Category Archives: Reviews

Unitard Pattern Review

My Falafel does gymnastics and loves it. The only outfit she is comfortable wearing, though, is a unitard. They are made of spandex like a leotard, but unlike a leotard, they don’t ride up while you are tumbling around because there are shorts attached!

So naturally I decided I should make these, because they are not cheap, and that way they could be customizable for my little flipper. But when I searched, I couldn’t find a good pattern! Seriously.

Then I stumbled upon the tumblentwirl Etsy shop for Mountain Ash Designs. Emma has such a wide variety of patterns there, it was like I struck gold. She not only had one unitard pattern, but several to choose from… and they all looked great!

I chose the Casey Unitard Biketard pattern to try out. And it did not disappoint!

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First let me tell you, this pattern goes from size 2 up to 14! AND it comes with two different options. This one that I sewed up, and one with a thinner spaghetti-type strap.

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This pattern was super quick and easy and gives you a really professional look. In fact, when The Bee got home from school, Falafel was wearing her unitard and when I told her that I made it, she said “Wow I thought that was store-bought!”. Falafel even said that it was EVEN BETTER than her store bought one! It doesn’t get better than that.

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 I sewed up a size 6 based on her measurements, and it really fits perfectly.

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The spandex I bought at Joanns. I found that the requirements she gave in the pattern allows for more than enough fabric to make this, and because of how I folded it, I think I can even make another. And it was only about a yard total!

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I had enough to make a matching hair scrunchy (which she likes to wear on her wrist) out of the scraps.

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I am so very happy with this pattern and I will be getting plenty of use out of it! I highly recommend it.

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Do your kids do gymnastics? Do you sew their outfits?

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*I contacted Emma about this pattern and she graciously gave me a copy in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% my own, as always. I just wanted to share my fantastic findings with you. And when I find a good business, it is totally worth sharing.*

If you haven’t check out Mountain Ash designs Etsy shop, be sure to!

EveryDay Tank pattern Tour

I was honored when Mama Nene from Serger Pepper asked me to be a part of her pattern tour. I love making friends across the pond!

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She asked us to sew up her pattern either as is, or flip it as we see fit.

Since all my youngest will wear is fleece, lately, I decided to make her a cozy dress with sleeves using the tank pattern.

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I love the inset pockets that are in the front and how very versatile this pattern is. I actually used a piece of woven cotton for the pockets. It adds just the right amount of color, I think.

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I made some obvious changes to turn this into a winter garment. I raised the neckline just a little bit. Then I added sleeves.

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To do this I traced the armholes of the pattern and added about 1/2 inch to allow for seam allowances. Then I used a sweatshirt that fits her to trace the rest of the shape of the sleeves.

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Fleece is so forgiving and easy to trim. No need to finish seams (although I did hem the sleeves) because it won’t fray. How great is that?

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*If you want your own copy of the pattern, Mama Nene (Irene) is offering you 40% off anything you buy from her Shop or her Etsy shop (offer expires Sunday Nov. 9th).

Just use the coupon code: BLOGTOUR40

You can also enter to win 2 patterns from Serger Pepper by Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**If you purchase one of her patterns and then win the raffle for the same pattern, then you will have the choice between having another pattern or a $10 coupon code for a future purchase (expiring by the end of the next year 2015)!

Be sure to check out the other incredible versions on this tour!

Monday, 3rd

Veronica @ Sew Very – Karly @ Paisley Roots -

Tuesday, 4th

Scary/Al @ Shaffer Sisters – Amy @ Sews N Bows – Melissa @ Rebel and Malice
Deanna @ Sew Mc Cool – Lisa @ Cucicucicoo
Wednesday, 5th
Terra @ Mama Says Sew  – Nichole @ Bluebird and the Boy – Ajaire @ Call Ajaire
Sara @ Made By Sara – Annemieke @ Sofilantjes

Thursday, 6th

Bethany @ Two Novembers – Joy @ xoxo Grandma – Courtney @ Sweeter Than Cupcakes

Friday, 7th

Becka @ Probably Crafting  – Nienke @ Pienkel – Renee @ Two Many
Shelly @ Coral and Co.

