Friday 30 September 2016

A Dress Fit for a Palace Pet Princess!! Alyss dress by Ainslee Fox Patterns

My daughter turned 3 just this month & she needed a dress fit for a "Palace Pet Princess!" Palace pets if you don't know, are the Disney Princess's beloved pets and my cat loving little person who shares a name with one of these princesses, can't go past an adorable pet!

I rather enjoy the One Thimble e-zine and noticed in Issue 7 that it had the most elegant little dress on the front page - the Alyss dress by Ainslee Fox Patterns. I knew right away, this was THE dress!

I managed to procure the perfect palace pet fabric, from Self Confessed Fabric Addicts (such an appropriate business name!!) I highly recommend the business to any Australian readers looking for a great fabric stockist. The pink marbled cotton came from a local haberdashery.

I chose tiny paw print buttons (available from Ebay) for the faux button placket. (It seemed the only logical choice!)

I also replaced the regular dress zip out for an invisible zip. If you choose also to do this, subtract 1/2" from the back pattern pieces along the width where the zip will go. Don't forget to adjust the lining too!

My daughter said the sleeves were "her butterfly wings" and we both love the sun coverage they provide. While normally this time of the year its already quite warm, this Spring, the weather has proved rather cold! So a skivvy was needed and as you can see, the dress works well with layers.

The Alyss dress comes with sizes 1 to 12 girls included. From sizes 5 - 12 you also have the option of making a functional front button placket & side zipper - so the older children can easily dress themselves.

This dress was an enjoyable sew. I love the delicate peter pan collar & flowing sleeves. The waistband gives the dress a vintage appeal & will still make a great everyday dress for my little person. I would recommend this pattern to confident sewers - especially if your inserting an invisible zip. However, the instructions are clear and filled with plenty of photos so anyone keen could attempt it! It is a dress pattern that I will certainly revisit and I look forward to sewing more Ainslee Fox patterns!
You can buy the One Thimble e-zine HERE
or the Alyss dress pattern direct HERE

We had a very cheeky "28" (also known as Ringneck Parrot) come and enjoy some of our left over fairy bread from the party!!

After Miss A's birthday party, I managed to stumble into a local café for coffee and was pleasantly surprised by some beautiful artwork! A local artist, Elizabeth Dumont had some of her works up for sale in this quaint little café & I was excited to see her touching but fun work.

Some information on the local artist - as found on display in the cafe

I personally loved her colours and her feminine pieces. A lot of the works had wonderful little sayings on them. I found it all rather inspirational and I can really relate, as painting is still something I hold dear myself.

This particular piece took my fancy! I'm sure you can see why!

I'm leaving you with a little look at the brand new pattern from Mummykins & Me - the Monte Carlo Maxi! Stay tuned for this one!! I'm hoping to get a mummy & daughter set done very soon!

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Spring Sewing has Sprung!


This dress was one of the very first patterns I was chosen to test for. I was extremely excited to be selected, not just because pattern testing was new to me, but because SewPony is an Australian designer & Miss Polly was such a classy design.

I had been meaning to revisit the pattern since the beginning of the year, but only recently had seized a moment to sew a capped sleeve version.

This pattern is for an A-line dress with a large front apron pocket, beautiful piped lines & options for four different sleeve lengths.

Tulips in bloom!

I chose a capped sleeve for this version, but you also have the choice of sleeveless, 3/4 or full length.

The pattern comes with sizes 12 months to 10 girls included.

Note: No flowers were harmed by my children on our visit, just a lucky/unlucky find
Miss Polly is suitable for intermediate sewers. It requires an invisible zip & piping. A mini piping tutorial is included with the pattern. You can also visit my blog post that shows you how to make piping HERE.

Please don't let the invisible zip put you off, it is my preferred zip. The technique is made simple with an invisible zip foot, but not impossible to insert using a regular zipper foot (although I wouldn't recommend this to a beginner.)


The Miss Polly dress is beautifully finished & has such a classy retro feel to it.

My daughter really enjoyed filling the apron pocket up with all sorts of things!!


The fabric I chose as the feature is a soft cotton drill, printed with such a fun cat print. (Of course my tiny cat lady approved!)


This is a timeless pattern which is a pleasure to sew. If you would like to purchase the pattern or find out more, please visit SewPony HERE.


