Learn. Choose. Change.

I pledge to learn the true cost, to people and the planet, of what I eat, wear, drive, use and do every day. I choose to consume justly and to increasingly change my habits.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Just Sew: Signature Look

Well, it is the last week of Project Run and Play and I successfully completed all of the challenges.  Kind of.  The final challenge is always to complete a signature look.  Many of the people sewing along really look forward to this week, but I always find it pretty intimidating.  I feel like I have a long life of sewing ahead of me, and have just barely begun the journey - most likely, I am in the getting a full tank of gas before you really hit the road stage.  I am nowhere near nailing down a "signature" look.

Instead I looked at the elements that characterized this season of Project Run and Play for me.  First and foremost this time, everything  I sewed was in response to requests from my kids.  Previously, I have made whatever I wanted and then just sold the items my kids didn't claim for themselves.  Secondly, I worked with a variety of materials beyond old t-shirts and jersey knits.  Lastly, I have really been into the color grey, and I think at least a little bit showed up in every challenge.

I hadn't made anything for my oldest this season and asked her to pick out a dress she liked so I could try and make it.  She gave me several choices, and after looking at the construction and for tutorials online, we settled on this one from Modcloth.

It is a nice, light grey with a paisley pattern worked into it.  We actually had a white sheet with a similar pattern woven into it that we just didn't use any more (downsized mattresses) that I dyed grey.  As you can see, our grey came out much darker, which was disappointing.  I actually only pinned the crocheted lace to our dress because I want to try bleaching/removing some of the color.  Hence, the "kind of" statement in the first paragraph.  

Other than the color I am mostly satisfied with the dress.  The entire bodice is lined and I made an effort to finish it nicely on the inside.  I also successfully dyed the lace with tea to make it closer to ivory, which is what my daughter wanted (although she is wavering on the lace and might want it plain after all - good thing it's just pinned!).  In the end, we decided to forego the buttons, too.

I did not even attempt to make some sort of tutorial for this, as I was really just making it up as I went along.  Everything was self-drafted, trial and error, with A LOT of fittings.  This really pushed my skills and there were probably just as many mistakes as successes.  Once again, I am glad I gave this season of Project Run and Play a try and have definitely seen my skills improve in a very short time.


  1. Very cute! It's great to see a look for an older child. You did a great job this season!

  2. I LOVE the dress! I'm sure it took a lot to put together, and it looks great!

  3. The dress looks wonderful on your daughter! I am sure she appreciates all the input you encouraged and loves that you made her dream dress.

  4. I feel exactly like you about a signature look although I've been sewing for so long. I loved the dress, congratulations!

  5. I really like the dress color so dark. :)
    Great job with the design!

  6. I have had that dress pinned for me for eons!!! I think the color of yours is very pretty, but I know how disappointing it is to dye something and have it not turn out the way you want. Great job!

  7. Beautiful. It is really sweet. I also find signature week intimidating. So way to bite the bullet and do it. Not everyone has that commitment to keep pushing through even when it doesn't work out.