Thursday, September 27, 2012

Purpledicular Dress

 {Project Run & Play Season 5 Sew Along ~ Week #3 White Sheet challenge}

For the White Sheet challenge we were invited to take a white sheet (up to king size) and make whatever we wanted out of it by painting it, dyeing it, embellishing it, etc. But the majority of the look had to be from the white sheet. Can I be perfectly honest with you? I know this might come as a shock to you, because I really enjoy repurposing projects, but I started out hating this challenge. What? I am forced to work with boring white cotton??? This was the most difficult of all the challenges, it took me absolutely FOREVER to figure out what I was going to do (let's just say this creation was plan Z & if it didn't work out there would be nothing after that since there is no other letter after Z). I had decided what I was going to create for all the other challenges before this one. I really didn't want it to turn out looking like it was a craft project which is exactly what happened with my first attempt with this challenge. After that catastrophe I then decided to go a completely different route and this is what I ended up creating.
 So as I already mentioned for this challenge we were allowed to use a king size sheet, so I thought it would be fun to play with volume (this is Project Run & Play after all and it's fun to have fun, right? also my daughter absolutely loves dresses). But this look could easily be translated into a more wearable everyday clothing item, just take the idea and make a skirt at knee length, for example or let the bold stripes & long length inspire you, take some striped knit fabric, & sew a maxi dress like this awesome one.
 The lines on this dress are not painted on, nor are they wide ribbons sewn on, it is all piecing. It was painstakingly pieced together out of solid purple and white strips, so that every seam and angle would match perfectly. I took part of the white sheet and dyed it with half a bottle of purple liquid dye. I cut 3 inch strips out of the white sheet and 2 inch strips out of the purple. The strips were sewn together, cut at 45 degree angles, then sewn back together to form 90 degree angles, then the modified circle skirt was cut out. From the remaining fabric I cut out the bodice pieces.
 The skirt part of the dress has 60 pieces of fabric, arranged into perfectly perpendicular (90 degree) angled stripes, done in a half circle skirt (two quarter circle skirt sections where the front and back pieces are exactly the same) so that the lines go straight down on the sides (more perpendicular lines are found on both sides of the dress where the skirt lines hit the bottom bodice line). I even took extra care to make sure the width of the white strip was the same on the side seams as it was throughout the whole dress. Speaking of the side seams I added nice deep on seam side pockets. The entire dress is fully lined with white sheet fabric to hide all those carefully pressed open seams and to make it nice against the skin. Also, it has an invisible zipper in the back (that I had to shorten from the bottom as it was too long, why don't they sell invisible zippers that are about 16" or 18" long??).
 When PR&P season 5 is completed I will be back to share how I constructed this dress.
 Be sure to check out all the white sheet challenge sew along creations in the flickr pool.
Some quick notes/thoughts
:: All I used: a white sheet, half bottle of purple liquid dye, one white invisible zipper and white thread, that's it !
:: Purpledicular Dress = Purple Perpendicular Dress... the other names that didn't make the cut: Purple Zebra Dress, I Love Geometry Dress, Look What I Made Out of a White Sheet Dress, Plan Z Dress.
:: I'm thrilled how it fits my daughter absolutely perfectly.
:: Looking back at my goals for Project Run & Play Season 5, I wanted to push myself and try new things. I'm not a quilter. I've just sewn a few simple quilting projects which have included: a beach blanket, patchwork pillow, doll quilt, skirt. Trying this piecing technique has given me the courage to do more piecing in the future… watch out quilting here I come !
:: There sure was a lot of ironing with this creation, I've never gone through so much distilled water with my iron before.
:: I enjoyed using my High School geometry and number crunching with this one.
:: Photo shoot location: Frank Gehry's Standing Glass Fish located in the Palm Room of the Cowles Conservatory at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Little Blue Dress

