Project Run and Play Week Three: Shine Bright

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It’s week three! What a ride it’s been!  I’m thrilled to have made it this far in the competition and have been loving my competitors creation’s each week.  Make sure you head over to Project Run and Play to check out their looks and to vote for your favorite.

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The theme for this week is “Astronomical Proportions’.   I really, really struggled with this one.  I love that this competition pushes me to try new things and to be adventurous but I also want to be true to my own design aesthetic and style.  As designers we pondered the double meaning of the theme; outer space and also big dramatic proportions or style elements.   Trying to go with both meanings and stay practical and wearable was my big hang up.  I decided to go ‘big’ in my own way.

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I kept thinking of the stars- both in the sky and on the silver screen.  We are channeling the bright, shining stars in the sky and also our favorite Hollywood movie stars.  It made for a fun week sewing and an especially fun photo shoot.

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Fabric played a huge part in this week’s look.  I used mostly fabric I’ve had forever and that I picked up for a steal.  The sequins, lining knit, and neon pink scuba knit are from LA that I grabbed last year.  The sequins were a screaming deal at $5/yard and the scuba was a remnant that I got to dig for ;).  The faux leather knit came from a local home decor warehouse for $3/yard and the space knit was a Joann remnant for a couple of dollars as well.  Serious savings!  While it was amazing finding just the right fabrics in my stash it also meant I had to work with the yardage I had.  It proved a bit challenging on the main pieces but worked out in the end.

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This dress was such a learning experience.  It was only my second time working with sequins and my first big project with them.  I only broke ten needles in the process- haha!  The sparkle and shine are so worth it though!

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The real showstopper is that skirt!  I added fairy lights for extra wow factor and love the results.

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I wanted this dress to be both playful and sophisticated and to really suit her style.  I loved this dress and this one as well and wanted to use elements of them in our look.  I love the blouson top and wanted a circle skirt to really showcase those twinkling lights.  I love the bishop sleeve of the second dress but unfortunately didn’t have enough fabric for long sleeves.  The slight flutter sleeve is my compromise!

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The dress is lined in a super soft grey rayon jersey knit.  It’s comfortable and helps retain the drapiness of the sequins.  I did an elastic casing on the bodice lining only to avoid an extra seam on the sequins.  The elastic had to be nice and snug to hold up the weight of the sequins and battery pack.

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The lights are removable and took a lot of time to figure out.

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I created a zipper pouch in the pocket to hold the battery pack.  There is a buttonhole on the other side of the pocket for the light strand to feed out of.  The lights are hand tacked to the inside of the sequins and are just loose enough that they can be removed easily.

If I were to create this dress again (hello, future me!) I’d do a couple of things differently.  This was my first time making a light up sequin dress after all!  Hopefully someone else can use these tips to make their little princess’s dreams come true.  The battery pack is a little too heavy and bulky in her pocket and I think I’d either do a separate pocket in the back of the bodice or since I knew she’d be wearing shorts underneath it would be ideal to put the battery pack in a pocket there then do a buttonhole on the skirt lining for the lights to feed through.  The fairy lights were lightweight and the wire was pliable and worked well with the weight of the sequins.  The lights add just a bit of fullness to the skirt which worked well for this application.  How fun would a light up dress be for a night of fireworks at your favorite theme park?  I think there are lots of possibilities with these fun lights!

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The spin factor with the lights is our favorite! I love that she picked Chucks to really play up the playfulness of this look.  Perfectly suits my soccer loving, book-worm, old soul of a daughter!

sophie4.1I used the Nina Blouse from Coffee + Threads as my basic bodice pattern again.  I eliminated all closures and did a slight boatneck to fit over her head.  I redrafted the sleeve to have as much flutter as I could fit on my remaining fabric.  I just love that drape!

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I used the Love Notions Leggins’ pattern to make a pair of shorties to wear underneath to allow her to spin to her heart’s content!  I added height to the waistband and cut them to hit mid-thigh for coverage but to stay hidden too.  This fun space print was perfect for the theme and I love when they peek out a bit as she twirls!

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Overall, I’m so happy for the push Project Run and Play gave me to cut into my beloved sequins.  It was worth all the broken needles in the world to see this little miss feel like a star!

