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idle sunshine

Enjoying life as a series of beautiful moments

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Sewing with Knits

Coffee & Thread Pattern Tour

Welcome to Day 1 of the Coffee & Thread Blog Tour! I’m so thrilled to be involved and so happy that you’ve come to visit my post! I had some big ideas as soon as I looked at the Coffee & Thread Patterns store! I loved all of the options there, but the Ila dress with it’s piping just grabbed me!

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I wanted to make some Wild & Free pants with bunny ears to go with my Ila for Easter, but once I put my fabrics together, I decided it would be too much for one outfit! I can’t get those cute pants out of my head though, so stay tuned and I will make some and pair them with a simpler top to let them shine!

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We have just had the hottest Summer on record here in Australia, but just as hot as it was, all of a sudden we’ve turned the corner and are heading to Winter in our part of the world! We’ve had a few weeks of rain here, so it is cooler and darker at the moment, especially now that daylight savings time has ended! We got out in between showers to get our pictures one afternoon, but my girl did not complain because she was plenty warm enough!
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I was originally thinking corduroy and piping for my Ila, but then I thought, why not give a nice thick ponte knit a go! It makes this dress so comfortable and soft with that bit of stretch, it is also quite warm.

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The printed knit I used for the centre panel and yoke is a poly knit and quite lightweight and slinky, but I just loved all the colours together! So to make it work I just lined those sections with some white cotton lycra, to give it some body to match the heavier pontes.
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To sew it up was a little different from the instructions in the pattern, because I didn’t use a zip. I cut the back on the fold (taking out the seam allowance). I left one shoulder open to attach the yoke, then attached the yoke lining. I understitched the yoke seam to the lining and then closed the shoulder all the way through to the yoke lining. I trimmed my seam allowances where needed to reduce bulk and then stitched the yoke lining down all the way around by stitching in the ditch of the yoke/bodice seam on the front of the dress.

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I love how it turned out and the colours are so awesome, even if the sun wasn’t shining to highlight the colours for me…

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She had a little play in the field where there were hundreds of little white moths! You can’t really see it in the pictures, but when you walked through the grass, they all went flying which was so fun!

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Please go and pay a visit to the many other amazing makers on this tour, you will be so pleased you did!! Then scroll to the end of my post for a great sale offer and a giveaway!!

April 3

Enjoyful Makes || Idle Sunshine || ZowieZo Handmade || Angie Burgett

April 4

Handmade Frenzy || Replicate Then Deviate || Fairies, Bubbles & Co || Coral + Co

April 5

Made By Sara || Naeh-Connection || The Bag of Unexpected || Circle Meets Line

April 6

Skirt Fixation || Sewing Like Mad || Hello Holli || Buzzmills ||

April 7

Little Cumquat || Thread Bear Garments || Pearl Berry Lane || Plus 2 is 5 || Sew Chibi 

April 10

Stahlarbeit || Knee Socks and Goldilocks || Bonnie and Lottie || Sew Sophielynn 

April 11

Mouse House Creations || While She was Sleeping || Mix it Make it || By Dagbjort 

April 12

Gaafmachine || Beletoile || LBG Studio || My Cozy Co  || As It Seams

April 13

Moineau & Petit Pois || Just Add Fabric || Sweeter Than Cupcakes || Frances Suzanne || Sew Liberated 

April 14

Stitched Together || S is for Sewing || Boevenbende || Lafolie Sewing Booth || Sew Pony ||With Love By Eva 

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Now it’s not a Blog Tour without a sale and a giveaway is it! How does 20% off all Coffee & Thread Patterns with the code “Coffeeandthreadtour” sound? Sounds pretty awesome to me!

Don’t forget to click below for your chance to win some great prizes!!!

Sisboom Angie Pattern Hack-A-Thon

Hi everyone! Welcome to the first stop on the Sis Boom Patterns Angie Hack-A-Thon Tour! I am so excited to show you my version of the Angie, it’s definitely my new favourite dress.

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You might remember in my recent post from the Just For Me January Tour that I am an Angie fan and that I planned to make one in knit fabric!

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With most things in life, I like to do a bit of research and then just give it a go. Usually that works out fine… In this case I think I pretty much nailed it!

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Let’s take a look at a picture from the original pattern to get a feel for the bones of the dress.

