Kindergartner in Bloom: Project Run and Play
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Kindergartner in Bloom: Project Run and Play

beading buttons Competition cuffs Dress high low Jean Jacket Pleat Pocket Project Run and Play square neck

Alright, Alright - Let's get into loads more pictures and loads more details!!!  Make sure to go vote HERE ;o)

My little girl is growing up fast and getting ready to start Kindergarten in a couple weeks.  She is blossoming into a strong and feisty girl with defined opinions on fashion and what will and will not grace her body.  As in my girl is PICKY!!!!  Can I get an AMEN from all the other mama's of wanna be fashionistas who also want all their stunning clothes to not be 'itchy, pokey, or restrictive'.  Sigh.  At least most of her favorites are mama made and that makes me smile so big.

I knew immediately that I wanted school clothes that she could wear all year long; I mean I love sewing pretty and over the top... but if I put hours into it I really need for it to get worn and not just look pretty in a closet.  A simple dress that would show off the drape of this stunning Art Gallery rayon paired with a jean jacket fit the bill perfectly.  And let's just chat about this fabric for a moment.  I've been dying to get my hands on some AG Rayon since I heard that they were starting to stock a few select prints.  I love rayon.  It is light, flowy, and drapes beautifully.  It is perfect for year round apparel sewing becasue it is so easy to layer things over and under it.  When my fabric arrived I was floored by the softness of this rayon.  It just feels good against your skin, which is a huge win for my girl.  The colors are so deep and saturated and didn't fade or bleed at all in the pre-wash.  Rayon is my go to woven for apparel sewing becasue it is so flattering in it's drape while still being able to hold a press...I'll be getting more asap!

So I ordered my fabric and waited for it to arrive - but I didn't just sit and wait, I got to drafting.  Because I had a vision in my head, but no pattern that perfectly fit the bill for my full figured five year old.  So I made muslins of 3 different design options and felt a little like I was hitting my head against a wall as dress after dress just didn't flatter.  Mack is tall and broad for her age, she is five but wears a 8/10 in RTW which actualy translates to most RTW being ill fitting since she is not quite as tall as she is broad.  When I sew for her, I typically make a 6/8 or 6/10 blend depending on how fitted the bodice is and how much of her torso it covers.  It breaks my heart when I see other mamas struggling to dress their girls with similar builds, or lamenting that current fashion trends favor girls with leaner frames.  Even in the sewing world women struggle with knowing how to get the right blend for their kids who don't fit the mold of 'standard' sizing.  Mack tried on so many muslins over a 10 day period that she started running when I started towards her with any garment in hand. HA!

just look at those faces!

I stepped away and started drafting the jacket instead.  Jackets always make me happy.  With the base jacket design in place I was able to re-think the dress based on elements I knew would be perfect for Mack: high front waist, detail at the neck, and pleating to give fullness without adding any bulk.  Dress - check!

The bodice of the dress is fully lined while the pleated skirt is just a single layer.  I love that for such a light feeling fabric it is not at all see through.  The square neckline and clean lines create a modern classic silhouette.  And the 3/4 length sleeve is just my favorite sleeve length ever.  The back has a button closure and a scooped waistline which creates a natural high low hem.  I went with a deep hem partially becasue it works so beautifully with this weight fabric, and also because I love that with a high low hem you look through from the front and still see the right side of the fabric in the back.

Now all new patterns are cool, but not enough for the bar of PR&P... I needed details, pretty details.  I started with top stitching - top stitching and I are good friends.  With top stitching in mind I added some extra piecing, functional cuffs and pockets to my jacket pattern so that I could stitch more - cause when you are working with a deadline you should make more work for yourself, right! The original jacket I drafted had only 3 pieces under the yoke in the back, and the front was simply 2 pieces to the shoulder.  I knew that by piecing out the back I would create more lines that would visually give the back a more slimming look.

In the front I wanted to create the visual interest that classic jean jackets with chest pockets have without adding any bulk to my daughter's frame.  The curved yoke served perfectly for echoing the pointed flap of a chest pocket simply in the seaming.  Pockets though are a necessity for keeping all of life's treasures, and keeping mom on her toes when it comes to doing laundry, so princess seam pockets were a must.  The pocket bag is the same fabric as the dress.  I also wanted to add a label that would pass the 'not pokey or itchy' test.  Out came the Silhouette cutting machine and some HTV, and a few minutes later I had a label that I have to say looks pretty darn cool and definitely passed the test.

This denim from Art Gallery is a dream to work with.  It is nice and thick with a slight texture in the weave that ads dimension.  This is the Bluebottle Field colorway.  Since this is a 100% cotton denim, I knew I needed to wash it a few times before using to ensuring that all the sizing and shrinkage occurred before I started to sew.  I decided to wash and dry it 5 times with towels as a way of softening it up just a touch so that I wouldn't hear any complaints from Miss Picky Pickett.

But I've done top stitching before... I needed something new, something I consider 'hard', something I've been afraid to ever try...BEADING.  Yeah, this is the way my brain works - let's do something you've never done before in a pressure situation for all the world to see and judge you on, LET'S DO IT!  So I asked some trusted friends for advice, hit up Joann's for all the supplies, and jumped in.  I wanted the beading to heighten the fabric not distract from it.  I wanted to add a touch of texture and an element to make this a dress you could never find in the stores but that people would beg to know where you bought it.  The beading is focused on the red roses becasue I wanted the red in this fabric print to really become the star of the show.

The last detail of the outfit, is this adorable hair piece.  In true 'me-ness', this is my upcycled element in this outfit.  I stole the white floret from a hand me down dress that Mack outgrew and was too badly used to be saved or passed on, but before trashing it I salvaged the pretty white rosettes and saved them for a later project.  And today was the day.  I beaded the floret to mimic the beading on the dress, attached it to a metal hair clip, and voila; hair accessory perfection!


Thanks for stopping by to see all the pictures and read all about the creation of this outfit!  If you haven't already, take a second and go see Katy's outfit and VOTE for one of us to win!

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