Red Stripe Giveaway Winners and Your Top Ten Summer Style Tips!

It’s time!  Time to choose the winners for the Red Stripe / Red Dot Tiramisu Fabric Giveaway!  You all are such a sensibly stylish group, I couldn’t help but put together the top ten summer styling tips you shared in the comments!

I have a hard time handling the summers here in Queensland, so I’m always looking out for ways to make the 8-month summer more enjoyable.  These are the top tips, and a few of my favorite suggestions:

Click for source

  • Flowing, Natural Fibers- no surprise, this was the number 1 tip!  I couldn’t agree more.  Natural fibers like linen, hemp, ramie, cotton, rayon, wool and silk “breathe” more effectively than synthetic fibers, and in the summer I love the way a long billowing pair of trousers swirls around me, creating my own personal hurricane.  It’s the best.

A very LOUD parasol and hat on Gloria Swanson!

  • Chic sun hats- I think sun hats are becoming more and more “chic,” and I think that’s rad.  I own several, and have plans for a black and white “Panama” style cloche sunhat for later…  Several of you also mentioned parasols- I love that, too!  (The other day I saw a very pale skinned hipster boy walking down the street with an enormous golf umbrella!)

Click for source

  • Smart shoes/wedge heels/shoe bling/stylish comfort- Wedges win with y’all hands down for the perfect summertime blend of style and comfort, as well as flexibility for color choice- it’s so simple to find cute wedges in outlandish colors to lend a little “pop” of color to an outfit!  A close second is “thong bling” or dazzling sandals!

SpinaLace Tee- I’m remaking this one very soon, I love it too much to give up on the design!

  • “Lashings of lipstick”- Just one vote, but in a very hot and very humid climate, I find that I can’t wear much makeup.  The best I can do is take good care of my skin and yes, apply great beautiful “lashings” of lipstick and not much else.  Preferably a bright blue red!  It always helps me feel glamorous and put-together.

Click for source- great stuff

  • Sunscreen- I wear it.  My favorite is to wear toddler sunscreen, it seems to clog my pores less.  We have a big pump bottle near the front door (to apply before going out) and I also carry a little roller-bottle of it in my purse!

Click to influence my design process

  • Dresses- Everyone loves a nice cool flippy dress for summer!  I’m working on my summer Christmas dress, take a gander and like your favorite styles on my Pinboard.  If the dress works out like it does in my head, I might release it as a Christmas-present pattern here on the blog!

click for source!

  • Bike Shorts- Many of you left very sensible comments about wearing bike shorts under dresses and skirts.  Bike shorts improve modesty and mobility, as well as preventing uncomfortable summer chafing.  Brilliant!

It was a million degrees and stifling hot the day we took these photos. Bright colors make it a bit easier to handle! Click for source.

Click for source. Democracy and human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi is a very busy, exceptional woman of strength who hails from hot and steamy Burma. I love that she is such a serious, hard-working woman and also almost always wears flowers in her hair.

  • Put your hair up/garnish with a flower/bob that mane!  These three tips mean one thing- long waving tresses in summer might look pretty, but they’re hot and often get in the way!  Put that hair up or chop it off, and don’t forget a simple and pretty garnish like a fabric flower!  (Or a real one)

Click for recipe

  • Strawberry Daquiri- I think this requires very little explanation!  If it’s been a horrible hot day that fades into a sticky still night, I do love an icy “grown up” drink because by the time I finish, I’m feeling no pain.

Thanks so much for all your thoughtful tips!

Throughout The Circus, I dropped hints about additional giveaway prizes.  I added 3m of red dot jersey to the 3m of red stripe already on offer, and I’m also sending out 3 twin needles and 2 packages of Steam a Seam strips!  I love sending things out into the world! I chose more or less at random, though for the fabric giveaways I was careful to pick only from those who left a tip.

Steam a Seam (fusible webbing) winners:

Kerry at Kestrel Finds and Makes

IngeMaakt from IngeMaakt


Schmetz Twin Needle winners:

Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow

Jenny V at Jenny Sews

Momsmess !!

Click to view store listing!

Red Dot Winner: Megan and the Machine lives further north than me (ooooh it’s hot up there!) and recommends sleeves and moderate skin coverage for summer rather than tank tops and shorts.  I couldn’t agree more.  She just made the cutest little dress with buttons and piping, and I’m pleased to be sending the red spotted jersey her way!

Sorry, I really love these clown shots… ;)

Red Stripe Winner:  Sew Tiger Sew from San Francisco!  She layers with twill cotton jackets in the summer- I love that, I wear hemp-silk sun cover jackets to protect my skin!  I figured we were destined to be dress-twins.

If you won, please send me your house address so I can send your presents your way!  If you didn’t win, I’m sorry!  I wish I could send presents to everyone, you’re such a clever and inspiring group!

