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
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!
It’s amazing what a bit of self esteem, a cute pattern and some gorgeous fabric will do for you!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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
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!
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”.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
They insisted props were necessary for a Christmas themed shoot! It was just the fun we needed to finish off ❤
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!
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.
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.
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?
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!
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…
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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…
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!
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!
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!
You can picture this as tunic length worn over shorts, jeans or tights can’t you?
Or here you can imagine it as a knee length dress, it works beautifully too.
There is that show stopper Maxi dress though! Look at that rayon spandex in the breeze! Isn’t it stunning!
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!!
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 ❤
I widened the front bodice piece to accommodate the panel nicely. I didn’t want to cut too tightly around it and for it not to be shown in all its glory. I used the same side bodice piece from the pattern but omitted the elastic side casings.
I narrowed the back and changed the shape slightly by moving my pattern piece over the fold. I also added an extra inch to each strap length to accommodate this move. How gorgeous are the glitter prints by the way?
I laid all my new pattern pieces out side by side and compared the overall width to the Sofilantjes Solis I was also making and the width corresponded nicely, so I went for it!
I added a few inches in length to all the pattern pieces before I cut, because it is a short bodice and again I wanted to use the panel nicely, balanced with some negative space around it. I sewed it up similarly to the pattern instructions, omitting the elastic sides obviously and keeping the back a solid piece with out any need for fastening (because it is a stretch fabric).
Once I had the bodice sewn up I got my Miss to try it on… Phew, it worked just fine! I tend to use my common sense and just wing it a lot with sewing! It’s so nice to test yourself and most of the time I win the game 😉 At this point she squealed and was like – “A crop top, that will be awesome!”.
Ok, a crop and skirt it is! I cut a waist band from green glitter and a hem band for the crop from it too. No problem! Throw on your pink gym boots and away you go girl…
This was a much simpler and faster make let me tell you! I made the Sofilantjes Solis dress that I have made a few times before and followed the pattern basically! This is Lila’s favourite dress pattern I think!
I did make the skirt a little longer than usual, and I would usually make a circle skirt, but this was a project panel and so I didn’t have enough fabric because the print is directional of course.
This girl grabbed the Design 14 – Robin Panel and coordinating print straight away when we opened the parcel. They both actually agreed very easily that they got exactly what they wanted with out a fight!
Apparently it’s still good for all the Christmas activities you may partake in… Like triple jump? I don’t know what she was up to here, running around like the crazy person she is doing Grand Jete’s most likely
I cut the skirt to match the prints front and back and the Solis bodice is a great canvas for a panel. Most panels from TMGA have pictures which are around 18cm tall.
I used red glittler for the back and neck strap and I love this combination!
I fussy cut my bodice back to centre the print nicely, it’s those little details which really make the difference.
A curly pony tail, a gold scrunchie and black gym boots complete the look of course 😉
I saw the third print was a nice big piece and I thought – stuff you kids, this one’s for me!
I’ve not sewed for myself much lately. I have been busy being a Mum and sewing (and not exercising) and didn’t really want to make clothes for myself in this state… I tried to get active and completely tore my plantar fascia ligament in my right foot, so that backfired! Exercising is dangerous I tell you!
Then I saw a post by the lovely Katie Makes a Dress on insta, then a blog post by the gorgeous Marisa Ryniak from Laela Jeyne Patterns that kicked me back into gear. I might not be able to excercise for a while still yet (12 weeks down and who knows how much longer till I can walk long distances and run again), but I can still sew for me now! I deserve that.
You still might not see a lot of me, because I use too much fabric haha (that was a joke i promise), but I do promise not to hide in shame here completely while I recouperate. This dress is the FREE French Navy Orla Dress. It is made for wovens but I was happy with a loose fit, so I made it from this knit with no fastenings, added a little collar and cuffs in black and a wrapped knit binding for the neck! Easy!
My son took some pics of us all together and he did a great job. The sun is blowing us out in our full length shots but he got a couple of closer shots just beautifully!
