Monday, September 24, 2012

Project Run and Play Week 3--The White Sheet Challenge

It's time for Project Run and Play, week 3: The White Sheet Challenge 
This week's challenge was an exciting one to think about and plan (the actual sewing of the outfit is another story which you can read about further down in this post).  A huge white sheet=a big blank canvas.  How fun would that be right?  That's the idea I went with in deciding to stamp/paint the sheet and in keeping it simple black and white.  I wanted the look to be like I doodled in a way.  Then it was coming up with the actual design.  Here's the original look that we came up with.  Both the jacket and the skirt came from the sheet.  I was hoping to have enough for a shirt as well, but since both the skirt and jacket are lined with material from the sheet, there wasn't enough.
First part of the outfit--a quilted jacket.  Something not too heavy, because it doesn't really get that cold here in the South, but something she could wear with both jeans and nicer outfits.  It has 2 layers of thin cotton batting in there, which were leftovers from quilts that I helped tie and bind several months ago.  Total cost for this project was $6 (sheet from Goodwill and buttons and zipper bought when JoAnne's had their Labor Day sale).
Here's an old jacket pattern I was wanting to try out (my mom has tons of old patterns laying around, which I love to go through every time I visit).  Don't you wish they were still that price?  I marked out the grid and stamped the flower in the middle before I had quilted it. Instead of a hood, I just added a simple stand up collar.
The skirt is just a simple A-line skirt, doubled since it is a white sheet after all, with an invisible side zipper. I hand painted the flower on to the skirt after I cut out the pieces but before I sewed it all together.
Here's a close up of the flower.
And here is the process of how I got the stripes for the bias strips I used as binding.  I used Jacquard textile dye and just painted it on with a paint brush, not really caring if my lines were perfect (obviously).  Then I cut it into the 2 inch strips that I needed. For the stamping, I just painted a thin layer of the dye out and the stamped away.  After the dye dries you do have to heat set it with an iron.

 And here is the finished look, which she loves.  That's the most important part, right?
-----Keep reading if you want to hear me complain---- 

 So now for the complaining part.  I was really excited for this week's challenge.  Probably the most out of all of the themes they gave us.  Really, who doesn't like a big blank canvas to work with?  Maybe that was the problem, I had a vision and it didn't quite come out how I pictured it and what did come up was wrought with a ton of frustration. 
 Big blank canvas my foot...sheets are a pain to sew with.  Or maybe it was just my sheet, anyone else out there have a problem with it?  I did score a queen size cotton sheet at Goodwill, because I wasn't going to spend a ton on a new sheet I was just going to cut up...couldn't justify it since we still have 15 year old sheets on our bed which work just fine.  Well it was hard to find the true grain, which was important since I was cutting things on the bias (the skirt most importantly).  Then it stretched and tugged in places I didn't want it to.  Seams didn't turn out the way I want.  The invisible zipper would not lay flat.  It was a giant frustration to sew this outfit.  I had to make myself finish it, because I was ready to throw in the towel.  
 Then there was the jacket...this was my own fault.  I wanted to use that pattern.  I wanted to stamp and quilt it.  Those 2 ideas did not mesh well together.  The way the jacket was put together did not lend to making a true grid or to adding a lining of batting.  Actually, it was kind of a neat way to put it together and fun to sew something that was different.  There are 7 pieces to the jacket-2 front, 2 side front, back and 2 side back.  You sew the 2 front pieces to the back piece at the shoulders.  Then you sew the 2 side fronts to the 2 side backs at the shoulder and the side seams.  THEN you sew the sides to the middle (front and back pieces) by starting at the bottom of the front and sewing up around the shoulders and to the bottom of the back.  With me???? Make sense???????  Basically what it means is that seam that goes up and around the whole coat is kind of rounded.  Rounded is not good with straight lines and a grid.  That's where the frustration came in. Plus I couldn't just cut out the batting from the pattern pieces and quilt away.  I had to sew the batting into the shape as well to fit it in between the outer part and the inside lining.  Then there were seams in weird places which made it hard to stamp neatly.
 Well I was tempted to start pointing out all of the things that drive me batty in these pictures, because it didn't turn out how I wanted or expected or shows the imperfections and my frustrations with it.  But I won't and I'll just let you enjoy the cute pictures of a cute 9 year old, who looks much too old to be my little girl.

 The red caboose did make for a fun photo shoot.  Actually, all 3 places we stopped (all within 2 or 3 miles of us) are places that are fun to take pictures.


  1. love your sketch ~ it's so cute :)
    I am so impressed with all of your hand painting, it must have taken a lot of time (I could only paint stripes)

  2. I absolutely love this! The Skirt is genius and the jacket adorable.

  3. I think your stamping is gorgeous! :) I love the caboose pictures and have similar issues with sheets; mine wasn't even a perfect rectangle and it's super hard to get anything to stay lined up with the grainline (or the bias). Your sketch is awesome. :)

  4. So much to say, so here goes....1) WELL DONE! 2) You are an artist - wow, that sketch is fantastic. 3) It is refreshing to hear others' woes. It makes you 'more real.' 4) Gotta love some caboose pictures. We've got one nearby too, and may use it in upcoming posts!

  5. I LOVE it!!! It is so unique and your daughter is going to get so many compliments on the outfit this season!

  6. Thanks for all of the nice compliments! While it was a very frustrating outfit to create, it was a lot of fun too. Most importantly she loves it and that it is so unique. It's fun to have her involved in the planning of the outfits, because it kind of makes them hers. That's why we did the sketches (which you guys are giving more credit for than I deserve--check back to my week one post:)

  7. you did an amazing job with this and are obviously a great artist!

  8. very cute outfit, and that flower you painted is gorgeous. Well done!



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