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A walk in the bush. Not our usual haunt but a lovely place (particularly now the wasps have settled down) The rains have rejuvenated the area. Leaves have plumped up, mosses look soft and springy. Some of the trees are tentatively turning towards autumn colours, hews of red, orange and gold are appearing.

Of course there was also a paddle at the river on the way home. Why she wanted to paddle I have no idea. It wasn’t exactly balmy and warm, sunny yes but with definitely cool undertones. But in she went anyway. Fully clothed. 

Her shirt is a Lennon blouse from Brownie Goose that I modified during the sew-a-long that was done on Amy’s Blog so it has a lovely peter pan collar. I think of all my patterns this is my favourite. There is something to incredibly simple yet classic about it. And versatile. 





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.

















We had a great walk this weekend. Autumn has arrived and the temperatures ave dropped. With them the wasp numbers that make the beech woods unsafe for walking with little people. The sun was shining but not beating down unpleasantly. 

Washpen Falls is a wonderful walk on private land near us. The track it follows is maintained nicely and easy to follow. The route winds through pine woods, past caves and waterfalls. Climbs up into the high country tussock and then tracks down steeply to the river, with steep steps and sheer cliffs, down to a swimming lagoon. Close to the beginning it passes through old established honeydew beech woods (still a bit waspy but not to bad) and then back to the farm where the track begins and ends. Its an easy drive down the road and a walk we are eager to repeat again soon.  

Pictures by hubby mostly.


March 16, 2015 Little Adventures


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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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It’s not often I feature in pictures. Mostly because I’m usually behind the camera. And also because there is only ever a 2% success rate in taking a picture of me where I don’t either have my eyes closed or look like a startled chipmunk. Seriously, the similarities are striking.

We had a wonderful evening walk in the woods a few nights ago. Hubby with his camera. Spectacular light.

There have been many things that have been chaffing me this summer. Heat, wind. The offence that Christmas in the summertime causes me – I’ve tried to get past it but it feels WRONG. If we didn’t have our wonderful overseas family and some amazing friends making the days fun and happy I think it could actually be a rather glum time of year for me. We are lucky.

But the summer light. Oh the light.The evenings that literally glow. They make summer. That redeems the little things and reminds me I don’t really want winter back quite yet. Although I do reserve the right to do a little happy dance on mornings where it’s grey and damp and a bit chilly. 

January 30, 2015 Little Adventures


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I actually made up this skirt as a quick make for Christmas. It’s a lovely design and such a easy sew by Violette Field Threads. I chose my rather hoarded and precious Heather Ross  fabric. I almost cried cutting into it. But I was glad I did. It made the loveliest skirt. Potentially not the very best choice since the skirt is cut on the circle but it worked out ok. 

Because its cut on the circle is perfect for twirling and hot summer days. It has a delightful curved waist in the front and is gathered with elastic in the back. There are optional bubble pockets – usually I’m not a pocket person but I like these!

Circle skirts are much more fabric hungry than traditionally made rectangular panel; gathered waist skirts – But I will confess I really do like how this skirt falls and moves. Definitely more in our future!

Pictures taken at the Buskers Festival in the Park

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January 28, 2015 Little Adventures, Sewing












Its been a busy weekend this week. It was so hot in the evening that after supper we decided to pop out and have a little walk. With the kite. There was mini train riding today. 30 degrees in the sun. Not a lot less in the shade.

January 20, 2015 Little Adventures



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We had a lovely walk this saturday. It’s one I’ve done before but hubby hasn’t. It was hot hot. But the walk has some great contrasts. High bluffs, walking between wide open fields and fir woods. A steep decent through the forest. Winding grassy tracks by the river. The swimming hole was awesome and a place we want to return to really soon. Madam walked the whole 5+km without a single piggy back. We had a delicious pub lunch to reward ourselves and celebrate!

January 19, 2015 Little Adventures


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This sunday madam and I decided to head to our local sunday market. Stopping ay my favourite shop while there. I recommend checking it out Marmalade Clothing and Curiosities . She’ll post out if you want but if you happen to be in Canterbury I thoroughly recommend popping in. Actually I recommend Oxford in general. There are lots of cute shops and cafes considering how small the town is and a lively sunday market. 

It was warm (mid 20’s) and madam had a great time in the parks and swings and playing with the kids of the market vendors. Its such a great vibe there, very chilled and relaxed. Great fresh produce too. So we stocked up on treats and bits we needed and after some wandering and a cupcake at madams favourite cafe Pink Sugar.

After all that we got sidetracked by the river on the way home … It often happens to us, any time of year. It was balmy and warm and the water was inviting (if your 4 anyway). For nearly 2 hours we paddled, played in the sand and chatted to a few other people who were all enjoying the afternoon. Also side note *LOVE Saltwater Sandals. They are the best ever.


January 12, 2015 Little Adventures


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 

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