back to be quite a bit lower, re-drawing the sides of the front bodice, and creating the front tie piece since that style is so trendy right now! I wanted to make a V shape in the back with the straps, since I knew I would be incorporating that same element in the other dress too. I cut extra long ties, and strung them through a small buttonhole I made in the center back to tie in a bow, creating the V. To make the skirt, I cut the remainder of the length of my fabric in half, so I could get as deep of a hem as possible, and gathered the whole width of the fabric. I love deep hems for their function, and appearance, and full skirts :) It's topped off with a simple bow from Maggie Rocket's sock bow pattern, made from the same eyelet as the bodice.

  Week2 collage 1 

 This red knit dress was created from the Uptown Downtown dress pattern from Sew Straight Patterns. It is lined with red double brushed poly I also had in my stash, and sewn completely on the sewing machine, because I don't own any red serger thread! I had to figure out the best construction for the enclosed lace V shaped panel I added in the back, and I am so happy with the results! Everything was muslined this round so I could make sure it would work before I cut into my stash. I couldn't go replace my fabric for this challenge if it didn't work! The lining seams are all hidden, except for the armscye. I have never made a flower crown, but in the spirit of using things we already own, my girls and I created this head piece out of my wedding bouquet. Please read the post on my blog for more details and all the photos from our fun summer evening photoshoot!


Candice Ayala - The 90s Refashioned

DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

It's Week #2 Season 16 for Project Run and Play and I'm so excited to share with you this week's look. I know I sometimes interpret things very literally, but everything about this week's blurb made me see “UPCYCLE UPCYCLE UPCYCLE” flashing in red lights! lol. Being "conscious of my surroundings and ecosystem both in nature and stash" made me think of the fact that by upcycling I'm making a conscious effort to reduce my carbon footprint. And the "cloth from the past" definitely made me think of vintage garments I've acquired sitting in my ever growing stash meant for upcycling. Or it could just be because I'm on an Upcycling kick at the moment, it's all I can see…lol. So needless to say, this project is also an upcycle. (Seriously, I feel like I just can't help myself lol)

DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

So now we have a garment from the 90's refashioned into something simple and trendy!

DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

Okay, now let me walk you though my process: Picking something from my stash to use wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, once I decided to use some key words from the blurb, I decided on a dress I found at Goodwill a year ago. I remember thinking just how gorgeous the border print was, and picked it up even if I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it then. Keywords from the blurb: Ecosystem - pick something thats bio degradable; It’s a soft cotton rayon so its biodegradable - check! Nature - pick something that depicts nature; It has a beautiful floral border print that depicts nature - check! Cloth from the Past - pick something that has a style from a different fashion era; its a dress style from the 90’s so cloth from the past - check!

DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

I wanted to make something appropriate for the weather for our trip home to Belize (we are probably still in the air as you are reading this) and because I did the most on my first project, I wanted to keep this one simple and sweet. Abigail was wearing this knit dress from Target while I was explaining to her the fabric choice and my ideas and half way through my brainstorming she interrupted me and said, “just make it like this one mom, its really soft and comfy”. I was about to explain to her that the fabrics are two totally different kinds, but then I realized THERE LIES MY CHALLENGE! And so I went with it! You can visit my blog HERE to see the original dress inspiration, more on how I modified the dress to be lined and to include an invisible zipper, plus more action shots. Visit my blog post for more info HERE.

Voting ends 8pm EST on Thursday. This week's guest judge is Kelly of True Bias.

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  1. Wow! I really can't even choose this week! Amazing job, ladies!

  2. All so cute! Great job designers!

  3. Well done, ladies! So hard to choose!

  4. I don't envy the guest judge Kelly's job this week. These are all amazing, well thought out and created designs...

  5. I have SO enjoyed this. All of you are so talented and I love your designs. So glad this was brought to my attention!

  6. Wow! The talent on this page is nothing short of incredible! It's So exciting to see everyone's finished product. I especially Love the way that Candice Ayala shows the item in it's original state, and then you see it when it's all finished & it's so different, and amazing!

  7. Candice Ayala's interpretation of the challenge was awesome, I love how she explained it. The dress is beautiful and it's amazing how such a frumpy dress can become so cute amd playful.

  8. I love the bright colors from Sew Chibi and my own daughter would love the ice cream dress!


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