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Sis Boom Patterns Angie Dress Pattern

Here’s where the “Hack” comes into it. I decided to make a knit version instead of woven for my hack, partly because I love the drape and most definitely for the comfort and fit. I also decided to reverse the height of the necklines and make the front a high neckline and the back low. I used a quarter circle skirt instead of a gathered one and I added cap sleeves!

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I cut out all my pieces for the bodice and basted them together with my sleeves to make sure they worked and I was shocked, {cough!} I mean not suprised at all that they did! I unpicked the bodice and remade it with my serger/overlocker (because unpicking overlocking stitching is not fun, so we like to avoid that).

I made the same size I made last time as the knit was fairly stable and not super stretchy. I used the full width of the front darts, but not the back as that made the front & back width match, which made matching the skirt easier.

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Here’s how I reversed the necklines. Cutting out my front piece above, will you just look at those fancy schmancy pattern weights! I laid the back piece on top, matching the shoulders, just to use the neckline. I folded the rest of the pattern out of the way. I did the same process for the back bodice piece, but next time I may make it even more of a dramatic plunge!

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I bound the neckline by using a strip of the knit about 2cm wide or 3/4″ and applied it like bias tape. I sewed it on the outside of the neckline right sides together, flipped it up and over to the inside of the garment so that could not be seen and sewed it down. I stretched the binding like you do when you are doing neck bands etc on knit, but I think next time I might not stretch it much at all.

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For the sleeve I used a cap sleeve pattern I had from a t-shirt dress I had made recently. I hemmed them before attaching. The head of the sleeve ended up a little big but with a little pleat at the top, it fit perfectly.

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To match my sleeves and side seams nicely, I always tack them together first using the sewing machine and check they line up perfectly before I overlock all the way from the sleeve hem to the bottom of the bodice (see below).

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I cut out a quarter circle skirt from a woven dress pattern I had made before and sewed up the side seams. Then I just trimmed a few cm from the top of the skirt until the circumference of the skirt matched the circumference of the bodice. I added the elastic to the back waist per the pattern which gives it these sweet gathers and a slimmer silhouette overall. I didn’t hem the dress as the knit does not fray. If you cut it nice and straight it’s absolutely not necessary (yay)!!

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This was quite a fast project! The next time around will be even faster now that I have tested it all. I’d love if you’d leave me a comment and let me know what you think or what you would do to “Hack” your Angie!

Play along all week with my sewing friends and be prepared to be inspired by their incredible ideas! You wont believe how different each dress looks all made from the one base pattern. Keep up to date by following the Sis Boom Patterns Blog!

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

 

Striped Swallow Designs – Highlander Dolman and Rhapsody Joggers

Hi everyone! It’s been a little quiet around here while I settle back into working and studying hasn’t it?

I’ve been keeping very busy behind the scenes in my spare time. Alright, let’s be honest, I’ve been sewing instead of doing my house work, because there is no longer any such thing as “spare time”!

I’ve been busy putting together my first reviews as part of my new role on the Pattern Revolution team (you will hear more about that soon!!) and I’ve also been doing some pattern testing too!

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Speaking of pattern testing… I have been bursting to show you this new outfit from Striped Swallow Designs! They recently released the Mainland Collection which includes the Highlander Dolman and Rhapsody Joggers for Women and now the girls bundle and patterns are ready in their store too!

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I absolutely love this outfit! The Highlander Dolman has a t-bar back option as well as ties but as you can see in my version I chose a single back strap.

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I used a grey marle and a red and off-white stripe tshirt jersey for the front and back (both sourced from Spotlight). These fabrics don’t have a lot of stretch, which is fine for a dolman, but I made sure to use my floral rayon spandex as the binding, as it has the stretch and recovery needed for the job.

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I made my daughter the size 5 width and used the size 6 length per her measurements and the fit and shape are both great. You can choose from sizes 2-14 and I really love how the colour blocking worked in this outfit.

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Ok let’s tuck the top in so we can see these pants!

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For the Rhapsody Joggers, I used this awesome rayon spandex I had in my stash from Lincraft. It feels sooooo beautiful and I am very jealous that I dont have enough to make myself a pair!

