AUF'D Runway: "High Flying Fashion" Episode 8

I totally didn’t expect this to be a hard challenge, and I can’t completely explain why, but it was definitely the hardest challenge so far that I’ve worked on and I think it’s going to be the hardest one. I couldn’t figure out what to design even after I had sketched and went fabric shopping, I still ended up changing it a few times and eventually ended up pretty close to where I started!

Personally I feel like a lot of questions weren’t really answered on the show, like is this supposed to be something I would personally wear in my current life to travel in? Or is it supposed to be for the theoretical time when I’m a jetsetter celebrity? Do jetsetters really travel in the outfit that they wear to the even? As a jetsetter, am I to assume I travel first class, or coach (as it is in reality, and the two make a difference to what you wear!)? Is it supposed to be a “party” outfit or something that travels well and is stylish? I think I could go on, but you get the picture…

Basically, I guess I was having a hard time figuring out what to design because the challenge really seemed to be open wide for interpretation. Laura’s dress was lovely, but chances are I would never get that dressed up, especially to travel and Vincent’s outfit looked really comfy to travel in and looked nice, but the judges thought it was too simple. In the end the judges appeared to be judging highly on how the garment actually traveled. To be honest, I imagine that even were I a “jetsetter,” I would probably travel in the same things I do now (jeans, hoodie & tee), because it’s comfortable, looks decent after sitting and is layered because I get warm really easily.

hoodie sleeve

So, with all that in mind, I decided to try and make something fairly simple, comfortable and something that I might actually wear (the other challenge is that I NEVER make clothes for myself). I also wanted to try and make it something cute enough that I could potentially wear it to an event of some sort and it would show my design style. Therefore, I decided to make a pair of jeans and a hoodie with a tank top layered over it.

So here for your enjoyment… my attempt at “modeling.”

katy trying to model!

And that attempt didn’t last long:

katy laugh 1

Jeans? Simple right? No. Jeans (and pants) in general are some of the harder garments to make (if you ask me) because there is no room for “fudging” when you make pants. Everyone knows what they’re supposed to look like, fit, etc. If I’m making some gown, I have room to mess up a little and tweak it and say “what that? I was planning on that.” With pants the fit has to be perfect or everyone notices. There are also a lot of pattern pieces to making pants and putting in a fly is one of those things I know a lot of designers still refer back to the how-to books on! Anyways, my idea with the jeans was to make a pair that was my “perfect pair.” You know what I’m talking about… you have jeans you like, but there is always something little you’d change? So I thought I’d make a pair with all the details that I’ve wanted; wide waistband that cuts up higher in the back (no plumbers butt please!), dark dark denim, fitted but not too tight, slightly flared, etc… They ended up turning out pretty good. I think they need a bit more “living in” but they fit pretty well and are comfortable. I added a slightly distressed pin tuck down the center front of each leg to help add a bit of “length” and I did some stitching on the back pockets to add in a bit of color and detail. There’s not much that I would change, but I think I would change the pockets to a trouser cut, rather than a typical jean shape. I think I might cut the leg opening a bit wider as well, but maybe I’m just not used to less flared legs yet (no skinny jeans for me).

back pockets

For the tops I decided to make an white short-sleeved hoodie with a olive green zip tank. The tank top is sort of a play on the typical hoodie with the front zipper and pocket, but I thought it’d be fun to put those on a tank and layer it over an actual hoodie. I wanted the hoodie to have a fairly open v-neck, and made the front v cross over a bit, which was mimicked on the sleeve cuffs. I also made the hood a bit open in the back so it’s not as covered as a usual hoodie. I think both of them turned out pretty close to what I had wanted. They are very comfy and I can easily imagine traveling in them. The one thing that I would do differently on the hoodie is that I had to double up the fabric so it was too sheer, and I think it made it a bit bulky. Next time I would try to find a better fabric or not make it in a light color, so I don’t need to double up. Unfortunately the zip tank is green and the only separating zipper that I could find in that length was brown, so I would definitely change that if I had the chance!

back hood

As promised, I wore my outfit to the Project Runway final 4 fashion show in NYC. I forgot in all the excitement to get a photo (silly me), but here is one of Laura K (of BPR fame): and me.

katy and Laura K

I had planned on wearing it to travel home in the next day, but as it was raining the whole time I was in NYC and the outfit was still wet when I had to go to the airport, I decided against it. Sorry! I’m pretty confident in saying that it would travel well though considering the fabrics it’s made out of (denim and tee-shirt jersey).

katy front hoodie

I have no idea how the outfit would have been received by the judges, but I like it and doesn’t the saying go “the customer is always right?”

katy laugh 2

Hmm… so this week’s play list is a combo of what I listened to while sewing, when I was in NY for fashion week and what I’m listening to in anticipation of some shows I’m going to this week: Architecture In Helsinki, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, TV on the Radio. Sweet!

