Friday, January 25, 2013

Project Run and Play Week 3: Elephant Shoes

*So this is going to be a shorter post (at least for me!).  I have a house full of sick; sick toddlers, sick baby, sick husband... luckily I am not sick, but I am exhausted from all the sickness surrounding me.

BOYS WEEK!!!!!!!!  Wohooo, I absolutely love anything that promotes sewing for boys, and I love that blog land seems to be in a time period of really raising up sewing for boys and showing how fun and gratifying it can be.
So let me explain the title of this outfit... no, let me sum up; this outfit is called Elephant Shoes because it is inspired by B's elephant shoes.  ;o)  Seriously though, he loves elephants!  The elephant sound was one of the first animal sounds he mastered (which is what he is doing in the opening picture - he is showing my mom what an elephant says).  He loves his outfit and didn't want to take it off after the photo shoot was done, how do you say no to a sick little boy, how do you say no to those eyes?  I compromised and let him wear it until lunch - I just could not let it get ravioli-ized on the day it was completed.

The Break Down

Top: Knit Henley T-shirt.  I love sewing knits for my boys... so comfy, so wearable, so easy to wash, so cute.  Ahhhhhhhh knits.  And yet, don't ever try to look for something specific in a knit - it doesn't exist.  There are some amazing knit fabric stores on-line, but I didn't really look soon enough and the only fabric I ever found that came close to my vision is out of stock.  But the great thing about knits is that they are fairly easy to find in solids and then transform.  I had solid black knit in my stash along with a teal womens T.  I was able to pick up a grey long sleeved T at Goodwill for 83cents, BooYaw!!! And that became my base for the elephant print fabric.
The Elephant print was created by using a wooden stamp and tulip soft fabric paint.  I love that the elephants have a level of variation among them.  I drew on the eyes and ears with a black fabric marker.
The finishing on the hem, sleeves, and collar are done with a twin needle.  At the collar this is a great finish because you get the even twin lines of stitching on the outside and the nice zig zag to catch your turned edge on the inside.

Pants: Teal Corduroy lined with black 'something' (I grabbed it from a skirt in my stash, it was the right weight to pair with the corduroy.)  The pants have front slash pockets, knee pockets with elephant lining, and back pockets with stitched on elephants.

The Hoodie is another of my own designs.  I knew it needed to have clean lines so as not to compete with the base elements of this outfit.  I also wanted it to be something that B could use A LOT, so versatility was key.  I went to Joann's hoping to find a really nice thin pleather with some distressing or texture.... ummmm I think I was asking too much of my poor little Joann's.  Instead, I discovered a polyester with this great elephant skin-ish print on it.  Perfect, the garment remains washable (if not dryable ;op).
I didn't want an attached kangaroo pocket to add any bulk, so I went with an inverted pocket (the front is cut as one piece) that is backed with the elephant print.  The pocket trim follows the same angle as the shoulder epaulets, and the front placket gives a nod back to the Henley while also facilitating ease of getting it on and off.  It also keeps him nice and toasty warm - it has been in the single digits this past week, brrrrrr. The hood is lined with elephants and hand-stitched on the inside for a clean finish.  The hem on both the bottom and sleeves are done with the twin needle to give a professional finish and that little bit of stretch.

Credits, Credits, Credits:
Henley~ My own T pattern adapted to develop the two fabric design and slash detail as well as the placket neckline (I did use Melissa's Henley tutorial as a starting point for sizing on the placket)
Hoodie~ My own basic hoodie pattern adapted to add the inverted kangaroo pocket, placket, and shoulder details.
Pants~ My own basic pant pattern (created using Dana, from MADE's,  pant pattern making tutorial) and adapted to add slash pockets, flat feld outer seams, lining, back pockets, and knee pockets.

A few more pictures of poor little sick B?... well if you really want ;o)

 oh, oh, almost the crack of a smile...
*'All done mama, all done'.... poor baby boy ;o(

If you like what you see, go and VOTE for me (or the one you like best!!!)
~ and remember, an Elephant never forgets

Friday, January 18, 2013

Project Run and Play Week 2: Stripes and Polka Dots

The Collegiate Cool Look:

(aka the 'Hey MOM' meme look)

Ok, ever since this theme was announced, I've been singing 'You put the line in the polka dot and mix them all up...' (a la 'Lime in the Coconut')  I'm just kooky like that ;op

I knew immediately that I was doing a look for my boy 'A'.  And not a simple play look, but an all out layered look of STYLE.

I think of this as a modern collegiate look, but I think it also fits the vibe of current actors and boy bands (why do I know anything about boy bands???? Oh yeah, I read People while running on the treadmill!)
(a bit of my inspiration: click on the pictures for links)

On Top:
I started with the Blazer, wanting to capture 'classic' in a modern way.  When I stumbled upon this gorgeous black and white teeny tiny stripe at my mom's house I knew it was the right fabric.

The lining was where I had fun.  With a very interesting polka dot and stripe fabric (yep this is one of those fabrics for little girl dresses with the pre-gathered top and border bottom), I set to work laying out how to create a lining that incorporated the lines and dots - well why not put the 'line in the polka dot....and mix them all up'.  Gahhhhh, make the song stop!!!

I made two linings because I was not happy with the first.  VERY happy with the second!!!
The back of the lining is three sections that I created by modifying the original pattern peices.
I added an extra welt pocket inside the lapel... 'cause those cool collegiate/boy band/actors never leave home without their smart phone.

