Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sew-vivor: Button Challenge Reveals + Voting!

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In case you didn't see the Emerald Results post last Wednesday, I want to let you know that the contestants and I made a unanimous decision to only cut 3 contestants instead of 5. So today, instead of presenting 5 contestants, you get to feast your eyes on 7 gorgeous projects!

It is so amazing to me how each contestant has interpreted Challenge #2, which was to sew anything you want, as long as it involves buttons (buttonholes were not a requirement, but of course acceptable).


Projects were appeared in the order they were received.
Poll is at the bottom.


CONTESTANT #1:  Melissa from Melly Sews
Vintage inspired blue velvet blazer, Rose T-shirt and Tulle Skirt by Melly Sews

I am so happy to be back for Sewvivor this week with some selfish sewing! When I found out I would be competing, I immediately headed to the fabric store to find some buttons. I'm pretty practical about buttons - I get functional ones when I need them and don't really have a button stash. Luckily for me buttons were half off because I got inspired by these blingy bejeweled and vintage looking buttons, which were also quite pricey for my three pieces. I sewed the buttons all over my Rose T-shirt as decoration, using transparent thread so as not to take away from the bling. The t-shirt itself is 100% bamboo knit that I hand dyed, and it is sooooo soft. The blazer is the showpiece, and where I spent most of my time. I drafted the pattern based on a green velvet blazer I've owned and loved for years. It took forever and reminded me of why I never want to compete on Project Runway - I would never get done in time for the runway. The fabric is also hand dyed by me; I've been hoarding some off-white cotton velvet for a while for this purpose. The jacket is fully lined and features a single button front, rounded patch pockets, vintage inspired non-functional buttons on the cuffs, back vent and a notched collar. I decided that instead of modeling these pieces with some dyed skinny jeans, I would make the tulle skirt I've been wanting to do. But instead of doing elastic or a zipper, in keeping with the theme I decided to do a button closure for the skirt. Stop by my blog for more pictures, a peek at the blazer lining (hint: it's a print) and a tutorial for the skirt.

Vintage inspired blue velvet blazer, Rose T-shirt and Tulle Skirt by Melly Sews
Cuff buttons on blazer sleeves. Vintage gloves to hide my smurf hands from dyeing the velvet fabric blue.

Vintage inspired blue velvet blazer, Rose T-shirt and Tulle Skirt by Melly Sews 
Buttons hand sewn with transparent thread on hand dyed tonal 100% bamboo knit

Vintage inspired blue velvet blazer, Rose T-shirt and Tulle Skirt by Melly Sews 
Back vent on blue velvet hand dyed blazer

Vintage inspired blue velvet blazer, Rose T-shirt and Tulle Skirt by Melly Sews A Vintage inspired look, with separates that, paired with other pieces, are totally modern.

CONTESTANT #2: Kaelin from The Plaid Scottie

My Challenge #2 button project was inspired by my mom, because her solution for keeping us out of trouble as kids was to always have something for us to do stashed in her purse. So whether it was a planned wait in an airport terminal, or an unplanned one sitting around a car dealership waiting for auto repairs, she was never caught off-guard. So in honor of my mom (and all the other moms out there), I came up with a travel game board that folds up into a small pouch for easy storage in your purse. On one side is a Checker Board with button game pieces that velcro to the board so they won't fly off and get lost when the board is jostled in your car, on a plane, or bumped by a passer-by in a crowded area. I used adhesive velcro dots, and for additional stamina I secured the ones on the fabric by stitching a quick free-motion circle along the inside edge. I think the velcro is great because if you have to get up and leave in a hurry, no precious seconds are lost while you round up all the pieces and put them away - you can snatch the game board right up and start folding it up as you walk, and your kids can continue the game later. If you lose a game piece, it’s not a crisis because it can be easily replaced with another button. And in case your kids get tired of Checkers, they can flip it over and play Tic Tac Toe on the other side, using the blue/red buttons for X's/O's.

