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idle sunshine

Enjoying life as a series of beautiful moments

Author

idlesunshine

Hi there! I'm Brooke, married with 3 beautiful babies (10, 8 & 7)! Luckiest lady around. Enjoying my love of sewing and cooking along with the harsh reality of studying at uni, working and volunteering at school... Life is busy and beautiful! xxx

Fabric From Utopia in the Week From Hell

This picture really sums up our week! I received a package of really beautiful fabrics from Utopian Threads to create to my hearts content, and then a few things didn’t quite go to plan…

The short version is that my girls got sick, I sewed through my finger making this dress (snapped the needle off straight through the nail and out the other side), we had a car accident on our way to take some pics and then when we finally got to take pictures, this kid (who still had a temperature), stepped straight in a mud puddle!!! I’m not kidding! BUT like I said, I had these really beautiful fabrics to play with, so it wasn’t all bad 😉

The first fabric I have to share is a gorgeous pastel Mermaid Scales in Swim 220gsm SPF50+. I first thought I’d make some swimmers, but little Miss decided it needed to be activewear. We met in the middle and I made this cute Kyra crop hack by Simple Life Pattern Company, some Boo Pins and some Boo Swimmer Bottoms. 2 in 1! That made us both happy! I am the master of fabric tetris (takes a curtsy)…

We found a beautiful wall for pictures right near where my kids play basketball! It was a fantastic match for this print, I couldn’t believe it! It was a PCYC and it had lots of figures painted on it, but with some creative cropping and framing when photographing, it looks pretty amazing.

Next up was a gorgeous Whitewash Roses in Lime printed on cotton lycra 220gsm. My girls were scrolling through my instagram page and decided it had to be a Tadah Vetur Dress! They love the cowl neckline and thumb cuffs! It’s such a comfortable and cosy dress, but so cute too.

My third project was made in a Cotton Sateen 150gsm in a Mod Floral Print. It would have made a beautiful skirt or a stunning dress with pleats! My big girl could see it as overalls, so I suggested the new Tadah Mykonos Romper! I tested this pattern recently, but I haven’t shared any photos yet. Mostly because I spilled a full cup of coffee on it before I could sew the button holes and hem… What is going on with me lately?

I made this version in a generous size, as I do with a lot of my sewing, because I don’t like my kids growing out of my handmade too quickly! It will work well in winter with a long sleeve tee, long socks and boots, then hopefully when spring and summer roll around again it might still fit! I love a matching headwrap, it’s an awesome finishing touch to an outfit.

Finally I decided on the Simple Life Pattern Company Norah Dress for this Funky Cotton Poplin 140gsm in Neon Sorbet! I wanted a fun design to go with this fabric. My girls don’t really like pretty dresses, but give it a bit of edge and you’ll win them over.

SLPCo Norah has a round or square neck option, integrated cap sleeves and various back strap configurations. I chose to use black grossgrain ribbon instead of making straps and ties. It was a great shortcut. It wasn’t enough to save me from sewing right through my finger though! That’s the first time I’ve done that and it’s quite a shock when it happens lol! I’ll spare you the details but I was lucky to avoid getting any blood on the dress, only for my girl to cover it in mud right when we were taking pics haha!

Preorders are open now for all these gorgeous prints and more! All designs are offered on the following bases … Cotton Poplin 140gsm, Cotton Sateen 130gsm, Cotton Sateen 150gsm, Cotton Lycra 220gsm, Bamboo Lycra 200gsm, Swim Lycra 220gsm, SPF50+ Rating.

Pre-Orders close on the 5th April. Afterpay, Zip, Paypal, Bank Deposit, and Layby are all avialable! PRE-ORDER LINK

I hope you like what I came up with for these fabrics! It’s so fun to decide what you can make when a fun fabric suprise arrives. I love to make something to show off the awesomeness of the fabric, while making sure it is something my girls will love to wear ❤

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

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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!

Coffee & Thread Lana Pattern Tour

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Hi Everyone!

I joined the Coffee & Thread Lana Pattern Tour! When I joined I was planning to make my girls some cute tops, as I haven’t been making myself much lately. I put on a stack of weight and really didn’t want to make myself anything, nor did I want to look at myself in pictures! I’ve turned that around over the past 3 weeks and rewarded myself with a gorgeous new top!

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It’s amazing what a bit of self esteem, a cute pattern and some gorgeous fabric will do for you!

