Gray Day Peacoat – Outerwear for PR&P

Don’t you love foggy days? ¬†Awesome for picture taking! ūüôā

So here is my actual entry for the Project Run & Play Sew-along. ¬†This week’s theme was Outerwear. ¬†I didn’t know much about sewing jackets/coats, so I started with a pattern to sew this blazer. ¬†I was able to sew it up pretty quickly last weekend so I felt like I was in good shape to make a coat next. ¬†Unfortunately, I was totally stuck on WHAT I wanted to make.

I searched for coat inspiration and pinned a bunch of stuff.  One idea that stood out to me was a two tone, or color blocked coat, like this:

found here

I went back and forth about this idea so many times. ¬†I bought 4 different shades of wool and couldn’t decide which combo to use. ¬†Then I picked the colors and couldn’t figure out if I wanted gray on top or cream on top. ¬† Should the color break be closer to the top of the coat or bottom?? ¬†Man, I wish I wasn’t so damn indecisive!!

Since I don’t like making decisions, I ended up stalling and stalling and I didn’t start making the coat until it was too late and I had no more time. ¬†I pretty much made this coat all in one night (I had to stay up REEEEALLY late). ¬†I took the pictures yesterday (Thursday) before work, edited the photos after work and loaded them into the¬†flickr¬†pool around midnight. ¬†Phew, that was close!

Anyways, I don’t have a ton to say about this coat. ¬†I’m very glad that I took the time to sew the blazer first from Melly Sew’s pattern because I learned what facing is and how a jacket is put together. ¬†I drafted a new pattern for a basic peacoat using what I learned about facing. ¬†I took the shape and ideas for the shoulder and cuff straps from a jacket I own. ¬†I wanted it to be a long coat, so it looked a bit fancy and added extra warmth. ¬†And now that it’s done, it reminds me of a navy coat.

What do you think?

I think the coat came out fine, but I wish it had something that made it more unique. ¬†I love this coat from Anthropologie and now I’m thinking I might try to add something cool on the back. ¬†My sister votes no. ¬†What do you think?

from here

One of the downsides to procrastinating and running out of time, besides the stress and loss of sleep, is that I didn’t get “finish” the coat. ¬†I feel like I would have added some fun detail somewhere, but didn’t even get to think about it. ¬†I would have loved to have made a hat or some type of accessory, but that wasn’t gonna happen. ¬†But the good news is, I’m not ACTUALLY out of time. ¬†Just because I didn’t finish it before the PR&P deadline doesn’t mean I can’t touch it again, right? ¬†So maybe I’ll work on it more. ¬†Just after I finish next week’s challenge . . . (and the dozen of other projects on my to do list :P)

The theme for next week is Party Wear/Special Occasion. ¬†I’m most likely going to make a dress for Yuki and I’ve started brainstorming ideas, but I’m pretty sure the same thing is going to happen again this week. ¬†I’m going to mull over dozens of ideas and change my mind a million times and then finally decide on something, scramble to the fabric store to whip something up that I’m not totally satisfied with in the end. ¬†ūüė¶ ¬†Indecision is definitely one of the traits I’d like to change about myself most.

And here’s the outtake:

Hee hee hee, my little cheeseball.  I almost never get her to smile, so this was a miracle!!

The Saturday Blazer – Outerwear for PR&P

Yikes! ¬†I really fell behind on blogging this week. ¬†I had a tutorial lined up for this week, as well as projects from BEFORE Christmas that I haven’t shared and I certainly didn’t get to blogging about my Project Run & Play Sew-along entries before I posted them to flickr. ¬†I just BARELY made the deadline this time.

So the theme was Outerwear. ¬†I figured I’d probably make a coat of some kind, but I don’t have much experience making coats/jackets. ¬†I’ve made a hooded cape and a little coat, and though they turned out ok, I was just making it up as I went along and knew that I wasn’t doing it the “right” way. ¬†So I took this opportunity to learn more about jacket/coat construction (did you know how many pieces a basic jacket is made of!?? ¬†A LOT). ¬†I thought a little fitted blazer would be adorable on Yuki and I found this Toddler Blazer pattern by Melly Sews.