Velcro dots help keep game pieces in place as they play.


A cute drawstring bag safely holds all the game pieces.


Everyone loves options! Flip the board over to play a quick game of Tic Tac Toe.


When your kids are finished playing, the board folds up so you can zip it into a little pouch, with the drawstring bag of pieces safely tucked inside.


CONTESTANT #3:  Catlin from Call Me Cat

Sewing button front shirts and shirt dresses has always seemed a little daunting to me, but this week's challenge was the perfect excuse to finally give it a try! I had a hard time finding the right fabric for the dress (the problem with living in a small town with only one fabric store!), so I ended up dyeing some polyester that had a great weight and drape. After a couple rounds of dye, the fabric ended up as this cool variegated raspberry color. I used a button front pajama top pattern to begin with, and then made changes to the collar and facings, added length, shortened the sleeves, and added side seam pockets. The buttons on the dress are a dark brown stone with a touch of red. After looking through hundreds of buttons, I thought they were the perfect fit! Since I wear cardigans almost all of the time, I just had to include one with this outfit. I used a great black and white sweater knit, and drafted a simple v-neck cardigan that fits me like a glove. I added elbow patches and hammered gold buttons to create some interest. I think I'll be wearing this all the time! I spent a lot of time working on this outfit and I'm thrilled with how it turned out! Since I use my great grandmother's old Singer sewing machine which does not have any type of automatic buttonholer, I got to sew 18 buttonholes manually. It was definitely good practice! Thanks for the great challenge! You can see more pictures and descriptions on my blog, Call Me Cat.




CONTESTANT #4: Jen from A Jennuine Life

Buttons as a challenge had me stumped until inspiration struck from out of nowhere and this seat back entertainment organizer was born.  Once I had it in my head I knew I had to make it - even if I hadn't been lucky enough to make it through to round two here on Sew-vivor.  It all started with the phone holster.  We download television and movies onto our smart phones for our daughter Arden to watch when we travel.  The only problem is having to restart the show time after time because she accidentally touches the screen when she holds it.  This holster is made with clear vinyl across the front which even conducts so you can use the screen through it.  Next up was the coloring folio with places for a small notebook, crayons and a sticker pocket since both my girls love to color.  Then a drink holder which could collect little odds and ends as well, and a tissue holder made just the right size for those pocket packs so I don't have to search around while I'm driving.  The little pouch with a welt zipper holds her sunglasses and has room for other small items. Using buttons made the entire system modular, so as the girls grow and their needs change, the organizer can grow with them.  I sewed 11 buttons (including two onto my car!), and 13 buttonholes to make this.  It was a great way to get really comfortable with my buttonhole foot and settings on my sewing machine; I even pulled out the button foot to sew most of the buttons.  My younger daughter Hadley was eyeing it up yesterday so I have a feeling I'll be making another as soon as we switch her to forward-facing.  I've written a tutorial for the coloring folio which is posted at A Jennuine Life today.


 The coloring folio attaches to the organizer with buttonholes on the handles and has a flap which buttons to keep it closed.

A phone holster with a vinyl face makes it easy for Arden to watch a show we've downloaded without accidentally switching off the program. 

The organizer attaches to the seat at the top with loops around the headrest posts and two buttons I sewed into the zipper tape of the car seat at the bottom of either side.