AUF’d Runway: “High Flying Fashion” Episode 8 Play list:

1. TV On the Radio “Return to Cookie Mountain” – Wolf Like Me
2. TV On the Radio “Return to Cookie Mountain” – A Method
3. Grand Buffet “Grand Buffet” – Candy Bars
4. The Polyphonic Spree “Together We’re Heavy” – Diamonds
5. The Polyphonic Spree “Together We’re Heavy” – One Man Show
6. Radiohead “Hail to the Thief” – Sit Down. Stand Up
7. Radiohead “Hail to the Thief” – I Will
8. Coldplay “Parachutes” – Don’t Panic
9. Coldplay “Parachutes” – Everything’s Not Lost
10. Ben Folds Five “Whatever and Ever Amen” – Selfless, Cold, and Composed
11. Ben Folds Five “Whatever and Ever Amen” – Missing the War
12. Jamie Cullum “Twentysomething” – These Are the Days
13. Jamie Cullum “Twentysomething” – All At Sea
14. Sergei Rachmaninov “Piano Concertos 1-4”
15. Iron And Wine “The Creek Drank the Cradle” – Promising Light
16. Iron And Wine “The Creek Drank the Cradle” – An Angry Blade
17. Architecture In Helsinki “In Case We Die” – Tiny Paintings
18. Architecture In Helsinki “In Case We Die” – Frenchy, I’m Faking
19. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah “Self Titled” – Clap Your Hands!
20. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah “Self Titled” – Is This Love?


Join the discussion.

i love love LOVE the jeans and the concept of the tank over the hoodie. they both look comfortable and stylish. great choice!

Really cute outfit. It really suits you, and i’ll be sure to look for it at and you on my TV setat OFW. Do you have a snow flake tatoo? it lokos like you did in that one photo.

  • #2 Dylan
    3 October, 17:13

I love it! I’m a total sucker for anything in green, anything with a hood or anything with front pockets like the tank had, though, so it’s not surprising that I respond to this outfit. The only thing I didn’t like was the very straight line of the tank against the the v-neck of the hoodie, it felt like it was working against the v-neck.

Loved the back of the hoodie! I have a neck tattoo, also, and think that would be awesome for showing it off. Great snowflake, by the by.

What else…the detail on the pockets of the jeans is great. Really nice work. I’ve only ever sewn clothes for ren fest/SCA events, nothing modern for daily wear, but watching your videos I’m inspired to try it. Must say the tip about using the weights for the patterns is brilliant. Totally going to start using that trick. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  • #3 Sarah
    3 October, 17:18

I love the jeans, they look different than the average jeans but they still look very simple and stylish. They don’t look really girly-girly (which is good because I don’t like glitter and all the shiny things they put on jeans) but they still look feminine and just I love the jeans!

I like the shirt too- very nicely made.

I absolutely love this outfit! I would buy the tank/hoodie combo in a second if I saw it at the store. Another great outfit!

  • #5 Jen
    3 October, 20:06

I love this outfit! I can totally see myself wearing something like it. I also like the stitching on the back pocket of the jeans.

  • #6 Meg
    3 October, 22:55

I was looking forward to seeing what you’d do for this one. I envy you for being able to make yourself your perfect pair of jeans. I so wish that I could do that. :) I like the zippy tank top idea, it’s very cute and different, and I love the sleeves on the hoodie. Kudos to you as well on wanting to avoid the plumbers disease. Visible crack is never a good thing, and it’s so hard to find a good pair of jeans nowadays which aren’t determined to show your crack to the world.

I like how considerate you were when creating your work. The tank top over the short sleeve hoodie is a cute combo. Above all though, i have alot of appreciation for those jeans… You should make some men’s wear and have it out in stores. I am serious when i say that i’d be the first one to buy the product! =)

I really love this outfit…Like, I can totally see you getting off of a plane with BIG JACKIE-O SHADES, and a big Elle magazine covering your face…to cover you from the Papparazzi!!! It is funky and really cute! I think if you would have made it that far, you would have not been AUF’D, because yours was way better than Angela and Vincent. While the tried to do a comfortable adn relaxed look, you actually achieved it, and I think you look like a Funky, Young, STAR!!! And I Loved the little peek in the back…it gave it some feminine appeal!

