It’s finally here! Week 1’s theme is Circus, and I have to tell you I was a little hesitant at first. I’ve never been to a circus,and crazy colors and patterns aren’t really my thing. But that’s all part of the challenge, right?

So my starting point became coming up with a silhouette I was happy with. Since Project Run & Play isn’t about costumes, I wanted something that would evoke the Circus feeling without being costumey and that my kids would wear consistently. And I”m pretty excited about what I came up with.

Outfit 1:

This top is what sold me on this idea. I loved the idea of playful, imperfect polka dots in kelly green dancing across a peplum top that gave the idea of the ruffles and frills of clown costumes. The pops of color against the crisp white background are so happy. Just one problem–I couldn’t find the fabric I had in my head! So I had to make it.

I took some white cotton and some green paint and a sponge dauber and started stamping away. All of the polka dots are unique–none are perfect. And I love them that way. After they dried and I washed/dried the fabric I was ready to get started. I also used a great kelly green voile I had in my stash that has just a bit of metallic sparkle. It’s hard to see but so fun up close.

I started with the bodice from the Caroline Party Dress from Mouse House Creations and extended the bodice to her natural waist, added a double half-circle peplum, and the adorable ruffle around the neckline to echo a clown collar. I then finished the dress off with an exposed zipper for a punch of color in the back and a bow at the waist.

I paired this darling peplum with a quick pair of capri-length leggings from the most delicious Charcoal ponte from Califabrics, who were kind enough to sponsor all the designers for the season.

For the leggings, I took a great-fitting pair and sized up since I was using ponte. I cut them to capri length, and added a circular flounce and matching bows to echo the silhouette and details of the peplum.

Outfit 2:

For this little cutie, I wanted another clownish look that he could wear all summer long. Since stripes are such a classic circus motif, I went with one of my favorites: the black stripe from Raspberry Creek. Taking a tee shirt pattern I love (the Pistachio Tee), I cut it into a muscle shirt and used black cotton lycra for the bands to make them stand out and to get the mime vibe.

For the shorts, I started with some thrifted women’s pants and had fun cutting them down, adjusting the Lindon Shorts pattern to work with the fabric I had available. I also paired it with a green gingham, which screams fun to me. Add in a pair of black suspenders, and he was set!

The only problem was him not wanting to cooperate for photos–twice! We finally got a few okay shots, but he was miming that he didnt want to be there. Ha!

If you haven’t already, make sure you go to Project Run & Play to see the other designers’  looks and vote!


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Sherri Herrera
4 years ago

I would have never guessed those dots weren’t there at the start! Nicely done!

4 years ago

Your daughter’s peplum top!!!!!! I want it! I love that you made the fabric yourself when you couldn’t find the one you had envisioned!

Lesley Gilbert
Lesley Gilbert
4 years ago

Just voted for you – good luck 🙂

Gilda (McStamper)
Gilda (McStamper)
4 years ago

Love your creative and adorable projects. Good Luck.

Courtney Davis
4 years ago

Such sweet looks!! Love the green!

kataryna C borders
4 years ago

They are too precious together! I love the green and white! Great job, Mabey!!!

4 years ago

They are too precious together! I love the green and white! Great job, Mabey!!!