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idle sunshine

Enjoying life as a series of beautiful moments

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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GIVEAWAY!!! With heartfelt thanks to these great sponsors above – check out these amazing prizes on offer and make sure you enter the via the rafflecopter for your chance to win!

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Chalk & Notch – Waterfall Raglan

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I have another beautiful Chalk & Notch pattern to share with you today! The Waterfall Raglan is now available for purchase through the Upcraft Club and the Chalk & Notch Webstore! Make sure you stick around as there is a great prize giveaway in the rafflecopter link at the end!

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I have a serious love of raglans! I have made so many in the past few weeks. They come together so fast and easily and they look so cool! I especially love contrasting sleeves and bands, they give the look a little more edge, which really suits my grown up girl’s style!

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I chose to make a dress for my tester version as I wanted a complete outfit from this funky fabric. There are 3 sleeve lengths and I chose to make it short sleeved for our current spring weather! I don’t have as much time for sewing these days now that I am back studying at Uni, but I couldn’t say no to another Chalk & Notch pattern! You might remember my recent post for their last release – The Cascade Maxi.

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Chalk & Notch are actually today celebrating the 1 year anniversary of their first pattern release – The Fishtail Kimono. What a cool way to celebrate with another release and an awesome prize pack! I am yet to make a Fishtail for my girls but I have recently downloaded it ready to go! It is perfect for Spring and Autumn weather and is super cute.

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I made this dress for Miss 8 who is not a pink kind of girl. So I used this awesome green print fabric I got as a ladies maxi dress from an op shop (thrift store). It probably cost me $3 and I used some plain black cotton lycra as the sleeves, neckband, pocket and hem ruffle. I love that hem ruffle! It looks amazing on the top version too, I will definitely  be making some of them.

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She loved it, but in the end I gave up trying to coordinate her busy school and dance schedule with the poor weather we had that week! So Miss 8 was dumped and Miss 5 stepped in to model instead! Miss 8 certainly doesn’t think it’s so great, but it’s lucky for me they are the same size!

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This little ratbag is off to big school next year! Soon we won’t be able to drop the big kids off, go to the park for some photos and then head to a cafe for morning tea! This kid is obsessed with caramel tarts, so that will be pretty disappointing!

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Miss 5 is also definitely not a pink kind of girl. She is a rough and tumble, wild and crazy kid, with a devilish laugh!

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I can’t say anything about their lack of ‘girly-ness’ though… You wouldn’t have caught me dead in pink at their age either lol! I was an outside kid, always on my bike and rollerskates, on the trampoline, riding a horse or climbing a tree. I hated dolls and dresses and my bedroom was blue. Most things were blue – just anything except pink please!

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I love recycling clothes as fabric! Knit fabric is pretty expensive in Australia and hard to source the kinds of prints we like, so I love picking up clothes on sales racks and in op shops. I just check the fabric for quality and condition and check how many seams are in it to see if I will be able to get enough usable fabric. I also don’t throw out clothes of my own that can be used for fabric. It’s a really inexpensive way to sew and it makes me feel better knowing that so many clothes I have repurposed could just have easily ended up as landfill!

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You will love all the versions the other testers have made, so check out the tester round up post at Chalk and Notch here and see all the testers blog links below!

Emi – Just Add Fabric | Melissa – Rebel & Malice | Brooke – Idle Sunshine | Nicky – Mix it Make it | Nelleke – gaafmachine | Sylvia – Lily & Woody | Sophie – Moineau & Petit Pois | Monica – Ma, me, mi… mo | Cassy – Pear Berry Lane | Thao – Little Cumquat | Toya – Made by Toya | Tami – Sew Sophie Lynn | Maria – Fairies, Bubbles & Co. | Indu – Kaleidothought | Julia – trendedero | Eveline – frölein till | Catherine – Mespetitstissus

Now for the fun part – Competition time!

Would you like to win:

A copy of all 4 Chalk and Notch Patterns

+ a $50 voucher to Raspberry Creek Fabrics

+ a $25 voucher to UpCraft Club?

Leave me a comment on this post and enter via the Rafflecopter link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sew Boxes – Seasons – Spring Reveal!

Sew Boxes Seasons subscribers around Australia and new Zealand have recently received their Spring Subscription Boxes! That means we can now reveal the top secret contents – or “What’s in the Box”?

