Project Run & Play Mini Season 2 – Stash Buster

It’s the first week of Project Run & Play’s second Mini Season! I was invited to participate in the first week with the theme Stash Bash, meaning I had to look to my already owned fabrics to create a look. Plus I was given access to the Project Lounge Library Collection to help me create my look. After referencing my stash and looking at the awesome patterns in the collection I found some great pairings that formed the base of my look for my oldest.

I wanted to shoot for an outfit that would suit his love of exploring so it not only had to be comfortable to wear, but also functional in our fluctuating winter weathers. I choose a long sleeve shirt from the Nini Noni Nightwear pattern. I sized up as this pattern is typically meant to be tighter fitting due to its intended fit as sleepwear. Because we’d be using it for an everyday wear piece I compared my son’s measurements to the finished measurements to choose the size I needed for my desired fit.

Unfortunately, because I wasn’t able to purchase the required amount of fabric needed I was left short for the long sleeves with the fabric I did have on hand. This meant that I did a little creative cutting and stripe matching to add extending pieces to the sleeved to get the required length. Having the built in color-blocking for the top also helped me conserve fabric and add a design element to an otherwise basic striped shirt.

The next step in creating his outfit was to choose a pair of pants for him. Knowing his love of movement and comfort I went with a pair of Joseph Joggers. I came across a generous cut of black French Terry from Amelia Lane Designs. (I may have a few different cuts of ALD FT in my stash too…) Now black joggers are a great wardrobe staple for anyone, but since we were looking for something custom I decided to try my hand a bleach treatment to give the joggers a little more personality and uniqueness.


Before cutting out the pattern, I spread the fabric out on our grass and grabbed a spray bottle full of bleach. Not knowing how the fabric would take the bleach I did a small test in the corner to see how it reacted. Once I saw the color change happen I went to town! A quick trip through the washer and dryer left me with a cool effect, but as I’d seen in other blogs about bleaching black fabrics, I had a rusty hue. To try and tone down the reddish color I grabbed a handy bottle of Rit Dye More in frost grey. Adding the grey helped tone the bleached areas to perfectly coordinate with the other fabrics chosen for this project!

Now I was ready to cut out and make him an unique pair of joggers. Adding a functional drawstring meant he had control over the waistband to make sure they fit exactly how he wanted to keep him comfortable.

The next item I wanted to create for him was a layering piece. I found some great green fabric leftover from some pants I made my husband for a Halloween costume (he made a pretty good Cousin Eddie that year 🙂 ). I then used the Hawthorne Jacket from Pier Avenue Patterns as my base because I just love all the pockets it has! I love a good welt and zipppered pocket, and the Hawthorne has both! (Check out their blog on how to convert the Hawthorne into a vest >>here<<)

I modified the back yoke so I could add a little personal touch by stitching a mountain-scape silhouette. We have very much enjoyed our time here in Colorado and the mountains on the horizon will always be a favorite.

My projector is such a wonderful and helpful tool for my sewing and I was able to use it to help me draw out the stitching lines. I highly recommend one if it’s an option for you.

Lastly, I found a piece of black leather in my stash and knew it had to be the front of a Colorado Cap. I will admit I love making hats and will jump at the chance to make one, but in this case it just made sense. With the intense sunshine in Colorado due to our elevation hats have an important function other than just making you look good.

I added a detail of an embroidered “Colorado” to the front of the cap using black on black to not detract from the texture of the worn leather look. This state will always have a special place in our family’s heart because of the people, landscape, and the community we’ve been blessed to be a part of here. Full disclosure: I had every intention of stealing this hat for myself after this shoot was over, but I think I may be making another for myself as this one has been claimed!

