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:
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.
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.
Cuffs and HemThe 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.
Striped TightsThe 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.
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!
Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.
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