Handmade: Earth-Friendly Outfits


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This weeks challenge for Project Run and Play was to create an Earth Day look. We could recycle, use earth-friendly materials, etc. I went the recycling route and whipped up a mommy-daughter look. What Earth week look would be complete without a little green? I combined several greens for an eclectic look.

Materials used for this look:

Penelope –


The two dresses I used to make Penelope’s top were rescued from the donation pile. The dark teal top had knit binding that was falling off, so I unpicked the rest of it and added it as trim. I really like how the raw jersey edge rolls up and adds a new dimension to the bias tape look. the buttons were originally on the sleeves of the print dress/shirt.

She’s such a mini hipster with her skinny jeans and fake tatts.

I used twin needles and topstitching for all of the finishing details. It really helps stabilize the stretch and add a polished look.

The tank dress I used on the back panel was originally pieced together in asymmetrical lines, I thought I’d include those lines in with the back. I also gathered and lengthened the back. When Penelope runs around, it’s like she has a cape on her back. SO freaking cute.

Check out these little motorcycle jeans. They’re so hot on her. She really likes her “knee pads”. The ankle length skinnies and vintage oxfords are screaming to be discovered by the Sartorialist.

This competition has been so intense. And I feel like I wouldn’t be able to hang with the crowd if I didn’t do something extra. Penelope’s look is really quite simple (but hey Michael C. made it really far in Project runway and his designs were simple, right?). So I thought I would dig into my pile of “clothes to refashion/tailor/alter/etc” and made a coordinating outfit for me. I’ve had this bow top for a while, but I didn’t really dig how bulky the bow was. I know. I MADE IT WITH MY OWN TUTORIAL. So I revamped it. And it’s way better now. I’ll share a new tutorial, if you’d like. ;)

I also made this maternity top into a skirt. It wasn’t really a maternity top, I got it from Ruche, but since I only ever wore it in the maternity context, I couldn’t help but feel fat and pregnant every time I wore it. It’s stupid, I know. That top was awesome. I really loved the print, and on a whim, Sarah convinced me that I needed to make it into a skirt. I love it a million times more, now. I also love the striped elastic waistband with it. It’s an unexpected combo. I love unexpected combinations.

Oh, sweet Penelope. I love you. I love that you let me dress you and make clothes for you. I love how excited you get over them. Please never change.

P.S. Thanks for all of your support with this project!

Fabric supplied by Fashion Fabrics Club. Connect with FFC on Facebook and Pinterest

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  1. heather says:

    Well, yeah… I’d turn my head to catch a glance at that little number! Both your looks are great! Love ’em! I LOVE the back of Penelope’s dress! My girls would LOVE it!

  2. Melissa says:

    Another fresh take on the top – love the back detailing!

  3. Jessica says:

    Love it all! Wish we could see the cape-action.

  4. mandie says:

    You are on fire! I love the knee pads! When I made the leggings for my niece last week, that’s what I was totally wanting to add, but I don’t actually have her here to figure out where exactly to put the patches.

    I love both outfits- great work friend.

  5. kiki comin says:

    i love your style…and the outfits both turned out amazing this week. that was A LOT of sewing!:)

  6. Melissa says:

    Thanks so much, ladies for your sweet comments!!

  7. Rachel says:

    i really like the back of the girl’s top & the leather knee pads ~ any tips for sewing with leather??

  8. Emily says:

    Love Penelope’s shirt- great reuse of the dress and the back is really fun. I also really like that striped elastic and your green outfits. :)

  9. tamara says:

    Um, wow. ADORABLE. both of you. Pen’s top and leggins though are really something else. The back detail on the top is divine.

  10. Kristin says:

    I love how clean the lines are in your designs. Simplicity speaks louder than excess embellishments, since the construction has to be sound in order for the clothing to look good. Great job on your designs! I’d love a bow shirt for me, but my giant rack doesn’t need any more visual attention :)

  11. I like that your looks are simple, but there is always something interesting about them as well. Love Penelope’s pants!