Overall, both my son and I are incredibly happy with the overall look, feel, and performance of each piece of his look. To say the least, I am a little bit jealous of him. This was such a fun project and a wonderful bonding experience for the two of us. He kept commenting on how he loved the pieces and even said it was his favorite outfit I’d ever made him. Seeing his pride and excitement to be sporting some mom-made clothes was the ultimate compliment for me. Also, we were able to explore a family favorite location in the winter, whereas we normally only visit in the summer. So much running, climbing, exploring, and smiling happened during this shoot and I’m grateful that my participating in this mini season gave us that a reason to create these memories.

I hope you enjoyed taking a more in-depth look at the pieces. If you liked what you saw, please take a moment to vote over at Project Run and Play (voting closes the evening of 1/14/21).

Thanks for stopping by and until next time, happy crafting!

Follow me on Instagram or join me over at the Pier Avenue Patterns Facebook Group to see what sewing patterns I’m designing next with them!

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Back to School with Phat Quarters

It’s August, which means either Back to School time is around the corner or maybe for you it’s already here! Luckily for us, Phat Quarters is here to help make sure your child’s wardrobe is stocked with fun and fashionable choices to mix and match. Join me as I show you a few ways to take three Phat Quarter patterns to make multiple looks with these three pieces.Audrey HVestFor this look I used the Primrose Knit Dolman as a basic closet staple white top. Everyone needs a few good solid pieces to stock their wardrobe with and the Primrose sews up so quickly that before you know it you’ve got a whole drawer full! If you want a little more detail, the Primrose also includes a color blocking and ruffle option. Next I made a Poppy Skirt with a banded hem. I love the contrast of the banded hem to tie in the colors of other pieces. The Poppy has three length options (short, midi, and maxi) in addition to the banded or unbanded hems. Finally I topped of this PQ trio with a Hawthorne Jacket hacked into an awesome moto vest in textured faux leather.

(Psst – this look also is great topped off with a Colorado Cap 😉 )

Now that you’ve met the patterns, lets see them mixed and matched!

Back To School 3For this look, we took off the Hawthorne and swapped it for a sparkly belt. The Poppy includes instructions on how to add your own belt loops to the waistband for even more detail. I’m kicking myself for not including them on ours, oops! Here the Primrose really shines. She’s comfortable and fresh, ready for school.

Back To School 4Next, we swapped the stark white Primrose for a coordinating black tank. If tanks aren’t within your school’s dress code, you can pop on a sweater or save this for a weekend look. (Did you know the Poppy Skirt also comes in infant sizing?? See it here.)

Back To School 2Now we’re back to the Primrose. I just love this look! Since it’s a dolman sleeve with a faced neckline it’s more thank just a plain tee. Paired with some jeans and a couple pieces of jewelry or scarf and you’re all set.

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Finally, the Hawthorne Vest makes a comeback to finish off this cool style. The edgy style makes a statement all on it’s own with it’s asymmetrical zipper and classic welt pockets. But be aware, just because it’s made for one closet doesn’t mean it might not end there. The Hawthorne Jacket is unisex which means sister is going to have to keep an eye on it because it looks pretty great on brother too!

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Check out these patterns along with others in the Phat Quarters Shop on sale starting Friday 8/16 through Sunday 8/18 as part of the Back to School sale here.

And be sure to check out the Phat Quarters Facebook group to read about more capsule creations as part of the Back to School Blog Tour.

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Until next time, happy crafting!

Wendy

CA Upcycling Challenge 2019

It’s here! The Candice Ayala’s Upcycling Challenge 2019!

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What is this you ask? It’s a fun competition to challenge yourself to upcycle items into awesome sewing projects! Candice has paired up with Babylock, Windham Fabrics, Nancy’s Notions, as well as a bunch of other fabulous sponsors to be able to offer some great prizes.

This year things are slightly different in that you need to have one of their Upcycling Kits to have a chance at the grand prize. Well…
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I’m so excited that I was able to snag a kit! But don’t worry, if you don’t have a kit you can still play along for your chance at some of the other prizes they have to offer. You can read more about all the prizes and official rules here.

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at repurposing a garment or other items into something brand new. I’ll be posting more about my upcycling projects and journey throughout the month of July so you can follow along. If you haven’t already, check out my Instagram over at www.instagram.com/wprattcrafts to see what I got in my kit!

