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


Dani Joggers by Laela Jeyne Patterns

You know when you try a pattern and hope it will suit you or make you feel good while wearing it, that’s how I feel about these. I chose to test* the Dani Joggers by Laela Jeyne Patterns (** affiliate link) as I had a similar pant in my wardrobe that I bought for cheap last year, wore them lots and saw that the seams were starting to separate.

The Dani Joggers are both stylish and comfortable and can be made as a short with split curved hem or cropped and ankle jogger option. The hems can either be finished with an elastic casing or knit cuff and the waistband is a ribbed one with drawstring, very comfortable to wear. The added bonus of this pattern is that it includes a full panel maternity waist option. Like most PDF designers these days, it includes a A0 print copy so you don’t have to tape the pages together which are no trim pages anyway and the size range is XXS-3X.

I made my first test joggers in some stash fabric and wasn’t sure about them, although it was woven, as recommended, it was a bit stiff for the look I was aiming for. Once some pattern changes were made, my final version turned out much better, using some totem printed crinkle black rayon (100% rayon) and black deluxe ponte (65% poly/30% rayon/5% spandex) for my waistband since the fabric shop didn’t have any black ribbing in stock.

I also did the knit cuff finish, I just thought for myself it would be more comfortable, and so far they have been. My only issue with this version is that the rayon is see through in the sun light and I’m not comfortable wearing them out so they have become my home pants. I have some black rayon washed and ready to make as my next pair. Although I made my usual size 12, I feel that I will go down in size for the next pair. I guess the rayon can relax over time when being worn.

After all that, I would recommend you get in quick to buy this pattern as it is a wardrobe staple and is currently on sale for $8.00 instead of the usual $12.00

*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 Laela Jeyne Patterns

Miss Sophie Top by 1 Puddle Lane

I have been in the throes of testing once again but have been fortunate enough to also be selective in what I apply to test to ensure it’s going to be worn over the season.

The Miss Sophie by 1 Puddle Lane* pretty much hit the mark as the pattern to replicate yet again another inspiration I have gathered in what is the rabbit hole of Pinterest. The pattern comes with all the features that I think are now expected with PDF patterns. The instructions are clear and thorough and there are two sleeve variations a split sleeve, or non split sleeve, both ending in either gathers or a cuff or go without the gathers and cuff altogether. It features a scoop, bound neckline with a front keyhole and the size range is 6-26AU/2-22US. The top is loose and floaty thus looks best with woven fabric with a soft drape.

I chose to test using a draper floral rayon (100% rayon). I made a size 12 with the split sleeve and cuff. I especially love the hem line of the top with a slightly longer back and a small side split. The top is very floaty and comfortable, a great transitioning piece. I have made some small ties to sew at the end of my sleeve split just as a variation but haven’t sewn them on yet.

I don’t believe any changes were made to the final pattern. I have already bought my fabric, washed and dried it for my next version which actually closely resembles my inspiration blouse. Can’t wait to find time to sew it up now that we are heading into school holidays.

1 Puddle Lane is having a 20% off storewide till this Friday, 28th September.  Just use the code:  SOPHIE20 at the checkout. There are a lot of great patterns to chose from.

**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.

Chelsea Cardigan by DesignerStitch Patterns

This story is a long one, so pour a cuppa and read on.

I am a long time tester and supporter of DesignerStitch Patterns and so when the call went out to test* the Chelsea Cardigan (** affiliate link), I jumped for joy as the timing was perfect. You see I went about drafting my own cardigan from this inspiration long cardi below, and while the result was good, it was never as good as the Chelsea.

I saw this olive maxi cascading cardigan in a store retailing for $119.00. I thought it was a bit pricey and as I walked past it a couple of times during the week I made mental notes about the design. After all it was my inspiration and I didn’t need a direct copycat version.



I bought myself some olive rayon double knit (63% viscose/ 32% nylon/5% spandex) and set about picking a pattern. I went with Itch To Stitch Lisbon Cardigan since I have made it before and it had the basic overall shape I was after. For the sleeves I added about 7 cm to the length and for the cardigan length I added 50 cm and at the front hem and an additional 12 cm to make my handkerchief hem. I also added some pockets using my DesignerStitch Eleni Top/Dress pocket, and placed them about 30 cm down from the underarm, which turned out too low. I also added a “collar” the length of the neckline which was about 58 cm long and 15 cm wide. I also made a belt – which means I cut a strip of fabric about 5 cm wide and the length of the pieces of fabric scrap I had left over and stitched them into the side seam.

All this to say I was happy with the outcome, but not as happy as I would have been had I the Chelsea Cardigan pattern at that time. As per usual, DesignerStitch patterns are flawless in both drafting and instructions. The size range is US/AUS 6-26 and comes in 3 lengths, high hip, mid thigh or high calf and calls for light to medium weight jersey knit fabrics with at least 50% 4 way stretch. I made a AUS 12, high calf using some Ottoman Ash stretch fabric (94% polyester/6 % spandex).

This is really a quick sew although there is some hand stitching of the collar. The fit is nice and roomy but still fitted enough to not be over sized.

I’m not sure what to do with my olive version above as the fit isn’t quite as comfortable. I’m thinking of taking it apart and resewing using the Chelsea Cardigan given I bought more of the olive rayon, otherwise I may just cut off the sleeves and give it a racer back style to wear as a layering piece. Either way I will be making an entirely new one, or two Chelsea’s all together. Decisions, decisions!

Get your Chelsea Cardigan while it is still on sale for a limited time for $8.00 US (reg $10), you won’t be disappointed.

*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 DesignerStitch Patterns

Hepburn Pants by Wardrobe by Me Patterns

I am forever trying to find the elusive perfect fitting pair of pants, although with an ever changing body I’m sure that is near impossible. After reading numerous articles about pant fitting, close enough is good enough given that fabric also is an important factor in fit.

