Project Run & Play: Week 3

Wow! I can’t believe it’s the final week already! I’ve enjoyed the creative process so much and it’s been a pleasure hanging out with some other wonderfully talented designers. However, I have to admit I’m looking forward to dialling down the pressure next week!

The theme for this week is ‘Signature Style’. The driving force behind everything I design and MBJM as a whole is the idea of ‘clothing for adventure’. Adventure for children can mean so many different things and in week 1 and week 2 I shared looks for outdoor adventures – for climbing rocks, throwing leaves, paddling in streams and investigating woods. They showed the ‘run’, this week is about the ‘play’, and about imaginative adventures.

Out of everything I have ever made for my boys, the hands-down winners, the things that they reach for time and time again are the dress-ups. They adore make-believe play and being able to dress up as their favourite character takes their games to another level. Over the last year I’ve also started a fun tradition of making them outfits to match the movie whenever we go to the cinema. (Check out Buzz & Woody and Hiccup!)

However, I’m a practical person and character costumes are not often small-child-friendly. Everything these boys wear needs to be suitable for not only playing make-believe games, but also playing football, running races, dancing, going to the shops…

Which brings me to ‘Everyday Dress-Ups’. Every item in my look this week is inspired by a rather popular cold-themed movie BUT can also be used as part of an everyday outfit. Since Jack was taking his girlfriend (!) to see the movie I obviously had to include her in the fun!

Jack’s Kristoff vest began life as the Hygge but I removed the collar and changed the curve of the bottom hem to more closely reflect the original. I found the most perfect, soft wool from Minerva (who kindly sponsored this season of PR&P) but it was far to thin for my needs so I added a layer of thick batting for a squishy, quilted feel. I lined the whole thing with teddy for extra warmth. The fur trims are all removable and attach with snaps meaning Jack can snap the fur on to play then snap it off to wear everyday. His top is made using a mystery knit I’ve had in my stash for ages. It’s too thin for a regular sweatshirt but looks perfect under the vest and makes a great base layer to wear on cold days. After the joy of plush-backed sweat in week 2 Jack has firmly requested all future clothes are made from the same fabric. I always aim to please so his Kristoff trousers are made from a beautiful rust coloured sweat using the Four Seasons pattern. I added a topstitched seam at the knee and faux-leather piping along the outside leg for added interest.

Charlie’s Sven vest is a mash up of the Hygge and Woodland Wanderer. It is fully reversible with one side made from the most luxurious faux fur from Minerva and the inside is a green wool blend. I added some appliqué Christmas trees to the green side since I see this being worn a lot over the next month!

I used leather for the button loops to tie in with the piping on Jack’s trousers. I left about 5cm (2″) open along each seam down the middle of the hood to allow the addition of antlers (or in the future maybe ears for a different dress-up?!). I actually sewed some beautiful, padded, corduroy antlers but just before the photoshoot they were accidentally damaged. Dressing-up is all about using your imagination and what you have to hand so I grabbed some washable paper ‘leather’, cut out a new set and we were good to go!

We all know how much Sven loves carrots so created some using Merino craft felt. Charlie’s sweatshirt is an Adventurer Raglan. The dark grey sleeves go with the reindeer outfit well, but the contrasting lighter body make for a stylish sweatshirt when worn on its own. His trousers are also Four Seasons Joggers made using plush-backed sweat with appliquéd carrots to tie in with his character.

Lola’s Elsa outfit is basically a deconstructed Emi dress. The top is the ‘all in one’ sleeve option, sewn as a t-shirt but cut at the dress bodice length creating an almost-cropped top (fun without being too cold!). I used a gorgeous iridescent sequinned fabric and fully lined it with jersey to avoid any scratchiness. Worn on its own it suddenly becomes just a fun, sparkly top with no hint of snow queen.

Her skirt began life as the Emi circle skirt before being transformed to reflect the patterns on the bottom of Elsa’s coat. I added a white pom pom trim which always makes me think of snowballs!

Lola’s shrug was my favourite garment to create since I designed it completely from scratch. With the exception of the cuffs, the whole thing is a single piece of fabric with just one seam under each arm. I added faux fur around the edge to tie in with the snow theme. (I used so much fur this week my poor studio looked like something had died there!) I finished the whole look by hand-stitching some beautiful sequenced lace to the back.

No one could ever look at these photos and not know immediately which film they was inspired by. BUT, every piece is comfortable and can be worn on its own without looking like a costume. In the collage below Jack is wearing his jeans and hoodie from week 1 and Lola is wearing Jack’s trousers from week 2 to show how easy it is to mix the dress-ups in with everyday clothes. The possibilities really are endless! Charlie has simply mixed his reindeer outfit up and looks completely different!

Thank you so much for your support during this competition! I’ve loved the challenge and the opportunity to learn new skills (who knew Elsa braids would be something I would need to do as part of this job!).
PLEASE make sure you head on over to Project Run & Play and vote for your FINAL favourite.