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idle sunshine

Enjoying life as a series of beautiful moments

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Sewing with Knits

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

 

Striped Swallow Designs – Highlander Dolman and Rhapsody Joggers

Hi everyone! It’s been a little quiet around here while I settle back into working and studying hasn’t it?

I’ve been keeping very busy behind the scenes in my spare time. Alright, let’s be honest, I’ve been sewing instead of doing my house work, because there is no longer any such thing as “spare time”!

I’ve been busy putting together my first reviews as part of my new role on the Pattern Revolution team (you will hear more about that soon!!) and I’ve also been doing some pattern testing too!

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Speaking of pattern testing… I have been bursting to show you this new outfit from Striped Swallow Designs! They recently released the Mainland Collection which includes the Highlander Dolman and Rhapsody Joggers for Women and now the girls bundle and patterns are ready in their store too!

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I absolutely love this outfit! The Highlander Dolman has a t-bar back option as well as ties but as you can see in my version I chose a single back strap.

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I used a grey marle and a red and off-white stripe tshirt jersey for the front and back (both sourced from Spotlight). These fabrics don’t have a lot of stretch, which is fine for a dolman, but I made sure to use my floral rayon spandex as the binding, as it has the stretch and recovery needed for the job.

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I made my daughter the size 5 width and used the size 6 length per her measurements and the fit and shape are both great. You can choose from sizes 2-14 and I really love how the colour blocking worked in this outfit.

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Ok let’s tuck the top in so we can see these pants!

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For the Rhapsody Joggers, I used this awesome rayon spandex I had in my stash from Lincraft. It feels sooooo beautiful and I am very jealous that I dont have enough to make myself a pair!

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I decided to use the same stripe from the back of the Dolman as contrast pockets, which along with the floral binding on the dolman, really helps link the outfit together without it being too matchy matchy!

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I made the size 6 width with the 6x length per her measurements. WHAAAAAAAT??? My girl must be growing finally! The fit and length are perfect and with sizes 2-14 to choose from, and size blending instructions included in the pattern, you’ll get the perfect fit too.

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I really don’t have much else to say about this outfit, other than – I love it, she loves it,  it’s ridiculously comfy and it looks ridiculously awesome!! I’d love to hear what you think of my crazy fabric combinations though! Knits are really expensive in Australia and we don’t have anything like the range my friends in the USA have! I often fill online carts with fabric from US stores because they are so cheap and beautiful. Then you click checkout, you add your address and then you just about faint from the postage cost! So if someone can find me a fabric sponsor I’d be super grateful 😉

Make sure you keep in touch on instagram and facebook!
Warmest wishes,

Brooke xx

idlesunshine

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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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!

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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

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

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

 

 

 

Striped Swallow Designs Anniversary

Striped Swallow Designs 2nd Anniversary Flash Sale!

 

Did you hear it’s Striped Swallow Designs 2nd birthday? Yes two years has passed since the iconic Girls Coachella Shorts Pattern was released! I am only a relatively new customer, but I wish I’d found them a long time ago. Their style aesthetic is super cool boho, and completely on-trend!!

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I have a tiny 8 year old who is a very happy customer! She has always wanted the cool clothes that her friends (her age) wear, but she is still stuck in the little kids section in about a size 4-5 in all the stores. Now I can make her just what she wants!

We recently tested 2 new patterns for Mandalynn. The Girls Midsummer Dream & The Girls Emerie Romper which are now both available for sale on the website. Let me tell you a little about these new patterns and then I’ll tell you about some awesome sales you won’t want to miss!

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The Midsummer Dream PDF Pattern is a gorgeous boho inspired off the shoulder dress, or crop top and skirt. This pattern can be made in sizes 2 – 14 and in either knit or woven fabrics! How versatile is that? I was allocated the knit dress option in testing, so I cut into this amazing vintage style knit I found at Spotlight. I bought this fabric for myself, but after I cut out my planned skirt, I luckily had just enough left for this gorgeous dress!

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The knit and woven versions have different pattern pieces to ensure the perfect fit. This means no guessing whether to upsize for woven or downsize for knit, all the hard work has already been done for you.

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I dragged my little girl out for pictures before school one morning, as after school seems to be completely full of sports & ballet lessons these days! This was 8am, but the fog just refused to lift that week! This family is not a big fan of winter, and testing summer style patterns can be a little challenging when it comes time to get great pictures! She was a little trooper though, and I only had to promise her $5 for her hard work haha!

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We styled the dress with tights and boots for a winter look, which she definitely appreciated!

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I couldn’t resist making up another version and woven fabrics are my comfort zone so I whipped up this cute little spotty crop from a muslin/gauze I had found some time ago in the remnant bin.

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The skirt was a shirred tunic top of mine that I had put away to upcycle. It was perfect as a skirt for this outfit!

