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Little Kiwis Closet

Winter Sewing with The Material Girl Australia!

I love sewing fabric strike-offs for fabric goddesses! A suprise parcel arrives in the mail and I get to choose what I make with the pretty contents inside! I always have a huge list of makes on my to-sew list so I usually get to tick a couple of them off in the process!

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These pretty fabrics arrived recently in a parcel from The Material Girl Australia! They are available as a Pre-order – open now until July 14th, 2018. They are both cotton lycra 220 weight, but are available to order in a great range of bases including cotton lycra 180, cotton lycra 260, woven, minky, swim lycra, peach skin, french terry, double brushed poly, sports performance and rayon.

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I put my hand up for a couple of prints, but I didn’t really know what was coming until it arrived. I really hoped I would snag this gorgeous Design 14 – Birds print and I was lucky enough to get 2 metres to play with!

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I immediately had this combination in mind for a Ainslee Fox Bonfire Jacket, which was released in One Thimble Sewing E-zine Issue 5, and it turned out just as amazing as I imagined! I have had the Bonfire Jacket on my list to sew f-o-r-e-v-e-r! It feels good to tick one off and I can assure you it won’t be my last.

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I lined the body with a thin polar fleece for warmth, because where we live we need more than a light jacket in winter sadly. The ribbing is actually a double knit from my stash, which is fairly stable but it works well and looks amazing with the birds!

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When I cut out the jacket I knew that I was also going to be left with enough fabric to make a beautiful twirly dress. It was the other design that popped straight into my head when I saw this print.

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I used the Simple Life Patterns Skyler dress pattern which we tested recently and introduced on their blog! If you know me at all, you’ll know that I can’t leave a good pattern alone! I hacked the Skyler dress by slightly curving the corners of the low square back to create a low scoop ballet back. Isn’t it gorgeous? ❤

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I used the circle skirt for maximum twirl and it makes such a fast sew. The Birds print is a directional print and so I could not cut the circle as a whole piece (unless I wanted upside down birds on the back), so I cut two semi-circles adding seam allowance for the side seams.

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This dress is what little girls dreams are made of! Stunningly beautiful, yet comfortable as your pyjamas at the same time!

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Print number two is Design 39 – Floral Deer. This is a sweet pastel print suitable for all ages! I can picture even a baby romper in this!

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My brain went straight away to a pretty dress for this print, but I didn’t want to pigeon hole it. I knew it was more versatile than that, so I challenged myself to make something my big girl would wear.

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This is a Little Kiwis Closet Cuffed Dolman. This pattern is my most often made pattern for myself and my girls closets are catching up! I used the long sleeve version as it’s for winter and I hacked the cutout back!

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I used the scoop back from the Skyler dress I made above as a guide for the depth, and cut the scoop from the back piece of the dolman. I measured the neck opening front and back, minus the seam allowances and calculated the binding at 90% of the opening. After I completed the top, I created a strap for the back by sewing a long strip right sides together into a tube. I turned it right way out and pinned it across the opening a couple of inches below the shoulder seams. I adjusted the length of the strap until I was happy it held the cutout shape nicely and top stitched it behind the binding.

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What’s your favourite winter pattern for knits? These are just a few I thought of to showcase this fabric. I hope you like them as much as these cheeky girls do!

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Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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

 

Choose Your Adventure Tee and Dress

Will you look at the back on this beauty?! I am in the deepest amount of trouble…

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The Choose Your Adventure Tee & Dress PDF sewing pattern by Little Kiwis Closet

I have been “collecting” fabric for years! Only occasionally sewing until the past 18 months where I have really committed to making time for my hobby. But lets just call it an investment! Some people collect shares and houses, and I’m over here banking on fabric. Fingers crossed people!

So this “collecting” has gotten pretty intense in the last 6 months in particular, because every time you sew one item that basically gives you permission to go buy enough fabric to make 10 more right? Well now there are more than 10 billion metres of woven cotton in my sewing room. You can barely open the door (think about your Mum’s Tupperware cupboard back in the 80’s and you will be close) but there are barely a scant few yards of knit in there! Mostly opshop finds, because who goes looking for knit when they’re scared to sew it?

