Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Season 16 Week 4 - Signature Style

Can you believe the final week is here?  This has been an AMAZING Season, and each of these ladies have put forth fantastic effort.  They each deserve a medal, and thankfully, our fabulous sponsors are going to be rewarding them with dream prize packages.  Our guest judge for this week, Megan Nielsen has a very tough job in front of her!  And your vote counts too, so please be sure to support these fabulous designers by voting at the end of this post.  

Sew Chibi Designs - Our Kawaii Life!

Six years ago, if you told me I'd be one of the final 3 designers on Project Run & Play, I'm not sure I would have believed you! This is totally one of those "pinch me, this can't be real" moments! I'm forever grateful to everyone who has supported and cheered me on! It's been a staggeringly talented season and each designer really gave it their all! I've been hoping to make it to this week because I really wanted to let loose! In the words of last season's winner, Pearberry Lane: this is us! We're silly, expressive, purposefully mismatched, happy, and a little weird! We're constantly evolving and learning new cultures and trying new ideas out and so I wanted to create a collection that reflects just that! I call this summery collection Our Kawaii Life!

It was a goal of mine to start with all three of my girls and finish with all three as well! As soon as I was asked to be on this season, I decided to design a custom print using the "level of pattern difficulty" graphics I created for the Umaru pattern collection I just released: milk kitties! My philosophy is "well, why not?!" and so I say, why not make an adorable milk kitties fabric?! Here in Portland, there's a city motto of "Keep Portland Weird" and we wholeheartedly embrace it! I wanted to make something twirly for my eldest because, even though she prides herself on not being a girly girl, she adores twirly things. Using the Simple Life Pattern Co.'s Adelyn's Scoop Top Pattern (who so graciously sponsored us!), I made a circle skirt top, accenting all of the colors of the fabric through different elements of the pattern. I drafted a special version of the Tomoka collar (from the Tinny Dress pattern) to fit the neckline of the Adelyn. For her bottoms, I made stretch denim capri pants using my Pudding Pants pattern with diagonal seaming and inset pockets but altered them so that they were fitted. They also have cuffs by the knees and faux leggings bottoms which I sewed to look like stripes, using brushed poly knit (sponsored by Cali Fabrics). For her accessories, I made little bow scrunchies (actually, I made bow scrunchies for all three girls) and a blue choker necklace with hook and eye closure for her. For my middle girl, I made a super fancy t-shirt using this gorgeous baby pink sequin fabric (also from Cali Fabrics) which has a fair amount of stretch in it and my own Umaru shirt pattern. To make it comfy, I lined it in hot pink striped jersey and used a deep hem so it falls nicely by her hips. Her bottoms (as well as my youngest's) are my own Natsu shorties, which are knee length and have a relaxed fit, made in a stretch denim as well. For my youngest, I drafted a cap sleeve version of the Seraphic Raglan in which the sleeves are folded back towards the neckline so there isn't an apparent hem on that metallic knit fabric. The print she is wearing is a stretch minky that I ordered from Spoonflower that's a little creepy and really cute (I couldn't resist!). All of the girls have patches on their shorts! I'd say about 95% of those patches I designed myself (there's about 100 of them total!), using mostly my own graphics. I made those patches by using (light) iron-on transfer paper applied to white canvas and then I satin-stitched them on!

My two older girls are really into Emojis these days so I also wanted to make Emoji swimsuits for them! The silver, happy face one-piece swimsuit is based on the Lorelei Swimsuit (also sponsored by Simple Life Pattern CO.!), omitting the flutter insert to give a color-blocked feel! That silver metallic fabric is a dreamy holographic triangle print from Cali Fabrics that makes rainbows when the light hits it! The lightning blot two-piece suit is a mash-up of the Abby Rashguard and briefs-style bottoms I drafted by hacking the Azur swimsuit into bikini bottoms! Be sure to stop by my blog to learn more about Our Kawaii Life!  Thank you so very much to Audrey, to the judges and guest judges and to everyone who supported me throughout this unforgettable journey! It's truly been a dream come true! ❤ 

Mabey She Made It - Black, White, and Teal All Over


 I can’t believe I’m here in the final! If I were to describe my signature style, I'd say it was clean classic pieces with unforgettable details. This challenge was been incredible for making me think about my style and really distilling it into a cohesive look that "fits" each of my girls’ personalities. I started with a Victorian-inspired bustle dress and jacket since my oldest and I have a common love for the elegance of the Victorian era. I wanted a classic flat front and a bustled back for the skirt and a close-fitting bodice with sweet girly details like a Peter Pan collar, pintucks, and pearl buttons. But the back is where my heart is. With a combination of regular and French tucks, it’s a beautiful cascade of bustled fabric. I created a black and white pinstripe jacket to go with it and used pleated trim to accent all the edges, including the sleeve cuffs, and added trim in the back. The brass buttons pop off the black, and bring it to life. It’s so elegant, and she LOVES it.


My middle girly is a bit more rough and tumble so she got an easy-to-wear stamped denim (the pinstripe twill, denim, and teal ponte all came from CaliFabrics who sponsor PR&P), ruffled t-shirt, and classic cardigan. The details in her outfit include front welt pockets and the center front button placket and brass buttons that echo sister’s jacket in the skirt, a ruffle inserted into the sleeve, front, and hem of the tee, and wide cuffs and nine small brass buttons for lots of flair. The outfit fits her personality perfectly.


