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Enjoying life as a series of beautiful moments

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March 2018

Coffee & Thread Nina Blouse Blog Tour

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Welcome to the Nina Blouse Blog Tour for Coffee & Thread Patterns! I love Coffee & Thread Pattern’s classic style and I shared my Ila dress last year as part of their pattern tour. Claudia of @fr.love recently asked me if I’d like to join the Nina Blouse Tour and I jumped at the chance.

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I’m really busy at the moment working and being a Mum, so I have to be careful not to say yes to too many projects, but it is a constant battle! So many tours and pattern tests tempt me constantly! So now I only say yes

  • if I can fit it in,
  • if it is super awesome
  • and if it is something I am “missing” from my pattern library.

In the hundreds of patterns I own, I do not have a woven girls blouse, can you believe that? I am happy to say we have now rectified that!

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The Nina Blouse comes with a sweet retro vibe and three sleeves choices: cap sleeves (regular and scalloped) and long sleeves. I chose the regular cap sleeves for my version.

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The shoulders have three decorative tucks. The pattern also offers two different collar options: a classic Peter Pan collar and a scalloped collar. I chose to use the simple Peter Pan collar. My girl is a fan of simple and so I thought we’d start there. There is the option of a neck tie or bow as well, which is just adorable!

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Nina covers sizes 12 months through 12 years and is best sewn from lightweight to midweight woven fabrics such as voile, lawn, rayon, double gauze, linen, poplin or quilting cotton. I used this gorgeous Cloud 9 ‘Block Party’ Hexagon Honeycomb Voile. It is  a gorgeous light weight organic cotton fabric and I found it in a remnant bin for $2 a metre! It was just barely enough to make this blouse, but not quite enough for the collar. A simple white collar is a nice fix for that though!

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I used kam snaps for my closures rather than buttons and buttonholes. I love how fast snaps are to add to a garment. I was tossing up between white and this duck egg blue colour for a while, but I felt like this blue blended better than a bright white would have.

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My kids had been at their athletics carnival for school, so I didn’t keep her out too long for pictures this day. She was a little sun-kissed and completely exhausted after a day of running races and field events.

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If you have read this far, your prize is a discount code!

20% off with the code NINAPATTERNTOUR

good through 03/19, 11:59 pm Central (Chicago) time zone at http://coffeeandthread.bigcartel.com/

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Fabric Covered Bunny Ears Tutorial for Easter!

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I made these sweet bunny ears to go with our One Thimble Trillium by Petite Stitchery and Twig + Tale Pixie Shorts outfit last year. It was the Michael Miller Saturday Morning Fabric Collection that took me there! Those bunnies are perfect for Easter!

This little project is quite quick and easier than it might look, but I got so many comments, that I thought I had better write a quick tutorial to show how I made them!

The bunny ears came straight out of my children’s dress-up box from a previous Easter, and the flower is on an alligator clip and also has a brooch back. You might have picked up that I am all about sustainability and versatility, so I love that the flower can be used as a hair clip or pinned on any other accesory or outfit.

I didn’t have another pair of ears on hand so I called in to Big W and grabbed a pair. I’m sure wherever you are in the world you will have a department store or bargain store that will have these in stock at this time of year for a dollar or two.

Materials needed:

Paper

Pencil

Scissors

Fabric (I only needed a piece 20x20cm or 8″x8″, but it will depend on the size of your ears)

Iron

Needle and thread to match your fabric

Method:

  • Lay your headband down on a piece of scrap paper and trace around the outside of the ear shape.  Make sure to extend down to the headband, this will give you a seam allowance to play with all the way around.
  • Cut out your pattern piece and use it to cut 2 ear shapes (mirrored if they aren’t symmetrical) from your chosen fabric.
  • Take your 2 fabric ears to the ironing board and iron a 1cm or 3/8″ seam allowance under to the wrong side.
  • Pin your fabric ears to the ears on the headband, covering the inner ear (the pink section in this case). I just hold it there, but I’m a rebel, so you might like to use pins!
  • Hand stitch your ears to the headband, starting from underneath the fabric ear so that the thread tail is hidden between the furry ear and the fabric. You might like to tie a knot in the tail so it doesnt pull though, or wing it like myself and just tie it when you’ve stitched all the way around and back to the beginning! I just use a running stitch, but i travel most of the distance around the ear between the fabric and the headband ears so as not to have big stitches visible. Come up through your fabric from the bottom and back down through the fabric only 2mm from the point where you came up, then down through to the back of your bunny ears and back up only 2mm from the point where you came down. Then use the needle to travel 1cm (3/8″) along in between the fabric and the ears before you come back up through the fabric and repeat the process. It’s not important to be super careful, because your stitches aren’t seen through the long fluff on the back of the ears.
  • Just align your fabric so that the folded edge lines up with the seam of the bunny ears (where the pink inner ear meets the white fur), all the way around as you sew. Your fabric might not be exactly the same size as the area you are covering (that will depend on the design of the ears you have purchased). You might find you need to fold a little more of the fabric over than the 1cm seam allowance we pressed to make it match up, but you can just adjust that by hand as you sew and it will all work out just fine.

Boo Designs Dynamite Activewear!

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This was a fun assignment! Kristie Gilbert (Spandex Queen and Pattern Designer from Boo Designs), asked if I’d like to test her new pattern? Let’s be honest, she had me at “Activewear”!

My girls are completely OBSESSED with activewear so it was a no brainer! The new Boo Designs Dynamite Activewear pattern will blow your mind, just take a look at the options it has!

