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idle sunshine

Enjoying life as a series of beautiful moments

Month

September 2016

Chalk & Notch – Cascade Maxi Dress

Today is a good day! We get to take a look at the brand new Cascade Maxi dress by Chalk & Notch Patterns AND I have so generously been given a copy to give away to one of my readers! My very first giveaway!

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Wow! I could pretty much leave it at that, add a few pictures and this blog post is done right? This pattern is so gorgeous, that I don’t really have to say much at all!

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I was thrilled to be able to test this pattern. Gabriela’s sneak peek had me obsessed with this dress! Despite its ridiculous good looks, it is quite a simple sewing project that is suitable for advanced beginners. It is cut on the bias, has a simple elastic back and a gorgeous high-low maxi length hem (which is my favourite feature).

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The picture above is my absolute favourite! I tested View B, which has a feature border hem, and I absolutely love how this dress turned out with the contrasting blue I chose! If you are not so confident, or are after a super fast project, then View A creates a dress with the same finished length without the border hem.

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This dress is best made with a light weight woven fabric or one with good drape, such as this amazing printed voile I had picked up a little while ago from Spotlight. It is an absolute stunner! The border is also a voile, and I had the full rainbow of solids to choose from in my stash, but this blue is definitely my colour.

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There is a sweet pleat in the centre front which helps give the dress a great fit and style. If you look closely, you might notice that I exercised a little OCD and added my straps so that the yellow met the pink on the dress & the pink met the yellow. Anyone else do crazy little things like that, or do you just wing it?

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One of the other clever testers made an all white version which looked so beautiful. I can imagine it as a flower girl or special occasion dress! My little Miss has already decided it is SO special, it must be worn for her next birthday (which is not until January)!! I love when my kids love what I make for them.

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I love the cross over back and that the hem just skims the ground, its so elegant and grown up. The volume of fabric is such a gorgeous feature and my little Miss enjoyed swishing about in the afternoon breeze!

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So you should definitely go grab a copy of the pattern while it is on sale (until Sunday 25/9), BUT I bet you would really like to win a copy!

All you have to do is leave me a blog comment and I will use random.org to select a winner.

Of course I would also love it if you would follow me on Instagram and Facebook too! Leave me your instagram handle in your comment so I can follow you back! ❤

Competition closes Sunday 10pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is Sunday 5am in California for those of you on the other side of the world!

You can see some of the other talented testers’ Cascade Maxis here in the links below AND the great news is that some of these posts may also contain a pattern giveaway! So please make a cup of tea and enjoy…

Gabriela – Pattern Designer – Chalk & Notch

Natasha from Ellie’s Handmade

Anita from My Own Aria

Indu from Kaleidothought

Emi from Just Add Fabric

Nelleke from Gaafmachine

Leslie from Threadbear Garments

Mieke from Mie Made Memories

Thao from Little Cumquat

Good Luck and warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

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Sew Boxes – Seasons – Winter Reveal!

I want to share with you the outfit I made as a style contributor for the very first Sew Boxes – Seasons Subscription for Winter! Sew Boxes is an exciting Australian business, that has many different sewing box subscriptions on offer. Their subscriptions include their original monthly sew box, sew boxes for kids and a new fabric box subscription to help build your fabric stash! These subscriptions can all be found on the Sew Boxes website, along with assorted fabric, sewing kits and patterns. IMG_6784 - Version 2

The Seasons Box is a quarterly subscription made just for women to sew for themselves! This was just the challenge I needed, and I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with the results! We tend to sew for others and our children, but not enough for us, so it’s time to fix that with style!

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As part of your subscription you will receive 3 awesome PDF sewing patterns from tried and trusted designers, as well as some awesome notions/hardware/haberdashery items to stock your stash and to help with your Seasons projects AND an awesome 12 page e-mag about the pattern designers, style contributors and more. For this first subscription release, we were lucky enough to work with patterns from the wonderful Winterwear Designs, Jocole and Little Moo Designs.

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Our first pattern was a blazer by Winterwear Designs. We were very lucky to be able to choose from 3 great designs – The Phresh Blazer, The Giverney Blazer and The Champs Elysee Cross Back Blazer. I love that subscribers were given this choice, because the lovely Seasons Style Contributors all had different ideas of what they would choose and what would suit them best. I chose the Champs Elysee Blazer and I’m so happy with how it turned out!

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I love the cross over back feature and I found it a great first pattern for tackling a blazer. I sew so much for my kids, but up until this point I had been a little scared of sewing for me. I used to convince my Mum to do that job! The Seasons box really turned that fear on its head and has me completely addicted! I used a cotton sateen floral fabric purchased in store from Spotlight and it pairs really nicely with my Jocole skinnies!