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This girl is my little sassy one.  She’s full of spunk and I wanted an outfit that captured that.  A neon pink top with faux leather leggings sure did the trick!

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For her blouse I used the Hey June City Park tee as my base.  I sized up and redrafted the body for a boxy, loose fit.  I added wide blouson sleeves for our take on ‘astronomical proportions’.  I love the drama of the sleeves and finishing them with an elastic cuff keeps them a little more practical.

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Just about as puffy as this simple mama gets 😉  She’s in love though!

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I did a slight high low hem to add to the dramatic feel.

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Gold foil stars add the finishing touch.  My Cricut and I are becoming BFF’s this competition too.  As I searched for star fabric all over the internet it hit me that my Cricut could give me just the look I wanted.  I was able to use the bright fabric I wanted and add just a spattering of stars to tie it in with the theme.

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Her pants are simple leggings with a few modifications for a sleek fit.  I used the Peony Leggings from Sew Like My Mom.  I slimmed the legs even more for a second skin close fit.  I added height to the waistband for a high-waisted silhouette.

payton19.1They’re cropped just at the ankle for a retro feel.  Really wishing I could rock the pleather pants like this girl!

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Our shoot day was another one for the books.  After six soccer games and a birthday party, we had a fun shoot planned in front of this cool wall.   Mother Nature had other plans as the skies turned grey and it started raining then turned to slushy snow.  Perfect photo conditions!

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Luckily I had a backup plan and we headed to a ‘fancy’ parking garage for a high fashion photo shoot- complete with natural wind machines and an audience.  These girls loved getting glammed up and really turned on their inner movie stars.  A little makeup and a rocking hairdo go a long way in making them feel confident and really bring them out of their shells.  Yet again, the photo shoot turned out to be my favorite part of the process.  These girls crack me up and we just have a blast each time!

Make sure you head over to Project Run and Play to vote for your favorite look!  Voting is open until 8pm EST Thursday, March 29th.

Project Run and Play Week One: Modern Mayan

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It’s week one of Season 15 of Project Run and Play and I’m thrilled to be back!  I had so much fun last time and learned so much.  This go around I’m so happy to be joining some of my favorite seamstresses and know you’re going to be blown away by their creations.

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The theme for this week is the 7 Wonders of the World.  I hit the internet and was immediately drawn to one of our favorite sites we’ve ever visited- Chichen Itza, Mexico.  If you’ve followed me for very long you know we have a huge place in our hearts for Mexico and love our vacations there.  We love learning about the culture and people and I wanted to celebrate that in our look this week.

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Our first vacation post kids was with my husband’s family to Cancun, Mexico (that’s me with the bob kneeling in front- we were so young!).  We toured the Mayan ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza and it was such an amazing experience.  Back then you could climb to the top of El Castillo, the iconic pyramid.  It was at the top that my fear of heights kicked in and I seriously contemplated what life would be like living in that big stone room since there was no way in the world I was going back down those steeeeeeeeep stairs!  Lucky for you I conquered my fears so I could be here today to share with you our first look!

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I love the bright colors of Mexico, from the turquoise ocean waters, to the lush green jungles and the clear blue skies.  The vibrant colors really bring our look to life.  I did three different pieces and topped it all off with a fun felt floral headband.

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My main piece is a woven front bodice dress, designed to mimic the stairs of El Castillo.  To create this look I used a reverse applique technique and fabric weaving.  A little geometry came in handy to get this just right.  I love that this dress is perfect for the theme but also totally wearable and not too costume-y.

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I brought the same staircase look to the back of the bodice too.  I love the subtle detail!

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I did a split sleeve with a built in bow because I simply can’t get enough of the statement sleeves!

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A hi-low hemmed skirt and pockets finish off the dress.  I used the Lil Luxe Collection Lil Luxe Dress as a base for the bodice then drafted a new neckline, sleeve, skirt and pockets.  The fabric for this dress came from our sponsor CaliFabrics.  This ocean blue chambray was just perfect for this dress.