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But first let’s meet the Style Contributors! These ladies have spent a lot of time with Sew Boxes Owner and Creator Leesa, coming up with ideas for the Seasons subscription! I have loved meeting them all and creating new long distance friendships! We help search for the ideal patterns to fit the design brief and the season, we help each other with fit and to make and adjust toiles, make decisions on colour and prints, learn and share new sewing techniques and we’ve had a lot of fun along the way!

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So here is the first reveal of the contributors Spring outfits!
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So let me tell you about the Spring Box contents! Like the first Winter Seasons Box subscription, there are 3 PDF sewing patterns included to make the perfect outfit. There is also a collection of cool sewing gadgets, haby and notions to help you with this project and many more projects to come! I love the surprises when the box arrives!

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The first pattern is the Marbella Dress by Itch to Stitch. We searched for a dress pattern suitable for spring, that could be dressed up for a day at the races or for a simple lunch with friends or family. It had to have options to fit and flatter many shapes and sizes, which was no mean feat! We all loved the Marbella, but knew with a second skirt option, it would knock the brief out of the park! So Leesa contacted Kennis from Itch to Stitch and she was excited to draft and add a second option to her pattern.

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The original skirt is a tulip style skirt, but I chose the new half circle skirt for my outfit. I love this dress! It is definitely one I can dress up or down and will get lots of wear out of! I used a textured woven fabric I found at Lincraft one day wandering around in a 40% off sale. I love the yellow and I am proud of making myself something in a plain, rather than a print for once! I am a print addict, but I am trying to put together a handmade wardrobe with more versatile pieces.

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I loooove that it has pockets, I am absolutely adding pockets to anything I make myself from here on in! I lined my dress bodice and left the skirt unlined. After talking to the other girls that made more than one dress, they said that the lined method was definitely the easiest, so that was a lucky guess (and a free tip for you)! I just folded my bodice lining under and attached it to the shell by stitching in the ditch of the waistline seam. It was a great pattern to make and fit. The bodice includes cup sizes A-D so no modification or fitting was needed for me other than to remove a small wedge at the top of the back bodice either side of the zipper.

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Next up is the Lotus Blossom Shrug by Rabbit Rabbit Creations. I made the plain bound version of this, but you can also finish it with a ruffle around the neckline. I used a blue and white stripe ponte knit which could either have come from spotlight or lincraft… Don’t make me swear either way! It is super comfortable and such a fast sew! The ponte makes it quite warm and I have been wearing this cardi with many other outfits.

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The third pattern is the brand new Roll With it Tote and was made on request by Lisa from Two Pretty Poppets! I have never made a handbag so I can’t tell you how proud I am of this project! I absolutely love this bag and the pattern is impeccable! If you are not a bag maker and are keen to give it a try, I can highly recommend Two Pretty Poppets! I made the smaller of the 2 sizes included in the pattern and used a poly/cotton print I bought from Lincraft. I also purchased pre made bias and made my piping to match.

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Overall I was thrilled with how my outfit came together and am excited for the weather to warm up so I can wear it over and over again!

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Thanks for stopping by!
Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

Welcome to Twig + Tale Blog Tour

So have you have seen the news? Our beloved Big Little Patterns has had a makeover! They are now known as Twig + Tale Patterns. I love the new name, it is a perfect representation of the beautiful whimsical designs Lisa creates.tt-blog-tour-graphic

To celebrate the new look we would all love you to join in the celebrations! Across the world, sewing bloggers are showing what the brand Twig + Tale means to them! With the generous support of Art Gallery Fabrics, we hope you love all our creations!

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We love Twig + Tale patterns in our house, there’s something for everyone! I first came across the designs when I applied for my very first PDF pattern tester call for the Wild Thing Hooded Scarf for my littlest Miss! What an adventure that began for me from there! I was wanting to sew more for my children, and I knew testing patterns would give me the motivation I needed! I also recently tested the Pathfinder Vest for my middle boy! So it seemed fair that this next outfit was made for my eldest 🙂 Thank you Lisa for starting me on this journey!

We have hit Spring here in Australia and the weather has been beautiful, but Spring can be unpredictable and stormy too! The wind was blowing and my girl was so happy to be cosy in her Crossroads Vest!

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This pattern is a free add-on variation to the Pathfinder Vest I showed you above (modelled by my boy)! If you already have the Pathfinder Vest pattern, you can subscribe to the Twig + Tale Newsletter here to download the additional instructions and pattern pieces for free.

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It is a unisex pattern with many options, such as the round hood I have added, the pixie style hood, flutter sleeves and a pleated back option. You can also create a Wild Things Vest! My eldest is 8 (that’s basically an adult isn’t it?), and really liked the simple design we chose here. She likes classic design with a bit of interest, so the gorgeous tulip shape front was a hit.