So this has not been a problem at all, because I only sew with woven right? Wrong!!! I just made this dress from the new pattern by Little Kiwi’s Closet – The Choose Your  Adventure Tee & Dress and well, just look at it! It’s awesome, AND I made it!!!

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Full length view of the dress option with long sleeves

I did not even know I could do that. I was frightened of knits so I just steered clear. I’d tried to play with them before but my machine ate them and threads snapped and, well I don’t think I need any more excuses – aint nobody got time for that garbage!

I’ve learnt a few things since those days though, and I’ve spent so much time on my machine sewing in general, that I know how it works now. So here’s my first couple of tips if you’re scared or been having any trouble…

  1. Don’t use crappy thread, the quality of thread was the reason it snapped all the time. It was the simple swap from the 3 for $5 reels from lincraft, or the bulk buy of colours from big w, to guiterman and Birch thread, that stopped that happening. Now I can get back to finishing my Love Notions Pemberley Tunic that I threw in a corner because the threads snapped every 2 inches in every seam!!! I can’t tell you how frustrating that was. I don’t give up easily, but I fully wigged out, blamed my sewing machine and threw my hands in the air on that very rare knit project.
  2. Don’t start your seams on the very edge of the fabric. Start a little further in, hold your threads taut at the back, do a couple of stitches, back stitch and away you go, then your machine wont eat the material.
  3. Don’t stretch your knit as you sew. Feed it gently under the foot so that it sews evenly. A walking foot will do this for you, feeding both pieces of fabric evenly but I don’t have one of those. Put it on the wish list…
  4. Use a ballpoint needle in your machine and a stretch stitch. A straight stitch will snap when stretched.

So now you’re ready to go! If you would prefer a simpler pattern to experiment with knits, you can try another LKC pattern. Lydia has many knit patterns, like the Women’s Take Flight Dolman, which can be made in girls or ladies sizes. That was my first go back with knits, which gave me the confidence to go again. Well Lydia and her tester friends at LKC gave me that confidence really. Thanks for having faith in me!

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Women’s Take Flight Dolman PDF sewing pattern by Little Kiwis Closet

The options in this pattern will keep you busy for quite some time. I have made a simple long sleeved dress with the peep hole back feature and binding around the neck. I nearly chickened out on the pockets because, well, knit sewing is scary in general and I was still packing it! So glad I didn’t though, they were easy peasy and I’m basically shocked at how easy it was to make this gorgeous dress.

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Look at those cute peekaboo circle pockets

So this pattern can be made into an a-line dress as I have made, or a more slim fitting tshirt for both boys and girls. Both have a huge number of options. You can colour-block with diagonal panels on the front. You can do the peep hole back (which looks amazing in stretch lace too), you can do a simple plain back for the boys or girls or a colour-blocked back instead. You can add 1 or 2 bound or cuffed peekaboo pockets to the front, or chicken out like I almost did (but really there’s no need to be frightened). You can add binding to the neck, do a cuff, add a hood or a cowl. You can do short sleeves, long sleeves, ruched sleeves or bell sleeves, you can even add a cuff to your sleeves.

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If you are feeling adventurous you could even size up and make a nice thick fleecy sweater knit dress or hoodie. With sizes NB-12 and all these options, it really is a fabulous versatile, value-for-money pattern! If you look at the line drawing (which I always look for in a pattern – tick!) you can imagine how many garments can be made by mixing and matching the options.

Lydia’s patterns are always expertly drafted. I love testing for her because you know it is always going to be an accurate, well thought out pattern. The sizing is great and I am always confident cutting into my fabric for that first test that it will not go to waste, it will be a gorgeous and wearable garment. I think she might have been really good at maths back in school kids. So clever!

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This new pattern has already released and you can get it on sale for 30% off with the code found in the Little Kiwis Closet Facebook Group. In fact that magic code will get you 30% off all LKC patterns! But be quick, it expires Saturday night (April 23 2016) NZ time.

If you have any questions ask away! I’ll do my best to help and you can join the group to meet lots of new friends making LKC patterns.

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Shot at Blackbutt Nature Reserve Newcastle NSW

 

Warmest wishes,

Brooke

Idlesunshine

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