My Signature Style

Froo & Boo: Signature Style
The last Project Run & Play theme, “my signature style” was a tough one! I’m a visual person and I’m inspired by a lot of things. I’ve un-secreted my PR&P Pinterest board if you’re interested in the kid-styles that inspire me.

I’ve narrowed down what style means to me, in terms of general concepts:

  1. Fit. To get the perfect fit for your unique body, usually resulting in the most comfortable clothing, that also look the best. How awesome is it to fit something on my slim daughter with a long torso, or my solid little boy, with monkey-like arms?
  2. Balance. Not to be confused with being matchy-matchy. Busy prints with simple styles. Plain fabric with dynamic lines (pleats, draping, tailoring). A mix of textures, contrasting colours and layers–in moderation. Shape and fit of garments also balanced–slim jeans with loose shirt, that kind of thing. An Asian yin-yang influence, I guess?
  3. Connection. The personality of style. An emotional connection to a piece of clothing. A visual representation of the ideas, favourite colours, past experiences and future hopes that materialize in the form of clothing, as an expression of individuality.

Froo & Boo's 3 Concepts of Style
I prefer concepts, rather than labels–that way you can wear anything and make it look good! Although, if I had to choose, I would define my style as: “casual/preppy/classic/with a dash of modern bohemian charm”. (The last one describes my love for Free People, Anthropologie and Lucky Brand clothing.)

However, there are general rules of thumb. One such rule is this: sweatpants kill any sense of style. I totally understand the comfort factor and ease of wear for going to the potty, but I think sweatpants are meant for the sole purpose of getting a sweat on. So I set out to make a pair of sweatpants that don’t look like sweatpants for (poor neglected) Boo. I’ll just call them nonsweatpants.
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
I drafted a pair of nonsweatpants by tracing a pair of Boo’s stylish Mexx nonsweatpants. I used bamboo fleece again. I love this stuff–it is so soft! I used matching bamboo ribbing on the waistband and leg cuffs.

After cutting the pattern pieces for my nonsweatpants, the fit was bordering on sausage casings, so I added an extra panel to the inside seam. I tapered the panel to keep it fitted through the legs and looser at the top. It acts like a gusset and it makes me feel like I happened upon a stroke of genius, from my initial mistake (note to self: don’t do math late at night). The joys of experimenting while sewing!
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
The nonsweatpants have 5 pockets, 4 with yellow piping and lined with yellow stretch French terry, which is a cotton/lycra blend knit fabric. The little pocket on the backside has some triple-stitching for added detail.
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
For Boo’s sweater, I used a cotton jersey knit that has a layer of sweater knit attached to it. It is pretty awesome stuff–it’s soft and looks like a sweater, without all of the effort. Both the sweater knit and charcoal bamboo fleece were purchased at Fabricana, last October.
Jersey Lined Sweater Knit
I used the field trip raglan pattern by oliver+s and used my serger to sew most of it together. I bought the pattern after seeing a version here and learning that you can buy it individually as an instant digital download. I added contrasting yellow sleeve cuffs and a bottom hem.
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
I used off-white bamboo (leftover from Froo’s suit) to applique a family-favourite phrase, “oh brother” to the front. It is fused with Wonder Under and stitched using the blanket stitch on my machine. I used Sulky Tender Touch iron-on stabilizer on the inside, so the stitching wouldn’t be scratchy on Boo’s tummy. I got this idea from the store-bought jammies that Boo wears.
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
I added last-minute elbow patches to the sleeves. They were intended to be knee patches on Boo’s nonsweatpants, but there wasn’t enough space with the side pockets. They are backed with fusible fleece and triple-stitched on a diagonal grid for a pop of colour. The elbow patches were hand-stitched on.
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
For Froo, I wanted to make her a floral skirt that was unique, twirly and colourful. I ended up cutting 32 panels of fabric to create a pleated skirt with inverted box-pleats and a contrasting print hidden inside the pleat. The floral print is quilting cotton from the Bloomsbury collection, by Liberty of London, purchased at Spool of Thread. The contrast fabric is from Mod Box, by Juliana Horner, purchased at Jo-Ann.
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
I wanted to draw attention to the centre of the skirt by closing the middle pleat. I topstitched it down and added a column of cross-stitching to give the skirt extra love. Each pleat has 3 inches of top-stitching to secure it in place.
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
This past weekend, I took Froo to watch the movie “Frozen” and I was tickled to see the main character, Anna, wearing a green dress with a pleated skirt that had contrasting fabric hidden within the pleats! I loved that every movement caused the pleats to expand and contract, creating a dynamic visual experience.
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Froo’s top started off as the Flashback Skinny Tee, modified to be a raglan tee using this tutorial. (Just a quick note: I made Froo’s sweater before I made Boo’s. Froo’s sleeves turned out pretty tight, but they still fit her well. Instead of fiddling with the pattern for Boo, I decided to purchase the oliver+s pattern, so I wouldn’t have to do all the guess work!) I widened and added length to the shirt by attaching a bottom cuff. Most of the seams were sewn using my serger.

