Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Season 19 Week 4 - Signature Style

Can you believe it's already Week 4?  Of Season 19??  It's time for the designers to show us their Signature Style.

Ellie's Handmade - Sweet Blooms

Wow, can you believe its the final week already?  Project Run and Play has been an extremely fun challenge, pushing all of the entrants to be creative, and sew outside of our ''normal'' styles.  One of the things I have loved most about taking part in this season, is getting to know the other girls, supporting one another and seeing our Australian talent shine!  This weeks theme is ''Signature Style'' - what a hard thing to decide on, I wondered how on earth I could possibly even know what mine is.  So I set to work on this grand tulle dress, it took me quite a long time to do, I hand gathered around 80m of tulle into a layered tulle skirt, took one look at it finished and thought, well, this is not my signature style. (cue tears here)  A good friend confirmed that it definitely wasn't my signature style, thanks girl, and reminded me to go back to what I truly loved about sewing and why.  Then it was clear.  I loved sweet, pretty, feminine dresses, that little girls would love to wear.  Styles that could be worn at home, out and about, or to a party, and my signature style has always been beautiful florals and pretty fabrics.

For Ellie, I drafted a classic styled bodice, with a slightly wider front neckline, and v shaped back with a 2 button closure.  I wanted to create a really pretty umbrella style sleeve, and set to work on drafting the sleeve so that when sitting over the shoulder, it would fall in that gorgeous shape. Embroidered fabrics have always been my absolute weakness, I go slightly crazy when I come across them, especially if they have amazing scalloped borders or cut out features.  The blue broderie I had in my stash was just perfect for this dress, it was lightweight enough that the sleeves sat beautifully and the hem was the perfect feature - when The Styled Magnolia released this fabric range, I might of bought it in every single colour - whoops!  I lined the sleeves so that from every there was no seams or hems visible.  I understitched the neckline and encased the bodice seam.

For Ellie's friend, Ariana, who is slightly younger than her, I drafted a pinafore style dress with a rounded neck and shallow scooped back, with a little twist.  I love pinafores, but always feel conscious that the sides are open, so I worked in a little piece that connects the front to the back of the bodice, with an elastic casing that keeps the bodice sitting gently on the body.  Of course this style needed some ruffles, which were lined in a co-ordinating light pink so that if you looked from the side you would catch it.  I used a gorgeous floral print that I had been saving for just the right dress!  I am so grateful to have been included in this round of Project Run and Play and wish everyone the best in this round!  I can't wait to see the sew along entries too!  If you would like to see more pics head over to my blog HERE.

Idle Sunshine - One of A Kind


Wow! It's week 4 of Project Run & Play - The Aussie Edition.  I'm so incredibly proud of the 4 competition entries I've created over the month, and very excited to be in the Grand Final with such talented designers.  This weeks theme is 'Signature Style' and I knew from the beginning this would be the hardest theme yet.  This is so hard for me to pin down and put in a bottle - I am such a style chameleon!  I call myself a style 'appreciator'.  If I like it, I like it, but don't ask me to explain what my style is.  Every item I make is really One of a Kind... Let's talk about the things I can list about my style!  I like clean lines, colour and contrast, angles and stripes, fancy backs, easy to wear modern, yet timeless style & I LOVE upcycling.  I don't really like ruffles, characters, pink or anything really girly.  Is it any wonder my girls are the same!  Their tastes and style really come through in everything I've made in this competition, or why would I bother to make something that wouldn't get worn again?  I guess you could add practical and wearable to that list.


So I decided to create my signature style from completely upcycled fabrics!  This is something I do all the time and it is a challenge I love.  There is not often an outfit I make that doesn't have at least an element of upcycling to it!  This is the ultimate One of a Kind!  It's very hard to replicate, especially when I don't often leave a pattern alone as it is intended.  I can't help but make a tweak, because I just love to have created something that nobody will have made!  It took me such a long time to settle on this combination, because I keep everything as an opportunity to be upcycled!  I started with a ladies dress that I purchased for myself for $10 on a sale rack, (but I've recently lost 16.5kg so it was headed to the thrift store/upcycle pile).  I used a pillow slip for the watercolour stripes, which was gifted to me as a queen quilt cover set from a friend (who knows I love upcycling and free fabric).  Then I put it together with this sunny vintage yellow sheet I purchased from a thrift store that I've been saving for a dress for myself!  It is my absolute favourite vintage sheet in my stash & I am praying I still have enough for a dress of my own!


