Project Run & Play Week 2: I’m an Autumn!

I was excited when I found out that autumn was the theme for the second week of competition in Project Run + Play. It’s my favorite time of year! I was able to mix some of my very favorite elements into a stylish and super fun outfit for my tween daughter. Tweens are so hard to sew for. They’re picky, for one, and have developed their own sense of style. In addition, this age category, somewhere in between a girl’s and a woman’s shape, is so underserved by pattern designers. Patterns don’t fit well and are often either too old or too young in style. I’ve become pretty adept at modifying patterns to fit better, and definitely at choosing patterns that will suit her for both size and sensitivity. Even though I sometimes have to use adult patterns, she’s still my baby, and she still loves the things her mama makes her.


About the time I started thinking about the direction I wanted to take for this outfit, my custom order from Backstitch Fabrics came in. When I saw this Harry Potter panel, I knew right away what to do. Not only are the colors perfect for an autumn theme, but Harry Potter and Hogwarts School always makes me think of autumn. With that inspiration, I knew I wanted to do an outfit reminiscent of a Hogwart’s  uniform, but with a Muggle twist. I decided on a structured skirt and blazer; I used pleated plaid for the skirt and a luscious embossed velvet for the blazer. I decided to lighten up the outfit by turning the panel into a color blocked raglan t-shirt.


I based the raglan on the Rowan Raglan Top, Tunic, and Dress by Made for Mermaids. I altered the neckline to be a slight V, and color blocked the body. The stripes on the panel were all at the top, but I decided I preferred a thin stripe at the top and a thicker set at the bottom, so I cut and pasted. I added a few pieces of yellow interlock to fill out the panel to the size needed for the shirt front. I used a dark red interlock for the sleeves, sleeve cuffs, and neck binding. My favorite detail on this shirt, though, is the stripes I added to the sleeves.


Using the sleeve pattern piece, I carefully cut 1″ strips of yellow interlock to fit along the sleeve where I wanted them, in this case, just above the bottom cuff and just below the armpit. I used some washaway hem tape to hold them in place while I top stitched them on (be sure to check that they’ll line up at the sleeve seam before you top stitch), and then was able to sew the shirt as normal, using my modified panel and sleeves. I’ve made a lot of raglans, but this is definitely my favorite.


I self drafted the skirt using a brushed cotton plaid from JoAnn Fabrics. I couldn’t decide between box pleats or knife pleats so, after a lot of hemming and hawing, I decided to use a combination. The majority of the skirt is box pleated, but there’s a surprise panel of knife pleats in the back. I also added an invisible zipper on the side rather than an elastic waistband to keep the skirt fitted around the waist and hips.


Then there’s the blazer. Oh my goodness, this blazer! Let me tell you, it was a labor of love! I was browsing Pinterest for inspiration when I came across this Burda Style pattern. “YES!” I thought, and bought it before I thought again. After downloading it, I realized that Burda Style doesn’t add seam allowances to their pattern pieces. I figured that out by taping two pencils together with a spacer to make my preferred seam allowance, and then tracing my printed pattern pieces on to craft paper. But then I pulled up the instructions. The ENTIRE tutorial file is only three pages long, and two of the pages talk about material requirements and fitting. Yes, that’s right. The instructions for this very detailed blazer fit onto ONE 8.5×11″ sheet of paper, and there are no illustrations or pictures for reference. Oy. Ok, Genie, gird your loins and dive in!


I chose an embossed black velvet and a red satin lining, both from JoAnn Fabrics. The body of the jacket went together easily, as did the inseam pockets. But then I got to part about the buttonholes. There are more buttons on this thing than Hagrid has pets!  There are 15 buttons on this jacket, five on the lapels and five in each sleeve! I learned a new technique–bound buttonholes. A quick Google search found me several tutorials and, while definitely more complicated than a regular stitched buttonhole, they weren’t as bad as I feared. *snort* Finishing the bound buttonholes and sewing on all of the buttons took almost as long as the rest of the jacket did.

Be sure to visit Project Run + Play to cast your vote and help us stay to compete another week!

I have managed to end up with an outfit that I’m proud of AND my tween loves, so I’m going to call it a win-win. Thanks for visiting, and don’t forget…it’s leh-vee-OH-sah, not leh-vee-oh-SAH.




  1. Tami | 20th Sep 16

    Genie, that jacket!!! Such a fun, cute look and I love how much she loves it too! Amazing job!

    • MadebyGenie | 29th Sep 16

      Thank you! She can be very hard to please right now, so I’m always particularly happy when I really nail something for her. 🙂

  2. Jess DeWit | 20th Sep 16

    wow, that coat is epic! She looks so happy in the whole outfit, great job!

    • MadebyGenie | 29th Sep 16

      Thank you very much 🙂

  3. Ajaire | 20th Sep 16

    I’m so glad you made an outfit your girl loves! That skirt is very nicely done as is the jacket!

    • MadebyGenie | 29th Sep 16

      Thank you! 🙂

  4. Felicia | 20th Sep 16

    Am- MA – Zing!!!!! I could write a paragraph about how much I love this whole outfit. I’ll let me vote speak for me.

    • MadebyGenie | 29th Sep 16

      Thank you! This is definitely one of my favorite sews, too. <3

  5. Roxanne | 20th Sep 16

    Such a great tween look! I’m loving that jacket. Awesome job!

    • MadebyGenie | 29th Sep 16

      Thank you very much 🙂

  6. Deborah Devine | 20th Sep 16

    That many bound buttonholes…. yikes. Beautiful jacket made out of some gorgeous fabric.
    Deborah @ Sew Much To Give

    • MadebyGenie | 29th Sep 16

      Thank you very much! They were a challenge, that’s for sure 🙂 I love the velvet, too.

  7. Crystal D. | 20th Sep 16

    LOVE. THAT. SHIRT. This Potterhead is super jelly. If I could use Harry potter for every theme I would. Great job!

    • MadebyGenie | 29th Sep 16

      Thank you! She wants a Slytherin outfit now. I’m like…but you can’t like the bad guys!! lol 🙂

  8. Katy McKinley | 20th Sep 16

    Oh my gosh. Bless you for even wanting to tackle a pattern with no seam allowances! And then for mastering it with that jacket! Gorgeous! Though…I’ll admit, I think I love the skirt the most. Pleats and plaid and you’ve got me sold! Fabulous!

    • MadebyGenie | 29th Sep 16

      I have a soft spot for plaid, too, and this daughter usually does NOT like it; she’s homeschooled now, but spent 6 years in Catholic elementary school in…wait for it…plaid jumpers! She actually chose it for church last weekend, though. I love love love when I make them something that they love! Thank you 🙂

  9. Audrey | 21st Sep 16

    Oh wow. Just amazing job on that jacket! Of course you know the skirt is my favorite!!!

    • MadebyGenie | 29th Sep 16

      Thanks!! This skirt is my first self-drafting experience, and I’m so pleased with how it came together. 🙂

  10. inspinration | 21st Sep 16

    What a smart link! I just sewed a Potter inspired outfit, but did not notice the main colors to be perfect for this weeks theme, very well done!

    • MadebyGenie | 29th Sep 16

      Thank you. 🙂 My daughter is trying to convince me that she needs a Slytherin-themed outfit now!

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