Sunday, September 15, 2013

Preschool Fall Collection {Part 1}

 My mission for preschool sewing was to create simple, comfortable clothes that didn't require too much energy or too precious materials to sew, but still represented my aesthetics.

Plaid Tunic

I love tunics for N. They can be paired with shorts in the hot weather and layered over long sleeve shirt and legging in the colder weather.

I used the plaid fabric in both directions: the top part is cut on bias & the bottom ruffle part - along the grain.
To add more interest, I attached a contrasting collar and a trim along the hem ruffles. 
I left the flutter sleeves and the hem edges raw with a bit of contrasting stitch.

But what I love the most about this tunic is its shape. I drafted this pattern myself based on a basic bodice, which I redraft with every new project in hopes of finding the best possible fit. In this little number, the hem is uneven but not because of the asymmetrical hemline. Rather, because of the difference in the height of the shoulder areas of the pattern. The back is longer giving the tunic this interesting silhouette. This pattern is one more experiment that turned out to be successful, so I've saved the pattern for future projects.

Grayish Blue & Plaid Reversible Pinafore

I love pinafores on little girls. I can't believe this is the first time I've attempted to sew one for N. 
I drafted this pattern myself inspired by many beautiful pinafores out there. 

My twist was to try to incorporate almost cap-like silhouette at the shoulder.
I love how this turned out. 

The plaid side paired with knee high socks looks like a uniform to me, which is so adorable on a three year old. 
In both photos N is wearing little bloomer-shorts I've made for her.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Project Run & Play 2013: Season 7, Week 1

Challenge: Oliver + S Popover Dress Pattern Remix

Today is THE deadline and, of course, this is the day when I'm finally done with the outfit... I do still have to go through the photos and choose/edit/upload them... I started brainstorming ideas for this challenge weeks ago and thought I'd have everything done in advance, but having so much time turned out to be a curse...

After agonizing about million ideas that kept going through my mind, I created this ensemble. All three pieces are based on the Popover dress pattern. To me, the most memorable detail of this pattern is the simple yet beautiful yoke. So that's what I took and transformed this pattern into three distinct garments.

1. Gilet 

I've admired April Showers vests by Polder for long, and knew Popover Dress yoke would be a great pattern piece to achieve this look. I took a basic bodice and Popover dress yoke, overlapped them and made totally new pattern pieces. I followed Popover Dress pattern lines to create new armholes and the yoke. 

The rest I just improvised. I added batting in-between the main and lining fabrics and quilted the top part to accentuate the yoke, of course. 

I also quilted my daughter's initial N on the back. 

I added folded bias strips between the yoke and the bottom bodice. Finally, I added fluffy bows on the shoulders to mimic the Popover Dress strap ties. 

2. Tunic

I wanted a fall/winter tunic that could be worn by itself, with a shirt, with a cardigan and so forth, so here's what I came up with. Up until N tried it on this morning, I was still in doubts about every bit of this tunic (are the ruffles right? Is that collar too weird? Are those extended sides flattering?) 

When I saw it on my 3 year old, I fell in love.

In this garment, I simply widened the yoke and added shoulders/sleeves. For a little special detail, I created these extended sides on the bottom that hang and drape beautifully. I drafted a few different pieces for the collar and then played with them putting them in different combinations. This is what I settled on (it looks like origami , doesn't it?!)

The back has an invisible zipper for closure.

I'll make sure to save the final pattern I created based on (again) the Popover Dress  yoke piece and a basic bodice pattern.

3. Shorts

Yesterday, close to midnight, I thought I was done. But when I took another look at the outfit, I wasn't quite happy. The pinafore I had so excitedly designed, embroidered and sewed just didn't fit with the rest of the pieces. So I put it away. Luckily, a new idea popped into my mind; I realized I could use the same old yoke piece of Popover Dress to created the shorts! I've admired cute little bloomer shorts with button flaps at the front, and now I wanted to create one. So I did. 

 I started with a really nice shorts pattern by Burda Style (Kids 9491) and used the yoke piece (made it higher and skinnier, but left the lines untouched) to created this flap extension to the pockets. I added these military inspired beads instead of the buttons to make it a little more unexpected. I also changed up the stripes direction at the pockets for some interest. 

And that's it! I've not slept a minute last night, but this outfit is just so right for my daughter that I'm happy I kept following my instincts!