And again, thank you thank you for supporting the Tiramisu Pre-Sale!  At the time I closed the pre-sale, you had snapped up 356 Tiramisu patterns!  That’s so awesome!  They’re going to print and we’ll be shipping in early November, I’ll be sure to keep you up to date!

What do you think?  Any style tips or coping mechanisms to add?  If you’re in the N. Hemisphere, what styles did you see everywhere this past summer?  If you’re in Oz, tell me what colors you plan on wearing this summer?


  1. Wow, how hot was it last weekend? (I am in Brissie too) My coping mechanism, aircon, then I can wear what I like ;) But seriously I try to stay away from synthentic fibres, I find a flowy cotton dress in summer feels divine. Colourwise, I will try to stick with a lighter colour palatte, dusky pink, pale blue and beiges. Although I have some brighter prints planned too with some red for cheer!

  2. Eeee! I’m so excited! And folks, if you take a look at my blog, please don’t despair–I had machine woes, then got a new job, and have since gotten engaged, so life got in the way of sewing much and blogging at all, but I’ll get back to it soon. I have to–what woman wouldn’t want to document ~sewing her wedding dress?~

    Thank you so much, Steph!

    • No despair here. :) Well done- get on it! We want to see some wedding dress goodness! Well… Probably. I can’t speak for everyone but I like to see some wedding dress goodness. :D

  3. Colours for this summer are shaping up to be khaki and brown brightened up with orange and yellow – opposite of the colours you favor! Congratulations on releasing your first Cake pattern. :)

  4. I don’t know what styles I saw everywhere; in my green dress and hat, I felt more stylish than everyone else in their shorts and tank tops! I’m definitely with you on the rather cover than bare, and I always prefer flowing wovens over knits, so when I saw people in T-shirts and tight jeans, I was thinking, they must be sweltering… so no help there!

    Congratulations to the winners!

  5. I can’t believe I forgot to leave a summer styling tip… I was so excited about the fabric, pattern with multiple cup sizes and giveaway as well as you being a Brissie girl that it slipped my mind.
    So belatedly I have my own tips and most of them have been mentioned; the bike shorts are a must with flowy, natural fabrics in light and bright colours. Makeup can be a waste of time and I also do the lipstick in a bright shade and call it done along with tinted eyelashes ’cause it doesn’t run from sweat that way. sandals and slip on shoes are great and having several pairs to rotate them to help prevent them getting too smelly helps.
    I have been meaning to email you about the pattern. I am very different in sizing between bust and hip and haven’t been able to wear most dresses for years due to such a difference. I have pre-ordered the pattern and I can see that the top will fit easily but I may need to adjust the skirt to accommodate my generous curves. I figured I could wait until I get the pattern to see just how much extra I need to allow for hips/butt.
    I have been thinking about doing a pattern design/drafting course for a few years and starting my own patterns for larger sizes as the RTW stuff is hopeless. (I can list a dozen reasons why without even having to think about it.) I would love to chat with you about heaps of sewing and pattern stuffs. I do’t know many who sew and amongst my friends etc I think I am the only one. My mum sews and I grew up with her sewing all our clothing. She doesn’t really sew much these days, but also lives along way away. feel free to check me out and see if I am a nutter (I am a nutter – but hopefully the nice kind). Dee

    • It’s all good. Thanks for that Dee! You can write to me any time, :) A half-circle skirt is quite generous through the hips, you’d have to have about a 20″ difference between your waist and hips for it not to work… Which is partly why I chose that cut for the skirt. :)

      I don’t mind nutters. :)

  6. Forgive my ignorance, but I don’t know if your long, hot summer is humid or not. It seems that people in hot dry places wear long drapey stuff to shade themselves (like in the Sahara). But people in hot humid places wear skimpier clothing, because any fabric isn’t a happy thing.

    I’d recommend seersucker types and crinkled gauze, as they keep skin contact to a minimum (and don’t need ironing..). But they must be cotton, and not the polyester versions that have been inflicted on Americans for a couple decades. You may have better access to Japanese fabrics than we have, in which case those will be the best.

    Also, I once read something which pointed out that every time the silk supply from China was interrupted, the Japanese got in a bad mood during their sauna-like summers and started a war. This led me to much experiments, and to conclude that indeed dressing in silk from head to toe is absolutely the best in humid weather. To reduce cost, scary health issues, and environmental damage, it’s best to pre-wash your silks and then you can keep even machine-washing them at a fast clip.

    • It’s humid and hot here, but I mostly struggle with the UV. It’s very strong here, and it triggers a health issue, so I tend to cover up/stay inside during the middle of the day.

      That’s amazing about the silk, I’m so curious now… I have noticed that silk is quite comfy in the humid weather. Neat!

