Project Run & Play Week 4: Signature Style

The Sew and Tell Project team is absolutely thrilled to have won Week 3 with Emily’s amazing Zorro ensemble and make it to the 4th and final round of Project Run & Play. We have loved connecting with the other contestants, challenging ourselves, and working to bring great new ideas and inspiration to our little corner of blog land. Make sure you visit Project Run & Play right now to vote! Voting closes on Thursday October 6th at 8 PM MST.

I’m so excited it’s my turn to share a look on behalf of Sew and Tell Project! I knew I really wanted to focus on Signature Style for my oldest daughter if we made it to the final round. Part of me thought it would be a bit less of a challenge to have an “open-ended” category, but I discovered that it really took a lot of planning, brainstorming, and inspiration to hone in on a wearable, fashionable, and flattering look for my 9.5 year old daughter.  She is no longer a little girl, but not quite a tween either. I also struggle with a considerable amount of fit issues for her because she still has a kid’s undeveloped shape on a growing tween frame (extra height, broadening shoulders, but narrow waist and chest). I wanted to challenge myself to a high level of technical sewing and detail. I created this to be a complete and special outfit for my daughter who loves comfortable fashion.


I ultimately drew my inspiration for the entire look from a print called Nature Hike designed by Teagan White for Birch Fabrics.  The image of the young girl hiking with forest creatures is cute without being cartoonish. Because the scale of the print is fairly large, I took care to not overuse it so it wouldn’t overwhelm my daughter’s frame.




For my Big Miss, I wanted to focus on the details of her look but make it wearable, fit her style, and suit her frame. I wanted something that would be age-appropriate, but still have the delicate details that I appreciate in my own clothing – the details that make an outfit go from “so-so” to stunning. I found this raglan on Zulily as inspiration to start.


Inspiration from Zulily


I took the Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop Flutterby Top and Dress as the base for my look and adjusted the pattern piece to have triangles at the side. I had to add seam allowance and adjust my points to make them line up properly. I took care to make sure that the subtle curved hem wasn’t lost in the process as well. Since Birch knit is nice and thick, I used a light drapey sweater knit in coral for my upper sleeve flutter and for the triangles. I also used vintage lace trim to add a pop of detail along the triangle seam.





Since I used the shirt as the starting point for the palette for our signature look, I needed to get creative about the other colors in my look. I chose to use a deeper version of one of the 2016 Pantone Colors of the year (Rose Quartz).  I wanted her to have a moto jacket but with delicate features, and the dusty rose quartz color provides a feminine neutral for her wardrobe.




I have only made zip-up jackets for myself and for my husband so I had to search for a pattern as a base for my look. I found the Moto Jacket by Jennuine Design to be a detailed challenge for myself (first time doing welt pockets!) and I added a surprise twist to kick the style up a notch! I used a method I learned making a partial zip pullover to install a closed gold fashion zip up the bottom of the back seam and adjusted the lining accordingly. I wanted her to have an optional peek-a-boo back to show off the shirt and make the look “edgy feminine.”





One of my favorite things about this jacket is its wearable style. The outer body fabric is a bottomweight twill purchased in store at Jo-Ann Fabrics. It is lined with ivory ponte also from JoAnn’s. The sleeves, collar, and welts were made with organic rib knit by Birch fabrics. The result is that the jacket has the edgy style I was going for, but feels like a soft tee on the inside providing ultimate comfort and style for a girl on the go.




For the pants, I took the Emilya’s Skinny Pants pattern from Simple Life Pattern Company. I made my usual adjustments to lengthen the rise and inseam for my girl, and I also stabilized knit Nature Hike scraps to use for the pocket pieces in this woven pants pattern. I wanted the pants to subtly connect to the gold tones in the jacket and the purse, so I installed thin gold piping in the side seams. My main fabric was a surprisingly soft medium-weight denim that I picked up at a Wal-Mart when traveling for my daughter’s basketball tourney last spring.




Next I am so excited to share with you my daughter’s new cross-body bag. She has recently started carrying an old bag of mine to carry her comb for her crazy hair, a journal, her eReader, and some cash. The bag however is too small for her wallet so it was time for an upgrade. I had a vision in my head of a bag that could be sewn with rectangular pieces, lined, and zipped open on both ends.




While I came up with the general design myself when creating the signature look, I did use the zippered lining tutorial from Sweet Verbena for installing the lining. The bag then folds up and remains closed with two strong magnetic snaps by Dritz. While the design is fairly simple, I spent a long time trying to decide on dimensions because I wanted it to be roomy for her, but not overwhelm her frame.  I also spent a long time figuring out construction because I am not very familiar with sewing purses.




The bag’s outer is made from brown canvas from Hobby Lobby and the lining is a leftover cut of a mustard print from Cotton + Steel. I also used the lining material to make an accent colored pencil pocket that is accessible from in between the zippered pockets when the bag is unsnapped. I used some hardware, strap webbing, and suede scraps in my stash to provide additional detail. This was also my first time using my Cricut to apply heat transfer vinyl. I designed the “Take a Hike” HTV design in Cricut Design Space. I wanted it to be a little cheeky but also tie into the theme from her shirt. One of my favorite details of the bag is the interior lace trim I used in place of twill tape. I love little upscale details that really make this a signature style.




Since Signature Style is all about the details, I used scraps of my Birch Rib knit and some more vintage trim to make boot cuffs. Over the summer, I was given a large stash of vintage sewing notions. I selected a vintage crochet edge trim for the boot cuffs. The boot cuffs were made-to-measure based on my daughter’s calf measurements – 2″. Before sewing them into a finished tube, I applied the woven trim but stretched the rib moderately as I attached so the trim would ruffle and also slide up over the calf. I will be sharing a tutorial to create your own sometime in the next month or so.



Finally, I wanted something to tie her whole look together. My daughter is Queen of the Wavy and Unruly Bob Cut at the moment. Unfortunately, most stylish hair accessories are either on FOE headbands that slip in her hair, or on alligator clips. My daughter’s hair is very thick so I used a metal French barrette. I covered the metal base with gold glitter FOE for softness. I then stabilized a few different shades of pink and green wool felt with Heat n Bond Ultra Hold. I cut a small assortment of floral pieces on my felt sheets so I could mix and match and arrange until I created a hair piece that would be “tween-appropriate” and coordinate well with her outfit.


My daughter couldn’t wait until I said she could now go ahead and wear all the clothes after we were done with all the photos this weekend. Thank you for following along with us during Season 12 of Project Run and Play!

Make sure you head on over to Project Run and Play today and vote!









  1. Jess DeWit | 4th Oct 16

    This whole look is absolutely gorgeous! My girls would wear this all in a heartbeat. I especially really like the back zipper detail on the jacket.

  2. Felicia | 4th Oct 16

    Eleri, this blows me away!! I love everything about it!

  3. Janet Murry | 4th Oct 16

    Great job – love the photo of her laughing at the falling leaves!

  4. Katy McKinley | 5th Oct 16

    I loved that jacket already. And then bam! the back zipper. So gorgeous! The photos you took are so sweet and I love that soft, feminine look this whole piece has. You did awesome!!

  5. Beautiful in Blithe - with tote tutorial! - The Sew and Tell Project | 23rd Jan 17

    […] for you is a mini-tutorial on the canvas purse I made for my Middle Miss. You may remember during Project Run and Play, I designed a small foldable, two-pocket purse to hold gel pens and a sketchbook. Today, I am […]

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