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idle sunshine

Enjoying life as a series of beautiful moments

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Shorts

Little Lizard King Malibu

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!

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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)!

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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.

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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.

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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)!

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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.

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Look what I found just for you Mum! ❤

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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!

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Bring on sandals, bare legs and braids. Sewing for summer in the middle of winter is tough!

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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?

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

 

 

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Candice Ayala’s Upcycling Challenge – Little Lizard King Lexington & Ibiza

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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.

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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!

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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!

 

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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!

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It all came together quite easily, with great instructions and fit, but playing with lace meant a few tweaks were needed.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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!

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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 😉

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Boo Designs Dynamite Activewear!

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This was a fun assignment! Kristie Gilbert (Spandex Queen and Pattern Designer from Boo Designs), asked if I’d like to test her new pattern? Let’s be honest, she had me at “Activewear”!

My girls are completely OBSESSED with activewear so it was a no brainer! The new Boo Designs Dynamite Activewear pattern will blow your mind, just take a look at the options it has!

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I have a few thousand photos to share, so I compiled a few collages to save you some scrolling. First up is a Cutout Racerback Flared Tank in the February Pattern of the Month Club Fabric, trimmed with Solid Black Spandex. Her leggings are Solid Black Spandex Sports length, with a Snake Leg Splice in Black Power Mesh.

Her little sister wears an Infinity Back Crop in the February Pattern of the Month Club Fabric, trimmed with Solid New Royal Spandex. Her Leggings are Full length Dynamite Spliced with the February Pattern of the Month Club Fabric, Solid New Royal SpandexSolid Desire Spandex and Solid Aqua Marine Spandex.

I love how these outfits turned out and am honoured to have my girls as cover models for the pattern!

 

Next up are these bright sets I made earlier in testing. The marled, supplex-type fabric for each set was cut from a couple of pairs of ladies size 26 leggings I found on a $3 rack at Best & Less! I’d had them in my stash for so long, that my littlest model was starting to get cranky with me! I told you activewear was high on their demand list!

Her Infinity Crop and Dynamite Spliced Leggings set is teamed with some crazy colourful dance spandex and solid black spandex.

The Big Sister’s Cutout Racerback Crop and Dynamite Spliced Leggings set is teamed with some Boo Designs Purple Bubbles fabric from the Pins Sewalong (that I never quite got around to joining) and some solid pink spandex.

 

To show a little versatility, I made this next set from cotton lycra. Both of these pretty fabrics came from Wicked Fabrics, from a scrap bag I nabbed. This simple Racerback Crop and Jazz length Shorts could be cut from around 35cm length of fabric (full width of fabric) for a size 6. How great is that!

I decided to switch up the waistband facing and waistband pieces to get this peekaboo waist band feature. She loves it!

I also made a simple plain white cotton lycra Racerback Crop and black Jazz Shorts, which she loves to wear under her school uniform. So simple and no photos of that one, but I’m sure you’ve seen enough for today!

 

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I’d love to hear what you think! Are you as pumped as I am about this new release? I have another set stuck in my head that I have to make ASAP, so I will add that one too (as soon as I can)! This pattern leaves you feeling like a sewing superstar! It really isn’t as difficult as it looks, so give it a go!

Warmest wishes,

Brooke x

One Thimble Issue 17 – HOLA!

“Hola!” and welcome to my stop in the One Thimble Issue 17 Blog Tour! One Thimble Issue 17 (Summer 2017) is available now and I can’t wait to show you what you’ll find inside!

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One Thimble is a Digital Sewing Magazine produced in Australia. Each One Thimble E-zine features 10+ patterns, applique/embroidery files and sewing/creative articles from contributors from all over the globe. The theme for issue 17 is, “Hola!” and it happens to celebrate One Thimble’s 4th Birthday!

