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PR&P Week 3 - Kiss From a Rose

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Theme

This week's theme was to use a white sheet to create the majority of an outfit.  This proved to be a greater challenge than I thought it would be.  The numerous possibilities from one blank slate piece of fabric kept me second guessing my plans.  In the end, I decided to create two looks from one dress, by adding either a sash or a bolero jacket.  I am thrilled with how it turned out, and I hope you will be, too!

Kiss From a Rose

The Fabric

One king sized flat sheet made from 100% organic cotton.  

The New Techniques

Fabric Dyeing

I had never used Rit dye before this challenge, and I have to say I was very pleased with the result.  It was a lot quicker than the natural dyeing I had done in the past.  

Here's the sheet I started with.  I regret not taking pictures during the process, but you can see how the colour turned out from all the photos.


I really enjoyed my first attempt at stencilling.  Although similar to the freezer paper stencilling I did for week one, I liked the fact that I could reuse the stencil and just keep going.  I used acrylic paint and this Martha Stewart stencil.


While I love adding pleating to my garments, this was the first time I had combined it with draping (allowing the fabric to fall loosely from the pleat).  I just draped the fabric over my dress form, and started shaping.  It took awhile to figure out the look I wanted and then getting the fabric to take that shape.  Instead of ironing the pleats, as I usually would do, I just left them as is.  This technique worked exactly as I had wanted it to. I stabilized it on the inside of the bodice with some tulle (you can see it a little in the larger pic below).  

Invisible Zipper

My first invisible zipper!  I've been wanting to try this for awhile, and as I often say to myself after I try a new technique: "Why didn't I try this sooner?!".

Patterns & Tutorials

No patterns or tutorials were used in the making of this look.  I do need to give some credit to my little dress form, though...this outfit wouldn't have been possible to make without it! :)

Please vote for your favourite look at Project Run & Play.  And if it happens to be mine...THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

Shabby Apple Giveaway

Thursday, September 27, 2012
***This giveaway is now closed***

Today's giveaway is from the incredibly amazing Shabby Apple -- a fashion company that offers beautifully feminine, flirty, and stylish clothing.  They even have an extensive maternity selection and some adorable children's clothes.  I have been in love with their designs ever since I laid eyes on them and I'm beyond thrilled that Shabby Apple is offering one E&E reader the grand prize of a $50 gift card to their store!  

To ENTER you must:
1.   Follow Elegance & Elephants 
Like Elegance & Elephants on Facebook

2.  Leave a comment below this post specifying which Shabby Apple dress or item is your favourite (plan to spend awhile browsing because there are so many beautiful selections to choose from!)

Additional entries:
(leave a comment for each entry)
3. Like Shabby Apple on Facebook
4.  Blog, tweet, or Facebook about this giveaway

And because they don't want to leave anyone out on at least a simple deal,  Shabby Apple will also give E&E readers a 10% discount off any purchase for an entire month!
 Just enter in the code: eleganceandelephants10off.

Head over to the Shabby Apple to browse the lovely designs.

This giveaway will be open until 9pm EST on Sunday, October 7.
Contestants must have a USA shipping address to be eligible for entry.
Sorry Canadian & International readers :(

The winner will be chosen randomly and
announced on Monday, October 8.

Good luck!

Classic Johnny Tutorial

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Today you will find my winner's tutorial at Project Run & Play for the Classic Johnny Vest.  I still find it hard to believe that a small-time blogger like me could actually win a week (especially with all the great submissions!)!  Thank you so much to everyone who voted!

I had a hard time deciding which part of my look to feature in the tutorial, mostly because I got so many requests for the hat.  Truth is, I'd like to save the hat tutorial until after I'm done competing, so that I will have enough time to put together a thorough how-to.  Admittedly, it was a labour of love that required a lot of tweaking, and in order to make it most useful to all of you, I need to take better pics to explain the steps, and figure out how to give you the pattern pieces in the best possible way.  I look forward to sharing it with you soon (but hopefully not too soon!) :)

Make sure you come back tomorrow, because I will be launching an AMAZING giveaway!  I am so excited about it, it's hard to hold myself back and not tell you about it make sure you're around here tomorrow for your chance to win something awesome from one of my favourite fashion companies!!!!!

PR&P - Week Two - Classic Johnny

Friday, September 21, 2012
Thank you so much to everyone who voted last week and made it possible for me to still be here competing.  I wanted so much to submit my week two look because, well, I love it (if you love it, too, you can vote for it here).  I can't get enough of the retro gentleman look, and adore dressing my little man this way.  So, without further ado, here's my week two Project Run & Play ensemble:

The Theme
To pick a Fashion Icon and design an outfit based on that person.

The Icon
Knowing that I wanted to design a look for Tobias, rather than Anja, made it easy to narrow down my choice.  And after doing a bit of research, I found out one of my top choices (and favourite actors) had recently won the Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Icon award (the only male recipient ever).  That's when I knew my iconic inspiration had to be none other than Johnny Depp.  His personal style seems to slightly resemble some of his movie characters, but one thing remains constant:  he rocks his classic/retro/vintage style like no other.  

