Jocole Blog Tour – A Spring Quick Top

Jocole blog tour

Spring has finally sprung here in NZ and it is time to start enjoying some new spring clothes, so the Jocole blog tour was a great opportunity to sew up a top I have been wanting to sew since I first purchased the pattern on its release last year!

Yip, tell me I am not the only one who buys patterns for me a never gets round to sewing them up for ages!  I have almost all the Jocole ladies patterns and have sewn up a few but not all of them yet, this Summer I plan to spend more time sewing for me as the Gingerbear Princess is off to school soon and so will be wearing a uniform.

Front 1

The quick dress and top really earns it name and is really beginner friendly.  I made the extended sleeve with contrast front yoke version and had it printed taped and cut out in 40mins and less than a hour later I was wearing my new top.

The pattern is so easy to tape together thanks to the grid lines in the background.  I chose to contrast the front yoke and leave the back in one solid piece using the boat neck cutting line.


There are many more options for this top including a variety of sleeve and top lengths all neatly laid out in both the many line drawings and tester photographs.   You could set up a huge part of your wardrobe on this one pattern alone and have no two pieces looking alike.  I also like that a little bit of really cute or expensive fabric can co a long way if used in the yoke.

Side 3

The other great aspect of this pattern is that it can be made from either wovens or knits or a mixture of both.  I sewed this version in rayon and I love the way it drapes and feels lovely and cool as the days start to heat up.

Front 2

Jodi the designer/owner Jocole patterns writes awesome tutorials and they are definitely one of the ones I measure others against.  They are really detailed with clear digital line drawings but also have a “cheat sheet” option without pictures for those who are more confident.

Side 2

So pick yourself up a pattern or two here, using the tour discount code detailed below and check out all the other awesome items for adults and children my fellow bloggers have made.

Save up to 25% with Jocole’s Fall Blog Tour.
Your entire shopping cart, no restrictions.
Starts: October 15th 12:01am
Ends: October 26th 11:59pm PST.
Use the code “FallBlogTour” during checkout.


Jennuine Design Moto Jacket Blog Tour

When I saw Jenn post in one of my Facebook groups a month ago that she was looking for some bloggers to do a tour for her Moto Jacket I decided it was just the thing to pull me out of my sewing funk.  With it’s asymmetrical zipper, lining, welt pockets and knit collar I thought it would be cute in some old gold pleather I had seen at my local fabric store.

Front 1

A unisex pattern coming in sizes 2 to 12 years, I did a straight size 4 based on the Princesses measurements,  usually she would be a 3 but she has had a bit of a growth spurt lately and as I always do (and you should too) I checked her measurements and selected the size 4.

Back 2

The pattern pieces went together easily (it has layers for those that use them) and the tutorial was clear and precise with digitally illustrated step-by-step pictures, it is even clearly broken down into steps to reverse the side of the zipper for boys.  The handy cutting layout and guide will ensure you get the pieces facing the right way.  Jenn has left no stone unturned in thinking of all the possible places you might need help from the cutting layout to shortening a zipper it is all there making this Intermediate level pattern very manageable for those confident beginners looking to increase their skills.

Back 1

My initial choice was to pair it with some pale pink knit, but then the princess got some new glittery black boots with old gold zippers so I switched it up to black.   I chose to do the sleeves in pleather too as it had a bit of stretch to it.   The pleather I was using was bit of pain in that the backing was a bit weak so I chose to forgo the pockets rather than chance the pockets getting over stuffed with ‘treasures’ my little transporter likes to carry around and ripping.  I also did a double row of stitching on all the seams for this reason.

Zip 3

The trickest part was dealing with the pleather, this was my first time sewing a garmet from it an was glad I had a bit of a test run on some scraps first.  Make sure you have the right needle for the job, I used a leather needle, and used a roller foot for everything bar the zipper and added a layer of tape to the bottom of it to help it slip along the fabric.

Zip 1

I love the fact the jacket is lined and has facings and armhole binding to ensure it looks just as fabulous on the inside as it does on the outside.

Lining 1

The Princess was in love with the jacket the moment she laid eyes on it and put on a fine show while having here pictures taken, we can’t wait to wear it out to a friends birthday this Friday.

Dance 1

Jenn is having a store-wide sale to coincide with the tour.  Get 25% off with the code MotoTour.  She also has a giveaway happening at A Jennuine Life.

Thanks for visiting, please be sure to check out all the other cool Jackets on the tour they can be found here

Reyna Lay ma me mi mo Beri Bee Designs From a Box

Friends Stitched Together Sew Not Perfect Climbing the Willow Sew Shelly Sew

The College Seamstress Rebel and Malice Sew Cool for the Tween Scene Gingerbear

PenSeb&Rox Just Add Fabric Call Ajaire Create3.5

Project Destash Milk Monster Momma Miss Castelinhos All Things Katy

Bundle Up Blog Tour Post 2 – Greenstyle Jillian

I so appreciate all the compliments received on the blog and on Facebook about the lovely dresses in my previous post, I love that you could all see how good I felt in them – Thank you.

