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Wow, that’s crazy. Not only have I made it to the final week of Project Run and Play, I even won the 3rd week, which came like a total surprise to me. I’m so happy that I made it to the signature style week and I really want to thank all of you for your nice comments, likes, encouraging emails and text messages and of course for your votes. The last weeks have been so much fun. Well at least besides the voting days which are always an incredible up and down. I couldn’t imagine these emotions before I participated, but I can assure you that being on the last spot in the public voting is quite devastating. Nonetheless, I loved to compete in PRP. Competitions always take me to my limits and beyond. For almost two months I have spend pretty much every day thinking about possible designs, pattern hacking, cutting, sewing, taking pics and writing blog posts. It’s been really awesome, but I’m also looking forward to some lazy time in front of the tv, board games with the kids and maybe even some sewing that I don’t blog about at all. But the next days are still going to be exciting. Of course I would love to win the competition now that I’ve made it so far, but the most important thing for me is that my kids love all the clothes that I’ve made for them and have already worn them several times.
This brings me to this week’s theme „Signature Style“. I knew the title for my contribution even before I had sewn a single piece: Color me happy. My good friend Gioia from the italian sewing blog dotta told me some years ago „I really like that you love color so much“. Back then I didn’t even realize that she was just defining my signature style, but it is true. I do love color. I’m attracted to bright colors, to fun and whimsical prints. When I asked my instagram followers (make sure to follow me over there for behind the scenes and sneak peeks) to define my signature style, they also mentioned: comfort, practical, knit, casual with a twist, details… And they are so right. My signature style is color, comfort and everyday clothing. I do like to sew a special dress or so for an event, but it’s not my signature style. I want to sew basics, clothes that my kids want to wear every single day. I want to sew fun clothes that are kid appropriate and don’t make them tiny adults. I love to add small details that make a garment special without screaming „handmade“ in a too extreme way.
So for this week of PRP I decided to include many of my favorites. I chose my favorite fabrics (knit, chambray, popeline, denim), added some of my favorite details (topstitching, iron-on vinyl, applique, piping, color-blocking) and sewed some of my favorite garments (anything button-up, tees and sweaters, jeans) based on some of my favorite patterns (Ottobre, Täschling, Bimaa, Prepster Pullover). I even managed to get my hands on a soon to be released fabric from my favorite designer, Susanne from Hamburger Liebe. She agreed to send me some of her beautiful Bunny Belle fabric when she heard that I needed it for an online sewing competition. Thank you so much Susanne. Unpacking your parcel was such a wonderful moment!
So let’s have a closer look at the different clothes!
Bunny Belle Dress
My daughter’s dress is based on pattern 25 from Ottobre 1/2013. I wanted to make a classic button-up dress that still is fun and easy to wear. This kind of dress pair perfectly with the beautiful fabric. I changed the Ottobre pattern by removing the princess seams (to not interrupt the print), changing the collar to a Peter Pan collar, making it sleeveless (both the neckline and the arm holes are finished with bias binding) and adding ties to the sideseam. I used piping to give the collar a cute little detail. I painfully ensured that the pattern matches exactly in the front. Unfortuantely the buttons have a big shaft so that there is some movement, which sometimes interrupts it. However, my daughter is highly in love with the cute little strawberry buttons. I wasn’t sure if I should use them, but how often do you have the perfect fabric with strawberries on it? When I’ll find the next one, my daughter will probably already be too old for strawberry buttons and call for something “cooler”. I basically had to use them now and they are a huge hit with my daughter.
Red hooded Cardigan (NOSH)
For the hooded cardigan I hacked the Bimaa pattern from Lou Bee Clothing. This is probably my most sewn pattern and it was yet again perfect. I split the front and extended the center to include a button placket. The hood is lined as in the pattern, but the neckline is not just finished with the serger, but with a fabric band for a beautiful finish. I used some gorgeous red stretch college that I got from NOSH. As always the quality and the bright color is just soo good and if the cardigan was a bit bigger I’d totally steal it from my daughter. I added two piped pockets to the front of the cardigan and appliqued a plush bunny that jumps from one of the pockets to the other (that is at least what my daughter claims he’s doing). This bunny probably is my daughter’s favorite detail of all the things that I made in the last weeks, so I’m sure that she’ll wear that cardigan a LOT.
As in week 1 and 3, I sewed a layered outfit for my son as I really like this look on boys. I started off with a basic white raglan sweater (self-drafted) to which I added the necessary pop of color with „HAPPY“ lettering that I cut by hand out off iron-on vinyl. I love how this turned out and how it is not only the perfect play on the title for my entry, but also describes my son 99% of the time. He’s a real sunny boy that loves to laugh, sing and be happy. When he saw this sweater in my sewing room, he took it right away and put it on himself, so I guess it’s safe to say that he really likes it.
Color-blocked button up
Underneath the sweater he wears a color blocked button up out of some of my favorite woven fabrics: Blue (Robert Kaufmann) and red chambray plus some gorgeous mustard yellow Michael Miller Cotton Couture. Only in the last year or so did I discover my love for solid colors. It turned out that before I just always had worked with the wrong fabrics. The cheaper quilting cottons always had a rough feel to them and weren’t fun to wear for my kids, but chambray and cotton couture are so soft – aaah. They are perfect for some color blocking and the buttons in two colors add even more fun. I made the respective button holes in the same color. This helps my husband to dress our little man. The shirt is based on the Prepster Pullover by Blank Slate Patterns.
The shorts are based on one of my fav german patterns, the Täschling 2.0 (which hopefully I’ll be able to sell in english soon). It works both in knit and woven fabrics and results in super cool trousers. I shortened it remarkably, just to add then length afterwards again to accomodate the fold over cuffs. I also changed the shape of the front pockets and faux zip fly and had a lot of fun top stitching the back pockets.
For the photoshooting we went to a local art museum. I knew that the kids were a bit over standing still for pics so a shooting at home wouldn’t have been fun. Instead we went to that museum together with my dad, took some notebooks and colors with us and had a wonderful afternoon in the museum. Thanks to Holly for her wonderful blog post on Petit a Petit and family about her regular visits to art museums with her kids. I loved reading that post and was inspired to take my kids to see some art, too. We had a really great time. I enjoyed to see them walking around, looking at the pictures and statues so openminded. They quickly found their favorites. The bigger and more colorful the better (yes, they are my kids :) ). They looked closely at some pics and told me what they saw while they fully ignored others. For us adults it’s often so hard to stop thinking. We analyze those pictures, we think that we need to understand them, to interpret them. My kids gave me a wonderful lesson of how easy and fun a visit to an art museum can be. Just enjoy. That’s all. And to do so it helps to bring some drawing/painting material yourself. Sit down and have fun with colors and those huge paintings around you. And if your are happy (like we were), chat a little bit with the artist and tell him which pictures you like best.
We really had a great afternoon in the museum. While it was snowing outside, we pretended that it’s spring or summer already, we laughed and painted, found inspiration and were a highlight for the other visitors. I don’t even care that the lightning wasn’t perfect, so that I had to bump up ISO and sacrifice image quality. Nor do I care that my kids just didn’t want to „pose“ together or even to stand still alone. They aren’t models. They are little kids and seeing them happy is way more important to me than the perfect pic.
I hope that even without the perfect pic, you can not only see how much fun we had, but also how much work and love I put into the look, how many details I added and how perfect the clothes suit my two goofballs. I hope you like my colorful everyday look and will choose to hop over to Project Run and Play to vote for me.