Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Project Run and Play Week 3

Handmade Boy

I am so excited to be a part of week three!! Thank you for all of your support!
Week three's brainstorming session started much like week two's. Thomas and I had a conversation. Upon being asked who his favorite artist is, Thomas replied with "Oh! That guy who likes red and straight lines and doesn't use a lot of colors." Now, that could be quite the puzzle. But, I was luckily enough to be a helper during his second grade art classes last year, and I had a rough idea of who he was talking about. A quick text to his art teacher (for real, I'm friends with her. ;) ) and she was able to tell me the name of the artist, Horace Pippin. Filled with American Folk inspiration, we designed our look, Modernly Primitive.

Horace Pippin was an American Folk artist from the 1940s. He was self taught and used a limited amount of color in his work, with the primary use of colors resembling those from war times with lots of grays. However, he enjoyed adding a stroke of red to each of his paintings. So of course, we needed a bold red in our look, and what is more bold than a pair of red pants?

Contrasting topstitching mimics the simple straight lines Pippin used in his works. Specifically, the designs of the back pockets were inspired by the perspective lines used in his rooms. The handcrafted suspenders mimic the style of the men's clothes in the painting.

 They are detachable with buttons sewn to the waistband and buttonholes through the leather tabs.

 Pants were self drafted and have a working zipper and button closure, back welt pockets, yoke elastic in the back of the waist, and suspenders. They are made from stretch twill from Simply by Ti. I love how this fabric washed up and it has enough stretch to make moving easy, but they hold their shape well. Even after a day of wear, the knees weren't stretched out!

We had to recreate this painting, Man on a Bench from Horace Pippin. I believe Thomas nailed it.

Pippin liked to include striped rugs in his paintings. That was a detail we had to include! This striped pull over is easy to wear over anything from a tee to an oxford with it's exposed zipper adding a touch of modern style.

The muted tones that Pippen liked to use were easy to replicate with this sweater knit from So Sew English. It was so perfect! It's light weight and great for layers, even for kids that get hot easily. 

The lining of the collar was designed to flip over to the front creating the look of a bias binding. The seam of the neckline is enclosed in the collar lining making the pullover comfy even for a kid who doesn't like seams.

 Another element Horace Pippin enjoyed was the use of numbers. He would feature a number by including groupings of items, for example, three windows, three cracks in the wall and three chairs in a painting.

We had fun with the challenge of this detail! With the exception of the bow tie, each article of clothing was drafted to be made from seven pieces; pants (front and back leg, yoke, waistband, fly guard, welt pocket, belt loops), shirt, (front, back, sleeve, collar, button placket, pocket, cuff), pull over (front, back, sleeve, collar, collar lining, zipper placket, cuff), and jacket (front, back, sleeve, collar, pocket, pocket flap, bottom band) The shirt features seven buttons (two on placket, two on collar, one on each sleeve cuff, and one on the pocket.) The pants have seven belt loops.

The line art of the bow ties in his shirt reminded me of the primitive feel of many of Pippin's sketches, but has that touch of modern that I love. I used my Driftwood as my base to create a woven collar shirt typical of boy's clothing in the 1930s.

The jacket is our modern take of the overcoats worn by men. Simple, clean lines keep the look fresh, while the gray bottomweight fabric pulls in the gray tones used by Pippen. Black piping at the collar and limited black topstitching were inspired by the straight, bold lines from the art.

Trying to teach Thomas the coy "scratch the back of your head" pose. It's much harder than you would think!

I think the jacket may be my favorite piece from this. The weight is perfect for crisp fall days and I love that it can look great with jean or dressier clothes. Made from a soft cotton bottomweight, it's super easy to wash.

We really enjoyed creating this look and Thomas can't wait till fall is really here so he can get some good use of that jacket! (Anybody else have a kid who loves coats?!)

Still working on that behind the head scratch. Getting closer!!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out our look! Don't forget to go back over to Project Run & Play and vote for your favorite!! Next week is finals week and we are crossing everything hoping me make it through!!


This week's look was sponsored by So Sew English and Simply by Ti.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Project Run and Play Week 2

Project Run and Play Week 2

We made it to WEEK TWO!!! AHHHHH!!!! I am so excited!! I am so IN LOVE with this look and have been sooo impatient to show you!!!

So, after reading the theme for week two, I called Thomas over to get his input. He is the one who has to wear this stuff, so I feel like he has some sway in the direction my designs go.
Me: "Hey, buddy, week two is 'Flights of Fancy'."
Thomas: "What does that mean?"
Me: "We are suppose to get our inspiration from birds. What is your favorite bird?"
Thomas: without any hesitation "A snowy owl!"
Me: .....................
A freaking snowy owl?! Now the challenge is on. What to a do for a snow owl for an eight year old boy?! A snowy owl is a cute little thing. White and fluffy with golden eyes. I could think of a dozen different things to do to represent a snow owl for a girl, or a little boy. But an eight year old boy, what do I do?! Well, do you know what else a snowy owl is? A hunter. A strong bird of prey that lives in a cold, harsh environment. A snowy owl is a symbol of strength and survival.
So, inspired by strength and amazing abilities to soar in the open sky, along with my family's love for Steampunk, I created what I call The Arctic Aviator.

