Welcome to Week 2 of Project Run & Play – Surf & Sand! My babies love the beach! We spend most of summer there. We pack our caravan and set up beachside for 3 weeks over Christmas. Swimming, fishing, exploring, riding skateboards and bikes all day long. We hang out with friends from home and friends that we have met over the years there. The days are long, lazy & hot!
My girls are all about comfort on holidays, so shorts are a must! I drafted this pair starting with the Little Lizard King Newport Shorts. I changed the waistband height, added length and hemmed them without adding the cuffs. These are exactly the kind of shorts my girls love (I was actually inspired by some RTW pairs they have) and so I will be making plenty more! They are beautifully comfortable to wear, made from a soft, drapey rayon.
To make this sweet cropped top, I used my dress pattern from last week as a starting point. I created a narrow centre placket, curved the bodice to a sweetheart shape, made longer skinny straps and added a wider, flounce layer to the front for some visual interest. I made it from a lovely soft chambray. I drafted this so she can pop this on and off over her head, without fiddling with buttons, which she loves. This is just like the outfits my girls drool over on the online surf stores.
I love how casual, comfortable and cool this outfit is. It’s perfect for summer and cute enough to be worn for any occasion.
I couldn’t take you to the beach without some swimwear could I? I started with the Boo Designs classic swimmer briefs and gave them a retro feel with a little extra height, a slightly lower leg cut and some fabric splicing. I lined the front of both the top and the bottoms (and I love that part when you work out which order to put them in to enclose all the seams neatly). The halter top I drafted myself using the width of the Boo Designs swimmers as a starting point. Once I was happy with the shape and pattern I spliced a V into the front and added a ruffle by cutting a V shaped ruffle! I am thrilled with how these turned out.
Next she requested a beach cover up, “just like yours Mum”. I used my favourite ladies tshirt pattern, the Little Kiwis Closet Cuffed Dolman as my starting point! I cut a much narrower neckline, changed the shoulder angle and lengthened the sleeves. Then I cut down the centre front and cut from the front neckline down to the centre front to create the smooth cardigan shape. I added some fringing I’d taken off a store bought ladies tank (loved the tank, did not love the fringing on it)! It was the perfect finishing touch for this!
They were so patient to have their pictures take, when all they wanted to do was rip off their clothes and jump in! So that’s what they did! They swam for an hour in the baths before I dragged them out to get some burgers for tea! It was a perfect balmy summer Sunday evening. ❤
Now the girls are arguing over both outfits, so I have to make them another set each! I’d love you to check out all the entries this week, so head over to the Project Run and Play blog to vote for your favourite!
I am thrilled to be returning on the Simple Life Pattern Company Holidays Blog Tour! I love the challenge of creating something special, and this amazing group of makers always push me to challenge myself!
As with all the best blog tours, we have a discount code to give you 30% off all patterns, as well as a giveaway! Read through to the end to get all the important details!
Oh my stars, where do I start ? If you love to hack and mash patterns with a little bit of problem solving thrown in, you will love this project!
My personal challenge for this year’s post was to make something amazing enough to take its place in the SLPCo Holiday Tour, while at the same time making something really wearable for my girls.
That sounds pretty easy surely? You see most little girls love dresses and feeling like a princess! Not my girls… They like denim shorts and Mickey Mouse T-shirt’s! Oh and tie-dye, if it’s tie-dyed they will wear it! #eyeroll
I always get some input from my girls when I’m sewing for them, so I set out to lose myself on the Art Gallery Fabrics website to give them a few options to choose from! I love when AGF sponsors my blog posts with fabric, there are so many amazing collections to choose from!
I decided on a two fabric combination to make matching, but not quite matching dresses. I love a pop of contrast! I wanted to make a combination that looked bright and festive without pigeon holing it as a “Christmas dress”.
I gave the girls a few options and I’m so glad we all agreed on this combination as our favourite! It is from the Trinket Fusion Collection and the WHOLE collection really spoke to me! Those earthy autumnal colours are my happy place.
My eldest loved the “Flower Glory Trinkets”, she is a retro/vintage loving girl after my own heart! This print was originally designed by Bonnie Christine. My youngest chose the gorgeous red geometric print called “Wallpaper Trinkets”, originally designed by April Rhodes. Together they are a match made in heaven!
I decided to remove the partial placket opening from the back of the dress and add a full placket down the centre front! I wanted to use my contrasting fabrics and I thought this would be a great feature.
