one day i’m in, and the next day…

…i’m out.

well, it was a good run you guys. i was the casualty of the double elimination on project run & play this week, and i’m pretty bummed to be out SO CLOSE to the finale, to be completely honest. but i also had a really fun time, and i truly appreciate you sticking with me and offering your encouragement, comments, and votes all throughout (and a special welcome to the new followers that found me for the first time through PR&P!). i’m so glad simple simon asked me to participate this season!

week 1: junebug remix

a bunch of random thoughts i wanted to mention…

  • i can draft patterns now, and without fear! i had done that only a couple times before project run and play (the junebug remix was a great first challenge for that reason). this opens a whole new world of possibilities. i almost feel like i don’t need patterns at all, but i will definitely still use them. they do make things WAY easier, and sewing is mainly a relaxing hobby for me, so easier is good.
  • my sewing skills improved exponentially in just a couple months! pretty cool to just FEEL my learning curve shooting up under such intense sewing pressure. i think i was just on the edge of having enough skill to participate going into it, and so i definitely surprised myself each time things worked out, sewing-wise. i kept thinking it was luck. πŸ˜‰

week 2: boy week

  • i feel more creative than i ever have, and i’m very proud of what i made. i suddenly have the freedom of drawing whatever i can dream up and then i know i can probably make it happen. when i had the idea to make my art deco flapper dress, i was literally shaking with excitement and an urge to make it come to life. i’m most proud of that dress.

week 3: sewing through the decades

  • i like to compete (i knew this already, i’ve played sports since i was little). i loved the creative challenges, and i’m fine with being judged by “experts” like katy, dana, and shannon (plus a guest). however, the public voting was always really hard for me to watch (but i couldn’t look away!). i would have rather just had someone tell me what to sew and had no one go home, but i probably did my best work by trying to stretch as far as possible while remaining true to my own aesthetic so that i WOULDN’T go home! i wanted to win, and i tried my hardest every week.
  • friends are good, and i really enjoyed emailing my real life friends and a few of my competitors through the competition as a support system. we said more than once that we wished we were all in one room together, sewing away and chatting, like project runway. i’m excited to see what danielle, jess, and stef sew for the finale, and i can’t wait for friday! i’ll try to let you know when voting is open so you can see what they came up with too.
  • i learned some new things about blogging, mostly how to make my own collages (rather than using an online service). i have an apple computer, but no photoshop. wanna know how to do it? you drag and drop photos from iphoto into pages (the word processing program), resize and arrange them, then add a text box over the top. if you lower the transparency of the background color to 30% it adds a nice effect, and then use the skitch app to take a screen capture. drag and drop that back into iphoto and you’ve got yourself a fancy-looking collage! felt like that helped make me look “official” like the big bloggers. πŸ˜‰

week 4: outerwear

  • i thought i was a big procrastinator, but in dealing with such major time constraints (working 4 days a week from 8-5pm, and primarily sewing while the kids were sleeping), i knew i had to be very organized and sew ahead. i made the handy dandy work process chart below, and had the first two weeks’ looks sewn before the competition even started. that definitely helped as it came down to the end and the competition got more fierce. i had the luxury of scrapping two looks that weren’t working and starting new, and i only caught up to “real time” in week 5. that’s my tip for any future PR&P contestants that may be reading! πŸ™‚

  • i think i have a different style than others, and that’s why i started sewing in the first place. i thought of things i wanted my toddler daughter to wear, but couldn’t find them in stores. i’m not a fan of super frilly, but i like feminine. i love color and balance. my style is understated, and i care a lot about craftsmanship and little details. my garments seem to have a sense of place (i had no idea how much i was influenced by where i live until this competition). this design simplicity might be why i didn’t ever win a challenge or make it to the finale, but i’m glad i stuck to my guns and made what i love. as i was compared to others, my “signature style” emerged.

week 5: special occasion/party wear

  • and finally, the most important lesson i learned is who i sew for: my kids, myself, my family, my friends, and my blog readers, probably in that order. in the end, i made things that Em and O could wear once this was all over, and they have been! red riding hood coat is her current go-to, and she loves hiding in the giant hood. she wore her elephant jacket to the zoo last weekend to go see the elephants, while holding her stuffed elephant, and also wearing her elephant dress. he wears his pants and sweater often. since i was putting in a lot of time and energy, i’m glad these things are getting used!

so once again, i love you guys! you really get me! thanks for sticking with me and thanks for voting all these weeks to keep me in the running. for a tiny little blog (i have just a fraction of some of the other designers’ readership), i’m so excited to have made it this far. i’m a little giddy with the freedom of what to make next, and i have a rush of ideas. i do want to do a sweet tartan dress tutorial in the future for sure, and i’m also hoping to do a dora backpack tutorial…any other tutorials you’d like to see? i can’t promise i’ll get to them right away, but i’ll try to eventually!

thanks again, all. it’s been a pretty darn cool experience, but an all-consuming one. i know my husband has missed me! even if i’ve been around, i know i’ve mentally been in “PR&P-land.”

glad to be back!