Here’s a list of the patterns included in the latest edition:

  • Big Day Out Denim Jacket– Ainslee Fox – size 3-12
  • Give Piece a Chance – crop top and skirt set – Duchess & Hare – size 2-12
  • Nori Dress – Paisley Roots – size 2-12
  • Port Street Shorts – Ainslee Fox – size 3-12
  • Embroidery – Molly & Mama – hand stitched
  • Taco Time Applique – One Thimble – interactive applique
  • Sol Dress – Tadah – XS (8) – XL (16)
  • Festival Clutch – Little Moo Designs – two sizes
  • Posse Cadet Cap and Visor – Apple + Fig – baby to adult
  • Overall Winner- Katy’s Lotus pincushion
  • Winner of People’s Choice- Sarah’s Fabric Wrap Bracelet
  • Winner of the Scrap buster Category- Kellie’s Teacher gift pack
  • Winner of Something Special- Kira’s Miss Blossom Bunny clutch
  • Winner of the Quick Sew Category- Megan’s fruit bags

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I happened to test and promote 2 patterns already in the lead up to the Issue 17’s release, so I’ll show you some pictures of those in a minute, but the feature of today’s post is the Nori Dress by Paisley Roots.

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It is getting rarer and rarer to catch my girls wearing a dress (other than for special occasions when I put my foot down lol), but this was an absolute hit!

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Obviously if you have a fussy customer like me, then fabric is going to be the toughest choice. All the other hard work is done. Your girls will love this trendy look, with side cut outs, halter neck and swingy circle skirt!

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I adjusted ours to tie in a bow at the back rather than slider rings at the neck. I am making an effort to sew from my stash and if I’d driven the 40 minutes to spotlight just for sliders it would have cost me a hundred or so $$$ in fabric that I would have “needed” while I was there. I just cannot be trusted 😉

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I have had all of these fabrics in my stash for a couple of years. I have used them all before for different projects, but never together. Planning fabric combinations is my favourite part of the process, laying out options and switching coordinating fabrics led me to this combo that I knew my girl would love.

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We spent this morning at a local event at a park to welcome Santa to the shopping centre.  We met some friends and the kids enjoyed the dancing, singing and rides on show! We got a bit more sun, than I was planning on, then we went for lunch with friends afterwards. It was one of those beautiful unplanned days that totally go off the schedule you had in your head. I was starting to worry, but I still managed to get the dress made and photographed well before the sun went down that evening, so it is pretty quick. I used snaps instead of buttons and button holes which saved me a good amount of time too.

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My favourite way to hem a circle skirt is to use bias tape. I didn’t have enough mustard yellow in my stash, so I had to be happy with over locking and turning it up this time. If I’m being completely honest I will probably go back and do it with bias when I get some, because I am a details person and it hurts my eyes!

Nori Dress Stand Alone Cover

Here’s a pic of what your dress could look like if you follow the instructions with the sliders on the straps, just for comparison. It looks so fabulous in stripes!

I’ll leave you with some pics of the Ainslee Fox Port Street Shorts and the One Thimble Taco Time Interactive Applique I made in testing before the Issue was released. My boy loves when I sew for him and he seriously loves this outfit!
I used a spider web printed canvas for the shorts with a black drill waistband. Then I finally did some form of applique like I have been promising (still havent attempted FMA haha)!
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I had fun putting together all the colours for this project and even dyed some calico with tumeric to get closer to the colour I wanted for the taco shell. I love to dye with natural colours like tumeric, tea and coffee. It’s another way to avoid going shopping too (when you can’t be trusted like me)!
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I have so many more items on my to sew list! I can’t wait to make some fruit bags and some visors for starters. Now I know I have some hand sewing projects for Christmas holidays sorted when we are camping with the hand stitched embroidery project and the lotus pin cushion! Not to mention the Jacket, clutch, ahhh everything!!! It is another amazing issue.

Now if you are a One Thimble fan or have been enjoying my One Thimble posts, you will want to check out the OT Sewing Enthusiasts Facebook Group, as the 4th Birthday Celebration prize is ALL 17 ISSUES!!!! I kid you not…

For all the stops on the One Thimble Issue 17 Blog Tour Celebration, be sure to click the links below!
Warmest Wishes,
Brooke x
11/9/2017
11/10/2017
11/11/2017
11/12/2017
11/13/2017
11/14/2017
11/15/2017

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