Patterns for Pirates Palazzo Pants

I have finally been sewing for me again, and have several items in the works due to testing 3 new patterns – YAY!

First up in the Palazzo Pants from Patterns for Pirates, Judy started out designing cute patterns for our boys who always seem to miss out in the fashion stakes and has since branched out into patterns for their Mummas (and a few for Dads too).

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This is her first foray in to pants for ladies, and if you are after a pair of pants that can be made super dressy for work or a night out but still like a bit of comfort with your glam these are what you are after.  Of course when lounging around comfort comes first and these pants are perfect for that too.

The pants can be made in a variety of lengths, making them suitable for exercise, and there is a choice of an enclosed elasticated waist, or a folded yoga waist.  I made both the capri and full length versions with the Yoga waist in both a 2-way  and 4-way polyester knit.

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The tutorial is simple to follow with clear photographs.  Once you have printed and taped this pattern (which comes together with ease) you will find they take less than half an hour to make, and who doesn’t love a fast sew.


Please ignore the leg tucked into the shoe, sewing for oneself is fine but getting the photos is not so easy – how DH the details man missed this I have no idea!


The pattern comes in sizes XXS – XXXXL and can be found here on sale today with a bonus free cardigan (today only so download it immediately) pattern (size Medium).  This bonus cardigan will be going into testing soon.

P4P Front copy



Peekaboo Pocket Mix and Match Outerwear by Little Kiwis Closet

One of the things I love about PDF designers is that many of them are not afraid to go back and revamp some of their previously released patterns, and add to them and generally just make them better.

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Lydia has been planning for sometime to revamp one of her first patterns the Peekaboo pocket vest, and boy am I glad she did.  Not because the pattern was awful (I bought the original and made it just fine), but because she felt she had grown as a designer and that it could be improved upon, I applaud her for that.  So today I bring you the new and improved Peekaboo Pocket Mix and Match Outerwear pattern.

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Of course Lydia never does things by halves so now the pattern is massively expanded (including sizes) giving you all the options in one great pattern, this is becoming quite the theme with Little Kiwis patterns but you won’t find me complaining.  As you know from my previous tests for Little Kiwis, taping the pattern pieces is a dream (there is a print guide for all the options too) and the tutorial is easy to follow for a confident beginner.  The Little Kiwis Facebook Group is always there to lend a hand if you need it too.

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Here are your options – heck there are even options within your pocket options! -individual pockets or a reach through pocket.

Vest – snap or zip, hoodie or collar, peekaboo or kangaroo pocket

Jacket – snap or zip, hoodie or collar, peekaboo or kangaroo pocket

Sweatshirt/Pullover – snap or zip, hoodie or collar, peekaboo or kangaroo pocket

All in sizes Newborn through 12 years!


The Captain was my first model for this one, one is cut out for the Princess, however Chickenpox and tummy bugs have gotten in my way.  He is a sucker for a hood and in spite of the weather this has become his go to hoodie.  Great to have a pattern for him that offers so much variety, boys often miss out in that area.

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A deceptively quick sew from fleece and ribbing, I chose the peekaboo reach through pocket because I knew the Captain would love it and sure enough it was the first thing he noticed after trying it on :D.

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I love the way the lined hood crosses over and envelopes him, it also sits so nicely when down, and the ribbing on the bottom makes it snug ensuring no chills up the spine when sitting.

Hood detail side

This will become a staple in our house, and with so many options it could be a while before I make the same version though the Princess has asked for one like the Captain.

Back hood

The pattern is on sale for the first 24 hours at $8 here – if you bought the original peekaboo pocket vest pattern expect an email from Lydia offering you the new version.



LKC Pimp that Pattern Blog Tour

Technical difficulties have left me without my original post pics only the few I had snapped casually a few days previously, please check back soon for pictures that do the pattern justice. ETA still not original pics but retook some on my phone and vintaged it up a little, it  makes it a little like looking in my childhood albums 🙂

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Welcome to day one of the Little Kiwis Closet Pimp that Pattern Flutterby Romper tour.