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I had THE HARDEST time choosing an Art Gallery Fabric to match in with the other fabrics I already had planned. Have you ever lost an evening, or maybe a whole day drooling over the collections on their website? I was up till the wee hours of the morning making that difficult decision, but I think it was worth the lack of sleep to see this combination come together!

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This fabric I chose for the lining is the stunning Wild Posy Luminous, from the Forest Floor collection by Bonnie Christine! These fabrics not only have the most beautiful prints, they feel like silk to touch. AGF quilting cottons aren’t like regular quilting cottons. They are lighter and smoother and are beautiful to use for clothing.

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But the best news is that by using snaps on the Crossroads Vest, it makes it completely reversible! Two outfits in one, just like that!!

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The outer fabric for the vest was given to me by my Mother In Law. She cleaned out her sewing supplies earlier this year and gave me most of her fabrics, which she had collected over time. Who knows where this gorgeous wool came from or how old it is, she doesn’t remember exactly, only that she most likely had plans to make it into a coat for herself…

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I’m so glad I got to make that happen for her granddaughter, it is so very pretty!

I whipped up a cute knotted headband (I didn’t use a pattern but I’ll get back to you soon with a tutorial). I accidentally made the headband large enough and with elastic at the back, so that it fits me too! Look, I didn’t mean to make it for me, but it’s so damn cute, I’m totally claiming it as mine now haha!

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I love the mix of old and new. Most of my projects have a hint of vintage to them or upcycling! I love that Twig + Tale shares the same ethos! Did you know that the average Australian buys around 27 kilograms of new textiles each year and then discards 23 kilograms into landfill? I’m sure the statistics are similar in most parts of the world, but this is a big reason why I love shopping in charity stores and upcycling. It’s another reason why I love Twig + Tale patterns, they have lovely fabric recycling guides included in their patterns, to show you ideas to reuse garments and up cycle blankets etc.

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Why would you let fabrics like these go to waste when they can become new works of art?

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The burgundy corduroy fabric came from my op shop travels (or thrift store adventures, depending on where in the world you come from). I am in love with this outfit all together!

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These Pixie shorts are so adorable! I love them with long socks or winter tights, but my girl will wear them though the warmer weather with sandals as well! I plan on making some chambray ones for summer too!

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I made her a basic white long sleeved shirt to wear under her Twig + Tale ensemble, all fabrics again sourced from a local op-shop/thrift store!

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This girl is quite the performer and enjoyed a little song and dance as we took these pictures! She was laughing and enjoying twirling about in the wind!

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Twig & Tale is a place where imagination runs wild and is for everyone who shares a love of creativity and an adventurous spirit—beginner sewers especially! It’s a celebration of the innocence of childhood and the wonder of nature. It’s about comfy clothes and warm things like hugs and capes and coats. It’s about handmade, love, and imaginary play—featuring classic, simple patterns that inspire us all to tell a story.

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Thank you so much for stopping by my entry for the Twig + Tale Welcome Blog Tour!

Here’s the exciting part – DISCOUNTS AND GIVEAWAYS!!!

Twig + Tale is giving you 20% off the Wild Things range of patterns to get your Halloween sewing on track (or maybe just because they are super cute and you need no convincing or excuse to neeeeeeed them 😉 )! No code is needed, you will see the marked down prices on the patterns, and you have until Midnight Friday PST to grab the discount.

Thanks to Art Gallery Fabrics and Twig + Tale, you also have the opportunity to win this great prize!

What would a Blog Tour be without a giveaway!

Art Gallery Fabrics is kindly sponsoring 2 yards of Art Gallery fabric of your choice. To make the prize extra sweet, we are also adding a collection of 5 Twig + Tale patterns of your choice.

International entries are very welcome. Our bloggers come from every corner of the world to celebrate the global nature of Twig +Tale too.

Enter using the rafflecopter below.

(The winning entry will be checked to ensure all criteria are met).

**********a Rafflecopter giveaway**********

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Sofilantjes Down Under Blog Tour

I am so excited to be first up on the very first Sofilantjes Down Under Blog Tour!

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We are excited to showcase the summer patterns & also offer you a special discount code and a giveaway!!

Welcome to sunny Australia in Spring! In the interests of full disclosure, the whole of our beautiful country doesn’t look exactly like this, but the part I come from certainly does! I happen to be on holidays at the moment enjoying the gorgeous Port Macquarie area in NSW, which is right near where I lived as a child and where my parents grew up.