I absolutely love this combination all together and the patterns I created!  I started with the Simple Life Pattern Company Lucy dress when I drafted the yellow dress.  I widened the shoulders and reshaped absolutely everything to get started!  I took out the side seams to maximise the stripe effect, then I did some crazy colourblocking and added an exposed zip!  I was pretty proud just to work out how to construct this dress for starters.  I drafted the dolman dress using the neckline and armhole measurements from the Little Lizard King Bristol tunic as a guide so that I knew they would be wide enough to wear in a woven fabric.  I scooped the back out to make it interesting and added some ties to keep it in place.  I ran up some cute headbands to pull the look together.  That is another part of my style - a put together look.  You can see how windy it is on the hill by the ocean in King Edward Park.  The dresses were blowing around wildly in the breeze, but it was worth it to shoot the blue and yellow alongside the red in these flowers!

Thank you all for your support throughout the competition, I'm thrilled to have made it this far as a humble hobby sewist!  It's been an honour to have competed against such amazing Aussie pattern designers and friends, and it has inspired me to learn and grow in the future.  You can see more pictures and the before & afters of my upcycling project here on my blog.

Brooke xx

Tadah Patterns - Escape to Santorini

Tadah Escaope to Santorini Main Pic

The most exciting thing that you can say to a creative person is “you have free rein!”  But, as I found this week, it can also be paralysing.  So many ideas flooded in to my head that I couldn’t focus, had trouble choosing what to do and then questioned myself over and over again.  I went back to the brief and re-read it.  The combination of “your own unique style” and “showcase your skill set” kind of threw me.  You see as a pattern designer my skill set lies in creating patterns that appeal to a wide range of personal styles.  Every time I design a pattern I think of how it would look in classic florals, vibrant abstract prints, bold solids and all the other incredibly varied fabrics out there for us to enjoy!  I think of whether it will appeal to each generation of creators that purchase my patterns and how they might use it.  Doing this for so many years, always considering OTHER people’s personal styles, I guess I lost sight of what exactly is MY OWN personal style is.
After a lot of self reflection I realised that my person style does not revolved around a particular “theme” of fabric but rather a colour palette and a feelings.  Whenever I sew I want the creations to be playful and fun, but also give the wearer a feeling of being relaxed and confident.  I love muted earth tones and will almost always choose pink and blue over all other colours!  Linen and lace are two of my biggest loves so of course they needed to play a big part in this week’s look.
With all of this in mind I began sketching some ideas and as I did I started to feel a real vacation vibe coming off the page.  The colours reminded me of images I have seen of the island of Santorini where the cliffs are dotted with colourful houses between the whitewashed buildings.  This pretty colour palette of neutral bone, blush pink, red ochre and dusty blue became the base of my look for week 4.
 Our family loves to travel, so we decided to draw inspiration from a trip to the Greek Isles for this “Escape to Santorini” collection.  The idea of the set is that each of my girls has a “casual” look and a “dressy” look.  We all love the idea of sitting by the pool overlooking the Aegean Sea or wandering the winding streets of Oia, so the first set is all about keeping it cool and casual.  Asali is wearing a little romper created using the soon-to-be-released Santorini Romper pattern with a slight twist.  I wanted to add a little ‘wow’ to the romper with lace insets so I sliced the romper horizontally on the front (just below the button placket) to add the lace.  I then added another lace inset vertically on the back of the romper and finished the back neckline with bias to enclose the top of the lace and add stability to that edge.  There are then two more little pieces of lace on each side leg just above the hem.  This romper is made with a combination of Robert Kaufman Chambray and beautiful soft linen from The Fabric Store.