I’m a lucky lady to have these 3 beautiful kids (2 in the shot, 1 behind the camera)!
This last pic I didnt edit AT ALL (apart from sharpening up just a little)! How clever was that! I’m just glad he didn’t cut our heads off… just 😉
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.
Hello everyone! I’m so excited to share these pictures with you! I made this sweet set using the Bristol & Newport patterns by Little Lizard King and I can’t wait to show you how cute they are together!
First up let’s look at the Bristol! It’s a woven top & dress in sizes 12m – 12 years. The dress version includes a simple skirt, ruffle skirt and double layer skirt options. I chose to make a tunic length top to pair with shorts.
It has a curved front bodice, which creates a high-low hem, perfect for showing off your favourite shorts.
It’s winter in the southern hemisphere right now, but this makes the perfect outfit teamed with tights, boots and a warm hat! It would also look great with a pair of leggings or jeans in winter! I can picture a faux fur vest over the top for a little extra warmth too.
Just look at those bows! Don’t these patterns work beautifully together?
I tell you what else works beautifully with this outfit, how gorgeous is this hat? I bought quite a few balls of this mustard coloured wool last winter for my lovely mother in law to make me a crocheted necklace I had seen a pattern for. I bought way too much wool so I have a full collection of mustard accessories now!
My MIL loves to crochet and knit and recently asked what else she could make from the left over wool, so I suggested a “slouchy lacey hat”. She didn’t have a pattern that would work, so she ducked next door to her neighbours house. She found a great lacey hat pattern deep in her files (the suitcase in the spare room) and added a little extra to get the slouchy look I requested.
It is exactly what I imagined and it looks like I either have to buy more wool or share it! You definitely have to wear your hair out under a hat like this and I didnt want the outfit entirely covered by her hair, so I got the curling wand out to shorten it up!
Oh hang on a minute, there’s 3 Kangaroos and 5 deer watching us! We shot these pictures at the end of our street where there are often deer wandering around.
I only had a 28-75mm lens on me, so I can’t show you any closer, but look at that white deer! We have a few of them.
Ahhh! Then some other mysterious creature kept making noise in the long grass behind me and she got out of there quick smart! Look at her move! That’s Australia for you my friends! 😉
Out of the long grass, feeling safe again!
Oh look, you can actually see she has on some little brown boots. These were a recent purchase and they are getting a workout! Brown boots were really hard to find this season, but they really are the most versatile shoe for winter!
Oh this girl is such a gorgeous spirit! Don’t worry, we didn’t let the curls and outfit go to waste, she insisted we take her out for dinner so she could show them off! I couldn’t argue with that request! ❤
I love sewing fabric strike-offs for fabric goddesses! A suprise parcel arrives in the mail and I get to choose what I make with the pretty contents inside! I always have a huge list of makes on my to-sew list so I usually get to tick a couple of them off in the process!
I put my hand up for a couple of prints, but I didn’t really know what was coming until it arrived. I really hoped I would snag this gorgeous Design 14 – Birds print and I was lucky enough to get 2 metres to play with!
I immediately had this combination in mind for a Ainslee Fox Bonfire Jacket, which was released in One Thimble Sewing E-zine Issue 5, and it turned out just as amazing as I imagined! I have had the Bonfire Jacket on my list to sew f-o-r-e-v-e-r! It feels good to tick one off and I can assure you it won’t be my last.
I lined the body with a thin polar fleece for warmth, because where we live we need more than a light jacket in winter sadly. The ribbing is actually a double knit from my stash, which is fairly stable but it works well and looks amazing with the birds!
When I cut out the jacket I knew that I was also going to be left with enough fabric to make a beautiful twirly dress. It was the other design that popped straight into my head when I saw this print.
