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Project Run and Play- entry 1 – Destination back yard!

Here is my first entry for Project run and Play season 22. The theme for this weeks entry is location, ‘to showcase what makes the location the BEST!’

I was actually away on a mini family break when the email arrived with the details of the first theme. We were staying in a log cabin surrounded by a lake in an idyllic location in the Cotswolds . We even had our own little rowing boat and a box of logs to build our own outdoor fire for toasting marshmallows. This place ticked a lot of boxes for me, my husband and our kids, it could definitely have been a contender for best location.

I mulled over the theme during the holiday and came to the conclusion that though this was an amazing place, without special people to share it with it would not have been anywhere near as special. I started to think about the simple fun times we had had in our own back garden. Also the times when the kids had designed their own adventures, turning the garden into a make believe land or island of discovery.

I chose to turn the theme around a little bit and say that the best location can be as humble as your own back yard, its what you do and with the special people you are with that makes the location the best.

With that in mind I set about designing for my little creatives. They would need clothing that allowed them to explore or create. Clothing that allowed them the freedom whatever the weather to have whatever the adventure they wanted to dream up that day.

Ella’s raincoat

I drafted all my patterns starting with raincoats. A raincoat pattern has been on my to do list for a long time and it fitted perfectly with the theme. I knew straight away I wanted to use the clear rain drop fabric that I stock in my shop. The colour way set the palette for the collection. It has raglan sleeves and a three part hood. The shape needed to work for boys and girls. For Ella’s version I made curved patch pockets that would be an easier shape to bind.

I found a nice quality binding and transparent zip at Minerva crafts, which they kindly gifted in support of this competition. Sewing the plastic wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I did use a walking foot for the seams. I also noted the plastic blunted the needle quite quickly and then created bad stitching but with replacement needles when needed this stitched together nicely.

Initially I hadn’t thought about the internal seams of the coat when I ordered the binding. As its transparent I decided they would look nicer also bound. Luckily I had over ordered the binding and I had just enough.

Joseph’s raincoat

Josephs raincoat is cut from the same pattern with the addition of lining and gusset patch pockets. I found waterproof breathable microfibre in navy blue for the main fabric and used standard yellow anti static lining to line the jacket. I top stitched most of the seams with heavyweight yellow top stitch thread.

The pockets nearly defeated me. I was determined to have 3D large gusset pockets. Big roomy pockets are essential for storing ‘finds’. I started off with curved pockets, despite the pocket looking pretty good, applying it to the coat was near on impossible! With fabric you can’t pin and an awkward shape I opted for the slightly less tricky squared shape. Masking tape, chalk and super accurate measurements later I am pretty pleased with the end result.

Ella’s dungarees

Ella’s favorite ever thing to wear is the Mary dungaree dress. A trouser version was a natural move on. This was one of those lucky makes, the first pattern worked with almost no amendments needed. I used dark navy denim that has a slight stretch. I wanted to introduce some print to tie the outfits together. I found this cotton canvas world print in tonal grey. I liked the idea of introducing the whole world of adventure to our back yard.

I bought the reflective tape to add a bit of extra functionality to Josephs top, however Ella was a little miffed that she wasn’t having any on her garments. There was enough left to add to her turn ups and the front pocket of her dungarees.

Ella’s top

Underneath her dungarees she has a simple long sleeved jersey t-shirt. This is my go to pattern when the kids need a new top or a coordinate. One I plan to publish very soon. I found a lovely shop on Etsy where I bought this wave design jersey to complete her outfit.

Josephs top

Josephs top was probably the trickiest thing to make. I used French terry for the main part and added the cotton canvas to the yoke and inside the collar. The combination of stretch and woven to create the collar was not easy. I didn’t want to interface the stretch as I wanted a soft, unstructured, lightweight sweatshirt type garment. However the fabrics worked against each other, even with pinning and tacking everything moved out of alignment all to easily. Once I had the collar on the rest of the garment went together fairly easily.

Joseph’s trousers

Josephs trousers are an updated version of a style I have wanted to publish as a pattern for a long time. I used brushed back sweatshirt fabric and matching rib to create these slim leg joggers. The knees are reinforced with an extra panel (which I have discovered is a good idea for boys in the interest of knee preservation!!) I top-stitched in navy to match with the rest of the outfit.

Overall I am really happy with these outfits. The kids love them too. By the end of the photoshoot the clothes looked liked they had been on a real adventure, with mucky knees and elbows…just the way it should be!

It has been a fantastic experience taking part in project run and play. I hope you have time to look at all the entries. Don’t forget to place a vote too!

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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