Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Children's Fashion Workshop Giveaway

I have a great giveaway for you today! Children's Fashion Workshop is great site to help you design any child's pattern you can dream up. It is really cool! Especially if you are new to designing for your self but really want to start somewhere. She has basic block patterns in a wide range of sizes to help get you started and lessons so you can learn how to add ease, collars, pockets, anything you can possibly desire you can learn how to draft.

I worked with the basic bodice, and showed you what I made just a few days ago adding bubble sleeves to a top.

And you know even though I draft patterns a lot, there is always something new to learn and that's what is really fun about using the blocks and lessons.

Today Children's Fashion Workshop is giving away:
One pattern set (which includes 3 sizes of either a bodice or pant)
Two lessons of your choice.

Pretty sweet!

To enter check out Children's Fashion Workshop and leave a comment telling me what you are dying to draft/design.

Giveaway will be open until May 1st 2013 Winner will be selected on May 2nd 2013

Good luck!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Good the Bad and the Ugly (behind the scenes)

 Project run and play is wrapping up (last chance to go vote it ends tonight) I thought it would be fun to show you the "behind the scenes" since there is a lot that goes on that doesn't get seen during the competition. Week one I started back in December (actually the first sneak peek would have been during my "day of 12" pictures as I worked on it that day) It was one of those rare projects that literally came together exactly how I had hoped and besides the last min addition of leggings I was just tickled pink. Then we went to go shoot it, we went to my husbands work and I wanted her to just stand in the hall. It was Saturday the place was empty the lighting was perfect and Abbey? She was afraid to stand in the hall. Her dad walked her to the spot she should stand and it took her quite a while to open up. So I gave her my phone and she had a pretend phone call... then she was dancing and hamming it up for the camera and this was one of my favorite shoots of all time. If only all the sewing for the competition could have been like week one...
 Week two was one of my hardest weeks. I loved the fabric but every time I looked at it I drew a blank. I finally decided that I would give some wide leg "sailor" inspired pants a try. So I made them. (it's ok if you like them) I hated them. They were all kinds of coo coo crazy and should probably be burned. So I decided to make a shirt dress. I mixed stripes in with the chevron and I kind of liked it (the striped leggings were not part of the look, she was just wearing them, I am not that crazy) So I didn't hate the shirt dress but it was nothing special, and not my favorite... so I scratched it again and decided to move on to week 3.
 When I finally came back to the week 2 challenge my mind was refreshed and I was able to make the dress that I loved. Funny thing from the shoot. Abbey was LOVING the shoot. She was the best she has ever been and every picture was my new favorite. We had traveled out to an abandoned dead end road to take the pictures and everything was going great when out of nowhere this car (seen above) comes right towards us. I figured they had to be lost. They park right where we were taking pictures and then get out of the car and walk off into the woods. It was weird, and slightly annoying. So it was a good thing Abbey was being awesome or the shoot would have been ruined.
 Then there was week 3. I made the most pieces for week 3. I started with embroidery. (on the shirt in the bottom left picture) I was worried I wouldn't get done in time or that I wouldn't like it since finding time to embroider with 2 kids and a newborn was a little challenging so I worked up a back up plan. I made the shirt in the top left corner, which had the peter pan collar, and rows of ruffles and pleats. Then I pinned it on her (in the picture it is pinned) I was just not loving it, so I made a back up plan with this awesome sheer fabric and gold trim, sadly I didn't measure well and as you can see it was Horrid. It did not fit at all and looked like trash but I liked the collar, so I saved it and made yet another top using the circle neckline... only it was all kinds of odd fitting... and again not quite right. (you can also see the jeans after the first die bath but before the second. So since my back up plans were bombing, I decided I better finish the embroider and I finished the top... sadly I cut the skirt on the wrong grain and I cut the back to wide and low... It was such a sad disaster. So I called my shwin. We walked through a better plan and....
 The result was just what I could have hoped for. I guess sometimes you have to go through the bad and the ugly to get to the good. The photo shoot on the other hand? I had almost no time to shoot because our sunny bright and warm weather was going away not to return so I literally finished and we hurried outside to take pictures before the rain came... and it started to rain... Abbey was mad. She kept looking up to the sky in concern, freaking out with every drop that would land on her... and getting mad and her brother who was teasing her, then she came up with some err interesting poses...
The final week was the only other week that I knew what I wanted to make from the start and it all came together pretty well. The only issue I had was that I wanted Navy gingham for Jude's shirt, but I couldn't find any, which actually turned out ok since I really like the mint and I was able to use the chevron tie I had planned on using during week 2. I could have actually used Jude's whole outfit during week 2 but I wanted to save it for the formal week. The outtakes during the photo shoot which got moved inside after 2 failed attempts were pretty funny. Taking pictures of two kids proved to be a little more challenging that on the weeks with just one, mainly because they were just goofing off.