This is a super cute pattern for toddlers and young kids (the pattern is for 18m-4T). ¬†It was very easy to follow along and I highly recommend it! ¬†It’s $6 and you can buy through that link I posted above. ¬†I’m REALLY glad I decided to work from a pattern first because I had NO clue what facing was or how to sew it in and now I understand!

The smallest size is 18 months and even though Yuki is 17 months, she is small and is closer to a 12 month size. ¬†So I had to take the pattern down in size. ¬†I also wanted the blazer to have a fitted, slightly feminine look to it. ¬†I didn’t want it to look boxy on her, so I added a slight curve to the sides of the jacket to bring it in around her “waist.” ¬†It’s hard to see in in the picture, but I think it makes a difference. ¬†Of course, I made it TOO fitted. ¬†So now it’s snug when I button it over her big baby belly. ¬†Oops.

I used a gray bottomwear fabric from Jo-Anns because I love gray and it goes well with everything.  The lining fabric was something that I had in my stash (also from Jo-Anns).  I had bought it because I loved it, but had no idea what I was going to use it for.  I love the bright splashes of color that it gives to the gray blazer!

I call it Yuki’s Saturday Blazer because that’s probably when she’ll wear it. ¬†Monday through Friday, while H and I are at work, Yuki goes to a nanny share a few days a week and is watched by H’s mom the rest of the week. ¬†We just dress her in comfortable “whatever” clothes because all she is going to do is eat and play and nap and roll around and get messy (which is generally ALL toddlers do). ¬†We never dress her up during the week. ¬†But Saturdays are for going out and doing special activities so I might dress her up in this. ¬†Sundays too, so maybe I should have called it the Weekend Blazer ūüôā

So this wasn’t even meant to be my entry for the PR&P Sew-along, since I made it as practice. ¬†But I do like how it came out so I figure I might as well share it anyways. ¬†After I made the blazer, I applied the same construction steps but drafted a completely new pattern for a coat. ¬†I’ll share that one as soon as I can ūüôā

Thank you Melissa from Melly Sews for the awesome pattern! ¬†I’ve learned a lot from you!

And here’s a little blooper from the photo shoot. ¬†I feel like I usually have one or two jewels that are just hilarious or cute – so I’ll start saving them for the end of each post:

Haha, silly monkey!

60s Flower Child – Sewing Through the Decades for PR&P

“If you’re going to San Francisco,
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
If you’re going to San Francisco,
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there.”
РJohn Phillips 

The theme for Project Run & Play this week is “Sewing Through the Decades.” ¬†The assignment was to pick a decade and design a children’s outfit based on the fashion trends of that decade. ¬†I just took a look at the Flickr pool to see some of the other entries and there are some fabulous outfits!!

I had a hard time coming up with this week’s outfit. ¬†There wasn’t one decade or style that was screaming out at me. ¬†I considered doing a popular 50s girls dress with the poofy skirt and all. ¬†At one point I wanted to recreate one of my mom’s outfits from the 50s. ¬†Or do a 60s mod dress. ¬†I love 20s style dresses, but I didn’t think the ones I really liked would look good on a toddler’s body. ¬†I even considered an 80s Madonna tribute. ¬†It’s pretty random how I ended up picking this style.

I chose this 60s hippie/flower child look because of a picture of a flowy top I came across while doing some research. ¬†It looked so pretty, so I drew a sketch of it and though I kept looking for more ideas, I kept coming back to that sketch. ¬†I wanted to do a hippie look – but not like the tie-dyed, super bright and colorful peace signs and big flowers exaggerated hippie look, but the bohemian flower child, super earthy, war protesting, barefoot kinda hippie of the late 60s. ¬†It’s probably because I could kinda see myself as one, had I lived during that time. ¬†I didn’t realize that San Francisco was the epicenter of the hippie subculture in the mid to late 60s. ¬†It made me want to take my little hippie child down to Haight-Ashbury or Golden Gate Park for our photo shoot to recreate some fun scenes. ¬†It may seem a little inappropriate for a child, considering drugs were such a huge part of the culture, but that part aside, it was a really fun style to try.