So step one was to calculate the centre of the back bodice and cut it as one piece on the fold. Then I cut the front bodice main & lining as 2 pieces each, instead of on the fold. I also added 1″ in length to all the bodice pieces, just because I felt like it would work…
I decided I wanted my finished placket to be 3cm wide, and then calculated the width of my placket pattern piece by doubling my 3cm and adding 2 seam allowances of 1cm each. So I cut my placket pieces 8cm wide and roughly estimated the length by adding the bodice and skirt heights together and leaving myself a few inches extra, just in case.
I had to recalculate shoulder strap position taking into account the changes I had made, and started construction by sewing up my bodice quite like the Laguna pattern instructions, leaving the centre front unsewn.
I then cut the skirt front piece down the centre and added the pockets as per the Newport pattern instructions. Then I sewed the side seams and gathered my skirt to fit the bodice using 2 rows of gathering stitches. Once the skirt was attached to the bodice I interfaced the centre 6cm width (and full length) of my placket pieces. I then folded and ironed 1cm seam allowances along both long edges and then pressed it in half lengthways, wrong sides together.
To attach the placket I lined up the long raw edge of the placket to the centre front of the dress, right side of placket laying on top of the wrong side of the dress, making sure to leave an inch or 2 overhang for both the top and bottom. I stitched in the first ironed fold (1cm from the edge). Then wrapped the placket around to the front, folding over the top and bottom and wrapping it inside the placket. The seam allowance stays folded under and you topstitch from the front to finish it. If you pin it carefully, those stitches on the back should stitch in the ditch and look pretty neat from the back as well as the front.
Now is about the time you discover you have lost your snap pliers!! Oh my gosh I spent days looking and they have obviously gone on vacation somewhere! Then after you panic and search for a couple of days, you remember you actually have a big snap press you’ve never even tried! So I got that together and got both dresses done, but only one would snap up! I have no idea why!! They were both Kam branded snaps… but those tan/mossy ones were a complete failure! I then made such a mess removing the snaps in the press, I really just wanted my pliers 😦
In the end I didn’t have quite enough red ones to finish it off, but a couple of maroon ones on the back will never be seen! Shhhh!
After the snaps were complete I hemmed the dresses by folding under the overlocked edge and then doing a 3cm hem. I figured I had a little extra length after I lengthened the bodice, and I like a deep hem.
Photos were then put back day after day… The KAM snap stuff up… dance rehearsal day, a reunion catch up at the beach (but the beach had washed away so that didn’t work as a location either)… Early morning was super foggy before school… Stress levels were rising!
FINALLY! These smiling faces braved a swarm of mosquitoes which required a quick location change before we got the shots we needed. I told you this project really tested us!!!
They insisted props were necessary for a Christmas themed shoot! It was just the fun we needed to finish off ❤
If you’ve found some inspiration here, or from the other ladies on this tour, head over to Simple Life Pattern Co for their winter sale!! All patterns (minus the brand new Betty) are on sale for 30% using code FALLINTOSLPCO. Sale ends the 12th at midnight so get shopping!
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers.
Hello everyone! I’m so excited to share these pictures with you! I made this sweet set using the Bristol & Newport patterns by Little Lizard King and I can’t wait to show you how cute they are together!
First up let’s look at the Bristol! It’s a woven top & dress in sizes 12m – 12 years. The dress version includes a simple skirt, ruffle skirt and double layer skirt options. I chose to make a tunic length top to pair with shorts.
It has a curved front bodice, which creates a high-low hem, perfect for showing off your favourite shorts.
It’s winter in the southern hemisphere right now, but this makes the perfect outfit teamed with tights, boots and a warm hat! It would also look great with a pair of leggings or jeans in winter! I can picture a faux fur vest over the top for a little extra warmth too.
Just look at those bows! Don’t these patterns work beautifully together?
I tell you what else works beautifully with this outfit, how gorgeous is this hat? I bought quite a few balls of this mustard coloured wool last winter for my lovely mother in law to make me a crocheted necklace I had seen a pattern for. I bought way too much wool so I have a full collection of mustard accessories now!
My MIL loves to crochet and knit and recently asked what else she could make from the left over wool, so I suggested a “slouchy lacey hat”. She didn’t have a pattern that would work, so she ducked next door to her neighbours house. She found a great lacey hat pattern deep in her files (the suitcase in the spare room) and added a little extra to get the slouchy look I requested.