My youngest girl got an incredibly beautiful wrap dress with herringbone detail on one front panel and bugle bead trim outlining that stair step neckline. The lined bodice alone is 36 pieces, but it’s stunning and the detail was worth every bit of effort. I love how the stair steps meet at the top creating a square neckline and how the white front panel makes the herringbone detail pop. The simple skirt uses a horizontal orientation with a vertical band across the bottom. It’s deceptively simple but beautifully complex—just like her. And that’s it! Please head over to Mabey She Made It for all the photos, details, and several process and behind-the-scenes photos you for sure don’t want to miss.


Sew A Straight Line - Runway Ready

Final week. Signature Style. Two things you need to know: 1) I have always been drawn to military uniform styling, and 2) I have always wanted to do a big collection like they do for the finals of Project Runway. I made an eight-piece collection for my Signature Style, pushing myself in techniques and design. And I based the whole look around memories of my dad in his helicopter flight suit. An aviation collection for the catwalk, I give you Runway Ready.

 sew a straight line runway ready title 

I started my look with Ivy's jumpsuit, directly inspired by an Army flight suit, specifically my father's. He's a retired Army helicopter pilot, and his flight suit, from the smell to the texture are ingrained in my childhood memories of him. I started off with Ottobre 3/2016 #26 for the jumpsuit itself.  I changed the waist to be flat in front, and gathered from about the hipbones and around, like my dad's uniform. I dropped the buttoned-half placket and instead drafted a full exposed zip, again like the flight suit. I drafted faux flap pockets at the chest, epilates to gather the sleeves at the shoulders, and a collar stand for my traditional collar. Star resin snaps accent everything. The jumpsuit is in a lovely textured lawn from CaliFabrics. Her bomber jacket is a mash-up of The Study Hall Jacket by Go To Patterns and Ottobre 3/2016 #17 and my own ideas. I love the zippered welt pocket on the sleeve and the contrasting stitching I did throughout. I encased the zippers at the ends, to add some professional finishes. I did that on all my jackets this season. And because I loved how the tie dye for what was to be the lining turned out so much, I wanted to show it off more. Instead of a lining, I made it fully reversible with pockets on either side. The one side is a star chambray (also a CaliFabrics score) and the reverse is a cotton print I tie dyed. 

sew a straight line runway ready 4 

The reverse tie dyed of the bomber uses the same fabric as the uniform shirt for my older son. I started with Ottobre 3/2016 #24 then added all the uniform details I love so much. I made epilates at the shoulders, cargo-style flap chest pockets and a yoke cut on the bias that you can't really see. After sewing, I tie dyed the finished shirt in blues to bring in some color. His pants are almost entirely self-drafted. I used Ottobre 1/2016 #36, the same pattern as his jeans from Week 1, to get the basic pants fit and shape. I pleated the knees for movement, gathered the cuffs in ribbing for a hip, skinny leg fit, the back pockets are cut in an upside down T shape and go across the center back. There is a hidden pocket at the one outer side seam, with an invisible zipper closure. For the waistband, I wanted to incorporate a technique I made up for when my boys were small and belts were a hastle. It's a built-in belt, of sorts, with twill tape fed through the waistband and emerging from either side of the waist opening. It closes with a plastic snap buckle closure, and is great for skinny kids that don't like the buttons of adjustable elastic cutting into their waists and hip bones. The jacket I made for this outfit is one of my most intense designs and sews yet. I launched things off with Ottobre 1/2013 #39, the same jacket pattern from Week 3. But the only thing I kept the same were the under collar, cuffs, and the back. Welt hip pockets, a cargo flap sleeve pocket.  Cargo flap pocket at one chest side, zippered pocket with flap accent at other side. A front yoke. Epilates. Zipper fly with snaps. Outer collar with snap closure. Fully lined. Inside media pocket. I wanted all the utilitarian styling and design of a military jacket. It's sewn with a warm, soft fleece lining, and the outer is a waterproof nylon ripstop from CaliFabrics in traditional camo print. 

sew a straight line runway ready 5 

My middle son's look starts off with a simple self-drafted tank in a star-print knit from CaliFabrics. I tie dyed it in blue and fuchsia after sewing and I love how the colors pop on the stars. His pants started as Ottobre 3/2016 #38. But I changed things up again. I did the same front closure as on my older son's pants. I cropped the legs to make a more hip, modern style with ribbed cuffs. And my favorite changes are the pockets. The pattern already had a cool split-pocket thing going on in the back. I added a button closure to one back pocket and a zipper to the other. And then I did the same inseam pocket on one leg as his brother's pants, only this time with an exposed zipper. His sweatshirt might be my favorite piece in the collection. I wanted a modern, kid-friendly take on a traditional aviator sweater. Using French terry, I quilted pattern pieces I drafted. I used contrasting thread, so that the quilting really pops out. Then I added leather patches at the shoulder to really bring that aviator sweater feel into things. You can see all the nitty gritty details of the collection, and some photo shoot outtakes on my blog HERE 

flat lay sew a straight line f 

Thoughtful details, functional styles, muted colors mixed with bold accents. Form and function. My signature style.

Voting ends Thursday at 8pm EST

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  1. Oh my goodness! The quantity of sewing for this round is staggering!!! Great job, ladies!

  2. Holy cow, I'm not sure I can choose. Simply amazing work, ladies!

  3. Bravo, ladies! Amazing work!

  4. my phone is so horrible and has made posting comments here a nightmare HOWEVER i am so late in saying this but i think everyone should be so proud of themselves. i just feel like this season has been the first season i've been fully watching with excitement again, just like the "old days" and having so many different seamists with different styles has been amazing. this final week has just like, i don't know, it's a huge standard they've set and i think they've all done really well!!!

    congratulations clever mamas!!


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