I had a few goals in mind for this week:
1. Sew something new and different (this is kind of a goal that I always have).
2. Keep it simple. ¬†I knew I couldn’t go all out and pull off 5 pieces like last week.
3. Make something that fit the theme (was inspired by a past decade), but was something that Yuki could wear again as part of her regular wardrobe.
4. Blog about the outfit before uploading my pictures to flickr by Friday at 8am.

I’d say I was about 75% successful.

I accomplished the first and last goal!  I did attempt something new with both the top and the bottom.  Both pieces were completely new to me.  And look, a blog post before the deadline (barely, but still)!

As for keeping it simple, I tried. ¬†I didn’t have the time to make a super elaborate outfit this week – nor did I have the inspiration. ¬†So I thought I’d do something really simple this week and maybe start a little early on next week’s challenge (didn’t happen). ¬†I wanted to do 2 simple pieces, a top and a bottom. ¬†I made a fairly simple blouse pattern with no real crazy details or embellishments. ¬†I hit a few rough spots when I was constructing it, but I was able to finish it in half a day and once it was done, it didn’t need any altering (thank goodness)! ¬†I kept it pretty simple!

The bottoms however are a different story! ¬†Originally, I made some denim cut-off shorts. ¬†I spent a decent amount of time adding a lot of detail to the shorts to make them look like real jeans (I was inspired by all the great pants made by the contestants for Boys Week). ¬†After they were done, Hideko said that she didn’t think it went with the top and the overall hippie look (she loves to give me her opinion AFTER I’ve finished making something :)). ¬†She thought I should make bell bottoms! ¬†I wasn’t planning on making anything too “hippie” because I wanted her to be able to wear it again. ¬†But I gave in.

I had a pair of my old jeans that I thought I could use for the bell bottoms. ¬†Since I was quite sure Yuki wouldn’t be wearing these again, I didn’t want to spend a ton of time on them. ¬†But they ended up being the most time consuming part of the outfit, BY FAR. ¬†I hacked apart my jeans trying to make them fit my 16 month old and make them bell bottoms. ¬†When I tried them on her, they didn’t look bell bottom-y enough, so I decided to add the triangles of fabric to really exaggerate the look. ¬†Why not go all the way!? ¬†They certainly look the part now!

I didn’t hem the bottoms, so they’ve have a bit of a tattered look – I just zig zag stitched the edge. ¬†I hope to have a tutorial relating to these pants next week, so look out for that, if you’re interested!

So, I was able to keep the top simple, but spent too much time on the pants. ¬†She’ll definitely wear the top again, but probably not the pants (unless we have a costume party to go to). ¬†Overall, I’m not THRILLED with how the outfit came out. ¬†I do like the top, but it looks a little oversized on her. ¬†The bodice is perfectly fitted, but the sleeves and the body probably could have been a bit shorter. ¬†The pants are also too long, so I’m afraid the whole outfit looks a bit sloppy. ¬†Maybe accurate, but still a little sloppy.

I did have fun putting together a few accessories for the photos though.  I just bought some cheap wooden beads and strung them randomly on some string for her necklace.  I got a yard of leather and added some beads and glued a few feathers that I already had at home to the ends for the headband.  I also took a fake daisy and glued it to a clip for her hair, though it fell off half way through the photo taking.

I had a lot of fun on this photo shoot!  It was a chilly morning on the beach, but my crazy child wanted to go IN the water.  The FREEZING water.  She kept walking towards it and though it would have made for some cool pictures, I did not want to lose my child in the ocean while I was snapping away on my camera!  We did both get our feet wet though.  I think I do have a little hippie child.  Take a look at her dirty wet little feet.

After we finished taking these pictures I put her in some dry clothes and had a little cracker treat.  She was quite a trooper!

You like my dirty, hippie, photo-shoot-is-more-important-than-showering look?? ūüôā

Next week’s theme is Outerwear! ¬†I THINK I know what I want to make, but it’s going to be quite a challenge. ¬†Have you ever looked at jacket construction? ¬†It’s complicated! ¬†What I probably SHOULD make is a raincoat – it’s finally started raining and it looks like it’s not stopping any time soon!

What have you been up to? ¬†Hope you’re staying warm and dry!

OooOOooOoh my goodness!

