Friday, November 17, 2017

Project Run and Play // Recap

I cannot believe it, but Project Run and Play Season 14 is over. What a ride it has been! Honestly, I never imagined I could be a designer for Project Run and Play. It was something I only dreamed of and as I have learned over the past month, dreams do come true!

The competition is over and I will admit that I am both relieved and a little sad. Relieved because this was one of the most stressful months I have ever been through. Planning, coming up with designs, sewing, taking pictures, writing blog posts, making deadlines, promoting my designs on facebook and instagram. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes too and I am so grateful to all the ladies that make Project Run and Play possible! Without them, there would be no competition.

I am also a little sad, because it has been an amazing experience and I had so much fun! The other designers will understand what I mean when I say that it was stressful and fun at the same time. I had the honor of sewing with and competing against some amazing ladies. You are all very talented and I feel so honored to have been a part of Season 14 with every one of you. I can't wait to see what you continue to sew and I am so glad to have "met" you this past month! It is true that we were all competing against each other, but I was always sad to see someone go each week and I truly wanted everyone to win.

Even though the competition is over, I can't stop talking about it and I don't think I will stop talking about it for a long time. I learned so much about myself and my sewing skills in the past month. I was challenged in so many different ways and I know this will help me in the future. As part of the competition, we are allowed to use patterns but as "designers" we are supposed to make them our own. This was a huge challenge for me. I normally follow a pattern word for word and don't make any changes! I want my sewing projects to turn out right and with veering from a pattern there is a risk of it not turning out! However, I am happy to say that I surprised myself! Project Run and Play really pushed me to do my best and be as creative as possible. I would've never made any of these outfits if not for the competition. Now, I am excited to see what I can do with my sewing in the future! 

Project Run and Play taught me to love blogging again! Honestly, I have not been blogging much this year even though I have been sewing more than ever. I have been sharing my makes on my instagram account but I had no motivation to keep up my blog. I was seriously considering closing down my blog when I got the message from Audrey of Skirt Fixation inviting me to be a part of the competition! I'm so grateful for that because I still enjoy blogging! I can't promise I will post every week or post about everything I make, but there will be more from me here! This blog isn't going away anytime soon! I hope you will stay with me for the ride! 

Week 3 was my favorite look by far! It challenged me on so many different levels and I am really proud of the jacket. I used a dress pattern and took my chances with making it into a jacket! It worked out better than I ever thought it would and I am a little bit jealous of my sister's awesome new wardrobe! 

Thank you so much to everyone who commented on my posts and encouraged me along the way! It has been so much fun sharing this adventure with you and I can't wait to see what the future holds! For now, I will be tackling some projects for myself on my fall sewing list! I have loved sewing all month long for my siblings (and now my sister has an awesome new wardrobe) but I want to catch up on some sewing for myself! On the list is a plaid flannel Cheyenne tunic, and a Lane Raglan hoodie!  After that, I will start on Christmas dresses! 

I will leave you with some outtakes from our photo shoots. It was so much fun taking pictures of my siblings each week and I am so thankful that they put up with my many pictures! My sister certainly makes me laugh every time! 

I told her to smell the flowers, so she plugged her nose instead!

Thank you again for joining me on this journey!


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Blackwood Cardigan

I finally sewed something for myself! I needed a quick project requiring no thinking after all my sewing for Project Run and Play. The Blackwood Cardigan from Helen's Closet was the perfect thing! I bought the pattern back in September and planned to sew it up right away but then life  happened and it got pushed to the side. I'm glad I finally made it! I'm always cold, and living in Minnesota this time of year makes cardigans an essential wardrobe item!

I've been trying really hard to use my stash whenever possible. I bought this hacci sweater knit fabric from Girl Charlee two years ago. I didn't buy it with a project in mind, so it's been sitting in my stash for these last two years waiting to be sewed. Luckily I bought 2 yards, which is the exact requirement for view A in size medium!

The pattern is designed to be open at the front and it is perfect for layering. There are two versions - the hip length or the mid thigh length with patch pockets. I made the longer version but I left off the pockets because my fabric was not the best to work with! It was super stretchy and the pockets were not laying flat when I attempted to pin them on, so I thought it would be better to leave them off. I think they would be great on a more stable knit.

I wear a cardigan or sweater almost everyday in the winter time! I've been wanting a longer cardigan, so this was a perfect pattern to try. The directions were simple and straight forward as well. Helen offers a lot of tips for sewing with knits which is great if you haven't sewn knits before. I also like that there are no buttons in the front. I rarely wear my cardigans buttoned up.

