This week, I’m serving as guest judge over at Project Run & Play. If you haven’t been following along, Project Run & Play is an elimination competition whose contestants design children’s clothing each week according to a theme, with the winners heading to the next round the following week until finally there is a winner! The ideas and the execution over there are really stellar, and what I like best is the inspiration I get from seeing how other folks who sew approach a theme and a challenge, and what interpretation they bring to their projects. I pick up ideas for techniques and colors and how to put garments together in ways that fit an over-arching idea, which is fun and asks me to step outside of my usual go-t0 patterns.
This week, though, I think the theme is pretty challenging. Honestly, I really do. Holiday wear is one thing–many of us jump straight to Christmas party dresses and that’s it. But FALL-INSPIRED holiday wear? That’s tougher. Picking’s are pretty slim in the fall holiday sewing-and-tutorial department–just a little Googling will tell you that. Those fall holidays get such short shrift, as far as I’m concerned, and I think Thanksgiving is THE under-rated holiday of the calendar. So coming up with something that’s a holiday outfit but fall-themed is harder for me.
My first thought is something for the holiday table, like Lucy’s Thanksgiving Dress (via Flickr). I love the idea of making outfits for the children to wear to the Thanksgiving table, something to mark that day as special. So I’m wondering how many of this week’s contestants will interpret the challenge as a garment with a formal-dinner-but-not-frilly-party flair? I did my own version, years ago, with moderate success, but I think my main theme then was “corn.”
Or what about a play outfit, like this one from Mud Pie Baby ? Granted, this is a to-purchase and not a to-sew ensemble, but I think many of us could pull off applique holiday tees faster than a whole fancy outfit? Maybe? Of course, the challenge there is to avoid the trite and overdone appliques, and really reach for something clever and unique. That’s always my struggle–I don’t want anything too cutesy or kitschy, but that doesn’t leave many shapes left that are (1) fall themed and (2) easily appliqued.
My instinct would absolutely be to choose a classic pattern, like this download from Lily Bird Studio, and adapt it to the holiday through fabric selection and color and trim. I love a simple, clean line on children, and have a zillion prints in my stash that could be used to accent something like this and make it more holiday-friendly. The secret: a little is enough, so maybe just a light hand on this one.
What about the rest of you? How would you tackle the theme “fall-inspired holiday wear”? I’ll be over at Project Run & Play later this week to judge the entries–take some notes for me!