Top Stitchers: "Stars"

It's the FINAL WEEK of season 2! I am in so much awe over the creations we've seen this season, and today's contestants have brought their A-game as well. Prepare to be inspired by Top Stitchers Alum Kari, and new-to-the-series Sarah!

"In honor of the recent Summer Solstice, we look to the heavens for sewing inspiration! Find a "star" who shares your zodiac sign, and recreate (a child-appropriate version of) one of their iconic looks."

"In honor of the recent Summer Solstice, we look to the heavens for sewing inspiration! Find a "star" who shares your zodiac sign, and recreate (a child-appropriate version of) one of their iconic looks."


Sarah's Entry:

This prompt had me doing some mad google research! First off, I've never made much of astrology, so I had no clue what my "sign" was. Libra, Check. Find a star that shares that sign...uh-oh. I knew I had to find someone classy (that's just my style) so I eventually landed on Julie Andrews. Check. Nail down her iconic look....whoa. She's just class through and through, but I could not think of one look (aside from movie costumes) that just screamed Julie! So I began combing through photos searching for what seemed like her go-to pieces. She's ever so casual and classy. Nothing over the top. She's always wearing collared shirts with a simple pair of pants or a skirt, often even a simple shirtdress! I've blended all of this together to create my version of Julie Andrews iconic look!

I started off with a classic oxford shirt by Peekaboo Pattern Shop. I found this mystery cotton fabric at the thrift store, and I fell in love with the print. It's so similar to the fabric in the top left photo above (although I don't know the colors, it almost seems like the same flower print!). I used a pretty, contrasting pink gingham (see bottom left photo above!) for the collar stand, inside yoke lining and the cuff vents and straps. The blouse has 3/4 length sleeves that roll up to elbow length.

The skirt is self-drafted with a curved waistband. This accommodates the little toddler belly J still sports and keeps the hem even all around. It's made from a cotton stretch twill and lined in cotton. The exposed zipper adds a little glam in the back! Head over to my blog to see some extra photos - it's almost as pretty inside as it is out!  

I made a little gold bow for her hair, as a nod to Julie's Golden Globe wins. There it is! My iconic Julie Andrews look! Stylish, simple, (hey, there's even a "girl in [a] white dress...") and my favorite of all, classic!


Kari's Entry:

Bonjour!  I’m Kari, from That’s-Sew-Kari and I’m so excited to be back for the 2nd season of Top Stitchers!  I’m a proud Leo (birthdate Aug 21) and have always been into astrology so this prompt excited me! I quickly searched Google for famous Leos and found there were so many great Leos from which to choose.  However, one stood out and my search was over.  I mean, really, who could pass up on….

Coco Chanel – born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in France on August 19, 1883 – changed the world of fashion forever.   She is credited as one of two designers responsible for freeing women of a “corseted silhouette” and popularizing the acceptance of a sporty, casual chic look as the feminine standard in the post-World War 1 era. (1)  

As instructed in my prompt, I was to recreate one of my star’s iconic looks.  There is nothing more iconic than Chanel’s trimmed suit jacket.  Keeping with the casual chic concept, I paired it with a pair of wide-leg white trousers, a slim long-sleeved black tee, pearls, and a quilted, black handbag after seeing this inspiration.  Chanel pairs both luxury and comfort.

Details:

  • Jacket – The (aptly named) Coco Jacket by Heidi and Finn was a perfect start of my Chanel-inspired outfit.  I sewed it up using a wool-blend coating material in a black, white and tan tetris design.  This jacket is fully lined with black peach skin to add a bit of luxury.  Black crocheted lace outlines the clean silhouette and the tops of the pockets.  Each seam is double topstitched on both the outer shell as well as the lining for a finished look.   [Side note: This was my first time using both wool and peach skin.]
  • Tee – I wanted a slim-fitting long-sleeved tee under the jacket so I used the bodice of the Drop Waist Diva by Little Lizard King and turned it into a tee by adding a narrow band at the hem.  I used a cotton/lycra blend in black.
  • Pants – I knew the Serendipity Trousers by Sewlosophy Pattern Co were the exact silhouette I was looking for.  In lieu of the gathers underneath the front yoke, I made an inverted box pleat on each side.  Along the front waist, I added a faux black chain link belt with a gold buckle.  The fabric I selected was a white WrinkleEase twill.
  • Purse – This purse is self-drafted.  I used my remaining black peach skin fabric and quilted a majority of it.  I used the quilted material for both the flap and the back and opted for a plain front except for two vertical quilted lines in the center.  I added a small gold bow on the front flap and used matching black chain link for the handle.
  • Logo Mask – I saw this picture on Pinterest and had to recreate it!  I used two layers of black felt and topstitched them together in the iconic Chanel logo.  I left a small space to insert a wooden stick which was formerly my corner-poking chopstick that I painted black and added gold rings around the bottom and a smattering of gold glitter. [Side note: I now have the fanciest corner-poking chopstick.] 
  • Pearls: Chanel loved her pearls and had to be included!  I used the packaged pearl strand from Hobby Lobby and cut 6 strands each a different length.  I used a black satin ribbon tied in the back to fasten the necklace. 
  • Shoes: I was lucky to stumble across these Capelli New York black ballet flats with a small black bow adorned with gold hearts.  [Side note:  I did not cobble these shoes… haha]
  • In the inspiration picture linked above, I attempted to create the hat.  However, Chanel can be quoted as saying “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.”  I opted to leave this accessory at home [Side note: It may be due to trying to create a hat from scratch without measuring my daughter’s head, resulting in a hat with an opening a bit too small to sit properly on her head.]
  • Location:  We headed to the upscale mall in Charlotte – South Park Mall – which turned out to have several fantastic photo backdrops. [Side note: We went on a rather busy Friday afternoon and my daughter could not go more than a few feet without people ‘oohing and ahhing’ – she ate that attention up!]
  • Model:  I chose my 6 year old brunette for this project.  Her pictures always exude her undying confidence and I knew she would rock this.  [Side note: the day of the photo shoot, it was 98 degrees outside with a 45-minute drive each way to our location.  Once on location, she changed into her outfit which is definitely not summer apparel.  She completely earned her dipped ice cream cone after!]

I am beyond pleased with how this has turned out.  I really took the time to make sure each detail was necessary and in line with my entire look.  Of course, I have many more pictures and details over on my blog as I simply could not share them all here.  I hope you have enjoyed my entry!  Au revoir for now!

(1) SOURCE


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!
Rate Sarah's Technique *
Do garment(s) reflect a strong knowledge of the fabrics used, and the methods and tools use to sew them?
Rate Sarah's Creativity *
Do garment(s) relate to the given prompt, and showcase the unique talents of the sewist?
Rate Sarah's Presentation *
Quality photography is key, as is an overall vision for presenting finished work.
Rate Sarah's Difficulty *
Sew many pieces, or very intricate ones? These points reward that challenge.
Rate Kari's Technique *
Do garment(s) reflect a strong knowledge of the fabrics used, and the methods and tools use to sew them?
Rate Kari's Creativity *
Do garment(s) relate to the given prompt, and showcase the unique talents of the sewist?
Rate Kari's Presentation *
Quality photography is key, as is an overall vision for presenting finished work.
Rate Kari's Difficulty *
Sew many pieces, or very intricate ones? These points reward that challenge.
Leave some love!
Let this week's challengers know what you liked best from each look!

How awesome are these?? I'm so proud of the talent recruited for this series. If you think you're Top Stitcher material, contact me about participating in season 3 in the Fall! becca (at) beccaduvalphotography (dot) com