The over the top (OTT) challenges for Top Stitchers are always my favorite! Add to that recipe bacon and ice cream, and you've got a stellar combination. So without further ado I'll get out of your way so you can see today's amazing, fantastic, no-adjectives-are-good-enough sew down!
Bacon Ice Cream...say wha?! Kim and I were challenged to create a look that combined two completely unexpected sewing ingredients - meaning to put together distinct fashion influences, fabrics types, and/or sewing techniques that form an explosive feast for the eyes to enjoy...in other words, it ALSO had to be over the top (OTT). Talk about a challenge!!
Participating in Top Stitchers season 3 has been so much fun. I love a challenge, especially one that pushes me out of my comfort. As a pattern designer I really try to stick to beginner friendly - adventurous beginner sewing techniques and my final garment/photography is usually just for product purposes. When given an amazing prompt like Bacon Ice cream OTT, I can step away from "pattern designer jess" and step into fashion diva mode. Luckily I've created two mini fashion divas that are my muse and love to be all dolled up. My life would have been completely different if we had had boys instead of girls...they really steal my heart.
Now onto what I made for the challenge! This is actually the second outfit I made, which I knew would happen. Just when I thought I had all my fabric picked and every detail of the garment figured out...I CHANGE my mind! It was definitely bacon ice cream but it just wasn't OTT enough and too casual. So back to the fabric store we went. I've never done anything with fur so I challenged myself with that and went for it! Please meet my Beauty and the Beast look (I'll explain later)!
The top is the bodice from my Metropolitan dress pattern, lengthened by an inch and half and sleeves lengthened to full arm length. The bodice fabric is Cotton and Steel Paint Dot in cloud. I used a white mini puff ball trim around the neckline to give the illusion of a little pearl necklace and closed the back using an invisible zipper rather than a button closure as specified in the tutorial. Originally I had envisioned this as a two piece crop top with the fur skirt on an elastic waistband but my daughter kept tugging the top down and pulling the skirt past her three year old baby belly so I decided to attach the skirt to the dress. The skirt consists of a lining, six layers of tulle and the fur layer. I didn't want any seams in the tulle or fur so I drafted a circle skirt and attached it to the bodice. To finish the look, I topstitched a golden metallic thread ribbon along the seam for an extra bit of glam. The ribbon and fur are both from Joann's.
Now I must say, this fur was a beast to work with!! I have never worked with a fur fabric with a pile this long...there was fur everywhere!! To finish the outside edge of the skirt I used a layer of lining in the same circle skirt pattern but shortened it a bit. With right sides together I contained the beast under the lining and sewed around. Once the lining was pulled to the inside and the fur was right side out, it lifted the skirt just enough to reveal the layers of tulle under the skirt. I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS DRESS!
The whole time I was working on this project I kept saying the fur was a BEAST to work with and it gave me an idea of what to call this project ....I've named this my Beauty and the Beast look. My daughter is obviously the beauty and the skirt is the beast ;) I learned a lot about working with fur (finishing the edges, controlling the pile and properly feeding it through my machine).
The movie Beauty and the Beast also inspired my photography. I was lucky enough to discover this old converted stable and receptory in Humbolt Park that was reminiscent of Belle's house from the Disney Movie Beauty and the Beast. It was perfect for our photos! Unfortunately there was a wedding the day we taking pictures so I couldn't get any shots in front of the house but we made do :)
How perfect is this?! Not quite Phillipe but pretty close! The artist did such an amazing job making this horse look so realistic.
"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere..." - Belle
And now for the second piece of my outfit. I used this lurex fused yarn, polyester blend fabric which has the weight of wool to create this self drafted vest. The inside is lined and I used the same fur from the skirt to create the collar of the vest. The arm hole is hand stitched with a herringbone beaded trim also from Joann's and two sew on snaps are used for the closure. I love it closed or open and it looks really cute with jeans too :)
And of course I had to make another dress for Olivia. When she saw Abigail in her dress she wanted one too. Imagine my excitement! LOL! The second outfit didn't take me as long as the first since I had already worked out the details and figured out how to "tame the beast" by this point :)
Here are some more close up shots. Both of my girls loved the fur collar on the vest. I added a pleat to the back of the vest so it would fit more fitted across the chest but flared out toward the bottom.