The tester* call went out for the Hepburn Pants by Wardrobe by Me Patterns  (**affiliate link) and I have tested and sewn up a few of Christina’s patterns before so I knew the instructions are great but also the fit suits my body shape.

They are a classic high waisted pant although I wouldn’t say really high waisted, just comfortable really. The details include back welt pockets, front fly with zip, side pockets and belt loops. The size range is US 0-24 and drafted for a height of 5’6″ (172cm).  There are two different led widths, a straight leg and the ever so trendy wider leg and the pattern naturally comes with the layers option and trimless pages.

I used some premium cotton sateen in Ash (96% cotton/ 4% spandex) for mine which falls in the recommended fabrics of being bottom weight and having 3-5% Lycra or elastane. I made view A , straight leg, in a size 12. It’s been a while since I made a pair of pants so thought this might be a long sew. Surprisingly they came together quite quickly simply because of the great pictorials in the instructions.

I had no trouble with the fly and zipper insertion, which can get confusing if you don’t do them often, and also the welt pockets turned out great. Also best of all I didn’t make any modifications to the pattern and think the fit is pretty good.


I am wearing them with a bit of heel in these pictures however may go back and shorten them as this is how they turn out directly from the pattern and I am not 172cm tall and more to the point I will probably wear them most commonly with flat shoes.

I am super excited to make more of these and play with the leg shape. My next pair may be more of a cigarette pant. Check them out as they are currently on sale for $12.00 ($13.77 AUD) until the end of September.

*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 Wardrobe by Me Patterns

Carmen Flounce Skirt by DesignerStitch Patterns

When I look at my hand-made wardrobe, there are a few designers whose clothes I seem to be attracted too and testing* for DesignerStitch patterns is always up there for me. This newly release skirt was a no-brainer for me. Classy, elegant, fun and flirty were all words that came to mind when I saw the line drawing for the Carmen Flounce Skirt**, mostly because fabric choice dictates the overall outcome of where and how to wear this skirt.


I chose to use duchess satin (100% polyester) for my skirt as I wanted and elegant skirt that would pair up well with a number of tops in my wardrobe. This skirt requires fabric with a considerable amount of drape to show off the lovely drafted flounce but with some body so they don’t flop or droop. The duchess satin is also medium-bodied so I didn’t require lining, it has a nice luster and best of all it is durable, wrinkle-resistant (to some degree), and machine washable.

As always, the pattern is really well drafted and instructions are great. DesignerStitch patterns feature all the sought after features to make sewing a quicker and successful experience. The beauty of the Carmen Flounce skirt is that it comes in a range of sizes, two different lengths with the choice of either a standard waistband or a high torso waistband and also offers the ability to be made in a stretch fabric. There is a centre back invisible zipper, not necessary to install with the knit version.

I made an AUS 12 in the longer length, with the high waistband and the optional tie. Everything aligns perfectly during construction although some patience is required to hem the flounce, which is surprisingly long. The flounce is actually drafted such that there is no need to gather any fabric, and for some reason, gathering is one of my least favourite sewing techniques.

I’m really happy with both the fit and the final look of my skirt. If you love wrap skirts but don’t like the potential for accidental exposure, this skirt is a mock wrap.

Other tester versions have been amazing and I am contemplating a more casual tencel denim version for spring. Stay tuned for that!!!

Although I paired my skirt with a RTW simple silhouette, the skirt is perfectly accompanied by the Eleni Top from DesignerStitch Patterns, and to make your life easier, you can purchase the Eleni Top at the same time (for a complete outfit)  and you save 50% on the Eleni Pattern. Use code “carmeneleni” at checkout, whilst the skirt itself is currently at an introductory price of only $6.00.


*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 DesignerStitch Patterns

Cora Cocoon Cardigan by Rebecca Page

Aaaargh!!! It’s so frustrating because I want to be blogging and sewing a lot more than I am at the moment. I do have a recent test* to show you though.

This is the Cora Cocoon Cardigan** by Rebecca Page. Although I am a brand ambassador for them, I chose to test this separately as trying to get my winter wardrobe together has been slow progress, just like the weather was but suddenly it has turned cold and wintery this week. These cocoon type cardigans are everywhere at the moment and what better way to invest in one than make your own.

This is a really quick sew and the fact that it is loose and slouchy means there aren’t any fit issues to deal with and for that reason also makes a great gift. Three pattern pieces make up the cardigan, the body, the hem and the sleeves. Obviously depending on the type of fabric you use will determine the season you wear this and with either long, 3/4 sleeves or sleeveless that makes lots of possibilities.

I used coco coloured rayon mesh knit (73% polyester/ 25% rayon/ 2% spandex) and made a size medium with the long sleeves. I will mention that the sleeves are quite fitted so if you plan on wearing this as an outer layer, it is wise to choose fabric with 4-way stretch, or at least a considerable amount of stretch, to allow for layering underneath. Mine is perfect for this and has been in regular rotation since I made it. Additionally, to get the full effect of the cocoon shape using a fabric with good drape would be advisable.

This is like wearing a warm, cosy blanket as you can literally wrap yourself up. Since it has just been released, at the moment it’s on SALE for $8.75 for the ladies’ sizing (XXS – 5XL), $6.65 for the girls’ (newborn to 12 years) and $3.15 for the 18 inch dolls’. Or for only $16.90 you can buy the whole bundle.  Sale ends Monday 09 July 2018

I had some fabric left over and didn’t want it to go to waste so I made a scarfe for my girls to share, leaving the hems and long edges raw and also a beanie with a free pattern I found online.

*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