We celebrated fathers day with my hubby & kids at Araluen botanical gardens just the other weekend. The tulips are flowering & it made the perfect back drop! I had the pleasure of photographing not only my daughter in her Miss Polly dress, but some stunning flowers! Please take a look at some of my favourite flowers.




The flowers were terrific subjects to photograph. . . .  I liked the way they held still for me!

Butterflies, spring, sewing coats is my FAVOURITE thing!

Next I'd like to share with you a coat I've made for an art exhibition in my old home town. It's based on the Secret Garden coat pattern by Foo Foo threads.

Since its a country show, I chose a butterfly drill as the main fabric, complimented by stabilized velour & lined with minky.

The coat is a beautiful weight & oh-so warm!

I love the whimsy of the style, something I imagine a tiny princess would have wore in the 17th or 18th century.


Coats & jackets are my absolute favourite thing to sew. There is just so much satisfaction in sewing them. They often have a lot of pieces & are by no means a quick sew. However, when you go to turn your coat the right way, there is no greater pleasure.

Coats are the perfect garment to feature special buttons & I can't resist a bling button!!

If you would like to read more about the Secret Garden coat, please visit my write up HERE.

Coming soon. . . . . .


Now, I have sewn more this month, but unfortunately I'm unable to share......YET!

But I'll leave you with a quick peek of something else which is releasing soon!


Saturday 3 September 2016

Sunkissed Sunsuit/Dress - Pattern by Bella Sunshine Designs

It brings me great joy to introduce the latest pattern by Bella Sunshine Designs. The oh-so-summery "Sunkissed" playsuit/dress.

With the help from some friends, I was able to test three of the different possible variations of the pattern. From left to right I made the dress with the flounce, playsuit with flounce and playsuit without the flounce (embellished with lace at the top.)   

The PDF pattern includes sizes 6 months to 12 girls. This pattern suits adventurous beginners. It has no buttonholes or zips! The fit is made using elastic at the waist & chest & the straps are tied at the shoulders or a halter tie option can be used. 

The playsuit also has elasticated leg holes and can be made with crotch snaps for easy changes or toileting.
This pattern includes instructions on how to make the romper versions or a regular or maxi length dress. You can choose to add the bodice flounce or leave it off!! The flounce makes for a wonderful opportunity to add some pompom trim, lace or any other decorative trim you so desire.

Dance like no one is watching! Life is beautiful!
For my little girls I chose to make their garments with shoulder ties - I personally try and avoid halter ties on young children & babies due to health risks. However, instructions are given for both options and you can make the call for yourself.

I made the rompers from quilters cotton, but the dress is made from fun printed rayon. The rayon gave the dress a wonderful flow, perfect for twirling!

And who doesn't like strawberries with their summer dress?!

This pattern is easy to grade between sizes - something I needed to do with all the girl's outfits. It is recommended to use the hip measurement for the romper to achieve the best fit - of course adjust for height if needed and cut waist & chest elastic to suit your intended wearers sizes. Use the chest measurement to start your sizing for the dress.

I love the playsuit in vintage floral print, it really has a timeless feel about it. My model was also willing to strike a pose (which helps when trying to photograph 3 year olds!)
Side view of playsuit without flounce

I do adore pompom trim and this pattern was made for pompoms!!
 **Tip** Pompom trim can be tricky to attach. Make sure your hems are well pressed, pin the trim to the hem carefully - do this before you attach the flounce to the romper! Use your zipper foot to sew the trim on. This means you will avoid running into those bobbly pompoms!

Side view of playsuit with flounce
**Tip** When attempting to photograph groups of 2 & 3 year olds, make sure you are armed with:
- Helpers
- Bubbles
- Sweets
- Bribes

Sweets & bubbles in action!

"Look at us up there!"

The Sunkissed sunsuit will be a summer staple! Perfect for those sweltering hot days. Like all Bella Sunshine patterns, this one is very well written & illustrated. The pattern pieces are layered for printing ease & cutting charts given for rectangular pattern pieces (for those not wishing to print all of the pattern.)
If you've never sewn a romper before, this pattern is a wonderful place to start and can be a quick sew.
A huge thanks to Shell & Olivia for lending me the extra models - they are totally adorable!
If you would like to purchase the pattern, please click HERE
To see more photos and read other reviews, please visit some of these fabulous blogs by other pattern testers!
Visit Analina Rag Dolls HERE
Visit Giggle Poo HERE