39 thoughts on “one day i’m in, and the next day…

  1. cate says:

    I was so disappointed to see that you didn’t make it through to the next round and love the way you summed up your experience and everything you learned from it. I’m wondering if you’ll make your signature style outfit anyway (although as you said, your style was evident and remained constant throughout) as I’d love to see what you come up with! Congratulations and I hope you’re enjoying a well earned rest!

  2. Cirque Du Bebe says:

    Kristin, so happy for where you are now on your sewing journey. It must be so exciting to know you can make something from a drawing. You could go anywhere from here. What a great experience for you!! xx

  3. jessica says:

    thank you so much for sharing so many thoughts about your experience! I really loved reading this. And I LOVED rooting for you every week! Super bummed that you aren’t in the finale also. You are still most stylish in my book!!

  4. erin says:

    you definitely do have a signature style… i have loved seeing all your PR&P looks each week! As far as tutorials go… i’m really in love with the pink petal shirt from last week πŸ™‚ As well as the tartan dress. It’s been a lot of fun getting to “know you” through your blog!

  5. marthajbrueggemann says:

    I just want to say congratulations on your accomplishments with project run and play! I hope you share your final “project” , I love your style of creativity and looking so forward to your tutorials! I am a self taught newbie and your blog is a true inspiration:)

  6. Melissa says:

    I adore your unique style! Please keep posting because you are so inspiring. I always get excited when I open my email and you have a new post. My daughter is a “tomboy/princess”, she loves pink and girly prints, but at the same time, doesn’t want to be too ruffely, or wear anything she can’t run and play in. (she had to keep up with having two older brothers!) Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful designs! Also looking forward to seeing tutorials or patterns from you!

  7. Meredith Hamm says:

    Hello Kristin, I came to your blog via Project Run and Play and I’m quite excited to have found you… I feel like I should know you… I was an accountant before I stayed home with my kids, I love to sew and I am also from the Portland area. I know exactly what you mean about your clothing having a “place” and I love that your children can wear what you created every day and not look out of place or be uncomfortable. I like that your children can actually “run and play” in the clothes you created. Keep up the inspiring projects! I am enjoying them and enjoying getting to know you through your blog! πŸ™‚ Meredith

  8. Carolyn says:

    So sorry to see you go, but SOOO happy I found your blog along the way! It was the simple clean lines and uniqueness of your Japanese Tea Party look that got my vote this week! I hope we’ll still get to see that “Signature” look!
    Carolyn at Moose Mouse Creations

  9. darci says:

    i think your understated style may have been your undoing- i am not sure some of the voters could get past the over the top styles and see them for what some of them were: Ill-fitting, Overdesigned, under executed messes. More is not more. I loved your style and your craftsmanship. Your garments were beautiful and didnt look home-made. You were my fav from the very beginning. Congrats on a great run!

  10. Sara says:

    I loved your designs, especially the Japanese teaparty design, that got my vote. Keep sewing and showing us your beautiful creations to give us inspiration.

  11. deborah k. says:

    great post, I love your attitude and your model’s attitude and the clothes you created for her — I voted for you every week — I don’t know you, but that spunky model of yours meshed perfectly with every design, your designs were made for her and your sensibility was evident in the entire collection. thanks for writing and turning me on to P,R& play — but it won’t be the same without you

  12. Lucinda says:

    I’m a fairly recent visitor to your blog, having just discovered it before Christmas. But I’m hooked! I love your design aesthetic – the clean cut lines and lack of frilliness (not a frilly girl either) remind me in many ways of my favorite sewing inspiration – the Japanese sewing books. I can’t tell you how much I looked forward to Friday mornings to see what new design you would amaze us with:) Thanks so much for sharing your creativity with all of us! I’m so glad you enjoyed the experience and gained even further confidence in your sewing abilities (even able to competently draft your own patterns! I’m so far from that . . . ). Looking forward to seeing the tutorials you mentioned and to just enjoying the beautiful pictures you post of your creativity. Thanks!