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My girl absolutely loves the crop option, it’s grown up without flashing too much flesh and she cannot wait till summer to be able to wear it!

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Next up: The Emerie Romper for Girls is the latest pattern release from Striped Swallow Designs. It was a much anticipated older sister to the Baby Emerie Pattern that was already super popular!

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It can be made in either a tank option, flounce romper (as I made for my girls) or as a crop top and separate shorts! There are 2 shorts lengths and I chose the longer length as I wasn’t adding trim to the legs.

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My girls absolutely love their rompers! They couldn’t believe I made them, because they look just like something you’d buy from the shops! I don’t know whether to be offended or not… I think I’m going to take this as a win though, because they want me to make them more haha!

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If I’m being completely honest, I look at these and wonder how I made them too! They look so damn awesome, but the pattern was so easy to follow! I can see my girls wearing these every day in summer! They are the perfect combination of comfort and cute in soft stretchy knit.

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We soaked up some gorgeous afternoon winter sun with a quick skate (before ballet and soccer training cut us short)!! I wish every afternoon was like this!

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I love the cross over flounce detail on this version and with some cute pom pom trim you are “The Best Mum in the World!” in no time at all!

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If you are interested in both the Girls and Baby Emerie Patterns, they are also available for purchase in a discounted bundle.

So while I love bombarding you with cute pictures of my kids in cute outfits I make them, there are some sale details I know you will be excited about!

The Girl’s Coachella Shorts Pattern, The Women’s Coachella Shorts Pattern and the Women’s Cloud Chaser top Pattern are all currently on sale in the 2nd Anniversary Flash Sale for only $5 each! You can bet I went shopping as soon as I got the email! So if those patterns are on your wishlist, don’t waste any time, because you only have about 24 hours left to pick them up at that price!

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The other good news is that I’ve heard a little rumour that if you have your eye on any of the other fabulous Striped Swallow Designs patterns you might want to check back on Tuesday for a little surprise… If you want to be first in the know, you can sign up to the mailing list on the website and join the Striped Swallow Designs Facebook Group!

 

Warmest Wishes!

Brooke Smith

Idlesunshine

 

 

The Free Trendy Tank

The Free Trendy Tank by Winter Wear Designs

So I am back sewing knit again already! Who would have thought it…? I am on a roll guys!

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The call came from Suzanne at Winter Wear Designs to test a V-neck tank she would be releasing as a gift to her Facebook group members and newsletter subscribers. Yes a gift, a FREE gift! Suzanne is celebrating reaching 3000 members in her Winter Wear Designs Fun Facebook group and the release of a brand new fancy website, but we get the gift! How awesome is that?!

Here it is that fancy new website up and running. I called by to have a little look around and here I am in my Women’s Bateau Garden Dress on the banner! Blushing!!

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Back to the new tank pattern… This is the kind of the tank you can wear every day of the week, in every colour of the rainbow! But first I would have to go fabric shopping! I didn’t really have the time to drive 40 minutes each way to spotlight, not to mention me then spending hundreds of $$ on other material while I was there! Let’s be honest that’s basically what happens every time! There goes my whole day and my husband’s whole pay packet – eeek!! So I called by a local charity shop first with my fingers crossed and my gamble paid off!

I picked up this pile of loot, all knit fabrics to start building a stretchy stash! They varied in size and price but it all cost me about $12 total. I’d call that a win.

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I also picked up this ugly duckling, a slinky knit maxi dress for $3. I always look at clothing as a source of fabric too and this dress was perfect.

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So first up when upcycling a piece of clothing I start by deconstructing it to make the most of the available material. I simply trimmed off the shirred bodice and cut down the side seam of the skirt and it was ready to use.

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Then you just treat it like any other piece of fabric, lay out your pattern pieces and cut. I also used a cheeky trick where I used the original hem of the skirt for the finished hem of my tank – winning!! Sew up your tank using the instructions in the Trendy Tank pattern and it is done in no time at all!

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This tank is a perfect staple piece for your wardrobe! I love the flattering v-neck and while it is fitted nicely at the bust, it is relaxed around the waist and hips. I don’t know about you but this style is perfect for me! It hides a multitude of sins (& chocolate cake)!

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My lovely friend Steph took some pictures for me that afternoon, which was a nice change from using self timer. I gave her a 10 second lesson on how to use my camera and told her to just shoot a hundred photos and we would see how they went. She nailed it guys! We were done within 5 minutes and back in the ballet school waiting room, with our daughters non the wiser that we’d been playing out in the carpark!

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She had me laughing the whole time so there’s plenty of these shots too!

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So you are going to want to join the WWD fun facebook group and get the secret code to get this pattern for free, because it really is a great fast sew that you will want to wear all the time! Drop me a line to show me your version! Tag me on Instagram @idlesunshine 🙂

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Warmest wishes,

Brooke Smith

Idlesunshine

 

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