Project run and play – Vacation exploration

I’m very excited to be here in week 2 of Project run and play season 22. This week the theme is holiday fashion. We are heading fast towards the Christmas holidays so it seemed appropriate to design clothing for these upcoming holidays.

I’m a big believer in nurturing my children’s interests, its exciting as a parent to watch different talents and interests unfold in your child. I also think its a massively important part of development and something that sits equally importantly alongside academic work. ( I could write another whole post about how I used my first sewing machine aged 7 and it shaped my life forever).When it comes to school holidays (unless we are going away) they usually comprise of various play dates, visiting family and something that incorporates their interests. My little girl is a huge bird fan, she loves everything about birds so visiting bird parks or a nature reserve for bird watching is always high on her agenda. My little boy loves dinosaurs, our local museum has life size skeletons and lots of facts so he loves this.

I wanted to include their favorite things into the designs for this entry. It was also important that the clothing would be practical and functional for changeable weather and this variety of activities.

I came up with the idea of using applique to create a scene of dinosaurs across the back of my little boys jacket moving into their modern day descendants – birds on my little girls jacket. The jackets would be teamed with layer-able co-ordinates that were comfortable and versatile.

The jackets

I am in a very fortunate position that despite two years in age my kids pretty much wear the same size clothing. This style of hoody is a great unisex style so I only needed to make one pattern for both of these jackets. I cut the pattern for a longline hoody so it could act as a coat but also feel like a sweater. My current favorite sleeve is a raglan which looks great colour blocked and offers great freedom of movement.

Both jackets are made in French terry and completely lined in the softest fleece you’ve ever felt. This is where I wish you could reach into this image and feel it. It is so soft and so warm, on any winters day I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to be wrapped in this coziness!

For the applique I gathered images on the computer that I could redraw as simple silhouettes. I played around with scaling the images before creating these simple patterns. I backed the applique with applique paper and also used tear away stabilizer to prevent the applique distorting when stitched. Both kindly gifted by Minerva crafts in support of this competition.

Both jackets feature welt pockets, which could have gone horribly wrong as tailoring techniques on stretch fabrics are generally tricky. I used a lightweight interfacing at the opening position to help prevent stretching. Interfacing was also essential when applying the zip to stop this stretching and making it easier to keep the seams across the body aligned.

Josephs top

Joseph’s top is a simple hack from my tried and tested t-shirt pattern. I moved the side seams further round and angled them for a slightly sporty style. The addition of a pocket bought the colours together. On the whole he prefers short sleeves especially with a warm coat as he seems to be permanently hot!

Josephs trousers

The trousers are based on the same pattern I used from the first entry this time made in lighter French terry. I added a side panel in these and omitted the reinforced knees. The side seam stripe houses concealed pockets. For the waistband I stitched three channels for narrow elastic and finished with a drawcord.

Ella’s dress

The dress is a Theodor hack one that I will bring in more detail to my blog very soon. I made this in a medium weight stripe cotton jersey. Essentially I removed the hemband and added a skirt and pockets. She is wearing it with Frances leggings made in cotton elastane jersey.

I hope you are enjoying the competition, I am feeling lucky to still be part of it, the other contestants have made some gorgeous and skilled outfits. Next week is the final week. I hope you will have a chance to view the entries and place a vote.

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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...


  1. Natalie on November 27, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Nice work! Fun appliqués and great outfits!

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