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Quilting cotton

Little Lizard King Bellevue Dress

I’m excited to show you all this gorgeous dress, made from a new pattern by Little Lizard King! It’s called the Bellevue and the exciting part is that it is the first design by the lovely and talented Natasha Chrismas of Ellie’s Handmade! I’ve been a long time fan of Natasha’s work (if you are a handmade enthusiast I’m sure you are too), so I was thrilled when she asked me to take a look at her first release!

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The Bellevue was a double release available in a dress and romper version. The dress includes sizes 12 months – 14 years, the romper in sizes 0-3 months – 4 years.

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Photo credit – Natasha Chrismas

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It has these gorgeous cross back straps with the option of single or double ruffles. You might have noticed my girls don’t wear many dresses these days, but Miss 6 is turning 7 next week and she decided she wanted a birthday dress. Seeing as though I was sewing for my little firecracker, I decided to experiment and leave the ruffles out of the equation. She loves it and I am happy knowing it will be worn more than once! Why, oh why must they grow up and ditch the dresses and frills?

fullsizeoutput_7e38 I could have moved the straps over to meet the edge of the bodice, but that might have left them too wide on her shoulders. I could also have trimmed down the bodice to meet the straps, but I quite liked the idea of this modern look.

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The straps cross over and tie in the back through two loops, it also has an elastic casing across the back. Both these features allow for a comfortable and adjustable fit, that will grow with your child.

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It has a nice full gathered skirt, with the option of a double ruffle hem or a contrast band.  I made a simple skirt, but made it for a size 9 (the bodice I made for their chest measurement which was a size 6). It is designed to be a retro above knee length, but I made it so it would fit both my girls, and being an adjustable fit bodice it will fit them both for a while with this added length.

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I bought this quilting cotton fabric to make myself a dress, I loved the birds and flowers in the print. I think I might have enough still left for me… I hope! It was printed off grain a touch, which made cutting tricky for this OCD pattern matcher, but I got there in the end. It would have been really obvious if I hadn’t gotten that hem straight in this print!

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We gave it the twirl test, even though it is a gathered skirt, it still passes!

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I said to her as she was running down the stairs before we left to “Slow down”. It’s something I say a thousand times a day to her, usually right before she falls over… I kid you not, her response was – “Life wasn’t meant to be slow Mum”!!!

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Miss almost 7 is clearly growing up… #mouthfullofmissingteeth ❤

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Have you made a Bellevue Dress or Romper yet?  You know if my girls weren’t almost 7 and 10 already (with opinions and long legs), I’d be squeezing them into that romper with ruffle sleeves and a ruffle butt!!! IT IS ADORABLE!!!

Some of those awesome features that might get you over the finish line:

  • PDF Printing Layers
  • Measurement Chart for Rectangle Pieces
  • Line Drawings
  • Recommended Fabrics
  • Table of Contents
  • Glossary of Terms
  • Printing Layout
  • Print Guide
  • Fabric Requirements
  • Size Chart and Finished Measurements
  • Cutting Chart
  • Cutting Instructions

Congratulations Natasha on your new position as a designer with Little Lizard King and your first pattern releases! They are absolutely gorgeous, with clear and comprehensive instructions. Highly recommended.

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Flit & Bloom by Patty Young for Riley Blake Designs

I’m so thrilled to be showcasing the latest fabric designs by Patty Young  for Riley Blake Designs! This is Patty’s 20th fabric collection, so it feels a little extra special! The collection is called Flit & Bloom by Patty Young for Riley Blake Designs.

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I made these two sweet Harper dresses by Modkid Designs. Modkid is Patty’s pattern design company, and I thought that was a nice fit!

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We’ve just been travelling for 3 weeks in our caravan around some beautiful parts of Australia, which I will have to share some pictures of soon. I took my sewing machine with me to make these dresses! I had visions of beautiful scenic photos and I had them all finished apart from the buttons and button holes, but I decided to use snaps. I didn’t have snaps and pliers with me, so I had to wait till we got home to actually finish and photograph them.

Then of course when we got home it rained…. So those beautiful photos had to head undercover! I snapped a couple in the wind in between showers,  but as you can see it was just too miserable, cold and blowy.

I chose Bloom Blossom Henna Pink with Bloom Oh-Gee Teal as trim  for this dress.

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and Bloom Blossom Henna Teal for the second dress with Bloom Oh-Gee Pink for trim.

