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Simple Life Pattern Company Holiday Blog Tour

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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!

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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

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Simple Life Pattern Company Holiday Blog Tour – 2017

I made the most amazing special occasion dress last year for the tour. It was such a rewarding and sentimental project, but it has stayed hanging lonely in the wardrobe pretty much ever since! This year I decided something a little less formal was the go…

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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!

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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”.

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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.

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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!

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To create these dresses I used the bodice from the Simple Life Patterns Laguna Dress and teamed it with the skirt and pockets from the Newport Dress! Easy right? Then I decided to make things a little more complicated…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!!

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They insisted props were necessary for a Christmas themed shoot! It was just the fun we needed to finish off ❤

Patterns provided by Simple Life Pattern Company:

Simple Life Pattern Company Newport Pocket Top & Dress

Simple Life Pattern Company Laguna Double Flutter Panel Pocket Dress

Fabric provided by Art Gallery Fabrics:

Trinket Fusion Collection – Flower Glory Trinkets & Wallpaper Trinkets

 

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!

 

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Blog Tour Schedule

November 5 – Kutti CoutureSLPCO Team

November 6 – Wonderfully HandmadeAmmon Lane

November 7 – Kainara StitchesIdle SunshinePearberry Lane

November 8 – Sew TwirlySew Sophie LynnBonnie and Blithe

November 9 – It’s LieselCandice Ayala

For your chance to win a

$30 Harts Fabric Voucher

and a $50 SLPCo Pattern Voucher,

don’t forget to enter the

Rafflecopter giveaway!

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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.

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Fabric Covered Bunny Ears Tutorial for Easter!

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I made these sweet bunny ears to go with our One Thimble Trillium by Petite Stitchery and Twig + Tale Pixie Shorts outfit last year. It was the Michael Miller Saturday Morning Fabric Collection that took me there! Those bunnies are perfect for Easter!

This little project is quite quick and easier than it might look, but I got so many comments, that I thought I had better write a quick tutorial to show how I made them!

The bunny ears came straight out of my children’s dress-up box from a previous Easter, and the flower is on an alligator clip and also has a brooch back. You might have picked up that I am all about sustainability and versatility, so I love that the flower can be used as a hair clip or pinned on any other accesory or outfit.

I didn’t have another pair of ears on hand so I called in to Big W and grabbed a pair. I’m sure wherever you are in the world you will have a department store or bargain store that will have these in stock at this time of year for a dollar or two.

Materials needed:

Paper

Pencil

Scissors

Fabric (I only needed a piece 20x20cm or 8″x8″, but it will depend on the size of your ears)

Iron

Needle and thread to match your fabric

Method:

  • Lay your headband down on a piece of scrap paper and trace around the outside of the ear shape.  Make sure to extend down to the headband, this will give you a seam allowance to play with all the way around.
  • Cut out your pattern piece and use it to cut 2 ear shapes (mirrored if they aren’t symmetrical) from your chosen fabric.
  • Take your 2 fabric ears to the ironing board and iron a 1cm or 3/8″ seam allowance under to the wrong side.
  • Pin your fabric ears to the ears on the headband, covering the inner ear (the pink section in this case). I just hold it there, but I’m a rebel, so you might like to use pins!
  • Hand stitch your ears to the headband, starting from underneath the fabric ear so that the thread tail is hidden between the furry ear and the fabric. You might like to tie a knot in the tail so it doesnt pull though, or wing it like myself and just tie it when you’ve stitched all the way around and back to the beginning! I just use a running stitch, but i travel most of the distance around the ear between the fabric and the headband ears so as not to have big stitches visible. Come up through your fabric from the bottom and back down through the fabric only 2mm from the point where you came up, then down through to the back of your bunny ears and back up only 2mm from the point where you came down. Then use the needle to travel 1cm (3/8″) along in between the fabric and the ears before you come back up through the fabric and repeat the process. It’s not important to be super careful, because your stitches aren’t seen through the long fluff on the back of the ears.
  • Just align your fabric so that the folded edge lines up with the seam of the bunny ears (where the pink inner ear meets the white fur), all the way around as you sew. Your fabric might not be exactly the same size as the area you are covering (that will depend on the design of the ears you have purchased). You might find you need to fold a little more of the fabric over than the 1cm seam allowance we pressed to make it match up, but you can just adjust that by hand as you sew and it will all work out just fine.

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

 

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