northern momma sewing up a storm!

Project Run & Play, Week Three: All Hands On Deck!

Have you voted yet? If not, head on over to Project Run & Play to cast a vote for your favorite (I hope it’s mine?!) and then come back here and read all of the details about this fun look!


Thanks for all of the lovely comments you left last week! And thanks to you, my readers, for voting me here for another week! I’m so excited to share my “Design Your Own Fabric” challenge with you today. This really was a tough one for me, since I usually buy my fabric based strictly on the “LOVE” factor. Modifying it further has never occurred to me. I decided to try a few options to see what I liked, and boy, did I learn some things! I tried Shibori. That was a complete and utter fail. I really love how beautiful it is when done right, but mine was anything but beautiful. Then I tried some glue-resist (like wax-resist/batik dyeing) and again, a fail. I did manage to dye my fingernails a lovely shade of blue though. 

So I turned to a simple, tried & true form: block printing. I carved out an anchor from a chunk of sweet potato and after a few tries, got the look I was going for. Here’s one of my carvings:


I used this setup to get a nice even coat on the stamp. I mixed the paint with a bit of water and then mopped it up into a sponge. Then I dabbed the stamp onto the sponge to get a nice even coat. 


This is a Martha Stewart all-purpose craft paint (affiliate link) that works on all surfaces. I’ve washed these garments  a few times and the paint is still going strong!

I didn’t pre-mark my fabric, but instead just kept a nice consistent pattern on the fabric. I wanted it to look a little random. but somewhat organized 🙂 

Then I cut into this stamped fabric and made some bermuda shorts from the Peekaboo Classic Chinos pattern. I modified these with some double welt pockets on the back and added a snap tab to the one pocket. I also faced the hem with a contrast cotton for some added interest and color. 



It’s so nice to see baby legs after such a long winter!! And aren’t these the cutest little shorts ever?


By the way, this is the first time I’ve been able to catch on camera my little boy standing all by himself! I think my kids are all going to be late-walkers…but doesn’t he look so pleased with himself?


At least when he’s standing, he’s not moving 😉 Because let me tell you, this is what 97% of his photos look like:


Or this:


It’s a good thing daddy was there to help!


Moving on…I made some suspenders! I used red elastic, and gold suspender clips found at Fabricland. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find matching sliding adjusters, so I just made these to fit, and used leather on both ends. I LOVE how they turned out! 





Next up I made a little raglan tee but designed it to mimic a Breton-style nautical shirt. I used freezer paper and cut strips and then arranged them on my fabric. I ironed them on, and then painted in between with fabric paint. 

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I like how it turned out looking hand-painted, but still so nice and neat! I used the Peekaboo Grand Slam raglan again (this is turning out to be the Project Run & Play Season of the Raglan for me!) and then added a little snap placket on the front shoulder seam. My little boy has a big noggin, and this just makes dressing him a little less frustrating. 


My double needle broke just as I went to hem this shirt, so I finished it with a long blind hem stitch, and caught extra on the topside so it would show. I’ve always liked that finish on shirts. 



Now for J’s dress, I started with the Geranium Dress by Made By Rae in a beautiful chambray. 


I love how this simple dress is a great blank slate for SO much! I modified the shoulder seam a bit by drafting in a bit of a curve. I hate sleeves that stick out, so that fixed the problem.


Then I added some epaulets to the shoulders with some nice contrast stitching and buttons.


I’ve been on a HUGE welt pocket kick lately! They’re just so nice looking and since I’ve made so many different kinds, they really are getting quite simple. This time I mixed it up a bit and did a bow detail in the pocket. 


Chambray is so hard to photograph! It looks all shades of blue and purple here, but really, it’s just blue! Aren’t those bows cute? Next, to add my own twist on this fabric design challenge, I started with some french knots around the neckline (stickin’ with the whole french sailing theme here…french knots, breton stripes…did you know chambray is even a french cloth? Yup, originally from Cambrai, France! I love learning about this kind of stuff!)



Then, in keeping with the whole nautical theme, I did a wave motif around the hem line, again with french knots. 



So there you have it! A fabric challenge that I conquered! Wanna see more pictures? Ok. 

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I can’t believe how big my little boy looks in these pictures!!


What a ham!


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This was a fun challenge, and I’ll probably do some more block printing, now that I’ve got that figured out. On a side note, if you try some shibori, I’d LOVE to see a photo of it! You can post it over on my facebook page! Now that you’ve read this veeeerrry long post, head on over to Project Run & Play to vote for your favorite – hope it’s for “All Hands On Deck!” – I’d love to share my Signature Style look with you next week!


*this post contains affiliate links, but the opinions and pattern love are all my own.

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