Friday, September 4, 2015

Project Runway At Home Challenge - Week 1

It’s Project Runway Season! 

I don’t normally watch the show because the stress and mess are too much for me.  I just go online to see the finished products for each show (yea, I’m a cheater. Lol).  But this year, me and a friend decided to join the Project Runway At Home Challenges.

Here’s the timeline for each week:
Thursday: watch the episode of Project Runway in the evening
Friday:  Challenge begins
Saturday: Post a sketch and unfinished work on Instagram by 10am
Sunday: Post an image of the finished product by 6pm

WHEW! Yes, by the end of it all, I felt completed detached from the world.  But it was nice to be completely absorbed in something to distract you from reality for a while.

The first challenge was to show your aesthetic.  Who are you?  What are you about as a designer/seamstress?

My aesthetic???

I am Plus Size.
I am not Trendy because I am too busy being the Best Me I can be.
I am Conservative yet Edgy with Class and Sophistication.

When I heard of this challenge, I knew exactly what would represent me.  I had an idea for a dress last year (yes, LAST summer).  I even bought the fabric for said dress….yes, I was sitting on some fabric and an idea for over a year.  I played around with some muslin to get the idea of what I needed to do to construct this image but I was still too afraid to cut into my wine colored ponte fabric.  And you're right, the fabric in the picture is NOT wine colored ponte.   No I didn't photoshop the color out.  This was some fabric I was willing to experiment with.

I searched for motorcycle jacket patterns to find something with the side zipper.  But what I came across was just not it.  So, I thought I’d just add a zipper in a princess seam…, because the seam goes to the underarm and I want my zipper to go higher than that.  Then…..going through my pattern “inventory” I came across this.

Perfect seam placement for me to play with!!

I cut the pattern out slightly bigger than my measurements to give me room to cut/adjust.  I believe there was still too much room in the bust area but I was pressed for time and I didn’t have time to grow a bigger cup (wink).

So for the top of my dress, I used these pattern pieces.  I cut enough length to reach just below my waistline.  Instead of just cutting one FRONT piece on the fold, I cut four.  I’ll explain why shortly.  I also used a collar pattern piece from McCalls 5145 and improvised on the collar band (I have no idea where that piece is so I just winged it).  The waistband is just an extra wide band that I pleated. I find that full circle skirts adds more  fabric around my waist than I like.  The ¾ circle skirt is smooth without fitting while still some nice draping, fullness and flow.  So I decided to use this as the bottom of my dress.

Now….why did I cut four pieces of the front?  Well, I knew I wanted to install a zipper between the FRONT and the FRONT SIDE seam.  But when I unzip the seam, I would need a panel underneath to 1-hide my girls and 2-form its own lapel.  So there’s 2.  Now, in order to form a proper lapel, I need some interfacing and a facing fabric.  The facing fabric also allows me to close in (hide) the zipper tape on the lapel so it doesn’t show once I unzip the side seam and flip the lapel over.  Hence, the remaining 2 FRONT pieces for a grand total of 4. I started with connecting one of each piece together.

Then attached the collar band and collar as a typical collar is added. 
Added an interfacing to the two FRONT pieces and attached them to the front.  At this point, I did some fitting before I added the zipper.

Using a standard zipper, I installed one side into the left side seam, and the other side into the right jacket edge.  A bit more fitting, then I added the pleated waistband.  Created a ¾ circle skirt (tutorial here) and attached it to the waistband underneath the bottom pleat so the seam is hidden.

Sounds easy????  Well, it didn’t seam that way when I had only 2 days to work on this.  LOL  However, I am OH SO PROUD of myself for this one.  I overcame my fear, I was quick with thinking about construction, piecing and brought my vision from a year ago into reality.  I plan on making a fall jacket like this.  Not sure if I will keep the pleated waist band…you never know!  Whenever I do make this style over, I will take more images throughout construction and update this blog post.  Due to time constraints was I unable to.  My apologies.  But I just had to share!!!!


  1. You did a wonderful job... You better work those poses...

  2. I just found your blog through one of my many FB Sewing groups. I will be following your blog. I love your creativity. You did a great job quickly on this dress.

    1. Thanks! I hope to do more posting this year. Stay tuned and I hope you enjoy!