I really like the extra long sleeves of this cardigan. Usually I have to lengthen sleeves, but I made no alterations to this cardigan. This cardigan layers great under a coat and you can pull the sleeves down to cover your hands.

Unfortunately, my tripod broke right before I started taking these pictures! Fortunately I was by a bridge so I just set my camera on the ledge and used my self timer. It seemed to work pretty well!

I layered the cardigan over my favorite Lady Skater dress with boots and a scarf. This is a pretty classic look for me this time of year! It was cold and windy, but I stayed fairly warm during the photoshoot with my cardigan and fleece lined leggings. 

I sewed this cardigan on my sewing machine, but would have loved to use a serger. The front band got a little wavy and stretched out, but I steamed it enough that it's not too noticeable. A walking foot may have helped some too, but I was going for quick and easy while sewing this project!

I decided to use the wrong side of the sweater knit for the bands. I like the different texture and subtle detail it adds. This knit is really soft and I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of it this winter! 

Funny story about this photoshoot - the bridge is by a walking trail and there were a few people out while I was taking pictures. While I was checking my camera to see how the pictures were turning out, a guy walked by and saw me with the camera. He told me he just saw a bald eagle in a tree on the other side of the river. He wanted to show me, so we walked a little farther down the bridge and I was able to zoom in really close and get a few pictures! The guy kept on with his walk after he had showed me and told me to have fun. Haha! If only he knew the real reason I was out taking pictures!

I had fun sewing something for myself and I definitely want to sew this pattern again. I really like the long cardigan, but I want to try the shorter version as well. 

Do you have a favorite cardigan pattern? What do you have on your sewing table now? 


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Project Run and Play Week 4 // Totally Turquoise

Wow! I am so excited to be back for the final week of Project Run and Play! I never imagined making it to Signature Style week. It has been an amazing experience and I have enjoyed every minute! It is truly a dream come true to just be a part of this competition! Thank you so much for reading my blog posts, commenting, voting, and supporting me these past few weeks! A huge thank you to my family and friends who have put up with my nonstop talk about Project Run and Play too! 

Signature style was not an easy challenge for me. I mostly sew for myself and my siblings and my style can be different depending on who I am sewing for and my style also depends on the season. I drew up six different designs before scrapping them all and coming up with this look. Turquoise is my favorite color ever and I knew it had to be part of my design, so when I found this wool turquoise in my stash it was perfect! 

I am a skirt girl, so I knew I had to make a skirt as part of my design. I love the classic look of circle skirts too, so I used the circle skirt from the Janie dress pattern to make my sister's skirt. I lined it in a bright pink floral because my sister's favorite color is pink. All of the seams are enclosed, so the skirt is reversible if my sister wants to wear it with the pink side facing out. 

The big floral design inspired me to do some embroidery on the wool side. I like adding details to my designs, and the solid turquoise was the perfect canvas for some embroidery. I chose to embroider some of the big pink flowers along the hem of the skirt. I didn't have any embroidery thread, so I used grey topstitching thread and it worked just as well! 

Here's some up close pictures of the embroidery. I chose to use a chain stitch for most of the flowers. I used a stem stitch on a few as well. This took the most time, but I am happy with the final result!

 The grey shirt also started with the Janie dress. I used the bodice and lengthened it a few inches to make it shirt length. I also widened the neckline by five inches so I could add in some gathering.  I love the subtle detail it adds and it really takes the shirt above t-shirt level. I used turquoise knit for the neckband to tie it in with the rest of the outfit. 

Her poor little nose was getting red from the cold, but she did so great putting up with all my pictures!

I love wearing scarfs, so I made my sister a simple infinity scarf using this turquoise and orange floral rayon challis. This fabric was going to be the skirt when I first started. However, it was so off grain that no matter what I did there was no hope. Fortunately, it makes a cute scarf!

My signature style look was going to end with just the shirt, skirt, and scarf. However, the Minnesota weather suddenly turned colder and I decided my sister needed something to keep warm! 

I started with an old sweater of mine, that I have been holding onto for a few years. The buttons were falling off and it had a missing snap. It also didn't fit me right, which is why I never wore it, but I loved the details so I kept it hoping for the perfect project.

I decided to use the Friday dress bodice to make a jacket. I cut the bodice in half, close to the armscye. Then I cut the bottom of the sweater to add the length back in. I wanted to use the collar and the sleeve cuffs from the sweater because I loved the details. I used the long sleeve pattern from the Friday dress pattern, but I cut them shorter so as to add the cuffs. I like how the cuffs add almost a bell like sleeve to the jacket. For the collar, I pinned it on to determine how much I needed to take off and then sewed it on. 

