Sunset Lounge Pants by Sinclair Patterns

I am so behind on my posts, like ridiculously. I’m hoping that I can catch up to some extent over the Christmas period considering it’s unlikely I will be getting any sewing done. I tested* the Sunset Lounge pants back in October. After finishing them I admittedly wore them quite regularly and after multiple washes they are still holding up quite well.

Now that we are heading into summer, they won’t get much wear but nonetheless I do need to talk about them. They are fitted at the hips but hang nicely with a loose fit through the leg which comes as knee length or regular long. Waistband options include a yoga band, ruched or a maternity version and of course optional pockets which coincidentally are one piece pockets whereby the opening has a bound edge and the pocket is attached to the front of the pants.

They go together quite quickly and I made my version in a boring black performance cotton lycra (90% cotton/ 10% elastane), since I can never have enough black bottoms in the wardrobe. I omitted the drawstring of my yoga waistband but did add important to me pockets. If you are adding the drawstring either buttonholes or eyelets will need to be sewn/inserted.

Fabric recommendations are light to medium weight knit fabric with at least 30-50% stretch  and ribbing is also an option for the waistband but I just went with the same fabric and you can actually add elastic into the waistband also.

I made a size medium in the regular length and I am 165cm for reference. If I were to wear these with extremely flat shoes I would probably need to take out some length next time.


I really like the loose fit of these and I can vouch that they are extremely comfortable.

The awesome thing is that they are free through December 31, 2018 with the code SINCLAIRPATTERNS. You will love having these in your wardrobe as yoga pants, pyjamas, or pants, the possibilities are endless.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.



Dakota Tunic/Dress by Sinclair Patterns

I’m sure we all have a few pattern companies that we favour, and Sinclair Patterns is fast becoming one of those for me, among others. I always apply when a testing call comes out as I like the designs, they fit with my lifestyle, and the instructions as well as the pattern itself, are really thorough.

You just need to check out the listing of the Dakota tunic, which I tested*, to see the options available. The skirt is a 1/4 circle gathered peplum/skirt, empire waist dress or tunic with a curved hem. The front bodice can either be finished with a true or faux placket or without the placket.  There is the option of long, 3/4 and short sleeves or sleeveless and inseam pockets. I almost forgot to mention there are two different necklines too. Sinclair patterns are great in that they offer their patterns in petite, regular or tall and the size range is UK8-26.

We will be travelling sometime next year to a humid climate so I thought making a sleeveless dress was a good choice, it will be both comfortable and easy to pack. I used ink tie dye rayon spandex fabric and followed the instructions exactly as written. Everything went together smoothly and it really was a quick sew. I didn’t find the empire waist to be too high as sometimes I think it can emphasize my mum tum. The bands for the neckline and arm holes were a perfect fit and I like the neckline and shape of the bodice whereby you can still wear normal undergarments. The curved hem is a really lovely feature.

I must admit though, I didn’t really realise until after I put it on and took photos that my gathering is a bit uneven on one side, for both the front and back, although this fabric is so busy that it isn’t noticeable from afar. I actually had this post drafted a week ago and held off posting until I finally fixed the gathering issue. Much happier with the dress now 🙂

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.


Raven Dress by Sofiona Designs

If you haven’t heard of Sofiona Designs, don’t worry, neither had I up until a few months ago. They are two great friends living in Canada and starting up a new company. Behind the scenes they have been working for over a year before announcing tester calls for their first line up of patterns. It’s always a risk testing for a new company because you never know what to expect in terms of quality and communication.

I am pleased to say, testing* for Sofiona Designs was a pleasant experience. The communication was great and the patterns and instructions are very well drafted and laid out. I tested 2 of the 4 new releases, the second I will probably blog next week, but first off is the Raven Dress for girls. It is a woven dress or top with a dropped shoulder and scooped back which can have a simple band, ties or raise the scoop. There is the option to add either a long or short ruffle at the seam and three sleeve options. The dress has an elastic waist and there is an optional waist tie. Size range is 2-14 and has the layers option for printing. Usually when I see a pattern has lots of options like this, I think it’s money worth spending.