Until next time, happy crafting!

Wendy

The Iris Ruffle Skirt by Phat Quarters

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I’m happy to announce that my second pattern for Phat Quarters has just released! (To see my first, click here.) Please welcome the Iris Ruffle Skirt! This skirt is such a fun pattern to sew up. And in testing we saw just how many different looks you can achieve with it! The testers really rocked it out.

I took inspiration from my week 3 look during my time on Project Run and Play. You can revisit that look here.

The pattern is on sale for only $5 until 2/18/19 so be sure to grab your copy soon!

 

Until next time, happy crafting!

Wendy

Welcome to The Alderwood

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It’s been a little quiet around here lately because I’ve been working really hard on my next adventure in creating and crafting. I am fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to design patterns with the wonderful Gemia of Phat Quarters PDF Patterns & Sewing!

With her help, I’m proud to introduce you to my first PDF sewing pattern, the Alderwood!

Read more about it over on the Phat Quarters blog, here. Or purchase it here!

 

Until next time, happy crafting!

 

Wendy

The Natsu Shorties

To my daughter’s delight, we had the pleasure of sewing up the Natsu Shorties by Sew Chibi Designs to celebrate their release in the Project Run and Play pattern shop! During this celebration all new patterns will be on sale! Make sure to snag them quickly because the 20% off discount is only good through October 14th.

Now that we’ve got that info squared away, let’s take a look at the Natsu Shorties!

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I love how these came together so quickly and easily, but in true Sew Chibi fashion there’s a bit of fun injected in each step. To start off with, the pattern features layers which allows you to print only the size(s) you need. Many designers use circles or triangles to help you line up your pages, but Sew Chibi used her own personal touch to make taping or gluing the pattern together more interesting. (If you have a Sew Chibi pattern already let me know if you’ve seen what I’m talking about!)

After and easy assembly, I began laying out fabrics and prepping my pieces. I love that the pattern encourages creativity and color blocking each of the separate pieces to create a truly unique look. It may or may not have taken my daughter and I longer to figure out what fabrics to use where, than it did to assemble the shorties as a whole.

I used an Elli panel from Aurora Design Fabrics along with some of their heathered French Terry and pink DBP for the waistband and leg cuffs. I love being able to use panels for the leg pieces, as well as scrap busting a bit from my stash.

I did make a change to the pattern when it came to the drawstring. Instead of adding buttonholes as suggested, I opted to add in some grommets since I had a few laying around from my last grommet project… (you read about that project here.)

untitled (11 of 11)Overall the fit is great, the pattern was quick and easy to put together, and the length is one of my favorite features. It can be harder to find shorts patterns for girls in particular that align with our preferred length.

My daughter finds them super comfortable and can both lounge around the house or jump around and play with no problems or complaints. I can easily see making these for any of my kids, for easy summer time looks, or fun comfortable lounging wear.

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I hope you enjoyed our take on the Natsu Shorties by Sew Chibi Designs. Be sure to check them out and the other new patterns releasing this week over at the Project Run and Play pattern shop.

Comment below for your chance to win a free copy of the Natsu Shorties! Winner to be picked 9/15.

Until next time, happy crafting!

Wendy

 

The Valencia Dress Hack

Please note: this post contains affiliate links noted by (aff) following the link. If you use this link to make a purchase, it will not cost you anything extra, but I would receive a small commission on the sale. Thank you for visiting and enjoy the post!

After all the sewing I have been doing for my kids with Project Run and Play, I decided it was time for a little selfish sewing. I’ve had my eye on the Valencia by New Horizons Designs (aff) ever since it released, but never had the opportunity to snag it and sew it up. Now that I found myself with some extra time, combined with the need for something fun for an overdue date night, I decided to give it a go… with a bit of a twist. Here’s how I hacked the Valencia into a stunning faux wrap dress.