There is a kangaroo pouch with floral lining and piping made from the contrast print of the skirt. The bias strips were centered on the dots. I would have used the piping from Boo’s nonsweatpants, but I had only purchased one package at Dressew, in Vancouver (I literally had one inch left!). I like the dotted piping so much better!
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Here’s why this sweater makes me soooo happy–these zippers that were on clearance at Jo-Ann are the perfect way to create a unique neckline! The front of the “turtleneck” has gathered ruching and the sweater can be worn zipped, or unzipped on one side for an asymmetrical look.
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Four pieces make up the look for “My Signature Style”. I think it has all of the components of fit, balance and connection. Lately, I’ve been completely drawn to this muted mustard yellow. I’ve always had an affection for grey, but the combination of the two is magic. I also love florals, but I hardly sew with them because I am incredibly picky about the exact type of florals: scale, colours, design, quality of printing and cotton–must be just right.
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
For our photo shoot, I took Froo & Boo to the beautiful mosaic mural that graces the front of the Bank of America, in downtown San Mateo. I made a couple of pompom hair ties for Froo. I love pompoms–they are so much fun and make me feel like I’m a half-way accomplished knitter. Hee hee.
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
Froo & Boo: Signature Style
I will end this post with another rule of thumb (this one is more sewing-related): when you find fabric that you feel a real connection to, buy lots. Like oodles. I don’t know what I was thinking, buying only 1 metre of the yellow cotton/lycra and liberty print (ok, this one was expensive). I guess I fear waste–that fabric will sit in bins, hoarded, unused, until it doesn’t connect with me anymore. But using fabric that I love becomes addictive and I often regret having so little. I am a creature of habit (you’ve seen how many times I’ve used the Flashback Skinny Tee!!!) and I know what I like. Buy it and use it. Says the girl who hardly ever buys fabric without a project in mind, simply because it’s pretty. Oh brother.

As always, thanks for visiting!
Froo & Boo: Signature Style

62 responses to “My Signature Style

  1. Stunning! I love the pleated skirt with the contrasting pattern hidden inside; what a treat when she twirls! And I also am in love with the dual zippers on the neck of Froo’s turtleneck. Genius, so stylish and so fun. I love Boo’s outfit too; it looks so comfortable. And they look adorable together!

    • Thanks Jenn! I was really nervous about how the skirt would turn out and it didn’t help that it took forever to cut and piece together! But it’s something that I feel was worth the effort.

  2. Wow! I love it all – and I agree with you about the amazing feeling of being able to create a perfectly fitted garment!

  3. Stunning, IRENE! Froo’s double-zipped sweater is awesome….I love the versatility of wear on that piece {and would LOVE to have a siimilar one for myself :}!!

  4. I want to make a skirt like that! It’s gorgeous. Love the sweater too. And your son’s outfit!

  5. I love your description of balance – I think that sums up how I feel about children’s clothes. That really helps me in planning for trying my hand at sewing for my daughters this next month.

    • Thanks Brigette! When keeping balance in perspective, its easier to put outfits together for my kids. Then I see what works and what doesn’t, so I try not to make clothes that won’t be worn–what a waste! Good luck!

  6. this is FABULOUS. I love each outfit- you are crazy talented. The skirt is awesome! And I would love one for each of my girls AND me! -erin

  7. I just love both of them!! That sweater on Froo! EEK! You are amazing and I just love your style and taste!

  8. Love…Love…that zippered sweater. Please… do a tutorial on how you created the sweater zippered neck. I want to learn more as you are such a great seamstress. The balance of all your fabric choices is outstanding.
    Deborah
    sewmuchtogive

    • Thanks Deborah! I will try to put a tutorial together, as I would really like a similar sweater for myself. It might not be anytime soon! I am a teeny bit exhausted, but once I get back into a regular pace of sewing, it will definitely be on my to-do list!

  9. I’m so in love with your boys pants. Really!!! The details are awesome.

  10. thecrazytailor

    Oh, this whole look is so lovely! You certainly finished strong! What amazing details, the zippers, perfect topstitching – love it all!!

  11. Jennifer

    So cute! I love both the boys and girls outfits you make

  12. Mae

    I love this weeks look! I had said to friends that I wished you could have stayed this week because I REALLY wanted to see your look – and now I know I was totally right! The skirt is gorgeous with all those pleats and twirl-awesome-ness and the sweater is SO COOL! Really, just an overall great outfit right there. I’d love to see a tutorial on how to modify a raglan to make that sweater.

