Day 1 EYMM Zander Hoodie Blog Tour

Welcome to Day 1 of the EYMM Zander Hoodie Blog tour, I can’t wait to share my experience of making this unique pattern.

Front 1 copy

When the Boys Bundle from Pattern Revolution came out the other week, one of the patterns that really caught my eye as a fresh twist on a staple was EYMM’s Zander hoodie. With its asymmetrical zipper, big pocket and vest or sleeved options. I also loved that in spite of being released as a ‘boys’ pattern it is totally unisex, in fact I can’t wait to make one up for me!


Having sewn Kymy’s patterns previously (here and here), I knew her instructions would be thorough and while this hoodie is definitely a step up to an intermediate level pattern, the instructions are very clear and well-tested so trust them! Looking at the pattern pieces might make you wonder how on earth it will all go together, something I greatly admire about designers, but I promise it will all come together and make complete sense in the end.

Front zip down 1 copy

The pattern comes in two size ranges offering great value for money. The children’s/tween’s sizes (3months to 18 tween) and the soon to be released adult sizes (this is available for pre-order now, sizes XS-5X), so everyone is covered. I made up the size 6/7 for Captain X mostly for the length so he can wear it well into next year since spring has just arrived.

front looking up copy

I used a light grey sweatshirt fleece for the main, a charcoal ponte for the band and pocket, cotton for the lining and a patch of drill for the badge on the front. While the pattern calls for a knit on the inside it is possible to use a woven, the only spot I found need a bit of finessing was the armholes, but there would have been no issue had I been inserting sleeves.

Badge copy


The Captain loved it he especially loved that he could wear the hood like Palpatine.


Kymy has a great little reverse appliqué pack that can be used with this hoodie, using the same idea using a Darth Vader picture from some drill I found at Spotlight (the Star Wars cotton came from there too).

Back hood up

The only issue I had was the printing and taping being an A4 paper user I found the lines a little off while taping and it required a little more patience than usual with an EYMM pattern; however I know Kymy is looking into this as I write. Such great service and dedication to making her patterns just right for everyone, which is why her adults version is having some final tweaks before being released.

Side walking copyright

Overall this is a great pattern and just that little bit different than your typical hoodie, making sewing for the Captain just a little more interesting.

Back hood down

You can find the patterns here. Use the coupon code hoodiesrock for 25% off of Zander’s Hoodie & Hooded Vest, the Boy’s Silhouettes Reverse Applique Pack, and pre-orders of the His & Hers Asymmetrical Hoodie. It is valid through 11:59pm on 9/23.

Side back

Don’t forget to visit the other Bloggers on the tour and see the great things they made too.

hoodie blog tour



The Flutterby Peasant Dress/Top by Little Kiwis Closet

Top Drivway 2OK so I tested for Little Kiwis Closet again – I think I might have a problem, I made three versions of this dress/top in one go and I still didn’t make all the options available.

knit dress front

Seriously though, for all that there are multiple peasant tops and dresses out there the Flutterby Peasant is definitely one you want to have in your repetoire and here are the reasons why.

Dress graveyard

Note: I made this dress longer than the pattern states.

Reason 1.  This dress is real value for money, there are dress and top length options that can both have a ruffle or not.  Then there are the sleeves, you have a choice of flutter, short or long with or without an elastic casing at varying points on the sleeve.  I TOLD YOU THERE WERE OPTIONS!

knit dress crop

Reason 2.  Lydia’s awesome way of putting a pattern together, it never fails for me and it is so easy.  Her instructions are clear and easy to follow too.

Knit dress back

Reason 3.  This is a peasant dress with actual pattern pieces.  I know seems obvious right?  But there are patterns out there that don’t advertise this in their listings, sure some people like to measure and cut and sometimes I do but mostly I don’t.

Top Driveway 1

Reason 4.  This is a fitted peasant, which I love as the Gingerbear Princess is rather petite.

Reason 5.  The size range – NB to 12 years, even more value for money!

Top side

Reason 6.  Lydia’s general awesomeness!  OK so this doesn’t relate to this specific pattern but Lydia is dedicated to her patterns being the best they can be (which is why you end up with so many options).  The Facebook Group is great for ideas, inspiration and help and Lydia is around to answer questions there too.  As an aside she is just as lovely in person and has made me feel really welcome in my new hometown.

top back

So go get your pattern here, it is 20% until about midday NZ time tomorrow 9/9/14.


