February 10, 2014

thank you

When I was asked to participate in Project Run and Play I was so shocked.
I just wanted to make it past week one....four weeks later and I made it through the finale.
So thank you for your support, your comments, your willingness to go through this journey with me.

The one thing I told myself prior to starting this season was I wanted to challenge myself.
I wanted this to be a learning experience for me. Yes I had some sewing skills coming in but I was making lots of shirts and pants for my boys, because that is what they wear everyday. This was my chance to push myself to do more.
Week one was maybe the biggest challenge of all. Working with a fabric I knew nothing about and taking on a project that was way over my skill. But after multiple hours I learned so many new things from just making this one jacket.

Week two was a whole different story. A look for a girl. Not only did finding a model turn out to be an interesting project, but its just so different to embellish an outfit with girly touches. This is something I rarely do since I have three boys but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Plus I am hoping to copycat a few of these pieces for myself.

Week three was my element- refashioning. To push myself this week I worked with some different techniques. Welt pockets, drafting from measurements, dying a colored fabric, and of course adding a crochet element. There were many points this week where I had to make it work because of the new skills I was working with but apparently it came together because I won this week....wow!

The finale.
This week I worked with some wovens for a challenge. My fabric of choice is definitely knit because of the comfort factor for my boys. But I stepped out on a limb and chose some wovens and dove in. Definitely different than knits- at one point when hemming Case's pants I was wishing I hadn't chosen a woven but I figured it out.

What can I say after finishing it all?
I loved the chance to participate. I loved how my community stepped up and made it apparent that they love and support my work. This wouldn't have happened without a few people. My husband who rallied not only for support but also stepped up to take our boys for hours on end. My good friend Kara who walked with me step by step and was honest when things were not looking good. And each and every one of you who took the time to vote and get me through all four weeks.
So thank you.
I am unsure what direction I will go next. Will for sure keep sewing for my boys and hoping to sew more for myself. (Suggestions on good women's patterns?!)

But should probably clean up the mess that I created the last four weeks....oh...my.

February 4, 2014


Signature Style.
This look has me written all over it.
The colors, the shapes, the texture, and the small details to make things interesting.
All that but still comfortable and practical for two boys who never.stop.moving.
I started with a look for Case.
The flannel was my challenge this week. My fabric of choice is definitely knit but I told myself when I committed to Run and Play this season that I needed to choose one thing that would push me out of my comfort zone each week. This week it was working with some wovens. For the flannel I started with the O + S Sailboat Top and the hood from this raincoat and the bimaa hood. I redrafted the front to add a snap placket and spent way too much time to make sure the plaid pattern would line up across the pieces. I added the black tee underneath, which was made using the Made by Rae Skinny Tee.  To add some interest I flat locked the seams with yellow and added a rib knit printed with helicopters for the cuffs.

The pants were the same pattern (same size) as these pants I made for Mae in week one. The kid had asked for a candy pocket in the front- which became a teeny welt pocket. The zip pocket and back pocket were added to create more visual interest, and of course an adjustable waistband.  He had specifically asked for a super backpack so I pulled a canvas jacket out of my reuse pile and cut it to pieces. We have an American Apparel backpack that I used as a reference but did a lot of my own interpretation as well. The pink zipper and pink hang tab were to add interest and pull out the subtle pink in the canvas. Having not made a cargo pocket before I added one to the front and finished the flap with heavy duty snaps. All hardware was bought at Seattle Fabrics. 

Mae was next- my child who is perpetually cold. He has been asking for a scarf all winter but I couldn't figure out a way to make it practical and masculine. Enter this cozy fleece with a subtle print and I created a snap cowl: a collar for the jacket or an accessory for anytime. As soon as I put it on him he asked if he could wear it the rest of the day. Hoping to mimic a poncho I drafted an oversized jacket, adding arm holes to allow for movement. I started with the flashback tee for this jacket as well and then altered the pattern to get the oversized look. I wanted a vertical stripe but could only find this grey sweatshirt knit in my stash. So I pulled out a grey knit tee and cut one inch strips which I folded, ironed, and sewed in place to create the pinstripes. I wanted pockets that popped so left them grey and added a bias dark grey trim to add some definition.

The top, also a sweatshirt fleece, got a bias stripe across the front in his favorite color and a green zip pocket. The nice part about the stripe across the front it allow a seam to anchor the pocket, so it doesn't just float around inside the shirt. I used a freezer paper stencil to add the elephants marching. For the pants, also a pinstripe, I redrafted the waist to include both a traditional and knit waistband. This gives the finished look of ready-to-wear pants but allows ease of self-dressing for my boy.

