The Hattie Dress by BrownieGoose

So I actual went ahead and bought a pattern on Etsy, yup, a real actual professionally drafted pattern. PDF version (I”m not patient enough to wait for post).  Actually I bought 3, but only have enough fabric to make one top at the moment. I’m busy recifying that situation, not enough fabric. Well hello Etsy, meet my credit card. 

The instructions were detailed and complete. And easy to follow – which I need. Seriously. I need easy. I printed out the pages, stuck them together, a bit rough but sellotape and I have a tricky relationship.

It sewed up in a nap time and a bit, may be 3h in total, and I’m a slow non professional. O followed the patter to the letter, I omitted the buttons on the sleeves as I didn’t have any that worked, so instead I did a little placard under the back opening (inspired by the back of the Pepper Dress)

I used a Lincraft winter weight fabric, a navy pincord with trees on it, not thick but not lightweight. So I made a sz 4-5. Its big on her, but not horribly so. By autumn it will be perfect. The next one I will do in a light summer fabric and will do a 2-3 dress length. That should work.

Some pictures. Not many, my model was not cooperating (it was blowing a cold southerly and 8 degrees). She thinks posing means showing me her back .. we’ll work on that! Once its out of the wash (there was gardening done this afternoon, the dress suffered) I’ll take some hung up pics.



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Wet Felting Soap

I thought I’d do a very quick post in one of our current favorite things to do. And a good thing for christmas pressies.

Wet felting soap is easy and great with kids, its messy but in a clean way, we tend to do it sitting out in the sun or at the sink.

Take a bar of soap, we tend to use goats milk soap we buy locally, or a natural Earthwise one. Bars or rounds, it doesnt matter.

Wrap liberally in wool roving, alternating the direction of the strands – be generous here, the only ones we have done that weren’t great were these that I was stingy with the roving with – they worked but took longer and didnt felt together as firmly.

Have a look at the soap, it should have a nice thick coat of felt round it, densly felted and quite smooth. If you can pull strands of wool off you need to put more hot water on it and rub it some more in your hands or the bubble wrap.

Wash off suds in cold water and leave to dry.

Pretty (and fun)



Once your soaps wrapped up like a parcel dip it in the hottest water your hands can stand (ignore the bubbles in ours, I was forgetting soap was, well, soapy. So I added bubbles as I would for felting stones etc) and start massaging the bar as the foam comes through, keep going. It will be foamy and go a bit loose and wrinkly but keep going. Keep going. And some more. Roll up in bubble wrap if you fancy and roll that in your hands, or on the draining board. Or like Moo did, use it to wash your legs.



Have a look at the soap, it should have a nice thick coat of felt round it, densly felted and quite smooth. If you can pull strands of wool off you need to put more hot water on it and rub it some more in your hands or the bubble wrap.

Wash off suds in cold water and leave to dry.


*her hands in the water .. that’s the cold water stage.

Not my best efforts but Moo enjoyed herself – well, she did for about 10 mins before hitting a proverbial ‘wall’ and heading to bed for a little nap.

This Moment

Joining SouleMama

This moment. A single photo – A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 


Using her legs to wet felt soap …. an unusual technique, but her legs were very clean by the end

What do I do

I get asked a lot what I ‘do’. It ranges from a ‘oh my goodness your a stay at home mum, what on earth do you do all day?’ to ‘so what do you do’ an obvious question to my career. And everything in-between. No to mention the usual ‘so what have you been up to’? when we see friends and aquaintences.

Now my close friends, and anyone who knows me will know that between music, swimming, gymnastics, play school, playdates, chores, quiet time and ‘mama and me’ time I try and fit in crafting, house decorating (ok, that one I ‘try’ to do – the unfinished toilet wall edges will attest to my lack of follow through) as well as sewing and the garden. I’m not intending this post to be defensive, or a justification for being at home, simply a run down for those who really do wonder what we get up to 😉

So today is Friday and this week I have ..

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Run twice, made pie, gutted the pantry, sprayed frames, hung new prints in newly sprayed frames, made brownie, wall papered Moo’s birthday dollhouse (ignore the bumps, they flattened out) sewn a dress, cut and fixed in place a old broom handle for a hanging rail in madams wardrobe, felted soap, made (and ate!) cake, re-stuffed ‘sheep’ (1 pillow and 3 sofa cushions) sewn trousers (love those little patches by the hem, just LOVE them), sewn a 3rd birthday pressie (little picnic quilt)

Not to mention music on monday, swimming and groceries on wednesday, 2 playdates, a couple of casual afternoon tea parties and lots and lots of trampolining! 

The garden hasn’t really got a look in apart from some watering!


