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This past week we have had a few new activities. Sidewalk chalk has been an amazing hit in the sunny afternoons. A Tangram activity set. Her pony watches her. Double skirt crafting – the wool one is the VioletteFieldThreads Gemma pattern and the one still cut is the BrownieGoose Lottie which gave me some trouble sewing up. The pattern is awesome and the instructions are flawless. But pleats and a placket – that was a challenge for me. The finished article is wonderful though, and I have another cut and ready to go.

March 25, 2015 Crafting, Homelife





When Lisa asked for testers for this coat I put my hand up immediately. Ok, I did feel I was cheating slightly as I’ve made this coat before. I bough Lisa’s original pixie hooded coat pattern a couple of years ago and have made it a few times. But I did so want to try the woman’s version and the other collar options!

The coat above is the pixie hooded version. Made with the wool outer (up-cycled blanket) and the inner is a quilting weight cotton.  It is a lovely pattern to sew up. It comes together beautifully and the instructions are easy to follow (the new tutorial has even more instructions and pictures!) Please ignore the little tuck at the back. I failed to use my walking foot for the wool and it stretched while sewing and gave me an extra inch of fabric that I wasn’t expecting!

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This is the collared version. Or as madam calls it. Her puffy pea coat.

I reversed the layers and put the quilting weight cotton on the outer (she chose the cotton) and I lined it with a fleecy blanket that was no longer used. Its a size 5 so a little big – it looks more so as the cotton bunches more than the wool does – I’d consider interfacing it next time to give it a little more structure. The blanket is soft and fluffy and perfect around her neck and wrists. Not to mention warm.

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Massive picture overload as she wore it loads on our recent trip to Tekapo. I really do love this pattern. With the collar and rounded hood options available – and a huge size range it’s a really wonderful addition to any pattern collection. I think it would be wonderful in an oil cloth for a shower proof option or just in double cotton as a spring mac.

The pattern is available from the Big Little Etsy shop
Check out the Pixie Hooded Jacket or the Pea Coat
Both patterns have the huge age range of 1-14 years so this is a pattern that will last and last. Warm winter coats. Spring macs and autumn fuzzy fleeces. And the double bonus is that its discounted for the first week!
There is also a wonderful ladies version.






The blouse in the pictures (from our trip to Tekapo) is the Lennon. It’s a relatively new pattern from the designer Brownie Goose available on Etsy. The Lennon is an adorable pattern with both blouse and dress options. Adorable Bishop sleeves and a curved hemline. The dress has a zipper back and the sweetest pleats ever. Its not hard to sew up and I think it will be a staple in our winter wardrobe. I just love how it looks tucked into a skirt!

Pictures all taken up at the Mount John Observatory in Tekapo.

March 6, 2015 Crafting, Sewing


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More pics form the awesome lakeside at Telapo. It was so lovely down there and being able to take the dog was the icing on the cake. Not all of NZ is particularly canine friendly  so having him along was a bonus. Madam was so happy to have nana there to play with. The Church of the Good Shepard is a delightful little chapel right down by the shore.

It was also a great place to show off the other Bimaa sweater that I made. I followed a online tutorial for making it into more of a dress and did the shawl collar option. LOVE this pattern!

And those night skies …


There are quite a few more pics I took while away but most are also snaps of clothing that I’ve made so will come in fits and starts as the patterns are reviewed and/or released 🙂

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I made these up a few weeks ago as a tester for Lisa’s pattern. They are going to a friends daughter for her birthday next month so are tucked away in the cupboard, wrapped in tissue paper. Little miss cannot wait for a pair of her own.

The pattern is from Big Little Patterns and can be found here – its currently on sale as its a new release! Go grab it now. The boots come in a variety of sizes from bootie size for babies right through to Youth sizes. Which is awesome as its a pattern you can use again and gain .. and again!

Sewing them up was an easy evening sew. Lovely and simple and super easy to follow instructions. The pattern pieces go together ever so smoothly and the result is wonderful. There is so much you could do to dress these up or down – I had a mess up with my leather for the soles so mine are sheepskin. The lining is up-cycyled cotton and the outer is up cycled wool. Its a great stash buster actually!