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I have a few thousand photos to share, so I compiled a few collages to save you some scrolling. First up is a Cutout Racerback Flared Tank in the February Pattern of the Month Club Fabric, trimmed with Solid Black Spandex. Her leggings are Solid Black Spandex Sports length, with a Snake Leg Splice in Black Power Mesh.

Her little sister wears an Infinity Back Crop in the February Pattern of the Month Club Fabric, trimmed with Solid New Royal Spandex. Her Leggings are Full length Dynamite Spliced with the February Pattern of the Month Club Fabric, Solid New Royal SpandexSolid Desire Spandex and Solid Aqua Marine Spandex.

I love how these outfits turned out and am honoured to have my girls as cover models for the pattern!

 

Next up are these bright sets I made earlier in testing. The marled, supplex-type fabric for each set was cut from a couple of pairs of ladies size 26 leggings I found on a $3 rack at Best & Less! I’d had them in my stash for so long, that my littlest model was starting to get cranky with me! I told you activewear was high on their demand list!

Her Infinity Crop and Dynamite Spliced Leggings set is teamed with some crazy colourful dance spandex and solid black spandex.

The Big Sister’s Cutout Racerback Crop and Dynamite Spliced Leggings set is teamed with some Boo Designs Purple Bubbles fabric from the Pins Sewalong (that I never quite got around to joining) and some solid pink spandex.

 

To show a little versatility, I made this next set from cotton lycra. Both of these pretty fabrics came from Wicked Fabrics, from a scrap bag I nabbed. This simple Racerback Crop and Jazz length Shorts could be cut from around 35cm length of fabric (full width of fabric) for a size 6. How great is that!

I decided to switch up the waistband facing and waistband pieces to get this peekaboo waist band feature. She loves it!

I also made a simple plain white cotton lycra Racerback Crop and black Jazz Shorts, which she loves to wear under her school uniform. So simple and no photos of that one, but I’m sure you’ve seen enough for today!

 

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I’d love to hear what you think! Are you as pumped as I am about this new release? I have another set stuck in my head that I have to make ASAP, so I will add that one too (as soon as I can)! This pattern leaves you feeling like a sewing superstar! It really isn’t as difficult as it looks, so give it a go!

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Little Lizard King Bellevue Dress

I’m excited to show you all this gorgeous dress, made from a new pattern by Little Lizard King! It’s called the Bellevue and the exciting part is that it is the first design by the lovely and talented Natasha Chrismas of Ellie’s Handmade! I’ve been a long time fan of Natasha’s work (if you are a handmade enthusiast I’m sure you are too), so I was thrilled when she asked me to take a look at her first release!

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The Bellevue was a double release available in a dress and romper version. The dress includes sizes 12 months – 14 years, the romper in sizes 0-3 months – 4 years.

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Photo credit – Natasha Chrismas

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It has these gorgeous cross back straps with the option of single or double ruffles. You might have noticed my girls don’t wear many dresses these days, but Miss 6 is turning 7 next week and she decided she wanted a birthday dress. Seeing as though I was sewing for my little firecracker, I decided to experiment and leave the ruffles out of the equation. She loves it and I am happy knowing it will be worn more than once! Why, oh why must they grow up and ditch the dresses and frills?

fullsizeoutput_7e38 I could have moved the straps over to meet the edge of the bodice, but that might have left them too wide on her shoulders. I could also have trimmed down the bodice to meet the straps, but I quite liked the idea of this modern look.

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The straps cross over and tie in the back through two loops, it also has an elastic casing across the back. Both these features allow for a comfortable and adjustable fit, that will grow with your child.

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It has a nice full gathered skirt, with the option of a double ruffle hem or a contrast band.  I made a simple skirt, but made it for a size 9 (the bodice I made for their chest measurement which was a size 6). It is designed to be a retro above knee length, but I made it so it would fit both my girls, and being an adjustable fit bodice it will fit them both for a while with this added length.

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I bought this quilting cotton fabric to make myself a dress, I loved the birds and flowers in the print. I think I might have enough still left for me… I hope! It was printed off grain a touch, which made cutting tricky for this OCD pattern matcher, but I got there in the end. It would have been really obvious if I hadn’t gotten that hem straight in this print!

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We gave it the twirl test, even though it is a gathered skirt, it still passes!

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I said to her as she was running down the stairs before we left to “Slow down”. It’s something I say a thousand times a day to her, usually right before she falls over… I kid you not, her response was – “Life wasn’t meant to be slow Mum”!!!

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Miss almost 7 is clearly growing up… #mouthfullofmissingteeth ❤

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Have you made a Bellevue Dress or Romper yet?  You know if my girls weren’t almost 7 and 10 already (with opinions and long legs), I’d be squeezing them into that romper with ruffle sleeves and a ruffle butt!!! IT IS ADORABLE!!!

Some of those awesome features that might get you over the finish line:

  • PDF Printing Layers
  • Measurement Chart for Rectangle Pieces
  • Line Drawings
  • Recommended Fabrics
  • Table of Contents
  • Glossary of Terms
  • Printing Layout
  • Print Guide
  • Fabric Requirements
  • Size Chart and Finished Measurements
  • Cutting Chart
  • Cutting Instructions

Congratulations Natasha on your new position as a designer with Little Lizard King and your first pattern releases! They are absolutely gorgeous, with clear and comprehensive instructions. Highly recommended.

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

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