Tuesday, March 7, 2017

PRP: It's all about that place

Another season of Project Run and Play is here, and as usual I'm happy to sew along! I love having a theme to think about and force me to think creatively. 

This week the theme is "All about that place: Show us where you would like to travel to, with this destination-inspired outfit for your child."

I immediately knew what I wanted to make. I live in the US now, but I grew up in France. We moved to the states when I was 15 years old and I haven't been back since. How I would love to take my kids to see the country of my childhood someday!

I'm sure that fashion has changed in France since I lived there. We moved back 17 years ago and it's safe to say that fashion has changed a lot in the United States in almost two decades. I'm sure France has changed as well. 

I'm basing my idea for an outfit based on what I remember during my younger years and on what fashion rules were "back in the day." Would she fit in there wearing this outfit? I would like to think so, but I'm not 100% sure. But I do know that this outfit would hold sentimental value to me if my daughter wore it walking the streets of my childhood, the streets of Cherbourg specifically. 

First off, the pants are designed after an actual pair of pants I wore a lot of in middle school and high school. I still happened to have them tucked in a box in the attic along with other clothes that I just haven't been able to fit in since my last baby. They are a pair of grey suiting wide leg pants. 

Sorry for the terrible cell phone picture, but here they are, a pair of pants circa 1999 from France:

I actually thought about cutting up the actual pants to make a smaller pair for Kylie, my oldest. But I just couldn't cut into them. I'm usually not very sentimental over clothes, but this is one of the few clothing items left from my time overseas. Back in the attic they will go. 

I bought some grey suiting fabric at Joann and it matched almost perfectly! I used the Summer Caye pattern from Love Notions (aff. link) to make a flowy wide leg pair of pants. I have blogged about the Summer Caye pattern here before if you want to see more inspiration pictures. I made Kylie lots of shorts from this pattern last summer and will do the same this year, it's definitely a well loved pattern here. 

The pants turned out great!

Even though my original pants didn't have pockets, I went ahead and added the ones that come in the pattern. Because pockets. 

My original pants had a small cuff and I took that idea and ran with it. I made the cuffs on the pants extra chunky and I kind of love it. The pattern does include cuffs for the shorts but not for the pants. Although it would be easy to add the cuffs to the pants the way it's done for the shorts, I did them a different way. I actually copied the way the cuffs were sewn on my original pair of pants. It was a really cool technique, but for the sake of length in this blog post, I will share how I did the cuffs in a different post soon. 

I remember wearing a lot of dressier pants when I was in France. For play, I would wear bicycle shorts or leggings, but also I wore nice pants. Although I lived in France, I was American and we would visit the US from time to time, which also influenced my fashion choices. When I would wear my jeans though, I would get playfully teased at school for being a stereotypical American wearing jeans. 

Also influenced by American culture, I dyed my hair blonde in 9th grade and I was told by my french friends that red was a much better color for dying your hair. Why would I want to make it blonde?

Another thing I remember about my fashion "clashing" with my french friends was something my friend told me about my (American) brown leather jacket. A lot of French friends had leather jackets too, but they were all black. I still remember the words "Mais le marron c'est triste" coming out of one of my friends' mouths, meaning "But brown is sad." I didn't see it that way, I loved my brown leather jacket. Funny how color can be perceived differently in other cultures. 

So we have the pants covered but what about the top? I wanted to recreate an orange sweater I remember having, but I had a hard time finding orange sweater knit. Sweaters were a big part of my wardrobe, especially since we were in Northern France. 

In the winter, I would sometimes wear multiple sweaters in layers, I was always cold. One of my more blunt french teachers asked if I had gained weight at the beginning of winter one year. Nope, Mrs. teacher, I am just wearing four heavy sweaters at once. No big deal. 

This particular orange sweater was my favorite, but since I couldn't recreate it, I decided to stick with a warm color and go with red. I had some red ponte in my stash, so no more fabric hunting. 

I am currently testing a new dress from Love Notions that has a boatneck option. I decided to use that pattern, but turn it into a shirt. I slimmed down the sides a little as the dress is more of an A line, but that was pretty much the only change besides the length obviously. I will have more pictures to share of the new dress pattern when it releases later this week. 

The boatneck back overlaps over the shoulder and is finished off by decorative buttons. 

Kylie currently has a streak of blue hair. It's not red, but I'm sure the French would forgive her. Plus, I think it really suits her. 

Hopefully one day, we will be able to make the trip over there. I would love to see how much fashion has changed, but most of all I just want to a meringue from a street vendor. Ok, maybe a few meringues and an eclair or two. Maybe some day!


  1. The pants are perfect!! I really love the buttons on the sweater, too.

  2. I enjoyed your trip down memory lane! And her outfit looks timelessly stylish to me. Nice job!

  3. It was fun to read about your American/French fashion situations! The pants are beautiful and the sweater is the perfect accompaniment!

  4. What a fun and sentimental outfit!