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idle sunshine

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Pattern Hack

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

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Will you look at that pretty washing hanging on the line! I have quite a collection of items to upcycle in my stash, so when I saw the Upcycling Challenge set by Candice Ayala, choosing my “fabric combo” was not an easy task! I knew this was my kind of challenge though.

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If you follow me, you will know I do a lot of upcycling when sewing. It’s a really cost effective way to source fabric for starters! You can upcycle unwanted items from your own closet, or you can purchase clothes, sheets, curtains, quilt covers, blankets, tablecloths and more quite cheaply from thrift stores to be used as fabric. I upcycle as often as I use new fabric!

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It’s also a great way to reduce landfill! In Australia the average adult purchases 27kg of textiles each year and throws away 23kg! I’m trying harder and harder to purchase less clothes (fabric surely doesnt count right?), but I am definitely an expert at repurposing things we no longer need!

 

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I had been wanting to make the new Little Lizard King Lexington pattern, but my girls are very “anti-dress” at the moment, so I thought why not make a top version and pair it with some cute shorts! I wanted an elastic waisted pair, but I have had no luck finding a woven shorts pattern, with pockets that doesn’t have a flat front. I spotted the Little Lizard King Ibiza pants pattern and thought it would make a super cute and easy pair of shorts!

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

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For each of the crossover front bodice pieces and the bodice back, I cut a main from lace, a backing piece from poplin and a lining piece from poplin (instead of a main and lining only). I basted each lace piece to a backing piece to be treated as the main piece from that point on.

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The only other change needed was to line the skirt part of the top. I cut the lace pieces carefully to match the scalloped bottom at the side seams and cut the lining to be the same length. I sewed the side seams of the lining and the lace with french seams and hemmed the lining. Then I basted the lining inside the lace ready to be gathered and attached to the bodice.

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The shorts were a really easy hack. I just compared the pattern pieces to some shorts from my daughters wardrobe, added a little extra length for a hem and cut! I made sure the length of the side seams and inner leg seams matched between the front and back pattern pieces to work out my straight line to cut for each pattern piece. Otherwise I sewed them up per the pattern instructions. I love those cute pockets.

 

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For the back straps and loops I could not stomach fiddling with the lace for starters, and I also thought it could feel a little scratchy on her back (see that tulle/netting type base in the pic above?)… So I searched my garbage bags full of remnants (thanks Mum for that buy – lots of random pieces of every fabric type and colour purchased from a fabric store employee) and I found some ivory chiffon! Now that thought might scare some people, but I have used chiffon for straps before and found it a snack. All I did was overlock the selvedge off the edge, then overlock just a little more than an inch from that over locked edge. That cuts the strap from the fabric, so you then need to overlock the other edge of your strip and repeat. You then have 2 long overlocked edged strips, which you fold inward twice to hide the overlocking (like double fold bias) and topstich. I use loads of wonder clips to hold it as I go. Easy peasy and faster than it sounds!

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I love how this set turned out and so does Miss 10! These little customers of mine are getting harder and harder to please! It’s so hard to listen to them when they say “no” to pretty dresses – I mean have you seen the amazing dress versions of the Lexington? This top is pretty stunning though, so I guess we’re all happy today ūüėČ

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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

 

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 ūüėČ

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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 ūüíė

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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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