If you follow me on IG you know I’ve been super busy working on projects for Project Run and Play Season 16! If you’re not familiar with Project Run and Play, it’s pretty much the blogger’s version of Project Runway, but for kids! Competitor’s are given a theme each week with the challenge to create a unique outfit using patterns they created or hacked from existing patterns, making the finished project an “original” design. Then everyone is judged by a panel of “celebrity” judges and votes from readers. Readers can only vote once each week and at the end of the week, the score is tallied and the person with the lowest votes does not move on to the next round. There are a total of 4 rounds. [VOTING FOR THIS WEEK HERE)
When I was first invited to join the challenge, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about competition sewing, but I was really excited about the challenge of sewing for themes and experiencing this sort of unique journey with 5 other people, so I totally said YES! I also loved the idea that Abigail and I could do this together. She revels in the fact that she has a say in all the things I sew for her, so this was a great opportunity for us to make some great memories together.
WEEK 1 theme is, Circus! Now, again…if you’re with me on social media, you know just how serendipitous this felt! Abigail, my 6 year old, has been obsessed with The Greatest Showman movie, particularly Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum for months! Examples HERE and HERE! At first…I thought it was a crush…but it’s so much more than that, she not only likes him, SHE WANTS TO BE HIM!
Along with our theme comes a little blurb to help guide us, and our Circus blurb read:
Run away and join the circus? – you bet! From the sawdust beneath the ringmaster’s boots to the glittering eye of the tiger, the details of the big top inspire awe and strike wonder. This week, embody the joy of the circus experience in your designs.
I knew fully well she would insist on a full on cosplay of his costume, and I knew that doing that wouldn’t line up with the guidelines, and hints of the challenge because our outfits are meant to be “inspired by” outfits and not costumes…but have you met my daughter? She wears her spiderman costume to Disneyland and the supermarket and pretty much every where. Costumes are just regular outfits to her, needless to say my attempt at differentiating the two fell on deaf ears. Not wanting to be disqualified in the first round because of this, I attempted to have a conversation with her, and it went like this:
Me: Hey Abbie, so if you could run away and join the circus, what would you be?”
Her: That’s easy, the ringmaster of course! *shimmies shoulders*
Me: Okay okay…but think of the magic and all the amazing things the other people in the circus do! The acrobats are cool, ohhhh and the lion tamer!”
Her: Yeah, but I would be the ringmaster!
Me: Okay, what if the ringmaster was not an option…what then?
Her: *looks at me with disgust on her face*…then nothing.
Me: C’mon…circus is our first theme for the challenge, and we have to decide on an outfit…*and then I proceed to read her the blurb*.
Me: Sweetie, that’s gonna be a costume, not an outfit. Think of the circus and think of magic, what comes to your mind?
Her: Ringmaster. The Ringmaster IS MAGIC. The Ringmaster brings everyone together. That’s magic mom.
Guys, I literally had nothing else to say….how could I say no to that reasoning??! So I went with it. When I do cosplays, I try to make them as close to the possible outfit in color, shape and form…but I decided to go a little lax with this one, and still play within the guidelines of the challenge with a little ingenuity! As you know, I’m really big on upcycling and cost effective fabric purchases, and with my Upcycling Challenge happening simultaneously, its no surprise this entire outfit is upcycled! TOTAL COST: $24 including the Michael Miller Fabrics Cotton Couture solid black fabric used for the jacket lining and iron on appliques on sleeves.
Without further ado, I present to you THE GREATEST SHOW GIRL OUTFIT.
Okay now, let’s break down the pieces of the outfit starting with:
1. THE COAT
The coat is a combination of the original red coat and the sequined dress and it started from the base of the Phresh Blazer from Winter Wear Designs. It took almost a week, and about 5 muslins total until I was happy with the finish result.
Since this was an upcycle I had to spend time ripping out the seams of the original coat too so I could use the fabric pieces. And then, I ripped out the seams of the final muslin and used those fabric pieces as my pattern blocks.