Saturday, 8th

- Bethany @ Wildflower Child Create – Jennifer @ Diary of a MadMama – Sabra @ Sew a Straight Line
Daniela @ On The Cutting Floor – Suzanne @ Winter Wonderings

Sunday, 9th

Magda @ House of Estrela – Shino @ Nutta – Jonie @ Knot Sew Normal – Kara @ Sweeter Than It Seams

Betty Skirt Tour and a coupon code

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I am completely thrilled to be included on the Shaffer Sisters’ pattern tour! Three sisters who blog together. How wonderful is that? I have never met these lovely ladies in person, but always enjoy reading their posts and seeing what they create. You can absolutely feel the love they have for each other on there.

Now they have created a skirt pattern!

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OK pattern details. They present a couple of ways for you to make one of four different skirts that come in the PDF pattern. First, you can go off measurements for those of you who like that, and skip the printing. Or you can actually print out the pattern and use it.

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I chose to make the gathered skirt, but there is also a pleated one (either with large pleats or small pleats) and there is also another version of the gathered skirt with a placket. SO MANY CHOICES!!!

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I won some fabric a little while ago, and have been saving this Heather Ross Far far away unicorn fabric for a special project. When I asked her, Falafel immediately knew which one she wanted for this skirt. I am glad she chose this one. It is so bright and happy. I added a piece of bias tape to add another pop of color, along with a cute little bow and flower button. It isn’t part of the pattern, but I love that I could add it very easily.

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If you are a beginner, this is a great pattern to show you step-by step how to sew a very professional looking skirt. And for those intermediate sewers out there, this pattern makes it super easy and convenient to whip up an adorable skirt in any size from newborn to size 16x with plus sizes AND a bonus 18″ doll skirt pattern!

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If you want to grab your own pattern, they are offering you a 30% off coupon to their Etsy shop just use the code BETTYTOUR

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Be sure to check out the other skirts on tour!

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Oakshott Table Linens Challenge

I feel so lucky to be chosen to participate once again using this fabulous line of fabrics. Sew Mama Sew put together another challenge, and Oakshott fabrics sent 6 challengers their Lakes fat eighths collection, and asked us to make table linens with them.

I chose to make a table runner for our 8′ long dining table!

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It is so long that is was tricky to get the whole thing photographed at once!

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I added a pocket at each end (by folding down one corner and then halfway up again, and sewing down in place) to hold whatever we need to put in them! Napkins, silverware, dinner party questions (oh yes, we have done that to our guests), etc.

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The colors in this collection are beautiful, and have that iridescent sheen that we love Oakshott fabrics for.

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I kept the pattern fairly simple so that you can really see all the incredible colors and their subtle differences.

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I always feel so decadent sewing with these fabrics. They remind me of jewels.

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Look at that weave!

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The dark rains have begun here (I live in WA state), so I couldn’t photograph this inside, but it fits right in with our color scheme in the dining room, perfectly.

Big Thanks to Sew Mama Sew and Oakshott fabrics!

Be sure to check out what the others made:

Mary Claire King Remember Wren

Jessica Skultety Quilty Habit

Nicole Neblett mama love quilts

Sara Peterson knottygnome crafts

Anjeanette Klinder

Pretty in Peplum Dress Review

I recently had the honor of testing a stinkin’ cute pattern by Sew Much Ado called the Pretty in Peplum Dress.

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This is a knit dress pattern that comes with many options. Short, mid-length, and long sleeves. You can make it a shirt, too.

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This one is the dress with 3/4 length sleeves. I sewed up a size 6 for my petite nut, and it fits her perfectly!

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Falafel and I both love it! So comfortable while being very stylish.

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Abby walks you through working with knits, and the facing, and the construction thoroughly. Really not too difficult a sew. The only thing I think could be tricky for someone who hasn’t sewn with knits before, was hemming the peplum part because it is circular. But there are a number of ways you could finish it. This one was hemmed, but come back tomorrow to see another option. Cause you know I sewed up two. IT IS THAT FABULOUS.

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I only wish she had this pattern available in MY size! What do you say, Abby? Maybe Pretty Parents in Peplum, perhaps?

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Thanks for choosing me to test another one of your brilliant patterns!

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What have YOU made today??

GF, DF, and EF Tuna Rolls

In preparation for school starting up again, I have come up with a fun lunch for the kids to take that can be prepared ahead of time, is allergy friendly, AND tastes great! This would also work for a meal on the go, as we often find ourselves when school begins.

