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idle sunshine

Enjoying life as a series of beautiful moments

Month

February 2019

One of a Kind!

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Wow! It’s week 4 of Project Run & Play – The Aussie Edition. I’m so incredibly proud of the 4 competition entries I’ve created over the month, and very excited to be in the Grand Final with such talented designers. This weeks theme is ‘Signature Style’ and I knew from the beginning this would be the hardest theme yet. This is so hard for me to pin down and put in a bottle – I am such a style chameleon! I call myself a style ‘appreciator’. If I like it, I like it, but don’t ask me to explain what my style is. Every item I make is really One of a Kind

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Let’s talk about the things I can list about my style! I like clean lines, colour and contrast, angles and stripes, fancy backs, easy to wear modern, yet timeless style & I LOVE upcycling. I don’t really like ruffles, characters, pink or anything really girly. Is it any wonder my girls are the same! Their tastes and style really come through in everything I’ve made in this competition, or why would I bother to make something that wouldn’t get worn again? I guess you could add practical and wearable to that list.

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So I decided to create my signature style from completely upcycled fabrics! This is something I do all the time and it is a challenge I love. There is not often an outfit I make that doesn’t have at least an element of upcycling to it! This is the ultimate One of a Kind! It’s very hard to replicate, especially when I don’t often leave a pattern alone as it is intended. I can’t help but make a tweak, because I just love to create something that nobody else will have in their wardrobe!

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It took me such a long time to settle on this combination, because I keep everything as an opportunity to be upcycled! I started with a ladies dress that I purchased for myself for $10 on a sale rack, (but I’ve recently lost 16.5kg so it was headed to the thrift store/upcycle pile). I used a pillow slip for the watercolour stripes, which was gifted to me as a queen quilt cover set from a friend (who knows I love upcycling and free fabric). Then I put it together with this sunny vintage yellow sheet I purchased from a thrift store that I’ve been saving for a dress for myself! It is my absolute favourite vintage sheet in my stash & I am praying I still have enough for a dress of my own!

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 I absolutely love this combination all together and the patterns I created! I started with the Simple Life Pattern Company Lucy dress when I drafted the yellow dress. I widened the shoulders and reshaped absolutely everything to get started! I took out the side seams to maximise the stripe effect, then I did some crazy colourblocking and added an exposed zip! I was pretty proud just to work out how to construct this dress for starters!

 

 

I drafted the dolman dress using the neckline and armhole measurements from the Little Lizard King Bristol tunic as a guide so that I knew they would be wide enough to wear in a woven fabric. I scooped the back out to make it interesting and added some ties to keep it in place. I ran up some cute headbands to pull the look together. That is another part of my style – a put together look.

 

You can see how windy it is on the hill by the ocean in King Edward Park. The dresses were blowing around wildly in the breeze, but it was worth it to shoot the blue and yellow alongside the red in these flowers! 

 

Thank you all for your support throughout the competition, I’m thrilled to have made it this far as a humble hobby sewist! It’s been an honour to have competed against such amazing Aussie pattern designers and friends, and it has inspired me to learn and grow in the future. Now make sure you head over to the Project Run & Play Blog to cast your votes! It’s the very last week, so it’s our last chance to make it count! Thanks so much!

Brooke xx 

Bohemian Beauty

It’s Week 3 of Project Run & Play and I’m thrilled to be here sharing my makes! Thank you all for your support so far!

The theme this week is ‘Botanical Beauty’ and I took the opportunity to make an outfit that has been stuck in my head for a long time! I’m so proud of this set, it’s floaty and romantic and the botanical print is just gorgeous. I used a gorgeous mauve floral rayon fabric, and then got a little crafty with the glue gun and made a flower crown to match!

I created this cropped wrap top using the Mori Dress Pattern by Elegance & Elephants as a starting point.

I redrafted every single pattern piece to get the look I wanted. I raised the front neck line, widened the front and back centre panels and changed the angle that the flounces set into, I lengthened the bodice, cut the full back into angled separates, created huge flounces and a wrap waist band! I think the only thing I left alone was the shoulder angle and armscye! I did a double fold narrow hem on the flounces and created a really long waistband to tie around the body.

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I am so happy with how this turned out and that being a wrap top, it will fit my girl for some time. She started talking Year 6 Graduation outfit, swishing around in this set, so that made me happy that she loved it too!

The skirt started with a flat front, elastic back waistband. I cut 2 extra wide skirt panels and cut the ruffled tier double the width of the skirt. I measured my daughter’s waist to the ground to calculate the length of the finished skirt, which I then used to work out the length of both the panel and ruffle. I hand cut the high low front panel, using a curved ruler as a guide, to get the finished height I had calculated for the front.

She loved twirling around in the breeze up on the cliffs in this beautiful skirt.

I really wanted this outfit to be a show stopper, So I made sure the skirt had the same generous feel as the flounces of the wrap top.

We took our photoshoot out to the boardwalk above Fingal Bay in Port Stephens. This is one of our family’s favourite spots to visit for a stroll. I knew the stunning combination of the greenery and the ocean would be the perfect backdrop for this botanical outfit and wouldn’t compete with the colours of the fabric.

To vote for your favourite look this week, you can head over to the Project Run & Play Blog now!

AND just a few more images, because I had so much fun with this shoot ❤

Salty Hair & Sandy Toes

Welcome to Week 2 of Project Run & Play – Surf & Sand! My babies love the beach! We spend most of summer there. We pack our caravan and set up beachside for 3 weeks over Christmas. Swimming, fishing, exploring, riding skateboards and bikes all day long. We hang out with friends from home and friends that we have met over the years there. The days are long, lazy & hot!

