Six years ago, when I started Sew Chibi Designs, if you told me I'd be one of the final 3 designers on Project Run & Play, I'm not sure I would have believed you! This is totally one of those "pinch me, this can't be real" moments! I'm forever grateful to everyone who has supported and cheered me on! It's been a staggeringly talented season and each designer really gave it their all! I've been hoping to make it to this week because I really wanted to let loose! In the words of last season's winner, Pearberry Lane: this is us! We're silly, expressive, purposefully mismatched, happy, and a little weird! We're constantly evolving and learning new cultures and trying new ideas out and so I wanted to create a collection that reflects just that! I call this summery collection Our Kawaii Life! (this post contains affiliate links)
As a teenager, I loved all things shiny, weird, and colorful (so nothing's changed 😂). I never stopped watching cartoons; I just shifted my focus towards anime at some point! One thing always leads to another and when I get excited about something I want to immerse myself completely. I started learning Japanese so I could listen to anime while I sewed without having to looks up to see what they were saying and then started learning Mandarin for the same reason except to understand my Taiwanese Dramas! Need cute icons and graphics for branding? Time to learn all I can about Illustrator! There's always a million and one ideas running around in my head that I'm eager to try out so I'm happy to have been on Project Run & Play so I could check off more of my sewing bucket list!
As soon as I was asked to be on this season, I decided to design a custom print using the "level of pattern difficulty" graphics I created for the Umaru pattern collection I just released: milk kitties! My philosophy is "well, why not?!" and so I say, why not make an adorable milk kitties fabric?! Here in Portland, there's a city motto of "Keep Portland Weird" and we wholeheartedly embrace it! I wanted to make something twirly for Azy because, even though she prides herself on not being a girly girl, she adores twirly things. Using the Simple Life Pattern Co.'s Adelyn's Scoop Top Pattern (who so graciously sponsored us!), I made a circle skirt top, accenting all of the colors of the fabric through different elements of the pattern. I added a tier of peach and aquamarine around the bottom to make the middle of the outfit more interesting. I drafted a special version of the Tomoka collar (from the Tinny Dress pattern) to fit the neckline of the Adelyn.
For her bottoms, I made stretch denim capri pants using my Pudding Pants pattern with diagonal seaming and inset pockets but altered them so that they were fitted. They also have stretch velveteen cuffs by the knees and faux legging bottoms sewn to look like stripes, using brushed poly knit (sponsored by Cali Fabrics).
For her accessories, I made little bow scrunchies (actually, I made bow scrunchies for all three girls) and a blue choker necklace with hook and eye closure for her. Girl has been pestering me for a choker for months now, lol.
For Sephira, I made a super fancy t-shirt using this gorgeous baby pink sequin fabric (also from Cali Fabrics) which has a fair amount of stretch in it and my own Umaru shirt pattern. To make it comfy, I lined it in hot pink striped jersey and used a deep hem so it falls nicely by her hips. The bindings are the same as Azy's swimsuit material.
For Akira, I drafted a cap sleeve version of the Seraphic Raglan in which the sleeves are folded back towards the neckline so there isn't an apparent hem on that metallic knit fabric. The medical animals print she is wearing is a stretch minky that I ordered from Spoonflower that's a little creepy and really cute (I couldn't resist!). The second picture shows a different hemline because, after this initial photoshoot, I thought the length hid some of my favorite patches, plus because it's minky, it hangs better now!
All of the girls have patches on their shorts! I'd say about 95% of those patches I designed myself (there's about 100 of them total!), using mostly my own graphics. I made those patches by using (light) iron-on transfer paper applied to white canvas and then I satin-stitched them on! I used this technique for my TANK GiRL cosplay years ago and was excited to do it again!!
Loving the murals? Check out this post here to learn more about them!
My two older girls are really into Emojis these days so I also wanted to make Emoji swimsuits for them!
The silver, happy face one-piece swimsuit is based on the Lorelei Swimsuit (also sponsored by Simple Life Pattern CO.!), omitting the flutter insert to give a color-blocked feel! That silver metallic fabric is a dreamy holographic triangle print from Cali Fabrics that makes rainbows when the light hits it! It's actually the reason behind the swimsuits idea because I wanted to showcase that glorious fabric!
If you’re wondering why Akira didn’t get a swimsuit for the shoot, it’s because she's usually too busy throwing sand in the pool and generally running away any time I want to take her picture. 😂
The lightning blot two-piece suit is a mash-up of the Abby Rashguard and briefs-style bottoms I drafted by hacking the Azur swimsuit, by Petit Threads, into bikini bottoms! I got the lightning bolt fabric from Fabric Depot and Sephira fell in love with it and requested it as a birthday swimsuit! I figured lightning bolt are emojis too and that it reminded me of the mismatched patches on their pants so I thought it fit in perfectly!
Strike Your Own Pose!
Thank you so very much to Audrey, to the judges and guest judges and to everyone who supported me throughout this unforgettable journey! I've had a blast competing with such lovely designers! It's truly been a dream come true! ❤
First time checking out Sew Chibi Designs? Maybe it's your first time since I redesigned everything?! If you just want even more: more explosively colorful and silly handmades or are really keen to making super cute stuff, you should sign up for my Sew Chibi Designs Newsletter which keeps you up to date with all the willy antics I'm up to, PLUS exclusive access to my new SECRET FREEBIES CLUBHOUSE! created for sharing free patterns, updated content, printables, etc.
“It’s like a secret sewing club for kawaii inclined! Make sure you sign up so you get...... deh secret password!