Beachcomber Pinny From Little Kiwis Closet

Look what has just been released by Little Kiwis Closet.

Tree front looking down copy

As soon as I saw this dress in the LKC facebook group I squealed in delight, as you know the Gingerbear Princess has a thing for pockets so a giant pocket on a dress…

Front Driveway Smile copy

Once again I was fortunate enough to test for Lydia and again her pattern does not disappoint the instructions are well written and easy to follow and taping the patterns is so easy.

This, like LKC’s Rockstar Raglan, is a great way to use a small amount of really cute fabric – you know the ones you hoard because they are so gorgeous and you couldn’t bear to use them on just one item – and showcase it.

Details 1

I had a wee dilemma before I started I couldn’t choose my fabric, I started with the cotton duck I saw at spotlight and while looking for something to co-ordinate I found all these gorgeous combinations. I did say I had a stash, so of course several more are in the works.

2014-04-30 23.16.41 2014-04-30 23.18.552014-04-30 23.20.27 2014-04-30 23.19.56

One of the other testers added some piping to the dress and boy it made it pop!  Lydia has added this to her pattern and even provided a free tutorial (found here) on how to make your own co-ordinating bias and piping.

Tree side details copy

As soon as the Princess put this on her hands were in the pockets and in no time at all she was checking out which treasures would fit in there.

This pattern is made for wovens but can also work in a stable knit.  I made this tunic length using the last scrap of purple and black flock fabric from the up-cycle to make my first Rockstar Raglan modification.  The black used some scraps of black merino from my previous LKC test tops.  I know, I know, I push my scraps as far as they will go, hence having a large stash.

2014-05-04 22.48.55

This really is a fabulous pattern that comes in sizes 0-3 months – 12yrs, and can be made to suit every age and stage’s tastes through the choice of fabrics.  It is also a great year-round pattern that can be made with lighter quilting cottons or heavier denims, drills or even fleece, as well as being able to layered with a long sleeve or short sleeve tee or blouse.

Tree side details 2 copy

One thing to I would advise is if you wish to layer a top underneath is to look carefully at the chest measurement.  I made a size 2 for the Princess and it fits beautifully in these pictures, though given that we are going into the Winter months here my next dresses will be the size 3 to allow for layering and the ability to wear next Summer.

Back Driveway

I know this will become another staple and a go-to pattern for gifts, quick and easy but just that little bit different.

Join Lydia from Little Kiwis Closet on her Blog this Friday in a sew-a-long to make your own gorgeous Beachcomber.  There are three prizes up for grabs, so come and join us, and with $2 off the pattern price until Friday why wouldn’t you.

sewalong button words

Better Photos of the Royals as promised

I have finally managed to get the photos from my big camera onto the computer rather than the ones from my sister’s cell phone. So as promised here are some much better photos of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Kate Kate and Wills

It was fun and the weather held out for us.  I am so glad we did not have the crowds that were in town, the Captain and the Princess were very excited to tell their friends today that they had seen a real Prince and Princess.


KCW Day 5 A cape for the Captain.

Least you think Captain X is missing out (though school uniforms mean he needs less clothes), I set about making him a hooded cape this morning. His Grandad had made him a sword like one our neighbours had and gave it to him last year. Then for his 5th birthday he received a matching shield and the Princess got a wee dagger so she can play too.


I picked up some luscious green panne velvet from spotlight (though none of the pictures capture the colour well, the rolled hem photo is closest) and have had it sitting around for a few months.  So after yesterday’s mammoth effort I thought I would take it a little easier on myself and make something quick.


I didn’t end up using a pattern I just made up my own (I will try to make a tutorial for one in the coming weeks).  It came together really quickly as I did a rolled hem with woolly nylon in the upper looper on my overlocker/serger, giving the edges a quick neat finish though it would be easy enough to hem on a regular sewing machine.2014-04-11 12.09

At the joining of the hood to the cape I used some leftover bias tape from the Peppermint Swirl as the green ribbon I had in my stash was not long enough to use as a binding and a tie.  Since this is a dress up (and the Captain wouldn’t notice or mind and I was working from my stash) I am not letting it bother me that they don’t match as nicely as they could.2014-04-11 12.10.05

I am undecided on adding some gold trim, I picked up a considerable amount for just 50 cents p/m at spotlight last year knowing it would come in handy. Tell me I am not the only sewing Mumma whose stash continues to grow because their imagination is bigger than the time they have available to sew.  What do you think, left one or right one or both?

