TOP STITCHER: Season 1 -- April Showers Bring May Flowers

Yay!!! I am so excited to share my Top Stitcher: Season 1 entry with you today!!  I love hacking patterns to get exactly what I want and most of the time, it's pretty painless.

This was not one of those painless times.

But, as Tim Gunn (Project Runway) would say - Make it work.  As the deadline was looming, I was actually near tears -- I had no outfit and everything I was trying was ending in disaster.  For real.

Broken needles, needle pricks, losing pieces. sooooo much seam ripping.... you name it, I likely experienced it. HA!

But I foraged through and here I am.  So let's dive in!

If you missed it, I was given a prompt by the series founder (Becca DuVal of Free Notion) which gave us a foundation to build upon.

Prompt: April Showers

"April Showers bring May flowers" - but why wait a month for sunshine and blooming gardens to look fabulous?? Your child will be the most fashionable puddle-jumper there is when you hack two or more apparel* patterns to create a full rainy day ensemble. *non-outerwear patterns only - let's really challenge ourselves! 

Remember! As a Hacker contestant, your objective is to find the untapped potential in a pattern, and use it as your blank canvas to paint your masterpiece upon.

 This coat, surprisingly, came together exactly how I envisioned it.  Two years ago, I had the notion I'd sew the girls raincoats .. lol (I was apparently extremely confident/gung ho as a brand new seamstress) and well, there sat the laminate, rolled up, in a box, in the corner of my bedroom.  The laminate (Michael Miller Wide Laminate Quarter Dot Aqua) is sadly out of print. but finally got used!!!

Since I couldn't use any outerwear patterns, I had to get creative.  As I was perusing Pinterest, I came across this doll and knew that I had to make this coat!!  The structure of it, reminded me of both the Georgia Vintage (Cottage Mama) and Best Dressed Girl (Little Lizard King).

From the Georgia Vintage, I used the bodice, bodice overlay and the collar (in a size 3 which is larger than she measures, but a coat is meant to be a bit oversized).  Of course, I had to alter the pieces a bit -- I eliminated the buttons in the back and added an additional bodice overlay in its place.  I had to create an overlap in the front.  It's currently about a 2" overlap, but I purposely left the buttons off the the coat can grow with my daughter or if she has extra layers on in the fall.  As she gets bigger, I can lessen the overlap as needed.  I also rounded the collar a bit on the end so I could trim it in piping and also added a portion in the back so it would be one piece.

From the Best Dressed Girl, I needed sleeves, of course and the bodice ruffle and center side sashes were perfect!  I did widen the sleeves just slightly because I wanted them to be slightly loose with a slight gather right at the cap.  I sewed the belt right into the seams in the back where the ruffle comes down toward the waist.

Belt sewn into the ruffle seams

Of course, I had to add some details.... am I right?!

My daughter hangs her coat up at preschool so I added a little hanging loop.  I also added in my shop label and hand sewed an appliqued daisy (looks a bit nicer than her last name written quickly in Sharpie.)

I opted to line only the bodice portion.  In the week leading up to this, we had temps in the 80s already and I knew a fully lined coat would get super hot.

My plan for this portion of my entry didn't start out like this..... at all.  But, my original concept was not panning out, despite many hours of double row topstitching, ripping out stitches, etc.   The problem was, the "May Flowers" portion was this OOP Michael Miller Plain Jane Lil Daisy which I had originally ordered to make myself a purse.  Like a ninny, I ordered just 1/2 yard (2 years ago) and I had already cut into it for my original outfit.

In the end, I ended up hacking the Girls Ruffle Flip Skirt by Pattern Emporium (part of my original plan) and the Everyday Play Skirt by Little Lizard King.

I originally had just the top two tiers (using the tiers from the Girls Ruffle Flip Skirt), but added a 3rd tier with my leftover scraps to add length..  I also lengthened the waist of the Everyday Play Skirt and then folded it over in styling.  To add to the flower theme, I added cutouts to the aqua layers to mimic daisy petals.  Gathering 3 layers onto a knit waistband proved to be a bit of a challenge... especially when you realized halfway through attaching that I was sewing it inside out.  Whoops!

First time I actually let her play in the rain.... too bad she didn't enjoy herself. HA!

I had plans to also sew a tee, refashion an umbrella, add matching undies.... you know, the whole nine yards but sadly spent so much time working on my original plan that I ran out of time.  So,  in order to make the deadline, I grabbed a pair of leggings and a plain white tee, added a couple matching buttons and called it complete.  I also sewed up a couple of quick bows included in the Candy Castle Princess Dress Pattern.

No rain outfit is complete without an umbrella and rain boots.  I found an adorable ladybug umbrella at our local children's resale shop and scored boots from KMart for a great price.  I ordered vinyl monograms in an aqua glitter from Etsy (CaitlynMcDuffie's shop) --- so adorable.  Mother Nature smiled down on me and gave me rain exactly long enough for a photo shoot!

If you haven't yet, please, stop over at Pattern Revolution and score my entry -- it's a star-rating system (5 stars is the highest you can earn) and is evaluated in Technique, Creativity and Presentation.  While you're there, check out my competitor Amy's look!!!

Leave a comment and tell me which part is your favorite!

Thanks for stopping by!!!

2 comments on "TOP STITCHER: Season 1 -- April Showers Bring May Flowers"
  1. You constantly blow me away with not only your amazing sewing, but your amazing photography as well, Kari! Gorgeous as always :)


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