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My Favourite Things

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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!

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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!
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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!
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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!
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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!
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Then we of course had to have some pics together, because – matching!
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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!
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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!
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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!!!
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This one I upcycled from a women’s large tshirt we found (stripes are her favourite) and I made the regular cuffed sleeves.
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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!
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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.
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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!
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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.

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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!
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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.

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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.
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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!
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Check ’em out – they’re adorable!

 

Ok so let’s recap a few of my favourite things…

  • The LKC Cuffed Dolman
  • Awesome custom print fabric
  • Pattern hacking
  • Matching my minis
  • Upcycling
  • Stripe matching
  • Little Kiwis Closet
  • One Thimble
  • Sewing things my kids will actually wear

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.

 

Tuesday, August 1st: Intro ***You are here. 😀, Tenille’s Thread

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

11th: EYMM

12th: Sew Sew Ilse

Sunday, August 13th: Lulu & Celeste

14th: Seams Sew Lo

15th: Tales From a Southern Stitching Mom

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

28th: Adventures with Bubba and Bug

29th: Auschick Sews

30th: Me Made

31st: Living in Twinado Alley

 

Warmest Wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

 

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One Thimble Issue 16 – Under The Sea

Oh my gosh! Where do I even start? One thimble Issue 16 is here and it is bigger, brighter and more beautiful than ever!

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Included in this issue are 11 awesome PDF patterns for the ridiculous price of AUS$25:

High Tide Trousers (NB-12)

Triton Tank (1-12)

Scuttle Shorts (3-12)

Hally Dress (1-12)

Miss Olivia Dress (Ladies AU 6-20)

Pearlie Dress (1-12)

Makana Mermaid Skirt (2-4, 5-7, 8-10)

Melody Mermaid Tail (3-8)

Mermaid Pocket Doll & Shell (handsewn)

Murray is a Merman (Free Motion Applique)

Meg is a Mermaid (Free Motion Applique)

What a steal! It’s a gorgeous collection that will fill your wardrobes full of practical warmer weather staples! The Under The Sea theme is designed with comfort and fun in mind for our upcoming Australian Spring. Don’t think that if you are headed into Fall that this magazine is not for you though, One Thimble is very versatile and has something for everyone.

I have absolutely jumped on the One Thimble Fan-wagon this year and with each Issue I have sewn more and more! So far in testing this issue I have made 2 Triton tanks, 2 pairs of Scuttle shorts, 2 Hally dresses, a Pearlie dress and 2 Makana Mermaid skirts! I am proud to say that I have contributed another article to this issue as well, looking at mashing sizes in PDF patterns for the right fit! So grab your coffee and vanilla slice, we could be here for a while with all the pics I have taken!

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First let’s take a look at the Hally Casual Dress! These dresses were such a fun project! They were designed by Jen of Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns in sizes 1-12, who also happens to be the Editor and Creator of One Thimble.

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I love the loose comfortable fit and the combinations are endless with fabric mixing here!

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Magic Method 1

I made one using the magical first binding method and then we also decided to try a traditional bias method, so you can see both versions here.

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Traditional Method 2

It has a simple elastic back with no buttons and zips!

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If I’d had enough 1 inch gingham, that would have been my pick for this dress, so don’t be suprised if you see that version pop up soon!

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I’m putting a little grid of pics in here, because you’ll be scrolling for days if I add all our pictures individually 😉

Next up is the Pearlie Dress & Peplum in sizes 1-12 by Peach Patterns.

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It is a dolman style tshirt dress with a gathered skirt. There are 2 fit options to choose from and we chose the slim fit. It includes 3 pocket styles, but we chose to leave the pocket off for this version.

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It is a super comfortable dress and a nice fast sew. This is my girls’ favourite style, they are into simple design and it lets you mix fabrics to change up the look. I can see a million combinations for this dress.

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I love the high-low hem which curves up to the side seams. I also love her styling, and she loves her new tie dye socks with a cause from Help Astrid!

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Every outfit needs matching bows, so I fussy cut these from the same gorgeous pastel rainbow leopard cotton lycra I used for the bodice!

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Next up is the Triton Tank! It’s a casual knit pattern also by Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns. It works best with fabrics that have a fluid drape (which you can actually read all about in the article on page 64)!

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It can be made in sizes 1-12 and I love the roomy fit. This outfit made my kids so happy, they are all about the t-shirts and shorts! It doesn’t matter how many pretty dresses I make, they will always go straight for the basics! Can you blame them – look how comfortable they look!

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That is definitely my new mission… Sew all the basics!

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The Scuttle Shorts are also by Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns and team perfectly with the tank. They can be made in sizes 3-12 in knit fabric. As you can see here, they are a unisex pattern in 2 lengths (Shorty & Jamaica lengths). I made both of mine with the panels and pockets, because they are so cute for colour blocking, but there is a simple plain option too, that would be a super fast sew.

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My guy loves both this tank and shorts, I had to keep hiding them until we got a chance to take photos or he would have worn them out!

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I’m sure you can spot sand and bark all over them from their little adventures this afternoon! This spot on the bay is just gorgeous and full of old trees to climb on.

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We happened to hit this spot right on low tide on the most beautiful winters day! It was 4:30pm and it was so warm (25C)!

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If you happen to visit us in the near future, you may find us back at that spot, with some deck chairs and drinks next time I think!

I have to show you our Makana Mermaid Skirts from testing too! They totally deserved their own blog post, because I  took so many cute pics of them in testing! This particular weekend we happened to experience some horrendous weather associated with an event known as an East Coast Low. Think Winter on steroids – RAIN, WIND, COLD! I also happened to be sick as a dog to match the weather! I dragged myself out to get the pics and we jagged a tiny bit of sunshine! My husband couldn’t believe we were going to the beach, but I knew we would sneak them in.

 

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Now I know you’ve seen a lot, but every Issue I have said that Free Motion Applique is on my to-do list, so if we roll around to the Issue 17 tour and it hasn’t happened, give me a virtual tap on the shoulder and maybe a bit of a glare or something… I’m saying it – I will be FMA-ing that damn gorgeous Meg the Mermaid come hell or high water! So keep me honest and make sure it happens!

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We are very lucky (and SUPER EXCITED as you can see below…) to be giving away a copy of Issue 16! So click the Raffle copter link below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I hope you like the fun things I’ve made to celebrate this issue!

Make sure to stop by the other bloggers to see what they have made!

Sisboom Angie Pattern Hack-A-Thon

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

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

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

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

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Sis Boom Patterns Angie Dress Pattern

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

 

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

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

 

 

 

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