February 2, 2016

PRP Week 1: Plum Perfect!



Eeeks! It's here! It's time! PRP waits for no sewer regardless of how many days of leave Mid-Atlantic schools grant amid the Great Blizzard of 2016. (Seven. Seven plus a two-hour delay. Seriously). But! That doesn't matter because I am a contestant for Season 11, Project Run & Play! Read on, learn more, and then GO VOTE!

Project Run & Play is one of the reasons I started blogging. I wanted to sew along. Heck, I wanted to be one of the designers way back starting in Season 2, not in large part because of my love of those early seasons of Project Runway. My own experience so far seems to mirror that of the contestants on the TV show. First I nearly killed myself in the fabric store. I fell in love with a stretch herringbone fabric and tried my best to design around it. Five garments later, I concluded I was working too mature for my model and the "play" portion of PRP, and the lovely herringbone was to blame.* I set it all aside and gave myself a Tim Gunn "make it work" pep talk! I threw all available knits into piles by colorway and sat until something sparked. What sparked was a sporty A-line with lots of little details. Let's take a look:

Darling! Sporty and feminine knit outfit for Season 11 Week 1 Project Run & Play from The Inspired Wren


Back Yoke


The bodice features a contrast back yoke with the shoulder seam shifted off the top of the shoulder forward to the collarbone -- bringing a touch of that plum color to the front. The yoke and sleeves are sewn in a super soft, drapey plum polyester blend knit.


Love the delicate knit hood! | Knit outfit for Season 11 Week 1 Project Run & Play from The Inspired Wren


Neckline

The fully lined dress has an under-stitched neckline and includes a hoodie made from a fine sweater knit. The hood has a simple rolled hem and a faux flat-felled seam down the center (a french seam sewn down). Test swatches of the sweater knit easily shed at the cut edge and, more worrisome, ran in certain places. But, once the cut edge is sewn (serged or french-seamed) it's no longer as fragile. 

Love the delicate knit hood! | Knit outfit for Season 11 Week 1 Project Run & Play from The Inspired Wren


Cuffs and Hem

The delicate sweater knit is repeated in the extended sleeve cuffs. Not color-blocked sleeves, but true long cuffs, slightly smaller than the sleeve and fully folded in half. The bottom finish is a reverse hem, sewn with a visible stretch stitch -- a little decorative touch necessitated by my last twin needle giving out when the snow was still over The Peanut's head. The reverse hem creates a band of contrast from the lining fabric. The lining fabric is a nice, stable  interlock. The variegated floral print is an opaque sheer -- it's not entirely see-through but not a solid either. The interlock adds structure to the thin knit, in addition to modesty. The side seams of the lining and the main fabric were sewn separately, before the sleeves were set in, allowing the hem to be turned out.

Darling! Sporty and feminine knit outfit for Season 11 Week 1 Project Run & Play from The Inspired Wren


Striped Tights

The outfit is kept playful with a pair striped footless tights. My model insists on shorts under dresses, so I appeased her comfort by color-blocking the legs with the solid plum from waist to thigh, and stripes down the remainder of the leg. Ta da! Built in "shorts." The stripes were the one random fabric pulled out of my "stash" after piling up all my knits. Purchased long ago as a remnant simply because I liked the fabric. You may shrug at that, but that is not my typical purchase style. I am known to only purchase with particular projects in mind; any "stash" I may have on hand is usually large, left-over scraps. These striped legs were clearly meant to be; the fabric gods smiled down on me this week.

Sporty and feminine knit outfit for Season 11 Week 1 Project Run & Play from The Inspired Wren


Vote!

So now it's time to vote. There are six amazing designers over at Project Run & Play, go check them out and vote for your favorite (ahem, perfectly plum) outfit among the bunch. Go!

Sporty and feminine knit outfit for Season 11 Week 1 Project Run & Play from The Inspired Wren

*Come back on Thursday and I'll show you the rejected herringbone pieces -- still wearable, just not competition ready.

Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.

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21 comments:

  1. You're right the striped leggings are the perfect touch!! I love how it all came together in the end. The long cuffs are a great touch!

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    1. Thanks! I had herringbone leggings with this and they were just too dull.

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  2. I love the long cuff too!!!! I can see that becoming a big fashion trend of it's not already?! And I love stripes! It was fun to see a lot of stripes in the looks this week! Great job!!!

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    1. It was a great week for stripes! So hard to choose a favorite.

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  3. I love the long cuffs too :) She's adorable with her gap-toothed smile! Cute outfit

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  4. My daughter would love the leggings. Uh, and I jsut read that you alos followed along since season 2 and wanted to participate one day. Me too! And now we're in this together! How cool! Will you one day show us the 5 garments that you made first? So sorry that you went through all that. (Did you get my invitation for the facebook group? We're having already a lot of fun over there...)

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    1. (there's a FB group? I don't see an invite, please try again!)

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    2. I plan to post the rehect(s) on Thursday -- in between finishing up week 2.

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  5. Love the print matching. I've seen that variegated floral fabric before, loved it, but not know what to sew with it! But I think you've sewn about the perfect thing. So fun, and totally worth all the hard work and rejects!

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    1. Thanks! I love where I landed in the end. It was worth it.

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  6. This is a beautiful piece and I think the stripes make it playful, as you said. I would love to know more about how to construct with fine knits....I've never done anything and you've made it look elegant. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the other pieces.

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    1. Thanks! I'm excited to keep sewing for each challenge. I may release a tutorial/free-pattern of this one once PRP is done.

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  7. That's adorable! I love the combination of knits you used.

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    1. Thanks! I'm really happy with how they work together.

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  8. Beautiful dress! I love the floral fabric in the dress. And great ingenuity appeasing your daughter's desire for shorts! That can be a challenge - creating something that you enjoy sewing and they enjoy wearing; especially with the very particular rules the kids lay out for us sometimes that are not always season / weather appropriate. Great job!

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  9. Beautiful dress! I love the floral fabric in the dress. And great ingenuity appeasing your daughter's desire for shorts! That can be a challenge - creating something that you enjoy sewing and they enjoy wearing; especially with the very particular rules the kids lay out for us sometimes that are not always season / weather appropriate. Great job!

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