My Boy-cycle outfit for Boys Week was chosen as one of the winners for the At-home-sew-along Contest for Project Run & Play!! ¬†There was a tie! ¬†I’m so excited and shocked and happy! ¬†The other winner was Stephanie from Pinafores and Pinwheels and I’m so glad that they picked her design too, because I LOVE it. ¬†Hers was a Sherlock Holmes inspired look that is so stylish and totally wearable too.

Something weird is going on where I can’t leave comments on some other people’s blogs (some work fine and other not at all!). ¬†I’ve tried today and yesterday from 2 different browsers and it still won’t work. ¬†At the risk of sounding like a cheesy acceptance speech, I DID want to publicly say thank you to the judges of the contest for picking my outfit! ¬†And all the really supportive people who have left sweet and encouraging comments. ¬†A huge thank you to the ladies at Simple Simon & Co. for hosting the fantastic Project Run & Play competition and allowing the opportunity for the sew-along! ¬†I’ve been having so much fun!

Look out this week for a simple tutorial from the boy’s outfit and then my entry for this week’s PR&P challenge which is Sewing Through the Decades. ¬†You can take a look at all the other sew-along entries at the PR&P Flickr Pool. ¬†Most people will add their submissions starting from tomorrow and the deadline is Friday at 8am. ¬†Hope I get mine done, photographed and uploaded by then! ¬†Can you guess what decade I finally picked?

Boy-cycle Wear – Boys Week for PR&P

I said I was going to post one more holiday project, but before I do I wanted to share my outfit for this week’s Project Run & Play¬†sew-along.

This week the theme was BOYS! ¬†I find that unique boys clothes are hard to come up with and difficult to make well. ¬†I think that if I have a son someday, I’ll really be pushed to be creative and it was fun challenging myself this week. ¬†I have a daughter, but we dress her up in plenty of boys clothes, this was just my first time MAKING any. ¬†It was also my first time sewing with knits!! ¬†Feels so good to learn new things, especially something that I’d been so scared of for so long! ¬†Anyways, here is the finished outfit. ¬†Hideko thought of the name because of the bicycles on the orange accent fabric and because we thought it might be something a hipster bicyclist might wear. ūüôā ¬†Presenting Boy-cycle Wear!

For this outfit, I actually made FIVE pieces. ¬†I was being way too ambitious. ¬†I made pants, a shirt, a hooded vest, a hat and a tie (shown later). ¬†The outfit is a bit more mismatched than I had in mind, but oh well. ¬†Kids are supposed to be mismatched right!? ūüôā ¬†Here are some of the details.

I made the pants first. ¬†I wanted to try more of a straight leg pant (as opposed to my usual boot cut) with some fun cuffs and pocket detailing. ¬†I’ve been using this orange fabric with bicycles on it (this one) for a few projects recently and thought it’d be cute here too. ¬†That’s how the bicycle theme was chosen. ¬†I made 2 pockets in the front, one in the back and cuffs. ¬†This piece was pretty straight forward.

Next I made the hat. ¬†I used this tutorial from Bandy Canyon. ¬†She actually provides a pattern as well, so if you’re interested, I would definitely check it out. ¬†I drafted my own pattern from a similar cap that Yuki already owned adjusting shape and size. ¬†This piece was tricky and I actually had to do it twice. ¬†The first time I wasn’t sure if my pattern was going to work and it didn’t and the hat came out kinda wonky. ¬†The second time was way better except it was WAY too big. ¬†If I tried a third time I’m sure it would have been perfect, but I didn’t have the time or patience to do it again. ¬†Instead I just added a lot of elastic to the back to make it fit. ¬†It’s still a little on the loose side, but that means she can grow into it! ¬†Unfortunately, Yuki HATES wearing hats and refuses to keep them on. ¬†It’s a miracle I even got a few pics of the hat on her head, but I assure you it was only a split second later that the hat was back on the ground.

Next I made the shirt. ¬†This shirt is a huge triumph for me because it is my first successful KNIT project. ¬†Yes, I am one of those people who is totally scared of knits. ¬†It started this past summer when I tried to make a dress with a knit bodice. ¬†I thought the stretchy material would be great and I wouldn’t need a zipper or button closure because the neckhole would stretch to fit over Yuki’s head. ¬†What I didn’t know was that if you sew it like regular woven fabric the material doesn’t stretch because of the stitching. ¬†I finished the dress and then had to cut it open when I realized it wouldn’t fit over Yuki’s head. ¬†Tragic.

