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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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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 ❤

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!

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

 

Christmas in July with The Material Girl Australia

Hi Everyone,

Look at me go! I’m never this organised for anything! I have our Christmas outfits sorted 5 whole months in advance, that is certainly not the girl that most of you know… I’m usually up till 2am the night before an event finishing my outfit! Pre-orders are open for a huge range of Christmas fabric designs  at The Material Girl Australia, which gives us all a chance to order well in advance for our own families and businesses.

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First up I used this gorgeous Design 3 – Mouse panel and matching coordinate to make a HEAVILY modified Hourglass set (Pattern originally from Rabbit Rabbit Creations), made from 220g cotton lycra knit instead of woven.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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).

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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…

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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I used red glittler for the back and neck strap and I love this combination!

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I fussy cut my bodice back to centre the print nicely, it’s those little details which really make the difference.

IMG_0453A curly pony tail, a gold scrunchie and black gym boots complete the look of course 😉

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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I’m a lucky lady to have these 3 beautiful kids (2 in the shot, 1 behind the camera)!

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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 😉

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Go to The Material Girl Australia Preorder to order your Christmas fabrics now! Orders close July 31st.

Merry Christmas in July everyone 😉

Brooke x

Idle Sunshine

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.

Introducing Skyler! By Simple Life Pattern Company

We are excited to be featured on the

Simple Life Pattern Company Blog today,

introducing the new Skyler knit dress, top & tunic!

Click here for the full post, details and pictures.

Skyler-Cover

Candice Ayala’s Upcycling Challenge – Little Lizard King Lexington & Ibiza

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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.

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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!

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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!

 

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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!

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It all came together quite easily, with great instructions and fit, but playing with lace meant a few tweaks were needed.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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!

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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 😉

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Coffee & Thread Nina Blouse Blog Tour

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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.

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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

  • if I can fit it in,
  • if it is super awesome
  • and if it is something I am “missing” from my pattern library.

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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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If you have read this far, your prize is a discount code!

20% off with the code NINAPATTERNTOUR

good through 03/19, 11:59 pm Central (Chicago) time zone at http://coffeeandthread.bigcartel.com/

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Boo Designs Dynamite Activewear!

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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!

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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 SpandexSolid 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!

 

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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!

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

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.

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