We are excited to be featured on the
Simple Life Pattern Company Blog today,
introducing the new Skyler knit dress, top & tunic!
Will you look at that pretty washing hanging on the line! I have quite a collection of items to upcycle in my stash, so when I saw the Upcycling Challenge set by Candice Ayala, choosing my “fabric combo” was not an easy task! I knew this was my kind of challenge though.
If you follow me, you will know I do a lot of upcycling when sewing. It’s a really cost effective way to source fabric for starters! You can upcycle unwanted items from your own closet, or you can purchase clothes, sheets, curtains, quilt covers, blankets, tablecloths and more quite cheaply from thrift stores to be used as fabric. I upcycle as often as I use new fabric!
It’s also a great way to reduce landfill! In Australia the average adult purchases 27kg of textiles each year and throws away 23kg! I’m trying harder and harder to purchase less clothes (fabric surely doesnt count right?), but I am definitely an expert at repurposing things we no longer need!
I had been wanting to make the new Little Lizard King Lexington pattern, but my girls are very “anti-dress” at the moment, so I thought why not make a top version and pair it with some cute shorts! I wanted an elastic waisted pair, but I have had no luck finding a woven shorts pattern, with pockets that doesn’t have a flat front. I spotted the Little Lizard King Ibiza pants pattern and thought it would make a super cute and easy pair of shorts!
It all came together quite easily, with great instructions and fit, but playing with lace meant a few tweaks were needed.
For each of the crossover front bodice pieces and the bodice back, I cut a main from lace, a backing piece from poplin and a lining piece from poplin (instead of a main and lining only). I basted each lace piece to a backing piece to be treated as the main piece from that point on.
The only other change needed was to line the skirt part of the top. I cut the lace pieces carefully to match the scalloped bottom at the side seams and cut the lining to be the same length. I sewed the side seams of the lining and the lace with french seams and hemmed the lining. Then I basted the lining inside the lace ready to be gathered and attached to the bodice.
The shorts were a really easy hack. I just compared the pattern pieces to some shorts from my daughters wardrobe, added a little extra length for a hem and cut! I made sure the length of the side seams and inner leg seams matched between the front and back pattern pieces to work out my straight line to cut for each pattern piece. Otherwise I sewed them up per the pattern instructions. I love those cute pockets.
For the back straps and loops I could not stomach fiddling with the lace for starters, and I also thought it could feel a little scratchy on her back (see that tulle/netting type base in the pic above?)… So I searched my garbage bags full of remnants (thanks Mum for that buy – lots of random pieces of every fabric type and colour purchased from a fabric store employee) and I found some ivory chiffon! Now that thought might scare some people, but I have used chiffon for straps before and found it a snack. All I did was overlock the selvedge off the edge, then overlock just a little more than an inch from that over locked edge. That cuts the strap from the fabric, so you then need to overlock the other edge of your strip and repeat. You then have 2 long overlocked edged strips, which you fold inward twice to hide the overlocking (like double fold bias) and topstich. I use loads of wonder clips to hold it as I go. Easy peasy and faster than it sounds!
I love how this set turned out and so does Miss 10! These little customers of mine are getting harder and harder to please! It’s so hard to listen to them when they say “no” to pretty dresses – I mean have you seen the amazing dress versions of the Lexington? This top is pretty stunning though, so I guess we’re all happy today 😉
Welcome to the Nina Blouse Blog Tour for Coffee & Thread Patterns! I love Coffee & Thread Pattern’s classic style and I shared my Ila dress last year as part of their pattern tour. Claudia of @fr.love recently asked me if I’d like to join the Nina Blouse Tour and I jumped at the chance.
I’m really busy at the moment working and being a Mum, so I have to be careful not to say yes to too many projects, but it is a constant battle! So many tours and pattern tests tempt me constantly! So now I only say yes
In the hundreds of patterns I own, I do not have a woven girls blouse, can you believe that? I am happy to say we have now rectified that!
The Nina Blouse comes with a sweet retro vibe and three sleeves choices: cap sleeves (regular and scalloped) and long sleeves. I chose the regular cap sleeves for my version.
The shoulders have three decorative tucks. The pattern also offers two different collar options: a classic Peter Pan collar and a scalloped collar. I chose to use the simple Peter Pan collar. My girl is a fan of simple and so I thought we’d start there. There is the option of a neck tie or bow as well, which is just adorable!
