Tuesday, May 7, 2013

project sewn: black and white challenge

Allo allo. It has begun! To catch you up (if needed), I am one of six contestants in a new online sewing challenge called Project Sewn for women who sew clothes for themselves. During the competition, we sew outfits for a chosen theme each week, with one winner determined by votes and one blogger unfortunately knocked off each go-around.

I present to you my outfit for the first theme: Black & White

At first it was difficult to settle on my strategy for the first challenge. Should I try to wow everyone out of the gate and make a dramatic silk ballgown or something, or should I stick with my usual aesthetic and make something more wearable and practical? Well, since I can't make an epic ballgown in a week while working my normal full-time job (nor do I want to), I went the latter route and I think it was probably the wise choice. Plus, I think that's what this challenge is about --- inspiring women to sew for themselves and add pieces to fit into their existing wardrobe. So! Here are the three black and white pieces I made, topped off with a red belt of course.
My inspiration for these separates was actually Stanley's winning design for the Marie Claire editorial challenge on the most recent season of Project Runway (see here). He sewed an open leather jacket, drapey white culottes and a black and white graphic tank. I knew for this challenge I wanted a gathered skirt with draped pockets, a fitted tee or tank or some sort, and a white blazer to top it off. The pushed-up blazer sleeve is all the rage, I've observed during an intense Pinterest/Kendi research sesh. No tea-length culottes here, though. 
Think she's taller than I am?

For the blazer I modified New Look 6013 quite a bit. (FYI we are allowed to use patterns for Project Sewn.) The shell fabric is a stretch cotton sateen that was stained on the selvedge so I got it for $1.99/yd like a boss. As for changes to the pattern: I added a full lining, cropped it at the waistline and added a rounded peplum for some shaping, de-pleated the sleeve caps and added contrast black lining just to the rolled up sleeve part.

The skirt is pattern-less, made from ikat printed jersey. I've always loved ikat prints but I think this is the first time I've actually bought some. I actually first intended this fabric to be the tank top and the black pleated fabric to be the skirt, but the jersey is so extremely lightweight that my machines ate it alive when I tried to bind the neckline and armholes. I then realized it deserved more attention anyway, so I made it into a gathered skirt with a thick knit-interfaced waistband instead. It's lined with black rayon bemberg and hemmed with the aid of fusible hem tape for stabilization. I gathered the fabric by zig-zagging over a long strand of dental floss. I highly recommend this method, as it's much smoother and faster than stitching three full lines and yanking on the thread. 

The cap-sleeved top is made of some sheer accordian-pleated stretch fabric. To make it, I traced the Sewaholic Renfrew pattern front for both the front and the back, deepened and widened the neckline, left off the sleeves and sized it down severely to accommodate the stretch of the fabric.
So that's my entry! If you feel inclined, please head over to Project Sewn and check out the other contestants' entries and vote, vote, vote for whatever inspires you the most for this particular theme. Voting ends Thursday evening at 8pm MT (that's Mountain Time. I could use some Mountain Vacay Time. Can you hike in a white blazer?). Thank you in advance if you decide to vote for me! And thanks for following along. Hope to see you with another look next week...