Month: October 2014

Who Else Wants To Grab a Sewing Pattern Bargain?

‘That’s your fault,’ my husband teased after hearing this:

The Bronte top by Jennifer Lauren in stretch organic cotton jersey and the Julia cardigan by Mouse House Creations in cotton interlock.
The Bronte top by Jennifer Lauren in stretch organic cotton jersey and the Julia cardigan by Mouse House Creations in cotton interlock.


The European economy has registered a new decline of the consumer propensity to buy indicator, according to the market research institute Gfk.” (from Sportswear International.)

Ok so I’m probably not completely responsible for the economic downturn, but I may’ve contributed to it by making my own clothes. I hardly buy any R.T.W. (ready to wear) anymore. Once upon a time I did, but those extravagant D.I.N.K. (Double Income No Kids) times are long gone! These days, with five mouthes to feed (including our little dog!) and clothe, etc, we’re all about economising and bargain hunting.

Now I think about it, instead of sewing, I should probably take up metal-detecting, head back to Britain, roam the Scottish highlands, and unearth ancient treasures! That’d be a more lucrative use of my time, at least it has been for this guy.

Julia cardigan back - covers lower back so nice and warm.
Julia cardigan back – covers lower back so nice and warm.

While I’m waiting to strike gold, I’ll content myself with nabbing sewing bargains, such as Pattern Parcel #6. You can choose how much you pay for this bumper pack of five patterns (six if you pay over $32). Perfect for those of us on a tight budget!

I’ve milked this pattern parcel for all it’s worth. These are the final two of the four garments I’ve made from it so far.

This combo is the Bronte top by Jennifer Lauren and Julia cardigan by Mouse House Creations, both good basic staples, which have been welcomed into my autumn wardrobe with open arms.

The Bronte top by Jennifer Lauren and the Julia cardigan by Mouse House Creations.
The Bronte top by Jennifer Lauren and the Julia cardigan by Mouse House Creations.

Both patterns were straightforward to make and didn’t need any altering. I went with sizes that most closely matched my body measurements and found the sizing for both true to size.

The cotton interlock jersey fabric I used for the Julia cardigan is heavy and stable and more of a jacket weight so it gives the cardigan a structured blazer-like look. It doesn’t drape as well as a soft jersey would. Matching the stripes was headache inducing and due to the curvature of the collar, wasn’t possible all the way round the garment – at least not for me anyway!

I made the cream stretch organic jersey Bronte top to wear underneath and I like the flattering, collar-bone skimming neckline.

The pattern instructions for both were easy to follow and beginner friendly.

Pattern Parcel #6 is only available till Friday so don’t hang about, head over to Pattern Parcel and buy it now.

buy it buttonAre you planning to make the Bronte top or Julia cardigan? What fabric will you use? Let me know in the comments below.

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Happy sewing


Trendwatch: Get with the active wear trend with the Hudson Pants pattern.

It’s official. Active wear is trendy and will be around for at least another year.

hudson pants 1
Hudson Pants by True Bias in navy blue Roma knit fabric.

It’s become everyday wear and I say, it’s about time! Fashion reflects what’s going on in society and when we’re all putting our best health foot forward, then our clothes follow suit. Sporty clothing is comfortable and versatile so it’s not surprising that it’s ended up in everyday fashion and even designer collections.

hudson 2
Hudson pants by True Bias and self drafted tank top in organic cotton jersey.

Sewing pattern companies are catching on and patterns such as the Hudson pants by True Bias allow us to get in on the ‘active’ action and make our own sporty gear. Fortunately for us the Hudson pants pattern is currently on special offer (for a limited time only) as part of Pattern Parcel #6.

pattern parcel 6

I made my Hudsons up in a Roma ponte jersey knit which if you haven’t fondled before, is a very stable knit that’s easy to sew with – although I needed to lower the settings on my iron as ponte has a high synthetic content that doesn’t like hot irons.

hudson 3

I made a size six according to my body measurements and found the pattern true to size, I didn’t need to make any alterations.

