Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Season 26 Week 2: Pleats to Meet You

 Let's talk about one of our favorite things: PLEATS!  We're so delighted with each of the designer creations for this theme, so without further ado, here are their looks.

Please make sure to go all the way to the end of this post and support TWO of them with your vote.

Sewstory by Nele - Once in a Blue Moon 

So before I begin to tell you all about the items I created this week, I want to start by saying two things. First I want to sincerely thank everyone for the love I felt in week 1 and the kind and warm words I received, thank you all so much!! And secondly (as you will see in the pictures) my little girl currently has chicken pox… Hence my title for this week because I feel like having the opportunity to be in this competition is a one in a million chance and then her getting chicken pox at the exact same time…Well that’s just ridiculously coincidental and feels like once in a blue moon πŸ˜‰ Luckily her fever broke before Sunday so I felt comfortable taking some pictures… Blue is also the colour I chose to work with for this second week. And because it’s the second challenge, I thought it would be fun to make something for my second boy. And you can’t really say pleats, pintucks & gathers without thinking of a girls’ dress, right?! So my little girl also got a new outfit!

So onto the actual things I made and first my boy’s outfit. The last couple of weeks I have been racking my brain on how I could make this theme match for boys and the idea for his shorts came pretty quickly, I added a singular pintuck at the middle of the front and another one at the bottom hem. I used the TinTin shorts from Iris May Patterns as a starting point, added the mentioned details and added length so it would hit at his knees. The fabric I used also has some structure, which I thought matches this week’s theme too.

I love flowers and I love fabric with flowers even more. I know not everyone is convinced to use flower-fabric for boys, but I definitely am! And luckily, so is my little boy 😊 I used Alder from Sunflower Seams as a starting point and then I changed the front panels so I could add a single pintuck left & right from the button plackets. I also added some pintucks to the pockets & added trim (using the same fabric I did for Marilou her jacket) to that pocket. I did the same thing with the sleeves: added a pintuck & trim. At the back of his shirt there’s a pleat. Because of my choice of fabric I changed the shape of the collar to a more wingtip shape so it would fit the floral-vintage-vibe more.

For his sweater I got inspired by a post I saw on Instagram a while back. I couldn’t find it anymore, but a google search learned me that honeycomb smocking was what I was looking for. I thought it would be fun to try it on French terry and turn it into a sweater for my boy. I just made a simple sweater so the focus would go the extra dimension created in the front panel, but I did move the side seam towards the front so the excess fabric wouldn’t be uncomfortable under the arm when wearing.

For my girl I wanted to create a dress that has all the details I love and fits this pleats, pintucks & gathers theme. I used Lane from Little Lizard King as a starting point because I wanted a basic dress I knew would fit well and I could make the changes to I had in my mind. First I turned the neckline into a boatneck because I think this looks so feminine and cute. Secondly I changed the bodice to add a waistband. For the waistband I added plain pintucks at the back and pintucks with a twist to the front. I wanted a really full skirt for this dress so I started at the top of it with a gathered full circle skirt, then I added a gathered skirt underneath with a hemband. And between the gathered skirt & the hemband I put a ruffle. I’m one of those people who actually finds it really fun and calming to gather fabric 😊 And in this one I definitely had my fun: I gathered more than 15 metres of fabric and seeing it finished I’m in love with it and I couldn’t be happier!

For her little jacket I chose to use the same type of fabric as the shorts of my boy. It’s a soft and lightweight cotton with a linen look and felt perfect for this week’s challenge (creating texture to your design). With this little jacket I didn’t want to take any attention away from the skirt of her dress, so I turned it into a crop. For this one I added two pleats at the front and gathers at the back. I made the sleeves to hit at ¾ length of her arms and added some elastic gathers (smocking) 5cm from the bottom of the sleeve so it would stay nice up at her arm. I wanted both front sides of this jacket just to touch each other without overlapping, so I added two buttons & button loops to both front panels.  And off course some extra ruffles never hurt so I added those to the neckline πŸ˜‰

If you want to read more details and see more pictures, you can by following me on Instagram and/or by reading my blog.

Southern Magnolia Designs - Heirloom Pintucks

Here we are, already in week 2! And with a theme that was asking for tucks and gathers, I once again decided to draw on some vintage style.

I have always loved the look of heirloom sewing. There are so many techniques and details that add beauty and value to whatever is sewn. So for this outfit, I decided to put all the knowledge I have gleaned from old sewing books and magazines to create my own vintage-inspired design.

After sketching up a couple ideas, I drafted a pattern for a blousy summer dress that featured pintucks, hand embroidery, full gathered skirts, deep hems, and a built-in pettiskirt. And of course, no vintage dress is complete without matching ruffled bloomers.

The best fabrics for heirloom sewing and pintucks are lightweight with a soft drape. And this gorgeous silver-blue designer linen from Cali Fabrics was perfect for my needs. I was able to make delicate tucks that did not add bulk or stiffness to the bodice, skirt, or bloomers.

Although the pettiskirt underneath is only seen when the wind blows (or when my daughter wants to show everyone how the bloomers match the dress), I still wanted to add something extra special. Digging through my late Grandmother's box of antique sewing supplies, I found a lovely floral lace that I knew would look beautiful with this style, then used lace insertion techniques to place it right above the gathered ruffle of the pettiskirt.