I added some decorative topstitching to the shoulder seams and I double topstitched around the collar. I also sewed both buttons from the sweater onto the collar. I decided on snaps for a closure so it will be easy for my sister to dress herself. 

This jacket was not planned at all when I started sewing my signature style. However, it is now my favorite piece of the whole outfit! My only regret is that it is not my size!

Finally, the earwarmer completes the look and will be perfect for keeping my little sister warm on these brisk and cool winter days. I was inspired by a similar one that I made for myself a few years ago. I used the same pattern from Kay Whitt's book, but I resized it for my sister. I used pink fleece for the bottom layer and the turquoise wool for the top. I love the little flower and it goes great with my overall floral theme. 

Here are a few more pictures we took indoors at the library! 

I hope you enjoyed seeing my signature style! It's totally turquoise, and totally my style. I love how versatile these pieces are and my sister will be able to mix and match with the other outfits I made! Thank you again for joining me on this journey!

 Don't forget to head over the the Project Run and Play blog and vote!


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Project Run and Play Week 3 // An Ode to Reese's

Visit Project Run and Play to VOTE for your favorite candy inspired outfit!

I am so excited to be back for week three of Project Run and Play!! The theme this week is "Candy Coated Challenge" and we were supposed to sew something inspired by a favorite Halloween Candy. This was by far the hardest week for me because I couldn't make up my mind on a candy! I changed my mind several times before I started sewing, but I finally decided I would have to sew something inspired by my most favorite candy ever - Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!

The best part of this challenge was visiting "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store." It has the most candy I have ever seen and it is a super fun place for a photoshoot! Thankfully, I do not live too close to it or I would be visiting all the time! 

My inspiration for this Reese's PB Cup outfit started with this orange stretch denim from Michael Levine. I have never made a denim jacket, but once I had the idea, my wheels started spinning! I started with the Friday dress from Petit a Petit Patterns. I used the bodice pieces in one size bigger than my sister usually wears. Then I lengthened the bodice pieces several inches so it would be long enough for a jacket. I added two welt pockets using this tutorial as a reference. The Friday dress comes with long sleeves but no cuffs. I shortened the sleeves a few inches and added the length back in using cuffs. Then I added a sleeve placket using this method. I also added a band instead of hemming.

I topstitched my seams using grey topstitching thread. It was leftover from another project and I love how the thicker thread stands out on the orange denim!

I used a contrasting orange and white gingham to line the pockets and the back yoke. You can see it peaking out here.

The yellow snaps might be my favorite part of the jacket! I got them from Snap Source and they add just the right amount of contrast! They were so fun to put in too! I love using a hammer in my sewing projects.

I am really proud of how this jacket turned out! It gave me the confidence that I can take any pattern and change it into what I want! You would never guess that this jacket started from a dress pattern.

The shirt was also really fun to make! I started with the Oliver + S School Bus T-Shirt. It is becoming one of my favorite patterns, because it works for most of my siblings! I wanted to make something that would represent the peanut butter and chocolate of the Reese's PB cup. I used this tan knit fabric from my stash to make the shirt and added strips of ruffles to represent the ruffling around the PB cup! I kind of made it up as I went along and really like the end result! 

I also added a ruffle to each sleeve.

I left the back plain and I love how the sleeve ruffles peak out from this view. 

The skirt is made using chocolate brown knit from Purple Seamstress. This represents the chocolate part of the PB cup. I used two rectangles based on my sister's waist and length measurements to make the skirt. Then I gathered the top edge and sewed on a double folded yoga waistband. The result is a cute and comfortable skirt that she will be able to wear with many different outfits! 

Love this silly girl!

The outside of the candy store is a bright yellow, which made the perfect backdrop for our Reese's Peanut Butter Cup inspired outfit! I love how the the ruffles look peaking out from the open jacket!

I know you want to see pictures inside the candy store too! It is a HUGE place full of unique (and common) types of candy! If you can think of it they probably have it somewhere!

This is just the beginning, when you walk into the store!

Of course, she needed a picture with a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup!

We even found a 2 lb chocolate peanut butter cup! Yes, TWO POUNDS! No, I did not buy it - that would be way too dangerous!

We had a fun time taking pictures in the red telephone booth!

Thank you so much for reading about my candy inspired outfit! I hope you enjoyed seeing a peak inside my favorite candy store too! Don't forget to head over to the Project Run and Play blog and vote for your favorite outfit!