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I love making matching dresses that don’t quite match. My littlest loves to twin with her big sister, but her big sister isn’t quite as keen on the idea. This is a happy medium for them, and I love to see them coordinate!

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Make sure you head to the Modkid Blog Tour Post very quickly for your chance to win one of 3 half yard bundles from the Flit & Bloom range.

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Thank you to Patty & to Riley Blake for supplying these gorgeously soft anf beautiful fabrics! My girls wore their dresses all day and they looked stunning. After a full days wear and driving in the car they were suprising not creased much at all!

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Below are the other participants from the tour, so for more beautiful insiration head over to see their posts!

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Monday, Oct. 9th – Coffee + Thread
Tuesday, Oct. 10th – Lily Shine Creates
Wednesday, Oct. 11th – The Eli Monster
Thursday, Oct. 12th – Tye Dye Diva Patterns
Friday, Oct. 13th – Pattern Revolution
Saturday, Oct. 14th – Idle Sunshine

Sew Pony – Tic Tac Toe Dress

Hello everyone, It’s my turn to share a Tic Tac Toe Dress by Sew Pony! I was heartbroken that I wasn’t able to squeeze testing into my schedule for this pattern, but I was thrilled when Suz asked me to join the blog tour!

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I was a lucky tester of another Sew Pony pattern earlier this year – the gorgeous Miss Polly! I adored these dresses I made and I knew that the Tic Tac Toe would be the same!

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The Tic Tac Toe has a similar gorgeous vintage feel to it. I absolutely love the Sew Pony design aesthetic! It’s classic, timeless and European inspired 💘. Suz has a great european following and offers some of her patterns translated in Dutch! You can grab the Dutch version here.

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I originally had a beautiful navy blue fabric with clouds picked for my version, but I began to see a lot of blue and white popping up and so I decided to get a little crazy instead!

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I had this amazing multicolour floral in my stash that I had picked up from Spotlight. It’s a quilting cotton by American Traditions. With so many colours in there, I then just had to decide on an accent colour and piping.

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I chose the yellow and initially had a solid yellow sitting along side it, but then I thought – come on Brooke, you said you were going to go a bit crazy?!!! The polka dots were perfect! I only had about a half a metre of them, but that was plenty for the version I chose.

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I have been trying to give my designs a slightly more grown up look to keep my “grown up” girls happy, so instead of predictable pink I chose black for the piping. I love the contrast and my girls loved it too.

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I made this version big enough for both girls to be able to wear, and also big enough to wear with a long sleeve shirt under it when the weather turns cold again next year.

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We took some pictures at the park and my girls were loving watching the Willy Wagtails flitting about nearby! While her back was turned watching the birds dance I got a shot of the back with the invisible zipper. I bought myself an invisible zipper foot for my birthday and it makes a big difference on using the regular zipper foot!

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There are so many different options in this dress to make it your own! The combinations are amazing! We chose the sleeveless version for summer here in Australia, with a pieced bodice, piping and pockets in the skirt, BUT there are 4 different sleeves you can pick from, 2 collars, epaulettes, a sash, more bodice piecing options,  along with the piping and pockets!

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Little Miss loves her pockets – can you tell?! There’s barely a picture without her hands in them haha! I cannot blame her, I am a big pocket fan too!

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Miss 5 has already decided this “special dress” will be her Christmas dress! I love that my girls love what I make for them, but did someone say Christmas? Eeeeek – I have not even started the shopping… HELP!

To see all the beautiful versions on the Tic Tac Toe Tour, please visit the bloggers below!

Thank you Suz for having me join, I am honoured to be included!

The pattern is 10% off on sale for the release (until the end of the blog tour) sale with the code TICTACTOE10 in the Sewpony web shop

The Rosie Cotton Dress

The Rosie Cotton Dress by JillyAtlanta

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The Rosie Cotton Dress! How gorgeous is this bodice cut on the bias in blue check!

I snuck this little pattern test into a very hectic week this week! I was busy sewing many other projects and am also the fundraising coordinator at my children’s school, which means this week was the Mother’s Day Stall! I probably shouldn’t have put my hand up but it was so adorable and I couldn’t resist! Jill is such a humble and supportive designer I really wanted to make something amazing to support her and her business. I was well and truly organized for school anyway, so what could go wrong?

Plenty, could go wrong! That would teach me for being so cocky! BUT there was nothing wrong with the pattern, that’s for sure!!!

