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Angry Bird Costume

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

After changing his mind three times, Tobias finally decided that this is who he's going to be today.  Good thing I had lots of leftover red fleece in my stash!  

 Have a safe and Happy Hallowe'en Everyone!

Inspiring Knock Offs

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
In anticipation of the upcoming  Knock it Off series that kicks off on Friday, I wanted to show you a few knock offs that have caught my eye:

This cute dress only cost Jessica $4 to make (not sure what the original was, but I'm sure it was a lot more!).  Go check out the tutorial...

Autumn made this wonderful J Crews knock off as a submission for So You Think You're Crafty.  See her blog for a tutorial on the skirt and top.

Here's another J. Crews remake...perfect!  And for $3...that is sooooo impressive!

Or how about this David Beckham knock off?  Adorable!

Love this Zooey Deschanel re-creation by Chelise Patterson.

And here's a group of Fashion Icon knock offs my fellow contestants and I created for Project Run & Play Season 5.

The flickr group is all ready for your submissions, so if you have some previously made knock offs, or want to add something new...go for it!  Looking forward to seeing your creations.

Elegance & Elephants

Knock it Off Series

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Monday morning, Everyone!  I can't tell you how incredibly excited I am to announce the very first series hosted here at Elegance & Elephants.  It's an idea I've had for a long time, and now it's finally becoming a reality.

Have you ever seen an awesome shirt, dress, pants, etc in a store or online for the little one(s) you sew for, and wished you could figure out how to make it yourself?  Save some money and make it your own?  Or maybe it's something one of your favourite fashion icon (or their kid) has worn?  Well, all next month, an amazingly talented line up of designer moms are going to do just that: knock off a look, garment, or accessory, and show how they did it!  How cool is that?!  All childrenswear...all knock offs...all November!

And anyone can join in the fun and show off their knock off in the Knock it Off flickr group.  I will be selecting as many of your submissions as possible to feature each Sunday in November. Please link to your blog (if you have one) and include a photo of the original in your post, so we can compare.

Here's the line up of designers:

Nov 2 - Elegance & Elephants
Nov 5 - a girl and a glue gun
Nov 6 - Running With Scissors
Nov 7 - nest full of eggs
Nov 8 - The Mother Huddle
Nov 9 - Caila Made
Nov 12 - Naptime Crafters
Nov 13 - Straightgrain
Nov 14 - Little Kids Grow
Nov 15 - Daisy Chain Creations
Nov 16 - My Handmade Home
Nov 19 - Simple Simon & Co
Nov 20 - Sew Country Chick
Nov 21 - you & mie
Nov 22 - Winter Wonderings, Wanderings, & Whatnot
Nov 23 - Sewing Like Mad
Nov 26 - Delia Creates
Nov 27 - Let's Do Sew/Petit à Petit & family
Nov 28 - Frances Suzanne
Nov 29 - Melly Sews
Nov 30 - The Train to Crazy

I cannot wait to be inspired by what each one of them is going to share!

So, get searching...get pinning...get brainstorming...and KNOCK IT OFF!

Grab a button:

Elegance & Elephants

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Elegance & Elephants - Classic Johnny Vest Tutorial

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Just bringing home the tutorial that was posted on Project Run & Play after Fashion Icon week...

Hello PR&P readers!  I'm so excited to be here this morning sharing this tutorial with you.  Could you believe all the incredible outfits submitted for Fashion Icon week?!  What an awesome theme...I could see there was a lot of passion behind the designers and Flickr group's looks.  I'm sure all the Fashion Icons would be proud...wouldn't it be so cool if they actually saw them!?

Anyway, I'm going to show you how I made the Johnny vest.  

First of all, you'll need three types of fabric for the front, back, and lining.  See the hideously frayed shorts my husband used to wear (don't ask me how that happened...I have no idea!)?  Yeah, that's what I used for the back of the vest, and there's the houndstooth and patterned red for the front & lining.

To trace the pattern pieces, I used a vest I had previously made, although you could use a shirt as well.  Notice how I changed the shape of the bottom.  

The pieces:

Sew the back and back lining together at the centre.
Then sew the back to the front at the sides.
Repeat these steps with your lining.

Here's how to make the faux welt pockets (that are already done on the pic above).
As you can see, I added interfacing to the pockets.  Not entirely necessary, so may want to skip that step.  If you're using a striped pattern, like I did, don't forget to line up them up with the fabric on the front.

 Here are the ties in the back.  I just sewed some long, thin rectangles right sides together, flipped them right side out, then pressed and topstitched them, leaving on end open.  Attach them by folding the open end under, and sewing them on the vest, reinforced with an X.

Attach the lining to the outer front and back leaving the shoulders and bottom of the back open.  Click all the curves.

Turn the vest right side out.  Fold in the back shoulder the width of your seam allowance, tuck in the front shoulder, press, and blind stitch closed.  Blind stitch the bottom of the vest closed.

Go have some fun with your new vest!!

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and that you'll come visit me at  Elegance & Elephants for more info on when you'll see other how-tos from this look (including the hat).

With Appreciation...PR&P Recap

Monday, October 22, 2012

Well, it's all over!  I still can't believe it!  What an incredible experience!  It's a strange feeling to not have to rush over to my machine whenever I have a spare moment! HA!  