It is exactly what I imagined and it looks like I either have to buy more wool or share it! You definitely have to wear your hair out under a hat like this and I didnt want the outfit entirely covered by her hair, so I got the curling wand out to shorten it up!
Oh hang on a minute, there’s 3 Kangaroos and 5 deer watching us! We shot these pictures at the end of our street where there are often deer wandering around.
I only had a 28-75mm lens on me, so I can’t show you any closer, but look at that white deer! We have a few of them.
Ahhh! Then some other mysterious creature kept making noise in the long grass behind me and she got out of there quick smart! Look at her move! That’s Australia for you my friends! 😉
Out of the long grass, feeling safe again!
Oh look, you can actually see she has on some little brown boots. These were a recent purchase and they are getting a workout! Brown boots were really hard to find this season, but they really are the most versatile shoe for winter!
Oh this girl is such a gorgeous spirit! Don’t worry, we didn’t let the curls and outfit go to waste, she insisted we take her out for dinner so she could show them off! I couldn’t argue with that request! ❤
Oh gosh it’s good to see the sun shine! It’s been a rainy, miserable couple of weeks here. The rain has been lovely, but we are pretty soggy now. It would be nice to be able to send those rain clouds west for a good drenching!
I hate to send my kids out to freeze for the sake of a blog post, so I delayed taking pictures of this pretty set until today. The sun shined all day, the wind finally dropped from the gale force it’s been blowing and this gorgeous hedge down the end of our street is blooming right on cue! I wish it bloomed all year round, it is absolutely stunning (and would make a very convenient backdrop for me haha)!
I made this gorgeous top from the Malibu pattern from Little Lizard King. It can be made as a dress as well, and while my girls don’t wear many dresses, I can definitely picture them both wearing this! I am picturing a cool blue, maybe a chambray, but the options are truly endless. It comes in sizes 12m – 14 years and also has optional flutters for the straps.
This set I made is an upcycle! I upcycle all the time, but until my previous post I had never thought to record the before and after. I love that idea, so you will see it a lot now! You can see I started with this thrifted chiffon dress ($1), ladies pants ($3) and some yellow & white voile from my stash. I purchased the thrifted items years ago and I am enjoying attemping to shrink my upcycle pile.
I paired the Malibu top with the shorts from the Little Lizard King Charleston set! They are adorable! I love the tulip style hem and the wide waistband. The ladies pants I cut them from were made from a heavy stretch fabric, so these are very comfortable! I added some buttons as a feature that also came from St Vincent de Paul. I believe they were also upcycled from a garment that was unfit to sell. You can also see the tiny rolled hem I kept from the hem of the original dress.
I love the back of the Malibu! This chiffon version is very soft and drapey, and I also sized up a little so that it will still fit when summer rolls back around here. The ties pull it together nicely at the back though and this set will fit her for a year or two! She is very happy with it and is still wearing it at home tonight (with the fire going don’t worry)!
How lovely is this bow tie back? And how lovely is this hedge? She had a lovely time playing with the flowers and the petals that carpetted the ground.
Look what I found just for you Mum! ❤
I really enjoyed making this set and my girl assures me she loves it! It all came together perfectly with excellent instructions. I can’t wait to make some more dresses, tops and shorts for summer! Bring on summer already!
Bring on sandals, bare legs and braids. Sewing for summer in the middle of winter is tough!
Let me know what you want to see next?
What inspires you to sew? Is it the pattern, the fabric, the season, or the occasion?
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
We gave it the twirl test, even though it is a gathered skirt, it still passes!
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”!!!
Miss almost 7 is clearly growing up… #mouthfullofmissingteeth ❤
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
Table of Contents
Glossary of Terms
Size Chart and Finished Measurements
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.
Welcome to my stop on the Simple Life Pattern Co Special Occasion Blog Tour. The calendar keeps creeping closer and closer to Christmas and the party season, so this is perfect timing to get some beautiful inspiration for the holidays, especially when you can shop all the patterns for 20% off! (Use code: SLPcoSpecial)
When my friend Becca from Sunflower Seams asked me to join in the tour, we were on a 3 week trip travelling thousands of kilometres in our caravan. I had blown out the data allowance on my mobile phone, but I said yes, stole my husband’s phone and started scrolling immediately through the SLPCo Pattern shop!
