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Sewing for Me

Simple Life Pattern Co – Sew Caroline Collaboration

SLPCoTour

Sew Caroline and Simple Life Pattern Company are thrilled to be announcing an amazing new collaboration of Mommy and Me sewing patterns!
They teamed up to bring you six awesome new patterns! SLPCo took the Sugar Pop Top, Magnolia Shorts and Waterfall Tank and downsized them to fit the little girls in your life. In return, Sew Caroline took the Ayda Top + Dress, Molly Top, Dress + Maxi and Tammy’s Tulip Shorts and upsized them to fit women. It’s a match made in heaven!

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I’ve always loved the simple design of the girls Ayda so I jumped at the chance to try out the women’s version! I love an interesting back design, it is my favourite feature.

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I decided to make the sleeveless version from this awesome green floral rayon woven. I bought a truck load of it because I just loved it! It is super slippery and floaty and and amazing! You can also make a cap sleeve or flutter sleeve version.

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You can see this fabric drapes a little in the back (especially with my posture in this shot) because of the nature of the rayon and it being cut on the bias. It was quite a cowl when I first pinned it, so instead of sewing the back pieces dead flat across the bottom, I angled the corners downward slightly to flatten the fit of the back V before attaching it to the skirt.

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I took a tiny bit of length off the bodice which is an adjustment I always make for my super high waist (but it didn’t need much at all) and otherwise I made up the size M without any changes.

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I made the circle skirt  rather than the gathered skirt because

a) I had plenty of fabric

b) I love the twirl and silouette AND…

c) I really dislike gathering skirts to attach to bodices haha!

What sewing technique is your least favourite? I love the look of gathers, but I put them in the same category as button holes… Not my favourite things to do, probably because they take time and patience – 2 things I am kinda short on 😉

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I hemmed the skirt with yellow bias tape which you can see peeking out here. It is my favourite way to hem a circle skirt and it gave me a little extra length because I raised the waist and I am fairly tall. The fabric width wouldnt allow me to make it any longer than the exact pattern piece and the fabric is directional.

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There are so many other awesome bloggers on tour this week highlighting these great new patterns so go and visit them all!

May 15
May 16
May 17
May 18

 

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 😉

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So I am working a Fall look for you, with a warmer weather twist! How did I do? If you’d like to come look after my kids so my husband and I could actually go out on a date let me know lol! He wasn’t even home to take my pictures, he was “working” away in Sydney last week, so Miss 8 gets all the credit for them 💘

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I hope you enjoyed my twist on the Plaid & Boots Theme for Date Night! If you’d like to purchase any Laela Jeyne Patterns I have a discount code for you! To get 20% off your cart, the code is P&BTOUR20

Make sure to check out all the bloggers participating in the tour this week!

Tour Schedule

Monday

Kaleidothoughtidle sunshineAllie J.

Tuesday

Sew PinspiredSewSophieLynnThe Wholesome Mama

Wednesday

Nini and AshSew and Tell ProjectSweet Red Poppy

Thursday

Pear Berry LanePaisley RootsThreadbear GarmentsLace and Pine Designs

Friday

Olive AshbySunflower SeamsElegantine

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

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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

Sew Boxes – Seasons – Winter Reveal!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

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EYMM – Back To School Tour – Mom Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back-to-School-Tour-web

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

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

September 8
Inspinration†and†Idlesunshine

September 9
Boutique Birdie and†Needles to Say

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

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

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

September 13
Recap at EYMM

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

 

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

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

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

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

 

 

 

Midsummer Mama!

A Mini Wardrobe Capsule 

Striped Swallow Designs Midsummer Dream for Women 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warmest Wishes,

Brooke x

Idlesunshine

 

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