Thursday, 17 September 2015

Sew 'n Style with Lil Luxe Collection: Bright and Bold!

This is going to be a really big, really colourful and hopefully really inspirational post! SO, get your scrolly fingers ready and enjoy!

Lil Luxe Collection. You've heard of it yeh? Well you should have because Jess is one of my favourite pattern designers and I loved her style even before I got to sew up the famous Alley Cat Romper (about 95 times because that pattern rules). The rest is pretty much history, I'm in her test group and get to witness firsthand the epic things she designs but also I get to see what an incredibly driven and inspirational woman she is. She really blows my mind! And she's so nice!

Jess came up with a really awesome idea of inviting a bunch of awesome bloggers (and then there's me lol) in designing mini collections using her patterns. SO FUN. Seriously. So Fun. You can read more about the Sew ’n Style Series and visit the contest page with Link up where there are contest prizes totalling over $350 from our gracious sponsors!

Ever since the Nova Dress (specifically the Junk food one!) I've realised that I've really discovered my style. Of course I knew I had a style that was a bit nerdy and a bit weird and a bit all over the place and not like everyone else in the blogosphere, but the things that make me really happy are BRIGHT colours paired with black or white. Which is something I should have maybe realised a long time ago since I dye my hair fluorescent colours and wear pretty much black all of the time (1, 2, 3, 4)? I've only been dressing myself this way for the last seven or so years... It takes me a while to have a revelation I suppose.

I had wayyyyy too much fun designing and sewing up this collection. I barely stuck to my original plan, which was half the fun really. Once I sat down and did a few sketches, I had two very different mini-collection ideas, I figured I was all ready to go. It wasn't until a month or so later when I looked at the sketches and realised I hated them all. So I did what I do best, I knew in my mind what colours & patterns I liked, so I headed to Spotlight and searched (ALONE! NO KIDS! WHAAAA?) and searched and finally found THE fabric. It's the main rainbow fabric.

It's just the way I sew things most times. I'll have half an idea in my head, but it just won't work until I finally find a fabric that gets me excited just by looking at it. I grabbed a few of my favourite Lil Luxe Collection Patterns and just started sewing. I knew I needed a bottom for a top, then a top for a bottom, and I just kept sewing and grabbing fabric from the pile I had of the fabrics until a mini collection was born! Trust me, it really was that random! And then I'd finish a piece and show Eddie and she would ask for something else, so I'd make it.

I came up with seven pieces, and mixed and matched them into ten looks (but I only got seven photographed heh)! Of course I took about seventy million photos of each, so I'm going to do this here post with a few pics of each look but then do separate posts with more detail and more photos on the outfits because otherwise this post will take FOREVER to load!

There's quite a few additional combinations I could have added but I think after seven you sort of get the idea ;)

Look 1: Metro Crop + Tesla Dot Skirt
Look 2: Reversible Crop + Jupiter Bellbottoms
Look 3: Jupiter Overalls
Look 4: Metro Maxi
Look 5: Alley Cat Crop, Reversible Crop (as a jacket) + Jupiter Bellbottoms
Look 6: Reversible Crop + Tesla Dot Skirt
Look 7: Metro Crop (inside out!) + Tesla Dot Skirt

Look 1
Metropolitan Dress as a cropped top
Tesla Dot Skirt self-drafted

 The first look features the Metropolitan Dress as a cropped top! I lengthened the bodice pattern slightly (is there such a thing as a modest length when we are talking cropped tops?) And then added a band to the bottom of it. The coolest thing about this top is that because it is fully lined, it's reversible. You'll get to see the inside of it for Look 8! I really love the way the back opening that is pretty basic in the dress looks like a feature when cropped!

The skirt is just two rectangles sewn together and attached to a stretchknit waistband with elastic inside. Super simple stuff guys, but always my favourite go-to skirt because it just looks so pretty! Plus it has twirl factor and that is very important in Edison's fashion world!

Look 2
Reversible Crop Top (and Dress)
Jupiter Bellbottoms self-drafted

Look at those pants! LOOK AT THEM! Man they're so cute, but Eddie didn't think so when she tried them on. They fit like leggings but the flared bellbottoms had her all confused. "They're too big!" No baby, they're perfect. They sort of remind me of a pair of work pants I used to have when I was a barista actually. Lol.