Since then, I’ve avoided it at all costs. ¬†I started collecting some information and doing a little research (there are some great resources for sewing with knits out there), but I was still confused and nervous. ¬†But when it comes to boys shirts I felt like I didn’t have many options, either attempt a knit shirt or a collared shirt. ¬†Both were daunting, but I’d wanted to learn how to sew with knits for awhile and it seems so practical (there are so many amazing things you can make with knits!). ¬†Plus, learning how to sew a collar was not a task I was about to attempt in such a short amount of time (I had about one night for each piece of the outfit).

ANYWAYS, I tried two techniques: the double pointed needle and the stretch stitch (which looks like an angled zig zag stitch).  Both worked well, but I had to play around with the stitch width and length and also the tension for different fabrics.  I made a simple long sleeved shirt which turned out fine except for the neckline which came out too wide.  After the shirt was done, I used a stamp that I had carved a long time ago for another project (so awesome that I happened to have a bike!) and some fabric paint to stamp the bike image on the bottom corner.

The fourth piece was this necktie that kinda ended up getting scrapped completely. ¬†I used this awesome pattern and tutorial from Very Homemade. ¬†Somehow I thought that it would show at the neck under the vest, but it didn’t. ¬†It’s also too big, so it looks kind of ridiculous on Yuki. ¬†I’ll keep it around for some other time or maybe give it away as a gift. ¬†I love this picture . . . doesn’t she look like a mime or a clown!?

Hahaha!

The last piece of the outfit is, without a doubt, my favorite – possibly even my favorite creation to date – the hooded vest. ¬†I had this image in my head and wasn’t quite sure how to make it happen, but it turned out really close to what I wanted! ¬†There are definitely things I’d do differently if I were to make it again, but overall, I really like it.

I’m not quite sure what this type of neckline is called, but it’s kind of popular these days, I’ve seen it on a lot of men’s and women’s sweaters. ¬†In fact, I have a long sleeved sweater with a similar collar. ¬†Except I wanted to turn the collar into a hood and instead of a sweater, I wanted it to be a vest. ¬†The collar/hood construction took a little time to figure out, but it came out just the way I wanted it to (don’t you love when that happens!?). ¬†I lined the hood and the pockets with this new fabric by Lotta Jansdotter called Woven. ¬†I LOVE the print, but it is in fact, a woven, so it has no stretch. ¬†It’s unfortunate because although I love the way it looks, the collar has lost all of it’s stretch and it’s actually a bit of a squeeze to get it over Yuki’s head. ¬†Oh, there has to be at least one problem with everything I make!! ¬†But at least it I’m learning . . .

So those are the 5 pieces that make up Boy-cycle Wear for Boys Week! ¬†Even though we have a daughter, we have no issues putting her boys clothes. ¬†Hideko’s style is more on the masculine side, so Yuki definitely gets the best of both fashion worlds. ¬†I’ve never been into the standard definitions of femininity/masculinity or beauty and we definitely want to raise Yuki as free from gender stereotypes as possible – which of course, is impossible. ¬†So far though, she seems to be a little tomboy, just like us! ¬†She loves to run, climb and play ball and she’s totally obsessed with cars and planes. ¬†Who says those things are for boys??

(maybe I should have made knee pads too!)

Ok Ma, no more pictures!!

Well thanks for checking out my outfit for this week’s PR&P sew-along. ¬†Next week the theme is Sewing Through the Decades – something inspired by fashion from the past. ¬†Sounds fun, but I have NO clue yet as to what I want to make. ¬†If you have any great ideas, I’m all ears!!

Winter Romper – Junebug Remix for PR&P

It’s the first day of voting for Project Run & Play! If you didn’t catch it, you can see my breakdown of the competition here or go to the PR&P blog to check it all out yourself!

This week’s theme was a remix of the Junebug dress by Jess at Craftiness is not Optional. Here’s a picture of the original pattern:

You should go see the 8 competitors entries. They are so great, I really can’t decide which one I like best. It’s amazing how different each designer’s visions are!

