The conquering of Levana (not)

On Saturday the 6th July at precisely 07:30am (that’s actually 7:38am) the majority of the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network set off north to invade Levin.

I was driving so thank you to Teresa for getting some pics on the way – wow was it really that dark when we left?!

Kapiti Island – photo by Teresa

We met our forward scout (Juliet) outside our objective.

Our mission: To take and hold the Levana Factory Outlet Store (“Open 1st Saturday of month 9am – 2pm”) and relieve them of as much of their famed merino as our car boots could hold and whatever other goodies took our fancy along the way.

But our carefully planned mission (in the works since February this year) was thwarted!

Due to their building having no power Levana was shut and would instead open the following Saturday, July 13th.


Me, Juliet, Nikki & Wendy – sad faces!

Desperate phone calls were made, keys got locked in a car, a father came to the rescue, but no merino for us… 😦

Juliet, Teresa, Elisabeth, Johanna, Holly, Emily, Wendy, Nikki, Me

It was a long drive for no spoils but the WSBN are never without a backup plan. We retreated across the road to an op shop to re-group (and giggle at some truly terrible vintage knitting patterns) and then we continued on our way to make our lunch date at Petit Fours in Palmerston North.

Mmm! High tea makes everything ok!

The slice on the middle tier is kumara and maple with cream cheese icing, and at the bottom is a warm savoury, also made with kumara. I don’t like kumara, it’s not like peas for me, I actually avoid kumara. Teresa admitted she could take-it-or-leave-it too but we both agreed that these were delicious!

There were also mini afghan biscuits and lots of cute little sandwiches with yummy fillings, but I know you really just want to see the cupcakes!

(clockwise from top) Sundae, Key Lime Pie, Hershey Kisses, Double chocolate cupcakes!

Kumara savoury and teeny little sandwiches, yummy!

Lot’s of smiles!
Nikki, Wendy, Emily, Elisabeth & Johanna

Juliet and Linda gave our table some impromptu New Zealand Sign Language lessons.

I can now say I am a “sewing nerd” and that I am “married to a rock nerd” 😉

Amongst many others I know the basics like “please” and “thank you”, “yes” and “no”, I know the difference between “hen” and “chicken” (but not “flour” and “sugar”!) and how to say “stuff it, let’s do it!” See below for that one!

“Stuff it, let’s do it!”
Teresa, Linda, Juliet and I practise our NZSL – photo thanks to Nikki

Not much left…

The aftermath…

Oh my!


Then it was off to Arthur Toye where we surprised and entertained their staff for about 2 hours!

Oh yes, that’s right, they total your docket and then halve it!

That’s why we are all smiling so much, earlier disasters long forgotten now!

Also Arthur Toye in Palmy is about 3 times the size of our Wellington store (and their staff are not grumpy)!

My pretties: A lilac stain at top (for a coat lining), pink sparkly knit at the bottom, dark grey suiting with pink pinstripe/dot detail at left (this was a popular choice, I think maybe 3 or 4 of us bought some and at $6 per meter why wouldn’t you?!)…and some faux tiger fur…we’ll get to that in another post sometime soon 😉

I’d already visited Arthur Toye in Wellington the previous week, taking home a lush midnight blue velvet, some fuchsia ponte and a pretty blue wool so that is why my takings may seem a little restrained.

And then Juliet let us in on her little secret vintage pattern source, which shall remain secret…look at these girls go!

Like vintage patterns much?!

I ended up with two $1.00 bundles of snaps and hook/eyes, yay

And, well, that’s it! We stumbled back to our cars, divided up our spoils and set off back south to Wellington and dinner, and home 😉

I arrived at my doorstep exhausted but despite the initial disasters I simply had the best day. So much giggling, fabric stroking (and buying), pattern digging, and the delicious high tea.

Sure, we didn’t get to enjoy Levana (the whole reason for our 1.5 hour drive) but in the end it didn’t matter…and there is always next month! 😀

Thank you to my partners in crime: Amanda, EmilyElisabethHollyJohannaJuliet, LindaNikkiTeresa and Wendy for an amazing day! xx


31 thoughts on “The conquering of Levana (not)

  1. Pingback: A miniature tiger in my garden | the curious kiwi

  2. Ok can I just please be you for a second? This meet-up looked like SO much fun. I love that you guys had your own tea party of sorts, I wish there were restaurants around me that did cool things like that.
    Also that tiger fur, oh my gosh! I can’t wait to see what you turn that into. Such cool looking fabric!

  3. Ohhhhh, all your sad faces around the sign are just priceless!!! And, looks like you all had a fantastic time nonetheless. Anyplace that has cupcakes like that, cannot be bad.

  4. I’m from Melbourne, originally from Levin (3 yrs in Wellington before heading over here far too many years ago to remember exactly when). I’ve been following your site (supposedly for the brilliant sewing hints) but now find myself checking in for the “memories”.
    Thanks!!!! Frana

  5. It was an exhausting day, but such fun. We all bought so many pretties. I certainly loved being a partner in crime 🙂 When do we go again? 😉

  6. Thank you very very very much for organising our wonderful day out on Sat. You are, well, wonderful!

    Oh and I am very much looking forward to pics of the faux fur project completed and in action :))

  7. It was seriously the BEST day!! I had so much fun – thanks for driving me and being a generally awesome sewing bud. WBSN FOREVER!!!

  8. What a lovely day you all had, despite unexpected developments. Thank you for your report & great photos! Wish we had a group of sewing geeks around here, and a secret stash of vintage patterns… not to mention luscious cupcakes. Do go next month, and report again!

  9. Pingback: Something kinda wonderful | Calico Stretch

  10. So much fun! – I thought I was the only one to find the Wellington Toyes staff to be grumpy! They are very take it or leave it – just don’t bother me!
    Our Toyes has closed here and the lovely friendly staff dispersed to do other things …

    • It’s a shame your ATs have closed down! It’s funny how the Wellington staff have a bad rep for being grumpy. It was so funny last week the cutting assistant was being quite nice and asking what I was going to make etc but then as soon as my payment was approved she switched back to grumpy mode, haha 🙂

  11. oooo being an ex palmy person, I recognise the store where those vintage patterns are! I will keep the secret safe 😉 I love AT palmy – lots of my early sewing fabrics came from there.

    Did you make it to Brian Gaskins?

    • We did but they were closed which was weird since it wasn’t that late and there was a big fair on so you think they’d be open to get some business…it sounds like they just close whenever they feel like it.

I love comments so please feel free to say "hi" xx

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s