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I decided to use the same stripe from the back of the Dolman as contrast pockets, which along with the floral binding on the dolman, really helps link the outfit together without it being too matchy matchy!

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I made the size 6 width with the 6x length per her measurements. WHAAAAAAAT??? My girl must be growing finally! The fit and length are perfect and with sizes 2-14 to choose from, and size blending instructions included in the pattern, you’ll get the perfect fit too.

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I really don’t have much else to say about this outfit, other than – I love it, she loves it,  it’s ridiculously comfy and it looks ridiculously awesome!! I’d love to hear what you think of my crazy fabric combinations though! Knits are really expensive in Australia and we don’t have anything like the range my friends in the USA have! I often fill online carts with fabric from US stores because they are so cheap and beautiful. Then you click checkout, you add your address and then you just about faint from the postage cost! So if someone can find me a fabric sponsor I’d be super grateful 😉

Make sure you keep in touch on instagram and facebook!
Warmest wishes,

Brooke xx

idlesunshine

Knickers With a Twist – Day 5 – The Hack

Well if we are being completely honest, every day of this challenge (apart from Day 1) has been a hack for me haha! I have tweaked and tweaked and come full circle and the pattern looks a little more like the original again! You’ll be pleased to know I have worked it out finally… 🙈 The main issues that arose on Day 1 came from the width of the crotch at the front being too wide and the width of the scrundies overall was a bit too wide ( I made the large and I was in between the medium and the large).

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I of course tweaked too many things at once and found myself having to take a deep breath and start back at the beginning. I worked out (by trying on my first pair and my fave store bought undies) that the width at the back of the crotch was not wide enough and I hadn’t really considered that in all my tracing and snipping! So I got to this point and decided to make swimmer bottoms, but after discovering this there is to be a “final” version again next!

As you can see from my notes I added 1cm in width for a seam allowance around the leg holes when using elastic for undies or swimmers, but leave the pattern as is when adding bands.

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I made these the full height of the pattern (which is equivalent to where they would end with bands), then added a 3″ waist band (which adds 1.5″ to the height).

I didn’t have any swimwear lining but I had gold spandex that I’d picked up in a remnant bin a long time ago so I used that to line them and as the crotch lining. The spandex I used is sooooo gorgeous! I have a box of awesome spandex I picked up super cheap from a dance wear supplier and I didn’t realise it at the time but I think they were in the process of clearing out to shut their business down. I got close to 50 metres and I planned on making loads of Boo pins and skater dresses for my girls, but I have not made a thing with it yet until these!

This print goes with so many of my swimmer tops so I am set now. I am not sure how the metallic fabric will fare with a lot of swimming and washing but I will look pretty schmancy on the sand for now…

So this was meant to be my final post, but in the interests of perfecting the pattern, I will come back soon with my final pair! Then I will be able to cut into my Orinoco fabric 😍

Make sure you join in with the #knickerswithatwist hashtag on instagram and enter the rafflecopter giveaway from Orinoco Designs Custom Fabric!

Now as with all good Blog Tours, we have a giveaway for you!

You really have to enter. Who doesn’t love free fabric, especially beautiful Orinoco Custom Knit Fabric!!!

Look at the new Summer Vibes range ❤

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also make sure you check in all week and go see what Jess at Tea Dust & Stitches and Katie at Katie Makes a Dress have made!

Knickers With a Twist – Day 4 – Woven

So todays post had to include woven fabric! Well that’s a bit tricky when we are working with a form fitting knit underwear pattern. I decided to add a woven front panel to ensure the pattern would still work well enough with just a little tweak and not a whole rewrite. I hope that won’t be considered cheating!

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I chose a cotton sateen which has some stretch in it to make my job even easier. It is only in one direction so I added a little extra height in the front to compensate as well as a little bit extra in width to account for the reduced stretch.

I used black cotton lycra for the rest of these, which is super comfortable.

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I love this snake skin sateen, I plan on making some shorts for my daughter from this fabric, it’s very cool!

If I wasn’t chasing my tail this week (funny turn of phrase given our current knickers challenge), I might have been a little more adventurous here… I’m squeezing in a tiny bit of sewing every day to keep up to date, but every time I think I am catching up I feel my sanity just slip from my grasp!

