Frocktober: Put a (rainbow coloured) bird on it!

I’m not really sure what to say about this dress…

Ummm, let’s see…oh yeah, it’s RAINBOW BIRDIES!

What more do you want?!

I have rainbow birdies on my front:

I have rainbow birdies on my butt!

Rainbow birdies for EVERYONE! 🙂

And, no kidding, I even bought these shoes especially for his dress! Premeditated shoe buying?! Yup, that’s me!

Okay, I admit I would have bought these shoes anyway because I LOVE shoes! And you would have bought them too, admit it!

Ok, so there is a bit more to say about this dress 😉

It’s from Patrones 309, Camisero Mango #18 but I made a few changes.

I chose this shirt dress pattern because I liked the front detailing and especially the elastic at the back which you can see in the line drawing.

The fabric is a cotton poplin from my favourite store that I love to hate: Spotlight – I really should stop goingthere but I dare YOU to walk away from rainbow bird fabric!

I cut a size 44 and put it all together as per the pattern (excluding the pockets) but the back ended up being very puffy around my shoulder blades, not very flattering at all, and the side seams were being pulled around all funny.

I took the elastic out and unpicked the casing, then I took all the seams in by about 1cm to compensate. This wasn’t enough though since more width was drafted into the back piece for the elastic to take up so I also had to add two long darts for more shaping.

When I tried it on the front looked great but I had some weird stuff happening in the back, strange horizontal wrinkles and puckering. So I played with my seams and darts a few times before I gave up and did the dodgiest fitting fix in the history of sewing…


I put the horizontal dart across my bum! Oh yes, and it was magic, first problem solved…then I added a second one across my shoulder blades…I KNOW! You should all unfollow me in shame 😉

I know this is the kind of fix that works at the paper pattern stage but I was well beyond that, I’m a fit-on-the-fly kind of girl and all I wanted was my pretty birdie dress to be done.

I don’t even mind and you can’t really see the extra darts in the busy print, you guys only know they are there because I’ve told you, and shown you close up photos 😉

Oh yeah, and you may have noticed I chopped the sleeves off too, there is enough happening on this dress without the need for fancy pants sleeves.

So, happy kiwi and her colourful friends! What’s the dodgiest fitting/sewing fix you’ve ever done?

A quick catch-up

I’m a bit shocked that it’s been a month since I last posted, that’s how quickly time has been flying by for me lately!

Work and life occasionally just become ridiculous and something has to give. I won’t bore you with details, this is a sewing blog after all but the good news is that last week I had a holiday and I am feeling super refreshed and now I feel like I am finally on top of all things so watch out world! 🙂

So, in brief, here is what I got up to these last few weeks:

I bought this sewing machine:

Barbie! And it’s wind up, it really “sews”!

I also bought this one:

Baby Singer – will post more about her soon

My newest cross stitch project is becoming recognisable:

Come to the dark side…

I worked on a vintage blouse as a combined WSBN Teal Deal/TMS Vintage Pattern project and sort of failed – Time was not on my side and also I think it will be too big but I have promised to salvage it for a second group photo shoot in November with the two other girls that missed out:

Completed night classes in NZSL 1a and enrolled in 1b – starting Oct 16th:


Got serious with planning our kitchen renovation:

Realised I had too many unfinished projects lying around so finally finished Lady Grey and then pulled out my finished Lolita Patterns Sugarplum. I made the Sugar Plum for Indie Patterns Month as a pattern tester but have only just now gotten the go ahead to show photos on my blog…so now I need to take some photos!

Evil sewing machine is evil

I flew up to Auckland for a work conference:

Look how cute my tiny room was!

Then I went on a holiday:

Ohh volcano!

I walked up a volcano!:

Mt Tongariro – Ketetahi trail. You can just see the one of the Te Maari crater vents smoking away in the background. Last year it got grumpy and spat some big rocks out, destroying the Ketetahi hut.

Finished Vogue 1250 – need to take some photos.

Worked hard to try to finish Rainbow Swallows Shirt Dress – it just needs hemming – and again, photos – the story of my sewing-life right now!

Bought some patterns – these are not all for me!:

By Hand London goodies thanks to Penny at

Then I bought some fabric – this is ALL for me!:

L to R: Black and grey geometric printed silk, some sort of lining with embossed flowers, ribbed knit, 3 meters of each, total $33.00, yeah!

Hunted through my patterns for pretty dresses for Frock-tober – Harri “helped”:

“Make this one!”

Paired some fabric with patterns and then pre washed the fabric, this caused it to rain, but I got it all dry eventually:

Pretty, pretty, pretty!

