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 joined the Coffee & Thread Lana Pattern Tour! When I joined I was planning to make my girls some cute tops, as I haven’t been making myself much lately. I put on a stack of weight and really didn’t want to make myself anything, nor did I want to look at myself in pictures! I’ve turned that around over the past 3 weeks and rewarded myself with a gorgeous new top!
It’s amazing what a bit of self esteem, a cute pattern and some gorgeous fabric will do for you!
I hacked my pattern by making it a peplum. I basically cut the top length by about 9.5 inches (because I am high waisted) and added it back as a gathered skirt. I cut the width of the skirt about 1.5 times the width of the top, and the length about 9 inches long.
When attaching the peplum skirt I gathered it using a piece of elastic the exact width of the bodice. I overlapped the elastic and sewed it into a loop and stretched it to meet the quarter points of the peplum skirt, then attached the gathered skirt, matching the quarter points to the bodice.
I used a beautiful bamboo spandex from Orinoco Designs that I’ve been hoarding for myself. I was going to crack out my new coverstitch but this fabric actually sits really nicely without a hem. You might notice I’ve left both the hem and the sleeves raw! I’m quite comfortable doing that! Just note that if you’d like to hem yours, you might like to cut the skirt an inch longer!
I love the combination of the gathered sleeves and the gathered peplum! I was really tempted just to hem the extended shoulders without adding the sleeves, but I love this version. It’s definitely something I will try for next time though! There is also a dress version and long sleeves included in this pattern.
I love this organic grid design! The rough grid fabric print made it difficult to match up my stripes though, so I had to do my best and just give my stripe-matching OCD a rest.
In other news, I can fit my wedding rings back on again!! Yay!!
BUT jeez those elbows are ugly! Why are elbows so weird? I really need to learn to bend them for back shots… 😉 It might not look even in this shot because I am not straight on to the camera, but I dipped the back bodice lower than the front, for a bit of bottom coverage and I find it a flattering cut!
If you’d like some help hacking your Lana Pattern or making adjustments, drop me a line! I am always happy to help ❤
Thanks for joining me on my stop today. Make sure to head over to Instagram to see all the other beautiful Lana’s. Use the hashtag #lanatopanddresstour to be blown away!
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.
I joined the Made for Mermaids Back To School Blog Tour! We are mid-school-year here in Australia and our children actually wear compulsary uniforms, but I thought – why let that stop me? I have 3 children in school, but Miss 10 here is the trickiest to sew for (Master 9 and Miss 7 wear a tee and shorts pretty much year round outside of school). So I thought why not take on a challenge that might help you all with your tricky customers too?
I gave her the M4M website to browse the patterns and I already had this fabric set aside for an Isabel Wrap Dress, so when she pointed Isabel out as her favourite I was pretty happy.
Let me give you a basic run down on how school works here in Oz. I know it’s different in many parts of the world and it is interesting to see how we all operate…
Preschool is for children 3 – 5 years old, with lots of play based learning and social skills in preparation for Primary School.
Primary School starts with Kindergarten, which starts at around 5 – 6 years of age, and also includes Years 1 – 6.
High School includes Years 7 – 12, for ages approximately 12 – 18.
So Miss 10 is in Year 5 in Primary School here. She actually had an out of uniform day this day, as a reward from her teacher for achieving her silver award in class. She so badly wanted to wear this outfit, she was swishing around everywhere, but I sized up a little and made this Isabel a little longer than the pattern and so I suggested she keep it for another day. So mean I know!
Isabel is a fantastic versatile pattern. You can make it tunic length, dress length or Maxi length. I thought it was great as a back to school pattern with all those options. You can even wear it open like this (with the ties tied inside the dress behind your back), which makes a super cool duster cardigan.
It would work in all lengths for this look. We agreed on the maxi with the tulip skirt, she loved the dress on the cover. You also have options for sleeves. You can make it sleeveless, short sleeves, 3/4 sleeved or long sleeved. Again we agreed that 3/4 looked awesome! I must be getting the hang of tween fashion, I’m all over this…
And doesnt it look stunning as a maxi dress with tulip skirt! I used a rayon spandex from Wicked Fabrics I had been saving for this very dress for quite some time! It is super drapey and soft to wear. She looooves it! The drape probably added a fair bit to the length when I think about it! I should have left it per the pattern!
It’s winter here and it was pretty cold and windy for these early morning pics! She had a red nose and squinty eyes pretty quickly from the cold wind!
The pattern itself was really easy to follow and faster than I expected to make! I like that it includes sizes 1/2 through to 14, because I think this pattern will be used again and again here!
You can picture this as tunic length worn over shorts, jeans or tights can’t you?
Or here you can imagine it as a knee length dress, it works beautifully too.
There is that show stopper Maxi dress though! Look at that rayon spandex in the breeze! Isn’t it stunning!
I can tell this dress will be her new favourite! She absolutely loved it. The only question I have is – should I re-hem it or make her wait to grow into it? Ok I’m kidding, that would be torture, I’ll re-hem it, I promise I’m not that mean!!
What’s on your back to school sew list?
Perhaps these blogs might give you some inspiration! Go check them out!
Remember f you are doing some back to school sewing, post a pic in the Made for Mermaids Facebook group with the hashtag #m4mback2school2018. You may just win a prize ❤
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! ❤
I love sewing fabric strike-offs for fabric goddesses! A suprise parcel arrives in the mail and I get to choose what I make with the pretty contents inside! I always have a huge list of makes on my to-sew list so I usually get to tick a couple of them off in the process!
I put my hand up for a couple of prints, but I didn’t really know what was coming until it arrived. I really hoped I would snag this gorgeous Design 14 – Birds print and I was lucky enough to get 2 metres to play with!
