Archive | pattern review

Straight Skirt and Kit and Kaboodle Mash

Wow, the sucess of the straight skirt has blown my mind. I’m loving that you are all loving the free pattern.  Remember to keep posting photos of the ones that you have made up because I LOVE seeing what you all sew, and the gorgeous fabrics you use ( I secretly drool over these as in NZ it is very hard to get nice knits).

The person who sews the most skirts wins a pattern of their choice.who sews the most

Here are a few that have been shared in my group so far.

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Jenny McSweeney (extra length) /Karen Radford / Rebekah Geerlings (cute pabp hack)

But, back to what I was meant to be talking about before I got distracted… Adding shorties under the skirt for added modesty for those girls that well…aren’t so good at being modest! (namly mine!)

What you will need:

  1. Skirt pattern (free with a code in my group)
  2. Kit and Kaboodle pattern (also free with a code from my group)
  3. Scissors
  4. Pencil
  5. Tracing paper (or what ever you like to use)

1modify the k&k pattern

Trace out the shorties pattern in the size you need.  then measure 2.5cm (1″) below the yoga waist line and draw another line, cut along this one when cutting the shorties out.


Sew the shorties  as per the tutorial and when you are up to the waistband, slip them inside the skirt and match up the CB and CF and side seams.  Attach the waistband as per the skirt tutorial.



So as you see, pretty straight forward, I cant wait to see your K&K/straight skirt mashes!!!

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And while you are here make sure you read the blog post on how you can win a pattern from each of the above designers.

and one more thing, last one I promise,  the below blogs are some awesome reviews and photos of the skirt.




Tales From A Southern Mom

Phat Quarters

Living in Twinado Alley



Woohoo by Davina

New release and hack

Well, I’ve been a bit slack with posting lately, I’ve had a few new releases that I’ve not blogged about, but anyway, I’m going to write about the new little shorts pattern I’ve just released last week.  they are a harem style and have a few different options like length, hem and pockets.

lengthFirst up is the length – they come in long length and a short length – the long length is perfect for a folded up cuff and the short length is perfect for play and easy to move around in.

pocketNext up is the pockets – there are two pocket options, a girly gathered pocket and a traditional pocket ( have no idea what it;s actually called)

cuff-or-hemFinally the hem options – you can add a cuff or hem by folding in toward the wrong side, both are super easy.

Now the HACK I was talking about – my wonderful tester Karen R made so many pairs and had a play around with a little side-tie hack…they were so cute that I got her to write up how to do it so that you can have a go yourself.

 Join my group and download the hack from the files tabkaren-r

These little shorts are so fast to sew up and make great Christmas presents.

And if you want to be in the draw to win this pattern, hop along to SEW by Pattern Pieces blog to have a read about some patterns that make great gifts and to enter her rafflecopter draw.

Testing for Straight Stitch Designs

greenwood tank 1

So recently I’ve had the honour of testing for Kimberly of Straight Stitch Designs.

Her new tank pattern the GREENWOOD is everyday meets adventure, it is a very comfortable tank top with two back versions and a nice low wide front.

It comes in sizes 0-24 and is nested in a way that allows for grading between sizes.

I measured at a 6 chest, a 8 waist and a 10 hip so I graded accordingly.  Details instructions are given in the tutorial on how to do this.

This red tank has an added band as I didn’t have enough length , But I think it turned out real neat, and its super comfy to wear.  Its just a pity that we are coming in to Winter in New Zealand so these will be filed away until next year.  I’m planning a few merino ones though.

Another tester tank I made was using a cotton lycra from Ixat that has lace printed on it.  I love this fabric and am so glad I got to make something for ME out of it.  I make Brylie these leggings and was gutted there wasn’t enough left for a pair for me.

greenwood tank 4


 greenwood tank 3 greenwood tank 2

I really like the scoop of the neck, but would adjust the width of the tank next time as the straps sit a bit far out on my shoulders, this however is nothing to do with the pattern and all to do with my body type/shape.

So what are you waiting for, you need this tank in your life, it will be a staple in your wardrobe.


