Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Season 17 Week 4 Signature Style

This is the week you've been waiting for!  This week the 3 remaining designers show us what makes their designs unique.  Prepare to be inspired.  Please be sure to scroll through all 3 Signature Style creations and support these talented ladies with your vote at the end.

Lil Luxe Collection - Urban Princess in Nostalgic Luxe

We made it to week four and I couldn't be happier!!   I think I've kept true to my style throughout the entire competition with the themes in mind so I thought...ha...Signature Style will be easy.  But no, just no.  I got to week 4 and got creators block.  I kept thinking, "How am I going to interpret my style with something new that I haven't already done in the competition?"  I felt like I'd created so much that I had been wanting to do and finally had the chance and occasion to do that I was out of ideas.  Truth be told, it was easier having a theme to go with than coming up with just anything.  So, I gave myself a theme.  I thought about who makes me who I am today...what inspires me...what events stick out to me in my life that have shaped who I am and given me in a sense "my own signature style."   I've titled this weeks theme Urban Princess in Nostalgic Luxe because in general I would describe Lil Luxe Collection as everyday street wear for the today's girly girl.  Both me and my girls love to get dolled up fancy but comfortable enough that if we spot a park, we're ready to play!  As for Nostalgia, each of the three outfits I created this week remind me of all the strong women in my family who have raised me to be who I am and have a certain meaning behind their look which I'll explain.

With my background in Architecture and Interior Design, I think I naturally gravitate toward angles and lines.  All of this weeks garments are very linear in either shape or fabric choice.   I'll start with the colorful triangular print my oldest daughter, AKA "mini me," is wearing.  This outfit probably best exemplifies my signature style...Classic front with a surprise back.  The top is light weight scuba knit fabric with colorful blocks of triangles, a minimalistic puff sleeve cap and an inverted box pleat peplum skirt.  I hate sewing rows of gathering stitches...I would rather do the math to figure out the distance of pleats and how much fabric I'll need any day.  Yes, I'm a total nerd and created an excel formula ready to pump out a number for me, LOL.  The pants are a stretch woven, and fitted, slim style with a double pocket detail on the back.  The welt pocket is sewn onto the back pocket, then I topstitched the back pocket onto the pants leaving the top open for her hands.   This outfit is reminiscent of my days in the city when I was going to college.  We had to be ready to be on site in someone's office giving a presentation or building models in class.  Being dressed for anything was an understatement but I loved it.  The second outfit she wears is a bit of a throwback to one of the first patterns I ever created, the Haute skort.  Lil Luxe fans will be happy to know that this pattern will be back in the pattern shop now that I have graded it into our standard size chart with extended sizes.   It's made with a lightweight velvet corduroy, complete with pockets and shorts underneath for running around freely without fear of exposing any panties ;)  The top is where the nostalgia really starts to get personal.  We were raised by our great, great aunt who was like a second mother to us.   We did everything together and she really impacted my life.  She was a pretty trendy aunt for an older lady...always getting her perms and wearing pretty barrettes in her hair and she always wore an apron.   The beige top is reminiscent of an apron that she had.  To give it some modern luxe, I added three pleats onto the front, covering the seam allowance with gold piping and three gold buttons along the top of the back.  On a hot summer day, I'm sure this style might be ok alone but for this occasion I paired it with a long sleeve tee in french terry.

Now for the outfit my little one is wearing...enter mom.  I used a striped ponte from CaliFabrics in a classic beige and black in memory of the suits my mom would wear.  She's a fierce career woman that I have always admired.  The dress is a classic slim fit style on top with a play on pocket placement/direction on the skirt.   I made matching shorties for her to wear underneath which will also go great with her leotards for dance class...Bonus!  Although I love this dress alone, I had to add a little somethin' somethin'.  The baby doll top is micro net tulle with velvety texture spots that I just love.  I added some colorful floral beads on the neckline to tie in the colors of my other daughters outfit.  The skirt of this top is also pleated.  This top is reminiscent of the top Alicia Silverstone wore in one of her outfits in Clueless....a movie my sister and I would watch over and over again when we were kids.  This outfit is wrapped up in a sherpa jacket with a metallic front. I just love this fabric and had been dying to make it into something.   I hadn't done a garment with zippers this season so this white separating zipper was a must on this crossover with cowl neckline when closed, drape front jacket when open.  I embellished the cuff, which is another signature Lil Luxe detail, in leather and denim studded trim.  The material of this jacket really spoke me and the women in my family...hard exterior, super softy and emotional on the inside, LOL.  Once you get past the zipped up layers, you really see who we are :)

I've made an accessory for each week so I couldn't go without making one for the final challenge.  The bag my daughter had with her LOL dolls is a pattern I created when I was in 6th grade.  My siblings and I were always the house on the block where everyone would gather.  We were always out on the curb playing with our dolls or collectibles cards/toys, etc.  One day we decided to put together a carnival for the smaller neighborhood kids and our parents so I hand sewed a bunch of scrunchies and bags in all kinds of fabrics for prizes at the game stations.  I guess you can say this is when my sewing career got started!   Thank you to everyone who has read, supported, voted and has been with me on this journey.  I love my family and especially the women in my family who have made me strong, creative and courageous.  I know my daughters will follow lead and I can't wait to see what the future holds for them.  They remind me so much of me and my sister...so every time I worry about them like any mother would...I know that like me and my sister, they will be ok.  Thanks again! This experience on Project Run & Play has been amazing!!