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Little sis is rocking my take on tourist chic.  I wanted to bring in the vibrant greens of the jungles that surround Chichen Itza and also wanted to use a print that would be reminiscent of the gorgeous flowers that you find there too.  This floral was a LA find and the twill for the shorts was a Joann’s score.  I really want this outfit for myself!

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I used the Nina Blouse from Coffee + Thread as my base for the top.  I cut the front on the fold and added facings instead of the collar and bias binding.  I added a flounce to the sleeve and chose to keep the hem raw to preserve the movement of the fabric.  This fabric is pure heaven- it has the drape of a rayon with quite a bit of stretch and doesn’t fray when cut.  I’d buy a million more yards if I could!

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I added a big bold exposed zipper to the back.  I’m always drawn to exposed zippers and try to keep a bunch of pretty ones on hand just so I can bring a bit of drama to a garment.  The bias bound hem adds a little stability to the hem and I love the contrast it gives too.

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I used the Linden Shorts from Sew A Little Seam for the shorts.  I drafted a new waistband and added a ruffle to the top.  I also used a side invisible zipper as closure.

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I drafted new, longer and wider pockets and brought the angle closer to the side seam.  I lined the pockets with sarape stripe fabric that I wanted to incorporate into our look somehow.

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I did a longer gaucho style length so hopefully she’ll get to wear these to school and through the summer.  My kids and their crazy long legs make buying shorts near impossible so I know I’ll be making many more of these this year!

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The felt floral headband was just the right finishing touch.  I used wool felt from Etsy and had a blast trying out different flowers.  The bold colors and big flowers are such a fun addition to this look.  Their shoes were Target finds and couldn’t be more perfect!

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These girls made this shoot so much fun!  It wasn’t easy to find a ‘Mayan-looking’ backdrop in the middle of a Utah winter.  We headed to our State Capital Building and these girls did their best pretending it was a balmy 80 degrees instead of the frigid 30 degrees it was the evening of our pictures.

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Thanks for stopping by and make sure you head back to Project Run and Play to check out the other looks and to vote for your favorite!  Voting ends Thursday at 8pm EST so run on over!

 

It’s All About That Place- PRP Season 13

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Project Run and Play Season 13 has begun and I’m so excited to be rooting along from the sidelines this season.  It’s so fun to see so many familiar faces competing this season but I sure don’t miss the pressure from last season!  I’ll happily sew-along just for fun!

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The theme this week is “It’s All About That Place”- a destination inspired outfit.  Well, my favorite destination is easy- Mexico!  While I dream of exploring the world, right now a true vacation involves sandy beaches, sunshine, and no alarm clocks or schedules to keep up.  We took the kids last year and it was seriously the best week ever!

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I was lucky enough to get my hands on a few yards of Patty Young’s newest line for Riley Blake- Primavera.  It’s all so bright and cheery and perfect for spring.  It has just the right beachy vibe and was just what I needed for these looks.

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I used Primavera Plaid Teal and Primavera Tile Teal for these two looks, along with trim and scraps from my stash (I love shopping my ever growing scrap bins!).

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My oldest got a Modkid Dakota.  This simple top will fit right in with her spring wardrobe.  I loved how beautifully it came together and the options to get creative with fabric and trim on this bodice make it so fun.  I think it would be so pretty in a rayon challis or voile too! I did a size 7 with a 10 length according to the size chart and it fits just right!  This girl just keeps getting longer and longer!

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K- time for a little honesty, as I was sewing this dress I was so worried there was too much going on.  But the moment my girly tried it on it I swear it was magic.  This dress is HER- like 100% Payton.  Girly and fun and bright and whimsical and twirly and comfy and cute!  This will definitely be a favorite.

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I used the Luna Dress from Violette Fields Threads and slightly modified it.  I’ve had that gorgeous floral ribbon in my stash for years and loved it with the plaid.  I lengthened the bodice to fit the ribbon band and love the extra detail it gives.  I kept my ribbon tie extra long just for that extra pop of fuchsia.

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I also added a few seashell buttons to go with our theme just for fun.

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I’m really so excited because the hubby and I are headed to Mexico SOON!  We’ve had a crazy couple months and I can’t wait to sit on the beach and do absolutely NOTHIN’!  I’m sure going to miss these cute girlies though!  Seriously…

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Gotta love them!