The instructions had helpful illustrations and were easy to follow and concise at only eight pages, which I appreciated. The pants came together easily and swiftly.

I particularly like the wide waistband which sits comfortably and securely on my hips.

hudson 5

While wearing this outfit last weekend, I received the highest accolade I believe a home sewer can hope for. The best unintentional compliment I’ve ever received. Our visitor said, ‘I’ve heard you make your own clothes so why don’t you wear them?’ Only my shirt and shoes were shop bought, the rest were self created.

Active wear – embrace it and have fun. Get Pattern Parcel #6 now and get trendy!

buy it button

I’ll be back at the weekend with my final instalment from this Pattern Parcel bundle.

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Happy sewing,


How to beat the sewing blues with Pattern Parcel #6.

zsalya top 18‘I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, I told everybody. No one even answered.

Next week, I said, I’m going to Australia.’  

This sums up how I’ve been feeling lately and explains my blogging and sewing hiatus!

Sometimes being a parent sucks! Sometimes being a parent in a foreign country SUCKS! Sometimes being a parent in a foreign country that doesn’t speak your language REALLY SUCKS!

To top it all, I saw my eye doctor yesterday. He complimented me on my improved complexion. After six years of discomfort and unsightly acne, my rosacea is finally clearing up – wrinkles, greying hair and spots weren’t the best combo. My doctor then told me, I now need glasses.

‘It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

My mom says some days are like that.

Even in Australia.’

Extract from ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ by Judith Viorst.

Thankfully Jill (Made with Moxie and Pattern Parcel), threw me a sewing lifeline.

pattern parcel 6

Pattern Parcel #6

Pattern Parcel #6 is a collection of five über cool, easy breezy indie patterns that you get to name the price for. Plus a sixth bonus pattern, if you pay over $32. That’s only $5 a pattern.

Pattern Parcel #6 is a perfect mix of sporty, practical, cute and fancy patterns – separates and dresses. In a week, I’ve already made four of the six patterns! If you put your mind to it, I’m sure you could whip up at least half of these in a weekend – albeit a sewing retreat type weekend, sans distractions!

Zsalya top by Kate and Rose Patterns in cotton lace.
Zsalya top by Kate and Rose Patterns in cotton lace.

Zsalya Top by Kate and Rose Patterns Review

First up, my review of the Zsalya top by Kate and Rose Patterns. With this pattern you can make a dress or a top with bracelet-length or short sleeves. I went with the longer sleeved top in a size small based on my body measurements.


In keeping with the folksy vibe of the pattern, I used a black cotton lace fabric with a cotton/cupro lining on the body and sleeve cuffs.

Cotton/cupro lining on bodice and sleeve cuffs.
Cotton/cupro lining on bodice and sleeve cuffs.


The pattern instructions are straightforward and easy to understand with illustrations and written explanations for each sewing step which made sewing the top up using the ‘clean and fancy method’, a breeze.

zsalya 33

Key Design Features

For me, the winning features of this pattern are the curved front and back yokes and the crossover ‘faux wrap’ neckline on the front bodice. There’s no wrap gaping and it’s got a nice high v-neck.

Curved back yoke.
Curved back yoke.

The sleeve edge detail is cute too.

Sleeve detail.
Sleeve detail.

Modifications for next time

This was my first go at this pattern but next time, I’ll reduce the width at the side seams a smidgeon. I think the pattern is fairly true to size but it is a loose fit so if like me you prefer a more svelte look, then you may want to reduce the width a touch.

The sleeves are really comfortable and practical for the cooler months ahead but I’d like to try a short sleeved version of this. I think shorter sleeves would help reduce the voluminous look of the top.

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Don’t miss out on these patterns, the sale ends October 31st so go buy them now. Name your price and how much you want to give to the educational charity.

Thanks so much Jill and Danny (@Pattern Parcel) for giving me the chance to try out these patterns. They got me out of my sewing rut for sure! Also thanks to my helpful neighbour and fellow sewing blogger Alex for taking some of the pics.

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Have fun sewing,





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