                                                                  source 1source 2


Classic Johnny

The Fabrics

Fedora Hat:  poly/rayon blend (that looks and feels like a thick wool)
Shirt: Cotton
Vest:  herringbone wool blend
Trousers: herringbone wool blend
All linings: cotton

I have to mention the steal I got on the was only $2/metre in the clearance section!  So the pants & vest together cost less than $10 total (linings & notions included)!  I love a good deal!

The New Techniques

There were several for this look.  First of all, this was my second attempt at a zip fly, and I can safely say, it was easier this time around.  A still a bit time consuming, but definitely worth it!

I haven't done many welt pockets, so this was a fairly new technique, too.

Second time at an adjustable waistband.  These trousers are going to fit my boy for awhile!

My first cuffed hem.

This was the first time I've made sleeve pleats and finished cuffs.

My first muslin.  I have made a fedora hat before , but I feel like this time, I was able to capture what I really wanted.  I think it definitely helped to make a muslin first.  Much less bucket hat - way more fedora.  Peeking underneath, you can see the store bought hat that I used to shape my pieces.

The vest and hat are completely self-drafted.  The shirt is based on the Oliver + S Sketchbook Shirt and the pants are Melly Sews Clean Slate Pants with some of my added stylistic features.

For all the voting details, head over to Project Run & Play.  No pressure to vote for me....just vote for the one you think is best.  If you do vote for me, I thank you!


PR&P - Week One - Down By the Bay

Friday, September 14, 2012

Week One is finally here and I'm so excited to present Down By the Bay, my little girl's outfit inspired by the ocean.

The Theme

The theme for this week was to remix no big dill's It's Okay to be Biased skirt, a super creatively designed piece made by using strips of fabric all cut at a 45 degree angle (the bias).

Because of my colour choices of navy & white, and knowing I could have my first week photos taken at a beautiful beach, I chose to go Nautical with my look.

The Size

Anja is wearing size 2.

The Photographs

Taken by my talented brother at White Rock beach in BC, Canada

The Fabric

Dress: cotton (top & lining), satin (bias strips), taffeta (underneath bias strips)
Beret: jersey knit (bow - poly blend)
Belts: polyester blend
Tote Bag: cotton
Bloomers: satin

I knew immediately I wanted to create a dress, and as I went through my fabric stash, I was drawn to some navy satin that I knew would look great cut on the bias.  From there, I paired it with some medium-weight white cotton, and voilĂ  - the nautical theme hit me!  I also had the striped navy knit, that I used for Anja's hat, as well as the fabric for the bag.  All I needed to buy was the fabric for the belts.  I knew I had to have a bright yellow and coral pink...I love the 'pop' of those two contrasted with navy & white.  I chose the slate grey belt colour as my one more subtle option.

The New Techniques

Every week I'm in this competition, I would like to try one new technique, or at least attempt to perfect one I've tried before.

This week was my first attempt at freezer paper stencilling, something I've been wanting to try for some time.  I chose to use this technique on the reversible tote bag.

I also sewed my first fully exposed zipper, and I'm very pleased with the result.  It's one of those things that is quite simple to do, and creates such as strong contrasting effect on the back of a garment.

The Ensemble

And here it and more pics of Down By the Bay:

The Accessories

This little beret was so fun to make...and Anja actually kept it on her head for the entire photo shoot...something she never does! 

It was so neat to go from a pile of little bias strips to some adorable bloomers.  This is the same satin fabric that I used for the bias strips on the dress.

I love the versatility of having a few belts to choose from.  And the anchor buttons are a perfect fit with the nautical theme.  

The Patterns & Tutorials

I drafted the pattern for the dress myself using a block that I created using this book.  The hat was adapted from an awesome (and free!) tutorial  by former contestant Lil Blue Boo.  For the tote bag, I got my idea from Made.   And Dana also shows how to make freezer paper stencils with her perfectly explained tutorial.

The Voting

To vote for one of eight looks, head over to Project Run & Play.  The designer who receives the highest score by combining judges points plus reader's votes, will share a tutorial and win a prize for the week.  The designer with the lowest score will, unfortunately, leave the competition.

Thank you so much if you chose to vote for me!

Coming up next week...Fashion Icon...can't wait to show you my look!

Pleated Pocket Capris

Thursday, September 13, 2012
One more tutorial to bring home: the Pleated Pocket Capris.

Hello, Me Sew Crazy readers!  I am so excited to be here sharing a tutorial with you.  My name is Heidi, and I am a Canadian stay-at-home mom who blogs at Elegance & Elephants, a place where I share my handmade endeavours.  While I dabble in many homemade projects from cooking to crafting, my greatest passion lies in sewing garments and toys for my children Anja (1 1/2 years) & Tobias (4 years). 
Anja is at the stage where she is still pretty new at walking and to help protect her little knees from scrapes, I decided to come up with some little capri pants.  I didn't give specific sizes, but if you need to know exactly what I did in order to made your own, just let me know!

Here's what I came up with:

**each pocket pleat is half an inch wide, so keep that in mind as you cut your front piece.** 


**I like to cut the waistband out after stitching the front to back, trying it on, and making any adjustments, just to make sure it will fit well.**

Thank you so much for having me here today, Jessica & Me Sew Crazy readers!!

I would love it if you stopped by 

Elegance & Elephants

to say hello!

(If you're interested in the tutorial for the tunic that Anja is wearing, it's here.)

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