  12. brianne says:

    Love that top of P’s – the panel in the back is a total welcome surprise, and the color is fantastic. Off to vote for you!

  13. Melissa says:

    Okay, these designs get cuter and cuter each week. Loving the tatts on Penelope. Too cute.

  14. samarahuel says:

    Can I make some suggestions/requests for ISLY? I’m loving all your creative ideas, and they’ve gotten the wheels turning in my head that I don’t have to spend big bucks for my family to look nice, or settle for less-than-loving my old clothes and hand-me-downs. The problem is, I’m not much of a crafter or avid sewer, and I have no idea where to begin! However, I have some hand-me-downs that I hate to get rid of as you’ve inspired me and I keep thinking they are great raw materials for SOMETHING better. What would you think of having your readers send pics of a piece that needs some help, and coming up with an idea/tutorial to revamp it? Sort of like these brainstorming posts (http://chezlarsson.com/myblog/brain-storm/), only with clothes?

    Okay, so that’s my first idea. My second is just that I’d love to see some style posts for men’s fashion. My husband has some nice sweaters and ties, but I am totally clueless when it comes to men’s clothes, and so he never wears them because between the two of us, we can never figure out what looks good together, if he’s wearing the right pants/shoes, etc. In other words, this is a cry for help! :)

    And request #3: as the mother of a petite boy who is learning to use the big boy potty, I’ve come to terms with the fact that we can no longer go without belts for him. Without a diaper, well, the poor kid has a problem keeping his trousers up. Can you come up with an easy DIY toddler belt? We may have access to some leather tools, either to retro-fit a thrifted belt down to his size, or to make something completely new, or maybe with your know-how you could come up with a way to make something like this: http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=50295&vid=1&pid=149894&scid=149894002 ?

    Thanks for providing my daily dose of inspiration! Now if I could have just a fraction of your skills, I would be a happy person. :)

  15. kristin says:

    OMG it’s a mini wiksten tank! P is such a little hipster, so cute, and i’m totally inspired by what you sewed for her this week. hope you hang in there!!

  16. phil says:

    great … as always :-)

  17. Jenny says:

    I need to learn how to sew, so I can make clothes for my little ones! I can’t wait to meet you at Breathing Space!
    Modern Modest Beauty

  18. Danielle says:

    Oh man I love these looks. I love how modern and fresh they are and I love how you have combined all the patterns and colors just perfectly!

  19. That shirt is super cute!!! Love the back!

  20. Judy says:

    LOVE the green top! Yes, please . . . do a revised tute! I bet this shirt could be converted into a nursing top! Nice work, mama!

  21. KeriCan says:

    Sorry to see you have to leave Project Run and Play! I loved your outfits because they are meant to be worn and lived in. I think Run & Play skews too far to the “fancy” side for most kids.

  22. kacey says:

    I just saw that you aren’t continuing in Project Run & Play and I had to let you know how sad this is. For each of the challenges you participated in, your clothes were my favorites. They were the most livable/wearable and fun. So many of the other entries just didn’t have the same kind of practicality yours did. Even if I didn’t check/read your blog daily, I still would have picked you to win!

  23. WOW! That’s usually what I say but you wow me constantly! hehe

  24. Ruth Ellenberger says:

    Cute leggings. Love the green shirt. A revised tutorial would be great! I’ll keep checking in.

  25. […] a really cool mom at the park, sporting a rad top with a cape-like top (the very top that inspired Penelope’s refashioned top), a lightbulb struck. It looks cool with the extra fabric in back, but that extra fabric would be […]

  26. […] wrote a few thank yous, I finally launched my online calligraphy workshop, I sewed a few neat outfits for Penelope and I refashioned a reversible maternity/nursing […]

  27. […] knowing exactly what I wanted to make with it. I wanted to make a high-low cape top (kinda like Penelope’s). Something that flowed nicely in the back, but wasn’t too […]

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