I had so much fun designing and creating this look from scratch, and love how well it photographed in the fresh blooming bluebonnets!

To see more photos, behind the scenes on how I created this outfit, and even a peek at how I made the sun hat, check out my post here.

Sewing 4 Em - Pastel Princess

I remember when my daughter was born, I was one of those moms who was like, I refuse to force gender norms on her. I won't make her only wear pink. I'll teach her to play sports. We'll get dirty and play with cars. I didn't want her to be forced to be a girly girl. Noemi had other plans, though. This kid came out of the womb loving glitter and tutus and rainbows and unicorns. She has always been a princess and because of that, I've also learned to embrace my inner princess (it wasn't easy, let me tell you). So for this week's theme, I decided to make Noemi two princess themed looks. 

The first look, we went with a princess party dress. I made it using Cerise from Wild Seeds Patterns as a base. I altered the sleeves and created a bubble skirt out of the gathered circle skirt for ultimate poof. I wanted to use a really thick, structured fabric too, so I went with some scuba. 

For the second look, we went with a more casual, every day princess look. I self-drafted the skirt, with pleats in the front and a gathered, elastic waist in the back. I wanted the length to be a little on the longer side, so it was more appropriate for all those princess press conferences. The shirt was kept simple, with some soft rib knit for a close-fitting look. 

For more photos, check out my Instagram at or my blog.

Posh Pilar - Adagio

I’m thrilled to introduce you to my designs for week two. I’ve danced basically my entire life, and now my daughters are dancers and I also teach dance. I’ve named this collection after a ballet term, Adagio. Adagio refers to slow movement- full of grace and fluidity. These self drafted dresses I’ve created feature slow sewing and techniques that take time. It’s the kind of designing and sewing where I try to really enjoy both the process and end results. I used lightweight organza fabrics to create fluidity and movement and I’ve manipulated the fabric with various techniques.

My first design is for my youngest daughter. Her favorite color is pink so I chose a pale pink organza. It’s lined with a lightweight cotton lawn from CalifabricsI played with the sheerness and incorporated ruffles, pleats, and tucks.  I’m constantly inspired by vintage dress designs and wanted to create a timeless dress with a twist. I sewed lots of small diagonal pintucks along the bodice for textural interest and major fabric manipulation. I wanted this dress to show how using just one simple solid fabric can result in an interesting and stunning look. The bodice has a V shape pieced front and a ruffle down the center for even more dimension. The adorable puff sleeves feature a pleat at the bottom and gather at the top. The skirt is of course gathered for a classic silhouette. The dress has a V back and organza covered closures.

My second design is for my middle daughter. I used a pastel yellow burnout gingham organza and the same lightweight cotton lawn for the lining. I shirred the bodice of the dress in a pattern of three sections to create volume and gathers. I drafted long puff sleeves with shirring at the wrist. Keeping the sleeves sheer really shows off the fabric design and keeps this dress nice and light for the warm (and hot) weather we have here in Las Vegas. This dress is finished with a gathered bottom tier on the skirt for an extra feminine silhouette. Both dresses are constructed with French seams and small rolled hems. The inside bodice seams are all enclosed. With pretty finishes inside and out, my daughters happily wear these dresses and hopefully feel just how special they are. To see more photos and read more about these designs please visit my blog www.poshpilar.blogspot.com.

Emily Sews Stuff - Here Comes the Sun(dress)

A couple of weeks ago, we had the most beautiful, sunny, 70-degree spring weather. I just knew I needed to make some sundresses. I fall for this cruel trick every year; Mother Nature turned winter back on this week. At least it gave me inspiration for the “Pleats to Meet You” week 2 theme! 

For Juliet’s dress, I wanted to make a vintage-inspired dress with lots of pintucks, and Kaufman Sunshine poplin was perfect for that. I started with the Violette Field Threads Oaklyn bodice and moved the placket to the front and lowered the neckline just a little. To keep the tucks the center of attention, I did a lightly gathered skirt. I added cross tucks at the bottom, belt loops and a tie belt—and of course I couldn’t forget the inseam pockets.  The headband is the Charlie knot headband, minus the knot, with some decorative crosstucks there as well. 

Pleats tend to be structured and preppy, but for Scarlett’s dress, I wanted a more relaxed look. I made some modifications to the front bodice piece from the free VFT Lola pattern to make both the front and back bodice.  I used box pleats to add fullness to the skirt, but to keep the whole look more relaxed, I used a chambray Kaufman double gauze from Cali fabrics. I dressed up the bodice a little bit with some special embroidery, and added pinch pleats to the shoulder ties. And you know I couldn't skip the big scoop pockets. She’s topped off with a Valerie bow in gingham. 

Visit my blog for more details, the story behind the embroidery, and more pictures from week two! 

This week's celebrity guest judge, Abby from Sew Much Ado, does NOT have an easy job here!  

The designer scores are determined as follows:

1/3 of the designers score is determined by the celebrity guest judge(s)
1/3 of the designers score is determined by the panel of judges
1/3 of the designers score is determined by YOU, the audience!

So the designers need your support too!  Be sure to use the voting form below to support TWO of the designers.

If you're inspired to sew along, link up here.

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1 comment :

  1. I apologize for me technically challenged! My blog can be found here: https://emilysewsstuff.blogspot.com/2022/03/prp-week-2.html


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