Book Review

 I was lucky enough to be approached to review this gorgeous sewing pattern book by Yuki Araki,

 Sew Sweet Handmade Clothes for Girls: 22 Easy-to-Make Dresses, Skirts, Pants and Tops Girls Will Love

Its available here on the Book Depository.

When the book arrived I was enchanted by the soft cover, the beautiful photos and the amount of items that are included.

There are so many options that you could easily use this book to sew your daughter a complete wardrobe.

I love the page that, with one glance, you can see all that is included in the book,


and then each of the previous pages is dedicated to a more in-depth look at each design.  With other little helpful hints such as choosing the right size and a little about the authors daughters.


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It took me a while to choose what I was going to make as I was going to make one item each for both my daughters.  I settled on the Camisole for Portia and the Square neck dress for Brylie.

If you are used to PDF patterns then the way this book has its pattern pieces will come as a shock to you.  They are one HUGE piece of paper folded up and inserted into an envelope in the back of the book.    It certainly came as a shock to me.  But after the initial confusion and grumbling about the piece all over lapping and not having a clue as to which pieces to trace I worked it out.


Each piece is well labeled with the letter corresponding to the garment you are making and the cutting layout on each of the instruction pages gives you a clue as to how many and what pieces you should have.

Before you cut your fabric it is IMPERATIVE THAT YOU READ PAGES 34 and 25, these are the pages that gives you information like choosing your sizing and adding seam allowances.   36-37 have other interesting information regarding sewing symbols and gathering etc,  I am and experienced sewer so didn’t need those pages.

YOU HAVE TO ADD SEAM ALLOWANCES ~ I missed this as it is written quite small and I assumed (wrongly) that they were included.  This meant my garments were a little off in the sizing.  I would have liked to see the need to add seam allowances in BIG BOLD PRINT (but that is just my opinion).

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I finally got my pieces cut out.  I love my girls matching.


Personally I found that the instructions, which are done in lovely line drawings were a wee bit lacking in explanation.  I felt that if a beginner sewer was to try and sew them they could get a bit confused.  However I think this could be because I’m spoiled with the amount of detail that goes into PDF patterns these days, where every little step is explained and a photo to go with it.

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So let’s get to what I made,

First up is the Camisole for Portia.  I made the size 90 for her even though it would be a little big as shes a teeny tiny tot, however it turned out a perfect size on her.

Second I made the square neck dress for Brylie.  I made the size 120 for her as she is a tall girl, how ever it still turned out a little short (such long legs).

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5   7


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Kymy’s Dolman (Split Sleeve Tutorial)

 I have recently become OBSESSED with the Kymy’s Dolman Top by Everything Your Mama Made.  It has a huge size range, from XS – 5x plus a bonus of maternity.
Oh and I have to mention, if you use the right sort of knit this top is very breastfeeding friendly.

I love how it has transformed me from a frumpy mummy to a stylish mummy within a matter of days.  I now have 5 of these tops (sewn over 2 nights) and I’m not planning to stop…I will continue to make them till my whole wardrobe is full of them.

So as soon as I got this pattern, I made myself 2 and then had an idea for making a split sleeve.  My first attempt wasn’t too much of a success I cut off some of the sleeve to create a rounded shape and this didn’t sit as well.  I also hemmed the split BEFORE I joined it at the bottom, which also didnt work very well.
Right… So I made another one to try out another way of doing the split (so simple when you think about it), this one is for my sister, for her birthday.  I found this really neat fabric at Morelands and knew it would look great on her straight away.  (My hubby doesn’t really like it, his first words were “70’s!) anyway, I’m so glad I have a wee bit left as I love the colours on me too, and I will make me one with a band so tough luck if he doesn’t like it :-)

 So lets get on to how to make this very cute split sleeve, I assure you it is super simple.

When you sew your shoulder seams do not sew along the whole length.
Measure 2″ from the neck line and put a pin.
Now measure 1 1/2″ from the armhole and place a pin. 

It will now look like this.
Press the seam open like this and sew down both side.
It will now look like this.   
Now carry on with the rest of the tutorial.
Now that was simple wasn’t it?

