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