I drafted the bellbottoms myself, calling them Jupiter Bellbottoms because of space and stuff. They're quite high-waisted, coming up to her bellybutton but mostly her yummy toddler tummy kinda pushes the waistband underneath her little belly. The top is the Reversible Crop Top and it's fully lined so you know, it could be reversible! I didn't alter the top at all, it's sewn straight from the pattern I just added a fluro green pompom trim at the joining seam.  The fabric looks like it is in the same design family as the main rainbow fabric I chose because the colours are literally identical however the fabric content is completely different. While the rainbow paintbrush stroke effect fabric is like a stretch sateen with clearly spandex in it, this colourful tribal print is a printed rayon.

You can get a better look at the back of the Reversible Crop Top down at Look 6.

Look 3
Jupiter Overalls self-drafted

Oh my gosh I love these so much? I was worried that they would turn out a little like I was designing clownwear, but once she put these on I just fell in love. I love the way they hug her little toddler tummy, I love the flare of the leg and I love that little racerback.

Using the beloved main rainbow fabric which is like a stretch sateen, I drafted up a bib to sew to the top of my bellbottom pattern. Just a few quick measurements to ensure the torso would be the right length (not too long and not too short!) it was really as simple as sewing up the bellbottoms then attaching them to the bib. The bib is fully lined although I think when I sew them up again I'll bring the sides up higher and closer to her armpits. The pointed parts would be more curved too. I'm going to make these up in black stretch denim later!

Look 4

I hate to play favourites, especially when everything I've sewn for this mini collection has been SO FUN, however. This dress. I started making a regular Metropolitan Dress which hits at about the knee and has a feature hem, however Edison requested a dress allll the way to the floor like a princess so the Metro Maxi was sewn! I used basic purple cotton for the majority of the dress, with black and white stripes from the hem feature and the bodice is also lined in the same black and white stripes.

This was the last thing I sewed and the last thing we photographed and I think it's a really fantastic final piece.

Look 5
Alley Cat Romper as a crop
Reversible Crop Top (as a jacket)
Bellbottoms self-drafted

Clearly telling on her brother :,)

This was my very first idea for what I was going to make and the first three things that I sewed up! I had the pants done and then sewed the Alley Cat Romper bodice as a crop top (there's a tutorial for it here!) and I was liking it but it wasn't until I sewed the Reversible Crop Top that I started to get excited. My original intention was for it to be worn backwards as a little jacket, and then when I sewed more and more things that it got incorporated into a look to be worn the right way (Look 2)

The Alley Cat Crop is made from a scuba knit fabric which is probably my favourite fabric to sew with now. It's very sturdy and thick, the patterns and colours you can buy are just incredible and it's super stretchy!

 Look 6
Tesla Dot Skirt self-drafted

Look 7
Jupiter Bellbottoms self-drafted

Like I said earlier, the next few days (or week I guess) I'll be posting each look/piece with more photos and details on each so make sure you check back!

Thank you so much Jessica for not only providing the patterns I used but also being such an inspirational entrepreneurial woman. It's been so great being a part of your test group and watching your ideas come to life.

Don't forget to check out the Lil Luxe Collection site and blog and shop!!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Operation Tee + Mini Tutorial!

Hey friends! Today you can catch me over at Feelin' Crafty for Sew Ready To Play! A few years ago I made the Lego Indiana Jones tee for it, this year I made an Operation tee as well as a little mini tute. It's fairly straightforward, but go check it out, bookmark/pin, look at all the pics of beautiful Vinnie!

Here’s the list of amazing creators that are playing along this year! Be sure to join us often!!!
Sept 7th- Debbie from A Quilter's Table
Sept 9th- Jennifer from Busy Being Jennifer
Sept 11th- Ari from Max California
Sept 16th- Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts
Sept 18th- Karly from Paisley Roots
Sept 21st- Louise from I’m Feelin’ Crafty
Sept 23rd- Narelle from Cook, Clean, Craft
Sept 25th- Al from Shaffer Sisters
Sept 28th- Rachel from Let's Begin Sewing
Sept 30th- Marci from Marci Girl Designs

Monday, 24 August 2015

Parrotphenalia Pinny: Not Just a Sunsuit Tour

 It's technically still winter but I can feel spring coming! Or maybe it's summer, the seasons here are so extreme. Either way it's super exciting to be sewing fun little things and having the kids being able to wear them for longer than it takes for the photos because it is weather appropriate!