2014-11-03 08.10.30I had the pleasure of testing this pattern a few weeks ago (posted here) and enjoyed the quick easy sew to make something so on trend right now; I couldn’t pass by the opportunity to whip up another.

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The change I made was to use a wide cotton lace boarder in place of the flutter sleeves, minor but I love it!  I had seen a few others create a similar look and by happy accident I did not quite have enough of the pink to fit sleeves (a combination of fabric poorly cut at the store and an odd bolt width), so thought I would make this my pimped version.

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I also made the pant length version which the Princess really liked, not that she has really been co-operating for photo shoots lately.  She is happy enough to have her picture taken, she just prefers a pirate scowl to a smile at the moment.

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This is a really easy item to sew and a perfect next step for a new seamstress.  Lydia’s patterns are always easy to put together and her tutorials simple to follow.

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You can get the pattern here at 30% off until the 8/11/14 (NZ time)

Please check out what all the other clever bloggers on the tour have done too.

3rd November


4th November


5th November


6th November


7th November


8th November


Made your own romper and want to be in with a chance to win two patterns of your choice from Little Kiwis Closet then link up your creation below.

EYMM Kenzie’s Skirt Blog Tour

Welcome to day one of the EYMM Kenzie’s Party Dress and Skirt Blog tour.

When Kymy first posted the picture of the dress she made for her daughters first birthday I was enamored by the rainbow colours.  So when the call went out for bloggers to do a tour with this pattern for the holidays I jumped at the chance as my local Spotlight had just put out their seasonal fabrics and I knew just what I wanted to do.

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I love the Holiday season (though generally I hold out until the last week of November before going all out December 1st is a big deal in this household).  Each year the children get a few seasonal T shirts to wear and get everyone in the spirit of the season, this skirt is perfect addition to these.

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This is an advanced beginner/intermediate level pattern, with lots of gathering and little bit of brain power to sort your fabric layers.  I am not entirely sure I was successful on this front using  four different fabrics and I think just two or more than 6 would be better.  Kymy does include a handy colouring layout to assist in this and I really should have used it.

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The pattern comes with several options, a flounced dress or skirt, or a simple dress or skirt.  I chose to do the flounced skirt option since I knew the princess would be wearing it to Kindy. I cut the size 2 which fitted well with a little growing room, we may even get another years wear out of it next year, the fabric, a mix of seasonal cotton prints and plain quilting cotton.

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As I have always found with EYMM patterns the tutorial is well written and walks you through each step, pointing out tricky spots along the way.  The trickiest spot in this pattern other than figuring out your fabric placement is ensuring your offset layers (which is what gives this pattern its charm) overlap enough to hide the underskirt.

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Don’t be put off by the level of difficulty as it really is a stunning pattern for the holidays, rather allow yourself enough time to do it justice – not the night before 😀  (I know I am not the only one who leaves things to the last minute). Also while I have done a rolled hem on my overlocker (serger) it is possible to make this dress without one using bias tape to enclose the scalloped edges, I love the the way it gives the opportunity for added embellishment and drama doing this.

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The pattern can be found here and the coupon code LITTLELADY will save you 30% off any Kenzie’s Party Dress purchase (newborn-4t, 5-18tween, 18″ doll add-on, or the bundle that includes newborn-18tween plus the doll size), good until 11:59pm PST on 11/12/2014.

Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers on the tour too.

kenzies holiday tour

There is a rafflecopter giveaway too; the giveaway prizes total $125 and include $50 EYMM gift certificate, Stitchbox Monthly November Sewing Box ($35 value), $25 EYMM gift certificate, and a Little Lady Sheet of Jamberry Juniors Nail Wraps ($15 retail).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

There is a linky too if you head to this post at EYMM

Flutterby Romper by Little Kiwis Closet

Beach back 3As you know I have had the privilege of testing for Little Kiwis Closet several times now and I really don’t tire of it.  The patterns are always well put together and provide multiple options in multiple sizes.