We had a nice weekend, relaxed time together with friends, lunch out and a new market we explored (I’m going back sans little person and WITH my camera!) These pictures are just a little excerpt from the weekend, captured on my trusty phone (must charge the LX3 tomorrow – phone is not cutting it)

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This week I am focusing on being mindful, yeah, thats me using a self awareness term. I know, its like pigs are soaring over rainbows being chased by unicorns right now. But seriously, the principal has merit and I’m desperate to try and break away from feeling like each day/week/month is passing as if I’m simply a helpless passenger. I’m taking tiny little steps; slowly. 

And I figure living in the moment is better for raising Moo too. Being right there rather than lost in my own thoughts so much of the time. AndI want to enjoy the days and weeks, not feel like they are just flying by as the scenes do when your sitting in a speeding train.


In my garden

Since coming home we have been settling back into the season, our weekly rhythms and getting back on top of the garden. Wow grass can fly up in 10 days! But so can flowers and seedlings.

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I dashed out this evening with the iPad to take the pics – unfortunately my camera is still making its journey back to me since I had a major blond moment and left it with our family on the boat in Fiji. Dohh! Thank you guys for getting it back to me – both sets of family!

There are SO many pansies, for a ‘annual’ they sure do reappear in spring! Quite a few of my other flowers are through too – the mini beds by the veggies have come away and in the background behind the onions (and right along behind the peas too) there are little sunflower seeds coming up. Hopefully around that area my generously sprinkled strawflowers, echinacea and cosmos will come up. And borage, I vaguely remember sprinkling borage!

My direct sew lettuce, onions and carrots are coming up and my tomato and courgette seedlings are coming up and beginning to look stronger. Nim has a little mini runner bean trellis next to my oregano and there are kale and little broccoli seedlings in the back bed by the trampoline too.

My cherry trees are blossoming which makes me happy, and the fruit trees are coming to life. And weeds, there are weeds everywhere! 

And there was baking, there has been lots of baking.

The Holiday, final instalment

So the last few days of the holiday were spent back at Vuda Marina on the boat, relaxing, swimming, music evenings. Bliss. It went so fast, literally flew by, with the perfect combination of relaxing and doing. No wasted days but also delightful quiet moments. Time to simply enjoy. And read books. I read 4. Yup 4 in 9 days!









After a swim on the final morning we flew home, a long day but good flights and little moo was awesome.

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It was a great holiday. I never did ‘family holidays’ as a kid, never really did extended family. It was so beautiful watching madam with her grandparents. How she interacts, her love and enjoyment in having more people in her life. Making new memories, tucking away special moments, little keepsakes, reminders in our home. So now we savour family time, unconditional love and awesome fun. Heres to lots more adventures.

The next is coming up, 3 times around the sun, celebrated with Nana Sue!

A Holiday part II

So after a few days at Vuda Point we sailed out to Musket Cove. It was the most beautiful place and we had a wonderful few days.













She slept on the sail out, passed out in the cockpit with us, oblivious to salty splashes and gusty breezes. We arrived in late afternoon, and after a little wiggle getting moored up we went for a explore. Bliss. Dream sunsets and warm sand and fish filled water.

We had beach bar BBQ’s and found friends for Moo, she had such fun and happily played with a couple of kiwi kids who were holidaying on their grandparents boat. Such lovely kids, the sort you meet and hope that yours turns out as nice. Incidentally they shared the flight back with us as well and were so patient and kind – although did return madam at one point with a very polite ‘Please can you have her now, she’s kind of annoying’. Ha.

We swam in the sea with stripy fishes, found hermit crabs, swam in the salt water pool – madam was not a fan of the ‘yucky tasting water’ – the fact your not meant to drink pool water seemed to have passed her by.

It was family. Warm and inviting. 

A Holiday (part I)

We are home, back, settled. the unpacking is done and life is back into its usual routines and rhythms. I will break this up otherwise it will be photo overload. actually it will probably be photo overload anyway, but hey, I tried!


Our time away was spent in Fiji. With amazing family. Who were patient and dignified and fun (even in the face of a cross overwrought small person and some pretty impressive hollering). It was fantastic, we relaxed, enjoyed, explored and even got a little tanned. We stayed with them on the yacht after a very unexpected but very very appreciated treat of a couple of night in the local report. Tropical cabins, air con, ‘BULA’ in flowers on the bed – just like the travel brochures! 













And thats just the first 3 days! Lots of swimming, fire dancers, beach walks, more swimming, exploring the marina (Moo was completely in love with the dolphin on the bow of the big boat) A bar for mum and dad and Catherine and GP Mike with a swing and ‘pirate boat’ for her. Not to mention the friends she made.

It was so wonderful to share it with people who understand us, to see Moo loving her family, jumping right in where we left off earlier in the year. It makes my heart happy to see her relationships growing, the way she interacts and shares with others. Her adorable ‘I love you’ as she descends the cabin ladder, knowing full well any other talking would be swiftly shushed – but an ‘I love you’ – well that’s sacred.