Nina covers sizes 12 months through 12 years and is best sewn from lightweight to midweight woven fabrics such as voile, lawn, rayon, double gauze, linen, poplin or quilting cotton. I used this gorgeous Cloud 9 ‘Block Party’ Hexagon Honeycomb Voile. It is a gorgeous light weight organic cotton fabric and I found it in a remnant bin for $2 a metre! It was just barely enough to make this blouse, but not quite enough for the collar. A simple white collar is a nice fix for that though!
I used kam snaps for my closures rather than buttons and buttonholes. I love how fast snaps are to add to a garment. I was tossing up between white and this duck egg blue colour for a while, but I felt like this blue blended better than a bright white would have.
My kids had been at their athletics carnival for school, so I didn’t keep her out too long for pictures this day. She was a little sun-kissed and completely exhausted after a day of running races and field events.
If you have read this far, your prize is a discount code!
good through 03/19, 11:59 pm Central (Chicago) time zone at http://coffeeandthread.bigcartel.com/
This was a fun assignment! Kristie Gilbert (Spandex Queen and Pattern Designer from Boo Designs), asked if I’d like to test her new pattern? Let’s be honest, she had me at “Activewear”!
My girls are completely OBSESSED with activewear so it was a no brainer! The new Boo Designs Dynamite Activewear pattern will blow your mind, just take a look at the options it has!
I have a few thousand photos to share, so I compiled a few collages to save you some scrolling. First up is a Cutout Racerback Flared Tank in the February Pattern of the Month Club Fabric, trimmed with Solid Black Spandex. Her leggings are Solid Black Spandex Sports length, with a Snake Leg Splice in Black Power Mesh.
Her little sister wears an Infinity Back Crop in the February Pattern of the Month Club Fabric, trimmed with Solid New Royal Spandex. Her Leggings are Full length Dynamite Spliced with the February Pattern of the Month Club Fabric, Solid New Royal Spandex, Solid Desire Spandex and Solid Aqua Marine Spandex.
I love how these outfits turned out and am honoured to have my girls as cover models for the pattern!
Next up are these bright sets I made earlier in testing. The marled, supplex-type fabric for each set was cut from a couple of pairs of ladies size 26 leggings I found on a $3 rack at Best & Less! I’d had them in my stash for so long, that my littlest model was starting to get cranky with me! I told you activewear was high on their demand list!
Her Infinity Crop and Dynamite Spliced Leggings set is teamed with some crazy colourful dance spandex and solid black spandex.
The Big Sister’s Cutout Racerback Crop and Dynamite Spliced Leggings set is teamed with some Boo Designs Purple Bubbles fabric from the Pins Sewalong (that I never quite got around to joining) and some solid pink spandex.
To show a little versatility, I made this next set from cotton lycra. Both of these pretty fabrics came from Wicked Fabrics, from a scrap bag I nabbed. This simple Racerback Crop and Jazz length Shorts could be cut from around 35cm length of fabric (full width of fabric) for a size 6. How great is that!
I decided to switch up the waistband facing and waistband pieces to get this peekaboo waist band feature. She loves it!
I also made a simple plain white cotton lycra Racerback Crop and black Jazz Shorts, which she loves to wear under her school uniform. So simple and no photos of that one, but I’m sure you’ve seen enough for today!
I’d love to hear what you think! Are you as pumped as I am about this new release? I have another set stuck in my head that I have to make ASAP, so I will add that one too (as soon as I can)! This pattern leaves you feeling like a sewing superstar! It really isn’t as difficult as it looks, so give it a go!
I’m excited to show you all this gorgeous dress, made from a new pattern by Little Lizard King! It’s called the Bellevue and the exciting part is that it is the first design by the lovely and talented Natasha Chrismas of Ellie’s Handmade! I’ve been a long time fan of Natasha’s work (if you are a handmade enthusiast I’m sure you are too), so I was thrilled when she asked me to take a look at her first release!
It has these gorgeous cross back straps with the option of single or double ruffles. You might have noticed my girls don’t wear many dresses these days, but Miss 6 is turning 7 next week and she decided she wanted a birthday dress. Seeing as though I was sewing for my little firecracker, I decided to experiment and leave the ruffles out of the equation. She loves it and I am happy knowing it will be worn more than once! Why, oh why must they grow up and ditch the dresses and frills?