So It's over and done and it was a lot of fun, the girls are all so great and the talent is amazing.
Remember you can still hop over to vote through tonight.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Two of us {week 4 formal wear challenge}

The final week of Project Run and Play! The final challenge is Spring formal wear. When we first got the themes back in December I knew exactly what I was going to make for week one and week four. The weeks in the middle? Not so much in fact I made 3-4 looks for each week. However back in December I was already dreaming of Spring and I knew just what I wanted to make. I wanted to design something for both kids and I wanted to play off their personalities.

Head here to vote for you favorite!
For Jude I went very casual for the formal wear. I made him shorts since to me boys in the spring time are running around and falling and this way he can look more formal with the trouser style shorts but not have to worry about grass stains or tears in the knees of his pants.
The shorts which are basically shorts versions of the Number 9 Trousers have faux flap pockets in the back because I wanted the look of the flap but I didn't want the corners curling up or the pockets looking sloppy, and since the back pockets are almost never used anyway I just skipped them. So they are sewn down around the edges and then I added two vintage buttons.
The shirt is a slim fit color blocked collared shirt. It is a lot like the Maxwell Top only I started from scratch to draft the shirt so it had a slimmer fit, and it had pleats in the back and a stand collar so he could wear a tie. I also added color blocked stripes across the chest and color blocked the pockets to follow the chevron lines in the tie. The tie is something I had cut out and planned to make during week two since I was using the chevron fabric, but I never ended up making an outfit for Jude during week two, but the tie was perfect for this week. The navy and white chevron offer a great pop against the mint, white and grey.

Then there is Abbey. She is a spunky little girl who loves to wear twirly dresses, or princess dresses. So I knew I needed to give her a super fun silhouette. The dress started with the most gorgeous loose weave linen in bright coral. As a linen lover the fabric was just heaven. It had a great drape and flow but also held some shape really well.
The dress started with constructing a slip dress of sorts, layers and layers of gathered white tulle were sewn to the fully lined white bodice. This gave the base of a super full and puffy dress. Then I attached the pleated skirt to the bodice. I added hand beading in a water fall effect over the shoulder. I used a mix of 5 different beads to get the effect I wanted and it pulled all the colors from both outfits together.
The bodice is cut with a ballerina style neck line and V in the back. A navy ribbon ties around the waist and really pops with the colors. The skirt also got a thick heavy hem to keep the skirt weighed down a bit since the light fabric and layers of tulle would have made the skirt easily fly away.
This may have been my favorite week, I loved designing for Jude sewing for boys is a lot of fun and Jude is at an age were he once again loves wearing what I make for him, he was also getting jealous of Abbey and all of her fittings and photo shoots so he was thrilled to be a part of it all. Even if half the pictures were with him being a bit of a goon. You can go HERE to vote

And just for fun a little recap of the past 4 weeks looks. The whole competition has been so much fun, I loved sewing along with super talented ladies each week. They are all the nicest most amazing ladies. I have made some of my most favorite pieces, and now its time for a vacation :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Adding bubble sleeves to a top

 Well friends I am finally done sewing for project run and play! The final looks go up tomorrow (and I am super excited about them!) What does this mean? Well dinner for my family, time with my husband at night, and back to sewing quick and easy projects. I can also get around to sharing the projects I had been working on but never blogged since apparently I only  have time for one thing at a time ha! So a while back (like February) I was contacted by Erin from Children's Fashion Workshop. If you have always wanted to make your own designs but struggle with drafting a basic bodice and sleeve to start things off, then you will find your solution here. She has basic bodices and sleeves for infant-10 years, you will also find basic pants. 
 She gave me a basic bodice and sleeve block to play around with and even though the possibilities are endless, I went with a basic tee, my daughters favorite and I added a bubble sleeve like I had on the Modern Artist Dress. Even though it was done a little different for the knit the concept is the same. (let's all ignore the little pucker at the shoulder... I should fix it, but I didn't eh)
 The knit is a super soft and stretchy knit that my husband picked up for me at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. The knit is heavenly and since I accidentally saw how much he spent on it I have been holding on to it for a year now, but I finally bit the bullet and made a tee shirt, and I love it. I have enough left for one more project so now I just get to decide what to save it for :)

