Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Season 26 Week 4: Signature Style

 Wow, where did the time go?  Week 4 is here, and you are going to be so amazed by each designer's Signature Style!

Be sure to support the designers with your VOTE at the end of this post.

Emily Sews Stuff - Wildflowers

I can't believe it's week four and I'm still here! I am a sonographer and NOT a designer; I have never done as much modifying and drafting as I have in the last month, and no matter the outcome, I'm happy. Also, I'm very tired--since I didn't expect it to make it this far, I was finishing these up on Sunday morning.  I kept my theme of song titles for my fourth week's designs, Wildflowers, which is also my inspiration--summers in the prairie. We live in the middle of Illinois, and the flowers are starting to pop up everywhere. Unfortunately it's been a cold spring and we don't have a scenic wildflower field yet for pictures, so use your imagination. 

For Juliet's outfit, I thought back to what I made when I first was learning to sew. I started with pillowcase dresses, and soon my oldest daughter, Claire, had a bunch of them. I had that in mind when I drafted this top. Instead of the standard pillowcase/rectangle shape, I wanted it a more fitted and less bulky but wanted to keep the halter neck. I used the front and back bodice pieces from VFT Teagan as my starting point, and made modifications to add casings and a gathered neckline. An elastic casing keeps the crop length in place, and the tie neck is tacked in place for safety. For her skirt, I used the remnants of the Kaufman chambray double gauze from Cali Fabrics left from my week two dress. I know a lot of people despise it, but I love gathering, so I drafted a tiered ruffle skirt. One of the first tricks I learned was how to do elastic shirring on my machine. I was shirring everything I could get my hands on to avoid buttonholes and zippers (to be fair, I didn't have all the appropriate presser feet for my grandma's machine to do those things). So for that reason, I did a shirred waistband for Juliet's skirt. 

As you can see, I brought in my 14 year old daughter, Claire, for the last week. She was my motivation for starting to sew in the first place, so it seemed appropriate. Sewing for teens is hard; they have lots of opinions and they can change their minds without much warning, or outgrow their clothes overnight. But you feel like you've hit the lottery when you make something and they love it. I don't (and probably never will) have the confidence to make jeans, but I used VFT Remi tween shorts to make some jeans shorts using Cali Fabrics denim. Remi has a relaxed fit, so it's less intimidating fitting them. I modified them by adjusting for her height, adding back pockets, omitting the patch pockets and changing them to diagonal seam pockets, and swapping the tie belt for a tab waistband. I added topstitching to the seams and pockets, some embroidery, and distressed the denim a little bit to soften it up. For her top, well, I just wanted to make a wrap top. She didn't have one yet, and it turns out she really likes it. I used Made For Mermaids Isabel dress bodice as my starting point. I modified it by eliminating the shoulder seam and adding front and back yokes with gathering. I increased the waist tie to make it both wider and longer so it would wrap all the way around her waist, raised the neckline, and swapped out the fitted sleeves for the long flutter sleeves from the Poppy pattern. I also extended the bodice several inches for a little more coverage. 

For more details, visit my blog or Instagram

Sewstory by Nele - Colour your life!

Wow! I can’t believe it’s already signature style week and it’s incredible to still be here! Thank you all so much, I have no words to express how grateful and excited I am! It’s been so much fun to sew for each week’s challenge and this week was no different. I feel like I’m still figuring out my true signature style (or maybe that will always keep evolving 😉) and one of the things I actually love about sewing is how you can create a whole different vibe using different (types of) fabric or patterns and you can go retro once, romantic the next or contemporary another time.

So to find my signature style, I thought of what I love most about sewing: working with beautiful, colourful and different types of fabrics and making items my kids love and wear a lot. I also wanted to make something for all my kids this week, so they each got a new outfit. As a starting point I asked them individually what their favourite colour is and I used that as a base for their whole look. I also love matching looks & details, without it being too much the same (though I have to admit I do love some obvious twinning looks as well 😁)

For my boys I wanted to make tops with some extra details and they all got different animal printed fabric to match the colour they chose. My youngest got a Lion tee. I used a basic tee, changed the neckline to a boatneck and added ¾ sleeves. My middle boy got a fitted shirt in knit. I have always wanted to try making a shirt in knit and this seemed the perfect occasion 😊 I used Alder from Sunflower Seams as a base, changed the sides and added darts to the back to create a fitted look. I changed the sleeves and added strips of double gauze to them, and to the pocket, the collar & the collar stand. And lastly my oldest boy got a polo shirt, using the same pattern as a base but changing it to a polo and for him I used the same linen fabric of his pants for the collar, collar stand & pocket. 

