Love is in the Air: Project Run and Play Week 4

Happy Valentine’s Day – inspiration at least!!! Although the holiday is a few weeks away still, it’s That Time on Project Run and Play. So without further delay… my Chocolate Covered Cherry!

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We caught a spot of sunshine between the storms and ran outside to catch a few photos…

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My color inspiration was a box of chocolate covered cherries – by far the best confection ever created. Mmm… those say love to me ๐Ÿ™‚ My design inspiration… well… I’ve been dying to sew a tutu for my daughter. No better excuse!

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The tutu directions from from Oliver + S Little Things to Sew. You can find more details about the color layering etc on my post last week. And let me be brutally honest… this is *not* the original outfit I’d designed. I’d planned to make a shirt and shorts to coordinate with the tutu (which turned out EXACTLY as I’d hoped). First I had pink jersey. Then I tea dyed some old shirts of my husband’s, from which I cut 2 different shirts, neither of which worked. I was cranky and sad and out of ideas. Then I saw the clearance rack at Wal-mart… yes. This lacy cream top of perfection was $4 and absolutely no headaches at a big box store. Oh well.

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My daughter is in a necklace mood lately, so I was glad to come up with something sweet to really pull the outfit together. First, I braided 2 scrap strips of the chocolate tulle and 1 strip of light pink together to make a cord. The tiny tutu is the ends from the cord with a couple scraps of the other colors tied in as well. Then fluffed! I think it’s both cute and unique.

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And the “in the air” part? Miss Toddler has learned how to jump! I love the way the tutu flies when she does. She certainly was enjoying herself!

Head on over to Project Run and Play to see the awesome entries coming in ๐Ÿ™‚

Stripes and Spots Dress

It’s finally finished! This dress was for Week 2 of Project Run and Play, where the challenge was to incorporate stripes and polka dots into a single garment. I know I’m a week late, but I think I’m actually happier for having slowed down and done the dress right, rather than rushing to finish.

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The dress pattern is all my own drafting, starting from my basic bodice. I shortened the bodice to empire length and added seam allowances so I could cut it as a chevron (by this tutorial). Then I drafted the sleeves to be puffed at the cap only, which gives a very different look than all-over puffed sleeves.

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I took the idea for fabric covered buttons and button loops from the Party Dress Remix challenge – I liked that element, but didn’t chose to incorporate it into my own design that week. So here it is! You can see the back is cut to chevron, too. The skirt is a simple rectangle with 8 pleats in it. The center pleats on both the front and back are 2.5″ while the side ones are 2″. I like the little variety, and how it shifts the fullness towards the sides. It makes for a clean look I know I’ll revisit as Grace grows.

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My favorite part of the dress is the skirt embroidery. This is where I drew in the polka dots theme, as well. Each circle is hand embroidered in a stem stitch. Except for the appliqued ones, of course ๐Ÿ™‚ Those are scrap bodice fabric. The circles remind me more of bubbles than anything else. It’s a neat look. They are easier to see in person – although, the green ones almost match the fabric.

Now… why you’re getting pictures on a hanger and the table instead of a toddler… a certain Miss had NO interest in being photographed today. Silly, busy little Sunshine! I didn’t get a single shot ofย  her that actually showed the dress.

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Chocolate Covered Cherry Tutu

I’m not a big Valentine’s day person. Honestly, I think the biggest benefactor isn’t lovers, but Hallmark. BUT! There’s something about sewing for little girls that makes every holiday on the calendar – silly or not – an excuse for a new outfit!

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The real colors are a little brighter

So this Valentine’s day, Miss Toddler will find herself sporting a tutu. Because who doesn’t love a tutu?! I followed the directions from the absolutely fantastic book, Little Things to Sew by Liesl Gibson. She’s also the designer of Oliver + S patterns, of which every single pattern is on my must-have list. There are 10 layers of tulle in this little number, gathered at a just-greater-than 4:1 ratio onto the waistband. I hope it doesn’t overwhelm Grace. Even if it does… oh well ๐Ÿ™‚

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This photo shows the colors fairly close to life

See! Lots of tulle ! The layers are stacked as so, with 2 layers of each: chocolate, light pink, tan, dark pink, and chocolate again. Even so thick, the tulle is a little too see through for her to wear alone. The rest of the outfit will a pink top with brown trim and little pink shorts. We called them bike shorts when I was a kid; I have no idea what the technical term is these days.