 So starting off, I used the basic bodice and sleeve in the size 4T. The are designed with 10% ease (plenty for a tee) You do have to add your own seam allowance, and then all I did was lengthen the bodice and alter the neckline so it was a little wider. I cut the sleeve nice and short (more on the sleeve later)
 So I cut a front and back bodice, and then since it was a tee I cut some neck ribbing. It should be a strip about 1.5 inches thick and wide enough to fit around the head when stretched.
 For the sleeve. I cut one sleeve at the regular size slightly shorter than I want the sleeve to be. Then I cut a second one that is wider and longer, that is the bubble layer.
 Now to sew the tee sew the front and back at the shoulders.
 Then sew the neck ribbing to form a loop. Fold the loop in half width wise. Then pin in place at the front back and shoulders. You will have to stretch the ribbing as you sew.
 Then top stitch the ribbing in place again stretching as you sew.
 Now for the sleeve. If you are not using a knit you will want to gather the bottom edge, but since I was using a knit I just stretched the regular sleeve to fit as I sewed them together. To do this pin the middle of the two sleeves together then pin the two sides together and stretch as you sew.
 The bubble layer will be all nicely gathered.
 Then gather the top of the bubble layer sleeve. Fold the sleeve so the raw edges meet up.
 Then sew the sleeve into the arm curve. You will sew the bubble edge to the right side of the shirt and sew through both sleeve layers.
 Then with right sides together sew the sides of the shirt. Lastly hem the bottom and done.
 As you can see simple changes to a basic block pattern can create endless design possibilities. Over at Children's Fashion Workshop you will also find lessons so you can learn how to add different design elements.
I know I had fun playing with the basic bodice.

Friday, April 12, 2013

All You Need is Love {and patience) Week 3 look

This week the challenge at Project Run and Play was "it's all in the details"  I thought to myself when is sewing not in the details? Every stitch, button, ruffle, fabric choice, it's always all about the details. So I thought about how I could take the details and make them both pop and be subtle at the same time. It all started with the top.
 This was a design that I had been dreaming up ever since I made this top and I finally decided now was the time to execute the design. Which I did twice since my first one had some really unfortunate mishaps, but I may share it later this week. The top has 3 layers of a circle skirt hem each one with a rolled hem. I knew I wanted to focus on embroidery for the challenge since it was and is my first love. (even before sewing) So I stitched up hundreds of little french knots to form a heart. The design was made to look like birds flying in to form the heart, and the knots fade in the same ombre effect as the pants. I also embroidered the words "All you need is love" along the bottom of the heart. It was truly a labor of love. I got really good at stitching french knots while nursing a baby or rocking a baby to sleep.
 The sleeves are pretty little gathered sleeves that are finished off with the contrast of a nice smooth band. I had fun mixing with textures and subtle design options.
The back is quite possibly my favorite element the low swoop perfect for warm summer days. The back overlaps and buttons into place. The skirt pieces are cut and matched to look like one continuous piece even though they are not.
The pants were also one of my favorite pieces. I used a white stretch denim and made some lovely rita skinnies, only I left off the button tabs, added a back yoke,and faux fly and cropped them a little shorter so they were ankle length. Then I dip dyed the bottom in a pink dye bath, and then put the whole thing in a blue dye bath. The result is a lovely blue that fades into a purple. I love the blue but my daughter won't wear anything these days if it doesn't have pink or purple on it.
 If you have been around the blog long enough you may know that I am a bit of a Beatles fan. (quite a bit actually) I am often influenced in my designs by their music, although not always in a super obvious way. There are detail elements that are influenced by a total of 6 different songs. It was kind of fun to hide them away in the details, which really just make it special to me.
The last element, to top of this feminine and flouncy outfit was the tulle bow. I have a tutorial for that coming up. So hop on over to Project run and play to cast your vote!