I’ve been wearing my knickers every day and have decided after thorough testing they need another tweak 😘 So stay tuned for tomorrow! Which in the spirit of the week I’ve had might yet be posted after midnight again {hangs head in shame} 🙈

Make sure you join in with the #knickerswithatwist hashtag on instagram and enter the rafflecopter giveaway from Orinoco Designs Custom Fabric!

Now as with all good Blog Tours, we have a giveaway for you!

You really have to enter. Who doesn’t love free fabric, especially beautiful Orinoco Custom Knit Fabric!!!

Look at the new Summer Vibes range ❤

14993412_10154708654522350_7691929651068603899_n

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also make sure you check in all week and go see what Jess at Tea Dust & Stitches and Katie at Katie Makes a Dress have made!

Knickers With A Twist – Day 3 – The Upcycle!

Now you are talking! This is my jam! Almost everything I make has an element of upcycle to it. I love to use vintage linen, to cut up old clothes to use as fabric for new ones, even recycling buttons and elastic where they are in good condition.

So there were so many contenders for this category, but I went with the items in my upcycle tub(s) that had better stretch and recovery for this project. You don’t want to use an old ribbed knit t-shirt and end up with saggy knickers!

So here’s a couple of the ones I chose (theres more but I want to see how my pattern tweaking went before i cut more out)!

They are all too small for me, so I combined the waist band from the middle striped singlet with the first nighty to get these:

Undies are sooooo hard to get a flat picture of, but this pair was the worst offender yet! I suppose it’s because my bum is far from flat 😉.

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Once they are on they fill out nicely though 😉

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The next pair was from an exercise singlet from H&M. The leopard print spoke to me!

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It was a panelled singlet and it had flat locked seams so I couldn’t get them seam free, but I decided to embrace the seams and make them a design feature. I used new cotton lycra for the bands on these as I didn’t have any black with enough stretch and recovery in my upcycle tubs.

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I’m pretty happy with how these turned out, I think they are my favourite so far! I’m happy with the fit changes I have made along the way, but I wasn’t happy when I sewed the first leg band on the wrong side… Hello unpicker!! So now I am happy with fit I can go to town and upcycle all the cotton lycra in my stash as well as cut into my pretty Orinoco Designs Custom Fabric!!

 

Make sure you join in with the #knickerswithatwist hashtag on instagram and enter the rafflecopter giveaway from Orinoco Designs Custom Fabric!

Now as with all good Blog Tours, we have a giveaway for you!

You really have to enter, who doesn’t love free fabric seriously!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you check in all week and go see what Jess at Tea Dust & Stitches and Katie at Katie Makes a Dress have made!!

Knickers With a Twist – Day 2 – Sexy?

 

Well seriously after my last post anything had to be closer to the sexy category right?

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I got lucky in the Spotlight remnant bin with some white performance Lycra which is awesomely stretchy, comfortable and has a bit of sparkle about it. I had some stretch lace left over from my Laela Jeyne off the shoulder Sydney Slouchy Raglan Dress, but do you think I remembered that when I was at spotlight? No, but luckily the remnant bin delivered again so I didn’t pay a huge price for it 😉.

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I tweaked the pattern for the fit changes I wanted and trimmed off half the seam allowance because 1/2″ seam allowances are too big when you are using the overlocker hey?

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I wanted to keep the bum fullness and didn’t trim the excess seam allowance there, I also took a little crotch length off the back piece (which brought that fullness down too) and both those left me with a bit too much fullness as you can see! So I’ve added that crotch length back in again now (which should also help bring the front up level at the same level as the back too) and cut a bit more seam allowance out of the back for my next pair. Just watch me play the tweaking game all week haha!

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This time I used underwear elastic for a prettier daintier look. I just zigzagged it on the right side.

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Make sure you join in with the #knickerswithatwist hashtag on instagram and enter the rafflecopter giveaway from Orinoco Designs Custom Fabric!

Now as with all good Blog Tours, we have a giveaway for you!

You really have to enter, who doesn’t love free fabric seriously!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you check in all week and go see what Jess at Tea Dust & Stitches and Katie at Katie Makes a Dress have made!!

Knickers With A Twist – Day 1 – The Basics

Ok I am going to preface this post with a disclaimer: I am sorry!