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Before cutting out my final pieces I graded my sizes based on the instructions included in the pattern. The final look required a few more alterations, but by grading before I cut fabrics I gave myself a head start on achieving my desired fit.

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After my pattern pieces were graded, I laid them out on my fabric. I used this soft, navy stretch velvet from Aurora Designs Fabrics (aff). It had the perfect amount of stretch to fit the pattern, and the color and texture added to the luxuriousness I feel when wearing it.

To transform this top pattern into a dress, I used an existing body con dress I had in my closet to help me extend my pieces to a dress length. Be sure to add in seam and hem allowances when tracing an existing piece.

The front was pretty simple, but the back pieces required a little figuring out due to the gathers on one side. I used the body con dress to match the length of the front on the side where they would meet. Then for the gathered side I followed the pattern piece and then went straight down to match the hem length. (If I do this again I would probably angle this cut out and add a little more flare to the angle which will help the crossover pieces not pull the side seams to the back – I’ll explain why that’s important in a min…)

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Here you can see I used the lengthened front piece as a guide for the side seam of my crossover back pieces to ensure the hemlines met up properly.

After all my pieces were lengthened and cut, I assembled the pattern per the instructions. I used a basting stitch to gather the sides of the crossover pieces and then put it on my mannequin to see where I wanted them to sit and how gathered it should be. I then basted the side seams together and tried it on for a fitting.

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As you can probably see by now, my crossover doesn’t quite match up with the original pattern. When I had this hack planned out, I intended to keep the crossover in back as per the original. Unfortunately because of how I angled my cut following the pattern piece for the gathered side it caused the crossover back to pull the side seams to the back, which didn’t flatter me quite as well as I’d hoped. But as Bob Ross says, “We don’t make mistakes. Just happy little accidents.”

6B815E0A-6F8A-445E-AF07-9CFB1E6C92F6In a moment of curiosity I flipped the dress around and had the crossover in the front… then bam! It was love. Now that the orientation was set, I decided I wanted the top of the dress to be a little more fitted. So I pinned the seams to my desired fit, then I messed with the gathers a little to make sure they all fell the way I wanted. Finally I was able to sew up my side seams and put the finishing touches on this piece.

Here is my finished look!
Valencia (6 of 7).jpgI’m all set and ready for date night!

I’d love to hear what you think and if you’re interested in trying this hack for yourself. Let me know in the comments below! Also, check out another New Horizons make I did earlier this year here.

Until next time, happy crafting!

Wendy

Rays of Color

This week brings us to week 3 of Project Run and Play: Stroke of Genius – art inspired looks. Unfortunately after last week’s results I won’t be sharing our look with the rest of the designers, but I did finish one of my planned pieces and wanted to share it with you.

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For this week’s look I took inspiration from the beauty of stained glass windows. I love how colorful they are and the stark contrast of the black against the lit colored panes of glass. When looking for inspiration I saw a quilting technique using black bias tape to set off the individual cut strips of the panels creating the look of the lead. By using multiple colors of Batik prints I was able to capture the feeling of the color variegations within the glass itself.

The bold look the chevron paneling creates along the bodice is framed by a pop of white along the sides of the bodice to lighten the overall feel to all the black and add a modern touch.

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For the skirt, I wanted to add a reference to the light by creating a full voluminous skirt using lightweight chiffon. Each individual panel is lined with horsehair braid to give added shape and dimension, creating a cascading ruffle effect. My model loved the look and the twirl factor. Finally, by keeping the skirt a solid color it helped allow the colors of the bodice shine.

I hope you enjoyed our look this week. I’ll be joining the other at-home sewists following along this week and linking it up here. For your chance to win some great prizes be sure to add your look too!

Until next time, happy crafting!

Wendy

 

 

Perfectly Penguin

Week 2 TitleWelcome to our week 2 look for Project Run and Play. This week’s theme was Flights of Fancy and while we may not have hit the second part of that with our chosen inspiration bird, we sure tried to make up for it with the fancy. This whole concept started with the idea of taking the idea of a “penguin suit” aka tuxedo and putting my own spin on it.

