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!!!)


  1. Wow! Another gorgeous look with loads of eye-candy detail that take this outfit to another level. Congratulations! Your work and its results are inspiring!

    1. Michelle, Thank you so much - I do feel like this is an eye candy outfit ;o) There were college students walking through this alley while we were shooting and they all stopped to stare. It was so cute.

  2. Woo-hoo! Another great look! I love the red and the Ws on the pockets. Congratulations!

  3. Wow, that is amazing! You outdid yourself!

  4. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHMAZING!!! So great you did an AWESOME job, I am just blown away! & as a fellow mom of twins I don't know where you were able to find the time to do all of this amazing sewing & detail! "teach me"-LOL! Oh and red on boys--LOOOVE! Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. You did a fabulous job on putting this ensemble together. The details are amazing. Great job!

  6. I came over to tell you that your look is my favorite and that I voted for you! I LOVE that you made something for a boy! I was expecting lots of girly stuff, and I exclaimed out loud when I came to yours in the competition. Great job!

  7. I am in love with these pants!!!

  8. Was hoping for a boy look! Love it all.
    great job this week.

  9. Suzanne this turned out AMAZING! So cute. And the boys totally one-upped the girls this week in style - which makes me super happy too!

  10. So very stylish! I love it and all of the details. You really outdid yourself on this one!

  11. oooooh! what a lovely boy! great pics and great outfit, but the model is awwwwwww...

  12. Too much cuteness in one place, Suzanne! You knocked this one out the park, my friend!!! (Your captions are too funny, "1 . . .2 . . Go!".)

  13. Great styling and details! My little boy would love to be decked out like this - I'm feeling some Easter outfit inspiration. By the way, if you are looking for a great button-up shirt pattern, Oliver & S Sketchbook is fantastic. I've made it three times now with various alterations, and it is spot-on.

  14. So cute! I love all the fabric combos!

  15. So many details! I love this whole look. The W on the pants' pocket is just darling.

  16. ahh! A is TOO CUTE. i absolutely loved everything- the subtle details are really working for me. great job!!

  17. I am in love with that sweater. In love. My boy just informed me that he didn't want any more elastic pants. Sad in so many ways. Gonna tackle a zippered fly this week. Good luck...(you got my vote. You had me at sweater)

  18. I love this look so much! He is adorable, the style is perfect and you are a style genius! I voted for you :) Would you consider doing a tutorial on the pants maybe? I would love to see how you draft them and add all those fantastic details.
    Bonnie MS

  19. I LOVE the outfit! So cute. The red pants are awesome!

  20. This is just SO adorable, I don't know what part is my favorite! Amazing. A-Maze-Ing.

  21. This is great --- planned to every last detail! Way to go!! He's a cutie {and a keeper, I bet}...

  22. Oh, my! I am in love with this whole outfit! You put an amazing amount of work into it, and it really shows in all the details. I think my little guy might NEED some red pants, too.

  23. a lot of thought went into all of these details, loving all the grays :)

  24. OH DUDE! i LOVE this. I loved it when I first saw it last week, but now I've read through it all {yeh I finally got here hah}, this is so amazing. I love love love. It's so funny how we used similar basic pieces, and came out with two TOTALLY different looks! Just shows how good some basic staple patterns can be! xx

  25. WOW! Every bit of it is amazing! LOVE that lining in the blazer. It's perfect. All of it!