There is it. A little bit of creativity from my boys and a whole lot of quirk.
Make sure you head over to Project Run and Play and vote for your favorite!

January 28, 2014

mae seop

Week three and its refashion week- my favorite.
All materials I used- except for the hood (that I crocheted) were from my stash of clothes.

For the track jacket I started with the See Kate Sew Recess Raglan but had to modify it to get the look I wanted. One tip for using t-shirts patterns to create hoodies or jackets: make sure you redraft the neck to include the neckband on the front and back body pieces. Or your neck hole will be too big once sewn together. I love when the inside of handmade clothes are as beautiful as the outside. Hence the serged seams and seam casing. 

The vest was a pattern I drafted from an old tee. I wanted the shoulder seam to come to the front a bit so I could add the epaulets and rounded the front to add the snaps. I used a disappearing ink pen and quilting ruler to make the diamonds with lines drawn at 60 degrees. The lining was on old work vest and I kept the original 3M reflective material intact.

The tee was an old tank top with the boom box graphic and then a stripy long sleeve. I used the Made by Rae Skinny Tee but redrafted the width of the 5T so that it wouldn't be as skinny.

The pants were old corduroys that I hand dyed to get a mustard color. I used the same pattern that I used for these pants that I sewed to go with the rain jacket. I added an adjustable waistband using this tutorial from Craftstorming as well as the half fly. (Great resource-check it out!!) My favorite part of the pants is the hidden back pocket. Would love to do a tutorial for it if there is interest. This pair of pants from last year also had a hidden pocket.

Once again I wanted to challenge myself to try things I hadn't done before. The welt pockets on the jacket were new as well as hand sewing the bias on the vest so that the hem didn't show. Also adding interest to the knee of the pants was a new skill because I had to alter the pattern instead of just sewing on knee pads. Love that I have grown and learned new skills through this process. 

Don't forget to head over to Project Run & Play and vote for your favorite!

January 21, 2014


Movie week and my choice was Schindler's List.
Chosen more for the cinematography than the movie itself.
I love the grayscale that is used throughout the entire film and then one girl in a red coat.

I decided to stick with the grayscale for the entire look with a pop of red in the jacket.
Using texture to add interest instead of colors.
And doing a girl look to continue to challenge myself to create things outside of my norm.

I started with the jacket, redrafting  the Made by Rae skinny tee to create a pattern. Using black and grey fabric to create a geometric print, making sure to include one red square. I used a skinny red elastic, up cycled from some christmas coffee bags, to create the weave. I had cream chenille left over in my stash from some baby gifts I had made, so used it to add warmth to the jacket. I also loved that it gave visual interest with the vertical stripes. Having left over geometric print I also used it to make the pockets to add a little extra detail.

The tee, also created using the Made by Rae skinny tee, altered a bit to add the back yoke and button placket. The grey and white knit are both from old tees that were in my stash. The lace is from a table cloth and the buttons from a sweater that had a hole.

The skirt was made from the measurements of my model and grey fabric with a concrete print. I drew the triangle grid and then sewed to create the quilting. Lined the entire thing with the same lace from the table cloth- making the skirt fully reversible.

A huge thank you to my model and her mama for allowing me to try out a girl design this week.

Make sure you head over to the Project Run & Play website and vote for your favorite!

January 14, 2014

hello seattle

Probably one of my favorite projects to date.
I really wanted to challenge myself and this was definitely that.
Not to mention 20+ hours of work.
But all for a custom rain jacket for my oldest in his favorite green....love it!

When I started researching, everything I read lead me to Seattle Fabrics and upon entering the store for the first time I fell in love. Seriously every product you could ever need to make high quality outerwear. They also ship products and their website is extremely helpful.  This article on Sewaholic was also one of the most informative pieces I found to give me an idea of what I was getting into.

I started with this pattern for the jacket and then highly altered not only the shape of the jacket but also the fit. I ended up redrafting quite a few of the pieces to get the exact look I wanted. I incorporated many details from the different store bought rain jackets that we already own. All fabric and supplies were bought from Seattle Fabrics.

The pants were drafted from a pair of old sweatpants. I had to add all the details, create the adjustable waistband and also the back yoke.  The fabric for these were an old pair of jeans but I completely cut them apart and didn't use any of the existing details.

The seam taping. Easily the most intimidating part of the entire process but not difficult once you know what you are doing.  It wasn't as hard as what I thought. I bought extra Melco Iron-On Seam Tape  and did some practicing before I tried it on the jacket. Thankful I took the time to practice because the taped leaked glue on my iron and all over the practice piece.  Hoping to do a tutorial on how to apply the seam tape at some point.

Make sure you head over to the Project Run & Play website and vote for your favorite!