I loved everything about this project! I usually don't let my girls wear fancy clothes unless we're going to a party or something but this dress has been an exception. They not only wore it to a family banquet party but they've worn it to the grocery store, shopping, and just around the house. They said they felt like real princesses! Stepping out from my comfort fabrics and working with something new has been a rewarding challenge. I never hand stitch (except buttons) but it was surprisingly relaxing. There's a lot going on in this outfit and it was a quite a process to get all the different fabrics sewn together...I really mixed so many elements and techniques into this look that I normally wouldn't do but everything came together very well and fulfilled the challenge.
Thank you to Audrey and Becca for putting together an amazing season of fun prompts for Top Stitchers and for having me be a part of season 3! You can see more pictures and details on my blog. Thank for reading - Jess.
Hi everyone! I am Kim from Kimmie Sew Crazy. I can not believe I am here to compete in this amazing awesome competition! So what did I cook up? As you know we were asked to cook up a mix of ingredients to create an over the top outfit. Yes, mix of ingredients meaning unexpected combinations! I must be honest, this theme really threw me. I stormed it over in my brain over and over of what to use and what to create. I think I may have even over exhausted the idea. Eventually I decided that I would not go to the fabric store. I would walk in my sewing space and just grab a bunch of random items and that I would just have to let the randomness drive me. The OTT theme kept making me think I needed to do a frilly princess type dress. But I knew something like that would be a complete waist of the materials because Mila would never wear it again. So....why not boho/hipster/hippie? That is what I went with. Mistake?
Ingredients: two pairs of my old jeans, a crochet collar I bought off of Ebay for $1 (a long time ago), Moda charm pack, random trim, crochet lace, fur, cream sweater knit, and last but o so pretty- red velvet. These items really looked like a mix of craziness when I first put them together.
In my process of being over the top and not princessy I went with Boho. Well it turns out you can kinda throw anything into a boho inspired outfit and it will most likely not look "over the top". It turns out the boho look looks great with just a mix or randomness : ) The fur maybe is a little over the top. Well maybe a lot over the top, but the jeans and top, not so crazy.
What did I do?... Well I wanted to cinch the waist so I added elastic cassing to the Ziggy top with red velvet. I also added a bib with the scraps left over from the pants, and of course used that random ribbon trim to adorn the bib. On the pants I added the charm pack pieces to the back panel. Just to add a little drama I left the butt pocket on the leg (my boys think that looks soooo stupid) : ). For the fur caplet I just added a anything I had left. Mila actually loved the whole outfit. So do I : ). It may be one of my favs!!! I just wish it were a bit more OTT : ) Read more and see more pictures on my blog- Kimmie Sew Crazy
Before you give your ratings, here's a quick refresher of the rules!
- You will rate rate each challenger, and every category. Max of 5 stars, 5 is highest.
- Challengers will receive an average score for each category, and an average score overall. (You can see an example here) New to Season 2 - 50% of the vote will come from 3 Top Stitcher Alumnae who volunteered to judge this season's creations!
- Your feedback helps each challenger recognize areas that they can improve their craft, and celebrate those areas that they already excel.
- As such, please submit your feedback for each contestant only once. Admittedly, I cannot enforce this, but the objective is for each contestant to receive a thoughtful rating, not skewed scores.
- It is SUPER DUPER NERVE-WRACKING to put work on display for others to judge, so let's remember to leave some love and encouragement for our challengers in the comments!
- YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PICK A FAVORITE! Any week, any sew-down, you are welcome to reward both sewists with the highest scores. Or one sewist higher than another in different categories. This is a contest against each contestant's personal best, not against one another.