Then I traced all these patterns, I want to make ALL OF THEM!:

Camouflage Harri supervised the tracing process – it was hard work, many naps were taken:


Then she decided that my paper bin needed emptying…otherwise how else would she fit inside?:


Harri and I agreed that as a reward for all my hard work I should cut out a dress – I chose Papercut’s La Sylphide in tiny super cute owls:

Thn I remembered that I also have this dress still waiting to be sewn up – all cut out in a beautiful silk/linen blend, oops:

And finally, last weekend, because I was not in the mood for photos and daylight savings has got me dreaming about summer, I began to plan Vege Garden v2.0:

Current Vege Garden v1.0 – I have marked out the new garden space in blue twine but then I changed my mind and drew some pictures instead.

A grand plan

Getting into the details

Then I helped hack down some trees that were too close to our retaining walls. We will re-pave the lower area, a garden shed and glass house will appear sometime in the future:



I think after my new vege beds are in I will begin to investigate the possibility of having some chickens, I think I’d quite like some chickens 🙂

And that’s about it! 🙂 Phew, regular service should resume shortly, happy sewing!


When Sewing Goes Dark – Literally

Here are a couple of terrible dirty mirror selfies. It was dark, Winter is sneaking in here. We just came off of Daylight Savings which is helping in the mornings but a shock it the system to arrive home from work and realise it’s suddenly dark.

This is the rainbow swallow dress, body mostly assembled and requiring some serious fitting. It’s not looking particularly flattering over track pants and a top but I can see the potential cuteness 😉 It is one size (maybe one and a half) too big but there are lots of seams there for taking in.

On Sunday I did a little bit of sewing with the Wellington Fabric Hoarders. Johanna came too and it was a lot of fun until some weird power spike blew the bulb of her machine out! Just the glass, it kindly left the metal case part behind inside the machine. It was a bit scary, at first we through it had exploded on it’s own until someone asked, “Has anyone else’s machine stopped working?”  and that’s when we realised that the power was out along the whole wall. Poor Johanna and her super cute vintage Bernina, the bulb was a gonner so we switched to tracing and gossiping until home time.

I was a clever girl and managed to leave both my sewing machine foot controllers behind but luckily Emma took them home with her. After I picked them up on Monday I plugged my machines in to check them, a little nervous after the power spike. Both are fine, although my Elna’s bulb was also blown, less spectacularly that Johanna’s, mine is still intact, just a bit black inside.

In my sewing room (and in fact through our entire house) I use a spike-protected power board. It contains a small fuse that pops out or (on the cheaper versions) blows first if there is a power spike, cutting power to whatever is plugged in and protecting those electrical items from getting blown up. I always take a double plug and power lead when I sew elsewhere but have never considered power spikes so next on my sewing shopping list, to add to my mobile kit, is one of these:

Call me paranoid but they are pretty cheap and while both my machines are quite basic and mechanical and I am not sure how much is inside that can actually explode (besides the light bulbs) it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you often take your machines elsewhere for sewing and especially if you have a fancy pants computerised machine, perhaps it would be a good investment for you too, just sayin’ …

Happy explosion-less sewing xx

footer_kiwi walking love copy

WIPs: Easter Sewing

I hope you all had a great Easter and got lots of sewing done. I was a busy little bee taking in several items of Nerdy Husband clothing, replacing buttons etc, but I did also manage some me-sewing.

Since I am in the mood for photo sharing here are a few progress pics.

First up a quick selfie of Vogue 1250 which is much more curve-a-licious in real life…I am not sure if it is as work appropriate as I wanted it to be. NH was quite impressed and I have to admit, I like it more that I thought I would, I feel very curvy in all the right ways.

I took two photos but I’ve spared you all the photo of me pulling my ‘eep’ face 😉

There are so many great versions online but I wasn’t really sure how I would feel wearing this style so I used a $5 remnant from The Fabric Warehouse as a potential sacrifice.

I am glad it’s worked out since I do quite like my $5 fabric. It is a lycra knit something-or-other, pretty blue and brown tones. I had to add in a seam to the back of the upper bodice to squeeze it on the 1.3m length but that is mostly lost in the pattern.

I just need to tidy up the side seam (the transition to the fold is a bit weird), hem the sleeves and hem the bottom, then proper photos will be taken. I may demand a date-night for said photos.

I also got quite a lot of work done on my next dress, it’s working title is: Rainbow Swallow Shirt Dress, including cutting it all out (after adding 6cm in length) and 50% of the sewing assembly.

Nerdy Husband spent quite a lot of time in my sewing room on Sunday, trying on the shirts I was taking in and patiently getting measured. He even swapped over the thread colours on the overlocker, proudly announcing, “I threaded it black for you”…except that threading involves a little bit more than just laying the threads over the antennae. The machine is fancy, but not thread-itself-fancy.

He tried though, it’s the thought that counts 😉

 Anyway, I had the swallows laid out so I showed him my progress and the pattern pictures. I wasn’t expecting him to like this but he nodded genuine approval.

This dress will be work appropriate, in a cute “she’s wearing a dress covered in rainbow birdies” kind of way, hey that’s me! 🙂

footer_kiwi with needle1