Beach close up 1

The Flutterby Romper is no different, a companion pattern to the previously tested Flutterby Peasant Dress and top (there is also a Flutterby Playsuit for the little ones sizes NB-4 years) in sizes NB-12 years.  It offers the huge number of options listed below:

Sleeve options:
~ short sleeve with elastic casing
~ Short sleeve no elastic
~ long sleeve elastic at wrist
~ long sleeve elastic at 3/4 mark
~ 3/4 sleeve length
~ flutter sleeve 3 ways

Pant options
~ Shorts
~ Long pants with elastic at ankle
~ Long pants with traditional hem
~ Tapered pants with traditional hem.

PLUS she added a pocket option!

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Not only is it well drafted, easy to put together with a tutorial that holds your hand every step of the way it is super easy for your little one to pull on and off when needing to use the bathroom.

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I made a size 2 width with size 3 length in a mid weight knit and cotton sleeves, this could be made in all knit or all woven, adding to the versatility of the pattern.

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You can find the pattern here on sale until tomorrow with 20% off, don’t forget to check out the companion patterns here and here.Beach side 4

The Princess had a grand time at the beach taking these pictures, it was a fabulous afternoon spent chasing waves then letting them chase us.


It was hard to arrive home to hear on the news that not too far from where we were a young boy was swept out to sea by a rogue wave, his body has still not been found as yet.  I look at these pictures full of delight and joy of being at the beach and am reminded to hold my little ones close because such a tragedy could happen to anyone.  I hope they find little Jack.


Banksia Play Dress by Fresh Stitch Patterns

Hurrah!  Another pattern has been released by Fresh Stitch Patterns.  I jumped at the chance to test these patterns as they are so well designed, user friendly and provide classic staples for your little ones wardrobe in sizes 12 months to 8 years.

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The Banksia Play Dress comes with multiple options for bodice, straps and skirt, meaning you could sew this dress several times over and never have it look exactly the same making it great value for money.

Bodice detail

For this version I chose the flutter strap, bib bodice and banded skirt and used some Disney Princess fabric from spotlight as a base to draw colours from.  I used a decorative blanket stitch on my machine to outline the bodice.

Bodice detail 2

As I have reviewed here previously, Fresh Stitch patterns are one of the easiest PDF patterns to tape together and follow.  Kylie puts a huge amount of effort before releasing the pattern to ensure it is just right and actively uses testers recommendations and suggestions.  The pattern tutorial is easy to follow and encourages beautiful finishing which can really lift your home sewn item into something special.  A confident beginner could tackle this without worrying, the instructions are so clear.


Though this dress is a great summer dress and works well in cotton weights it is also well suited to layering and being made in a light-weight denim/chambray or corduroy, add some tights, a long sleeve top and a cardy and you are well set for the cooler months.  In spite of it being Spring here we have had some pretty windy days hence the wind swept look in the photos.


The Princess was rather taken with her dress when we went to feed the ducks and pukeko and spent quite a bit of time twirling her princesses, all the while singing and dancing.  I know this dress will be in heavy rotation at Kindy in the coming months, I have some Wonder Woman fabric to make up another soon I just need to find the right co-ordinating fabric.

Front 2

The pattern can be found here and here on sale at $1.50 for a limited time (today only) no coupon required.  If you are looking for a dress with options you can’t go wrong with this one at that price.

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The Secret Garden Dress Blog Tour

When this dress first appeared to be tested I immediately applied, but missed out so when a post appeared asking for bloggers to join a blog tour I jumped at the chance, the stunning cascading bow captured my imagination and the name – well The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett just happens to be one of my favourite children’s books!

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For such a stunning bow the dress really is not as fabric hungry as you would expect and has the added benefit of being able to use plainer fabrics with one stunning pattern.

I ummmed and ahhhed about using the Cynthia Rowley print as the main fabric or and accent, but I had enough so decided to feature it as the main and accented with a navy and red broadcloth.