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Gluten, Dairy, and Egg free California Tuna rolls!

OK let’s gather our ingredients.

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  • 2- 2.5 oz. packages of Bumble Bee Tuna (or you can just use 1- 5oz. can)
  • Nori
  • 3 cups of sushi rice prepared
  • Avacado
  • Cuccumber
  • Veganaise (or if you can have egg, mayo would be delightful here)
  • Sushi mat (I covered ours in plastic wrap so it is easier to clean)

*Anything else you would like to add. I kept it simple and used things both girls would like, but feel free to make it more complex!

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The first step is to prepare all the different components. I added a little Veganaise to the Tuna and mixed it together, but still left it a little chunky. The rice was steamed, and then as it cooled and I turned it, I added rice vinegar and a little sugar. Slice the veggies and we’re ready to begin assembly.

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Lay down a sheet of Nori on top of the sushi mat. Then take a nice sized ball of rice and place that on top of the Nori.

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Press and spread out the rice so it covers the entire sheet of Nori.

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If you want the rice on the outside of the roll, then flip the entire thing over (rice is now facing down on the mat). If you want the Nori on the outside, leave the rice facing up.

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Spoon the tuna close to the edge, in a line, across the bottom.

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Close up.

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Now add in the veggies (and avacado which is technically a fruit).

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Time to roll (those are my husband’s hands)!

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Follow any sushi rolling instructions you like.

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When you are done, it should look something like this.

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Either slice into sushi rolls right now to eat, or wrap the entire log up in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for the morning when lunches need to be packed. Slice before packing for lunch! This made three log rolls (can be portioned up to 8 pieces of sushi each).

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We often find ourselves running from activity to activity during the school year. These would be the perfect on-the-go food, as well!

If you would like to see other recipes, head on over to Bumblebee’s recipe page.

What do you make with Tuna?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Matinee Dress Pattern Tour and Giveaway!

I am so honored to be a part of Jenn’s (from A Jennuine life) Matinee Dress Pattern Tour. I love our online sewing community. There is so much talent to be shared, and Jenn is no exception! This pattern is so well done.

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One of the best parts of this dress is the unique back. It has a button closure with a strap that goes all the way around. It also has two smaller buttons a little lower.

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I chose this fun zebra print and actually did some pattern matching. Seriously. I went all out. The back of the skirt part of the dress is two pieces. I got the patterns matched up so that you can barely tell! Excuse me while I pat myself on the back. *patpat*

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I call this her “safari” dress, BTW.

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Lately, when I sew up patterns for my petite nut, I use the measurements instead of the size, and I tell you, it hasn’t failed me yet! I made a 4T width with a 6 length, and it is a perfect fit! Almost like it was made for her. Ha!

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The pattern comes with a few options, such as making it sleeveless. I opted to add the cap sleeves and really love the way they look. Jenn walks you through the process of making every part of this dress so beautifully. I love her thoroughness.

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I only made a few slight changes (cause that is what I do). I added a lining for the skirt. It makes the very full (I added some inches) skirt portion of the dress puff out a bit more. We are a puff loving family, you know.

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I honestly wasn’t sure how Falafel would feel about the open back, but it turns out that is her favorite part! It gives this dress a bit more fancy. And everyone needs more fancy….even on safari.

Thank you so much for including me on your fabulous Pattern Tour!

*Jenn is offering a special discount of 20% off the pattern price. Just use the code : matineetour20 and if you use my special affiliate link, I get a little something too.

But Wait! IT GETS EVEN BETTER!!! If you would like to enter to win this prize package, use the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.

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Aaaaaaand Don’t forget to also check out the other sewists on the Tour cause they are full of awesome!

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Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Testing the Sleepover Pajamas

I just got to test a pajama pattern for Blank Slate Patterns (all her patterns are all excellent) called the Sleepover Pajamas which have changed nighttime around here!

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Falafel absolutely loves these so much that she has worn them every night since I have made them. I just carved out some time yesterday to make her another pair so that she can wear one while I wash the other.

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OK details. I used a super soft knit from Joann’s and some grey ribbing I had in my stash. I didn’t bother to hem the sleeves or the bottom on the shirt because this fabric will not fray and I am lazy like that.