The flower is adorable but cold easily be left off if you have a boy or replaced with appliqué or a ‘patch’ if flowers aren’t your thing. You could cap the toe in suede. Pop a fringe round the top. Or pom poms .. who doesn’t love pom poms!

This is such a great pattern and I already have another pair cut and ready to sew for little madam – perfect as winter approaches.
Check out the pattern at 30% off for a short time here

February 15, 2015 Crafting, Sewing


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I tested this adorable pattern this week. I wasn’t able to give it my all as it turned into a busy hectic week and I got a touch stressed by life. However the pattern was easy and forgiving and come together so well. The embroidery details are delightful and fun to sew. There are 3 sizes. All adorable.

Actually it was a little win I needed!

I did the large which turns out a really decent size (mine will become a door stop for madams room). It really is a pattern where your imagination is the limit – some of the testers created the most amazing ‘shrooms. The details, colour and stitching blew me away. They are great stash busters for bits and pieces of felt or wool or even calico or fabrics. My daughter wants a minky one for bed!

These would make the most lovely gift for anyone big or small. They would be adorable as a decoration in a nursery or to create  warm cottage feel in a home and are designed to be functional, robust and stimulate imaginative play in children as well. How cute would a little village of them look?

Check out Big Little on Etsy and have a look at her wonderful patterns. Lisa is generously offering 50% off the Toadstools pattern until the end of the week. Use the code TOADSTOOL50 and you will only pay $3.75 (USD)!
Grab the Toadstools – you won’t regret it!

February 3, 2015 Crafting, Sewing


Who doesn’t all love handmade dolls. Seriously who doesn’t covert those amazing Waldorf and OOAK dolls on Etsy and Felt. We have big doll lovers in this home.  

So when Lisa told me she was working on a very special project. A vintage style doll that can be sewn at home, by a mama. That could be made from materials we can all source, by someone with basically no doll making experience. Well, I was intrigued and excited and asked to pretty please be included on testing the pattern.

Lisa has made a wonderful pattern, with excellent instructions that break the sewing and making into bite sized chunks.

The face is all hand embroidered. Lisa has written a really comprehensive guide to the embroidery and how to do everything. I was a little nervous of doing it as I’ve never embroidered before but it was actually all done and dusted in one evening; sitting by the fire. Even hubby was impressed! Her little ears are also stitched on – possibly one of the cutest little details that I adore. Her hair is simple to create and her hairstyles are all beautiful.


This was meant to be a set of pictures of my second doll. Madams Christmas gift. All finished and dressed. But life interrupted art. So here’s a sneak peek of her in a very ‘work in progress’state. Full reveal later in the week.


The clothes included in Lisa’s pattern are delightful. Machine sewn and finished with lovely little details. I found the kimono dress could be made with either a back opening or as a fully functioning kimono wrap. And the knickers can be lengthened if you want.

This is ‘Polly’. She is made to Big Little’s ‘Fleur’ pattern. You can win her.  She is looking for a home for life. She’s made of organic calico and stuffed with locally sourced Alpaca roving. Her hair is alpaca boucle and her dress is Michael Miller fabric. She also has lovely little navy shoes which she will come with.

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Pop by Big Little on Etsy  and use the code FLEUR15 to get 15% off the pattern, right up until Saturday. Just pop the code in at the checkout. It would be a great gift for a friend or to make for a little person for Christmas.

And the big question. If you bought the pattern today could you make her for Christmas? Yes, yes you could. Honestly, if you can find a few hours and a few 10 min moments here you can make her before Santa comes calling. All the notions you need are easily sourced.

Now if you are looking at this and thinking. That’s all very well for you, but all I’ve ever sewn before are straight lines. Don’t be put off. She is so achievable and rewarding. Give it a go.