Arctic Aviator started with the vision of a white suede vest. Layers are a huge part of the Steampunk look, so I knew my look would include several layers, and the self drafted vest would be the feature piece. The drastically curved hem is a nod to the Snowy Owl's tail feathers, while individual feather layers on the sides are a hint towards the great, strong wings. Metal rivets, lots of pockets, metal zipper and chain, and detailed topstitching all give credit to the Steampunk feel my house loves.

The topstitching details in the vest were super hard to capture. Each feature features feather inspired topstitching, unique to each one.

You can find this gorgeous white cuddle suede at Shannon Fabrics.
They very generously sponsored this post by providing me with the fabric for the vest. It was so easy to work with (I even made the binding out of it!), and has a nice soft brushed feel unlike the other suedes I've used before. My son is very picky about his fabrics and he loved petting this vest. The most common words said during the shoot were "Quit playing with the feathers!" Followed with "But I love how they feel!!"

I had so much fun designing this vest and it turned out JUST how I imagined. I was going for something a unique, but something he could still wear everyday. He has already asked to wear this to school, so, as far as an 8 year old boy's opinion, it's totally something to wear to school.

I used my embroidery machine to add a cool owl to the upper back of the vest. Using a pale gray thread keeps the design subtle while adding a cool detail. You can find the design at Urban Threads.

My next big piece was the distressed moto pants. White pants are a terrible idea for my son, so we went with khaki inspired from the legs of the Snowy Owl.

Again, completely in LOVE with how these pants turned out. They were a true labor of love!!
Self drafted and sewn from stretch cotton twill, the pants were composed of nine pieces per leg, with one panel having a pleating detail. To make sure each panel ended up where I wanted, I made a plain view muslin with the fit of the pant I wanted and then had Thomas put them on. While he was wearing them, I designated each panel's size and placement. He got a kick out of me drawing on his pants while he was wearing them!

The pleating on the thigh panel may be my favorite!! 

After they were all sewn came the hard part. I took my scalpel style seam ripper and tore up the pants in a couple of places, the left knee, the front of the right hip and the back pockets. Each tear has another layer of fabric under it, so it looks intentionally distressed and not like he is running around in holey pants.

Handmade belt, zipper fly and metal snap, along with distressing, tie the modern look of moto pants to the Steampunk vibe. The slouchy leg stays in place with elastic cuffs while giving Thomas freedom of movement to hunt for rocks and climb.

Elastic at the back of the waist keeps these super comfy, while the flat front, zipper and snap keep them looking like "big kid" pants.

Moto pants cotton twill was found at Joanns. It washes up beautifully with just the right amount of fraying at the distressed parts!

The brushed sweater knit I used for the zipper hoodie gives notes of the dark flecks mixed into the Snowy Owls bright white feathers.

Details for the hoodie were kept to a minimum to not overpower the outfit and distract from the main features, the vest and pants. A metal zipper and metal grommets on the hood for the drawstring help tie to the metal accents in the vest.

Of course, I had to add thumbhole cuffs. ;) I used Love Notions Sloane for the start of this piece, added the zipper front and lengthened the sleeves to give a slouchy feel to match the pants.

The brushed sweater knit was in my stash. I believe it's from Joann's last fall.

Layered under the hoodie is a black slub cotton raglan henley. I used Titchy Threads Safari Raglan for the start, added the henley neckline and changed the cuffs to a taller style. Now, I know white would be the obvious choice for this piece, but it lacked the contrast I felt this look needed. And in the end, the triangle portion of the shirt peeking out from under the other pieces reminded me of the strong, black beak on the Snowy Owl.

To keep true to a classic layering piece, details were kept minimal with reverse coverstitching on the sleeve seams and dark gray buttons.

Can you believe that slub cotton was a Hane's shirt from the men's department at Walmart? It was a simple men's XXL crew neck raglan before I got my hands on it.

Final touches to our Arctic Aviator include a slouchy newsboy style cap and aviator googles. The hat started with Peek-a-Boo's Newsie Hat. I left off the brim, drafted a new one and changed the construction so it would have a layered look.

This also allowed the brim to sit more like a ball cap giving a vintage look a modern update to tie to the modern style pants.