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I hacked my pattern by making it a peplum. I basically cut the top length by about 9.5 inches (because I am high waisted) and added it back as a gathered skirt. I cut the width of the skirt about 1.5 times the width of the top, and the length about 9 inches long.

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When attaching the peplum skirt I gathered it using a piece of elastic the exact width of the bodice. I overlapped the elastic and sewed it into a loop and stretched it to meet the quarter points of the peplum skirt, then attached the gathered skirt, matching the quarter points to the bodice.

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I used a beautiful bamboo spandex from Orinoco Designs that I’ve been hoarding for myself. I was going to crack out my new coverstitch but this fabric actually sits really nicely without a hem. You might notice I’ve left both the hem and the sleeves raw! I’m quite comfortable doing that! Just note that if you’d like to hem yours, you might like to cut the skirt an inch longer!

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I love the combination of the gathered sleeves and the gathered peplum! I was really tempted just to hem the extended shoulders without adding the sleeves, but I love this version. It’s definitely something I will try for next time though!  There is also a dress version and long sleeves included in this pattern.IMG_2222w

I love this organic grid design! The rough grid fabric print made it difficult to match up my stripes though, so I had to do my best and just give my stripe-matching OCD a rest.

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In other news, I can fit my wedding rings back on again!! Yay!!

BUT jeez those elbows are ugly! Why are elbows so weird? I really need to learn to bend them for back shots… 😉 It might not look even in this shot because I am not straight on to the camera, but I dipped the back bodice lower than the front, for a bit of bottom coverage and I find it a flattering cut! IMG_2252w

If you’d like some help hacking your Lana Pattern or making adjustments, drop me a line! I am always happy to help ❤

Thanks for joining me on my stop today.  Make sure to head over to Instagram to see all the other beautiful Lana’s.  Use the hashtag #lanatopanddresstour to be blown away!

Simple Life Pattern Company Holiday Blog Tour

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I am thrilled to be returning on the Simple Life Pattern Company Holidays Blog Tour! I love the challenge of creating something special, and this amazing group of makers always push me to challenge myself!

As with all the best blog tours, we have a discount code to give you 30% off all patterns, as well as a giveaway! Read through to the end to get all the important details!

Oh my stars, where do I start ? If you love to hack and mash patterns with a little bit of problem solving thrown in, you will love this project!

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My personal challenge for this year’s post was to make something amazing enough to take its place in the SLPCo Holiday Tour, while at the same time making something really wearable for my girls.

That sounds pretty easy surely? You see most little girls love dresses and feeling like a princess! Not my girls… They like denim shorts and Mickey Mouse T-shirt’s! Oh and tie-dye, if it’s tie-dyed they will wear it! #eyeroll

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Simple Life Pattern Company Holiday Blog Tour – 2017

I made the most amazing special occasion dress last year for the tour. It was such a rewarding and sentimental project, but it has stayed hanging lonely in the wardrobe pretty much ever since! This year I decided something a little less formal was the go…

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I always get some input from my girls when I’m sewing for them, so I set out to lose myself on the Art Gallery Fabrics website to give them a few options to choose from! I love when AGF sponsors my blog posts with fabric, there are so many amazing collections to choose from!

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I decided on a two fabric combination to make matching, but not quite matching dresses. I love a pop of contrast! I wanted to make a combination that looked bright and festive without pigeon holing it as a “Christmas dress”.

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I gave the girls a few options and I’m so glad we all agreed on this combination as our favourite! It is from the Trinket Fusion Collection and the WHOLE collection really spoke to me! Those earthy autumnal colours are my happy place.

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My eldest loved the “Flower Glory Trinkets”, she is a retro/vintage loving girl after my own heart! This print was originally designed by Bonnie Christine. My youngest chose the gorgeous red geometric print called “Wallpaper Trinkets”, originally designed by April Rhodes. Together they are a match made in heaven!

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To create these dresses I used the bodice from the Simple Life Patterns Laguna Dress and teamed it with the skirt and pockets from the Newport Dress! Easy right? Then I decided to make things a little more complicated…

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I decided to remove the partial placket opening from the back of the dress and add a full placket down the centre front! I wanted to use my contrasting fabrics and I thought this would be a great feature.