I could have moved the straps over to meet the edge of the bodice, but that might have left them too wide on her shoulders. I could also have trimmed down the bodice to meet the straps, but I quite liked the idea of this modern look.
The straps cross over and tie in the back through two loops, it also has an elastic casing across the back. Both these features allow for a comfortable and adjustable fit, that will grow with your child.
It has a nice full gathered skirt, with the option of a double ruffle hem or a contrast band. I made a simple skirt, but made it for a size 9 (the bodice I made for their chest measurement which was a size 6). It is designed to be a retro above knee length, but I made it so it would fit both my girls, and being an adjustable fit bodice it will fit them both for a while with this added length.
I bought this quilting cotton fabric to make myself a dress, I loved the birds and flowers in the print. I think I might have enough still left for me… I hope! It was printed off grain a touch, which made cutting tricky for this OCD pattern matcher, but I got there in the end. It would have been really obvious if I hadn’t gotten that hem straight in this print!
We gave it the twirl test, even though it is a gathered skirt, it still passes!
I said to her as she was running down the stairs before we left to “Slow down”. It’s something I say a thousand times a day to her, usually right before she falls over… I kid you not, her response was – “Life wasn’t meant to be slow Mum”!!!
Miss almost 7 is clearly growing up… #mouthfullofmissingteeth ❤
Have you made a Bellevue Dress or Romper yet? You know if my girls weren’t almost 7 and 10 already (with opinions and long legs), I’d be squeezing them into that romper with ruffle sleeves and a ruffle butt!!! IT IS ADORABLE!!!
Some of those awesome features that might get you over the finish line:
Congratulations Natasha on your new position as a designer with Little Lizard King and your first pattern releases! They are absolutely gorgeous, with clear and comprehensive instructions. Highly recommended.
“Hola!” and welcome to my stop in the One Thimble Issue 17 Blog Tour! One Thimble Issue 17 (Summer 2017) is available now and I can’t wait to show you what you’ll find inside!
One Thimble is a Digital Sewing Magazine produced in Australia. Each One Thimble E-zine features 10+ patterns, applique/embroidery files and sewing/creative articles from contributors from all over the globe. The theme for issue 17 is, “Hola!” and it happens to celebrate One Thimble’s 4th Birthday!
Here’s a list of the patterns included in the latest edition:
I happened to test and promote 2 patterns already in the lead up to the Issue 17’s release, so I’ll show you some pictures of those in a minute, but the feature of today’s post is the Nori Dress by Paisley Roots.
It is getting rarer and rarer to catch my girls wearing a dress (other than for special occasions when I put my foot down lol), but this was an absolute hit!
Obviously if you have a fussy customer like me, then fabric is going to be the toughest choice. All the other hard work is done. Your girls will love this trendy look, with side cut outs, halter neck and swingy circle skirt!
I adjusted ours to tie in a bow at the back rather than slider rings at the neck. I am making an effort to sew from my stash and if I’d driven the 40 minutes to spotlight just for sliders it would have cost me a hundred or so $$$ in fabric that I would have “needed” while I was there. I just cannot be trusted 😉
I have had all of these fabrics in my stash for a couple of years. I have used them all before for different projects, but never together. Planning fabric combinations is my favourite part of the process, laying out options and switching coordinating fabrics led me to this combo that I knew my girl would love.
We spent this morning at a local event at a park to welcome Santa to the shopping centre. We met some friends and the kids enjoyed the dancing, singing and rides on show! We got a bit more sun, than I was planning on, then we went for lunch with friends afterwards. It was one of those beautiful unplanned days that totally go off the schedule you had in your head. I was starting to worry, but I still managed to get the dress made and photographed well before the sun went down that evening, so it is pretty quick. I used snaps instead of buttons and button holes which saved me a good amount of time too.
My favourite way to hem a circle skirt is to use bias tape. I didn’t have enough mustard yellow in my stash, so I had to be happy with over locking and turning it up this time. If I’m being completely honest I will probably go back and do it with bias when I get some, because I am a details person and it hurts my eyes!
Here’s a pic of what your dress could look like if you follow the instructions with the sliders on the straps, just for comparison. It looks so fabulous in stripes!