And yet, one of them looks really similar to what I came up with!! ¬†This season they’ve added a sew along portion for “viewers at home” to participate too. ¬†Here’s my design, the Winter Romper.

It took me a really long time to figure out how I wanted to remix the original pattern. ¬†I decided to go with shorts because I love this other denim romper that Yuki has. ¬†The gray wool was my sister’s idea, which I’m so glad I went with. ¬†It’s actually a wool gray and blue herringbone, though the blue is subtle. ¬†The wool makes it perfect for the winter in California! ¬†Warm and good for layering. ¬†I lined the romper bodice with some fabric I had left over from another project I’m working on. ¬†I didn’t really think it was going to be such a big part of the romper, but at the last minute I decided to use the same fabric to cover some buttons.

Oh, the buttons! ¬†I couldn’t decide what buttons to use, so I bought 4 different kinds at the store. ¬†I knew that the buttons would be such an important part of the outfit, so it was a big decision! ¬†I finally decided to go with the fabric covered buttons and I’m not positive that I made the right decision, but overall, I think it gives the romper a unique and well put together look.

I made the entire bodice a little longer to meet the high waisted shorts. ¬†I added pleats in the front and the back, pockets and a button cuff. ¬†It gives it kind of a newsboy look. ¬†I was going to add a thin belt or bow at the waistline, but when it came time to take pictures, I forgot to put it on. ¬†I think it looks fine without one though. ¬†Overall, I’m pleased with the way it turned out! ¬†I love when things turn out the way you imagined, even though you had no idea what you were doing! ¬†ūüôā

My poor daughter is really sick right now, so we didn’t get to take many photos. ¬†I’m just impressed she let me put her in the clothes (and she didn’t throw up on it!). ¬†Usually I can’t get her to stay still, but this time she would only stand there with her stuffed dog and hand up to her mouth. ¬†Poor baby ūüė¶

I finally got her to smile!  Kind of . . .

If you want to see the other entries for the Sew Along, you can see them all at the PR&P Flickr pool. ¬†They have 2 judges who are going to pick one winner over the weekend and it’ll be announced on Monday! ¬†I’m not too hopeful, but I’m excited to see whose design is chosen! ¬†The winner gets $25 at fabric.com.

Next week the theme is BOYS. ¬†It seems like it’s always been a challenge to come up with great clothes and other arts & crafts projects for boys, so they often get neglected. ¬†Well all next week is dedicated to boys clothes, so hopefully we’ll see some great ideas. ¬†What do you think I should make? ¬†Any great ideas for a boys outfit??

Project Run & Play

Have you heard of Project Run & Play?¬† It is this online competition where bloggers are chosen to create children’s clothes based on a theme they are given every week.¬† There are judges and eliminations and prizes and everything.¬† It is SO AWESOME.¬† All the competitors are so creative and their styles are so different, it’s fun to see what they each come up with.¬† You can read more about Project Run & Play here and find the list of designers and their blogs here.

Now the cool thing about this season is that they are adding a At Home Sew Along portion where ANYONE can create new clothes based on the theme for the week, upload their photos to their flickr pool, and they will be judged (separately from the main competition) and the weekly winner will get a prize!¬† How fun is that?¬† I really want to participate in all five weeks (I think there’s only five weeks), if possible, but it’s nice to not have any pressure too.

We are in Week One now and the challenge was a remix of the Junebug Dress.¬† This is a tutorial by Jess at Craftiness is not Optional.¬† It’s an adorable dress that I had pinned to make for Yuki when I had a chance.¬† But since the challenge is a remix, you can’t just copy the pattern, you have to change it up a bit.¬† It took me soooooooo long to figure out what I wanted to do (the original is just so darn cute as it is!).¬† I finally came up with an idea and had to make the entire thing in two evenings, but it’s done!¬† It’s not perfect, but I’m excited that I had something to submit.¬† If you want to take a look at the flickr pool, you can find my entry as well as all the other creative remixes that have been uploaded.

But, if you can wait, I’ll post my entry tomorrow and the link to the actual designers submissions. Here’s a little sneak peek though, See you tomorrow!