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So step one was to calculate the centre of the back bodice and cut it as one piece on the fold. Then I cut the front bodice main & lining as 2 pieces each, instead of on the fold. I also added 1″ in length to all the bodice pieces, just because I felt like it would work…

I decided I wanted my finished placket to be 3cm wide, and then calculated the width of my placket pattern piece by doubling my 3cm and adding 2 seam allowances of 1cm each. So I cut my placket pieces 8cm wide and roughly estimated the length by adding the bodice and skirt heights together and leaving myself a few inches extra, just in case.

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I had to recalculate shoulder strap position taking into account the changes I had made, and started construction by sewing up my bodice quite like the Laguna pattern instructions, leaving the centre front unsewn.

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I then cut the skirt front piece down the centre and added the pockets as per the Newport pattern instructions. Then I sewed the side seams and gathered my skirt to fit the bodice using 2 rows of gathering stitches. Once the skirt was attached to the bodice I interfaced the centre 6cm width (and full length) of my placket pieces. I then folded and ironed 1cm seam allowances along both long edges and then pressed it in half lengthways, wrong sides together.

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To attach the placket I lined up the long raw edge of the placket to the centre front of the dress, right side of placket laying on top of the wrong side of the dress, making sure to leave an inch or 2 overhang for both the top and bottom. I stitched in the first ironed fold (1cm from the edge). Then wrapped the placket around to the front, folding over the top and bottom and wrapping it inside the placket. The seam allowance stays folded under and you topstitch from the front to finish it. If you pin it carefully, those stitches on the back should stitch in the ditch and look pretty neat from the back as well as the front.

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Now is about the time you discover you have lost your snap pliers!! Oh my gosh I spent days looking and they have obviously gone on vacation somewhere! Then after you panic and search for a couple of days, you remember you actually have a big snap press you’ve never even tried! So I got that together and got both dresses done, but only one would snap up! I have no idea why!! They were both Kam branded snaps… but those tan/mossy ones were a complete failure! I then made such a mess removing the snaps in the press, I really just wanted my pliers 😦

In the end I didn’t have quite enough red ones to finish it off, but a couple of maroon ones on the back will never be seen! Shhhh!

After the snaps were complete I hemmed the dresses by folding under the overlocked edge and then doing a 3cm hem. I figured I had a little extra length after I lengthened the bodice, and I like a deep hem.

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Photos were then put back day after day… The KAM snap stuff up… dance rehearsal day, a reunion catch up at the beach (but the beach had washed away so that didn’t work as a location either)… Early morning was super foggy before school… Stress levels were rising!

FINALLY! These smiling faces braved a swarm of mosquitoes which required a quick location change before we got the shots we needed. I told you this project really tested us!!!

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They insisted props were necessary for a Christmas themed shoot! It was just the fun we needed to finish off ❤

Patterns provided by Simple Life Pattern Company:

Simple Life Pattern Company Newport Pocket Top & Dress

Simple Life Pattern Company Laguna Double Flutter Panel Pocket Dress

Fabric provided by Art Gallery Fabrics:

Trinket Fusion Collection – Flower Glory Trinkets & Wallpaper Trinkets

 

If you’ve found some inspiration here, or from the other ladies on this tour, head over to Simple Life Pattern Co for their winter sale!! All patterns (minus the brand new Betty) are on sale for 30% using code FALLINTOSLPCO. Sale ends the 12th at midnight so get shopping!

 

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Blog Tour Schedule

November 5 – Kutti CoutureSLPCO Team

November 6 – Wonderfully HandmadeAmmon Lane

November 7 – Kainara StitchesIdle SunshinePearberry Lane

November 8 – Sew TwirlySew Sophie LynnBonnie and Blithe

November 9 – It’s LieselCandice Ayala

For your chance to win a

$30 Harts Fabric Voucher

and a $50 SLPCo Pattern Voucher,

don’t forget to enter the

Rafflecopter giveaway!

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

Thread Faction Studio #202 Ladies Knickers Blog & Social Media Tour

Hi everyone!

You’re in for a treat today! Don’t worry I’ve spared you the gory details – ie. no bum shots. Just a few flatlays of the new Thread Faction Studio #202 Ladies Knickers Pattern and a little giveaway! PS Flatlays are hard on non-flat garments…

They are a quick and easy sew with a fully enclosed gusset. You can choose from Fold over elastic, lingirie elastic or fabric bands to finish, which I chose.

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Knickers are a great scrap busting project! I used some Wicked Fabrics leftovers I had from some projects way back! You can even piece them together from several fabrics to be really frugal. Though if my bum keeps growing, scraps will no longer be sufficient! 😉

I like that the side seams that have been brought around to the front, it would be a lovely spot for some piping on a pretty pair don’t you think?