 {Project Run & Play Season 5 Sew Along ~ Week #2 Fashion Icon challenge}

For the Fashion Icon challenge I chose Audrey Hepburn and The Little Black Dress, but instead of black I picked blue. Just like every woman needs a Little Black Dress, every little girl needs a Little Blue Dress.
 Let's start with the dress... The Little Blue Dress is very Audrey Hepburn styled, simple, and elegant. It is a sleeveless dress, fully lined, with v-neck back, invisible zipper (needed to shorten the invisible zipper from the bottom as I couldn't find a short enough one), hidden on-seam front pockets, blue fur trim along the dropped waist seam. It is made out of light blue suiting fabric. I bought 2 different blue fur trims and this was the trim that my daughter chose, she said she chose this one because it was a lighter blue and softer than the other one. I do have to mention that we were emailed the Season 5 challenges in mid-August which was before Oliver + S even announced their Book Report Dress which features the same type of pockets. I had that idea all set before and I have also been sewing ahead of schedule (thanks to the wonderful advice from contestants from previous seasons). This is a very wearable dress that my daughter will definitely wear to Sunday School, also it will last a long time.
 Although the style of this dress is very simple, it wasn't necessarily simple to execute, as you already know sometimes looks can be deceiving, and a lot of extra care and attention to detail went into this beauty. I have a song in my head right now "making it look easy, is not as easy as it looks" that's from Angelina Ballerina that my daughter enjoys watching. Anyway, it took 2 days of work for me (you know, the free time I have being a stay-at-home mumma bird to 3 eggs) to sew on by hand the blue fur trim, teeny tiny little stitches all around the dress.
 I decided to go with a nicer static-free lining fabric (instead of the cheapest lining) and to really take my time to make the lining perfect. So as I already mentioned the dress is fully lined, I topstitched 1/8 inch all around the arm holes and neckline, then I also hand stitched the lining to the back of the invisible zipper. I wanted to share with you photos of the inside to show that it is just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. CP shared photos of the insides of her creations during Season 4 (so I'm stealing her idea) and I really appreciated seeing the effort she put into the details that you don't see from the outside, not mention her awesome sewing skills!
 The faux mink pullover, is A-line, has 3/4 length raglan sleeves, a funnel collar, and is lined. This is the first time I have ever worked with faux fur. I took extra care to match up the lines with the the sleeves to the front and back pieces. I also sewed by hand the hem on the bottom of the pullover as well as the hem on the sleeves. I cannot believe I made this entire pullover out of only a half yard of fabric!

The large pink bow in front off center on the mink pullover was made out of a thrifted pink wool sweater that I wet felted (hot water washer, then hot dryer) then cut and assembled. The pink bow is removable giving versatility so the pullover can have more than one look. Besides sewing I also knit (do you knit, too? I'm saganaga @ Ravelry). I have worked with wet felting knitted wool before and thought this type of material and  texture would work really well with outerwear. What's really great is that when knitted wool is wet felted it become really thick & sturdy, also the edges don't fray.
 Wouldn't every little girl love a pink gum ball purse? To get the gum ball look I attached about 350 little pink pompoms onto a purse. I also replaced the purse strap with pink grosgrain ribbon. A fun little girly accessory.
 And lastly, for the vintage button cuff bracelet, I sewed on by hand lots and lots of vintage buttons from my vintage button stash.
 Whew, I just realized that there was a lot of hand sewing for this look!! Things have been very busy here in my nest full of eggs studio :)
 Two of the things that I really love about this look are the soft pastel color palette and the mix of textures and I hope that you do, too.

 Fast facts
 :: Fun fact: You know what is funny? I've never seen an Audrey Hepburn movie! Any suggestions as to which one I should watch first?
:: Inspiration: Audrey Hepburn and The Little Black Dress (sleeveless sheath dress ~ check, mink pullover ~ check, hair in bun on top of head ~ check, big dark sun glasses ~ check, flats for shoes ~ check)
:: Detail inspiration: mixing textures, everything looks so soft, it just makes you want to reach out and touch it!
:: Photo shoot location: white hallways inside the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis
:: Font: Sabrina in Tiffany blue
PS Well, auf Wiedersehen to me... although I was eliminated after week #1, for the remaining challenges I am still playing along with the sew-along group and speaking of which be sure to check out all the other Fashion Icon looks in the flickr pool, they are awesome! I think the Fashion Icon challenge has been my favorite one ever!!
Also I just quickly wanted to mention that I will be back with  more details about my PR&P season 5 looks & some tutorials when season 5 is all done.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Le Tricolore

 Project Run and Play Season 5 has officially started. It is Week #1 and the challenge was a Pattern Remix, "It's OK to be Biased" Skirt by Katy at no big dill. Use the bias strip technique and make it your own.
 Did you enjoy watching the Summer Olympics over the summer and seeing all the flags from all around the world? 'Le Tricolore' is what the French call their flag, it is where I got my inspiration from. My daughter is half French, so she is the perfect little model for this one.

