Becoming a Pattern Tester

July 30, 2014

You might have noticed that I have taken a wee break from taking custom orders for a while and one of the reasons is to spend some time focusing on the pattern side of Big Little.  In the coming months I will be working on quite a number of new designs which I am incredibly excited about. 

If you happen to follow Big Little on Facebook you will no doubt have seen the call for pattern testers in the past, and the large number of people jostling to be chosen once the call goes out.  This process has worked well previously, however, I have been hankering for something a little bit more inclusive, more friendly.

What I would dearly love to do, is gather together a "pool" of like minded crafters - a collaboration of sorts with a bunch of lovely, kind-hearted fellow sewers.   Members of the selected pool would receive complimentary copies of patterns in exchange for testing them, but it is more than that.  It is the chance to take part in something, be a valuable part of the sewing community and of course it is always fun being the first to try a new design.

You don't need to be an expert sewer.  I always like to have a mix of beginners and more experienced sewers, as patterns will eventually be sewn by a variety of people with various sewing skills.  It is important that absolute beginners feel the patterns are achievable too! 

So what is involved?
  • Sew up the item in the size agreed upon.
  • Ensure all the pattern pieces print correctly.
  • Check the "fit" of the garment and make note of any adjustments needed.
  • Provide feedback on the tutorial, suggest improvements to areas that may be unclear.
  • Note any spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Take photographs of the completed item.
  • In some cases review the pattern and/or write a blogpost together with your finished pics.
  • Receive a brand-spanking updated version of the pattern for your further sewing pleasure :)

So how will the testing pool work? 
When I have a new pattern ready for testing, members of the testing pool will receive an email with a description of the pattern, possibly a photo, sewing difficulty and a timeframe in which it will need to be completed.  If it sounds like one you would like to try, you simply reply to the email with the size you would most like to make and we go from there.

So how do I join?  
I would love to have you join me on this adventure!  Please drop me an email to with the subject line PATTERN TESTING POOL and I will reply with further information on the selection criteria.  I am so excited to get started on this next stage of my journey and I do so hope to work with some of you very soon.

Lisa x

A Little Update

July 23, 2014

I have alluded to some changes happening at Big Little over the next few months.  While it is really exciting working on new things, it does mean taking a break from doing custom orders and making things in general.

Never fear, I do have a few things up my sleeve to tide you over. Over the next few weeks I will be listing a few select items on a first come first served basis.  These will be the last things made for some time so grab them while you can.  I will give you a heads up both here and on the Big Little Facebook page so you will get the first look :)

There is still time to enter The Famous Big Little Giveaway if you haven't already done so!  You will find it here.

This week we have a pair of Little Birdie Embroidered Baby Shoes
A warm and snuggly Candy Floss Pixie Hood Vest perfect for layering in this chilly weather.
A pair of woollen Bumble Bee Slipper Boots with leather soles.

I do hope you enjoy them - simply click on the links to find the listings.
Hope you are having a lovely week,


The Famous Big Little Winter Giveaway!

July 18, 2014

Happy winter everyone and welcome to The Famous Big Little Winter Giveaway!
I have delivered up a super duper bunch of lovely goodies to say thanks.  Thanks for being you! and  affording me the opportunity to make lovely things for lovely people.  It is such a pleasure.

One winner will receive the following:

1. Dandelion Pea Coat  An exquisitely hand embroidered coat made from 100% pure New Zealand wool.  Fully lined and built to last, an heirloom piece to delight any little girl.  Valued at $115

2. Botanical Notebook A tiny lovely notebook carefully crafted from vintage wool.  Hand stitched and embroidered it holds a bundle of charming tea soaked, hand torn pages. Valued at $20

3. Satisfy your winter craft cravings by making a delightful Toadstool Playhouse with this incredible e-pattern.  Valued at $15 (Actual toadstool house valued at $180)

4. Monarch Butterfly Garden Seeds A delightful packet of seeds so you can attract these delightful butterflies into your garden by growing their favourite food. Valued at $10

5. Enjoy the aroma of freshly baked cookies with your little ones (or just yourself!) with this super cute little Gingerbread Cookie Kit containing mummy, daddy and baby gingerbread cookie cutters together with a copy of my personal gingerbread recipe. Valued at $18

6. Hand Embroidered Baby Shoes  Cosy and warm slipper shoes, individually handmade and hand embroidered with love.  Valued at $40

7. Dandelion Hottie Cover  Stay warm the old fashioned way during these chilly months with a gorgeous wool hottie cover.  Valued at $34

8.  A delightful wee Racoon, sure to cheer any heart. Made with love from a recycled Kiwi blanket.

9.  Autumn Leaf Pixie Hat  An adorable snuggly hat made from recycled NZ wool.  Features hand cut oak leaves and acorn fashioned from felt and hand stitched on with embroidery.  Valued at $34

International entires are welcome!
Entries close 8pm New Zealand Standard Time, Friday July 25th.
Good luck!

To enter simply use the raflecopter below! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hottie Project Wrap 2014

July 17, 2014

The 2014 Hottie Project has just wrapped up and it was better than ever!

I just want to say thanks a million to everyone who contributed this year.  Seriously.  With everyones contributions we DOUBLED the total number of hotties from last year!  I am blown away by your support.

Your beautiful, warm cosy hotties are sure to not only warm a bunch of kids, but make them feel like there is another person out there that cares enough to have made one just for them.   A special thanks to the many of you who made rather a number of hotties, you are awesome.
The care parcel is expected to be delivered after schools come back from the holidays - what a great welcome back to school gift.

Once again, thanks so much everyone.  You make projects like these the success they are and I sincerely thank you for you time, love and crafty goodness.


PS:  Be sure to pop in tomorrow as I have something very exciting to share with you!

On My Worktable

June 26, 2014

Very occasionally I will make a batch of something in my studio, more often than not I am working on a bunch of different things all at the same time.  I love to see everything I have been working on come together into a pile ready for photographing and packaging.

I'm so happy to see a few pairs of my new boots finding new homes this week.  So exciting!  Along with some iPad and iPad mini covers.

A lot of these items were embroidered over the easter and anzac holidays whilst relaxing with family.  It was fun to sew them all up this week, remembering the enjoyable time I had stitching in between adventures to the beach and eating yummy things.


Linking up with Leonie at Show and Tell

Wooden Play Kitchen Set - Op Shop Finds

June 24, 2014

We love to pour imaginary cups of tea at our place.  These rather small wooden pots and jug have become the new favourites in the play kitchen.

Little vessels of any description are adored, but add a lid and a spoon and you have instant love-at-first-sight.  Long may it last that such simple toys bring so much pleasure.

Found by our eagle eyed little girl, high on a shelf at our local op shop.  She is becoming an expert shopper.  Not sure if I should be happy or worried about that.


Linking up with The Op Shop Showoff,  The Nifty ThriftyCoastal CharmMagpie Monday We Call it Junkin and Sirthiftalot.

Heirloom Embroidered Blanket

June 19, 2014


So, after sharing the beginnings of my heirloom blanket a while ago - here it is, my very first "kind of" quilt!  Made simply from a section of super soft vintage wool blanket and a vintage floral pillowcase.

After hand embroidering some little botanical designs on random squares, I then hand quilted the blanket and pillowcase together with yarn.  Quite a simple design and idea, however I quickly discovered it was rather rich (a-hem) in hours.

So we now have a lovely new addition to our little pile of winter "snugglers".  I love it and our little girl loves it.  When it is not on my lap it is on hers, and when it is not on hers, Charlie cat tries to claim it as his...

You certainly feel special snuggling under something handmade don't you?


Linking up with Leonie at Show and Tell