Being as I was a photographer long before I was sewing all this guy's clothes, I get into the photography side of this competition just as much as I do the sewing! To go with our Steampunk vibe, we shot downtown in an alley that ran between some old industrial buildings. It was the perfect location with the abandoned loading deck, and rusty steel beams and tank.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my look! Please hop over to Project Run and Play to vote!!

click above for link

Biplane graphic found here

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Project Run and Play Week 1

Project Run & Play Week One
Willy Wonka

I am so crazy excited to share my week one look for Project Run & Play!
This week, we were given the theme "Willy Wonka". Such a fun theme that could go so many different directions. It was hard to decide what to do! But inspiration hit me and I couldn't let go of my idea. So, I present to you..........

The Golden Tickets

We are all so familiar with the story of Willa Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but not many know the story that took place after the tour. It's a story of friendship, fun, and of course, music! Join me as I tell you the tale of what happened when Charlie, Mike and Veruca all went home after that magical day at the Chocolate Factory.

When Charlie inherited the Chocolate Factory, Wonka also gave him a purple velour jacket of his own. Charlie wore that jacket with pride! Using the Driftwood Tee as a base, I drafted a woven block by adjusting the ease and reshaping the neckline, shoulder, armscye, and sleeve cap. Then, I drafted a collar and gave it everything a sleek, modern blazer should have; side vents to allow for free movement, and gorgeous details like buttons lining the placket on the sleeve and metal snaps for a modern feel. The two piece sleeve allows for a great range of movement for bowing his cello. Fully lined with silvery gray satin, it's comfy and easy to layer. Charlie was styling in his very own purple jacket!

A classic white tee, sewn from my Driftwood pattern, features the inspiration of my look, "We are the makers of music and the dreamers of dreams," a spin on the quote from Willy Wonka, acts as the base of Charlie's outfit. Paired with black denim shorts, Charlie can rock all night, well, till bedtime, and stay cool while doing it.

Thomas, I mean Charlie, absolutely adores his new jacket. He declared he would be wearing it for school pictures this year! Score!!! He was super concerned with getting his jacket dirty in this shot. Hence the stressed smile on his face.

Charlie adored the floral shirt Mr. Wonka wore, so he made it his own with a cool vest that features a small welt pocket at the chest, buttons in the back and a slight curved front hem.
Awesome floral fabric courtesy of a thrift store score of a women's button up shirt. I designed the vest using the woven block I created off the Driftwood Tee. The vest is fully lined with a black satin from my stash.

The black denim jean shorts are a modification of the Moto Maxx. I created a back yoke and faux fly, to give them more of a jeans look. I also changed up the shape of the front pockets. They are designed for a knit fabric, so I added, and a modern detail, some ease with some side panels.

Charlie, Mike and Veruca really hit it off while on the tour. So well, that they decided to form a band. And what better name, than The Golden Tickets! Charlie rocked out on his cello. Mike played a mean violin. While Veruca jammed on the guitar. The trio decided to take their jam on the road with The Candy Shop Tour.

The band had a unique string rock vibe. Mike held onto his cowboy dreams, though. His fringed button down got a modern Western make over. Using Peek-a-Boo Pattern's Classic Oxford as a starting point, I designed a curved front yoke, changed the shape of the back yoke and removed the pleat in the back.

 Adding pocket flaps and a separate button placket help keep the classic Western style. To keep the look clean, I stuck with thick topstitching in a matching yellow to bring out the lines of the seams and classic metal snaps. Rolled short sleeves keep him cool while he fiddles the evening away.

And, any great cowboy outfit needs a pair of worn jeans. Using Peek-a-Boo's Classic Chinos as my stepping stone, I removed the back darts, added a back yoke, reshaped the front pockets, added back patch pockets, and slimmed down the leg. Using the existing hem, waistband and belt loops of my husband's old jeans really gave the jeans a worn in look. 

Veruca stayed true to herself with a red outfit perfect for any rock star. A fitted screen printed concert tee, with a design after her own heart, was paired with a super twirly circle skirt featuring an exposed elastic waist. Veruca can sing and dance with no regrets in this cool number!

I had waaaay too much fun designing Veruca's concert tee!!

Veruca's skirt was made using Love Notions Skater Skirt as a base. I knew I wanted a super twirly, light weight skirt. So, I added 16" to the center of the skirt. Then, I gathered it and attached to the right side of the exposed elastic, creating that cute detailing at the waist that mimics the black belt on the original outfit. I left the skirt unhemmed to allow the poly knit to keep it's drape.

For the shirt, I started with my Driftwood pattern. I slimmed it up by reducing the ease in the body and sleeve. Next, I drafted a cap sleeve. Adding a couple layers of necklaces and a cuff bracelet I made from an old belt, gave Veruca the rocker edge I was going for.

For voting, hop over to Project Run & Play

(click link above)

Thanks for stopping by and rocking out with us!