Come back on Monday to see the completed outfit on my sweet model. If you didn’t guess, this is my Valentines entry for Project Run and Play! I’m a little disappointed with myself – I completely fell off schedule with my Stripes and Spots dress. It’s nearly finished. I’m glad I slowed down to do it right since it’s turning out beautifully, but I’m sad I didn’t get it done in time to enter. I’ll post it anyway once the hem is completed.

Week 2 Teaser: Stripes and Spots

I’m LOVING Project Run and Play! It’s so neat to see the home sew along posts coming in. People took the party dress in about a million different directions. My idea bank is full… but here comes week 2! This time the challenge is to incorporate stripes and polka dots into the same garment.ย  I’m not into the bright, boutique style dresses. Instead, I’m whipping up something with this….

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Here’s hoping my vision stitches up the way I’m dreaming it!

If you haven’t yet, head on over to Project Run & Play to vote for this week’s fantastic party dress remixes!

“Let’s Play School” Dress

Do you ever see a piece of fabric and you just have to have it, even though you have no idea what you’ll use it for? This alphabet print spoke to me when I saw it, but I wasn’t inspired yet. It’s sat around for a couple months. Then finally, when I saw the challenge for Week 1 of Project Run and Play, I knew exactly what I’d be using it for – my Party Dress remix design! In honor of the alphabets, but since my daughter is still years away from formal schooling, I’m naming it the “Lets Play School” dress.

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Let me break my design down for you:

Original Elements:

  • Overall silhouette
  • Skirt, including hem band
  • Wide sash
  • Basic construction

Remixed Elements:

  • Overall feel: play instead of party
  • Ruffle sleeves
  • Exposed back zipper
  • Sash end detail
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To create my remix, I used my own basic bodice pattern, the ruffle sleeve from here, and the skirt tutorial from the assigned pattern. As soon as I slipped it on, Grace yelled out, “Ohhh! Pretty!” She loved the fullness of the skirt most of all – she used her feet to play with the hem as we were photographing.

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I have one last special touch to share about this dress. On the lining of the bodice, I hand embroidered the size and the date into the dress. Now I’ll always know, and it can’t get washed out. I love those little extras that elevate a garment from homemade to handmade.

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PS: If you want to join in Project Run and Play, new challenges are posted each Monday. There’s a prize offered for the top home sewer, and you can follow along with the blog-celebrity seamstress competition!

The Reason I’m Here

Just a quick introduction ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been blogging for 4 years now at a different site, which has completely lost its focus. After a long break and a lot of reflection, it seemed wiser to reboot entirely in a new setting with clarity. This is mostly a place to show my sewing creations, with a few other creative projects thrown in as they occur. I’m hoping to get into more design and tutorials in the future. I hope you’ll stick around!

About Me

Hi! I’m Jenny. I find joy in being wife to my darling husband and mommy to our very busy, always moving Grace.

This is first and foremost a sewing blog. I’ve been sewing as long as I can remember. My first formal lessons were at 8,ย  but I remember sitting by my mom and grandmothers, watching, absorbing both the techniques and passions of sewing. I’ve sewn bits and pieces of my own wardrobe for years, and am now moving into making my daughter’s almost entirely myself. Part of it is style, but another big part is disappointment at what the stores think is acceptable for very small children. We want to raise her in a way that is both child-friendly and Christ honoring; finding the balance between modesty and practicality. And fashion, too!

You’ll see a lot of historically inspired projects for both myself and her. I love vintage with a modern flair. I’m also starting to incorporate heirloom techniques like lace insertion, smocking, and hand embroidery into my work. In three words? Classic. Functional. Fun.