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Litore & Solis by Sofilantjes

My family have had an awesome few days away to celebrate my husband’s birthday and declared it even better than our big holiday to Fiji! Sheesh… I wish we’d known sooner that we could have saved all those $$$$$ on airfares, accommodation and passports haha! Why do we take overseas holidays when we have all this at home though? They could be on to something…

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I have been admiring the sweet Sofilantjes Dutch designs, for some time. The brand really hit my radar when I saw the Solis Tunic & Dress release. I bought the Solis straight away, but I had been waiting for warmer weather to sew it up. As you can see here, the warmer weather has well and truly hit! My other choice for the tour is the Litore Tunic & Dress and I think they look awesome together – without being too matchy matchy, which we all know would not be “cool” at all!

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We are pretty lucky in Australia to have the beautiful weather and landscapes that we have! The trip we took for my husband’s birthday was a last minute decision, so these dresses of course came with us. They are easy to pack and don’t need ironing as they are made from lovely comfortable, wrinkle-free knit (YAY)! The stripe I used is a ponte, lined with plain white cotton lycra, the skirts are silky, poly lycra florals and I think the green is an ITY (don’t hold me to it, I picked up a huge bundle of it from a charity shop for a few dollars, so it had no label).

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Each dress pattern has several skirt options. The Solis has a pleated skirt & circle skirt as well as tunic length options. The Litore has a high/low circle skirt, handkerchief and an A-line maxi. All the skirts are interchangeable between the two patterns which make them great companion patterns. I decided to use the straight circle skirt from the Solis for both dresses, for a cohesive look.

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Solis & Litore by Sofilantjes

I found these pattern’s fit together perfectly and the instructions very clear. I am absolutely loving sewing knits at the moment and I don’t know why it took me so long to become a convert. I also love the opportunity these dress patterns give you to pair together different fabric combinations. I think this stripe and floral combo looks awesome and so did my girls! I love that they coordinate so well without being an exact match. I can actually see these being worn for Christmas. They epitomise the kind of Aussie Christmas we enjoy – relaxed and comfortable with a bit of style!

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Inseam skirt pockets

I love that the skirt has pockets, I can’t believe I didn’t ask the girls to put their hands in them for a picture, I guess they were too busy clowning around for me to remember!

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You see, I have this one girl who is an absolute professional, doesn’t need any instructions… So sensible, mature beyond her years…

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Then I have this other gremlin, who we will call a free spirit! I’ll just include this angelic, full of life picture, not the ones where she wants to climb and balance on the edge of everything, scaring the life out of me! We were all dressed ready for dinner, so I wasn’t in the mood to jump in the river to fish her out haha!

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But this is her all over – her poor big sister is saying “Whoah, hold on!”, while she is just going for it! Nothing stops this girl haha! She can do anything (even with her eyes shut lol)!!

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Please don’t fall in kiddo! The sensible sister always has a hold of her wild little sibling!

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I know my pictures all seem to be of their backs, but with these patterns it’s all about the funky back features!! The Litore has these gorgeous double cross straps. I added regular elastic to the straps to help them retain their recovery and not get overly stretched out. The pattern suggests clear elastic, but I didn’t have any in my stash and regular braided elastic works perfectly.

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The straps connect to the front with the shoulder tabs (shown in my version in the floral fabric). I like the simple front shape with good coverage.

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The Solis has this funky t-bar back design. This works really well on my narrow framed 8 year old. As I said – I am a sucker for a cool back design ❤

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The front is again a smooth and simple shape design, with great comfortable coverage.

I actually made both dresses in a size 4 width with 6 length as per the pattern and their measurements. Both my girls are a similar size (at age 8 and 5 – ridiculous I know 😉 so they can swap and wear either dress as they feel like it! The patterns both include sizes 12m – 14 years, so you have a great range to work with!

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Follow along on the Sofilantjes tour and catch the other bloggers from Down Under! You might be from our hemisphere, excited to see a tour that relates to our season.

Maybe you are from another part of the world and are excited to see how we interpret the Sofilantjes brand and what our part of the world looks like?

Later this week you will see posts from other Australian and New Zealand bloggers. Make sure you follow along for more chances to win!