I get to kickstart the Not Just a Sunsuit pattern tour! I sewed up the Paneled Sunsuit (a pattern by Designs by Call Ajaire) but opted for a dress instead of the little sunsuit. There's a crazy amount of options in this pattern (my favourite kind of pattern!) which means you get way more bang for your buck and with the hug size range it's definitely the kind of pattern you'll have around for some time! You could sew the standard sunsuit, or make it with long pants instead of shorts. There's options for different skirt lengths, pockets or piping, as well as splitting it in two have having two piece sets or even just a top or bottoms!

I used some more of the 'Parrotphenalia' fabric that used to be a bedspread; I used it first in a pair of pants for Vincent here. Edison absolutely loves this dress. I sewed it up in a size 2, and I've sewn a matching one up for her cousin Ruby (as well as a tiny newborn one for my incoming niece!) so it will be super cute having them all matchy-matchy for the first time in their entire lives.

There is a lot of information in this pattern, which can be a little overwhelming at first (at least it was for me) but it is super useful! Make sure you know what style want to sew up first, which features you want to add or leave out. I sewed up the View D with regular pockets, it's called a jumper but here in Australia that's what we call our sweaters so I've been referring to it as a pinafore (which is probably something completely different for you guys!)

I'm not sure if I cut the skirt too long originally; I cut them out one day and then weeks and weeks later I sewed the up which isn't normally the way I usually sew and probably won't do that again because it was confusing lol. It was quite long on short/round Eddie even after I chopped an inch off the hem, so I think in the end I too about 2-3 inches off and hemmed it. I could have followed the instructions for lengthening/shortening in the bodice, which would have meant the pockets were at a better height for Eddie, but I was super tired and didn't even think that through until after I hacked it up.

The Paneled Sunsuit is available at 15% off during the tour, however if you join the DbCA facebook group you will get an additional 5% off (so that means you can save up to 20% off) but it's only available from August 24 to September 4 (keep this in mind Australians, it will end a day earlier for us because TIMEZONES)

There are SO MANY bloggers joining in on this tour, so it's going to be fun seeing what everyone comes up with and all the different styles and versions sewn! I think next I want to make a few little two-pieces.

Monday August 24th:  Max California | Filles à Maman | Hey June | House of Estrela
Tuesday August 25th: Skirt Fixation | Gracious Threads | Kimmie Sew Crazy | Shaffer Sisters
Wednesday August 26th: Kid Approved | Pinkel | Falafel and the Bee | Once Upon a Sewing Machine
Thursday August 27th: Buzzmills | Pattern Revolution | Sprouting JubeJube | Handmade Martini
Friday August 28th: That's Sew Kari | Lulu & Celeste | Paisley Roots | Modern Handmade
Monday August 31st: Sew Cool for the Tween Scene | Kadiddlehopper | Imagine Gnats | Nap Time Creations
Tuesday September 1st: My Sweet Sunshine | Straight Stitch Designs | Handmade Boy | That's What She Crafted
Wednesday September 2nd: Climbing the Willow | Rebel & Malice | GYCT Designs | Two-Many
Thursday September 3rd: The Crazy Tailor | sewVery | Just Add Fabric | Delia Creates
Friday September 4th: A Jennuine Life | Conversas de Hermanas | Made by Sara | Not Sew Fast

You can also win one of four sunsuit patterns by entering Ajaire's giveaway! Hope you win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 14 August 2015

Under Da Sea: Ariel the Little Mermaid two-piece

"It's a dinglehopper. Humans use these little babies to straighten their hair out. See? Just a little twirl here and a yank there and voila. You've got an aesthetically pleasing configuration of hair that humans go nuts over." 