2014-04-11 12.08

I love watching the kids play in their dress up, they go through phases of dressing up for days on end and then nothing for a while. I have made quite a few costumes for them, in fact I have made quite a few for myself too as when I was working as an Early Childhood teacher we would often have dress up days over the holidays.

Last year when we went to Disney on Ice I made a ‘Punzel (as the princess called Rapunzel then) and Flynn Ryder costume, the kids loved them. The Boy wondered what all the fuss was about (as husbands are sometimes wont to do).  Then when we were lining up at the Vector Arena, he saw how much a custom dress stood out in terms of quality he got it.


I can’t wait to use this pattern in the coming months to make this year’s costume.

KCW Day 3 Perfect Party Dress in Shelleymade Spoonflower fabric.

A few weeks ago I won some fabric from a Facebook competition run by Shelleymade, who designed and printed the fabric on Kona cotton through Spoonflower.  I was really excited when it arrived as I had the perfect dress in mind, the Perfect Party Dress by Tie Dye Diva. A designer I had actually first seen on Shelley’s blog last year.


I love the classic colouring of this fabric, the Princess loves pink (of course) but sometimes it is just a bit much for me so this way we are both happy.  The sweet wee birds keep the greys from making it look too mature for a three year old.  I picked out the darker pink from the birds to make the sash and line the dress and picked up some white and clear flower buttons for the back.

I cut out the dress out late Monday night, started sewing last night and finished it today, I can’t really say how long it took exactly but about an hour and a half – two hours including cutting out.  Skill-wise I would say this dress could be tackled by an advanced beginner as the step by step photos are very clear and easy to follow.  Don’t let the gathering, lining and buttonholes scare you, the instructions walk you through the whole process.PPD Fence Front

One thing to be aware of when printing this pattern onto A4 (as we do here in NZ) is when taping the pattern together you will need to add a thin strip of paper to reach the required 14″ distance between asterisks. As long as the test square measures the required 1″ x 1″.

Jen has recently stated in her Facebook group that this is in the process of being updated to make it more user friendly for us A4 users.  I must say this is the thing I love about using an Indie PDF pattern compared to one from the Big 4, they care about their customers and listen in order to provide a better product.  The Big 4 have a great deal to learn!

The dress lives up to it’s title of the perfect party dress, it has classic lines with the ability to be ‘ruffled’ up if the wearer (or maker) desires.  I chose to make the classic option without the bib or ruffles adding to the speed of the project.PPD Curtsey 2

If you are looking for a specific special occasion dress (Easter, Christmas, Weddings) or just a great dress to wear out to parties and town as we use to say when I was little,       then this dress is for you.  It is also a good choice for showing off some of the gorgeous border print fabrics that are available.PPD Fence Back

This version of the dress is available in sizes 2-10 and a baby and toddler party dress with similar lines is available for the under twos here.

PPD garage 2 PPD Twirl 1 PPD Twirl

Shelley’s fabric designs can be found here.  Currently she is running a competition of a $50 voucher for Spoonflower with items made using her designs, it doesn’t close until 19th May so there is time to get your order in and make something.

KCW Day 2 – Tester Pattern Sneak Peek for Little Kiwis Closet

I am super excited to have been chosen to test a pattern for Lydia at Little Kiwis Closet.

I printed and taped my pattern using her easy to follow directions and hunted out two colours of merino from my rather large stash (shhh don’t tell The Boy).

The Princess' thinking pose.

The Princess’ thinking pose.

It is a simple raglan sleeve top, with a twist, it has side panels that give it a lovely bit of shaping and best of all the opportunity to play with colour, pattern and texture.  The side panels are also a good opportunity to use up your scraps, especially those you save from expensive knits used in other projects.

Side shot

The directions are straight-forward and easy to follow with clear photographs for each step.  The top sews up in quickly and can be cut out and sewn in under an hour.  It also comes in two sleeve lengths to suit the seasons, and could even be made in swimsuit fabric to make a rash shirt.


I am really excited by the possibilities with this top.  It will definitely become a staple in this house for both the Captain and the Princess.  Stay tuned for more versions, I have plans to add some pockets for my treasure gathering Princess too.

The pattern should be released sometime next week, I will keep you posted.