Monday Idle sunshine

Tuesday Horris And Deedle

Wednesday Little Cumquat, Bartacks and Singletrack

Thursday Tea, Dust and Stitches, Brave Fabrics

Friday While she was sleeping, Mend and Make New

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Thanks for visiting and let me know where you are from, and whether you have heard of Sofilantjes before. If you have sewn any of their patterns, which are your favourites?!

So here’s the exciting part for you guys! I have a giveaway for you and a discount code!

Enter below to win a copy of the sweet Litore Tunic & Dress Pattern

**********a Rafflecopter giveaway**********

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Sofilantjes is also offering you 15% off for all of their summer patterns (including the Domis and Semper). They have bundles including the Aura.

The code to use is DOWNUNDER. This discount expires on October 16th & is valid on summer patterns only.

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

Chalk & Notch – Cascade Maxi Dress

Today is a good day! We get to take a look at the brand new Cascade Maxi dress by Chalk & Notch Patterns AND I have so generously been given a copy to give away to one of my readers! My very first giveaway!

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Wow! I could pretty much leave it at that, add a few pictures and this blog post is done right? This pattern is so gorgeous, that I don’t really have to say much at all!

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I was thrilled to be able to test this pattern. Gabriela’s sneak peek had me obsessed with this dress! Despite its ridiculous good looks, it is quite a simple sewing project that is suitable for advanced beginners. It is cut on the bias, has a simple elastic back and a gorgeous high-low maxi length hem (which is my favourite feature).

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The picture above is my absolute favourite! I tested View B, which has a feature border hem, and I absolutely love how this dress turned out with the contrasting blue I chose! If you are not so confident, or are after a super fast project, then View A creates a dress with the same finished length without the border hem.

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This dress is best made with a light weight woven fabric or one with good drape, such as this amazing printed voile I had picked up a little while ago from Spotlight. It is an absolute stunner! The border is also a voile, and I had the full rainbow of solids to choose from in my stash, but this blue is definitely my colour.

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There is a sweet pleat in the centre front which helps give the dress a great fit and style. If you look closely, you might notice that I exercised a little OCD and added my straps so that the yellow met the pink on the dress & the pink met the yellow. Anyone else do crazy little things like that, or do you just wing it?

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One of the other clever testers made an all white version which looked so beautiful. I can imagine it as a flower girl or special occasion dress! My little Miss has already decided it is SO special, it must be worn for her next birthday (which is not until January)!! I love when my kids love what I make for them.

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I love the cross over back and that the hem just skims the ground, its so elegant and grown up. The volume of fabric is such a gorgeous feature and my little Miss enjoyed swishing about in the afternoon breeze!

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So you should definitely go grab a copy of the pattern while it is on sale (until Sunday 25/9), BUT I bet you would really like to win a copy!

All you have to do is leave me a blog comment and I will use random.org to select a winner.

Of course I would also love it if you would follow me on Instagram and Facebook too! Leave me your instagram handle in your comment so I can follow you back! ❤

Competition closes Sunday 10pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is Sunday 5am in California for those of you on the other side of the world!

You can see some of the other talented testers’ Cascade Maxis here in the links below AND the great news is that some of these posts may also contain a pattern giveaway! So please make a cup of tea and enjoy…

Gabriela – Pattern Designer – Chalk & Notch

Natasha from Ellie’s Handmade

Anita from My Own Aria

Indu from Kaleidothought

Emi from Just Add Fabric

Nelleke from Gaafmachine

Leslie from Threadbear Garments

Mieke from Mie Made Memories

Thao from Little Cumquat

Good Luck and warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

Sew Boxes – Seasons – Winter Reveal!

I want to share with you the outfit I made as a style contributor for the very first Sew Boxes – Seasons Subscription for Winter! Sew Boxes is an exciting Australian business, that has many different sewing box subscriptions on offer. Their subscriptions include their original monthly sew box, sew boxes for kids and a new fabric box subscription to help build your fabric stash! These subscriptions can all be found on the Sew Boxes website, along with assorted fabric, sewing kits and patterns. IMG_6784 - Version 2

The Seasons Box is a quarterly subscription made just for women to sew for themselves! This was just the challenge I needed, and I cannot tell you how thrilled I am with the results! We tend to sew for others and our children, but not enough for us, so it’s time to fix that with style!

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As part of your subscription you will receive 3 awesome PDF sewing patterns from tried and trusted designers, as well as some awesome notions/hardware/haberdashery items to stock your stash and to help with your Seasons projects AND an awesome 12 page e-mag about the pattern designers, style contributors and more. For this first subscription release, we were lucky enough to work with patterns from the wonderful Winterwear Designs, Jocole and Little Moo Designs.