Now if you are a One Thimble fan or have been enjoying my One Thimble posts, you will want to check out the OT Sewing Enthusiasts Facebook Group, as the 4th Birthday Celebration prize is ALL 17 ISSUES!!!! I kid you not…
I’m so thrilled to be showcasing the latest fabric designs by Patty Young for Riley Blake Designs! This is Patty’s 20th fabric collection, so it feels a little extra special! The collection is called Flit & Bloom by Patty Young for Riley Blake Designs.
I made these two sweet Harper dresses by Modkid Designs. Modkid is Patty’s pattern design company, and I thought that was a nice fit!
We’ve just been travelling for 3 weeks in our caravan around some beautiful parts of Australia, which I will have to share some pictures of soon. I took my sewing machine with me to make these dresses! I had visions of beautiful scenic photos and I had them all finished apart from the buttons and button holes, but I decided to use snaps. I didn’t have snaps and pliers with me, so I had to wait till we got home to actually finish and photograph them.
Then of course when we got home it rained…. So those beautiful photos had to head undercover! I snapped a couple in the wind in between showers, but as you can see it was just too miserable, cold and blowy.
I love making matching dresses that don’t quite match. My littlest loves to twin with her big sister, but her big sister isn’t quite as keen on the idea. This is a happy medium for them, and I love to see them coordinate!
Make sure you head to the Modkid Blog Tour Post very quickly for your chance to win one of 3 half yard bundles from the Flit & Bloom range.
Thank you to Patty & to Riley Blake for supplying these gorgeously soft anf beautiful fabrics! My girls wore their dresses all day and they looked stunning. After a full days wear and driving in the car they were suprising not creased much at all!
Below are the other participants from the tour, so for more beautiful insiration head over to see their posts!
Hey everybody, welcome to my post on the Sew Long Summer Tour hosted by Melissa of Mahlica Designs! So my northern friends are saying goodbye to summer (sorry/not sorry you guys 😉 ). I am definitely a summer lovin’ girl, so I am stoked to be stealing back the warmer weather! Spring and Fall aren’t that far different though, so I jumped at the chance to give myself a deadline to make this blouse I’d been dreaming of!
I took the Laela Jeyne Patterns Lily Blouse which you have seen me make before here and made a few tweaks! I actually had this blouse planned as a second version for the LJ Summer Collection Blog Tour (and mention it in that post), but the fabric didnt arrive in time!
I have a favourite store-bought blouse that I got from H&M a few months ago. It has a curved hem with high sides and it looks awesome with tights and boots.
So I took the Lily blouse Pattern that I knew fit well and is quite quick to make and redrafted the lower half to suit. I love that this pattern includes sizes 0-26 and bust sizes A-E!
It was a little breezy for pics, so it shows the drape of this beautiful rayon nicely!
At the back neckline I decided against the zip opening and did an elastic loop and button. It was super quick to finish & I can pull it on and off without undoing it because of the elastic! I finished the neck with bias as per the pattern.
I cannot be trusted – every pattern I have gets a tweak or two! I love when you get a great pattern that you can make your own. I wore this top to work with tights and boots, but for the few days after that we got an early glimpse of summer at 30+ degrees celcius (yahoo)!
I hope you are enjoying the weather in your part of the world! You can see that no matter where you are, there are plenty of options included in the Lily pattern to suit the weather year round.
These fabulous bloggers are also part of the tour, so to see how they are saying goodbye to summer, clink on the links below!
Monday: Sewing by Ti, Sewing Vortex, Sewing A La Carte, Very Blissful
Tuesday: mahlicadesigns, My Heart Will So On, Couturious, Anne-Mari Sews, Adventures With Bubba and Bug
Wednesday: Tenilles Thread, Sew Haute Blog, Sewing with D
Thursday: Indulging Mom, MeMade, Anne-Mari Sews, mahlicadesigns
Friday: Little Heart Threads, Idlesunshine, Ronda B. Handmade,
So the theme this month on the Sewing With Ti Blog Tour is “My Favourite Things”! This category is so hard for someone like me that just loves EVERYTHING! So I decided to make myself one of my favourite patterns and get my bum moving on my kids favourites, for their summer sewing too!
This is the Little Kiwis Closet Women’s Cuffed Dolman! It is a great relaxed dolman tee in a longer tunic length with a curved hem. It also comes in a dress length option which I chose to make here. I was sent this gorgeous Pink Aztec Rayon Spandex by Orinoco Designs to showcase for a current fabric pre-order and I knew it would be a perfect match!
