Today is finally the day I can share my first Project Run & Play Season 15 look with you!! This week’s theme is Wonders of the World and I chose to be inspired by Chichen Itza, which is considered a modern wonder. The result is this Chichen Itza Skort with pleating, faux chenille, and the bright colors we have come to associate with the Mayan people. I’ll give you all the details below and then head over to the Project Run & Play site to vote for my Chichen Itza Skort!
The skort overall shape is meant to resemble the shape of the Kukulcan Pyramid at Chichen Itza. You can find lots of pictures for reference by clicking here. It’s such a beautiful site and I highly recommend looking through the pictures. Since this skort was going to be my focus piece, I chose to also make a slim mock turtleneck tank that wouldn’t draw too much attention to itself, made some bracelets to add a pop of color, and then paired the outfit with a simple sandal. All of the designs used in this look were self drafted and keep an eye out for some pattern tester calls this spring.
This tank pattern has a similar shape to the dress with the pussy bow that my girl wore for a Daddy/Daughter Dance recently. You can find lots of pics of that over on instagram. I decided to keep the mock turtleneck with the sleeveless look and simply added some length to the bodice. I used the same ponte fabric along this neckline as I did for the pencil skirt portion in order to connect it visually to the skort.
This gives the impression of a necklace as it encircles the entire neckline. The turquiose fabric is liverpool from Sew So English and I had it in my stash. The ponte was purchased locally at G Street Fabrics.
Here are the basic steps I took to make that necklace design. 1: First I cut out the pentagon shapes from freezer paper – including the skinny band that would keep them all in line, but remain inside the seam allowance once sewn – and ironed it onto a piece of the ponte. 2: Using sharp scissors, I cut the shape out of the ponte fabric. 3: Pinning in place along the neckline and then stitching with a stretch stitch about 1/4″ taking care not to stretch either fabric along the way. 4: The “necklaced” neckline is ready to have the mock turtle band attached as if it was just the main bodice neckline.
Finally I stitched the ponte pieces down in place when I coverstitched the neckline. I think it adds just enough flare to this piece to make it fun, but not too much so that it takes away from the focus of the skort. And my girl LOVES that it’s fully lined so that soft liverpool is against her skin on both sides.
Speaking of my girl, can you believe she’s almost seven?!?!?! The first time I was in Project Run & Play was four years ago and she was so tiny. Anyway, to add to the fun I put some feather extensions in her hair and her first grade self was SUPER into it.
Here you can see the feathers a little better AND the bracelets I made. More about those in a minute though, cause we need to talk about this skort!
The outside layer is a full circle skirt that was drafted to fit on either side of the center front panel of the pencil skirt underneath. Since the circle skirt would be made out of woven fabric, the front panel area would be necessary to allow the knit fabric to stretch enough to get the skort on and off with ease without any closures which was important to me. My goal in this design was to make something over the top which would also be comfortable, easy to wear, and allow a lot of movement for when my girl is running around. The knit waistband was a must and a closure would muddy it up.
The faux chenille technique represents the large steps on the outside of the pyramid at Chichen Itza, while adding some fun color and texture to the skort. I’ll post later today with all the details of how I made that faux chenille, but for now I’ll just say it was a labor of love with layers of cotton sateen that were quilted together and then split open and distressed. **UPDATE** Click here for the full post on how to create your own Faux Chenille.
The center layer of the skort is this ponte knit pencil skirt. It’s a great shape/length on my girl and comfortable to wear. I designed a center front panel that would mimic the center front shape of the Kukulcan Pyramid. There are skinny steps that run in a straight line down the front of the pyramid that I was immediately drawn to. I’ve been wanting to do some micropleating and this was a perfect opportunity.
Here are the basic details of how I made the pencil skirt. 1: First I cut a center front panel that was the same width (on the fold) as the panel, but much longer to accommodate all those pleats. 2: I made a simple pleat board with some math, cardstock, and my cricut to do the hard work of scoring. 3: In sections along the panel, I used the pleat board to tuck the fabric inside the pleats and then press with my iron to hold the folds. 4: Once the board was removed I would pin and baste the individual sections to ensure the pleats would hold. 5: Once the pleats were complete I stitched both sides of the front to the center front panel, securing the pleats. 6: I then coverstitched along the sides of the pleats to give a little extra flare and then stitched the front and back of the pencil skirt together, coverstitching the hem in place.
The final portion of the skort is the part that actually makes it a skort haha. These shorties are stitched right into the waistband along with the rest of the layers. This is a shorties pattern that I drafted with a gusset for my girl for cheer last fall. She has a bunch of them that are lined and are super comfortable with or without underwear for cheer, gymnastics, or swim. The gusset makes the range of motion a little better and also make it more comfortable to wear without an underwear layer. And of course it’s lined with swim lining so no seams are there to irritate.
The shorties were added not only for modestly (since she’s constantly hanging from the monkey bars), but also to hold the pencil skirt in place. I love the look of a slim knit pencil on my girl, but if there isn’t an attached shortie layer then the skirt ends up scrunched up around her waist after a little bit of wear. The shorties keep the skirt from riding up and are my solution to young girls wearing a comfy pencil skirt.
I adore the movement in the Chichen Itza Skort. The outer circle is great for twirling and ups the drama. I’m super pleased with how it turned out.
And finally a quick shout out to the accessories we used. The feathers and extensions were from this Etsy shop and I was very pleased with the quality. I made the bracelets using this post as a general jumping off point and made it a little more kid friendly. And the sandals are from Joyfolie. These aren’t sponsors, but I love their products!
So now it’s time to head over to Project Run & Play to check out the other looks and vote!! I know these designers have knocked it out of the park and – between you and me – I think the six of us actually chose only three-ish wonders between us so it’ll be even more fun seeing what different directions everyone went with similar inspiration. Go vote!