As a 'sew-along-at-home' participant for several seasons, I always imagined what it must be like to actually compete as one of the designers.  In all honesty, I had no idea how exhausting it would be, but far beyond that, I never knew how incredibly rewarding it would be to be able to share what I make with such an encouraging, supportive, and genuinely kind audience.  Thank you so much to all of you who commented, e-mailed, and voted for me throughout this competition.  On days I felt like throwing in the towel and refused to even go near my machines, your words motivated me to keep going.  

I felt like a total underdog going into this experience because I'm the newest blogger, with the least followers, fans, etc.  I just hoped to stick around past the first week, and didn't even fathom getting to the end!  What I lacked in a virtual following was made up for by some incredibly supportive family & friends who diligently campaigned for me from day one.  I am so grateful for all of you!

Specifically, I would like to thank:

My husband, Michael, for being the greatest source of support I could ever ask for.  You put up with so much and turned a blind eye to everything I avoided during this competition (let's just say I'll be catching up laundry everyday this week, I'm sure!) and picked up the slack without complaint.  YOU'RE THE BEST!

My beautiful children...I'm sorry you had to watch so much during this!  We're putting the laptop, ipad, and iphones away for awhile and playing real've got your mommy back!!  :)  Tobias was so sweet through this...and surprisingly understanding.  When he'd see me checking my votes on the weekends, he'd ask "Mommy, which line (voting total) is yours?", and then when I'd show him, he'd say "YAY Mommy!!!" (regardless of what position I was in!!! HA!).  Such a sweetie!  And Anja, who had to put up with way too many trips to the fabric store instead of the playground...we're going to the play centre every day this week!

My parents...for sharing their ideas, and for being so supportive across the miles.  And it meant so much to see you be so proud of me! :) My mom especially was incredibly into this experience and made sure to send the voting link to everyone she knows each and every week!  Thank you & I love you!

My brothers for their incredible support.  Bob, I still can't believe you asked all your friends, co-workers, etc to vote for me every week.  You made it your mission to help me succeed and I appreciate you more than you know!

My other family & friends for sharing, linking, and just overall sweet words of encouragement.  I hope I wasn't too annoying asking for votes every week!  :)  

And to three friends who I haven't even met:
Shannon - what an incredibly sweet friend you have become...I can't thank you enough for everything! You have a heart of gold.
Jessica - Thanks for all the honest feedback, and for helping me believe I could do this, right from day one!
Melissa - such an inspiration and so willing to listen when I needed to throw an e-mail your way...THANK YOU!  :)

liZ and Elizabeth - without your hard work, there wouldn't even be a Project Run & Play.  Thank you so much for the opportunity to be a part of this and for everything you do to make PR&P a reality.

And last but certainly not least, the ladies I shared this season with: DeliaJustineKimboChristinaHayleyLindsay, and Rachel.  It was so nice to meet you all through this and I wish you the very best as you continue to inspire others with your incredible talent.  

PR&P - Signature Look

Friday, October 19, 2012

Is there any way to say how excited I am to share this Signature Look with you?!  Probably not!  To be able to still be in this competition is such a privilege, and one I do not take lightly.  To all my dear supporters who have helped me make it this far, THANK YOU!!

Here's where you go to vote!

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I have a passion for designing clothing for my boy.  But quite honestly, I had planned on making outfits for both Tobias and Anja this week.  But then, as I began more specifically designing my look, and thinking about what I especially love to make, I realized that I was most excited about Tobias' pieces.  I love to design for Anja, too, but there is something about making garments for Tobias in a world dominated by so many girls' options, that I love.  So, I came to the conclusion that the challenge of making stylish clothing for my boy is a big part of my signature, hence, the ensemble exclusively for Tobias.

Classic stylings are a big part of my signature, and this peacoat defines that.  This is something that you could see in vintage photos from years gone by, and yet, with closer inspection, you can see modern elements, too.  No faux, here...everything is functional, from the front welt pockets, to the back belt, and the wrist cuff adjusters.

I especially love this personal touch to the coat.  Tobias loves elephants, so I wanted to add this special detail to his coat.  I drew, and then cut out the stencil from the one I bought for the white sheet challenge bolero jacket.  It then became part of the tag for the coat.

I rarely complete an outfit without a hat (5 out of 6 outfits for PR&P have had hats!), so this little newsboy cap was a must to make.  I think my favourite part is that the plaid lining creates a design.  I just love those hidden subtle details that makes a garment one-of-a-kind.  

Since the options are a little slim when it comes to outfitting an ensemble for a boy, I like to add these classic accessories to complete a look.  And what boy doesn't look adorable in suspenders & a bowtie?

The classic sport coat...a little preppy addition to this ensemble.  Because I wanted it to be more tailored than a blazer, I pieced the body, as well as the sleeves.  Fits like a glove!

The trousers are made from stretch denim, so I made the design a little more like jeans.  The five point pockets are typical of jeans, as well as the back pocket detail.

The shirt is where my signature colour pop comes in.  The yellow accented with blue gingham is something that is very typical of what I design.  And all the hidden details: contrasting button placket, cuffs, and collar: just my style.

This is how I felt when I finished the final stitch on this outfit!

Thank you all once again for following along this Project Run & Play journey with me and all the other designers.  I am so grateful to have been a part of this.  The experience of stretching myself as a designer through this competition is something I will always cherish.  But for now, my machines and I will enjoy a little break...and some sleep!  :)

Don't forget to VOTE!

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