Last week, Pattern Revolution had a Disney Princess sew-a-long, featuring a handful of similar-in-style patterns from a few great designers. I knew right away who I wanted to sew up, my favourite disney princess ever, Ariel the Little Mermaid. All my life I've had such a fascination with her in particular. I never really liked many of the other disney movies (they're a bit creepy!) but Ariel had my heart and now I'm older I can see a lot of my inspiration in things stems from her. 

I used the Cosette Dress pattern from Violette Fields Threads, but in true me-style, I remixed the heck out of it! Instantly I knew it had to be two piece, the top to emulate her clam-shell bra (in a more appropriate for a three year old sort of way!) with a skirt for her tail. Okay let me tell you that Edison wasn't really impressed with her skit. It wasn't a tail. Nevermind how impractical a tail would be, the kid wants one. Guess what I've started to sew ;)

I found this beautiful batik-dyed purple fabric at Lincraft that just totally reminded me of water and watercolours and it was one of those moments where I knew I had found what I was looking for. 

Read all the details on how I remixed & constructed the top, here on Pattern Revolution.

The skirt I thought I knew what I was doing, and then I didn't, and then I wasn't sure I liked it, but now I know I love it!

 The skirt is the same as the one from the pattern, I just added a waistband with elastic threaded too. I also sandwiched a "fin" between the waistband and the skirt, and it had to be a little larger to be able to be pulled on still over her hips but I really like it! It's not ordinary, which is my jam!

Man, toddler tummies though! So cute!

She aboslutely loves it, which makes me happy because as you know she is very hard to please! We watched the movie a handful of times as I was sewing this up and yes my sketchbook has many more sketches for other inspiration from the movie (Sebastian the crab, Ursula the sea witch, Flounder, even the canvas sail dress!)

Bonus? I made her some mermaid shorts use the knit shorts part of the Clara Set pattern (also from VFT!)!

Now please tell me I'm not alone in thinking that I can actually sing in unison with her during her seashell-voice-stealing solo? Poor Tim.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

To Infinity & Beyond! The Buzz Lightyear Nova Dress

I sewed this dress up last week for the tutorial photos of the Nova Dress (free pattern & tutorial!) but I felt that it deserved a post all of its own because (a) I love this pattern more and more every time I sew it (I've had to sew it a lot to get it right!) and (b) the photos are hella cute!

I just love how radically different it looks just with a less clashing/bold fabric selection. This one used Buzz Lightyear salvaged from a doona cover I bought at the op shop (in my eyes, all bedspreads/sheets are just metres and metres of fabric to use ^_^ ). The pastel yellow is a lightweight cotton twill I also scored at the opshop.

The triangle cut out in this dress is reversed to what is in the junk food dress. The free pattern has it up the way of this Buzz dress but when I digitalise the pattern and re-upload it there will be the option for both triangles (although if you really want the triangle with the apex downward it wouldn't be too hard to flip it!)

Oh that little lip! Poor babe, she'd twisted her ankle a little earlier that day and couldn't really put much weight on it. Precious girl did well modelling though, she just had her foot resting on the ground and put all her weight on the other one. I would pick her up and turn her around for the photos so she didn't have to move at all.

You can see the bias binding triangles at the neck much easier in this dress than against the busy print of the junk food Nova. 

The dress is a tight fit on her to get it on and off, around the side seams, as well as the length so I may fiddle around with that some more. Perhaps it's more of an 18m size? She's pretty tiny for her age. If someone sews this up for their standard 18month old wearing babe could you let me know how it fits?

I'm also hoping to eventually grade it up and down a few sizes when I learn how (seriously womenswear grading was a piece of cake to me. childrenswear? frack).

So yeh when I get around to that I might see if a few of you guys want to do some testing. This pattern will always be free but I just want it perrrrrfect you know?

Also I'm looking into making the big switch from blogger to wordpress. It won't be long coming, I'm pretty excited! There's a few BIG plans in my future as a blogger and a childrenswear designer/seamstress. Sort of going to pull all my skills together and start working toward my dream now the little babe is ALMOST THREE (as in next week ermahgerd). All the resources are there, it's time to put in the hours & the effort!

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