Also, as a side note…Your SKIN! FLAWLESS!!!! What’s the secret Ms. Gerdes??? :)

I am terrified of skinny jeans and I long for dark, dark, dark blue jeans like you made.

Nice work.

aww i love this outfit. adorable. and it looks totally travel friendly.

Once again, you made an amazing design that should have won but you weren’t there! I absolutely love the entire look. The colors go together really really well and it looks really comfy. I am absolutely in love with everything you do and I hope to hear from you in the future,


Lovely outfit!

It’s simple, but not in a boring way.
The back is great and sure makes it a bit more jetset.

The only thing I would change (besides the zipper) is maybe the length of the tanktop. Make it a bit longer, maybe even to the size of a short dress (the ones that you wear with some pants or such under it unless ofcourse you want to look awfully cheap) to let it still be casual with a hint of dressing up.
Although that would make the zipper up front look pretty tacky, so unless you would put it in the back (or side) my change is a pretty bad.. and since you are the customer only you can tell what the customer wants.

Ah well hope it made sense, great job!

This is so cute! I would happily wear that to work, out on weekends, etc. I love the pocket detail and the red topstitching! Nice job. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  • #14 Tracy
    6 October, 19:13

I think i saw you leaving the TVoTR show at First Ave tonight with a couple friends… i almost said hello, but i wussed out ;)

anywho, i hope you enjoyed the show as much as i did… wow!

i love the idea of the tank top over the hoodie. love love love it. it’s something i think i would wear. keep up the awesomeness.

  • #16 jess
    8 October, 06:49

I really like it all. The jeans are SWEET. I also like the tank over the hoodie. It looks comfy and stylish and its definately the type of jetsetter outfit I’d be wearing too. Good job!

  • #17 Jeanne
    8 October, 21:56

Some one else said it, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this outfit.

Super casual, but also very hip. Perfect! Not sure how the judges would go for it, but screw them! This is such a great outfit. Especially for your style, and your look, it’s perfect.

LOVE this design! Very comfortable looking, and totally something I would purchase for myself. I travel alot, and am ALWAYS looking for things that travel well, don’t wrinkle, have some ease, and look hip! Good job, Katy! And btw, did you cut your hair? It looks fantastic…and fitted clothes do you well!

  • #19 Marlene
    9 October, 09:51

I like it, it’s flattering on you. I’d wear it! I’m really enjoying your project auf’d.

Er, sorry to comment twice, but I love this site bc your designs are actually wearable for real people that have curves. As much as I like a lot of the designers on the show, top heavy ladies just can’t get on board with an Uli or Laura design. It’s so incredibly frustrating to go shopping for trendy clothes because I feel like I’d need some major plastic surgery to look good in anything. SO… keep up the good work!

I love the outfit, and think it looks adorable, but I wonder if the judges would have thought it was too casual? The jeans sound great!

Also, how odd that you were listening to CYHSY, I’m actually listening to their album right now, and just wrote something about them!

Hi Katy, two things:
1) The back pockets on the jeans are beautiful! Nina probably would’ve raved about them!
2) You always listen to awesome music.

I’m so glad you guys all like this outfit! I don’t know why, but I was really nervous about this one and thought everyone would hate it! Guess I’m crazy… must have been the nerves about “modeling!” :)

Dennis- You are too sweet! I was actually pretty sick that day, so I’m surprised and glad you think I looked good! I don’t really have any secrets about “perfect” skin, other than I have some good days and some not so good days… there is a Neutrogena night treatment that I use, but they discontiuned it, so I’ll be out of luck soon. If I have any secret that was it. Yikes!

Solace- I was at the “TV on the Radio” show! It was SO good! I’m sorry you wussed out… you should have said hi! Please stop me if you ever see me again (and I’m sure you will because you obviously have good taste in music!).

Marlene- I did cut my hair, and got it colored. Glad you like it! I finally found the perfect person to cut curly hair: Jacquie @ JUTT in Uptown.


You are wonderful and adorable! I think your ensemble is gorgeous. I just discovered this blog; great idea.

All the success in the world,

  • #25 Kate
    17 October, 15:19

Man, I love this outfit so much. I wonder what the judges would say? It would be so comfortable to wear on the plane. The back pockets are awesome, btw.

You know, for the challenge that gave you the most difficulty, I’d say you pulled off an icnredible garment. This is so you!!! It’s innovative and unique but so wearable and easy and fun and perfect! It is BY FAR the bets fo your Auf’d challenges, and I want you to make a mens version of this ensemble for me to buy and love.

Keep up the great work. Know your strengths and play off of them.

In His name,

  • #27 Michael
    31 October, 19:42


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