FOF Singles (20 of 26)I started his look by creating a woven pair of harem pants, using a pair of knit joggers he already had on hand as my guide.  I wanted to create a modern take on a traditional tuxedo pant so I wanted to use the harem shape to change up the silhouette, plus it reminds me of the shape of penguins and how they waddle when they walk. There’s no need to waddle in these pants though with their a tuxedo stripe running down the leg in classic tuxedo fashion. The black of the stripe contrasted nicely with the printed suiting I got from CaliFabrics. The pants also have a full length gusset which I did in the black as well to echo the lines of the outer seam stripe. The pants were finished off with a set of pleats in the front and back to allow for a contoured waistband without limiting the volume and comfort of the harem style. A front fly makes getting them on and off a breeze which is appreciated by any kiddo.

The next piece in his look was based on the Berkshire Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns. I added my own color-blocked front and back yokes to create the same contrast between the black and the print. A couple of added welt pockets helped polish off the front of the jacket. I had to do quite a bit of alterations to get the fit of the shoulders and sleeves while maintaining the fit of his waist. The pattern goes up to size 8 which he fell within for chest/waist measurements, but his tall frame had wider shoulders than the pattern accounts for. A few muslins later I was happy with the overall fit and look.

Finally, I used the Birch Button Up by Sew A Little Seam as my starting point to create his shirt. This pattern is so versatile and has so many options, but I ended up going a bit rogue with it and added my own touches. I angled the back yoke and eliminated the back pleat. Using contrasting fabrics for the sleeves and back panel added a pop of fun and color when he removes his jacket, yet maintains the classic look of a pure white shirt while it is worn. This is known as a party shirt in the military circles. (To see how to make your own “party shirt” using an existing shirt check out my two part blog here.) I also modified the cuffs to be French Cuffs to elevate the overall style of the shirt. Since he had been wanting a pair of suspenders since this season started, I figured now was the perfect time to give him some. Using some black elastic to give some comfort and flexibility, plus a bit of black leather, I was able to make my penguin man happy.

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For my daughter’s look I knew I wanted to make her a dress to coordinate with her brother. Once I found this gorgeous lace with scrolled black flocking from CaliFabrics I knew I had to get it and use it. I drafted a button front collared dress and overlayed the lace to create a beautiful design on the bodice. Since penguins natural coloring has white towards the center and black to the outside I wanted to keep the same feeling. Her black sleeves feature in inset panel in yellow, pulling in the same fabric as her brother’s sleeves. The peekaboo pleat on the sleeve may be one of my favorite things about her dress.

The bodice leads down into a satin sash which tops the six paneled skirt. I used this online circle skirt calculator to help me quickly and easily figure out all my measurements. Again, I used the lace to overlay the center panel to pop against the white. The final touch for her look was to add inset pockets on either side. It’s amazing how such a small thing like adding a pocket can make something go from awesome to amazing!

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We can’t wrap up this week’s look without talking about one of the coolest elements. SHOES!! I made shoes this week!

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Using a tutorial I found on the Sky Love Creations Facebook page, I grabbed a pair of Airwalks from Payless and got to work. The entire process was a huge learning experience, but I am so excited and proud of the outcome. By disassembling the original shoes, I was able to create a pattern, sew them together, then use some heavy duty Shoo Glue to attach the new perfectly penguin creations to the original soles. Now I feel like I can consider myself an expert grommet setter considering I had to set 48 grommets between the two pairs of shoes.

I think the shoes perfectly capture the fun and whimsy of making children’s clothing. Kids grow up faster than any of us would care to admit, so I am glad mine are still young enough to think it’s cool to rock a pair of penguin shoes that their mom made.

FOF Singles (1 of 26)Thanks for reading along, and please make sure you head over to Project Run and Play and vote at the bottom of the post!

Until next time, happy crafting!

Wendy