Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pleats and Lace Floral Tunic: It's all in the details

Last week I mentioned I was only going to sew along with project run and play that week since there are so many things going on in our lives right now. But my husband encouraged me to keep sewing. He knows that sewing makes me happy. With the anxiety of daily contractions, wondering when this baby is going to come it was nice to have something to occupy my mind.
This week's challenge at Project Run and Play is "It's all in the details." The hard part of this challenge was balancing the details. When I was brainstorming ideas at the begining of the week, I kept adding more and more details "and I can add a peter pan collar, and some piping, and then add some ruffles..." I had to stop myself a lot from over-doing it. But at the same time, I kept looking over my sketches wondering if it was too plain. My style is very simple, so this challenge was really good for me, it pushed me beyond what I normally do.  I am really happy with how it turned out.
Now let's talk about this outfit. I found this vintage-y style floral fabric at Joann's, I love when I can find cute prints at Joann's! For the outfit, I knew I wanted to make a tunic. My daughter has plenty of t-shirts and dresses in her wardrobe, and I love the look of tunics with legginings. I began the tunic with two-inch pleats on the front and added two little vintage buttons. (The pleats and bias bound neckline were inspired by Craftiness is not Optional's Pleated Top)
Look at them, aren't they beautiful? I picked them up at an antique mall two years ago. I was excited to have a project worthy of using my precious vintage buttons on.
The sleeves have some cute white crochet lace trim poking out (the lace trim is from hobby lobby)

 Then I added a gathered pocket on the side, with the same lace trim poking out. My daughter is really excited for the pocket because it's large enough for her toy cell phone. She gets so frustrated that the pockets in her store bought clothes aren't big enough to hold anything! I am definitely going to start adding pockets to more of my sewing.  (the design of these pockets was heavily inspired by these shorts from Rowan & Oak from Shorts on the Line last year- and Dana's gathered pocket tutorial was useful for their construction)
On the back, I did a button placket (with more vintage buttons!) I am soooo proud of my placket. I have never done one before, and have really wanted to learn how. I used this tutorial from The Crafty Cupboard (its a fantastic tutorial, and much better than my sewing textbook, the book had me stumped, but Melanie's step by step photos are fantastic) The hardest part is right before you sew everything down and you tuck all the fabric under, it felt like an origami puzzle!
While I was sketching out this outfit, I went back and forth between different closures, I was tempted to do a zipper or just a button loop, but because it was the details challenge, I knew I needed a detail like a button placket. Thank you project run and play for encouraging me to learn new sewing skills!!
 Next up are the leggings. I bought some knit fabric from Joann's, I didn't know which color I liked best so I made up a pair in pink and another pair in the blue/green. The fabric was a cheap 100% polyester knit. I usually regret buying polyester but the price tag is always so persuasive, and Joann's (at least my local store) doesn't have much in selection. This knit was a thin slippery fabric that was difficult to sew, but my daughter looooves how comfy they are, so it's all good. Leggings sew up sooooo quickly, I am definitly going to be making several more pairs for my daughter's summer wardrobe.
All the patterns were self drafted :) Maybe a few months after the baby is born and I am back to being a human being I will put up a tutorial with the patterns for anyone interested.
  Overall, I think it's a great spring/early summer outfit. My daughter LOVES it and is so excited to finally be allowed to wear it. (she's wanted to wear the leggings since I finished them on Monday, but I wouldn't let her because I just knew she would stain them with something before I could snap some photos for this post!)


  1. Very fun! I love the colors in that fabric, and those leggins look so soft.
    Great job!
    with love,

  2. What a great look and the details do make it special. Lovely!

  3. Adorable! The lace is such a precious addition! Well done! Love the colors as well!

  4. SO cute!!! I especially love the fabric and lace, but all the details are so fun.

  5. The placket is perfect! It's great that you stretched yourself. You'd never guess it was your first. I love both colors of leggings so great choice to make two :)

  6. This top is so lovely, and great find with the fabric print - never have seen that at my Joanns! Love the placket - good for you for giving it a try, and congrats on it turning out so well. Would love a tutorial some day if you find the time:)