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I started with this pastel rainbow leopard which looks awesome made into anything, but I love these for a bit of fun. If I am honest, 95% of my undies are plain black, so I fought the impulse to make any of those!

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I made a second pair in this khaki, which I love, as I thought a solid colour would give you a good picture of the pattern. They will be nice and neutral under most of my clothing. You might notice I didn’t change my overlocker thread – don’t judge me! Who’s going to see my undies from the outside, let alone the inside! I am wearing these right now and it feels like I am wearing nothing at all. They are a great full coverage fit and have not budged all day!

Giveaway Now Closed

Would you like your own copy of the pattern? Liz has generously given me one copy to giveaway! Here’s what I would love you to do…

  1. Follow me on Instagram  
  2. Follow @Lizatthreadfaction on Instagram
  3. Comment here to let me know you’d like to win a copy!

Entries will remain open until Sunday night 8pm AEST (26 – 08 – 2018).

Now if you want to see some more examples of this pattern in action, go visit this list of blogs on the tour! You can also search these hashtags on social media, for more great pics on insta and facebook!

#threadfactionstudio #bespokebriefs

 

Back To School With Made For Mermaids

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Hey Guys,

I joined the Made for Mermaids Back To School Blog Tour! We are mid-school-year here in Australia and our children actually wear compulsary uniforms, but I thought – why let that stop me? I have 3 children in school, but Miss 10 here is the trickiest to sew for (Master 9 and Miss 7 wear  a tee and shorts pretty much year round outside of school). So I thought why not take on a challenge that might help you all with your tricky customers too?

I gave her the M4M website to browse the patterns and I already had this fabric set aside for an Isabel Wrap Dress, so when she pointed Isabel out as her favourite I was pretty happy.

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Let me give you a basic run down on how school works here in Oz. I know it’s different in many parts of the world and it is interesting to see how we all operate…

Preschool is for children 3 – 5 years old, with lots of play based learning and social skills in preparation for Primary School.

Primary School starts with Kindergarten, which starts at around 5 – 6 years of age, and also includes Years 1 – 6.

High School includes Years 7 – 12, for ages approximately 12 – 18.

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So Miss 10 is in Year 5 in Primary School here. She actually had an out of uniform day this day, as a reward from her teacher for achieving her silver award in class. She so badly wanted to wear this outfit, she was swishing around everywhere, but I sized up a little and made this Isabel a little longer than the pattern and so I suggested she keep it for another day. So mean I know!

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Isabel is a fantastic versatile pattern. You can make it tunic length, dress length or Maxi length. I thought it was great as a back to school pattern with all those options. You can even wear it open like this (with the ties tied inside the dress behind your back), which makes a super cool duster cardigan.

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It would work in all lengths for this look. We agreed on the maxi with the tulip skirt, she loved the dress on the cover. You also have options for sleeves. You can make it sleeveless, short sleeves, 3/4 sleeved or long sleeved. Again we agreed that 3/4 looked awesome! I must be getting the hang of tween fashion, I’m all over this…

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And doesnt it look stunning as a maxi dress with tulip skirt! I used a rayon spandex from Wicked Fabrics I had been saving for this very dress for quite some time! It is super drapey and soft to wear. She looooves it! The drape probably added a fair bit to the length when I think about it! I should have left it per the pattern!

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It’s winter here and it was pretty cold and windy for these early morning pics! She had a red nose and squinty eyes pretty quickly from the cold wind!

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The pattern itself was really easy to follow and faster than I expected to make! I like that it includes sizes 1/2 through to 14, because I think this pattern will be used again and again here!

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You can picture this as tunic length worn over shorts, jeans or tights can’t you?

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Or here you can imagine it as a knee length dress, it works beautifully too.

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There is that show stopper Maxi dress though! Look at that rayon spandex in the breeze! Isn’t it stunning!

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I can tell this dress will be her new favourite! She absolutely loved it. The only question I have is – should I re-hem it or make her wait to grow into it? Ok I’m kidding, that would be torture, I’ll re-hem it, I promise I’m not that mean!!

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What’s on your back to school sew list?

Perhaps these blogs might give you some inspiration! Go check them out!

Remember f you are doing some back to school sewing, post a pic in the Made for Mermaids Facebook group with the hashtag #m4mback2school2018. You may just win a prize ❤

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Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Idle Sunshine

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