Tuesday, April 1, 2014

PR + P week two: spring break

tale of the cod
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CAPE COD, MASS was where i travelled for inspiration this week. and this challenge was almost the one that broke the camel’s back.

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i didn’t set out to make two complete looks. but when i was in the planning stages, i got hit by good old mommy guilt: i rarely sew for my one and only boy, harrison. so let’s include him this week! shirt and pants for each…and maybe a jacket for harrison….well, and wouldn’t a jacket for ava be cool? and there you have it.
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next thing you know i'm sewing night and day and losing things and crying (yup) and ready to quit the whole contest.
little did i realize that harrison was perfectly content not being a part of this whole experience. so take a good look—this is the last time you’ll be seeing him on the blog, sewing-wise. and it took quite a bit of cajoling and bargaining to get him here.

so if last week’s challenge was about the fluff and the fun, this week was all about stretching myself. i took on some pretty major pieces, and went well outside my comfort zone. but to say i’m happy with the end results would be quite an understatement. i’m in love with these looks.

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now if only my two goofballs would cooperate. ;) these two…either the best of friends or the worst of enemies. there’s nothing in between with them.

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how about some more details on the clothes? ladies first…

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her pants are a flowy linen-esqe navy material. i drafted the pattern and tweaked and tweaked and tweaked to get the fit JUST. RIGHT. and it was so worth it. they look awesome on her athletically thin frame.

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they’re paired with this white blouse, which isn’t just a tone-on-tone stripe. those stripes are alternating woven fabric and what i can only describe as elastic strips. i gave it a wide boatneck and less than 3/4 sleeves…2/3 sleeves, perhaps? the anchor was sewn with my free motion quilting foot, and i hand sewed the “chain” down. for drama i left the back open and finished it with 4 coral buttons.

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that tiny, tiny trim was a bear—keeping it perfectly straight and not running over it with my stitches? not easy. this entire project had more hand sewing than i think i’ve ever done in my life. the other thing it had in spades?

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buttons and button holes. eek! ava’s entire look had 26 buttons, each and every one hand sewn on (after an unfortunate machine-sewing experiment). now her jacket—this was my piece de resistance. it’s got a nautical/military feel, with some feminine features to keep it pretty.

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and lots and lots of buttons. did i mention that? the buttons on both the jacket and pants are actually compasses, a nod to the nautical theme without being the typical anchor button. LOVE.


now for harrison. i bought the bulk of what i used for his look in one thrift shopping trip: one pair men’s size 42x32 pants, one men’s large t-shirt, one men’s 2XL rain jacket, one XL fleece. i pulled a maternity shirt and some raw yardage from my stash. i added in green and white striped trim and some leather and wood toggles.
his jacket…ah the jacket. i worked so, sooo hard on this thing. i broke that original rain jacket up into parts and repurposed everything.
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the zipper went down the back to add a detail, the original pockets got reset--one horizontally, one vertically. i added a grey and navy trim to the outside, and finished the inside edges with the same green and white trim from the pants. the finishing touch was the leather and wood toggles on the front.

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i played a delicate balance with this look: in general, i hate making things that i feel like you can buy easily in any store. that’s why i typically lean towards dresses and outfits with a twist for my girls. but there’s only so much “different” you can force on a boy who’s 2 weeks from being 12. so i kept the jacket fun, and added in lots of little details, but kept the design on the tamer side.

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same goes for his shirt—i cobbled together a baseball style tee by chopping up the men’s shirt (the striped part), the maternity shirt (the sleeves) and some yardage (the shoulder patch). then i hand cut the freezer paper stencil for the word on the front. and it makes me laugh every time i look at it.

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his pants. does anyone remember that scene in peewee’s big adventure (the second movie) where he’s saving all the animals from the fire in the pet shop and keeps seeing the snakes and doesn’t want to have to save them? and finally he can’t put it off any longer so he grabs them all because it’s literally do-or-die time? anyone? okay fine…just me then. the rest of you clearly need to brush up on your 80’s cult classics.

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well, these pants were my snakes. and i finally had to just jump in and do it. again i cut these down to their bare bones. i cut out the front pockets, cut new front and back legs, cut a new waistband, removed and resewed belt loops, reinstalled the pockets and added trim down the sides, and rehemmed.

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the only thing i left was the original back pockets—i cut the new back legs in such a way that they could work. and so again—i added some little details to make them original, but kept them tame enough that he wore them to school right after this photo shoot--win!

in the end i’ve created two looks that i love, and that my kids love, and that i think perfectly represent the cape cod style. i can’t wait for them to wear these outfits this year when we hit the cape!

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thanks for taking the time to read through all my wordy explanations, and if you haven’t yet why not head over to project run and play and vote for your favorite in this week’s challenge???

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