I picked out my favourite patterns that I thought were right for the theme, then I let Miss 9 choose her favourite from the snapshots (that are most likely still sitting on the camera roll on my husband’s phone).
She chose the Lexi Strappy Back Maxi Dress which I love! It has a V-neck bodice at the front, a cutaway side with no side seam and 3 straps on each side at the back.
I raised the front a little and created a curved front neckline, then used some vintage silver braid I had in my stash for the straps. They were wider than the straps in the pattern and I didn’t have enough of the braid to do 6 straps so I chose to do 2 each side instead.
I was covering a snap with fabric to match at the back, and the dress was all but finished, when I noticed that one of the straps was starting to fray! When I looked a little closer, all the straps were pulling out of the bodice… I was devastated!
I had zig zagged back and forth over all the ends and thought I was clever for thinking to do that, but I think the zig zag was too wide to be effective enough.
I unpicked the bodice just in the parts where the straps attached and created some new straps with the chiffon I used for the skirt. Then I hand stitched them into place, closing the bodice at the same time. I actually love how they turned out.
I found it a little scary working with these delicate fabrics. I like to iron the heck out of everything I make in each step to get a great finish, so I was scared I was going to melt this dress every step along the way!
I am trying hard to sew from my stash (which is beyond ridiculous by the way) and when digging through bags and tubs of fabric, my eyes went to this crinkle chiffon straight away. It came from some bags of remnants that my Mum bought from a lady who worked in a fabric store. When looking for options for a coordinating fabric, I found this shantung and lining which was actually left over from when Mum made my bridesmaids dresses around 12 years ago! So I guess that makes this dress extra special ❤ .
It is really warm here at the moment and being spring the Jacarandas are just beautiful. If it is cold where you are, a maxi is great for hiding tights underneath, and a faux fur Juliet cape (which is a free pattern) would look beautiful over the top.
I thought it made a beautiful flower girl dress and so we made a posy to take along for our pictures. I took the pink and purple blooms from a beautiful bunch of flowers my friends gave me for my birthday last week. They were the flowers from the bouquet that lasted the longest, as well as matching the dress best! Isn’t it funny how those things work out…
To see all the special makes my friends have been making on this tour please make your self a cup of coffee and click through the links below. Or if you would like to hire out this cute little flower girl, we can arrange that too!
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
Oh my gosh! Where do I even start? One thimble Issue 16 is here and it is bigger, brighter and more beautiful than ever!
Included in this issue are 11 awesome PDF patterns for the ridiculous price of AUS$25:
High Tide Trousers (NB-12)
Triton Tank (1-12)
Scuttle Shorts (3-12)
Hally Dress (1-12)
Miss Olivia Dress (Ladies AU 6-20)
Pearlie Dress (1-12)
Makana Mermaid Skirt (2-4, 5-7, 8-10)
Melody Mermaid Tail (3-8)
Mermaid Pocket Doll & Shell (handsewn)
Murray is a Merman (Free Motion Applique)
Meg is a Mermaid (Free Motion Applique)
What a steal! It’s a gorgeous collection that will fill your wardrobes full of practical warmer weather staples! The Under The Sea theme is designed with comfort and fun in mind for our upcoming Australian Spring. Don’t think that if you are headed into Fall that this magazine is not for you though, One Thimble is very versatile and has something for everyone.
I have absolutely jumped on the One Thimble Fan-wagon this year and with each Issue I have sewn more and more! So far in testing this issue I have made 2 Triton tanks, 2 pairs of Scuttle shorts, 2 Hally dresses, a Pearlie dress and 2 Makana Mermaid skirts! I am proud to say that I have contributed another article to this issue as well, looking at mashing sizes in PDF patterns for the right fit! So grab your coffee and vanilla slice, we could be here for a while with all the pics I have taken!
First let’s take a look at the Hally Casual Dress! These dresses were such a fun project! They were designed by Jen of Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns in sizes 1-12, who also happens to be the Editor and Creator of One Thimble.
I love the loose comfortable fit and the combinations are endless with fabric mixing here!
I made one using the magical first binding method and then we also decided to try a traditional bias method, so you can see both versions here.
It has a simple elastic back with no buttons and zips!
If I’d had enough 1 inch gingham, that would have been my pick for this dress, so don’t be suprised if you see that version pop up soon!