Handmade Boy - Thomas's Closet

Holy smokes, we did it!! Here we are for finals week and I could NOT be more honored to be a part of this! When I was asked to be a part of this adventure, the thought of designing a signature look was intimidating. At the time, I didn't know if I even HAD a signature style. But, over these last few weeks, I've learned that I most certainly do. My use of classic lines, solid colors, clean finishes, and small details came though each week. I can see that I definitely design with Thomas's feelings in mind. I use colors he likes, finishes he likes and even the style he likes. So, it was only fitting to title my signature style "Thomas's Closet". 

For my signature style, I went with a look that screams Thomas, athletic wear.  And, being unable to commit to a single look, I designed a complete mix and match collection composed of a retro ringer tee, a long sleeve hooded tee, half zipper hoodie, training tights, basketball shorts and capri length joggers.  The shirts can be layered or worn alone and both work great with the pull over.  The shorts work on their own, or with the training tights and the capris offer a fun modern piece, perfect for the kid who is constantly hot.  Now, the pieces may look simple, but the details are where we get creative with designing for boys!  Detail elements are very limited with boys.  Girls have ruffles and bows, beading, cutouts, lace and jewels.  Detail elements for boys involves a bit of creativity.  I love using bits of my main fabric to create those detail elements.  It takes a lot of time, but it's so rewarding!  The basketball shorts look like they would be a quick make, but man are they deceiving!  They took so much time!  Sewn from athletic and compression fabrics and using my Kayak Boardshorts as the base, keeping the lines of the stripes straight was the first challenge.  Each stripe was created by pressing the raw edge under, so everything would have a clean look.  Some stretch hem tape kept the stripes in place while I sewed them down (after much fighting with the iron, a pressing cloth and my fabrics to get the glue hot enough to melt, but not so hot my athletic fabric melted!)  Then, came the topstitching.  After countless skipped stitches and ripped out stitching, I reached for my clear thread and that was the trick for the polished look I was after!  The band at the bottom encases the seam allowance continuing the polished finish.  The simplicity of the training tights makes up for the shorts!  Using Love Notions Leggin's as the base, I went up one size, scooped out the crotch curve a bit more and added some length to the rise.  Sewn from the same compression fabric as the shorts, Thomas is in love and they look great layered under his basketball shorts.  The capri joggers were a fun sew!  Starting with Love Notions Moto Max, I sized up a size to create some bagginess and created a capri length cut and added a cuff.  I redesigned the shape of the front pocket and added binding for some contrast.  Topstitching the pocket in place with a contrasting thread carries the teal into this piece.  Adding a zipper welt pocket on one leg gives my little athlete a safe place to store the quarter he found during our photoshoot.  The pocket is constructed into the inseam and side seam of the leg, so it doesn't sag even with an ipod in there. 

Comfort is key for Thomas.  He is very tactile and struggles with being comfortable in store bought clothing.  Because of that, construction is a huge part of my design process.  And, I use that to my advantage.  Let's start with the white long sleeve tee.  I took a classic hooded tee and added some fun elements to it.  I knew the light drapey knit would be pulled down with a lining in the hood.  So, I took advantage of the seam in the hood and a cool contrasting strip.  Creating bias tape with the scrap from the ringer tee, I covered the seam allowance and topstitched the binding in place.  I love how this little element pulls the teal into the shirt and keeps Thomas comfortable.  Using scraps from the joggers, I created more binding to encase the hem of the bottom of the shirt and the front edge of the hood.  Creating bias tape from athletic fabric can be tricky, but it's well worth the work for the detail it adds!  I love how it shows off the curve of the hem at the side seam!  I used my Driftwood Tee and color blocked the front.  Contrast stitching along the seam keeps the seam from irritating Thomas and adds another element of interest.  I used the same technique on the shoulder seams.  You can see better pictures of these on my blog.  The half zip hoodie may just be my favorite piece from this collection!  Self drafted and made from ponte, it's warm without the bulk.  The lined hood is finished fun pop of neon yellow fold over elastic.  To get a clean finish on the neckline, I sewed the FOE to the hood lining before attaching the lining to the hood.  Then, I hand stitched the lining to the body of the sweatshirt making sure to only catch the seam allowance of the neckline so no stitching shows on the hoodie.  The pockets are trimmed with the fabric from the ringer tee, to continue with our color pallet.  The three piece hood also features contrasting topstitching along the center panel to continue with that pop of teal.  The ringer tee is also made from my Driftwood pattern.  The neckline has been changed to a binding finish, instead of a neckband for a clean modern look.  A single stripe of our gray athletic fabric on the sleeve adds a touch of retro feel that I love to mix in with our looks.  I love the challenge of creating clothes for an older boy.  It's so rewarding to take a stack of simple solid fabrics and turn it into something more than a basic tee and shorts!  And it's cool!!  He WANTS to wear these clothes.  Too see more of how these pieces all mix and match together, visit us on Handmade Boy!