 

 

Three Things I Learned from Project Run and Play

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It’s been a week since the winner of Project Run and Play was announced and two weeks since my departure.  It’s so nice to be on this end of the adventure and to be able to reflect on the crazy month that we all had.  It was such a blast and I thought I’d share a few things that I learned.

1- I have the most AMAZING family and friends.  That’s the biggest thing I will take from the competition.  It was so fun to have my close family rally behind me.  From the fabric store runs with my ‘creative consultant’ sister-in-law to the pattern discussions over the phone with my sister, I couldn’t have done it without them.  I loved sharing preview pics with my photography loving dad and having my parents spread the word to everyone they knew.  Let’s not forget about my brilliant little models!  I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED our photo sessions.  We had such a blast each time and they really blew me away with how good they were.  They were the cutest things each week when I told them the results.  I’m hoping it’s something they remember for a long time- that one time when mom was in that crazy sewing competition 😉

My heart was full each time I shared a look and friends from near and far would comment with support.  Facebook is incredible that way.  Friends from my childhood to brand new sewing buddies, each comment or like really made my day.  I appreciated my local friends always asking how it was going and sharing their love- I know most of them really could care less about this little sewing world I’m in but it sure meant a lot!

Finally, I am so grateful to the new friends I made during the competition.  The ladies sewing furiously along with me each week are the best of the best in every way.  It was so nice to have people who knew exactly what I was going through and to be cheering me on too.  I honestly wanted everyone to win and the final results couldn’t have been more perfect.

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2- I can sew WAY better than I ever thought.  Guys, I’m lazy.  There, I said it.  Sewing is my way to relax so for the most part I sew easy, quick projects.  The kind that don’t take too much brain power.  The kind that you can follow step by step and end up with a great looking garment.  I rarely veered from the pattern and would much rather buy a whole new pattern than hack a pattern I already own for the same look.  Whelp, that was then sistahs!  This competition taught me to push myself and the joy that comes from spending a bit more time and effort on a project.  All those pattern tests have sunk in and I remembered skills I had learned with each one.  Zippers, understitching, pinking curved seams, burrito bodices, and buttonholes galore!  I CAN do it!  It was a great feeling to have it all come back to me.

I really learned to trust my tastes and to go with my gut.  I agonized over each weeks designs and often would change my plan when I found the perfect zipper (week one’s Pikachu look was originally going to be a crop top/pant set) or couldn’t find the fabric I hoped for (I envisioned week two’s floral dress as a gorgeous fall plaid maxi but couldn’t find a print in the right colors).  But… it all worked out.  I stayed true to myself and my style.  I also realized how well I know my kids.  I worked with them on all the designs and we would always be on the same page.  It was such a joy to see their excitement at the finished pieces.  So, so worth it my friends!

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3- Well, this one’s  a work in progress but I’ve learned I need to slow down.  This lil ‘ol blog started as a way for me to share my pattern tests and love of fabric.  It’s grown pretty fast and new opportunities are always coming my way.  It’s so easy to get excited about the newest pattern release or the next blog tour but sometimes it’s just too much.  I’m a worrier and I’m constantly thinking about my next project.  When I’ve got a dozen projects on the calendar my mind goes crazy!  I can’t sleep because I’m thinking about how great this fabric would look as that pattern or which kid gets the next pattern test.  So, I need to say no.  I want to sew what I want sometimes.  I have a pair of trousers for myself that I’ve been dying to make since the pattern released last winter but not sure when I can pencil that one in to the calendar 😉  I’ll still be sewing everyday but I’ll hopefully be spending a little more time on our new sofa too.  The house just might get a little cleaner too (a girl can dream can’t she ;)!

Thank you so much for cheering me on and for sharing this adventure with me.  It truly was a blast and one I will never forget!

Eleri from The Sew and Tell Project created a link-up for us all to share our thoughts on the competition.  You can check them out here:

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Project Run and Play:Signature Style

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Sweet Simplicity- that’s what I’d call my style in a nutshell.  I sew for my kids, my girls especially, things that I would wear myself.  My wardrobe needs to be three things: comfortable (THE most important element), classic, and functional.  My kids need these same things for sure!