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Our first pattern was a blazer by Winterwear Designs. We were very lucky to be able to choose from 3 great designs – The Phresh Blazer, The Giverney Blazer and The Champs Elysee Cross Back Blazer. I love that subscribers were given this choice, because the lovely Seasons Style Contributors all had different ideas of what they would choose and what would suit them best. I chose the Champs Elysee Blazer and I’m so happy with how it turned out!

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I love the cross over back feature and I found it a great first pattern for tackling a blazer. I sew so much for my kids, but up until this point I had been a little scared of sewing for me. I used to convince my Mum to do that job! The Seasons box really turned that fear on its head and has me completely addicted! I used a cotton sateen floral fabric purchased in store from Spotlight and it pairs really nicely with my Jocole skinnies!

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I am in love with these pants! I bought this stretch suiting from spotlight some time ago on a sale rack for $6 a metre, with this project in mind. I didn’t realise at the time that the Jocole Skinnies call for woven fabric (non-stretch), but I am big on comfort and I’m so glad I put these together. This fabric has a lot of stretch, around 75% when I did a stretch test, so I took my measurements and compared them to the pattern, then I sized down 2 sizes to account for the stretch. A lot of the other contributors did a muslin (a test version in similar but cheap fabric) to make sure their fit was right, but I had 3m of this extra wide fabric so I took a leap of faith, knowing I could start over if I really had to at $6 a metre!

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They turned out really well, and I only had to take some slack out of the centre back and around my knees to get the fit I was after. I added pockets to both the front and the back, because I love pockets! I even added a little freehand swirly decorative stitching to the back pockets for interest. I used a stretch stitch around the crotch seam and double stitched it for strength, just to make sure I didn’t bust out of these babies!

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When I was getting the fit right – trying them on, taking them off, turning them inside out and right side out to try again for fit, I found that small safety pins were handy to mark the points to adjust. Tailors chalk seemed to rub off too easily, pins stab you and wonder clips don’t stay in place when you are turning them inside and right side out, but I found safety pins really handy – you’re welcome!

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Our 3rd project was an exclusive new release pattern to Sew Boxes – Seasons! This is the Tainted Love Fold Over Clutch by Little Moo Designs. I cannot tell you how excited I was to make this clutch, and how thrilled I was with the result! I had never made a clutch or a bag of any kind. I also had never sewn with leather or vinyl, but here she is in all her glory (cue choirs of angels etc etc)!!! I absolutely love this clutch and all my friends have put in requests for their own! I used the khaki stretch suiting from my skinnies, a piece of black vinyl from a garage sale that I got for $1, and the stripe woven was a scrap from my Aunts stash. She doesn’t keep scraps, she sends them down the road to me because I am a hoarder, but doesn’t it pay off!

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As a bonus, subscribers were given a 4th pattern – a code to receive the pattern for the Winterwear Designs Trendy Tank! I made mine in a simple plain black knit, because it’s the kind of piece that will go with any outfit. I tested this v-neck tank for Winterwear Designs before its release and you can grab it for free too! See my tester pics and post here to find out more!

So you see I made this ENTIRE OUTFIT from head to toe (minus the hat, necklace and shoes I guess)!! In case you were wondering, the hat was purchased from Target, the shoes are from Big W, but the necklace was a custom piece! It was made to match my blazer by the lovely Danielle at BowerBird Creations! This is the third piece I have ordered from Danielle and her enthusiasm and customer service are second to none!

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I hope this has given you all the information you have been wanting to know about the Seasons Subscription concept! You can read more about the Seasons Winter outfits made by all the awesome Style contributors in the subscriber e-mag here. This is an exclusive magazine to the Seasons Box, but you can have a sneaky look just this once!

Here’s a sneak peek at the contributors outfits for the Spring Edition! Subscriptions for Spring are now closed, but there are some trial boxes available on the website. Keep your eye out for a look at what’s in the Spring Seasons box and an awesome prize I have to give-away!