I used the Simple Life Patterns Skyler dress pattern which we tested recently and introduced on their blog! If you know me at all, you’ll know that I can’t leave a good pattern alone! I hacked the Skyler dress by slightly curving the corners of the low square back to create a low scoop ballet back. Isn’t it gorgeous? ❤
I used the circle skirt for maximum twirl and it makes such a fast sew. The Birds print is a directional print and so I could not cut the circle as a whole piece (unless I wanted upside down birds on the back), so I cut two semi-circles adding seam allowance for the side seams.
This dress is what little girls dreams are made of! Stunningly beautiful, yet comfortable as your pyjamas at the same time!
Print number two is Design 39 – Floral Deer. This is a sweet pastel print suitable for all ages! I can picture even a baby romper in this!
My brain went straight away to a pretty dress for this print, but I didn’t want to pigeon hole it. I knew it was more versatile than that, so I challenged myself to make something my big girl would wear.
This is a Little Kiwis Closet Cuffed Dolman. This pattern is my most often made pattern for myself and my girls closets are catching up! I used the long sleeve version as it’s for winter and I hacked the cutout back!
I used the scoop back from the Skyler dress I made above as a guide for the depth, and cut the scoop from the back piece of the dolman. I measured the neck opening front and back, minus the seam allowances and calculated the binding at 90% of the opening. After I completed the top, I created a strap for the back by sewing a long strip right sides together into a tube. I turned it right way out and pinned it across the opening a couple of inches below the shoulder seams. I adjusted the length of the strap until I was happy it held the cutout shape nicely and top stitched it behind the binding.
What’s your favourite winter pattern for knits? These are just a few I thought of to showcase this fabric. I hope you like them as much as these cheeky girls do!
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.
Oh gosh it’s good to see the sun shine! It’s been a rainy, miserable couple of weeks here. The rain has been lovely, but we are pretty soggy now. It would be nice to be able to send those rain clouds west for a good drenching!
I hate to send my kids out to freeze for the sake of a blog post, so I delayed taking pictures of this pretty set until today. The sun shined all day, the wind finally dropped from the gale force it’s been blowing and this gorgeous hedge down the end of our street is blooming right on cue! I wish it bloomed all year round, it is absolutely stunning (and would make a very convenient backdrop for me haha)!
I made this gorgeous top from the Malibu pattern from Little Lizard King. It can be made as a dress as well, and while my girls don’t wear many dresses, I can definitely picture them both wearing this! I am picturing a cool blue, maybe a chambray, but the options are truly endless. It comes in sizes 12m – 14 years and also has optional flutters for the straps.
This set I made is an upcycle! I upcycle all the time, but until my previous post I had never thought to record the before and after. I love that idea, so you will see it a lot now! You can see I started with this thrifted chiffon dress ($1), ladies pants ($3) and some yellow & white voile from my stash. I purchased the thrifted items years ago and I am enjoying attemping to shrink my upcycle pile.
I paired the Malibu top with the shorts from the Little Lizard King Charleston set! They are adorable! I love the tulip style hem and the wide waistband. The ladies pants I cut them from were made from a heavy stretch fabric, so these are very comfortable! I added some buttons as a feature that also came from St Vincent de Paul. I believe they were also upcycled from a garment that was unfit to sell. You can also see the tiny rolled hem I kept from the hem of the original dress.
I love the back of the Malibu! This chiffon version is very soft and drapey, and I also sized up a little so that it will still fit when summer rolls back around here. The ties pull it together nicely at the back though and this set will fit her for a year or two! She is very happy with it and is still wearing it at home tonight (with the fire going don’t worry)!
How lovely is this bow tie back? And how lovely is this hedge? She had a lovely time playing with the flowers and the petals that carpetted the ground.
Look what I found just for you Mum! ❤
I really enjoyed making this set and my girl assures me she loves it! It all came together perfectly with excellent instructions. I can’t wait to make some more dresses, tops and shorts for summer! Bring on summer already!
Bring on sandals, bare legs and braids. Sewing for summer in the middle of winter is tough!
Let me know what you want to see next?
What inspires you to sew? Is it the pattern, the fabric, the season, or the occasion?