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I love how simple and comfortable the top is. No closures. Easy on and off for my girl.

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The bottoms are a great length and are finished nicely with that grey ribbing.

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I originally signed up to test a size 7 for my little nut (even though she is 8 years old and actually wears a size 6- I thought I would make them a bit big to grow into), when I saw the size chart, I asked if I could go by her measurements which were 4T width and size 6 length!

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They are perfect!

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As a rule, I usually go by the measurements for a pattern. It just makes sense. These fit her beautifully because of that. I know that her body isn’t typical, so it is great that this pattern allows for customization.

Thank you Melissa for another fabulous pattern!

Spring Showers Jacket Pattern Tour

 I was so tickled that Heidi from Elegance and Elephants asked me to be a part of the Spring Showers Jacket pattern tour!

Yes, yes, and more yes!

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This pattern is lovely. It is all the little details that make it special. The back is slightly longer to act as a mud splash. It is fully lined and the pattern allows a little extra length for rolling the sleeves up to show your cute lining too. Oh and that visor! I love that she takes the time to walk you through all the top stitching and all the construction.

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I have never put in a separating zipper before this!! If I knew how very easy it was, I would have been doing this the whole time. Seriously. I sewed up a size 6/7 and the fit is great. I will say that I bought a metal 20″ zip and it was too long. I totally didn’t know how to trim a metal zip without impaling myself in some way, so I just got an 18″ one to replace it, and it fit perfectly.

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On to my fabric choice. As you all may know, we live in the Pacific NorthWET, and consequently, our bones do not thoroughly dry out until the beginning of August. So taking that into consideration, I decided NOT to make a raincoat. Really, what is the point? We are already pretty saturated, right? You will rarely ever see a resident of WA using an umbrella. There’s a certain point you can’t get any wetter.

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But the WIND. Now that is something we need covering from. We are surrounded by water on all sides, so the wind can get pretty fierce. Combine that with the dampness, and you get downright chilled.

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All that to say that I opted for using Twill fabric. At Joann’s, they had three color choices of twill. THREE. Green, brown, and white.

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That is it. So green it is.

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I let Falafel choose the liner from my stash (she also chose the fabric for the skirt that she requested to go with the jacket).

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Look at those sweet tigers peeking out.

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I added snaps on the pockets (which isn’t part of the pattern). These gave me a headache and a half. I just haven’t found good snaps, yet. They pop off and bend and are difficult to secure. My poor husband got roped into it and was hammering away at one point to help me out. Pretty sure I heard some grumbling as he was doing it. So next time, I think I would leave them off…or find better snaps.

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I just couldn’t resist the gold to go with the gold zip. It looks cute, doesn’t it? Thanks, Honey.

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I am so glad she now has a really sturdy spring jacket to wear!

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And for all my lovely readers, Elegance and Elephants is giving you $1.00 off the pattern price! Just use the discount code: TOUR

Check out the other jackets on the tour!

Elegance & Elephants

 Thanks Heidi for including me on your fantastically fabulous pattern tour!

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Oh and Z is for zipper!

Test the Schoolboy Vest

I got to test this fabulous pattern by Abby of Sew Much Ado, recently.

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The Schoolboy Vest

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It’s totally not just for boys!

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BTW: Yes, I had my child do the photo shoot in the rain. Cause we live in the Pacific Northwest…and it rains more than not.

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 I was assigned the welt pockets, but the pattern also has an option for faux welts. It also can be reversible. AND one of the best things is a buttonhole guide so you know where they go!

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The back even has a back tie (belt).

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For this vest, I over-dyed a cream-colored sheet (on purpose) this golden color and lined it with a beautiful dark blue fabric (I think Michael Miller?) that I had been saving for something special.

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I also whipped up a matching skirt.

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*Ignore the slouchy tights leg.

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This is such a well written, easy-to-follow pattern. I love the details that make this vest really professional looking. And did I mention that buttonhole guide? I will tell you again because it is so great to have something to space the buttonholes for me! I never seem to get them evenly spaced, and now they are.

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As always, it was pleasure testing such a wonderful pattern for Sew Much Ado patterns.

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Thanks Abby! The pattern is so good that we willingly stood in freezing downpour for it!

Oh~ and Y is for YELLOW!

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