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


  1. Kelly, this is so very fantastic that I've been scrolling up and down trying to pick out my favorite piece! Needless to say, they're all amazing, and each and every one is something my boys would love to have. You were very brave to take the seam ripper to those pants! And I wish I could feel the feathers too!!!

  2. What a beautiful set of projects!

  3. How do we vote for you Kelly? This is awesome. I wish I had a tiny piece of the talent you have when sewing...and photograing too.

  4. This is amazing Kelly. I really love that hoodie and vest. Very modern "Hedwig owl"

  5. Phenomenal!!! I love moto pants. All the time. You guys are all killing me this week trying to make a choice. I need a 5 way tie option.

  6. LOVE this so much!!! No words Kelly -- No words

  7. I seriously love absolutely everything about this look! It's just amazing!


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