My miss 7 is very low maintenance, her usual attire is leggings and a t-hirt, so I let her pick the fabrics for this dress and she was so happy with the outcome. The dress is made from multi colour printed aztec triangle rayon (114 cm wide, 100% rayon) and the ruffle is cherry broadcloth (112cm wide, 100% cotton). In hindsight I would have been better off using rayon for the ruffle as the fabric gets a bit stiff with two layers, it just had to be steamed to submission. I obviously made the dress version with the scooped back and ties and the narrow ruffle . I added the optional waist tie as I like the definition it gives.


Miss 5 has put in her request and also selected her fabric so I need to get my act together. In the meantime, with the launch of Sofiona Designs there are some exciting things happening. Their store has a 30% off sale until November 25th and a portion of their earnings will be donated non-profit A21 (working at eradicating human trafficking).

There are also a number of giveaways happening. The New Zealand one below starts from 6 pm Thursday (Australian time) and runs for 24 hrs.

Head over to the Sofiona Designs Fan Group on Facebook to learn more.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.


Sofia Shirt Dress by Rebecca Page Patterns

Aside from being a brand ambassador, I still enjoy testing patterns for Rebecca Page. One of the newest offerings was the Sofia Shirt Dress (**affiliate link) designed for woven fabric, which I envisioned as the perfect summer dress, not to mention that everyone could probably do with a shirtdress in their wardrobe.

For that reason I chose to test* the sleeveless, knee length view, as less fabric meant more comfort for the warmer weather, having said that, my fabric choice was probably not ideal. There are many other options to the pattern that will make it a very worthwhile purchase such as three sleeve and skirt lengths, optional belt, two-part collar with bust and waist darts and a button-up front and that it spans a large size range with ladies going from XXS to 5XL, you could also match your mini me’s and dolls too by getting the matching pattern.

My eagerness to make this resulted in an error on my part with my fabric purchase. I bought some light weight denim, nice and soft, but clearly not enough as I was short by one skirt side panel 😦 I went back to the fabric store with no more to be found so bought some Ink premium cotton sateen 127cm (96% cotton/ 4% spandex) instead and forged ahead with version 2. Construction is pretty simple, just time consuming, doing the collar and the buttons/buttonholes and also because there are eight skirt panels, all of which are french seamed. There are only a few things I don’t enjoy about sewing, gathering and sewing buttonholes, so that was a bit of a hurdle, but once they were done, sewing on the buttons were easy and I was super proud.

This time I also thought I would get the fit right and make sure I addressed my swayback, so I took out about an inch from the centre back length and tapered to nothing at the side seams.

Clean insides with french seams on the skirt panels and bias bound armholes. My collar isn’t perfect though but I don’t think anyone will notice.

The fit feels really good and the darts all seem to hit in the right place. I didn’t make the optional belt, but probably should have in hind sight. I feel quite elegant in this dress, worn with heels here but I think more realistically I will wear it casually with sandals.

It has lots of twirl due to the many panels, kids can’t have all the fun!!!!

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**This post contains affiliate links to Rebecca Page Patterns

Copeland Cardi by Tie Dye Diva Patterns

We are currently heading into summer but the mornings and evenings can still get a bit fresh so when a tester* call goes out for a trans-seasonal cardigan in a style that is both popular, versatile and timeless, naturally you put your hand up.


The newest pattern by Tie Dye Diva, the Copeland Cardi (**affiliate link), and is the first foray into women’s patterns. Her kids patterns are ever so popular and I have sewn up a couple of them myself in the past so new that instructions are very thorough. This cardigan has many options, two views with a ballet wrap or tie-front view, three sleeve lengths (short, elbow and long) and two body lengths (hip and cropped). There are instructions for sewing it lined or not and the size range extends from XS to 3XL.


