So… this season I’m taking part in Project Run and Play, alongside 5 other makers, many of whose work I’ve admired or been inspired by via their blogs or IG accounts for many years. Hopefully it will prove to be a great celebration of hand crafted children’s wear. Each week, competitor’s (because there is a competition element) respond to a different theme. This week’s theme is ‘Kid Designed’.
For as long as my children have been able to express there opinions (ie for as long as they’ve been alive!) I’ve considered making clothing for them a collaborative process. There seems little point in me making something I’d love for them to wear and it ended up rejected and unworn in the back of their cupboards, so it makes sense to get them involved in the design process. Sometimes this has meant printing their drawings onto fabric or fulfilling a particular request (eg. a dinosaur onesie etc.) and sometimes I might suggest something or draw them a picture and only go ahead with it if it gets a positive response. Turns out shifting from that well trodden path to ‘I’ll make anything you draw’, may have been a mistake as they then became extremely specific, – but with some heated discussion we managed to find a way to interpret their designs into something useful that we could all be enthusiastic about!
First up an outfit for my youngest who won me over straight away with her space theme. We settled on a pair of (self drafted) leggings made in a coral pink and black striped french terry from Nosh, and a white long-sleeved t-shirt with screen-printed rocket design.
I used Chalk and Notch’s Waterfall Raglan pattern – omitting the ruffle and extending the length to compensate and printing the rainbow rocket design on using my Bobbinhood screen-printing set. This time I chose to print the image after the t-shirt was assembled so that the design could extend unbroken over the raglan seams.
While making the jacket I fully intended to add embroidered rocket and star patches at the end, but as it took shape I realised that there was beauty in the simple, classic shape and it would end up with more wear if I left it plain. So as not to disappoint my little client, I screen-printed the lining with stars and moons and ordered some space themed enamel pins for the lapels. The jacket is self-drafted with welt pockets and a single vent at the back and made from wool with a silk lining repurposed from a second-hand shirt. The wool fabric is from Fabrics Galore and I made my first attempt at hand embroidered button holes as I always find machine button holes a little disappointing looking on nice thick fabrics.My older daughter came up with a sophisticated asymmetric pinafore and cardigan design that I sewed up as faithfully as possible.
Yellow and blue are her favourite colours so those were non-negotiable, but I suggested the sunshine print on the long-sleeved t-shirt to add a little cheer to the darkening days. I drafted the simple pinafore using her measurements sticking as closely as possible to her design. The fabric is a navy cotton drill, again from Fabrics Galore. I freehand cut the t-shirt and printed the sunshine design on before assembly. My daughter requested extra long sleeves with thumb holes so I made the decision to use a contrast cuff in the hope that they don’t end up looking too grubby.
The cardigan is again self drafted and deliberately over-sized. I hoped the slanted pockets would compliment the asymmetric pinafore. I used some textured cotton knit fabric in my cupboard for the cardigan but dyed it with tea to soften the colour from it’s original bright custard to subtle mustard.The hat is made from an old jumper using the free Slouchy Beanie pattern by Heidi and Finn as a starting point. I graded up the size width wise and removed some of the extra slouch adding a pompom to finish.
So if you’re interested in how the other maker’s responded to the theme head over to Project Run & Play, be inspired to join the sew-along, or as there is that competition element to consider, feel free to vote!