I’m putting a little grid of pics in here, because you’ll be scrolling for days if I add all our pictures individually 😉
Next up is the Pearlie Dress & Peplum in sizes 1-12 by Peach Patterns.
It is a dolman style tshirt dress with a gathered skirt. There are 2 fit options to choose from and we chose the slim fit. It includes 3 pocket styles, but we chose to leave the pocket off for this version.
It is a super comfortable dress and a nice fast sew. This is my girls’ favourite style, they are into simple design and it lets you mix fabrics to change up the look. I can see a million combinations for this dress.
I love the high-low hem which curves up to the side seams. I also love her styling, and she loves her new tie dye socks with a cause from Help Astrid!
Next up is the Triton Tank! It’s a casual knit pattern also by Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns. It works best with fabrics that have a fluid drape (which you can actually read all about in the article on page 64)!
It can be made in sizes 1-12 and I love the roomy fit. This outfit made my kids so happy, they are all about the t-shirts and shorts! It doesn’t matter how many pretty dresses I make, they will always go straight for the basics! Can you blame them – look how comfortable they look!
That is definitely my new mission… Sew all the basics!
The Scuttle Shorts are also by Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns and team perfectly with the tank. They can be made in sizes 3-12 in knit fabric. As you can see here, they are a unisex pattern in 2 lengths (Shorty & Jamaica lengths). I made both of mine with the panels and pockets, because they are so cute for colour blocking, but there is a simple plain option too, that would be a super fast sew.
My guy loves both this tank and shorts, I had to keep hiding them until we got a chance to take photos or he would have worn them out!
I’m sure you can spot sand and bark all over them from their little adventures this afternoon! This spot on the bay is just gorgeous and full of old trees to climb on.
We happened to hit this spot right on low tide on the most beautiful winters day! It was 4:30pm and it was so warm (25C)!
If you happen to visit us in the near future, you may find us back at that spot, with some deck chairs and drinks next time I think!
I have to show you our Makana Mermaid Skirts from testing too! They totally deserved their own blog post, because I took so many cute pics of them in testing! This particular weekend we happened to experience some horrendous weather associated with an event known as an East Coast Low. Think Winter on steroids – RAIN, WIND, COLD! I also happened to be sick as a dog to match the weather! I dragged myself out to get the pics and we jagged a tiny bit of sunshine! My husband couldn’t believe we were going to the beach, but I knew we would sneak them in.
Now I know you’ve seen a lot, but every Issue I have said that Free Motion Applique is on my to-do list, so if we roll around to the Issue 17 tour and it hasn’t happened, give me a virtual tap on the shoulder and maybe a bit of a glare or something… I’m saying it – I will be FMA-ing that damn gorgeous Meg the Mermaid come hell or high water! So keep me honest and make sure it happens!
We are very lucky (and SUPER EXCITED as you can see below…) to be giving away a copy of Issue 16! So click the Raffle copter link below for your chance to win!
Welcome to the last day on the Laela Jeyne Patterns Summer Collection Tour! I’m so happy to be joining my lovely sewing friends to promote their Summer Collection Release! There are 6 new patterns now available and I was lucky enough to test the Lily Blouse.
It is winter here currently, and as much as I wish I was in my swimmers, I love that this pattern included a long sleeve version! This pattern is exactly my style, I had been on the look out for a while for something just like it!
You’ll have to excuse my windy photoshoot, my hair and blouse were blowing around everywhere! I used a polyester that I purchased to make a Laela Jeyne Tula! So it was funny it got used for another LJ pattern instead!
I love the simple shape, the relaxed fit and the exposed zipper! With sizes 0-26 and bust sizes A-E you are set! Silly me was on my way to work – so I styled as I normally would and went on my way, without considering that my necklace might be hiding those neckline darts, so I’ll pop in a line drawing too. That will show you the short sleeve version, the sleeveless with a collar version and the gathered front option! I love a pattern with options!
The fit is great and I can’t wait to make some more! I ordered some gorgeous red floral rayon to run up a second one with a modified hem for the tour, but it took 2.5 weeks to get here, which was way too late for me to be able to use it! Also in that package was some dance fabrics I needed for a costume for an eisteddfod on Monday! Needless to say, we are now borrowing a costume, but that’s another story! I will get onto that second Lily blouse and post those pics soon, but that fabric company wont be getting a plug here! 😉
Thank you for dropping by today! Here are all the posts included in the tour this week!