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

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EYMM – Back To School Tour – Mom Edition

So in the Northern Hemisphere, the sewing “Mom’s” have been busy creating gorgeous back to school outfits and complete school wardrobes for their children! I’ve been ooohing and ahhhing over their divine first day pictures, but here (Down Under), the “Mum’s” have been taking it pretty easy, making whatever we like!! Partly because our school year operates differently (and the kids have been at school instead of driving us crazy at home), and partly because the majority of us send our kids to school in a fairly strict uniform. So let me take you all back to school and let you know how we do things around here…

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Here’s my little Peeps all dressed for their first day of school this year, which begins at the end of January, depending on where in the week Australia Day falls (January 26th). This is them wearing their summer uniforms, which are worn first and fourth terms, because our seasons are the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere. They also have a winter uniform they wear second and third terms, with long sleeves, ties and tunics etc. They are pretty cute, but they aren’t looking fabulous or styled for a photoshoot, because (A) I am not a morning person (B) after six weeks of summer holidays and zero routine I have trouble getting everyone up and to school by 8:30am and (C) I had no idea that I would start a sewing blog and need a photo of my kids first day of school when September rolled around!

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So enough about the kids! They wear uniforms, I wear what I like! So let me show you what I like… This is the Everything Your Mama Made & More Piko Top!

I saw the call to join the EYMM Back to School Tour – Mom Edition and I jumped at the chance! I haven’t been blogging long, but I love it as a chance to show off my pattern testing projects and to support designers. This is my first blog tour so I’m thrilled to be in such good company.

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I haven’t sewn a EYMM pattern before so I was like a kid in a candy store! Who doesn’t love a legitimate excuse to go shopping? I purchased the Piko top, because it’s like nothing else I have in my extensive {read: ridiculous} pattern library!

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It has a lovely, loose oversized fit, which I love for pairing with skinny jeans or tights. We have just hit spring and the weather is warming up nicely, but I am a total cold frog and am still rugging up! For cooler weather you can layer a singlet/tank underneath which would not be seen at all.

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There are three hem styles – side tail, high-low or regular. I stuck with the regular straight hem and used a sweater knit I picked up at Spotlight when they had 40% off. Let’s be honest, that’s when I go to Spotlight, when it’s all on sale, because knits are about double the price here than they are in the U.S. for some ridiculous reason?!?!?! It’s a great wintery look, so I made it with the long sleeve option.

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I styled it with my favourite skinny jeans and have been wearing it with black jeans and tights too. I have also been teaming it with a really cool upcycled knit braided scarf necklace by Zobelle Designs which is a perfect match.

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Now I can’t seem to help myself and I have a cupboard FULL of white, grey and black long sleeved shirts! The ones that aren’t plain white, grey or black are striped white, grey and black! So even though I knew I had to use that sweater knit because it was perfect, I also knew I had to make myself something different!!!

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We are at the end of winter heading toward spring, so long sleeved shirts will still be my uniform for a bit longer yet, but this one I made with the 3/4 sleeve option

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I used the regular straight shaped hem again, but I made this version a bit longer so it could be worn with tights without showing too much.

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I love shirts with different prints front and back, so I raided my stash and put these two cotton lycras together. They are so ridiculously soft, they feel like pyjamas!

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This pattern is super simple to follow, perfect for a beginner or as an introduction to knit fabric. These two Piko tops will definitely not be my last, and I look forward to trying more patterns by Everything Your Mama Made and More!

So tell me what pattern you would you have chosen if you had free reign and a fresh set of eyes in the store? Now that you’ve sent the kids back to school and you have a 50% off code (yippee) you have no excuse right? Unless you homeschool… Then you have every excuse and I have no idea how you do it!

Back-to-School-Tour-web

Don’t miss any of the posts on EYMM’s Back to School Tour: Mom’s Edition! (Note: the links below will not work until their scheduled day, but feel free to click through and check out the rest of their blogs anytime!)

September 7
Sewing by Ti and†Sprouting JubeJube and†Call Ajaire

September 8
Inspinration†and†Idlesunshine

September 9
Boutique Birdie and†Needles to Say

September 10
Capture, Craft, and Cook and†Kelly’s Sewing Creations†and†Lulu & Celeste

September 11
Adventures with Bubba and Bug and†Pretty & Precious†and MeMade

September 12
Five Blessings and†House of Estrela and†Rebel & Malice

September 13
Recap at EYMM

The kids are back in school and parents and caregivers everywhere are excited to catch up after summer break!†Use coupon code†PARENTSROCK to save†50% off any adult-size patterns†for men and†women now through 11:59pm PST Tuesday 9/13/2016. This offer may NOT be combined with other offers including bundles.

 

Post Script: The sun was shining in true spring fashion in my part of the world and I had a “normal” day planned, so this was my outfit of choice today! My new Piko with a simple knit skirt. Pure comfort! Sunglasses hide that I don’t have time for makeup, keys around my neck and coffee in my hand this is me walking out the door everyday at 8:30am. Don’t mind my hair, that’s getting sorted out tomorrow, so zero effort today lol ;-).