I’m sorry for a few things…

  1. I’m sorry that this week you will be looking at my bum!
  2. I’m sorry I haven’t been around lately! (Well actually I’m not really haha…) I guess that’s a sorry – not sorry! I’ve been enjoying the Christmas holidays/summer holidays/school holidays with my family. I can’t bring myself to apologise sincerely for the weeks we spend at Christmas living at the beach – it is heaven. I read 6 fictional novels while I was there and did zero sewing and zero study – whoops! I hardly spent any time on social media and didn’t even take that many pictures! It was a great reset. I didn’t know my phone could last 3 days without charging, I usually have to charge it twice a day!
  3. I am however genuinely sorry that I am unprepared for this assignment! Since we got home I’ve been busy studying for my first uni exams in almost 10 years – help! So it’s Saturday night and I’m getting ready to start by typing this post and start sewing my first couple of pairs the DAY before the assignment! Lucky undies are relatively fast!

Weeks of watching the ships come into the harbour, reading (fiction not textbooks), ice creams, coffee, bike riding, naps and living at the beach is tough!!

Thanks to the gorgeous and hilarious Jess at Tea Dust & Stitches for getting me onto this project together with the very cool Katie from Katie Makes a Dress! I don’t know about them, but I am in desperate need of new undies so this was exactly what I needed. I have so many pairs that are only just holding it together… They are kind of disposable at the moment. I wear them, discover a hole and at the end of the day I toss them in the bin instead of the laundry basket. I’m saving on laundry but my undie drawer will be empty before long!

The posts and the pictures will definitely get better as the week goes on, because my exams will be over on Monday so I will actually let myself do some sewing, picture taking and editing!!!

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Stitch Upon A Time Scrundlewear – affectionately known as Scrundies!

Day 1 is all about the basics. I’m a bonds kinda girl (The Aussie brand, not to be confused with a Bond-girl, that’s not quite how I would describe myself). My drawer is full of plain black, plain grey, bleh, bleh, bleh. I’m boring and practical most of the time I guess you could say. This week I am testing out the Stitch Upon A Time Scrundlewear Pattern. I’m basically after comfort and no (or minimal) VPL (visible panty line).

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So here are my basics. I tested first with this bleh and boring beige (which will be perfect as a basic under white clothing so just shut up and leave me alone about my granny panties haha), before I cut into my gorgeous Orinoco Designs custom knit. I made the basic brief pattern with knit bands in this awesome stretchy soft solid cotton lycra fabric (free/stolen from my Mum’s stash #cha-ching)! It will be perfect to make my daughters some undies for dancing to wear under their costumes, so that is now also on the to do list.

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I made a large because I have been very busy being merry and putting on the pounds (that’s a lie, I’ve been doing that for the last 12 months haha), but i might make a medium next with the rise of the large as they are a little wide in the front and a little loose overall. Here is a pile of some the other fabrics that will become my basics as soon as I can find the time! I am all about the basics – how about you?

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Now as with all good Blog Tours, we have a giveaway for you!

You really have to enter, who doesn’t love free fabric seriously!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you check in all week and go see what Jess at Tea Dust & Stitches and Katie at Katie Makes a Dress have made!!

Laela Jeyne Plaid & Boots Tour

I am thrilled to be included in the Laela Jeyne Plaid & Boots Tour Lineup! I know the rest of these girls are loving getting back into their boots and warmer clothes in the Northern Hemisphere! They’ve been sewing cosy clothes, eating all things pumpkin and looking forward to Thanksgiving and a White Christmas!

I signed up straight away into Day 1 of the tour, which is all about “Date Night”! Now I didn’t sign up to that theme because my husband and I get to do that a lot, in fact with 3 kids and the normal crazy busy life that comes along with that, there’s not a lot of dating going on at all! I can however translate clothes to fit that theme, so let me show you the 3 outfits I’ve come up with made with Laela Jeyne Patterns.

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Here in Australia we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, there’s no Black Friday sales, no game nights and bonfires either at this time of year. We operate a little differently as we are enjoying Spring not Fall (or Autumn as we know it)! So as the weather warms up, Date Night was the theme I could relate to best!

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Here in my part of Australia Spring has been so beautiful so far! I’m not a fan of the cold weather at all so I am a very happy girl right now! We have been heading to the beach on the weekends, swimming in our friends pool, doing bush walks and enjoying the sunshine and BBQ’s with our kids and friends. Then when the time rolled around to take pics of my outfits, the rain set in! Isn’t that always the way?