Click HERE to get Fleur with 15% off

If you would like to nominate a child to win Polly who is pictured in this post (pink haired doll) please use the link below, tell us who the child is and why your’e nominating them. The nominations are open internationally but be aware that she will only arrive in time for Christmas if you are in NZ (or possibly Oz if the post is favourable!!) You can also nominate through Instagram using the hashtag #biglittledollgiveaway 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will confess right off the bat that Ive never tie dyed anything before. I may have done something as a young child with a t-shirt and crushed blueberries thats the extent of my experience.

I bought this kit and some thrifted white bed sheets and a ruffled edged white pillow slip as I have the vague idea that I’d try dye dying a large piece of fabric to use in some project or other. After a  bit of googling I decided to try a spiral pattern and madam and I got up to some fun. 





The kit was super easy to use – fill the bottles with water and off you go. I watered down the bottles after doing the pillow slip so the duvet colours after a wash are actually quite soft and pastel. After dying we wrapped the fabric in cling wrap and left it sitting for about 6 hours before rinsing out and washing.

I think decided that since I have one sheet dyed and one sheet plain i would make madam a duvet cover as she keeps complaining her Peter Rabbit one is for ‘babies’. And I know we have some very cool ones coming with a visiter in the new year, but the handmade one would tide us over nicely. Also the thrifted sheets they are lovely pure cotton so perfect for summer.


Totally unrelated to the tie dying but a pic of the curtains I made for madams bedroom for her birthday. They are a long way from perfect and are a little small (I was being a cheapskate!) but they have blackout lining and do the job 95% of the way. The fabric was on offer at spotlight and the pinkly sum of 4.95mtr, the blackout lining was about $8mtr and they are the exact width I needed – so un-gathered when closed. So I’m calling success.

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If I can get another 2mtrs of the fabric I’ll all a bit extra to them to create a better fit. But I’m not to panicked about it. 

December 11, 2014 Crafting




I bough this pattern in the black friday sale. Ive umm’d and ahh’d over it for a while. But at nearly half price it was rude not to buy it! I made this little dress up over an evening, less than 3h from start to finish. Super simple but I think super stylish. I adore the pleats – first time I’ve ever tried them.

The cowl neck got a mixed reaction. Partially I think because when I asked her if she liked the ‘cowl neck’ she though I said ‘cow’ and immediately presumed I was dressing her to look like a cow – oh the mind of a 4yr old. Also it was quite high and stiff as the fabric is a woven. So I took it off her and cut the cowl down to half the hight and stuffed her back in the dress. Success, no complaining.

I can’t wait to make another – I’m thinking the next I’ll do with a plain knit bodice and cowl and do the skirt part in a nice woven. I really like this pattern and I’d recommend it. Its easy to follow and well written. I did change how I put the bodice together, not by a lot but simply so I had enclosed shoulder and side seams but that was my only deviation from the instructions (which is a miracle as I’m terrible at wondering off on my own tangents)

I also think it could look quite cool reversed with the collar points at the front. I might try that …… Or as a button up shirt.

Yup, this pattern gets my vote

December 3, 2014 Crafting, Sewing







Since coming home from our wonderful break away in Oz we have been busy settling back into our rhythms and routines. Baking muffins (pear and chic chip, delicious! Kind of used this recipe) A little light romper suit that was a last minute make before the holiday. Super easy pattern but so versatile. Breathe and exhale. Think about the next month or so. A birthday party to plan and christmas to prepare for. Dresses to make, recipes to try out. Exciting.

And my veggie bed make, an old pallet. Hubby split it apart for me and removed the worst of the nails. The uprights are old tree stake posts, from one that snapped when we were banging them in. Sawn into the size I needed. It was the fastest make ever and SO rewarding. Some nails that we already had, a hammer and saw and away you go.  I didn’t even crack out the tape measure. 

So if you want some raised veggie beds. But don;t want to spend any money. Go get yourself a old pallet. In NZ your local ITM will likely be giving them away, seriously giving them away. Other countries I’m less sure, may be try local building and landscape supplies. Or the local supermarket. Interesting tip – you can fit a pallet into a reasonably roomy car with a bit of gentle ‘persuasion’. Just so ya know. Not because I’ve done that or anything.

November 10, 2014 Crafting, Food

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