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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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


Little Kiwis Closet Bow Back Beauty

Oh what a beauty she is!

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Once again I was fortunate enough to test the Bow Back Beauty for Little Kiwis Closet, and once again I love it!  So much so we are all working on convincing Lydia to try making it in woman’s sizes.

Close up front 1

Aside from the stunning bow feature on the back Lydia once again provides you with more options than you can poke a stick at seriously so many designers would release this as separate patterns or multiple add-ons, not Lydia.  In this pattern you can make so many different versions that you have all your seasons covered.

Options included are:

Bodice length
~ natural waist
~ hip length
~ Onesie option too!!! (in sizes nb-4years)

Back options
~ bow
~ plain

Skirt style
~ peplum
~ dress
~ hi-low

Sleeve type
~ sleeveless
~ short
~ short with cuff
~ long fitted

Sizes nb – 12 years

I am all about value for money when purchasing a pattern so here is another bonus – you can just make a plain envelope neck top or onesie for the boys in your life also.

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One of the testers even put the bow over the plain back for those of you in places that see several feet of snow many months of the year, so no exposed backs in the depths of winter!


Photo by Carrie Collier

Photo by Carrie Collier

Made from knit this pattern can be a great stash buster or scrap user.  Yet another reason I think Little Kiwis Closet patterns are great value; they can provide a showcase for those really cute but oh so expensive patterned knits (the Rockstar Raglan is great for this too).  Don’t be scared of knits, this confident beginner pattern will hold your hand every step of the way and there is always the LKC Facebook group to help.

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By the way the bow can also be made from a woven.

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As always the pattern is easy to put together and there is a cheat sheet for those that only want to print specific pages.

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I have made three versions of this so far (one was a pre-test so the pattern was a little different) and the Gingerbear Princess loves them all.  My pre-test dress was from a thinner, soft, stretchy poly cotton, the sleeveless version from an up-cycled t-shirt and stretch lace and the plain long sleeved peplum from a wool/poly sweater knit.  On my cutting table I have an Elsa hi-lo version planned plus some merino versions ready for winter (I have a few other things to finish first so maybe for Kids Clothes Week).


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Plain back side


Go on grab this pattern now here – it is on sale for the next 24 hrs


LKC Fancy Flounce Skirt

This pattern, the Fancy Flounce Skirt  by Little Kiwis Closet has been months in the planning and I was so happy that Lydia chose to share this baby with me in the early stages.  I love testing a pattern for a designer that isn’t willing to rush something through and wants to get it ‘just right’ before release.

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If your little one loves to twirl they are going to love this lined skirt with it’s rolled edge flounces and soft knit, elasticated waistband.

Twirl 1

Taking about 3 hours to cut and sew (about 3 Gilmore Girls, my latest sewing watch), this advanced beginner/intermediate pattern has only one thing that may cause difficulty and that is the rolled edge which requires an overlocker/serger.  However if you do have an overlocker/serger this is the pattern to haul it out on and learn how to use it.

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For all it looks complex there are very few pattern pieces to print and as always Little Kiwi Closet patterns match beautiful and the tutorial is easy to follow and explains things beautifully.  The pattern covers sizes 6months to 12 years, I made the size 3 with a size 2 waistband for the Princess who has just turned 4.

Sitting 1

The Fancy Flounce will make a fabulous seasonal/holiday skirt, one of my tests was a Christmas version though the Princess was not in a photographic mood that day (also this is an earlier version that has less flounce.  I think I might make one up for Easter.  The flounce reminds me of the onion domes on St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, a place that is most definitely on my bucket list of places to visit.

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You can get the pattern here on sale for the next 24 hours at 15%

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.

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

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!

Flying flutterbyBeach front 4

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.

Beach back 1


Beach front 2

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.

Beach front 7

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.

Front 7

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.

Front 3

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.

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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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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.

Front garden 1 copy

Free Hooded Vest Pattern from Little Kiwis Closet

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Lydia from Little Kiwis is on a roll at the moment (I have another post coming another test for here) even better this time she has released a FREE! Yes that’s right FREE pattern!  What a great way to get to know designer and the fact it is such an awesome pattern is even better.

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It is available here in sizes 12months-6years and designed to upcycle old woollen blankets, though I made mine with a lighter weight wool outer and a polar fleece liner for stability.  This is the size 2 on my skinny mini, Gingerbear Princess so I added an extra 5cm to the length on Lydia’s handy dandy lengthen lines – yes she added those to her FREE PATTERN that is how awesomely generous she is.

Hood 2

What is so great about this pattern other than the fact it is FREE!  Well it has a super snuggly hood that stays up while playing and covers the ears beautifully.


The front pieces cross over the chest providing a double layer of warmth.

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It has a hi/lo hem to keep their back warm while they play crouched down, avoiding the dreaded builder’s crack exposure to the cold



20140801_150049It is sleeveless so the arms are free for play.

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The fact it only closes with a few buttons at the top means there is greater movement available for children which is perfect for the playground/daycare or Kindy yet the tummy remains covered.  Also since there is no zipper (as a name brand vest my children have does) it does not bunch up under their chin when swinging.


I can’t stress the ease of movement enough.  As a teacher it would pain me to see children so bundled up on arrival that they could do little more than walk around outside.

Swing 2

My children love to run and jump around outside any chance they can and layering this vest with a long sleeve merino or thermal top and maybe some gloves mean they are snug and warm but still free to play and explore.



Ok off my soapbox now.


GBP on her makeshift stage singing …. yep “Let it go”


Seriously though this is a pattern suitable for boys and girls that you need to try and why not it’s FREE.  Get it here.

Hands out

As with all Little Kiwis patterns they pieces tape together with ease and the instructions are very clear with photographs.

I know you will love this for the little one in your life so why not join the sew-a-long beginning the 11th of August.