Now for part two of the Bundle Up Tour…

Please accept my apologies for the photography of the Captain, he took plenty but failed to use the auto-focus very well in many – that saying, you get what you pay for, well there is a reason for that 😀


When I first saw the pattern options for the blog tour I was attracted to the Greenstyle Jillian’s outer tank as a way of adding an extra layer over my close fitting tops, you know, a way to cover the parts that you want covered without adding a super warm extra layer.

Jillian Front 2

A simple straight forward pattern to put together the outer tank is a really quick sew with just few easy well-documented and illustrated steps.  I made mine from a lightweight poly 50% stretch knit and changed it up with a wide, stretch lace bottom band. I recommend considering a fabric that is the same on both the right and wrong side as due to the nature of this top the interior is exposed at times.

Jillian Detail

I particularly like that while there is a looseness to the fit in the front the closer fitting (but not tight) racer back means it isn’t constantly slipping and sliding like other loose fit tops I own do.

Jillian Back

There are several other options included in this pattern that can be worn together or separately including a sports tank, bandeau and bra in sizes XXS-3XL.

Jillian Front outtake

No show without the Princess

This is the first Greenstyle pattern I have sewn up though I must confess to having a couple of others in the “stash”, I was really pleased with the experience and am looking forward to sewing up a Laurel soon.

Don’t forget all the other wonderful bloggers posts this week OR the fact that there are less than 48 hours left to Bundle Up and get a great price on a variety of ladies patterns.


Bundle Up Blog Tour Post 1 – The Dress Post

Just in time for Me Made May the opportunity to take part in the Bundle Up blog tour came up and what a hard time I had choosing what to make!   

For those of you new to the concept Bundle Up is that a group of designers release new patterns as part of a bundle in which the more pattern you chose to purchase the cheaper each pattern becomes.  A great way to build a pattern stash.


So what do you do when you can’t choose … sew up three items of course!

Today’s post will cover the dresses I made, with another post to follow in a couple of days.

First up is the Jocole Shift Dress.

Jocole front 2

Jodi’s patterns are always so simple to put together, matching up perfectly is simple with the the grid background. I also love that along with illustrated instructions there is also a single page sheet with only the step by step instructions on it.

Jocole front 1

Not only is the pattern easy to put together it comes in a great range of sizes XS – XXXL which means if like me you are a size or two smaller one one half of your body it is simple to frankenpattern.  Even better it is designed for wovens AND knits.

Jocole front 4

I first made a muslin (trust me ladies do this step it will make all the difference in how you feel about items you make for yourself) in a cotton and worked out my fitting adjustments detailed below.  My final dress was made in a mid-weight wool blend since we are coming into Winter and along the way learned a valuable lesson that in spite of both fabrics being stable the cotton had a little more give over the bust which fooled me into thinking I didn’t need a FBA.

Jocole front detail

I made a couple of fitting alterations with this dress.  The first being a 1″ swayback adjustment to sort out the pool of fabric at my lower back cause my pear shape, then a 1/2″ full butt adjustment which sorted everything out.

Jocole Back 1

Overall I love the style and how quick it is to put togther – well unless you choose to do a Hong Kong finish on your seams that adds a little time but makes a dress feel pretty special.  Being and unlined shift the neckline and armholes are enclosed with bias binding, and I couldn’t go past this cheeky black and white polka dot in my stash.

Jocole detail

I am looking forward to making another in a ponte for this Winter.

Next up was the Violette Field Threads Ginger Misses.

Now many of you will have seen the adorable children’s version that has been around for a few years, well now you can have one too.

VFT front 1

In sizes 0-16, I recommend checking your measurements as with any pattern, because my initial though was that this pattern was not for me, but on checking the chart it was!


Not only that I knew I had the perfect polka dot rayon waiting for just such a vintage style dress, so I accented it with some red quilting cotton also from my stash, another HURRAH for stash-busting!

VFT side

The Ginger Misses is a deceptively simple sew and oh so much fun to wear, once it is on all you want to do is twirl.

VFT twirl 4VFT twirl 1VFT twirl 3

I did make a couple of changes, the first being turning the halter into regular straps (a personal preference of feeling more secure and very easy to do), the second being an invisible zip and the third enclosing the waist seam rather than leaving it exposed.

VFT back 1

I loved making this staring down winter it made Summer feel closer and I can’t wait to wear in a few months time.

VFT detail

So check out the stops on the blog tour and be sure to Bundle Up before the 8th of May.


Come back soon for a review of the Greenstyle Jillian.

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 🙂

Flutterby tour image
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.

2014-11-03 08.11.25


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.

2014-11-03 07.58.052014-11-03 07.59.53


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.

2014-11-03 07.59.05



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.

close up 1

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.

Front 3

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.

Side 1

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.

Front 2

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.

Close up 2

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.

Front 2

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

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!

Back 2

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.

Front detailBack detail 2

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.

September 22
September 23
September 24
September 25
September 26
September 27