I've already made a French flag skirt using Dana's layered skirt tutorial. You know, so why not create a whole outfit inspired by the French flag?
 So here you have a modern, color block top & skirt, in bright eye catching colors... classy, polished, and oh so chic! The skirt is a color block white and red elastic waist skirt, the seams used for the skirt were French seams (how fitting for a French flag inspired outfit!) The royal blue top is fully lined with an invisible zipper in the back (I had to shorten the zipper from the bottom as I couldn't find an invisible zipper short enough). I decided to make the bias strips very evenly spaced apart, creating texture within each color block. And for la piece de resistance... white bias strip straps and ties in the back making a really beautiful touch in the back and a nice surprise.
 I decided to make this outfit into separates instead of a dress as it will give more versatility, she can wear this skirt with a store bought white shirt, for example, that she already has in her closet. For the construction of the top I placed red & black style tapes on my child sized dress form to create the style lines in order to produce a muslin pattern first. This was the first time I've ever done this method & it was a success! I'm so pleased with the result.

I found a nice light weight fabric that would work really well with this technique. I wanted something that wouldn't weigh down each piece since there are so many layers. Also the ties in the back flow so beautifully in the breeze, don't they?
 I also created a blue toile vertical ribbon cuff bracelet to accent the outfit, this was ribbon that I bought in Paris a decade ago. The ribbon just happened to be in the same royal blue that's found in the French flag, so of course I just had to use it for this challenge, it's the whole reason why I've been saving it all these 10 long years, right? On a side note if you ever have the opportunity to visit the Toile museum in a suburb of Paris, I highly recommend it.
By the way, everything is made of bias strips... even the blue fabric I used to make the toile ribbon cuff bracelet.

Fast facts
:: Technique: bias strips
:: Fashion trend: color block
:: Inspiration: the French flag
:: Fabric: silk essence from JoAnn Fabrics
:: Hairstyle: long hair messy bun
:: Photo shoot location: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with down town Minneapolis skyline in the background. (I unfortunately couldn't get any photos of the Spoonbridge and Cherry (the symbol of Minneapolis) as there was a huge ugly orange truck next to it the whole time that we were there, it was doing work on the cherry). 

Vive le bleu, blanc, et rouge !

Now go vote !

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fall 12 Ideas House

  {this is not my house}

Are you ready for another tour of the Bachman's Ideas House? If you'd like, you can visit some from the past: Spring 10, Summer 10, Holiday 10, Spring 11, Summer 11, Holiday 11, and Spring 12.

I had never been to a Fall one yet, so you are in for a real treat today! If you have ever been to the Bachman's Ideas House in the past or seen some of my blog posts that offer photo tours, you know there are 4 rooms upstairs. They've featured those rooms decorated as: Master bedroom, girls bedroom, boys bedroom, then the 4th room is a craft, office, or media room. Well this time they had a nursery and a dog room which is so clever wait until you see that!

This house was built in the early 1920's and for Fall 2012 it was decorated with a a palette of muted fall colors, layering on bright and bold graphic accents for a young and trendy home that is focused on celebrating the season with friends and family. Nearly every item is priced for sale.... enjoy the photo tour...

On the porch, beer tap/keg holder made from old trunk.
 In the living room, Optometrist table as wine bar.

 Shelving unit made from salvaged metal and wood.
 Conveyor belt as coffee table.
 In the dining room, outdoor lanterns turned into table lamps.

 In the kitchen, metal rolling cart as wall shelf, salvaged metal stand as center island.
 In the stairwell, assorted cabinet doors as wall art.

In the office, crates as wall unit and magnet board.

 In the bathroom, bark panel wallpaper.
 In the nursery, mobile made from branch and origami birds.
 Stickers on mirrors as word art.
 Bird wall art made from nails and colored yarn.
 Changing table made from a buffet, cloth diapers used as organization pockets.

 In the dog room...
 Dog beds made from an upside-down table and an old chair.

 Dog bone chandelier.
 On the dog porch... dog bone shaped pool.
 Doggy cabana.
 Outdoors... wall flowers made from burlap wreaths, wheat and honeysuckle vine.
 Tires lined with burlap as planters.
 In the clubhouse...
 Hanging loveseat made from tires.

 I hope you get a chance to visit this Fall 2012 Ideas House (there are so many more ideas to see than are in these photos), it's open until October 7th, 2012. And if you cannot make it to Minneapolis, Minnesota to tour the house in person, I hope you can get some inspiration from this photo tour.

PS Holiday 2012 Ideas House will be November 8 - December 16, 2012.