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First up was the drop off at primary school, then at preschool. Then it was back to primary school for volunteer reading/writing/class help in my son’s year 1 class. I came home to hang out a few loads of washing I had done earlier and sorted out my home phone line that wasn’t working = no internet!!!!! Bit scary when you want to check on your blog post for your very first blog tour!!! Hold it together…. Then I went back to school to my daughter’s year 3 class stage assembly performance. When that was finished I headed down the street to run some errands and grab some groceries. I brought them home, scoffed a Japanese curry takeaway for lunch (my new favourite solo treat usually reserved for Fridays, but tomorrow is a pupil free day so that won’t be happening!) and then headed back to do the rounds and pick everyone up.

So there you have it! It makes the perfect Mom/Mum uniform no matter the weather, where you are in the world and no matter what your day throws at you! 

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

 

 

 

Midsummer Mama!

A Mini Wardrobe Capsule 

Striped Swallow Designs Midsummer Dream for Women 

I was recently lucky enough to test the newest Women’s pattern by Striped Swallow Design, the Midsummer Dream. I had been stalking the facebook group, waiting so patiently since the girls version released, which I also tested. That’s not weird at all, is it? We all hoped the Women’s version would be coming soon, because we knew it would be awesome!

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I’ve been inspired lately by the idea of the wardrobe capsule, trying to clear out items that don’t work and now anything new I make has to be versatile and fit in! So I had this picture in my head and it involved lengthening the separates so that they could double as a dress and as a top to wear with jeans and other skirts!

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First I will show you the dress, as the pattern is intended to look. It is an off the shoulder top with an attached high waisted elastic skirt. The top has this gorgeous wide flounce and there is an option to add shoulder straps as well.

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The skirt measurements included in the pattern mean that it can be made as a mini, knee length, midi or maxi. I have made mine knee length per the pattern. The part where it gets funky is where I added 5″ in length to the hem of the top. I added a bit of shape to the bottom to allow for my hips and just gave it a narrow hem. I also used bias to finish the armholes rather than lining the top, to save fabric mostly! Instructions for both methods are included in the pattern.

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Now we have the illusion of the dress and the added bonus of separates! This version was made with a soft voile from spotlight, but it can be made with knit too.

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Onto version number 2… I wanted plain black rayon but I did not want to drive 40 minutes to get it (and they never have what i want in stock anyway) so on the off chance I thought i’d hit the op shops. I found this awesome black silky tablecloth for $2 at lifeline! SCORE!!! It was big enough that I could cut my pattern pieces so that no hemming was required. I cut the front and back with the hem done and both ruffle pieces with the hem done! But seriously, who doesn’t love a little short cut now and then! You have to take your victories any time you can in sewing!

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I teamed it with this a-line knit maxi I had already made myself. I just drafted a pattern from a knit skirt I had in my closet. It’s as simple as running up the side seams and adding a waistband, no hemming required! I will do a tutorial for that another time, but I knew this outfit would work so well with the girls version I had made my daughter!

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I originally made this dress for Miss 8, and you can see her wearing it here, but on this particular day Miss 5 wanted in on the pictures more than she did AND they are the same size so that did not worry anyone haha!

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It was a great excuse to grab a photo with my little mini and I matching! I think I’d best get back to Spotlight while this yellow floral knit is still in the current range so that all 3 of us can match, or would that be too much? Too bad ;-P!

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We all hit the foreshore park as a family and the kids played while my husband took some pictures for me. It’s the first time I’ve “made” him take pictures for my pattern testing, I usually just use self timer or ask a friend to help me out, even my daughter has played photographer! While I had to drag him there to start with, I think he settled in quite happily behind the camera (not that he’d admit to that) and he did a pretty great job (with a little bit of direction of course).

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Then if I am being honest, this is probably the outfit that will get worn the most! I am a jeans girl all the way! Dress them up or down and wear them every day!

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So that’s 4 outfits I’ve shown you with me making 2 tops and 1 skirt with this pattern. I should have put the black top with the red skirt as well and grabbed a shot, that would make it 5! Everyone thought I’d been really busy, but this is such a quick pattern to run up, it took no time at all!

Grab the Womens version of the Midsummer Dream or the girls version from Striped Swallow Designs and share with me what you make! Are you interested in the idea of a capsule wardrobe? What are your must have pieces?

Warmest Wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

 

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