I love using different types of fabrics, so for my boys I used double gauze, linen & corduroy. My youngest got dungarees, using the Zeke pattern from Made for Mermaids as a base. I changed the back completely and made them shorts. For my middle & oldest boy I used the Prose & Poetry cargo pants from Project Run & Play as a base, changed all the pockets and the lengths. My oldest got them to just above his ankles, my middle to above the knee. I also made a reverse hem to both their pants.

And for my girl I really really love using florals, so when I saw this gorgeous colourful rayon from Art Gallery Fabrics At Minerva (thank you Minerva!!), I knew it would perfect for her! I used the Mackinac Island dress from Little Lizard King as a starting point but I love dresses with a beautiful backside. So for this dress I created a V-shaped back, with the V all the way to her waist. And for the skirt I added a circle skirt that’s gathered at the waist.

And then their jackets: it’s something I love making! I love how you can add fun details and it’s something they wear a lot. And I’m a sucker for denim jackets, so to start I searched for denim in the colours of their look and made them all a denim jacket. And then for my youngest and oldest boy I also used them same cotton lining in a different colourway, so they can secretly twin 😉 I used Pacifica from Little Lizard King as a starting point for all of them. I changed everything for each one of them to add more or less details like ruffles, a zipper, inseam pockets, patch pockets, chest pockets, different pieces and views of the front & back, elastic at the waist, simple sleeves, sleeves with a placket, sleeves with elastic… I really had so much fun creating these!

If you want to read more details or see more pictures, you can follow my instagram or visit my blog! And thanks for reading along this last month, it’s been so fun!

Southern Magnolia Design - Spring Romance

First, I want to say thank you so much to all of you who voted for me and helped me get to the finals! I have thoroughly enjoyed pushing my sewing knowledge and creativity to make new designs for the various themes throughout this competition.

With this week being "signature style", I knew that I wanted to make an outfit that showed off everything I love about sewing. One thing that is unique to me, is my use of floral illustration in embroidery. Even before I became a pattern designer for Wild Seeds, I loved to adorn my daughter's clothing with "sketchy flowers". It was a fun way for me to use my background in the arts while adding texture and beauty to solid-colored fabrics.

Another thing that I love is classic beauty and simplicity. While I can admire bright and bold patterns and fabrics, I prefer to use solid colors for most of my own sewing designs. Then I usually add embroidery, lace, or trims to the fabric to bring contrast and character.

This week, I made a skirted white romper with a romantic pale pink high-low skirt. For this outfit, I sketched out a floral design across the entire bodice, front and back. Hours and hours of hand embroidery and beading give this plain white cotton a couture style. While the top of this romper is self-drafted, I used Wild Seeds' Tulip pattern for the culottes of the romper, then added a circle skirt on top of it for a bit more fullness. My daughter really loved having the freedom of the romper while still feeling like a princess.

But with Easter only a couple days away, I also wanted to have the option to dress up a bit more. I used Wild Seeds' Primrose skirt with pale pink linen and a swiss dot tulle overlay. The skirt comfortably fits over the romper, turning a fun day outfit into a glamourous dressed-up look, making this outfit perfect for all occasions.

To see more behind the scenes photos of my embroidery and beading, head over to Southern Magnolia Blog.

Thank you again for this wonderful experience!

Wow, this week's celebrity guest judge, Brittany of BrittanyJJones and Melanated Fabric really has her work cut out for her.

And the designers need your help too as this is how their scores are determined:

1/3 score = public voting
1/3 score = panel of past Project Run & Play designers
1/3 score = celebrity guest judge of the week

Please use the voting form below to support up to two of the designers.

If you're inspired, sew along to win prizes!  Details here.

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