Friday, May 18, 2012

PR&P Week 6- Small Town Summer


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.






Lastly, my style is crafty. I feel like that word can have negative connotations when it comes to fashion, but there is really no other way to put it. I like using details that take a lot of extra care and time. Whether it's piecing fabric together, painting on it, manipulating it in a new way, or carefully hand stitching on it, it's important to me that my craftsmanship really shows when you take a closer look.




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 appliqu├ęs 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!










27 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Jessica. The outfits are fabulous. I'm so superbly impressed by your determination and stamina through this whole process. No matter the outcome, you've made some amazing stuff! You should be very, very proud of yourself.

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  2. you got my vote again!!! Good luck!!! I love that all of your stuff is wearable...that's my "style" too!!! so important when it comes to kids i think!! :)

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  3. Awesome outfits!!! You are very talented!!!

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  4. You got my vote! The outfits are cute, look comfy, and I especially love that they are "kid-friendly" - something that kids would be happy to wear! Way to go, Jessica! I hope you win!!!

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  5. Congrats on making it to the end and doing so much for boys! Love that.

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  6. If I would have seen these outfits somewhere else, I would have thought of you. You did such a great job adding something new and fun to the competition and I'm so proud!

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  7. Awesome! Love the Summersville on that dress!!!

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  8. That's what I love about the things you've made-- they're stylish, but so incredibly wearable and appropriate for children to, well, Run and Play in. Good luck! You've done an amazing job throughout this contest.

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  9. they are so sweet, jessica! i love the details on the skirt..so sweet and whimsical. you are amazing.:)

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  10. Congrats, you made it! Best of luck and enjoy the victory (which I strongly suspect will be yours).

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  11. I LOVE IT! You definitely have a specific style and I think this ensemble captures it perfectly. I love the colors and the comfort and wearability. I also love to draw inspiration from adult clothes, but make it appropriate for kids and maybe that's why I'm drawn to your style? Love the fabric you recycled for Hendrix' shorts!! And these photos are gorgeous. Nice work this entire season! Not a look I didn't love! -Cherie

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  12. Gorgeous, gorgeous. I love the details you put in your clothes and your analysis of your style. Fantastic!

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  13. You are awesome, J! Seriously! I admire you for doing this, and am truly blown away by your skills. And I'm right there with you on the scorpion jacket. It is so fabulous!

    I love the Summersville details in the dress this week. Ack!! The neckline is just too fun.

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  14. I am in love with that little dress! The patchwork is darling!!

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  15. Jessica. I think you rock! I voted for you. Love your style. :)

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  16. They look great! I think you'll win!!

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  17. I'm glad you make boys clothes too. And that they are real clothes that real kids will really wear. That was a couple of my pet peeves with some of the other contestsnts, and judging by your description... maybe yours too? Anyway, I think you have this in the bag.

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  18. i just loved everything you made for PR&P this season - your signature look included! simple but unique, sweet, completely wearable, and full of wonderful little details. such great stuff!

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  19. ditto what gail said - it was so great to see wearable kid clothes that are still super inspiring in design make it through to the end! you did a fantastic job...and seriously, where did you come from? thought you were a quilter!! ;) can't wait to see where you make next - it's amazingly freeing once this is all over. way to go, my friend!

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  20. Yes, that jacket rocked. I too appreciated the wearability of your clothes. As cute as so many things I see are it is ultimately more rewarding to make things that my kids enjoy wearing. I also love your boy outfits!

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  21. You have my vote:) Congrats for being in finale!

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  22. I've loved all the outfits you created this season and these two just make me feel happiness. They all have been so stylin yet they look very comfortable for the kids to wear. I've also loved all the photo shoots as well. Congratulations and I look forward to many more inspiring creations.

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  23. It has been so fun to watch you work through this challenge! I've enjoyed every week! This week is no different - such darling outfits - love hearing about your style - and seriously, what an awesome photoshoot - truly darling photos! Good luck! Off to vote...

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  24. lol not one ruffle - love it and love your style. totally agree with you on all of it. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  25. JESS! you are kicking ass! seriously! i just voted and you have 41% of the votes! yayayayayay!!! i love this week the best! i love that adorable dress and his shorts, shut up! LOVE them! i promise to buy or make you a celebratory drink in june! xoxo

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  26. Oh my GOSH! Look how cute those shorts are! And everything else of course (does that dress come in my size? hehe!) Love the way you used that sheet! And congrats on the big win!

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