I immediately had this combination in mind for a Ainslee Fox Bonfire Jacket, which was released in One Thimble Sewing E-zine Issue 5, and it turned out just as amazing as I imagined! I have had the Bonfire Jacket on my list to sew f-o-r-e-v-e-r! It feels good to tick one off and I can assure you it won’t be my last.
I lined the body with a thin polar fleece for warmth, because where we live we need more than a light jacket in winter sadly. The ribbing is actually a double knit from my stash, which is fairly stable but it works well and looks amazing with the birds!
When I cut out the jacket I knew that I was also going to be left with enough fabric to make a beautiful twirly dress. It was the other design that popped straight into my head when I saw this print.
I used the Simple Life Patterns Skyler dress pattern which we tested recently and introduced on their blog! If you know me at all, you’ll know that I can’t leave a good pattern alone! I hacked the Skyler dress by slightly curving the corners of the low square back to create a low scoop ballet back. Isn’t it gorgeous? ❤
I used the circle skirt for maximum twirl and it makes such a fast sew. The Birds print is a directional print and so I could not cut the circle as a whole piece (unless I wanted upside down birds on the back), so I cut two semi-circles adding seam allowance for the side seams.
This dress is what little girls dreams are made of! Stunningly beautiful, yet comfortable as your pyjamas at the same time!
Print number two is Design 39 – Floral Deer. This is a sweet pastel print suitable for all ages! I can picture even a baby romper in this!
My brain went straight away to a pretty dress for this print, but I didn’t want to pigeon hole it. I knew it was more versatile than that, so I challenged myself to make something my big girl would wear.
This is a Little Kiwis Closet Cuffed Dolman. This pattern is my most often made pattern for myself and my girls closets are catching up! I used the long sleeve version as it’s for winter and I hacked the cutout back!
I used the scoop back from the Skyler dress I made above as a guide for the depth, and cut the scoop from the back piece of the dolman. I measured the neck opening front and back, minus the seam allowances and calculated the binding at 90% of the opening. After I completed the top, I created a strap for the back by sewing a long strip right sides together into a tube. I turned it right way out and pinned it across the opening a couple of inches below the shoulder seams. I adjusted the length of the strap until I was happy it held the cutout shape nicely and top stitched it behind the binding.
What’s your favourite winter pattern for knits? These are just a few I thought of to showcase this fabric. I hope you like them as much as these cheeky girls do!
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 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?
Will you look at that pretty washing hanging on the line! I have quite a collection of items to upcycle in my stash, so when I saw the Upcycling Challenge set by Candice Ayala, choosing my “fabric combo” was not an easy task! I knew this was my kind of challenge though.
If you follow me, you will know I do a lot of upcycling when sewing. It’s a really cost effective way to source fabric for starters! You can upcycle unwanted items from your own closet, or you can purchase clothes, sheets, curtains, quilt covers, blankets, tablecloths and more quite cheaply from thrift stores to be used as fabric. I upcycle as often as I use new fabric!
It’s also a great way to reduce landfill! In Australia the average adult purchases 27kg of textiles each year and throws away 23kg! I’m trying harder and harder to purchase less clothes (fabric surely doesnt count right?), but I am definitely an expert at repurposing things we no longer need!
I had been wanting to make the new Little Lizard King Lexington pattern, but my girls are very “anti-dress” at the moment, so I thought why not make a top version and pair it with some cute shorts! I wanted an elastic waisted pair, but I have had no luck finding a woven shorts pattern, with pockets that doesn’t have a flat front. I spotted the Little Lizard King Ibiza pants pattern and thought it would make a super cute and easy pair of shorts!
It all came together quite easily, with great instructions and fit, but playing with lace meant a few tweaks were needed.
For each of the crossover front bodice pieces and the bodice back, I cut a main from lace, a backing piece from poplin and a lining piece from poplin (instead of a main and lining only). I basted each lace piece to a backing piece to be treated as the main piece from that point on.
The only other change needed was to line the skirt part of the top. I cut the lace pieces carefully to match the scalloped bottom at the side seams and cut the lining to be the same length. I sewed the side seams of the lining and the lace with french seams and hemmed the lining. Then I basted the lining inside the lace ready to be gathered and attached to the bodice.
The shorts were a really easy hack. I just compared the pattern pieces to some shorts from my daughters wardrobe, added a little extra length for a hem and cut! I made sure the length of the side seams and inner leg seams matched between the front and back pattern pieces to work out my straight line to cut for each pattern piece. Otherwise I sewed them up per the pattern instructions. I love those cute pockets.
For the back straps and loops I could not stomach fiddling with the lace for starters, and I also thought it could feel a little scratchy on her back (see that tulle/netting type base in the pic above?)… So I searched my garbage bags full of remnants (thanks Mum for that buy – lots of random pieces of every fabric type and colour purchased from a fabric store employee) and I found some ivory chiffon! Now that thought might scare some people, but I have used chiffon for straps before and found it a snack. All I did was overlock the selvedge off the edge, then overlock just a little more than an inch from that over locked edge. That cuts the strap from the fabric, so you then need to overlock the other edge of your strip and repeat. You then have 2 long overlocked edged strips, which you fold inward twice to hide the overlocking (like double fold bias) and topstich. I use loads of wonder clips to hold it as I go. Easy peasy and faster than it sounds!
I love how this set turned out and so does Miss 10! These little customers of mine are getting harder and harder to please! It’s so hard to listen to them when they say “no” to pretty dresses – I mean have you seen the amazing dress versions of the Lexington? This top is pretty stunning though, so I guess we’re all happy today 😉