I was so excited to start blogging in part so I could officially sew a long with Project Run & Play. Season 9 is upon us and I was raring to go. And then they announced the challenges. I'm so very happy that I'm not a formal contestant because the Week 1 challenge stumped me right out of the gate. (I hate to jinx myself now by saying I had clear ideas for the remaining challenges early on, so I won't. But I did.)
|Piggie, Gerald, elephant legs, an ice-cream cone, and a tribute to Robert Lopshire, too!|
Week #1---"Put Me in the Zoo" Challenge. Take inspiration from your favorite (or your child's favorite animal) and design and construct an outfit. Remember to make it "inspired by" and not a literal costume.
|Loving the sweater/jacket even without the appliqué! Slightly modified pattern from Ottobre Design.|
When I realized I was stumped on this first challenge, I turned to The Peanut and asked her what her favorite animal is. "ALL OF THEM!" True. But not helpful. I briefly considered just making the yellow dress from Put Me in the Zoo,[affiliate link] but that really doesn't answer the challenge. It just so happens The Peanut turned 5 last week (five!), and as I sought out decorations for her party I landed on her favorite fictional characters of the moment, three certain pigs: Peppa, Olivia, and Piggie (of "Elephant &" fame). Problem is, much like Olivia, I'm not a fan of pink. Then I also remembered that when we visit the zoo she makes a beeline for the elephants. Aha! Piggie and Elephant! Of course.
Now if I was a formal contestant, not just sewing along for practice, I'd worry this doesn't answer the challenge directly. But since I'm not, I felt at liberty to create something I knew my model would LOVE to wear again and again.
|In Should I Share My Ice Cream by Mo Willems [affiliate link] -- Gerald imagines sharing his ice-cream cone with a clearly pleased Piggie.|
After I landed on this loose solution of a Mo Willems tribute, the pants seemed obvious: wide-legged and gray like the legs on Gerald himself.
|Elephants need back pockets for their spare peanuts, of course. Or in this case, their spare mini peanut butter cups.|
Now I was looking at an all-gray elephant outfit in need of color. Since I had already referenced the actual Put Me in the Zoo [affiliate link] by Robert Lopshire, the solution fell into my lap in the form of multi-color polka dots! After that I let the color explode onto the raglan tee. This shirt may be the most colorful garment I've sewn to date.
|The twin needle once again got a workout on both the raglan-sleeved tee and the wide-legged pants.|
DetailsIf you scroll down and you'll see my usual summary of patterns and fabrics. I'm especially proud of the appliqué. For those of you that don't know, I sew on a Singer 5817c from the mid-90s—in other words, completely manual, no computer chip or programming. And I definitely don't have an embroidery machine. Here's how I did it.
First I enlarged the image on my copier to the size I wanted to use, then traced just the outlines of each character onto Wonder Under [affiliate link]. After I ironed the Wonder Under onto the pink and gray fabric (t-shirts on super clearance from Wal-Mart), I carefully cut out the shape of each character. Then I held each up to a window to trace on the detail lines from the source image (page 35, to be specific) using a water soluble marker (1). Next I ironed each appliqué in place on the front panels of the sweater before sewing them down with a narrow, short zig-zag stitch (though not a satin stitch--my machine doesn't do that well on a woven and it really can't accomplish it on a knit!) (2). Then I sat on my couch a couple of evenings and stitched an embroidered back-stitch over the marker lines with floss (3). Then I stitched some more (4.)
|Hand Appliqué: 1. Cut; 2. Iron & Sew; 3. Stitch; 4. Stitch some more.|
|That ice-cream cone button rocks my world! But the wobble on the chartreuse trim burns my cookies.|
It wasn't until we came back in from the cold (it's the end of March, why is it cold?!) that I realized I didn't get any visible polka dot pics.
|Inside, low light? Oh! Look who's blurry again. I blame a sugar rush from the peanut butter cups. Also what's going on with that ice-cream cone button?|
So there you have it. My Elephant & Piggie (emphasis on elephant) plus Robert Lopshire homage as solution to Project Run & Play Week 1. It's been ugly with the snow and the sick around these parts eating into my sewing & blogging time. Here's hoping we're through with snow days and sick days until after April 15th!
|Week 1, done.|
|Click here to see all the great sew along entries!|
PatternSweater: Ottobre Design, Issue 4/2013, #11 Cloudy Day Jersey Jacket, size 98wide x 104 tall
Tee: Ottobre Design, Issue 4/2013, #12 Fall Basic Raglan-Sleeve T-Shirt, size 98
Pants: Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids [affiliate link] by Ruriko Yamada, O--Wide-Leg Pants, size 4
FabricSweater: Sew Classic Knits Ponte, Caviar; Sew Classic Knits Interlock, Tile Blue (all from Joann's Fabric)
Raglan Tee: Doodles Collection Stretch Knit White Dot; Doodles Collection Glitter Knit Green [Note: it said hand wash, I said no, and the glitter was gone in the machine--no big loss, I chose it for being the correct shade of green, not for the glitter]; Sew Classic Knits Interlock, Tile Blue; Sew Classic Knits Interlock, Pink Mist; Unknown gray pattern interlock on cuff from scrap stash (all from Joann's Fabric)
Pants: Upcycled from a pair of maternity yoga pants
LoveThe popping, bright-accent color on neutral. Always. That ice-cream cone button. Those fun, colorful polka dots.
NoteI added the contrast trim and lowered the front neckline slightly on the jacket. And I added the twin-needle top-stitching on the pants. I really wish the weather and our health (just heavy colds, but still) hadn't slowed me down this week. I hated feeling rushed. I have so many more plans for the remainder of PRP, here's hoping they go smoother.
You should really see all that goes into each project!
From my model preferring to wear washi tape on her belly button instead of the clothes I've sewn for her, to the ingenious way that I’ve re-purposed my favorite sewing tool, a chopstick, into a spool pin for double needle sewing on my machine. Daily updates on Instagram (and Flickr) of works-in-progress will give you that behind the scenes view you’re looking for, and sneak peeks of First Tuesday Tutorials, too.
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