If you stumbled upon this post in the wild, “hello” and if you’re here from the Project Run & Play blog, “nice to see you, again!” Wow, what can I say? I’m sooo stoked to be here with y’all another week. I don’t know how the judges managed, because last week’s look certainly were not easy to decide between! Thanks for keeping lil’ ol’ me around again. This week’s theme is “Gimme Some Texture.” As an ode to the carefree life that is age 5, and a slight pun on my fabric choices, I’ve titled my look not [di]stressed, just chillin’.
I knew from day one of hearing the theme, I wanted to incorporate this Cement Grunge faux- textured French Terry that I preordered from Emerald Curtain Fabrics earlier this year (or last year…what is time??). When I think of texture and clothing, one of the first words my mind instantly thinks of is distressed, and this fabric definitely fit the bill. The only problem was…I couldn’t remember where I’d stored it. While digging through my stash, I came across another fabric that I’ve had sitting for about 2 years and wanted to sew, but didn’t know exactly what to make. It was some French Terry that actually was distressed. The thought of using it always terrified me, so it kept sitting and sitting. My heart started racing, with every new tote bin I pulled out. Could it be….could I have accidentally matched these two fabrics before I even knew what I was making?? The answer to that question is yes….yes, indeed! Upon finding the ECF fabric, this duo jumpstarted my entire design process…
Though my pieces last week were nicely coordinated, I tried a couple new things, and I spent a heck of lot of time on those buttonholes, yadayada I knew this week I had to reach a little farther. My inspiration for this theme was kids streetwear. I spent my spare moments on Pinterest and Google, just browsing pieces to figure out how I’d bring all these jumbled thoughts into something that made sense, looked nice, and would be comfortable for my dudey.
I decided to use that scary distressed fabric in one of my pieces! With it, I wanted to create some outerwear that was lined. I had plenty of zip up patterns, but I preferred a raglan (which I did not have a pattern for), so I modified the Kids Raglan from Halla from a shirt into a zip up hoodie. (I will have a blog post in the coming days on how to modify a shirt pattern to a zip hoodie for those interested, so keep your eyes peeled for that.) I lined it with the French Terry from Cali Fabrics that I used in Week 1 for my son’s joggers, which gave it the perfect weight and warmth, since the distressed fabric was pretty light, and the holes barely had much covering behind them. I was able to finally use a zipper I had accidentally shortened too much for a jacket for my husband like 3 years ago! It was nice to finally get that dang thing out of my zipper stash lol! Truly distressed fabric is quite an interesting thing to work with. I mostly avoided cutting into any portions with the holes, but where it was inevitable, it was a little tricky to keep together. In the end, I survived it and really like the overall look of the hoodie!
Of course he needed new bottoms to go with it. From my streetwear search, two of the common themes that I came across were harem style joggers and pleated style moto patches. Most of the moto pants in PDF patterns that I’d seen incorporated faux-texture, by just sewing lines of stitching with a sewing machine or doing reverse coverstitching. I took mine a step further and actually pleated and sewed the moto patches for some real texture! I started out with the Made by Runi Baggyslims, but modified the pockets to slant pockets and reduced the waistband height to suit my tastes. To make sure I nailed the placement of the knee patches, I sewed up a quick basic pair (no pockets, colorblocking, anything) and marked them. Afterward, I cut the pattern apart, added in seam allowance for my patches, then pleated a big chunk of fabric to cut my patches out from. Sewed it all up and voila! Though it looks complex, it was surprisingly easy, just a little time consuming.
I loved the moto patches so much, that I wanted to incorporate them into a shirt somehow. The Moto Maxx shirt from Love Notions has been sitting in my (virtual) pattern stash for ages! As soon as I opened it, I started chuckling because I had actually used a similar moto patch shape for the pants. Apparently, it was destined to be! The shirt has color blocking built into it along the shoulders. Instead of simply cutting them out from pieces of fabric, I pleated a chunk of fabric using the same technique from the pants, and then cut the shoulder patches from that, as well as a chest pocket. I was worried while sewing it that it would be bulky or look unnatural along the shoulders, but I think the fact that I used a very light knit interfacing allowed them to sit beautifully on the body. I also think this black tee is my favorite piece of them all! I love a nice solid piece with a lil’ interest, and the added texture of the pleats fit the bill.
I kept staring at the leftover Cement Grunge on my cutting table, and had the idea to sew up a nice pullover with it. I used a pattern from my stash, but modified it by adding the peekaboo pockets. I double lined the pocket so that you could see a slight bit of the Cement Grunge behind the Black Holey Rayon French Terry I got from Cali Fabrics with my pre-season shopping pass. I used a 2×2 rib for the cuffs and neckband so it had a touch more of texture, in a solid black to tie in with the joggers I made last week. ( Told you I loved them lol!) They paired perfectly together.
My photo shoot actually happened super last minute (the weekend before my blog post was due) because I couldn’t figure out a place to go to make my vision come to life. I wanted a location more industrial or urban looking than I usually shoot, and for the vibe to be overall greyscale to coordinate with my fabric choices. We visited a skate park near us, but it proved to be too busy for a photoshoot. On the way home, we passed the Apple Campus that my husband works at (this was his first time ever seeing the building! He hasn’t been in the office since we moved, as he’s remote due to the pandemic). I decided to stop, not for a photoshoot opportunity, but simply because I recognized the street name and knew that was his office. Turns out, there was a fantastic spot near one of the entrances which fit well my intended vibe! #YASSSSSS I ordinarily don’t like to shoot in new locations for time sensitive projects, but I stepped outside of my norm for it, and it did not disappoint!
Little funny notes of my tribulations along the way:
- I thought I was gonna distress jeans. Like I was all in, invested, jean pattern ready to go, denim prewashed. Yeah…it didn’t work out well lol! No matter how many YouTube videos I watched on distressing denim, my practice patches kept looking very neat, and not that semi-messy, grungy look that RTW has. I can’t help but wonder if maybe a wash would have made them right…but I couldn’t risk it for the challenge so settled for the alternate plan of the joggers I made. One day, I WILL make some though!
- Pay attention to markings! Nothing fun about sewing AND triple stretch stitch topstitching something to realize you sewed the neckline to the armscye and vice-versa. Looking at you, Moto Maxx tee! 👀
- Going with my instinct for the photoshoot was fun, but equal parts terrifying. My son is 5 and well…5 year old tends too get very fivey, especially when it’s Saturday, it’s a little toasty outside, and mommy wants to keep changing your clothes and making you pose for pictures. I was soooo nervous that the new location wouldn’t work out well and that I’d have to re-shoot later and he’d have a meltdown. But everything worked out well and the first shoot was a winner!
All in all, I’m proud of this collection and love that the pieces can work with other things we already have in the closet. As always, my goal of comfort and movability for son was achieved, while also being trendy and cool-looking. I love some monochrome/greyscale looks and was happy to see it all come together well in the end. While sometimes working with too many elements can result in catastrophic clashes, I think I married the faux/real elements well enough for a cohesive design. If you are digging this look just as much as I am, please go and vote for it over at the Project Run + Play blog. I’d love the chance to share with you all again next week! Until next time…see ya!