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I am in love with these pants! I bought this stretch suiting from spotlight some time ago on a sale rack for $6 a metre, with this project in mind. I didn’t realise at the time that the Jocole Skinnies call for woven fabric (non-stretch), but I am big on comfort and I’m so glad I put these together. This fabric has a lot of stretch, around 75% when I did a stretch test, so I took my measurements and compared them to the pattern, then I sized down 2 sizes to account for the stretch. A lot of the other contributors did a muslin (a test version in similar but cheap fabric) to make sure their fit was right, but I had 3m of this extra wide fabric so I took a leap of faith, knowing I could start over if I really had to at $6 a metre!

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They turned out really well, and I only had to take some slack out of the centre back and around my knees to get the fit I was after. I added pockets to both the front and the back, because I love pockets! I even added a little freehand swirly decorative stitching to the back pockets for interest. I used a stretch stitch around the crotch seam and double stitched it for strength, just to make sure I didn’t bust out of these babies!

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When I was getting the fit right – trying them on, taking them off, turning them inside out and right side out to try again for fit, I found that small safety pins were handy to mark the points to adjust. Tailors chalk seemed to rub off too easily, pins stab you and wonder clips don’t stay in place when you are turning them inside and right side out, but I found safety pins really handy – you’re welcome!

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Our 3rd project was an exclusive new release pattern to Sew Boxes – Seasons! This is the Tainted Love Fold Over Clutch by Little Moo Designs. I cannot tell you how excited I was to make this clutch, and how thrilled I was with the result! I had never made a clutch or a bag of any kind. I also had never sewn with leather or vinyl, but here she is in all her glory (cue choirs of angels etc etc)!!! I absolutely love this clutch and all my friends have put in requests for their own! I used the khaki stretch suiting from my skinnies, a piece of black vinyl from a garage sale that I got for $1, and the stripe woven was a scrap from my Aunts stash. She doesn’t keep scraps, she sends them down the road to me because I am a hoarder, but doesn’t it pay off!

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As a bonus, subscribers were given a 4th pattern – a code to receive the pattern for the Winterwear Designs Trendy Tank! I made mine in a simple plain black knit, because it’s the kind of piece that will go with any outfit. I tested this v-neck tank for Winterwear Designs before its release and you can grab it for free too! See my tester pics and post here to find out more!

So you see I made this ENTIRE OUTFIT from head to toe (minus the hat, necklace and shoes I guess)!! In case you were wondering, the hat was purchased from Target, the shoes are from Big W, but the necklace was a custom piece! It was made to match my blazer by the lovely Danielle at BowerBird Creations! This is the third piece I have ordered from Danielle and her enthusiasm and customer service are second to none!

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I hope this has given you all the information you have been wanting to know about the Seasons Subscription concept! You can read more about the Seasons Winter outfits made by all the awesome Style contributors in the subscriber e-mag here. This is an exclusive magazine to the Seasons Box, but you can have a sneaky look just this once!

Here’s a sneak peek at the contributors outfits for the Spring Edition! Subscriptions for Spring are now closed, but there are some trial boxes available on the website. Keep your eye out for a look at what’s in the Spring Seasons box and an awesome prize I have to give-away!

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

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EYMM – Back To School Tour – Mom Edition

So in the Northern Hemisphere, the sewing “Mom’s” have been busy creating gorgeous back to school outfits and complete school wardrobes for their children! I’ve been ooohing and ahhhing over their divine first day pictures, but here (Down Under), the “Mum’s” have been taking it pretty easy, making whatever we like!! Partly because our school year operates differently (and the kids have been at school instead of driving us crazy at home), and partly because the majority of us send our kids to school in a fairly strict uniform. So let me take you all back to school and let you know how we do things around here…

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Here’s my little Peeps all dressed for their first day of school this year, which begins at the end of January, depending on where in the week Australia Day falls (January 26th). This is them wearing their summer uniforms, which are worn first and fourth terms, because our seasons are the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere. They also have a winter uniform they wear second and third terms, with long sleeves, ties and tunics etc. They are pretty cute, but they aren’t looking fabulous or styled for a photoshoot, because (A) I am not a morning person (B) after six weeks of summer holidays and zero routine I have trouble getting everyone up and to school by 8:30am and (C) I had no idea that I would start a sewing blog and need a photo of my kids first day of school when September rolled around!

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So enough about the kids! They wear uniforms, I wear what I like! So let me show you what I like… This is the Everything Your Mama Made & More Piko Top!

