Well hi. I have so many feelings right now that I don't even know how to begin this post... so I'll just quit the melodrama and explain that this is the very last week of Project Run and Play- the finale! I will say that I feel like I'm at the end of a mini pregnancy or something- In some ways it flew by, but mostly I feel like I just climbed a mountain for 6 weeks to get here. Now my baby's coming and I'm nervous as heck :)
I don't think I knew what my signature look was before competing in Project Run & Play. I kinda knew what I liked, and I definitely knew what I didn't like, but I never thought of myself as being a designer that had my very own defined style. Nothing like 6 intense weeks of eating, sleeping, and breathing children's clothing to help you figure that out...
First and foremost, my style is wearable. It's real, easy, comfortable and practical clothing. Nothing fussy or over the top, just clothes for running and playing in. Second, my designs are bold and stylish. I take a lot of inspiration from pop culture and the world of grown-up fashion. But it still looks like it belongs on a child. To me, it's a wonderful challenge to translate modern trends into something that is perfectly sweet and young. Using unexpected combinations of fabrics and design elements is probably my favorite part of designing.
So this week I created two looks which I think embody all those things. The first is a simple bright dress using bits of a great new fabric line called Summersville by Lu Summers. I used a layer cake from Sewn Studio. It has a patchwork yoke, which I pieced into a point in the front and a curve around the back, joined by red buttons at the shoulders. The teal bodice Moda Bella Horizon Blue from Sewn, and is gathered under the yoke and then twirls out to a full circle skirt in beautiful textured linen. (The black Essex linen is some of my favorite fabric ever- backordered at Sewn, but should be in soon!)
I added appliqués of small town scenes from the prints in that same line all the way around the hem, and echoed the doodle-y feel of the designs in my red stitching around each one. You can follow the squiggly red line all the way around the sweet little town.
Of course, I had to sew for my boy Hendrix as well this week, because that's kinda my thing too. I just love making boy clothes! I made him a comfy knit muscle tee in heather red and gray, with a pocket I hand stitched on in black perle cotton. The shorts are made from a super-hip vintage sheet that I was elated to find. (Got it at this awesome shop.) The triangle design and bold colors are just too perfect, and I'm pretty happy with how I matched up the large print at the seams to keep it looking continuous all the way around the shorts.
It's funny how even after all this, I'm still much more comfortable making boy clothes. I guess it's because that's what got me started. But I also like the challenge of it because I feel like you have to be more creative to think of ways to make it special.
I thought I should show you a brief reminder of my past looks, because you really can't get an idea of my style without all of them. Here are some more things I notice about what I've made:
- I like to use black/white/grays paired with bright colors.
- I apparently have an affinity for my buttonhole foot.
- I've made one item in knits for every single look but the first. You just can't make the very comfiest kid clothes until you embrace the knits.
- I like making separates and different types of garments. This week's dress is only the second I've made in the whole competition.
- Most of these outfits could be translated into a stylish adult version. (Or were meant to be that in the first place.)
- I'm not big on accessories. My goal was always to make clothes that speak for themselves.
- I freakin love that scorpion jacket. Favorite thing I've ever made ever.
- I like upcycling when it serves my purpose. I did it several times outside of the earth day challenge.
- I do take a lot of inspiration from vintage styles, but not the ultra-sweet and florally kind of vintage. I like a mod feel, with graphic elements and bold colors that are a bit mid-century.
- I used my quilting skills a few times, but not in ways that look too "quilty," if you know what I mean.
- I did not use one ever-loving ruffle.
- Did I mention how much I love that jacket?
I mentioned that I like to look at adult fashion for inspiration. Which is funny because I do not dress fashionable AT ALL. During the competition, I didn't really look at children's clothing sites, but I did read a lot of TLO. I've always read it religiously, but it was so fun to think of it more as a source for pieces to the fashion puzzle. You should read it- entertaining, educational, and hilarious.
That's all for now about me and my style, though I'm sure I'll more to tell you about behind the scenes shenanigans after this is all over. I can't tell you how encouraging so many of you have been to me. It's an incredible feeling and I'll always be grateful for how much you and this experience have helped me grow creatively. I'm SO relieved, but also a little sad the competitive making is over.
Enough talk, go VOTE! This is for all the marbles my friends!