    Mae

    • Thanks Mae! I could not have finished on time for the finale! This competition has been exhausting, but I’m sooooo happy to have competed. It’s like fulfilling a dream of designing my own kids clothes and seeing my kids happy in them is just icing on the cake!

  13. Ellen

    Wow! You continue to amaze me and your children are beyond cute! Do you ever sleep? Ha. Thanks for sharing all your design and details.

  14. Your insight to your style was so interesting to read, thanks for sharing that, it has made me think about my style and whi I choose what I choose when sewing for me and my children 🙂 beautiful, no STUNNING outfits you have created. I love detail and believe it’s the little things the makes us unique, creates our style. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Thank you! I love detail, too. I like things to look “just a little” different, giving clothing personality and style that is consistently great, but never boring.

  15. I personally love, love, love your style! Your details on your project are amazing.
    http://xoxograndma.blogspot.com

  16. Wow.
    So good Irene! Those pants for boo and the zip neck for froo.
    Incredible.

    • Thanks Jacq! I need to learn how to make boy pants, the proper way! I wish we lived closer, so I can see those awesome boy clothes that you make in person!

  17. Wow, oh wow! I love all of this. The plated skirt is a masterpiece but I love the combination with the casual knit tops with all those funky details.

    • Thank you! I had originally intended for the florals to be a blouse and the knit to be leggings of some sort, but changed my mind after finding the cool zippers. It’s funny how things just work out, but what seems like mere chance??

  18. You’re a genius irene!
    All of these pieces are wonderful. It’s like couture for kids when you sew. I’d second (or third) the request for a tutorial on the zippered cowl neck, it’s superb!

    • Thanks Shelley! I’m no genius. Sausage casing pants! I don’t know what happened, I felt like I was missing part of my brain. I will try to put a tutorial together, when I find the missing parts of my brain!

  19. Irene!! I have no word to describe my love for this outfit…!! Beautiful skirt for FROO, sweater and those elbow patches! Great pants for BOO, that applique on the sweater and those elbow patches!! Oh, brother!! And they are just too cute.

    • Aww, thanks Shino! I love elbow patches on kids–they can get away with so much more when it comes to styling them. I think the piping, quilted lines on Boo’s and florals on Froo’s are just the right amount of fun!

  20. Ooh I love both outfits. And your blanket stitching on Oh Brother is impeccable!

  21. Love the “Oh Brother” sweatshirt, and the skirt is just amazing! Love the matching elbow patches too. Thanks for submitting this week too, we were really hoping you would. And now we’re on our way to check out your Pinterest board. You can see our signature style here: http://skirtfixation.com/2014/02/t-shirt-dress-outfit/

  22. I really love the skirt (I’ll take one in my size) and the zippers on the collar! Brilliant! Oh Brother is a favorite phrase in our household too.

  23. I love this look! Can’t even pick my favorite! The pants are AWESOME! The skirt and the shirt are stunning! The yellow and grey combo is my all time favorite. LOVE this! Great job.

  24. Wow, this is so awesome, I really really really love it all!

  25. petitapetitandfamily

    Amazing! and I love how you described your style. Your kids look so happy in their outfits. Awesome job!!!

  26. Like most commenters here, I was so sad to see you leave PR&P – but I’m so happy that you shared your style with us. I adore every element – and those poms poms! Man – what a perfect final touch! x

    • Thanks Laura! I love pom poms! I wish I could knit, but I’m pretty terrible, so I tried crochet for awhile, but it’s so slow. Pom poms are quick and fun!

  27. Kim

    Wow! Amazing. I love it all. Both outfits look like high end designer outfits! Cute : )

  28. I love this look and would have voted for you again this week. Love that shirt and wanting to try for my girls.

    • Aw thanks Elissa! Stretch French terry is wonderful to sew with. It curls a bit when cutting, but it’s the best type of knit for kids (I think). Soft, stretchy and a good medium weight.

  29. these two outfits are stunning! I love them! Max would wear sweatpants everyday, so I like to try to make non sweat pants too! that was actually part of my signature style outfit that hasn’t been made yet! 🙂

    • Thanks Louise! I would love to see a version of your nonsweatpants! I need to make more for my son, he doesn’t want to wear anything else anymore…

  30. simplesimonandco

    Love this look SO MUCH!!! LOVE IT!!! I also totally enjoyed reading the whole post!-liZ

  31. Pingback: Perfect Pattern Parcel: The Lady Skater Dress | FROO & BOO

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