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

Terra’s Treasures Pier 7 Top

So you missed Bundle Up last week, don’t cry because the individual patterns are about to be released by the designers.  Due to a wee muddle up I ended up with an extra pattern the Pier 7 from Terra’s Treasures after the blog tour last week, so I got in touch with Terra to see if she wanted me to post a review prior to the individual release and clearly she said yes!

TT P7 front 4

Having had a shocker of a week full of an awful head cold it was nice to get out in the Autumn sunshine to take these photos (since it rained most of the week I was sick).

Having never made up one of Terra’s patterns before (though I must confess to a couple in the pattern stash, which will be made soon), I was really pleased with how easily the pattern went together and how clear the tutorial was.  Even better it covers a great range of sizes from 00-26.

TT P7 Back 1

One of the great features of the tutorial is the clear directions for doing both a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) and a Small Bust Adjustment (SBA) as the pattern is drafted for a B cup.  I have only recently begun to regularly do an FBA when sewing for me and like a muslin it really just needs to be done so much of the fitting can be sorted before even making the muslin.  Doing this adjustment means not only will the pattern fit nicely across the bust it will fit well across the shoulders and neckline, something you just can’t get in RTW.

TT P7 Back 2

I did the shirring at the waistline rather than the other option of an elastic casing, and realised I need to practice it more on my new machine.  I had it down to a fine art on my Bernina but didn’t think to do a trial run on the Janome.  So while hitting the elastic with steam did shrink it somewhat, it was not as much as expected.

TT P7 detail

I love the pintucks, I thought that sweet detail was going to be lost in the pattern and colour of the fabric though in looking at the photos it actually shows up really well.  A lightweight fabric is definitely the way to go in this top, it feels soft, cool and comfortable, just perfect for hot and sticky Summer days.

TT P7 Front 3


I left off the sleeves since I will be laying this with a cardy as we are moving into Winter and bound them with bias binding, though if I make it without sleeves again I will probably extend the neck facing into a shaped facing.  I appreciated that the tutorial had you anchor the facing discretely in the pintucks.  It can be a little embarrassing if you have rushed out the door and not looked in a mirror only to find part of your facing was flipped out (please tell me I am not the only one this happens to).

The next version will be in a solid voile to make the pintucks pop even more.

Grab your copy of the pattern next week here.

Little Kiwis Closet Bow Back Beauty

Oh what a beauty she is!

Close up back 2

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.

Twirl 1

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.

Back 1

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

Front 4

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

Back 7

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).


2015-03-21 08.55.03

Plain back side


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


Sisboom Carolina Mae Test

I have been busy sewing this Summer but not getting around to blogging.  Just before Christmas a call went out in the Scientific Seamstress Lab Group on Facebook asking for a few more curvy testers to get their new Carolina Mae pattern just right.

I love Sisboom/Scientific Seamstress patterns, the Jamie was one of the first PDF patterns I ever made and it remains one of my favourites today.  If you want a pattern that fits, is well written and drafted in all sizes, has an amazing Facebook group and patterns for any member of your family; these are the ones you want to buy.  Men’s, Women’s and children’s patterns, from teeny tiny children all the way through to plus sized adults are all found here.  These are some of the best value patterns out there and the tutorials are fantastic.Front 5

So after that declaration of love you just know how thrilled I was to be called upon as a tester.

I was soon to find out the behind the scenes magic of just why these patterns are so amazing – THE PATTERN IS NOT RELEASE UNTIL THERE IS A GREAT FIT FOR EVERYONE!  That’s right, this pattern has been over 6 months in the works to ensure it is just right.  When the plus sizes were not meeting the desired standard Carla did not say close enough is good enough, she opened up a whole new test group focusing on these sizes in order to get the fit just right.  Of course there are big differences in an individuals body shape within the same size so there is great advice about fitting and choosing the right size in the pattern – a muslin is well worth the time and effort too and can make the difference in a item looking “Becky Home Eccy” to quote Michael Kors.

Back 1

This pattern has so many options, sleeves, ruching, length of skirt as well as varying necklines to suit all tastes and best of all no FBA required as the bodice caters for cup size!  The bodice fits beautifully, in fact I plan to use this bodice with a circle skirt and if I am really game (and find some inexpensive fabric) match it with the Mummy version of the Peppermint Swirl.  So you can see how making a muslin can provide you with an endless variety of of gorgeous dresses year round.

For future dresses one change I would make would be to press the bodice lining and stitch it separately to the skirt enclosing the gathers withing the seam.

Close up 2

I would rate this as an intermediate pattern however and adventurous confident beginner could tackle this as the pattern holds your hand the whole way, never done darts or a zipper no fear this pattern shows you how.

I love how this dress makes me feel, and the compliments I receive when I wear it so you can be sure I will make more.

Front 3

So now I have declared my adoration for Carolina Mae go and make one for yourself, you can find the pattern here and the oh so awesome Facebook group here.

Apple and Fig Kiji Kimono Test

Front 4I was stoked to get to test the Kiji Kimono from Australian designer Apple and Fig as I could see how versatile it would be in my wardrobe, and a great chance to show off those fabrics that I feel on me would look way too much on their own.

Coming in sizes XS to XXL this cross over sweater is suited to multiple seasons having the following options

  • Three sleeve lengths:
    Short, Half, Full
  • Three neck options:
    Scoop neck, Collar, Hood

And the bonus is that it is a fabulous maternity/breastfeeding piece, talk about bang for your buck.

Front side 2

The pattern pieces fit together beautifully and the tutorial is well written with illustrations.

Back 1

I am looking forward to the cooler weather to make a long sleeved version.

You can find the pattern here.

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.

Front 4

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.

Detail 2

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.

2014-12-04 15.00.19

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

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.

Front hood up 1

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.

Front hood down 1

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.

Side detail 1

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.

Side detail 3


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.

Hood front 1

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 🙂

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.

2014-11-03 08.08.07


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.

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.