My modifications to the Phresh Blazer are listed below:
- shorten mandarin collar
- reshape and lengthen front pieces and add curved hem
- reshape and draft new lapel
- eliminate back middle seam
- extend back pieces and add curved hem
- shape tails
- Use straight sleeve option
- Cut sleeve shorter to accommodate black cuff
Small tidbits to note about the jacket: 1. It is fully lined. 2. Golden Iron on applique is from HERE.
3. I was able to use the original gold buttons on the front and back of new jacket and also on the “VEST” ….now let’s talk about this “VEST”…
2. THE “VEST” aka SUSPENDER BIB
Okay, so its summer, and its hot, and I knew adding a vest to this combo would have probably been a little uncomfortable for her, so I had to think outside the box here. I decided to create a faux vest, buy adding a detachable bib and suspenders! This was completely self drafted and took about 3 tries to get the right coverage and look. The gold trim I took from our Christmas decorations box…I figured I have a couple months to replace them. lol It’s cute, and functional right?! You can simply attach the bib with buttons on the front of the pants and suspender clips on the back. Think of all the possible cute bib attachments you could make!
Now let’s talk pants!
3. SEQUINED PANEL PANTS
Since I was using the rest of the sequins fabric and the solid black knit from the original dress, I wanted the pants to have NO side seams, so this pants pattern is actually the underpants pattern from my Spirited Dress PDF Pattern with a couple modifications:
- Redrafted to add length
Redrafted to include inner leg panels. I knew the sequins would probably feel a little uncomfortable between the legs so I added inner leg panels for comfort.
- Added a flat front to accommodate button placement. Seriously how cute are those buttons standing along without the bib tho?
Small tidbits to note about the pants:
1. I used bias tape to hem the pants and I topstitched the seams areas making sure to sandwich the sequins in between the two layers of the pants so it wouldn’t be scratchy. Both finishes used primarily for comfort because who wants to wear scratchy pants right?
And now that leaves us with the final piece…
4. THE TOP
The top is upcycled from one of her dad’s white shirts using the base of the Brielle Blouse by Rebecca Page Patterns. Now I knew I wanted to keep the original collar, original button placket and possibly the hem shape to make it more of a tunic instead of a short top. I also needed to add neck ties. This one took 2 muslins to perfect.
Listed below are my modifications:
- I reshaped the arms to show off more of her shoulder
- Shaped the bottom hems to the original shape of the shirt
- Instead of 10 pleats on the front, I did 5, extending the middle pleat slightly further than the others
- Instead of a keyhole back closure I used the original neck cuff of the shirt, that allowed me to use the original front button placket of the shirt as the back for the new top.
- Added ties into the side seams of the neck cuff matching up with shoulder seams
This makes it so you can tie a bow to the front, side or back! (All pictured above!)
And there you have it guys! That’s my breakdown of all four pieces! I admit that I grossly underestimated how challenging this would be, but I gotta tell you, IT WAS ABSOLUTELY TOTALLY WORTH IT for the reaction I got from her! Below are some action shots:
Here’s she’s turning on The Greatest Showman sound track on Shaun’s phone so she can BE the Greatest Show girl….I mean have you ever seen a cheesier smile? lol
This Lion Brooch was the cherry on the cake for her outfit! (Thank you cousin Tiffany!)
After our photoshoot she’s literally worn this outfit everywhere…
at her End of Year Award Ceremony at School (the jacket):
to the park…and the list goes on….lol – In her words, “It’s the bestest best thing you’ve ever made for me mommy!” …so I already feel like a winner! lol
Well that’s it for my Circus look for Week 1 of Project Run and Play! I hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed sewing it and sharing it with you! Please be sure to head on over to Project Run and Play HERE to vote for your favorite look! The other contestants are amazing and have done an amazing job bring their circus looks to life! Go check them out and vote for your favorite!!
Hopefully I get to share with you my second look next week! Or until my next blog post, take care and talk to you soon! xoxo