Week 2 is here – Nature inspired. The Thought process: This one I immediately knew the direction I wanted to go. My very favorite thing about nature is how the leaves change color in the fall and one of my favorite sayings is this
“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go!” – anonymous
Isn’t it awesome and magnificently beautiful how the trees’ leaves just start to change colors and then let them go, and next spring they grow those beautiful green leaves again?! No matter if it was a bad year, next year is a brand new start. I’ve had the fall rust colored fabric I used for the shirt in my stash forever ( 4 years maybe?!) but that’s where I started . My vision was a very chic blouse that was princess-style cut with the three panels in the front and instead of the seam lines to go in the direction of the armpit, I directed them to the neck , left a bit open so my girl can get it over her noggin and added a neck tie collar, puffy sleeves with wide cuffs around the wrists with buttonholes (and I didn’t swear) and buttons.
The layer-shedding dress in my head was color blocked panels to resemble the leave color change – in linen fabric ( love the crispness of linen just like fall ) I had some in my stash but had to purchase some more colors from a local shop. For each challenge I try to incorporate something creative,functional and something that requires some skill. So for the layer shedding effect , I added two open ended zippers so it can shed the skirt just like trees looses their leaves. For this challenge the whole outfit was self-drafted and adapted from a single basic bodice block. I had to make sure the two zippers will fit in correctly in the layer so there is no gap where they meet on both sides and added bias binding to finish it off on the inside. Let me tell you the zipper was not as hard as getting those bottom three layers to match up and still have beautiful matching sides but I channeled my inner Tim Gunn and persevered. The way the colors are matched was not exactly how I wanted it in order but I had to work with the amounts of fabric I had and made it work. TIP of the WEEK – We know we have to pre-wash fabric but sometimes we don’t because we get so excited. If you work with different fabrics in one garment, like this dress and especially the heart shirt I made for week 1 -WASH those fabrics before hand. The fiber content of different fabrics shrinks in different ways, If you want your garment to last, pre- wash at least once, for the heart shirt I washed all my fabrics twice and tumble dried on high so it can get all the shrinking done before you cut.
At this stage the multiple layering process was born. I also made some fall colored pants in a love soft DBP for a more casual look. This outfit solves our issue of the girl who loves a dress in church and at events and restaurants but immediately dresses in pants when we get home. For our photo shoot she just put everything on at once and dropped layer by layer. Timing for some fall colored leaves couldn’t have been more perfect. We headed out to Warnecke woods right here in Princeton, IL and also some at home as I forgot to do the shirt with vest and pants and Wrinkles wasn’t ready yet with out first photoshoot. Wrinkles’ dress is made of all the scrap fabric and some leather scrap from the earrings, metal zipper like Bella’s dress and a off-set neck tie collar.
I made some leather earrings (which I am keeping for myself) and a soft wrap headband to accessorize. I only have one child in kid-age clothes so to show you all the looks I had to clone her (Thank you Photoshop) Even with pulling off layers we managed to get in and out of those woods in 10 minutes. On top of all these possibilities, I know that when summer swings around I will add a tank to wear under just the dress and then as she grows just the dress. I love to sew dresses that can be worn with something underneath so we get at least 2-3 years out of it. The tulle skirt she already wore under another long dress so I know we’ll use that one plenty .
Patterns used: the shirt and the bodice of the dress I used the Building block Dress by Oliver and S ( This is an awesome book to start with your own designs or you don’t want to draft your own pattern. Skirts – self-drafted. Math is everywhere and I try to remind my kids every day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up how to calculate the radius of a circle. Pants: do you have the Graphite Trousers pattern by Toya yet? GET IT – My girl loves the fit. I used the top half and used leggings fit for the bottom part.
My fabrics came from Cali fabrics who sponsored a big chunk of what I had to purchase, some out of my stash, Joanns and wholesale fabric direct. And now for an overload of pictures to enjoy. Bella is such a nature girl and especially loves to be in it in a twirly dress so the picture taking for this one went extremely smooth.
She was very excited that she can just zip off her own skirt
Here you can see how the front seam lines turns inwards towards the neck.
She can twirl her little heart out in this dress
Wrinkles is digging her new outfit.
My focus on my camera got very distracted with all the pretty leaf colors in the back, I had to take some more at our house
I took these pictures on Halloween and I can almost not believe how quickly it has changed and gone brown in 5 days so I am glad it worked out like it did.
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