This week’s challenge for Project Run & Play was for us to design our own fabric and use it in our look for this week. Christian suggested that I actually create a design and have it printed by Spoonflower. I knew I wanted to design something special for Miriam, but I wasn’t sure what at first. Then I started thinking about doing something that had to do with Miriam’s name or her story in the Bible.
For those who don’t know Miriam was the older sister of Moses who followed him as he drifted down the river in his little basket. And Miriam’s name has several possible meanings, but one of which is “of the sea.” Well, that is two ways that water is referenced. That seemed to answer my design dilemma.
I decided to do a wave pattern with two alternating colors. The green represents the Nile River in Miriam’s Biblical story and the blue represents the sea in her name.
For her dress, I wanted to use a pattern that showcased the actual fabric. I just loved the new Garden Party Dress by Oliver + S the second I saw it and knew that this would be perfect for Miriam’s dress. I really enjoyed sewing up this pattern (as I do with most Oliver + S patterns) and already have plans to make a version for Esther.
I actually finished her dress last week, but because of weather and our crazy schedule I wasn’t able to get out and take pictures of her in it until today. And, of course, she started getting sick today. It’s pretty gross…snot, goopy eyes, the works. So, she was pretty grumpy today. I got a few good pics of her and the dress, but as you can see from the last picture, she was DONE after just a few minutes. (Also, she really hates sitting in the grass…you can see her holding up her little foot so it doesn’t actually touch the grass. Silly baby.)
Poor sick baby. 🙁
“You may have the universe if I may have Italy”
― Giuseppe Verdi
The challenge for Project Run & Play this week was “Spring Break.” We were to be inspired by a favorite vacation spot and create an outfit representing that.
After a couple brief thoughts of the beach (because that is easy in Florida) I remembered that I actually don’t like going to the beach. So, I changed my thought process to be more along the lines of where I would love to go, if I could go anywhere and that led me almost immediately to Italy. I was able to go on a whirlwind trip to Europe with a good friend and her family in 2004 and our time spent in Italy was definitely my favorite. I daydream quite a bit of going back with Christian and of taking my girls there to show them where our family came from.
Italy is the perfect inspiration for this challenge. I had a general idea of what I wanted to create, but I did a ton of research on Rome street wear and classic outfits associated with Italian travel. I had a lot of fun with my Pinterest board with this one and now I want to visit again ASAP! What I found were a lot of sundresses and striped shirts with a pop of color.
These styles were really easy to replicate for my girls and the result was a new sundress for Dinah and the cutest nautical-inspired outfit for Esther. I also am lucky in that I actually got to take my pictures in Italy…well, in the Italian pavilion at Epcot at least. I knew were were visiting Disney for Dinah’s birthday during spring break and made this photoshoot one of the things to do while we were there.
Okay, let’s break these down. Dinah first…
I found this knit a few weeks ago at Joann and bought it because I thought it would make the cutest dress for Dinah. So, it was the natural choice for this theme. Based on the halter dresses that I have made previously I drafted up this cross-front bodice. I bound the edges in a peachy-pink knit including making the halter dress ties. The skirt is a half circle (for spinability) trimmed with an unhemmed knit ruffle.
For Esther, I knew she could pull of this preppy, nautical look (although, I also knew she would be jealous of Dinah’s dress…). I altered the Flashback Skinny Tee to be a boatneck shirt with 3/4 sleeves. (I made the 3T size, but it is on the large side…lots of room to grow!) I attached a pink bow to the shirt for a little detail and to also make it more appealing for my girly-girl to wear. For her pants I created a “Franken-pattern” with the Kid Shorts pattern by Dana at MADE and the skinny jeans pattern from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop. I added a cute divided cuff to the legs as well as accented them with sweet, little bows.
I had so much fun taking these pictures that I started thinking of how I could create outfits inspired by all the Epcot country pavilions. Maybe I’ll do a series someday…when life isn’t so nuts!
I’m back for another season of Project Run & Play! I’ve been a bit less organized this time around, so hopefully I can keep up and make all the deadlines! As with last season, I wanted to combine as many of these challenges with my spring sewing to-do list. Some of them fit the bill perfectly and some are kind of a stretch…but I’m excited to be participating again.
Okay, let’s get started!…The first challenge for this season is “Put Me in the Zoo.” We are supposed to create a look inspired by a favorite animal (either mine or the children’s). I admit this challenge had me completely stumped. My favorite animal is the tiger, and while I love them, any thing I could think of inspired by tigers would be either too costume-y or too animal print-y. So, I started asking the girls what their favorite animals were, hoping for some inspiration that way. Strangely they said frogs…ooookay. And that answer stayed the same over a couple days, which is unheard of. The girls needed new pool/beach robes, so frogs could work, but I was not liking the idea of doing something boring and green. But then Christian reminded me of all the fun, colorful tree frogs there were out there. I especially liked these:
I just love the pop of bright color around the edges and took my main inspiration from that.
