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Bowties are Cool ~ Denim is Cool, Too!

I know – Denim Week at PR&P is over! I’m running behind. I spent quite a bit of last week working on upcoming new patterns and Quilt Market samples, and then my site was down unexpectedly for a little while. I am happy to report that I did finish up Jamie’s outfit, though, and he got the bowtie that he wanted!

We’re sort of big Doctor Who fans around here. The 11th Doctor is my personal favorite … “I will always remember when the Doctor was me.” I love that Jamie thinks bowties are cool. For the record, though, I asked him which Doctor was his favorite. “David Tennant,” he said. I tried to convince him that surely he was mistaken, “But, Matt Smith wore the bowtie!” “Well, David Tennant is my favorite, but I really like Matt Smith’s bowtie!”Since I’m still sewing along with the Project Run & Play challenges, and last week was the Denim Challenge, Jamie got a whole denim outfit. I did a quick Pinterest search when I was first starting on this outfit, and I found tons of denim shirts with jeans … even a few with bowties! That was great encouragement to go with my plan of a denim button-down top with jean shorts.For the top, I started again with my Everyday Camp Shirt. This time I added a high curved yoke and pockets with curved bottoms on the front. I narrowed the collar like I did with Charlie’s shirt last week, and put in that same collar stand, too. I cut the button placket separately to give it more definition, and added a curved yoke on the back. I also gave the top a shirt-tail hem.This button-down has a ton of topstitching. Topstitching seems to be my personal theme for this PR&P season! Because my sweet Australian followers so kindly asked me to go ahead with doing a tutorial for that side zipper-pocket on the Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts, I used that pattern again, primarily because I wanted to take photos of the pocket process, but also because I really love this pattern! I added the belt loops this time, but skipped the extra topstitching on the front pockets. On the back, I added a curved yoke to mimic those on the shirt, and I used those same curved-bottom pockets. I really like all the curves in this outfit!I have all the photos done, so hopefully, I’ll have that pocket tutorial ready for you in the next few days!Of course, this outfit works really well without the bowtie, too. And, I think that it’ll be worn far more often this way than with the tie … maybe? Hmmm … I suppose I’ll have to wait and see what Jamie decides!You may be able to tell from my pictures that Jamie is almost always very serious and thoughtful. Getting him to smile for pictures is nearly impossible! (Isn’t it cool how children from the same family can be so different?)On to my signature look. Hopefully, I’ll have that one done and posted before the week is up!

Fabric in the top is from Joann fabrics.
Fabric in the shorts is from Robert Kaufman Fabrics.
The bowtie fabric and the buttons on the shirt are upcycled from thrifted men’s tops. (The buttons are from one of the shirts that I used for last week’s look!)

Back to the Beach ~ Old Made New Again!

I adore upcycling!! And, there are a few reasons why. The one that stands out, of course, is that it’s environmentally responsible to make something new from something old, rather than throwing it out. There are some other great reasons, too, though! First, it’s a great way to save your pennies! I so often hear that sewing for your children can get expensive, and it can. Salvaging fabric from used clothing is easy on the budget! Second, the aisles of thrift shops are a great place to find fabrics that are hard to come by elsewhere. You might even find yourself buying and working with fabrics that you wouldn’t have considered using otherwise. Perhaps my favorite motivation, though, for re-using old clothing is that you get to see how the fabric wears! When you purchase fabric new and unwashed, it’s hard to know what it will look like twenty washes later. With used clothing, the fabric has already been washed and dried multiple times, so you can see how it’s holding up!This week’s challenge theme at Project Run & Play was the “Hand-me-down Makeover”. With last week’s disappointing loss, I wasn’t planning to continue sewing along, BUT on the last day of voting, Jamie came running into my studio and excitedly exclaimed, “I know you’re sewing for Charlie this week, but next week, can you make me an outfit with a bow tie?” Apparently, I’d gotten my boys really excited about having a new handmade outfit every week for four weeks. Without even thinking, I started explaining to Jamie that his Inspector Gadget outfit was losing, and I probably wouldn’t sew the remaining outfits …. and he cried. And, then I cried. And, then I promised to sew the rest of the weeks. So, here we are!

The very first time that I sewed along with PR&P, there was an upcycling challenge — using men’s button-down shirts, I think — and I made a beach outfit for Jamie. You can see that outfit here: the Upcycled Beach Boy. When I was scouring the racks of a local thrift store and ran across a navy blue button-down shirt printed all over with bright red crabs, I thought it seemed fitting to go Back to the Beach this time around!For the camp shirt, I began with three cotton woven shirts which I chopped up and pieced back together to create a casual, fun, beach-y top. I modified my Everyday Camp Shirt pattern by shifting the shoulder seam towards the front, narrowing the collar and adding a collar stand. I also drafted up a western-style yoke for each shoulder. I finished the top with metal snaps, at Charlie’s request. “So I can do it myself!”

Oh, my! Those eyelashes!

The back has a pieced, straight yoke.Charlie was so excited about the crabs on this shirt! As soon as we got to the beach, he started telling me this story about a crab and his family who live under the sand and the water. He’s such a great story-teller!Under the camp shirt, Charlie is wearing a tank top made from my free The Tank pattern with the addition of the pocket from my Honor Roll Raglan.The tank started life as a red cotton interlock mock-turtleneck.

Beach photoshoots are so much fun!

