The theme for Project Run & Play Week One is – Patriotic Parade!

“Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion and sense of attachment to a homeland, and a sense of alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiment. This attachment can be a combination of many different feelings relating to one’s own homeland, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects.”

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We certainly love our homeland! Our entire family of 5 were all born in Newcastle in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia. When you think of the Hunter Valley, you think of the city of Newcastle, the beaches of Port Stephens and the beautiful Hunter Valley with its vineyards, horse industry and coal mining. It is such a diverse area, but since we are all going to the beach next week for our next theme, we had to visit the beautiful Hunter Valley vineyards this week!

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The imagery that first came to my mind, was the asymmetrical patchwork patterns of the vines up and down the hills and valleys, which led me to the idea of an asymmetrical dress. I went to my stash and found this gorgeous mossy green corduroy, which I had purchased some time ago from a thrift store, and it gave me the perfect lines to work with. I drafted the bodice using the last dress I made my daughters, which was a hack of the Laguna dress from Simple Life Patterns Co. It is almost unrecognisable now after I changed the armscye shape, squared and added bodice height, narrowed the fit, particularly under the arms, lengthened the bottom of the bodice, and changed it from a centre back opening to a asymmetrical front full placket. I drafted the a-line skirt to skim over her hips, added a waistband for visual interest and a pleat to the skirt front and back, to give some ease of movement. The 8 bold black buttons, which were recycled and also from a thrift store, represent the posts that support the vines. The sandals I found for the girls mirror the buttons beautifully too!

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My second vision was a dress that represented a glass of red wine! The colour would be perfect shot amongst the vines for starters, and would tone in beautifully with the green cord and the theme I was planning to use. I sourced this gorgeous Maroon Cotton Elastane Jersey from Wicked Fabrics. Vivi is a friend of mine and I was thrilled to see she was sponsoring the Aussie makers of this season of Project Run & Play! I pictured a strapless dress with a rippling hi-lo mermaid skirt and to add a point of asymetrical difference, I cut the skirt waist front deeper so that I could add pleats at one side. I started with the Simple Life Pattern Co. Skyler Dress and cut the shoulders off the bodice and sleeves! It had far too much ease to stay up as a strapless dress, so I cut it down a cm or 2 on each side of the bodice and a couple of inches from the width of each sleeve. I drafted a curved shoulder band and attached it with elastic in the seam for stability. Once I had basted the pleats and the skirt was attached, I hand cut the hem higher at the front, before hemming. My girls are leaning towards more solid colours as they grow up, so they love these looks!

Let’s take a look at the inspiration pic that led me to these divine colours!

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I really wanted to show a variety of skills this week! I wanted to show that I could draft a pattern. I wanted to show a variety of sewing techniques. I wanted to show that I could create with both woven & knit fabrics. I wanted to show my style and my girls personalities, and I wanted to make items that were awesome, but were still timeless in design.

I’d love you to visit the Project Run & Play Blog to see all the entries and vote for your favourite!

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