Front 1

I made a size 2 for the Princess and the bodice fits perfectly, and that V at the back just gorgeous.

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The pattern taped together easily and requires deceptively few pieces given how complex the bow looks.

Side 1

The tutorial is well written, with handy hints along the away, and lots of photos; though a little more detail in sections would have been appreciated as some of the photos the contrast between the main and lining fabrics is not overly clear.

That said the pattern is aimed at the intermediate level seamstress and just requires a little thinking as you go along, and if a supplementary tutorial were to be added for these parts I really think it could be and advanced/confident beginner pattern. There is a Facebook Group found here that I know would be really helpful too.  Don’t be afraid to try if you have some sewing experience and are looking to up-skill.

Back detail 3

Enough of official review stuff lets look at the detail again.

Detail 1

Seriously I took so many photos of this detail, of course it didn’t help that it was rather windy when I was trying to take photos 😀

back detail 1

Of course I couldn’t make the Secret Garden dress without some Secret Garden book inspiration.


“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…

“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden


Of course here in New Zealand we are in the midst of Spring and all that goes with it weather-wise.  Monday started with torrential rain, Tuesday and Wednesday were glorious but with an Antarctic bite thanks to the snow being dumped on the Central North Island and today, well, today was Spring in all her glory.



Allison and Deborah have decided to add a coupon code for the purchase of the Secret Garden pattern for the duration of the tour. The code is “SGTOUR25” , this code will give a 25% discount for the purchase of the pattern in the website as well as in the Etsy shop The price has been reduced in the Craftsy shop

Let me in

The only change I made was to do a rolled hem in white on the underskirt, I love the definition it provides.

If you haven’t checked out the other other bloggers on the tour please do their work is gorgeous and there are even a few twists for inspiration.

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September 27

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.


Introducing Fresh Stitch Patterns

I was so excited to have the opportunity to test patterns for a new company Fresh Stitch Patterns.

The first pattern I tested was the Playgroup Dress, the moment I saw the sample I was besotted. Modern yet classic, it spoke to me as the perfect little dress for… well … playgroup (or Kindy as we call it in our house).

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For the playgroup test I used a chambray and a fine pin wale cord, both of which were a perfect weight to sew with.

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This is a size 18 month bodice with a size 2 length, as will all PDF patterns it is really important to check your child’s chest measurement against the pattern information (which Kylie kindly supplies in both inches and centimetres). The pattern comes in sizes 12 months to 10 years so will definitely make a repeat appearance through the years.

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The bodice is fully lined giving it a neat finish and the bottom band encloses the hem.
There is a reasonable amount of ease in the bodice of this dress which makes it great for layering.

The patterns have clear step by step instructions with photographs and are laid out in an easy to follow manner. Taping the pattern pieces together is really easy with a grid layout behind the pieces, corner matching points AND a page layout guide.  All your bases are covered so you won’t have any problems if you are like me, who finds taping pattern pieces a real chore if there is a lack of matching points.

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The second dress I tested was the Wattle Brush Dress, a cute bubble dress that comes in sizes 12 months to 8 years. Once again the step by step photographs make sewing this dress a breeze in fact testing this dress from printing to finish only took an hour and a half. The pattern uses the simplest method for creating the bubble effect so the only gathering that needs to be done is at the waist.

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Being fully lined your finish becomes impeccable and Kylie includes two methods of attaching the bodice to the skirt so you to choose between a quicker finish or a more refined one (for the record my hour and a half for this dress included the more refined finishing).  This is definitely something I noticed about Fresh Stitch Patterns, your garment can’t help but look amazing because all the beautiful finishes are part of the design. These patterns will really help a beginner take their sewing to the next level.

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I really encourage you to try these patterns, and for the next 24 hours the first three patterns are available here with the coupon found on the Fresh Stitch Patterns Facebook page for just $1.50 each.  How can you not try them at that price, I know you will love them.

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There are more patterns in the works I have just washed up a new selection of fabric for another dress pattern this week so watch this space.

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