CONTESTANT #5: Caila from Caila Made
Peplum Drummer Jacket by CailaMade
Hey everyone! I'm SO excited to be here; thank you for bringing me back for another round of Sew-Vivor! This week I'm sharing the Peplum Drummer Jacket and leggings I made for the button challenge. We live in Southern California where it is going to be VERY HOT for the next 5-6 months, and yet I had the ridiculous impulse to make my daughter a jacket. I couldn't resist this fabric from one of my fave online shops, so I put my thinking cap on and designed something specifically for our SoCal weather. A jacket with cap sleeves is perfect for our needs! It's stylish, modern, girly, and funky all at the same time, which is also the way I see my daughter's personality. The jacket is a peplum style, with a circle skirt at the waist. I love the high-low skirt trend we've been seeing so much of lately, so I incorporated it into my design. The button flaps on the front and back are actual genuine leather and are what gave me the idea for the jacket's name. And OH, how I love those chunky yellow buttons! (I think buttons should make a statement, don't you?) The jacket also has cap sleeves and a peter pan collar which give it a whimsical, childhood feel. The leggings were made with a black polka dot knit using the Go To Leggings pattern, and are rouched on each side with white buttons. (It IS a button challenge after all!) I'm also super excited to announce that this is the first pattern I've drafted for my daughter purely from measurements and I'm currently grading it for others sizes. Perhaps it will be my first pattern for sale? Who knows! Visit my blog for more photos and information about my process and supplies! 

Details: Peter Pan collar, cap sleeves, polka dot lining, leather name tag, chunky yellow buttons, leather button flap, and a high/low circle skirt.
Button detail on the back waist.
Rouched leggings with white buttons!
High/low peplum skirt on the jacket.

CONTESTANT #6: Angelina from Jojo and Eloise
Target Sheets, Sailor Collar

With this week's challenge being Buttons, I couldn't help but think of Sailor Buttons.
I Love working with Target Sheets and this weeks challenge was so perfect because Target had the perfect shade of Red, White and Blue colored sheets. It was a perfect match for my Sailor Themed outfit. Both of our girls Love vintage styled clothing and I have been asked on more than one occasion to turn their whole wardrobe into an entire Vintage collection of clothing. This outfit is interchangeable. The top has buttons up the center and there is a Velcro strip along the bottom of the top for the skirt to attach to when the pants are not being worn. Two bow were made. One Big one for the dress and a smaller one for the pants set. I have more pictures available on my blog so be sure to stop on in and check them out.
target sheets, sailor outfit,sailor collar

Target Sheets, America, Sailor Pants

target sheets,sailor

Target Sheets, America, Patriotic, Sailor Pants


CONTESTANT #7: Charity from Happinest


 For the button challenge, I wanted to use buttons in a functional way, plus in a creative way, so I came up with this dress with a button placket and a button-embelished collar. Yes--those are 88 hand-sewn buttons on that thing. And yes, it took as long as it looks! (I really hope never to buy buttons in bulk again!!!) I used a basic pattern as a sloper, then drafted the button front, collar, and gathered waist. I added a belt with a fabric-covered buckle to tie in the color of the collar. The fabric is a silk/cotton voile with a china silk underlining. Over all it's a sweet, fun dress, and I can't wait for it to actually be warm enough here in NYC to wear it (without goosebumps)!






How to vote:
FYI, the competitors are allowed to use patterns. Public voting is open from Wednesday at 7am EST until Friday at midnight PST. Contestants are allowed to recruit from their blogs, social media, family, and friends. One vote per device is allowed. The public vote counts as 50%. The other 50% of the vote comes from our guest judges. The Top 3 will be revealed next Wednesday, April 10.


Sew-vivor Sew-Along:
If you'd like to sew along with the contestants, be sure to upload your "buttons" projects to the Sew-vivor Flickr Group or post them on Instagram, using this hashtag: #sewvivor (without a hyphen).
I will be featuring some of your projects on next week's reveal post, and one random winner will win a grab bag from Coats and Clark!

Sew-vivor is sponsored by:
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6 comments:

  1. These are all so inconceivably incredible!!!! I really don't know who to choose. I don't envy the judges!

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  2. I thought voting might be easier since there are less contestants this week, but that isn't the case. There are some seriously beautiful and clever button creations this week. Way to go, ladies!

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  3. Lovely entries, fun contest!

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  4. These are awesome!! I wanted to vote for so many! Can't wait to see what's in store next!

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Thanks for your comment. Have a great day!
♥Rach H