Tadah Escaope to Santorini collage 1

Isla’s daytime look is a fabulous little tie front dress that she helped me to design.  Inspired by the tie front beachwear popular in the 1940’s, Isla wanted a dress that was a little more “grown up” with a slightly tailored look but also very comfortable and easy to wear.  She drew a few sketches for me and after a bit of too-ing and fro-ing we agreed on this sweet design.  We drew inspiration from Santorini’s minimalist white architecture when drafting this dress with simple, elegant lines.  The little hole at the front is reminiscent of the small peep hole windows in the whitewashed buidings of Oia.  The 4 crisp knife pleats on each side of the button placket are taken from the cube buildings stepping down the cliff side and the full button front adds a finishing touch to the tailored look that we wanted for this little holiday dress.  To carry on the lace theme, I also added lace to this outfit in the straps, under the bodice and a lace inset just above the hem.  I love that the design on this lace looks a little like a Greek tile pattern.
Of course when you’re travelling in Santorini there is going to be plenty of alfresco dining.  I am imagining watching the iconic sunset in Oia while enjoying a gourmet dinner overlooking the ocean.  You get the vibe I’m going for?  Santorini summer nights out call for a breezy romantic style.  The girls needed dresses with a bit of movement and definitely a little extra length for twirling through the cobbled lanes.

Tadah Escaope to Santorini collage 2

Asali’s sunset dress uses a lovely red ochre linen from The Fabric Store combined with a sweet vintage style floral from Liberty London Fabrics.  I carried on the lace theme by adding some sweet little pleats to the front of the bodice along with a simple line of vertical lace.  I am a closet embroidered linen horder from way back so I rummaged through my collection and found this gorgeous little piece that matched the Liberty floral PERFECTLY!  This became the feature of Asali’s bodice.  The dress pattern is the Tadah Festival Dress and it is such a fun dress to sew (and she tells me it is very fun to wear too!) with its full circle skirt and open back, I just love it!  Instead of the little bow tied on the back (which is in the pattern) I decided to use a small rose gold clasp instead.
 Isla’s evening dress is again following more of a classic, romantic look than the day dress.  This pattern is one from the Tadah vault!  Drafted several years ago and never released – it is a princess line dress with a lovely flow to it.  The simple lines lend themselves to embellishments so we decided to add some lace insets in the middle panel at waist height and subtle flounce sleeves.  As I mentioned above, I am a lover of vintage embroidery and I wanted to add some embroidery to this dress too.  However Isla is a tween and she tells me that floral embroidery is not “cool” for her age group, so I decided to create my own embroidered panel for the top of this dress.  The embroidery is based on the “Nature Girl” design by A.Fera Handmade (on Etsy.)  It was hours of work but I absolutely LOVE how it turned out!
Isla’s dress is finished with waist ties and a low ‘V’ back with full length button fastening.

Tadah Escaope to Santorini flatlay

After all of this planning and dreaming about our trip to Santorini we couldn’t quite squeeze in a flight over there for photos, but we did manage to find an AMAZING Santorini-esque rooftop pool in Sydney for a staycation/photoshoot!  Please visit the Tadah blog for lots more photos and details.
Thank you so much for all of the support and encouragement you have given us during this season of Project Run & Play.  We have had a fabulous time being part of the fun and would like to thank the organisers for all of their hard work.  Also a huge congratulations and good luck to our fellow finalists!

Now it's your turn!  Please support these talented Australian designers with your VOTE!  Their scores (and the prizes!) will be determined based on the following:

1/3 of the score is based on YOUR vote
 1/3 of the score by this week's celebrity guest judge Ellie of Ellie Whittaker Studio
1/3 of the score comes from the panel of judges

If you're inspired to link up your Signature Style creations for a chance to win some great prizes, you can do so right here.

Related Posts


  1. So hard to choose for a vote, all the outfits created are gorgeous!

  2. Tadah Patterns has my vote - adorable outfits.

  3. I was always mesmirized by Natasha s dresses for ellie... loved these ones too to the core��

  4. Just LOve Tadah absolutely gorgeous designs

  5. Ellie's Handmade, hands down! 🙌

  6. Oh man, I'm not sure I can even choose! Great job, ladies!

  7. Your creations are just so beautiful very hard to choose


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