I saw the call to join the EYMM Back to School Tour – Mom Edition and I jumped at the chance! I haven’t been blogging long, but I love it as a chance to show off my pattern testing projects and to support designers. This is my first blog tour so I’m thrilled to be in such good company.

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I haven’t sewn a EYMM pattern before so I was like a kid in a candy store! Who doesn’t love a legitimate excuse to go shopping? I purchased the Piko top, because it’s like nothing else I have in my extensive {read: ridiculous} pattern library!

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It has a lovely, loose oversized fit, which I love for pairing with skinny jeans or tights. We have just hit spring and the weather is warming up nicely, but I am a total cold frog and am still rugging up! For cooler weather you can layer a singlet/tank underneath which would not be seen at all.

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There are three hem styles – side tail, high-low or regular. I stuck with the regular straight hem and used a sweater knit I picked up at Spotlight when they had 40% off. Let’s be honest, that’s when I go to Spotlight, when it’s all on sale, because knits are about double the price here than they are in the U.S. for some ridiculous reason?!?!?! It’s a great wintery look, so I made it with the long sleeve option.

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I styled it with my favourite skinny jeans and have been wearing it with black jeans and tights too. I have also been teaming it with a really cool upcycled knit braided scarf necklace by Zobelle Designs which is a perfect match.

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Now I can’t seem to help myself and I have a cupboard FULL of white, grey and black long sleeved shirts! The ones that aren’t plain white, grey or black are striped white, grey and black! So even though I knew I had to use that sweater knit because it was perfect, I also knew I had to make myself something different!!!

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We are at the end of winter heading toward spring, so long sleeved shirts will still be my uniform for a bit longer yet, but this one I made with the 3/4 sleeve option

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I used the regular straight shaped hem again, but I made this version a bit longer so it could be worn with tights without showing too much.

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I love shirts with different prints front and back, so I raided my stash and put these two cotton lycras together. They are so ridiculously soft, they feel like pyjamas!

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This pattern is super simple to follow, perfect for a beginner or as an introduction to knit fabric. These two Piko tops will definitely not be my last, and I look forward to trying more patterns by Everything Your Mama Made and More!

So tell me what pattern you would you have chosen if you had free reign and a fresh set of eyes in the store? Now that you’ve sent the kids back to school and you have a 50% off code (yippee) you have no excuse right? Unless you homeschool… Then you have every excuse and I have no idea how you do it!

Back-to-School-Tour-web

Don’t miss any of the posts on EYMM’s Back to School Tour: Mom’s Edition! (Note: the links below will not work until their scheduled day, but feel free to click through and check out the rest of their blogs anytime!)

September 7
Sewing by Ti and†Sprouting JubeJube and†Call Ajaire

September 8
Inspinration†and†Idlesunshine

September 9
Boutique Birdie and†Needles to Say

September 10
Capture, Craft, and Cook and†Kelly’s Sewing Creations†and†Lulu & Celeste

September 11
Adventures with Bubba and Bug and†Pretty & Precious†and MeMade

September 12
Five Blessings and†House of Estrela and†Rebel & Malice

September 13
Recap at EYMM

The kids are back in school and parents and caregivers everywhere are excited to catch up after summer break!†Use coupon code†PARENTSROCK to save†50% off any adult-size patterns†for men and†women now through 11:59pm PST Tuesday 9/13/2016. This offer may NOT be combined with other offers including bundles.

 

Post Script: The sun was shining in true spring fashion in my part of the world and I had a “normal” day planned, so this was my outfit of choice today! My new Piko with a simple knit skirt. Pure comfort! Sunglasses hide that I don’t have time for makeup, keys around my neck and coffee in my hand this is me walking out the door everyday at 8:30am. Don’t mind my hair, that’s getting sorted out tomorrow, so zero effort today lol ;-).

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First up was the drop off at primary school, then at preschool. Then it was back to primary school for volunteer reading/writing/class help in my son’s year 1 class. I came home to hang out a few loads of washing I had done earlier and sorted out my home phone line that wasn’t working = no internet!!!!! Bit scary when you want to check on your blog post for your very first blog tour!!! Hold it together…. Then I went back to school to my daughter’s year 3 class stage assembly performance. When that was finished I headed down the street to run some errands and grab some groceries. I brought them home, scoffed a Japanese curry takeaway for lunch (my new favourite solo treat usually reserved for Fridays, but tomorrow is a pupil free day so that won’t be happening!) and then headed back to do the rounds and pick everyone up.

So there you have it! It makes the perfect Mom/Mum uniform no matter the weather, where you are in the world and no matter what your day throws at you! 

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

 

 

 

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