I used the MADE beach robe pattern again. I chose a pale yellow and a minty green color and used a bright pinky coral color for the binding. I really like how it references the coloring of the tropical tree frogs, with out being a weird froggy costume.
And now the girls have new cozy robes to wrap up in after all the swimming we will be doing this summer!
They were practicing their “frog faces.” Catching flies with honey. 🙂
I forgot something! When I did my little things post I totally forgot about the hoodie that I made Dinah.
Well, I guess it isn’t such a “little thing.” I wanted to do this project for a couple reasons…she needed a new hoodie and I wanted to stretch my comfort zone by sewing with knits. Awhile back I bought a bundle of patterns (the Sew Fab bundle) and it included this pattern from Kitschy Coo. It looked simple enough, so I thought I would try it. I definitely love how it turned out! I had been eyeing this knit at Joann for awhile and I loved the idea of doing a fun print on one side and using this glittery knit on the other side.
The pattern is really nice and fits her really well. There are a couple parts that get kind of confusing, but the pictures and diagrams she includes really help clear things up. The most confusing part is when you are actually attaching the two coats together to make it one reversible coat. But once you get to that point it becomes clear what you are supposed to do. I appreciate her figuring out how to make something this complicated reversible…everything I’ve tried to make reversible has always ended up all weird. I guess my brain doesn’t work like that.
The one thing I changed was the way the pockets were done. The original pattern calls for rather boxy pockets that connect right to the zipper. Because I wanted to do pockets on both sides of the jacket I knew that would be way too bulky for installing the zipper. I opted for bias bound curved pockets instead. These function more like patch pockets so it greatly reduces the bulk near the zipper.
Anyways, math and construction aside, this jacket is great! Because it is actually two layers of knit is is quite a warm hoodie, which is actually really perfect for our lightly cool mornings/evenings in fall and spring around here.
Also, she loves it…which is really the most important. When you are saying, “Get your jacket!” on the way out the door, you want your kid to actually want to put on said jacket. So, score one for mommy!
We just did a quick photoshoot one day when we got home from errands, but my girl has become quite the model with her assorted “poses.”
Also, sometime before Christmas she started zipping up her own coats. *sniff*
For some reason, this seams like such a “big girl” thing to me. I guess almost Kindergarteners should know how to zip their own jackets…but still! What a big girl…
Our final challenge for Project Run & Play each season is our “signature look.” Since (as I have said previously) I am combining challenges with my spring sewing list I thought this would be a good chance to sew Miriam’s Baptism Dress AND show off the big girls’ dresses since I had never photographed them well and shared them here.
Dinah’s baptism dress was pretty much the reason I got back into sewing. I knew I wanted to sew this special gown myself so that was when I set about re-learning how to sew. I actually talk more about Dinah’s dress in one of my first posts.
Esther’s dress I made using the same pattern as Dinah’s…but I eliminated the pleats and tried my hand at smocking. I like how it turned out, but, MAN, smocking is a lot of work! I even skipped the pleating part and just smocked from dot to dot on the swiss dot fabric.
One detail that I included on each dress is some hand embroidery. They are just some simple daisies and leaves/vines. For Dinah’s dress I actually just followed the pattern for embroidery that came with the dress, but I went a little off script for Esther’s by doing just a couple flowers with leaves in the center of the bodice.
Both girls got little matching bonnets as well. These are basically simple rectangles of fabric with casing at the back for the ribbon ties. The fronts are folded back and I added ribbons at the front corners for tying under the chin. Dinah’s was very Amish looking…not on purpose. Basically I made the initial rectangle way too big, so I had to do a double fold which gave it that Amish-y look. While Esther’s was the right shape, it seemed dull to me, so I added some ribbon as trim along the folded back band.
When it came time to make Miriam’s dress, I wanted to do something a little different. I used Simplicity 7189, view A. I did the 1/2 size, but cut it to the size 4 length to make it more like a gown. Her dress was made with a white quilting cotton from Joann with teeny tiny dots.
For Miriam’s dress I had to create my own embroidery design. Working with a tracing of the yoke pattern piece I drew simple interweaving vines peppered with daisies. I transferred that design to the yoke and stitched it with a lovely bright green and light purple.
I loved the simplicity of the tiny dots, so I just kept Miriam’s bonnet plain with satin ribbon ties in front and back.
So, she is just so cute that I couldn’t resist putting in all these pictures! The following will be mostly for grandparents and other admirers of the model. She is just so precious!
I’ve had a great time sewing along with Project Run & Play this season. I was probably the most organized I’ve been and I actually completed all of the challenges well before each deadline. (Mostly because of our trip to Colorado and Disney…I am finishing this post up in our hotel room.) Hopefully all this preparedness can carry over to the next season!