  7. I wear natural fibers all year around and leather shoes wherever possible (except for my $2 things/flip-flops). My hair is naturally curly so when it’s really humid I give up on straightening it, leave it curly and pin it up.
    I tend to steer clear of t-shirts and even waistbands in high summer – just too uncomfortable.
    Oh and drink beer…, Mmmmmm beer….
    Lovely to see so many lovely bloggers winning your giveaways. Congrats on your Pre-sale!

    • I do like leather and leather-like shoes, too!

      Sigh… I’m always trying to find ways to go braless in summer, very tricky…

      Beer! :)

  8. Yay, thank you so much! And it’s great to see so many people winning, especially since you had so many entrants! I’ve been reading through the comments on this post, and I’m thinking if I somehow strike it rich this holidays I may have to work with some silk!
    Thank you again :)
    (Email with my street address is on the way!)

    • Silk is great- and if you get a tough weave it’s pretty washable and tough. :) There’s delicate silks and there’s utility silks… I think both are beautiful.

      I look forward to sending that fabric out and seeing what you make of it! :D

  9. Ahhh yes summer is on it way here in brissy…. I’m originally from out west – so 45 (celcius) in the shade but dry – not a hint of humidity at all. Humidity is an energy sucking creature…

    M-C thanks for the silk tip – what a perfect excuse to go silk fabric shopping! And your countries propensity to put polyester in all fabrics is reaching our shores. I was in a fabric store today and there was racks of polyester knits which I’ve never seen before….

    Shoulder coverage is a must – and plunging necklines are also not good from a UV protection issue. Pants and jeans are ekk – too hot and clingy – although silk shorts might be an option worth pursuing :) The bike shorts option doesn’t inspire me at all – although a nice pair of boy leg knickers could be a suitable alternative. Other than that the sea breezes over on Straddie are a good escape option :D

    • Yeah… The humidity.. When it’s 6am and I jump out of bed and immediately feel drenched… Or when it’s 9pm and the sun has finally gone done and it’s still hot and sticky and stays that way. I grew up in Florida and Texas though, so that goes with the territory.. ;)

      Any, ANY reason to go silk shopping! I like this place-

      Well… The bike shorts go under skirts, which prevent chafing…

      Stradbroke is a gorgeous place. I’m sure we’ll head back there over the summer. The banner photo was taken there… I love coral beaches.

  10. I make sure I have lots of flesh-toned undies and bras for the summer so I can get away without wearing a slip– who wants extra layers in the summer?! Ick!

    • Sounds good! Though Carol makes a good case for the cotton voile slip, especially for loungewear… ;) But yes! The fewer layers the better.

  11. Mostly what we saw last summer was rolls and rolls of skin — some tanned, some burned, some palest white, almost all of it tattooed in varying degrees of skill — bulging out from too tight hip-high short shorts; and (ugh ugh ugh) the return of the dreaded tube top. I know, it’s hot, you don’t want to cope with sleeves or pants legs; but truly, that is not a flattering look on any female older than a prepubescent twelve-year-old or on any other than a gracile figure type. Worst of all are you gals in your 80s, who dress like that when driving your lawn tractors as you mow the grass. PLEASE put on some clothing. I’m afraid you’ll get blisters from the sun. Ditto all you older men who drive lawn mowers without a shirt: A simple white tee shirt would actually keep you cooler, by wicking away perspiration. But that’s just one cranky, middle-aged woman’s opinion.

    • Ew. This is why I avoid crowds. I just don’t want to see it.

      And yes! I often look at copious amounts of exposed and reddening flesh and think I can hear the epidermis screaming in pain… ;)

  12. Great post! Of course, having moved to the Yukon, I’m preparing for the exact opposite of weather conditions. And honestly, my solution to dealing with hot weather was to move north of 60 degrees latitude, but that’s not very ideal for most people. I guess. ;D

    I’ve fallen a bit behind on reading your posts; haven’t been online as much lately. But I’m ploying through most of them now, and just wanted to say that I’ve really been enjoying them! Keep up the awesome work (and keep cool).

  13. Nine years ago I spent nine months of my year’s backpacker visa in Brisbane- I loved it that much!
    What surprised me, as a Brit, was the amount of young women in tight jeans- in what seemed to me to be very hot and humid weather! But somehow I managed to do it too later on… Not sure quite how I acclimatised, but certainly didn’t in the high summer heatwave!! (42 degrees and, what?- 80% humidity that year?). That was survived by loose, minimal clothing, and nothing synthetic unless it was a bikini- whilst in the shade!
    And, as Margo said- sea breezes on Straddie! Ahhhhh… still high on my list of favourite places! :)

    I love reading your posts about Brissy, they remind me of a great year! :)

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