My girls are all about comfort on holidays, so shorts are a must! I drafted this pair starting with the Little Lizard King Newport Shorts. I changed the waistband height, added length and hemmed them without adding the cuffs. These are exactly the kind of shorts my girls love (I was actually inspired by some RTW pairs they have) and so I will be making plenty more! They are beautifully comfortable to wear, made from a soft, drapey rayon.

To make this sweet cropped top, I used my dress pattern from last week as a starting point. I created a narrow centre placket, curved the bodice to a sweetheart shape, made longer skinny straps and added a wider, flounce layer to the front for some visual interest. I made it from a lovely soft chambray. I drafted this so she can pop this on and off over her head, without fiddling with buttons, which she loves. This is just like the outfits my girls drool over on the online surf stores.

I love how casual, comfortable and cool this outfit is. It’s perfect for summer and cute enough to be worn for any occasion.

I couldn’t take you to the beach without some swimwear could I? I started with the Boo Designs classic swimmer briefs and gave them a retro feel with a little extra height, a slightly lower leg cut and some fabric splicing. I lined the front of both the top and the bottoms (and I love that part when you work out which order to put them in to enclose all the seams neatly). The halter top I drafted myself using the width of the Boo Designs swimmers as a starting point. Once I was happy with the shape and pattern I spliced a V into the front and added a ruffle by cutting a V shaped ruffle! I am thrilled with how these turned out.

Next she requested a beach cover up, “just like yours Mum”. I used my favourite ladies tshirt pattern, the Little Kiwis Closet Cuffed Dolman as my starting point! I cut a much narrower neckline, changed the shoulder angle and lengthened the sleeves. Then I cut down the centre front and cut from the front neckline down to the centre front to create the smooth cardigan shape. I added some fringing I’d taken off a store bought ladies tank (loved the tank, did not love the fringing on it)! It was the perfect finishing touch for this!

They were so patient to have their pictures take, when all they wanted to do was rip off their clothes and jump in! So that’s what they did! They swam for an hour in the baths before I dragged them out to get some burgers for tea! It was a perfect balmy summer Sunday evening. ❤

Now the girls are arguing over both outfits, so I have to make them another set each! I’d love you to check out all the entries this week, so head over to the Project Run and Play blog to vote for your favourite!

Hunter Valley Homeland

The theme for Project Run & Play Week One is – Patriotic Parade!

“Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion and sense of attachment to a homeland, and a sense of alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiment. This attachment can be a combination of many different feelings relating to one’s own homeland, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects.”

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We certainly love our homeland! Our entire family of 5 were all born in Newcastle in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia. When you think of the Hunter Valley, you think of the city of Newcastle, the beaches of Port Stephens and the beautiful Hunter Valley with its vineyards, horse industry and coal mining. It is such a diverse area, but since we are all going to the beach next week for our next theme, we had to visit the beautiful Hunter Valley vineyards this week!

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The imagery that first came to my mind, was the asymmetrical patchwork patterns of the vines up and down the hills and valleys, which led me to the idea of an asymmetrical dress. I went to my stash and found this gorgeous mossy green corduroy, which I had purchased some time ago from a thrift store, and it gave me the perfect lines to work with. I drafted the bodice using the last dress I made my daughters, which was a hack of the Laguna dress from Simple Life Patterns Co. It is almost unrecognisable now after I changed the armscye shape, squared and added bodice height, narrowed the fit, particularly under the arms, lengthened the bottom of the bodice, and changed it from a centre back opening to a asymmetrical front full placket. I drafted the a-line skirt to skim over her hips, added a waistband for visual interest and a pleat to the skirt front and back, to give some ease of movement. The 8 bold black buttons, which were recycled and also from a thrift store, represent the posts that support the vines. The sandals I found for the girls mirror the buttons beautifully too!

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My second vision was a dress that represented a glass of red wine! The colour would be perfect shot amongst the vines for starters, and would tone in beautifully with the green cord and the theme I was planning to use. I sourced this gorgeous Maroon Cotton Elastane Jersey from Wicked Fabrics. Vivi is a friend of mine and I was thrilled to see she was sponsoring the Aussie makers of this season of Project Run & Play! I pictured a strapless dress with a rippling hi-lo mermaid skirt and to add a point of asymetrical difference, I cut the skirt waist front deeper so that I could add pleats at one side. I started with the Simple Life Pattern Co. Skyler Dress and cut the shoulders off the bodice and sleeves! It had far too much ease to stay up as a strapless dress, so I cut it down a cm or 2 on each side of the bodice and a couple of inches from the width of each sleeve. I drafted a curved shoulder band and attached it with elastic in the seam for stability. Once I had basted the pleats and the skirt was attached, I hand cut the hem higher at the front, before hemming. My girls are leaning towards more solid colours as they grow up, so they love these looks!

Let’s take a look at the inspiration pic that led me to these divine colours!

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I really wanted to show a variety of skills this week! I wanted to show that I could draft a pattern. I wanted to show a variety of sewing techniques. I wanted to show that I could create with both woven & knit fabrics. I wanted to show my style and my girls personalities, and I wanted to make items that were awesome, but were still timeless in design.

I’d love you to visit the Project Run & Play Blog to see all the entries and vote for your favourite!

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