Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Pattern of the Week:

The Seersucker Dress

In this week’s Pattern of the Week, we’re featuring one of our favourite patterns – Burda 9494 from the Burda Kids Pattern Catalogue. What really makes this dress shine is the seersucker fabric. Seersucker is comfortable , light and airy to wear. The natural wrinkle in the fabric makes it a great choice for kids & travel as no ironing is required. I ask you -what could be more perfect for summer?

 Did you know?
Seersucker was originally developed in India and became popular in the American South. The name "seersucker" came into the English language via the Hindi term "sirsakar," which had been borrowed from the Persian language meaning 'milk and sugar'. This was due to the resemblance of the fabric's smooth and rough stripes to the smooth surface of milk and the bumpy texture of sugar.

We used:
Pattern: Burda Kids 9494
Fabric:Country Seersucker, 135cm  Wide, 100% Cotton, $12.99 per meter.
Notions: 18-20cm Zip & optional Ribbon or decorative waist tie 1.3 - 1.5m.

Visit your nearest Spotlight and get your own Pattern of the Week today!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Giving Back: Uniforms for Orphans in Chibobo, Zambia

It's turning into a week all about uniforms here!

We're very proud here at Spotlight to partner with Overnewton Anglican Community College in an intiavitve called Chibobo Help Ministries Project. 
The Chibobo HMP is a joint venture between Australian businesses and the non-government HMP organisation in northern Zambia, reaching out to and supporting orphans in the area. 

The project started off with 32 orphans in 2003, but the long-term goal of the scheme is to improve the lives of the approximately 100 orphans identified within a 6km radius of the HMP Chibobo Centre, through the provision of facilities and procedures involving the vital care of these orphans (eg feeding, clothing, educating).

Zambian students supported through the Chibobo HMP
We were privileged to be able to supply, in partnership with Melbourne Glitter & Dance, 200 school uniforms to the Chibobo HMP! Amazing! Mike Lampard from Overnewton College writes: "...only when a child has a uniform [can they] go to school. For many of the families in the community, especially those supporting orphans, this is an expense that they cannot meet. Once the child is able to attend school they can then be placed on the ‘list’ of orphans and can become eligible for some support from the government"

School buildings in Chibobo

The school uniforms provide these children with a way to gain an invaluable education and break the cycle of poverty. The real benefit comes when they are able in turn to empower their communities.

200 uniforms donated by Spotlight and Melbourne Glitter & Dance

We're so excited to be able to make a difference in a community that really needs it - and Spotlight is proud to support community intiatives across Australia & New Zealands and overseas.
We would love to hear about what you are doing in your communities!

Click "read more" to see the whole letter from Mike Lampard.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A matter of uniformity

Let's face it, we've all worn some terrible uniforms in the past. From my own encounter with clown-checked polo shirts at a certain chain of chicken shops, to Madame M's days waiting tables in a so-called Italian Family Restaurant, right along to Shoshana's white-booted deli girl days.

But this time of year always shines the spotlight on the highly-anticipated official Olympic team uniforms. A highly anticipated uniform? Yes it can happen!

And as is the case every time a named "designer" creates an outfit for an airline, there is sure to be some controversy.

Let's have a look at some of this year's contenders, shall we?


It's a safe bet and some reckon it to looking like a bunch of cricket umpires, but the Aussie's Sportscraft-designed uniforms are classic, well cut and crisp.

Plus, they have the added bonus of the names of every Australian gold medal winner printed on the lining. How cool is that!

So I think we can call this one safe, yes?


The French uniforms this year err on the side of ultra-chic, despite being designed by - wait for it - Adidas?!
I'd pay money to see how a female shot-putter is going to look in that jacket...

The Netherlands

The Dutch are famous for their ability to make their national colour of orange either look super stylish, or really really horrid.
This year, however, they've upscaled from Beijing's grey-and-orange highlight ensemble to full-blown geek chic. I have to say, I love it - and it looks like it was pulled straight from Dad's wardrobe!


Who else better to design a laid-back uniform for the most laid-back place on earth - Bob Marley's DAUGHTER.
'nuff said.


The US very cleverly leant on one of it's most iconic designers and a quintessentially American prep look, hiring Ralph Lauren to design their look. Though it's slightly bordering on military school, I'm not sure if they all have the haircuts to support it...


What's your favourite Olympic Uniform Moment?

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Pattern of the Week: The Capelet

The Capelet

This week’s Pattern of the Week we are featuring from the archive Retro Butterick B5032 circa 1952. This is a great project for a beginner with only 4 pattern pieces to cut- 4 straight darts and introduction to one of the easier collars to conquer- the peter pan collar. Keep your shoulders warm this winter with this Capelet. For the intermediate or aspiring beginner complete your Retro look by tackling either dress options also available this pattern.

We used:
Pattern: Butterick B5032
Fabric: Wool Blend Flannel Suiting, 140cm Wide, 70% Wool 30% Nylon, $39.99 per meter.
Notions: Iron on interfacing, 1 covered button

Expert Sewing Tip!
Wool has a natural tendency to shrink by about 4% once exposed to moisture and humidity. We recommend pre shrinking your wool using the steam method prior to making your garment.  Avoid scorch marks by placing either a raga cloth or cotton sheet over the top before steaming. Never directly steam or make contact with the iron onto your fabric.

Visit your nearest Spotlight and get your own Pattern of the Week today!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Blogs we Love: Homemade by Jill

Today's blog of the moment was found this morning in a hazy blogging stumble through my RSS feed - but it instantly perked me up!

Homemade by Jill is full of absolutely gorgeous things that crafty blogger Jill has made for herself and her adorable kids - I'm once again trying to find a small child to dress up just so I can convince someone to sew things on my behalf!

Adorable girl's dress! Image property of Homemade by Jill 

Love these felt doiley clips! Image property of Homemade by Jill

Jill has some fantastic fresh and quirky projects on her blog and a handy Tutorial section to find them all in - including things for kids, mums and the home. We love her use of colour and texture and a cute vintage lean - plus the occasional superhero moment!

A SUPER hero costume! Image property of Homemade by Jill
Confetti Shorts! Image property of Homemade by Jill
We'll forgive Jill for not being an Aussie - we can still show her some blog love! Head on over and check out her beautiful site - Homemade by Jill

Monday, 9 July 2012

Pattern of the Week: A is for Pyjamas

This week’s Pattern of the Week showcases this adorable set of children’s pyjamas. What do we love about these? Well lots!
The bottoms feature an elasticised waistband for ease and comfort whilst sleeping. This pattern can be made into long-sleeved top and pants, short-sleeved top and shorts or vice versa, the choice is yours! And, your little ones will love the sweet little peterpan collar option with the classic button down shirt . We chose to make the boy’s short-sleeved top and long bottoms- Option B. The great thing about this pattern is it will see you through the years as your children grow from 3 up to 15 years.

Product used:
Pattern: Burda Kids 9747
Fabric: Vintage ABC Cotton Poplin, 148cm Wide, 100% Cotton, $14.99 per meter.
Notions: Iron on interfacing, 4 Buttons, 75cm of 2cm Elastic, Optional decorative trim collar pocket 

Expert Sewing Tip!
Always start a project with a fresh machine needle. A good needle in your sewing room is like a good knife in your kitchen – priceless!

Visit your nearest Spotlight and get your own Pattern of the Week today!