I made my version up using some stash fabric which I have had forever, thinking it will drape well and isn’t too heavy for the current season. It’s a linen blend grey marle summer knit (85% polyester/15% linen) and I made a size L in the tie-front version with short sleeves, hip length and unlined. This is extremely quick to sew up. The instructions are well laid out and clearly indicate which view to follow.

Although I made the hip length version, I can alter the look of the cardigan depending on how taught I tie it so it really is versatile and makes a great layering piece and I’m sure you will find other ways to wear or tie it.

During launch the pattern is at a promo price of $6.50,  and will revert to a regular price of $9.95 midnight (pacific time) Thursday.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**This post contains affiliate links to Tie Dye Diva Patterns

The Rivier Dress by The Eli Monster

So, I have joined The Eli Monster Brand Ambassador program and this months’ theme was spooky or sweet. I of course went for sweet, because that’s what little girls are made of :), although I was tempted to do spooky and make a purple and black witches dress. I just thought sweet would get more mileage though.

My inspiration was the colour of candy given that Halloween is such a sugar fest, but I also wanted some romantic element. I chose to make The Rivier Dress (* affiliate link) because I could add soft ruffles, tulle and a bow, very girly indeed.

This dress has a faux/partial wrap bodice with two sets of snaps at the sides, so it’s an easy dress in that you don’t need to insert a zipper. The skirt is a simple gathered one and the neckline can be super simple or ruffled and then there is a sleeveless or cap sleeves option. The pattern ranges from size 18mo up to teen 16, and that is a lot of use for a pattern.

All of The Eli Monster’s patterns feature the layered option and there are color photographs with the instructions. There is a cut chart for all rectangular pieces instead of pattern pieces, to save on both ink and paper and while some people prefer pattern pieces for everything, I’m happy to adapt to either option.


For my version, the bodice is completely lined with white broadcloth (100% cotton) and the main exterior fabric is floral printed poplin scattered white (100% cotton) overlayed with soft bridal tulle in mushroom colour (100% nylon). I sewed everything as instructed in the pattern however I sewed the floral and netting as two separate layers up until I sewed them onto the bodice. I used French seams for the netting and cut it to the length specified in the pattern and because I didn’t hem it, it’s longer than the under skirt, which is what I was going for. I also made a size bigger than I should have because I wanted my daughter to get more use out of it but it has ended up a bit big and long although she still adores it.

I chose to make the optional bow with cherry broadcloth (100% cotton), but wasn’t sure at the time if it was too much, but in the end I thought it finished off the dress. I did attach it to a brooch pin instead of to the dress so it is detachable and also can function as a hair brooch.

It’s very feminine and my daughter loves it so that’s a great end to this sweet tale. The Rivier Dress is currently on sale for $7.00 but check out The Eli Monster to get some other great patterns that you can adapt to suit any occasion.

*This post contains affiliate links to The Eli Monster Patterns

Diana Wrap Dresses by Wardrobe by Me

This post is so over due …… here’s why!

I first made two versions of the Diana Wrap Dress back in March 2016 when I tested for Wardrobe by Me (**affiliate link). I have worn those dresses quite a bit and needed a new dress that allowed baby feeding access at the time. This summer I will just be able to enjoy wearing it without that functionality anymore.


I made this when I had a christening to attend. I used a multi printed tropical rayon knit (95% viscose/ 5% elastane) and went with the no collar, short sleeve version although there is the option of also making the collar detachable and 5 sleeve lengths. I wanted a maxi dress so lengthened the dress by 14 inches and due to fabric restrictions, I tapered the skirt for a straighter look using the notch at the hip for reference and I just cut straight down to the hem. Construction wise I followed the instructions which are clear and have great pictorials.


Because I have made this dress before, I knew I didn’t have to alter for fit which is great for me and made it and a relatively quick sew. I think the nature of the wrap dress is to flatter all women which I think this pattern does and I always feel good when I wear them.

**This post contains affiliate links to Wardrobe by Me Patterns