The welt pockets and trim bring in another dot.  The dark grey on grey brought in pattern in a clean way that I feel grounds the jacket.

Next up is The Shirt.  A white on white square dot - does that still count as a dot... yep, in my book it does!

 My boys have plain white shirts, so I wanted to do something to this to make it feel a little edgy without doing too much.  I decided to take a risk and sew my white shirt with grey thread.  Wow, it feels COOL - I was sold when I stumbled upon these dark grey/silver buttons on a men's button up in my re-purpose pile.  The grey buttons not only tie in perfectly with the stitching, they also tie back to the grey on grey dot fabric.  This shirt is certainly made for this outfit, but it is still something that the boys can wear with a pair of jeans or other dress slacks for different looks.

I used a free French pattern for this shirt... and I just can't recommend it.  I mean, I am happy with my shirt, but I had to fenagle quite a few things.  Essentially I took the front, back and collar pattern pieces for sizing and then made up how to put it all together... and created my own cuff pattern because there wasn't one.  I am incredibly happy seeing as this is the first dress shirt I have ever made and the first button holes I have sewn since COLLEGE.

Moving on... The Tie... Oh the tie, I am so in love with the tie!!! I think I could make ties all day and be oh so happy.  Ok, maybe I would get bored... but these go together so quickly and you can mix and match fabrics and the elastic band makes them very practical for little boys.

I used the grey on grey dot for the outer fabric.  And a red & white dot as the lining (this plays as a reverse of the white and red dot fabric in the blazer lining).

I used a tutorial from Sharing the Wealth.  I narrowed down the width to get closer to a skinny tie look.

The Sweater.  This is the first recycled piece of the look,  This was a men's polo sweater I picked up on sale at the Goodwill for 83cents.  I love the heathering.  I love that it is grey.  It is neither a stripe or a polka dot, but in a layered look like this, you need the one calm piece that holds everything else together.  I went with a simple V neck to show off the collar of the shirt and top of the tie.  This is such a wonderful staple for my boys closet.  It will get tons of use through the winter months ahead, which makes this mama happy!
This pattern is modified from a long sleeve T pattern I drafted for the boys in the fall... I wanted to make sure the sweater wasn't too bulky and would work under the blazer -  and it had to have  'V' neck to show a peak of tie.
I bound the neck seam with the grey on grey polka dot fabric to once again tie all the pieces of this look together and keep it cohesive.  I think this is also important to stabilize the neck hole on certain knits so that they lay correctly and don't get all stretched out and wonky.

On Bottom:
The Pants..... The PAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNTTTTTTTSSSSSSSS!!!  I have been wanting to make colored pants since I started sewing for my boys last summer.  The time is here, the time is NOW.

I created this pattern using a pair of jeans that fit both boys as a base (A is skinny with no butt, but if things don't fit both boys it becomes very frustrating to get them dressed.)  When I held up the mock up pair (that are made out of the blazer fabric so I technically have a suit now) I turned to hubs and said - these are sexy!!!  Hmmm, maybe not the normal reaction to have to a little boys pair of pants, but if I make things for baby girl that I wish I could wear, I make things for the boys that I wish hubs WOULD wear (he is a sweats and t-shirts kind of guy, but he is still sexy to me!)
I started by upcycling an outdated red twill skirt (ankle length that buttons up the front - you know the kind) for the base of the pants.   The great thing about twill is that is has a natural stripe in the weave of the fabric - stretching too far???  Ok, it isn't truly a stripe or a dot either, who cares... it is RED.  My husband thinks I am crazy when I think outside the box on the boys clothes, and yet even he likes how these turned out.
I couldn't just make a regular easy pair of pants.  I wanted the finishing of jeans.  Flat feld seams, back yolk, back and front pockets, front fly, and details,details, details.
The details are where I started having fun.  I mixed the main blazer fabric in as part of both the front and back pockets.  The grey on grey dot became the trim to pop the edges of the pockets and the fly.  I feel like these details  really make these pants a perfect fit with the more classic blazer.  The red also perfectly matches the dot fabrics in the jacket lining and tie lining - home run!

And the top stitching is a super fun design... that ummmm... maybe, kinda.... well dang, YES they are W's.  I am the W obsessed lady after all, but this I can blame on my husband, his idea.  I thought about embroidering on dots or stripes... and while those would have fit the theme they would have made these jeans almost too unique pushing towards circus rather than walking the fine line of cool.

*I had to snap this picture at home the next day - the attention span of a 22month old isn't long enough for adding and removing too many articles of clothing during one photo shoot.  I really wanted you all to be able to see the details of the front of the pants on my little guy.

Blazer: Melly Sews Basic Blazer (AMAZING, go buy it NOW!!!  Added the trim and inner welt pocket)
Shirt:  French button up (yeah, kinda sorta... I'll still give them credit since I used their basic sizing to start)
Tie:  This great tutorial and free pattern from Sharing the Wealth (I adapted the pattern to get a skinnier look)
Sweater: Self Drafted
Pants: Self Drafted

More pictures of A strutting his stuff... why yes, I can oblige!

 I cuffed the jacket just to show off the dots in the lining... he could so wear it this way in the Spring with jeans and just the button up, soooooooo cute ;o)

 You can't catch me!!!!

Hey Girl, Vote for Me.  (*Or at least go vote, and if you vote for me, THANK YOU!!!)