The most exciting thing that you can say to a creative person is “you have free rein”! But, as I found this week, it can also be paralysing. So many ideas flooded in to my head that I couldn’t focus, had trouble choosing what to do and then questioned myself over and over again. I went back to the brief and re-read it. The combination of “your own unique style” and “showcase your skill set” kind of threw me. You see as a pattern designer my skill set lies in creating patterns that appeal to a wide range of personal styles. Every time I design a pattern I think of how it would look in classic florals, vibrant abstract prints, bold solids and all the other incredibly varied fabrics out there for us to enjoy! I think of whether it will appeal to each generation of creators that purchase my patterns and how they might use it. Doing this for so many years, always considering OTHER people’s personal styles, I guess I lost sight of what exactly is MY OWN personal style is.
After a lot of self reflection I realised that my person style does not revolved around a particular “theme” of fabric but rather a colour palette and a feelings. Whenever I sew I want the creations to be playful and fun, but also give the wearer a feeling of being relaxed and confident. I love muted earth tones and will almost always choose pink and blue over all other colours! Linen and lace are two of my biggest loves so of course they needed to play a big part in this week’s look.
With all of this in mind I began sketching some ideas and as I did I started to feel a real vacation vibe coming off the page. The colours reminded me of images I have seen of the island of Santorini where the cliffs are dotted with colourful houses between the whitewashed buildings. This pretty colour palette of neutral bone, blush pink, red ochre and dusty blue became the base of my look for week 4.
Our family loves to travel, so we decided to draw inspiration from a trip to the Greek Isles for this “Escape to Santorini” collection. The idea of the set is that each of my girls has a “casual” look and a “dressy” look. We all love the idea of sitting by the pool overlooking the Aegean Sea or wandering the winding streets of Oia, so the first set is all about keeping it cool and casual.
Asali is wearing a little romper created using the soon-to-be-released Santorini Romper pattern with a slight twist. I wanted to add a little ‘wow’ to the romper with lace insets so I sliced the romper horizontally on the front (just below the button placket) to add the lace. I then added another lace inset vertically on the back of the romper and finished the back neckline with bias to enclose the top of the lace and add stability to that edge. There are then two more little pieces of lace on each side leg just above the hem. This romper is made with a combination of Robert Kaufman Chambray and beautiful soft linen from The Fabric Store.
Isla’s daytime look is a fabulous little tie front dress that she helped me to design. Inspired by the tie front beachwear popular in the 1940’s, Isla wanted a dress that was a little more “grown up” with a slightly tailored look but also very comfortable and easy to wear. She drew a few sketches for me and after a bit of too-ing and fro-ing we agreed on this sweet design. We drew inspiration from Santorini’s minimalist white architecture when drafting this dress with simple, elegant lines. The little hole at the front is reminiscent of the small peep hole windows in the whitewashed buidings of Oia. The 4 crisp knife pleats on each side of the button placket are taken from the cube buildings stepping down the cliff side and the full button front adds a finishing touch to the tailored look that we wanted for this little holiday dress. To carry on the lace theme, I also added lace to this outfit in the straps, under the bodice and a lace inset just above the hem. I love that the design on this lace looks a little like a Greek tile pattern. The fabric for this dress is a lovely Japanese poplin from Spotlight.
Of course when you’re travelling in Santorini there is going to be plenty of alfresco dining. I am imagining watching the iconic sunset in Oia while enjoying a gourmet dinner overlooking the ocean. You get the vibe I’m going for? Santorini summer nights out call for a breezy romantic style. The girls needed dresses with a bit of movement and definitely a little extra length for twirling through the cobbled lanes.
Asali’s sunset dress uses a lovely red ochre linen from The Fabric Store combined with a sweet vintage style floral from Liberty London Fabrics. I carried on the lace theme by adding some sweet little pleats to the front of the bodice along with a simple line of vertical lace. I am a closet embroidered linen horder from way back so I rummaged through my collection and found this gorgeous little piece that matched the Liberty floral PERFECTLY! This became the feature of Asali’s bodice. The dress pattern is the Tadah Festival Dress and it is such a fun dress to sew (and she tells me it is very fun to wear too!) with its full circle skirt and open back, I just love it! Instead of the little bow tied on the back (which is in the pattern) I decided to use a small rose gold clasp instead.
Isla’s evening dress is again following more of a classic, romantic look than the day dress. This pattern is one from the Tadah vault! Drafted several years ago and never released – it is a princess line dress with a lovely flow to it. The simple lines lend themselves to embellishments so we decided to add some lace insets in the middle panel at waist height and subtle flounce sleeves. As I mentioned above, I am a lover of vintage embroidery and I wanted to add some embroidery to this dress too. However Isla is a tween and she tells me that floral embroidery is not “cool” for her age group, so I decided to create my own embroidered panel for the top of this dress. The embroidery is based on the “Nature Girl” design by A.Fera Handmade (on Etsy). It was hours of work but I absolutely LOVE how it turned out!
Isla’s dress is finished with waist ties and a low ‘V’ back with full length button fastening.
After all of this planning and dreaming about our trip to Santorini we couldn’t quite squeeze in a trip over there for photos, but we did manage to find an amazing Santorini-esque rooftop pool in Sydney for a staycation!
Thank you so much for all of the support and encouragement during this season of Project Run & Play. We have had a fabulous time being part of the fun and would like to thank the organisers for all of their hard work. Also a huge congratulations and good luck to our fellow finalists!
If you love what we created this week it would be AMAZING if you could go over and give us a VOTE on the Project Run and Play blog. Voting closes lunchtime Friday (Sydney time) and the winners are announced not long after that .. EEP!
Here is the link to vote http://www.projectrunplay.com/
Comments will be approved before showing up.