[old-fashioned girl : our look for week two of Project Run & Play]
looking over the precipice into the great beyond of all things sewing-related, i decided to narrow my focus in on attempting a few new-to-me techniques to create a sportswear look with details true to our style for the week two challenge of sportswear.
ok, truth time. this is not the road we had intended to travel. we took a detour.
and as it turns out, that has made all the difference.
you see, my daughter and i (last week's model) had grand plans for a jumper (floral bottom/linen top with "jewelry" on it) + leggings. instead of sequins and beads, i introduced the idea of appliqueing a granny square to the top of the piece to give the illusion of a pendant - and it would have been really cute, i am sure. but apparently my calculations were off when i actually got into my studio to make the piece. i thought it looked a bit roomy, but i still thought we could make it work with a sash or smocking, or something. but when my other daughter (last week's design assistant) actually tried it on and it fell straight off her to the floor, i had a bad feeling. so then, just for kicks, i tried it on. i am not seven. i am not a size seven, for that matter. and yet it fit ME. that was when i called it a complete design fail and knew i would have to start over.
that was tuesday night. NIGHT. yeah. THIS tuesday night. we'd be taking photos wednesday.
i got on the treadmill for an hour, and decided that as silly as it was, this dress fail was a teachable moment if there ever was any. give up? not an option. so what if all my sewing stuff - including my machine - was 5 miles away in my studio. make it work, jennifer. so i got out some scissors and cut off the entire bodice from the sleeves up, then flipped it upside down so that the linen would be on the bottom. i pressed the hem over twice and started blanket stitching along the reconfigured bottom edge. i had a plan. if you visit this space regularly, you know i am seriously crushing on crochet lately, having learned to crochet granny squares a few weeks ago. with that in mind, i thought of creating a scalloped edge along the hemline a la vintage pillowcases using organic cottons from my yarn stash (having my yarn stash still at our house saved me, i tell you). the tones graduate from cream to deep charcoal to create an ombre feel. i basically experimented through crochet stitches until an a-ha moment, resulting in a hemline that makes me swoon. by 1am, operation dress rescue was in full effect and i went to bed.
wednesday morning was spent at the neurologist (check-up: MS is stable, knock on wood. thanks!), then into the studio i went where i had just two hours to transform my new concept into a reality. i thought of my girly dress tutorial with the idea that this sweet vintage feedsack becomes the bodice with the linen on the bottom. i added blanket-stitches along the neckline to incorporate a single crochet chain edge + closure, tying in the crochet with a functional element.
our old-fashioned girls wear a lot of linen - it's simple, natural, and makes a terrific blank canvas for sewing, needlework, and even printing. i especially love that linen lasts forever, growing softer + stronger wash after wash. plus, linen never looks truly messed-up because by its nature, linen wrinkles. (as do we all, my friends.) i also love the idea of making pieces that transition - for instance, this could be a playdress for a younger child, and later be worn as shown here as a tunic with leggings. speaking of leggings...
the capri leggings (made on Monday, thankfully) are my inaugural attempt at sewing with knits, and i am thrilled that this experience pushes me to try new things. i have been scared to sew with knits because i thought i'd need a serger (which i don't have, hint hint my birthday is in August, hint hint) - but i figured it would be fun to try anyway, and the result exceeds my expectations. i created a little ribbing detail at the bottom of the leggings inspired by an image in a Japanese craft book, and then used fold-over elastic (also new to me) for the waistband. both pieces can be dressed up or down, worn as separates or together, and incorporate simple tricks that turn something ordinary into something special.
so that's it. long story long. from concept to meltdown to rebirth as something really special.
thanks for your support, friends! xoxo