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For Signature Style week I had a sister look planned again but being voted off last week changed things a bit.  It was such a blast being in the competition but with the pressure off I enjoyed a quiet weekend with my family.  You get to see the piece that was finished prior to Friday.  There are multiple things in varying stages of completion that will eventually hit the blog but I am loving my newfound freedom 😉

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For this dress I used the Adelyn from Simple Life Pattern Company.  That bow back is my absolutely favorite!  I made one for her here and I’ve been dying to make another. In brushed poly from Pretty Posh Prints it’s pretty much the best thing EVER!  I’m insanely jealous!

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For this dress I changed the sleeve up a bit by taking out the gathers.  I really wanted as simple a bodice as I could get.

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We went for a little drama with a full, floor length maxi skirt addition.

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Of course, every good dress has pockets!

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I had a blazer for her cut and ready but decided not to rush it.  I recently won the book Patternless Sewing Mod Style by Patty Young.  It came at the perfect time!  This sweet little twill and french terry wrap is so classic and simple.  It sewed up in no time and is the perfect compliment to her little outfit.

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Another element of my signature style is- accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!  I like simple wardrobe pieces but LOVE to jazz them up with just the right accent pieces.  This girl has taken a cue from her mom.  On our back to school shopping trip all she was interested in was the jewelry, purses, and hats- just what you need to head back to school!  She has earned the nickname ‘Purse and Boots’ for her high fashion style.

Stop back later this week for a little PR&P recap and behind the scenes look.  Make sure you head on over and vote for your favorite look this week too!  I love those ladies and can’t wait to see who the lucky winner is.  They all deserve it that’s for sure!

Project Run and Play- Week Three:On Safari

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Wow!  I can’t believe I’m here on week three!  This competition has been so fun and I’m so lucky to be doing it with such amazing, fun ladies.  They’ve been knocking it out of the park and keeping me on my toes.

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This weeks theme is Halloween Costumes.  I have a confession- I HATE sewing costumes!  So much work for something that gets worn once or twice.  I’m far too practical for that.  In the past my handmade costumes have been quick, easy projects.  This competition pushed me to spend a lot more time on their looks BUT I also stayed true to myself and made pieces that can be worn long after the last piece of Halloween candy has been eaten.

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Their costumes this year are a little tribute to their Grandma and Grandpa who are serving a humanitarian mission in South Africa and Zimbabwe.  Some of us were lucky enough to get to visit them and a highlight of our trip was an amazing three-day safari.  We thought it would be a special homage to them to plan our Halloween costumes around an African theme.  (Little brother will also be wearing his favorite RTW lion costume-roar!)

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Sophie’s outfit is one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever done.  I used the Cafe Romper from Sew Straight and Gather.  This girl loves rompers but can never find one that fits her tall, skinny body.  I added two inches to both the bodice and pants to get the perfect fit for her.  We skipped the hidden button placket in order to showcase these brushed gold buttons.  I added cargo pockets to the bodice and also to the pants.  She loves ALL the pockets!

A faux button sleeve tab and leather pocket tab are little details that really elevate this outfit.  I used a faux suede from Joann’s for this romper.  I love the look and she loves how soft and comfortable it is.

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For those chilly Halloween nights she can throw on her cozy quilted knit bomber jacket, made using the Ollie Bomber Jacket from Sew A Little Seam.  The quilted knit is from Hobby Lobby.  It’s such a great jacket- chic and so on trend.  She will get lots and lots of wear out of this piece.

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This girl is ready to hit the savanna!

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Payton is comfy and cute in her leopard costume.  I went simple and easy and made pieces that will mix and match into her wardrobe when Halloween is over.  I used this fabric from CaliFabrics and it was perfect!  My original plan was to make a one-piece skinsuit with a built-in tail.  Then the practical side of me kicked in 😉  This is much easier to wear and going to the bathroom will actually be doable, haha!

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Her top is a slimmed down Flashback Skinny Tee modified to have a mock-neck and thumb-hole cuffs.

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Her leggings are our favorite pattern- the Love Notions free Leggins’.  They fit my girls like a glove!