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Modern Artist {Tutorial of sorts}

 You know how they say time flies when you are having fun? Well it also flies when you are not... Ha! I am only kidding we have been having fun, and only a little hair pulling :) The kids were on Spring break, but we were super smart and planned our Spring break trip for later this month... all this means is the kids were home all day and we had nothing to do. I thought they would play and the baby would sleep with out being woken up to make school runs and I would get a lot of sewing in, I was wrong. We had a birthday to celebrate, and the kids wanted to be constantly entertained. So that's what we did instead. It really wasn't all bad but I was pretty glad to have school start back up. Now I don't have to hear "I'm bored" all day. I also have time to share some stuff. Like a nice little mini tutorial for the Modern Artist dress.
Remember I said I was enjoying "free sewing" for Project run and play? Yeah this means I didn't stop to take many step by step tutorial pictures. However, I do have some for the peplum, and I can walk you through the rest.

So for the dress in general I drafted the whole thing up fresh because I wanted that "perfect fit" So since Abbey is between sizes for patterns right now so I usually have to take in some areas and let out others anyway. If you want a pattern the dress is basically the bodice from this free pattern And the peplum style from The Claire (coming soon in larger sizes but you can snag the old pattern for $5.00)

 So for the peplum. I cut out a bunch of random sizes of squares and rectangles in all the colors I wanted to use. I think a bunch of neon and neutral colors would look amazing but I tried to stay as close to the Mondrian art but using fresh and current versions of those colors, like lime green and magenta pink. I cut them out and then laid out the design I wanted in a rectangle.
 Then I sewed each section together.
 And then sewed all of those sections together so it was one big piece. Over all I wanted the piece to be the length of the peplum I desired, and the width was the hip measurement X 1.5. (I divided that by two so I made a front and back)
Then I used black twill tape and sewed it down on both sides covering every seam. I did the cross sections first so the twill tape from top to bottom would cover the raw edges. Then I sewed the side edges together so it was one large skirt. I finished the bottom edge with bias tape.

I added the peplum at the waist between the skirt and bodice. I added pleats to fit the peplum to the waist.

 The bodice is fully lined just like this pattern, only I used an exposed zipper instead. I also added bubble sleeves, which I will hopefully be putting together a tutorial for here soon, they are fun.

The collar is bias tape, I used the smallest bias tape I could and finished the neckline with it and then using disappearing ink I traced a collar design on and then sewed the bias tape down following the line. 
The leggings are made following this tutorial, only I did end up just hemming the leg instead of adding the cuff...

The leggings are made from a very thin and stretchy lycra knit, The dress is made from a stretch poplin, the peplum is made from kona cottons and twill tape.

Later this week I have a tutorial of sorts for the Chevron Dress.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Project Run&Play week 2 {Chevron Challenge}

Week two is here! Week two for project run&play was the chevron challenge. We were given 2 yards of our choice in color of the chevron fabric from Riley Blake. I decided on the navy, figuring it was a good "basic" color that could easily be used for any design. I designed and made two looks before this one. (I may share them someday) I started with pants, they were a bit wild, then I made a top, and it just didn't wow me. Then I was nearly out of fabric and knew I had to make the last one count. :) Plan C came through for me. Good old faithful plan C. I decided I needed to focus on the things that I love and that the design would come together.
So I went with a color blocked skirt that I pieced together using coral and sea foam green cotton. I went with a really full gathered skirt so it was fun and girly.

The top has a circle neckline with a button closure int he back and is all trimmed out with bias tape I made with the same fabric from the skirt.
The back is split down the back so it is easy to get on and off, and I matched up the chevron print so it looks like one piece, which also over laps so you don't get a gapping back. The dress can be worn by itself for a perfect everyday dress.
I also made a navy petti skirt out of tulle to add a fancy flair. My daughter loves to feel like a princess these days and fun fluffy skirt did just the trick.

The skirt had twirl-abilty and that made for a fun dress for this little girl who could not stop twirling all about.
 Abbey was simply in love with her new dress, and I loved the play with the circle neck line, chevron bodice, and striped skirt. It had a geometric flair in its subtle way and that sums up my design quite well.
So head on over to Project Run&Play and cast your vote for this weeks looks.