A Mini Wardrobe Capsule 

Striped Swallow Designs Midsummer Dream for Women 

I was recently lucky enough to test the newest Women’s pattern by Striped Swallow Design, the Midsummer Dream. I had been stalking the facebook group, waiting so patiently since the girls version released, which I also tested. That’s not weird at all, is it? We all hoped the Women’s version would be coming soon, because we knew it would be awesome!

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I’ve been inspired lately by the idea of the wardrobe capsule, trying to clear out items that don’t work and now anything new I make has to be versatile and fit in! So I had this picture in my head and it involved lengthening the separates so that they could double as a dress and as a top to wear with jeans and other skirts!

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First I will show you the dress, as the pattern is intended to look. It is an off the shoulder top with an attached high waisted elastic skirt. The top has this gorgeous wide flounce and there is an option to add shoulder straps as well.

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The skirt measurements included in the pattern mean that it can be made as a mini, knee length, midi or maxi. I have made mine knee length per the pattern. The part where it gets funky is where I added 5″ in length to the hem of the top. I added a bit of shape to the bottom to allow for my hips and just gave it a narrow hem. I also used bias to finish the armholes rather than lining the top, to save fabric mostly! Instructions for both methods are included in the pattern.

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Now we have the illusion of the dress and the added bonus of separates! This version was made with a soft voile from spotlight, but it can be made with knit too.

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Onto version number 2… I wanted plain black rayon but I did not want to drive 40 minutes to get it (and they never have what i want in stock anyway) so on the off chance I thought i’d hit the op shops. I found this awesome black silky tablecloth for $2 at lifeline! SCORE!!! It was big enough that I could cut my pattern pieces so that no hemming was required. I cut the front and back with the hem done and both ruffle pieces with the hem done! But seriously, who doesn’t love a little short cut now and then! You have to take your victories any time you can in sewing!

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I teamed it with this a-line knit maxi I had already made myself. I just drafted a pattern from a knit skirt I had in my closet. It’s as simple as running up the side seams and adding a waistband, no hemming required! I will do a tutorial for that another time, but I knew this outfit would work so well with the girls version I had made my daughter!

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I originally made this dress for Miss 8, and you can see her wearing it here, but on this particular day Miss 5 wanted in on the pictures more than she did AND they are the same size so that did not worry anyone haha!

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It was a great excuse to grab a photo with my little mini and I matching! I think I’d best get back to Spotlight while this yellow floral knit is still in the current range so that all 3 of us can match, or would that be too much? Too bad ;-P!

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We all hit the foreshore park as a family and the kids played while my husband took some pictures for me. It’s the first time I’ve “made” him take pictures for my pattern testing, I usually just use self timer or ask a friend to help me out, even my daughter has played photographer! While I had to drag him there to start with, I think he settled in quite happily behind the camera (not that he’d admit to that) and he did a pretty great job (with a little bit of direction of course).

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Then if I am being honest, this is probably the outfit that will get worn the most! I am a jeans girl all the way! Dress them up or down and wear them every day!

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So that’s 4 outfits I’ve shown you with me making 2 tops and 1 skirt with this pattern. I should have put the black top with the red skirt as well and grabbed a shot, that would make it 5! Everyone thought I’d been really busy, but this is such a quick pattern to run up, it took no time at all!

Grab the Womens version of the Midsummer Dream or the girls version from Striped Swallow Designs and share with me what you make! Are you interested in the idea of a capsule wardrobe? What are your must have pieces?

Warmest Wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

 

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