Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fashion Icon

This week at Project Run & Play is Fashion Icon week. I am always inspired by women's fashion and I love to make clothes for my 5 year old based off what I love in women's fashion. (I talked about how I create mini fashion here!) Zooey Deschanel is the perfect fashion icon for mini wear because her clothes always have a touch of youth and fun. She's totally classy though at the same time with a bit of vintage thrown in there. I'm excited for New Girl to start because it's funny, but also because I can't wait to see what she is going to wear!

Instead of designing my own look based off of Zooey, which takes a certain type of brain power, I made a replica of one of her dresses that was just screaming Drew's name. I didn't change any of the design elements because (a) Drew doesn't own anything like it and (b) it was pretty much perfect as is. If I had the will power I would have done Drew's hair and styled the dress with some black tights (like Zooey would wear). But since I seem to be lacking in both brain and will power, here's what we have...

I love this dress! The navy blue is a cotton poplin, which is a fabric I highly recommend for anyone wanting to step outside of the "quilting cotton" fabric zone. I started sewing clothes using the cute patterned "quilting cotton" because you can find the cutest prints and because it was the only material I felt comfortable with. This poplin sews together just as easily as the quilting cotton though, but it also has a bit of stretch which is nice for kid's clothing and it has the perfect weight and feel to it. Joann's carries a range of colors of poplin in their bottomweights section that is really nice quality. I use it for this dress!

I love the piping and the front pleat. I need to incorporate these things more when my designing brain power gets turned back on.

Here's the back which did take a bit of designing thought since I couldn't see the back of Zooey's dress. I just carried the v-neck and piping through the back and zipped it up the middle. An exposed zipper would not have felt right with this dress. No, sometimes it is better to keep it simple.

Pretty soon those pockets are going to be full of squinkees and zinkies and who knows what.

And this is why I love PR&P and am going out of my way to sew along this season. Because there is no way I would have ever sewn this dress, which might be my favorite yet, if it weren't for the theme, challenge, and community of it all. I lack motivation otherwise :).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bias Shred Skirt- Tutorial

This is the first week for Project Run & Play, Season 5! If I could compete again, I would do it in a heartbeat, but sewing along with the challenges is fun too. And a lot, lot less stressful.  (Check out the Project Run & Play Flickr group to see everyone's work who is sewing along!) The first challenge is all about sewing with the bias (or diagonal) of fabric. Instead of using bias strips, I interpereted it differently.

I have been wanting to try out Christopher Palu's fabric shredding technique he's used a few times now in Project Runway this season. These are two of my favorite dresses this season and both use his (as he proclaims it) shredding technique.

By watching him work on the show, I've kind of figured out how he does it and simplified it for myself. So I tried the technique on this simple knit skirt and I love it so much. I'm dying to try it out with different fabrics and with more intricate lines.

I should mention that it is SO easy. A beginner could definitely handle this technique. Also, I used it on a super simple skirt pattern, but you can use this technique on a dress too or purse or whatever you sew.

I put together some basic directions for this "bias shred" technique. Remember you can use this for pretty much any pattern piece. Mine is on rectangles because I made a simple skirt.

(Also check out the notes at the bottom.)

Bias Shred Technique Tutorial

  • My diagonal lines are more or less drawn at 45 degree angles, which when cut will mean the fabric is cut on the bias. Fabric cut on the bias doesn't fray. When you are using knit this doesn't really matter since knit doesn't fray anyway, but it will make a huge difference for other fabrics.
  • If you like chevron, try out a chevron pattern!
  • For the final step of this technique I cut out about ¼ inch of material in the center between my lines of stitches. You could cut out more material closer to the stitches and get a different look, obviously without cutting through the stitches. Or just do one clean cut without taking out any material.
  • Once you've finished this technique, sew together your pattern pieces as normal.

I love the texture of this skirt and I think there are so many other possibilities with this technique! I'm looking forward to seeing what the Season 5 PR&P designers come up with!