  13. Rachel says:

    first of all I wanted to say congrats ! 4th place is quite an accomplishment ! (I was mega impressed that you were able to produce all these outfits working 4 days outside the home each week!)
    also I was sad to see you go.
    I sure hope you will still share your finale look with us πŸ™‚
    this is such a great post & I kinda know some of what you’re talking about… I only participated in 3 of the 5 sew-alongs & enjoyed the creative challenge, too AND learned so much already ! (it’s good to be different, I, too feel that where I live affects what I produce ~ we have winters in Minnesota, for example)
    thank you so much for sharing about how you made the photo collages !!! I also have an apple, but no photoshop, so I will for sure refer back to what you wrote πŸ™‚
    It was fun to watch you grow during this competition, take care πŸ™‚

  14. Jamsby says:

    I was disappointed to see this week’s tally. You had me with the tarten dress. I’m a huge fan of your understated style. I’m not into the frilly stuff for my 22 month old daughter and it’s so great to see the way you dress yours. Maybe this is a NW thing? I’m in Seattle.

    Regardless, I’m thrilled to have found your blog!

  15. georgine says:

    You were robbed! Your last look was my favorite. Dressy, yet not stiff. Totally wearable. And I love the tartan dress. I cannot believe you work, have kids and sew. I barely eek out a simple dress in a week and I stay home with my 2 kids who go to Montessori 3 and 4 mornings a week. You must have great time management and I love your organizational chart.

  16. you and mie says:

    Hi Kristin! I think you did an amazing job this season and I love this reflection on the whole experience. I can sort of relate with some of it and I wasn’t even a contestant!! πŸ˜› I love your style and your creations and am impressed with how far you’ve come in such a short amount of time – it’s inspirational!! I also am glad that you mentioned that you work, I was beginning to feel like everyone was a stay-at-home-mom. And I love the work progress chart you shared – what a great idea!! Anyways, rock on Kristin, you’re doing an awesome job!

  17. carolyn says:

    If you could see me now, you’d see me with my little sad face…I’m so sorry you were eliminated.
    But I have to say that you blew me away along the way. I loved all of your creations and am in awe of your designing and sewing talent. And the fact that you did all of this while working 4 days a week and taking care of two kids? Well, I bow down to you! There is no way that I could have done that! Seriously…you were fantastic!

  18. leslie says:

    kristin, i’m so proud of you. i so enjoy your blog and was impressed by your pr&p run. i believe that you were the only designer that presented wearable designs each week. good for you.

  19. gail says:

    i’m so glad you went on this wild ride! you really poured your heart into this competition, and it showed through in every single design. it totally warms my heart to read all the great comments people have left here – i second all of it! now get sewing – i’m more excited than ever to see what you come up with next! πŸ™‚

  20. Danielle says:

    Oh my gosh… I am a little choked up reading all these sweet comments for you! I have to say I agree with every single one!! You did an amazing job in this competition. I am so inspired by the things you create and am so glad we got to do this together!!

  21. kristin says:

    Oooooh you guuuyyyyyyys! I can’t even read these with out tearing up! You are all so, so wonderful and you have no idea how much this means to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you ALL!!!!! Giant virtual (((HUGS))) to every single one of you! πŸ˜€

    And guess what? Right now I’m sewing something for ME! Just for me and no one else! Wahoo!!

  22. Susie says:

    Wow! These comments are so nice and so deserved. You are very talented and it was fun seeing everything you did for the competition (and not like that will be the end of the fun). Glad I get to see you and your creations (and model) and be related to you.
    Sis-in-law πŸ™‚

  23. Jessica @ Running With Scissors says:

    What a great post! You deserve a medal, as I’m pretty sure you’re the only contestant working while all this went on. Everything you make is such high quality and your style is just so clean! So glad you’re getting so much use out of your looks, I think you definitely deserved to be in the finals!

  24. Trinh says:

    hi kristin, i was super sad to see that you had been eliminated. i love your work; my fave is the flapper dress too. i hope you will post a signature look soon.

  25. Jackie says:

    I really enjoyed watching you compete in the R&P competition. I loved your simple style, and the Red Riding Hood you did was my favorite! I’m looking forward to your tutorial on the stamping process you used for the toad stool lining.

    Super cute.

    I can’t believe that you work full time, take care of two kids, AND did that competition! You are truely dedicated, and talented.

    Your blog is now one of my “Favorites”. Looking forward to regularly stopping by. πŸ™‚

  26. Lisabeth says:

    Hi! Greetings from Western NC πŸ™‚ I wish I knew how I found your blog but it was in the last few days and I am crazy about it! My daughter saw your daughter’s pink shirt and kimono top and has been saying:Mommy! make that for me! I love your style and designs and will be pinning on Pintrest asap πŸ™‚

  27. Max says:

    I have a similar checklist thing going on right now! Since I am in a totally different timezone, I had to sit down and work out the dates & times it would be for me, and then triple checked them! I have quite a few of my pieces finished, but the really big ones are still being made. It’s hard! Really hard! But you did it! So can I!

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