I hope you have as much fun making these tops as I have.

My next idea is to lengthen to a dress…watch this space.

{Pattern Tour} Kenzie’s Party Dress



I was so super duper excited to be picked to be part of the Kenzie’s Party Dress Pattern Tour.  I’ve admired, and wanted it since Kymy released it.
Kymy’s blog is called everythingyourmamamade and you can purchase this awesome pattern here.  This pattern comes in two groupings
I love the fact that you can make a simple skirt or a signature flounce skirt, and the instructions are included for both styles in the pattern. Yay, no extra thinking required.
Now, we aren’t a very frilly, flounce family, but I do love pretty dresses on my girls, and this pattern is just that.  The option I chose (the simple skirt with sleeves)  is a very simple, quick and easy sew, that produces a gorgeous, heirloom quality garment. 

I used a red satin that I had in my stash as well as a teeny bit of stretch grey satin type fabric
(no idea what it is!!) that was perfect for the sash.
I lined the bodice with basic homespun in a bright red to match the satin, and I did French seams on the skirt.  The French seams, which aren’t hard at all, gives the dress a more professional, boutique finish.  Usually I would just overlook and sew, but the satin frayed something terrible, and I wanted the seams all enclosed.
I made the 12-18month size.  It is a little big on Portia as she is a tiny 20 month old and wears 9-12 months clothing, but the sash fixes this problem as it cinches it into the waist and covers up any bunching.
If you look at the back of the dress, you will notice that it has a V shape.  This is not the way it is designed, but because the dress is bit big and the sash is pulling everything in a bit, this is the way that it sits on Portia… I have to say that I quite like it.
This dress has an amazing amount of poof and paired with a tutu underneath you have a skirt that is worthy of a Victorian styled wedding!! (or 2 year old princess party!)
 I adore the way the sash is designed, the gathering at the side creates the cutest little ruching along the tummy.  My sash is a bit shorter than the pattern calls for (I had to miss out the short middle piece) as I only had enough grey for two of the end pieces.  It is still long enough, but only if I do a knot, instead of a bow.

I made a cute little headpiece to match, by making a tube and pleating it. I then make a think tube from the left over grey and gathered it up and sewed it on top of the pleated red piece.  I then hand stitched a string of beads down the centre of the grey.
This was one of my very last shots, she is not the easiest child to photograph, well, she takes gorgeous photos but just wants to do her own thing.  She potters around the back yard and I follow after her like a member of the paparazzi!!!  It is very hard to get her to do something that she doesn’t want to do…in this case, sit down.  Well this time she did, and boy what a photo!

I’m still amazed that the photo on the left was the VERY FIRST shot I took.
I really want to say “thank you” to Kymy for an amazing pattern and the great pleasure and privilege it has been to be part of this pattern tour.
Now off you go and purchase this super sweet, genius pattern and make your own beautiful dress.

Want to get your own copy of Kenzie’s Party Dress & Skirt?  Now until 2/24 use the code “kpdblogtour” on a Kenzie’s Party Dress order of $8.95 or more from & get $1.95 off.  This makes individual patterns just $7 & the bundle with both size ranges AND the bonus doll add on just $12.47.  Limit 1 coupon per person.

An amazing review and a giveaway too!

I just have to tell you about this awesome new blog that has just been started up by one of my very valued testers.  Rebekah goes far beyond the “normal requirements” of a tester and creates absolutly STUNNING pieces using my patterns.  
Here are just a smattering of the gorgeous creations she has made using my patterns.
Anyways I digress on her amazing quality sewing and photography…she has just started up her blog RebekahSews (which she does ‘oh sew well’) to showcase her journey of pattern testing and photography.

To congratulate her on a really cool win over at I have told her she can give away 2 patterns. The Estrella’s Apron Top and the Sweet’n’Sassy Bubble shorts (in the winners chosen size Infant or child)


You better pop on over to her blog and enter her giveaway.
to do this you have to 
~2 Follow her blog

You have from now till Friday at 5pm EST to enter