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The Rosie Cotton Dress by JillyAtlanta

Usually organising the Mother’s Day stall means ordering a variety of gifts in bulk, months before the stall, then some lovely helpful Mum’s get together the Friday night before the stall (with wine and food platters of course) and we wrap 500+ gifts with paper, ribbon and tags. The orders come from the children the week of the stall and we freak out the day before because we are cutting it fine for numbers and I have to madly shop for an extra 50 gifts the afternoon before, which then also need to be wrapped in time!

So I wasn’t letting that happen this time. I had a few spares from last year as back up and I ordered 550 gifts straight up and felt pretty smug about being so organized. Then the day before the stall we find out we already have a record 608 orders (and there are always inevitably purchases made on the day too) so I pretty much freaked out!!!!! Let’s just say I got it sorted with an extra 100 gifts to be sure, and went to bed at 2am after wrapping with another day of no sewing done…

I was a little stressed at this stage as I don’t like to commit to a project and not come through with the goods, but the Rosie Cotton Dress was such a quick simple sew I had it done the very next evening after I got home from the stall! I felt so much better when I was finished well within the testing period!

 

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The Rosie Cotton Dress by JillyAtlanta

All this sewing must be paying off as my speed is picking up a little, but the construction method and instructions on the Rosie Cotton were so superb, that I had it finished in record time! I was seriously impressed. I have never seen such comprehensive instructions and photographs explaining each step so clearly. This pattern is perfect for a beginner who needs a confidence boost, you will be so proud of what you have made!

 

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Pretty green snaps & pink piping!

The Rosie Cotton is named after a character from The Lord of The Rings, who was a farmer’s daughter, turned Queen’s maid of honour! In this theme there is The farmhouse dress (square neckline) and the castle dress (sweetheart neckline). I made the farmhouse dress without shoulder flutters and used snaps on the back instead of buttons & button holes, as snaps are my new favourite invention AND I had the perfect shade of green (whereas I would have had to have gone shopping for the right buttons).

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In love with this colour combo! Pink & Green is a match made in heaven.

So about that GREEN! Is it not the most gorgeous colour? I fell in love with this fabric (which is in fact a vintage sheet) on instagram chatting to the lovely @amelieandatticus & @katieskitchenblog. It turned out that Katie had some more of this treasure hiding in her stash and offered to send it to me! I nearly did a cartwheel! So I bundled up an assortment of vintage pieces she might like from my stash and we did a vintage sheet swap. Who doesn’t love a surprise parcel in the post?

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I’m addicted to piping!

Well I haven’t been sitting on it too long, I knew it would be used as soon as I had the right project and then along came Rosie Cotton… The bodice is a quilting cotton from Spotlight I’ve had for quite a while. I have it in a blue colourway too, which is also gorgeous. I threw a few combinations on the bed in my sewing room and this one sung out to me!

I had already made my pink piping with store bought bias tape and cotton cord, but there are instructions to make piping in the pattern or you can even buy it pre made, either way I’m addicted to piping and the end result is a stunner!  Instead of piping there is also an option to make a sash that ties around the waist included with the pattern. So you have plenty of options to make this pattern your own. I really love it and more importantly my daughter loved it and even chose to wear it out today for Mother’s day!

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I’m not sure what Daddy was doing behind me here, but it was apparently quite funny!
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Another bunch of flowers? Who could resist!

We had breakfast in a café opposite the beach with my Mum & sister, went for a barefoot scooter ride around the harbour, drove around the beaches, spent some time with my husband’s Mum & Dad, then in the afternoon I relaxed with a glass of wine on the lounge and watched my husband cook dinner! It doesn’t get much better than that, unless perhaps you are surprised with 2 gorgeous vintage sewing machines as gifts on top of the presents that you might have already bought yourself haha!

 

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My gorgeous new toys! A lovely old Janome and a HG Palmer Princess!

I hope your Mother’s Day is as fabulous as mine and if I can give you one tip, it is to buy yourself a gift, because you know you’re going to love it and you know you’ve earned it! You might even get an extra surprise like I did! Fingers crossed!

To get your copy of The Rosie Cotton Dress by JillyAtlanta while it is on sale for the special release price, head to Etsy ASAP and please also join the  JillyAtlanta Pattern Group on Facebook for all up coming patterns, news and sales! You don’t want to miss out on pattern releases like these!

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Warmest Wishes & Happy Mother’s Day!

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

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