The drape is perfect for this pattern and it is a great print for young and old. My girls loved it, but I had to (very unselfishly) show you all how great it was made up as a grown up piece!
I wasn’t a complete monster though… I saved the girls a few scraps and I used some straight away to run up this cute top! It’s the Little Kiwis Closet Choose Your Adventure Tee & Dress. I created this cute cap sleeve and pocket and added it to this royal blue cotton lycra I had in my stash. I think this is perfect for the theme – as one of my favourite things to do is mash and tweak patterns!
I used the flutter sleeve pattern piece from the Poppet Peplum pattern and added an inch or 2 to the centre so that it would fit the armscye perfectly. I lined the “flutter/cap” with some white cotton lycra to give it some body before attaching it. I absolutely love how this turned out and it just covers the shoulders nicely to protect them from our harsh summer sun!
Then we of course had to have some pics together, because – matching!
It was so cold! You have to remember it’s winter here at the moment and it was 7:30am before school! We are so lucky to have such mild winters, but boy was it fresh and frosty this morning!
I have a few more scraps left, so I used a tiny bit to jazz up this plain tank as well, but I will not waste a bit – it’s too cute!
Next up I want to show you a sneak peek of the girls version of the Cuffed Dolman! It’s in testing right now and is looking just as awesome as the women’s version!!!
This one I upcycled from a women’s large tshirt we found (stripes are her favourite) and I made the regular cuffed sleeves.
There is a long sleeve version too that I’ll share with you soon and you can also opt to leave the cuffs off altogether and just hem!
You can see from my upcycle that the back of the shirt has a centre seam. I hope this means that the manufacturer is being frugal with fabric! I love to upcycle as a way to reduce landfill and to get awesome cheap fabric.
This length is perfect with tights and I will make her some dolman dresses for summer as well. I know I live in them, so I am betting my girls will too!
Here’s an essential shot of my stripe matching – I’m sorry but if you are sewing stripes, they just have to match 😉 ! It also shows the cool curved hem.
Next up are some more great basics! I love to make pretty dresses, but my girls just want to wear shorts and tees! So while I never thought I’d make basics when you can get them cheap from Kmart, I love that they get something amazing and unique from me, with great quality fabrics and no exploited labour. Except for me of course… They fully exploit me!
This is the Pearlie Peplum and Scuttle Shorts from One Thimble Issue 16! This issue has only recently released and I am sewing my way through it! These patterns will be on high rotation! I used another Orinoco Designs print from a previous round for the bodice and the front panel of a tshirt I upcycled did the peplum skirt front and back.
The Pearlie Dress & Peplum is by Peach Patterns and I have lengthened the bodice here by 2 inches to bring the peplum down closer to her natural waist. This is just a personal preference. When I made the dress previously I used the size 7 length skirt, but because I added length to the bodice here, I used the size 5 peplum skirt length.
I teamed it with the Scuttle Shorts by Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns. I made the basic version here without any pockets or colour blocking and they were soooo fast! This girl looooves her knit shorts so I am going to make a full rainbow of these! This was a knit my Mum grabbed from Spotlight for me. As a bonus, they don’t take very much fabric at all!
Check ’em out – they’re adorable!
Ok so let’s recap a few of my favourite things…
Did I miss anything? I’m sure my girls have their own list to add!
If you’d like to see what everyone else on board has chosen to share this month, you can view their posts here! Each post will go live on it’s date in August.
2nd: Stitching At Night
3rd: Sewing By Ti
4th: Needles To Say
5th: Very Blissful
Sunday, August 6th: The Fairy Dust Bin
7th: Anne-Mari Sews
8th: Sewing With Sarah
9th: Thats Sew Lily
10th: Stitching at Night
12th: Sew Sew Ilse
Sunday, August 13th: Lulu & Celeste
14th: Seams Sew Lo
16th: Stitching and Making
17th: Creative Counselor
18th: Ma Moose
19th: Kainara Stitches
Sunday, August 20th: Embrace Everyday
21st: She Who Sews
22nd: Idle Sunshine
23rd: My Heart Will Sew On
24th: Lovely For Life
25th: Margarita On the Ross
26th: Anne-Mari Sews
Sunday, August 27th: Made By Melli
29th: Auschick Sews
30th: Me Made
31st: Living in Twinado Alley