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So for those cooler spring days, the hero of this outfit is the new Sydney Slouchy Raglan. I absolutely love raglans, I’ve made so many lately and everyone in the house is wearing them! They are so fast to put together and they look so cool!

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I was involved in the testing of this pattern recently and loved it. It looks great with jeans or the new Taylor leggings (which can be downloaded free with a code from the Laela Jeyne Facebook Group)!!! You can dress it up with heels and some jewellery or dress it down with converse sneakers and a scarf.

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I chose the off-the-shoulder slouchy version with slim sleeves, but there is a V-neck option, swing silhouette and slouchy sleeves included too!

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My next outfit is another take on the new Sydney Slouchy Raglan (can you tell I’m a fan)? For this version I used white stretch lace and cotton lycra.

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I pinned and basted the 2 layers together with my sewing machine before running it up per the pattern just using my overlocker. I was praying the whole time that I wouldn’t make any mistakes because unpicking would have been torture!

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I extended the length of the top to make it dress length (following the existing silhouette of the Sydney and just checking it against the length and shape of a knit dress I’d made recently, but basically adding around 5.5inches or 14cm in length). The only other difference I made was to make the sleeves 3/4 length.

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I kept the same curved hi-low hem, which I find really practical and flattering. No wardrobe malfunctions for me thanks!

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I love this dress! It is soooo comfortable, I think I will have to hit my husband up for an ACTUAL DATE so I can wear it haha!

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My third outfit is the Talia dress! I am a big fan of this style of dress, it is super cute and I will make many more. This is my kind of warmer weather staple. You throw on a cute dress and instantly look great and can pretend you’ve made an effort. It’s actually really lazy because you aren’t having to find 2 pieces that match and are clean and ironed, so I’ve always loved that illusion and embraced the dress!

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It was quite a simple sew with good instructions. I’ll show it first with just a simple set of beads, so you can see the design and fit of the dress. I have since worn this exact outfit down to our local pub with my little family and friends for lunch!

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I made the scoop neck, round back, knee-length version in a 1 inch black and white gingham which i thought looked really cool, and would also suit the Plaid & Boots Tour Theme!

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I had a mustard scarf of some kind on my wishlist and it popped into my head again when I was making this dress. With Winter well and truly over I knew I wouldn’t find what I was looking for in the shops, but then a crochet pattern appeared in my instagram feed!

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I know what you are thinking… Surely she’s not that clever that she can crochet too? You are dead right! I bought the pattern and the wool and dropped it off to my lovely Mother in Law haha! She whipped it up for me and I love it. I knew it would look great with black & white and I will get a lot of wear out of it when our Autumn and winter rolls back around!

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Like all fitted patterns for ladies dresses, I had to make a few adjustments to get the perfect fit. The darts seemed to work well on me, but overall it ended up a bit big, so I had to take it in a bit in the side seams before finishing and adding the zipper.

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I am very high waisted (short body, long legs), so I shortened the bodice (front and back) to have it sit at my natural waist to be most flattering. I then still had to take off a couple of extra inches of length from the  back bodice, which i think might be due to my sway back/high waist/high bum?  One of them or probably all of the above 😉

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So I am working a Fall look for you, with a warmer weather twist! How did I do? If you’d like to come look after my kids so my husband and I could actually go out on a date let me know lol! He wasn’t even home to take my pictures, he was “working” away in Sydney last week, so Miss 8 gets all the credit for them 💘

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I hope you enjoyed my twist on the Plaid & Boots Theme for Date Night! If you’d like to purchase any Laela Jeyne Patterns I have a discount code for you! To get 20% off your cart, the code is P&BTOUR20

Make sure to check out all the bloggers participating in the tour this week!

Tour Schedule

Monday

Kaleidothoughtidle sunshineAllie J.

Tuesday

Sew PinspiredSewSophieLynnThe Wholesome Mama

Wednesday

Nini and AshSew and Tell ProjectSweet Red Poppy

Thursday

Pear Berry LanePaisley RootsThreadbear GarmentsLace and Pine Designs

Friday

Olive AshbySunflower SeamsElegantine

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