Thank you so much for allowing us to share our look.  Please join us at Handmade Boy for more details and photos.

CKC Patterns - Bohemian Rhapsody

I can't believe I made it to the final week of Project Run and Play!  I have had so much fun during this competition and have made so many things I never knew I could make!  I was a little nervous when I found out this week is Signature Style because I feel like I don't actually have a "signature style".  I tend to make simple, everyday, knit pieces--like t-shirts and leggings--with my "free time".  As a business owner and a mom, my daily life doesn't involve much sewing, unfortunately its mostly computer work.  When I do get a chance to sew I usually make something practical that my kids can wear to school or I can wear while out running errands like grocery shopping, and it HAS to be a fast sew because I don't have much time to spare.  This doesn't leave much in the way of creativity and this competition is ALL about creativity.  I felt like I was in a conundrum.  One of my favorite styles to look at and be inspired by is bohemian, aka boho.  Boho style is so carefree with gorgeous fabrics that have movement and color, not to mention the gorgeous trims with lace and fringe....its dreamy!  I decided to lean this way with my "Signature Style" but to focus on translating these carefree styles to more age-appropriate styles that can be worn everyday.

The first thing I did was to go through my fabrics and see what I had to choose from.  I'm pretty broke from this competition at this point; I've over-extended my monthly fabric budget tenfold! lol. Thankfully as I went through my stash I had enough fabrics to achieve the look I was going for and a good mix of textures to keep it interesting!  In fact, every single fabric and trim came directly from my stash so I didn't have to spend a penny this week...thank goodness because I didn't have any money left to spend. 

As of Friday mornings results, I only had two pieces completed: my daughter's outfit in the teal high-low dress and kimono with a potential photoshoot (if I made the final week) planned for Saturday.  Luckily, I do okay sewing under pressure because the pressure was definitely on for this week!  My daughter's outfit is a self-drafted high low with a fun, open back.  I put on some inspirational words using my silhouette cameo and heat transfer vinyl because boho is also about being comfortable in your own skin and loving yourself!  I paired it with a self-drafted high-low kimono and added a fringe trim for interest and texture.  I topped the look off with a handmade braided suede choker. 
Despite being everyday wear, I wanted to add a little fancier piece to the collection, because most runway collections have a fancy piece at the end!  I settled on a gorgeous lace maxi.  The dress is lined with knit navy fabric that is knee length which helps make the dress a little more casual.  Unfortunately the little boho belt I made was lost in the shuffle and got left at home for the photoshoot, but you can see it in the flat lay and it helped make the dress a little more casual as well. 

You cannot have a boho collection without bell bottoms.  I made this pair out of double brushed poly and added a yoga waistband.  For the shirt, I used a ruffled off the shoulder top that is tied at the waist.  I also made a cute little turban headband to add that final touch!
Next I made a self-drafted maxi romper!  These seemed to be super popular this summer and I never got the chance to make one so I jumped at the chance to include one in this collection.  I couldn't be happier with the way this one turned out and most importantly, the little model LOVED it.  When she went to get dressed for the photoshoot, the shorts were sewn on sideways!  lol.  I had to chop them off and quickly resew them back on before we could leave for the photoshoot.  That was super stressful!  The romper is made with double brushed poly and crepe woven fabric for the skirt.  I love the added touch of peekaboo lace on the sleeves and the handmade choker to go with it. 
The final look I made with the self-drafted, tiered cold shoulder peasant dress.  When the model tried it on it was kind of plain when compared to everyone else's outfit and a tad short so I whipped up that on-the-spot made up skirt extender in about 7 mins so we could rush off to the photoshoot! 

This whole collection and photoshoot was insane and seemed like a comedy of errors at times.  My friends and I lugged this wicker couch--that I bought for $10 a year ago on a family vacation despite my husbands objections....and its been sitting in the garage since we brought it home--all over this wooded area to try and get amazing pictures.  All the girls were completely crazy--despite what these pictures show--and these were literally the ONLY photos from 400 photos that turned out halfway decent.  Despite all of the complications, I love how the collection turned out and most importantly the girls loved them and were SO comfortable in them.  You can read more about this week's creations on my blog here

Now it's your turn to vote!  Your vote is very important because it's 1/3 of the designers' final score.
1/3 of the vote is determined by the panel of judges
1/3 of the vote is determined by this week's celebrity judge

Marcie of OonaBalloona, our celebrity guest judge, really has her work cut out for her this week!

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