The shorts are my favorite part of this whole outfit because of the cool side zipper pockets! I upcycled the shorts from a men’s khaki twill cotton shirt. (I used every spare inch of the shirt fabric!)I used my Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts pattern for these. I loved the way that last week’s zipper fly turned out, so I was going to do another, but Charlie begged for “pull-on pants”, so I went with the drawstring finish instead.I had the idea for this zipper pocket early in the process.I originally thought I would just work it into the knee panel, but after discussing it with a friend, I decided that it really needed to be on the side. So, I wrapped the knee panel all the way around and pieced the pocket into the center of it. (I can totally do a tutorial for it, if there’s interest! Maybe in the spring when those of you who don’t live in Florida are sewing shorts again?)It’s the perfect pocket for shell-collecting!I used the Everyday Camp Shirt pocket for the back pockets on these pants. (I actually did the same thing last week, and really liked the look.)This is a great Florida fall outfit! Charlie declared it just right for running …… jumping …… and bird chasing!Wait! One more … this is just before he got soaking wet from head to toe!

Can I just put my toes in … pleeeeeeeeeeeaaaase?

Up next week, a denim bow-tie? My wheels are turning!

PR&P Week One: Go, Go Gadget Fashion!

I am so excited to be competing in Season 10 of Project Run & Play! To read more about PR&P and find out how you can join in the sew-along, just click here. To see all of this week’s designer looks and vote for your favorite, click right here! Read on for tons of pictures and more details about my first week look.

As a child of the 1980s, I was really excited about the Project Run & Play theme for Week 1 – 80s Cartoon-Inspired Looks! I was 10 in 1980, and I graduated high school in 1988, so I have fond memories of so many 80s cartoons! The big problem came when I had to pick just one! What a hard choice! I knew that I wanted to make this an everyday outfit, and I didn’t want the outfit to look costume-y or really feature any specific characters. With those things in mind, I narrowed it down to a few choices. From there, since I was sewing for my seven-year-old, I enlisted his help to make the final decision. Jamie’s choice? Inspector Gadget!My Go, Go Gadget Fashion ensemble is an everyday outfit inspired by Gadget’s own classic inspector’s wardrobe, but with hidden accents that represent his robotic gadgets! I thoroughly enjoyed designing and sewing this outfit, and Jamie loves it! (His favorite part is the jacket. He didn’t want to take it off, and it was in the 80s here in Florida on the day of our photo shoot!)

The set is made up of three pieces – jacket, top and pants. I designed the jacket with a trench coat style fit, but with a shorter length to make it more practical for my little guy.The jacket outer is sewn with a soft gray cotton twill, and it’s fully lined with a cotton and linen blend robot print. The cuffs fold down for extra growing room.The front plackets feature a gentle curve at the top, and they’re finished with rows of twin topstitching in matching thread. Actually, there is a lot of topstitching in this jacket — in the pants, too! I love the detail that it adds. I’ve said before that I think topstitching is like ruffles for boys.The two front pockets are big enough to hold Inspector Jamie’s notepad, pencil, magnifying glass and anything else that he might need for his investigative work! They also button up to keep everything safe inside.The 1 1/8″ buttons have a really cool mottled gray coloring, and they’re eco-friendly because they’re made of recycled cotton.The Henley-style top is constructed of light blue cotton pique fabric. Inspector Gadget’s shirt is white, but Inspector Jamie is tough on white clothes, and he lives in a house with well water that doesn’t get along well with white for very long. I love the look of the light blue mixed with the gray of the jacket and the dark blue of the pants.The traditional Henley collar is sewn with 1X1 cotton/spandex ribbing, and the placket inset features more cotton/linen robot fabric. Isn’t that little yellow robot peeking out just adorable?I finished the placket with white metal snaps. (See the little scratch on Jamie’s cheek in the picture below. It’s the result of momma leaving a pin in the shirt when he first tried it on! Have you ever done that? I felt so bad, but he seemed rather excited when I told him that we would just say that it was a scar from his past detective work.)I cut the back of this top longer than the front, and I added in side vents.The fine-wale cotton corduroy pants wrap up this outfit in comfortable, modern style. A zippered fly hides more tiny robots on the fly shield and the inside of the waistband. The waistband also features functional belt loops. Two huge front pockets provide more storage room, and double knees give longer-lasting wear. The coordinating topstitching on the pockets and the knee panels gives more great detail.Jamie is tall and thin and generally wears slim sizes in ready-to-wear pants, so elastic in the backwaist gives him a comfortable fit. The back yoke and pockets finish the pants off nicely.I think this outfit accomplished all of my goals: Inspector Gadget-inspired, comfortable everyday wear, and loved by the receiver! I happen to think he’s quite handsome in it, too!Jamie planned out the props for this photo shoot himself, and he had a lot of fun with it!All patterns are self-drafted.
Jacket fabrics: Gray Cotton Twill by Fabric Finders from Southern Seams, Robot Cotton Linen by Kokka from Sew Me a Song, Recycled Cotton Buttons by Green Earth from Joann Fabric.
Shirt fabrics: Light Blue Cotton Pique upcycled from a thrifted Old Navy polo, Ribbing from Joann Fabric, Robot Cotton Linen by Kokka from my stash.
Pant fabrics: Royal Blue Fine Wale Corduroy from Hobby Lobby.

Thank you so much for dropping in to visit and reading about my Go, Go Gadget Fashion Look! Don’t forget to go vote: Project Run & Play – Week 1!

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