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Her tail is a simple belt that can easily be taken on and off.

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To keep her warm on Halloween night I did a self drafted scarf-neck cardigan using sleeves from the Hatteras Hoodie from Hey June.  I used a cheap blanket from Wal-Mart that is both comfy and warm.  I added pockets to keep her treasures too!

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We had such a blast shooting these looks.  We headed to our little slice of savanna and it was just amazing!

 

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We’ve had such a blast sharing our creations with you during this competition.  It’s really been a dream come true and I’ve had so much fun working with my kids on these looks.  I hope to stick around for next week so we can show you our ‘Signature Looks’.  Take a quick minute to head over and vote over at Project Run and Play.  Thanks for stopping by!

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Project Run and Play: Week Two-I’m an Autumn

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Fall in Utah is my absolute favorite!  The vibrant leaves, cooler weather and trips to our favorite pumpkin patch are things I look forward to all year.

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It was so fun sewing for this week’s Project Run and Play challenge- I’m an Autumn: using the warm colors of Autumn for your primary color palette (red, orange, yellow, and brown).  Now admittedly, I’m NOT an autumn and I’m drawn to much cooler colors so this was initially a bit of a challenge for me.  I had nothing at all in my stash in those colors so we took a trip to the fabric store (five fabric stores to be exact!).

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I had a vision for this dress right from the start and finding the perfect fabric proved to be harder than I thought it would.  With our short time frame I knew I had to find it locally and I finally settled on this gorgeous charmeuse from Joann.  It has such beautiful drape and worked so well for this maxi.

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I used the Lil Luxe Dress from Lil Luxe Collection as the base for this dress.  I added the long sleeves and pockets from the Starlight City Dress, also by Lil Luxe Collection.  I cinched the sleeves with elastic to create a bit of volume in them.  I used the width of the fabric for the skirt portion adding to the drama of this dress.

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I raised the back curve a couple of inches.  This dress will get worn to church ALOT and I wanted her to feel comfortable in it.  And boy does she!  She absolutely loves it!  She’s all about the maxi dresses and this is her new favorite!

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To complete her look I made a luxurious faux fur vest.  She’s always wanted one and this was the perfect outfit for it!

I used my go-to t shirt pattern the City Park Tee from Hey June Handmade to start with.  I drafted the vest using the bodice pieces with only slight modifications.  It’s fully lined in a super soft tweed and closes with a hook and eye at the chest.  She’s anxious to wear it with her favorite skinny jeans and boots once the weather stays cooler.

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I was so excited to sew for this little guy too!  He’s not the easiest to photograph but he’s always a super grateful recipient.

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The highlight of his outfit is a vest made using the BBC Vest from Shwin Designs.  Flannel and leather are such an amazing combo for fall.

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It’s so soft and cozy and will make a great layering piece in his wardrobe.  I lined it in cream stretch denim to make it a bit more structured.

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The leather details elevate it and I was a little nostalgic digging through my great-grandma’s buttons for this project.  These were exactly what I was looking for to finish off this vest.

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His pants are Moto Maxx bottoms from Love Notions.  I love the details on these and they were so fun to play with.

In my endless fabric search I was trying to find soft, comfortable khaki twill.  Everything I found was stiff and not what I had in mind so I headed to my hubby’s closet.  I stole his beloved well worn khakis and they worked like a dream!  I did diamond quilting on the knees and lined them with flannel from the vest.  Comfortable, warm pants will be well loved this fall.

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I did triple stitching on the waistband and slightly cropped them to be more like the joggers his big brothers are so fond of.  This little man wants to be exactly like them so he loves his new cool pants!

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His tee is an ode to another fall staple- long days at the soccer fields!  This little guy is so excited to be on his first soccer team after spending much of his life watching all his siblings play.  He’s definitely got the soccer thing down and this tee is a winner.

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I used the Made for Mermaids Rowan Raglan and slimmed it down to fit better under his vest.  I love this pattern and all the options it comes with.  He loves hoods so I’ll be adding them whenever I can.

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These two are just loving their new looks!

Make sure to head over to Project Run and Play to see the other competitors looks and to vote for your favorite!  We hope you like our Autumn look as much as we do!

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