What Happened in April

Hi readers, it’s the beginning of a new month and that means that it’s time for behind the scenes. April has been another busy month for me – both with Dresses & Me and in other parts of my life. So read on if you’d like to know what’s been happening.


The Shop
This month I achieved one of my goals for 2014: bringing Colette Patterns to New Zealand. I use the word “achievement” mostly because of the endurance required to make this happen! I began organising this last October so I’m pleased (and relieved) that it has finally happened. At the moment we’ve got the latest patterns and there’s an order of Colette’s classic designs flying across the ocean as I type.


Recently I’ve had a survey up on the site too. I’ve had several requests to stock Deer & Doe patterns in the store. I WOULD LOVE TO! …Unfortunately this is not possible as they only allow wholesale orders for brick and mortar (physical) shops. I’ve emailed Eleanor twice since opening the shop but it looks like they’ll be holding on this model. In the meantime you can buy them from her online store.

I want to make this next comment brief. If you have anything you’d like to talk to me about regarding the store or my blog *please* contact me. Even if – gosh – especially if it’s negative. I’d far rather know and have the chance to remedy it than loose a valuable customer and your respect. Please, please just contact me – please?! Yes, I had a complaint.


If you write a blog you probably already do this and know it happens, but I wonder if non-bloggers do? I actually spend a lot of time emailing people to keep the blog interesting. In April I organised collaborations and sponsorship for Kat and Mel’s Indie Pattern Month. Indie Pattern Month is a celebration of independent sewing pattern producers. Mel and Kat have put a huge amount of work into organising sponsorship (read: awesome prizes), planning competitions as well as moderating the Monthly Stitch site. This is all work that they do in their own spare time, just cos they want to and I think that deserves a bit of praise!

I have also been organising to host a sewalong! Whilst I can’t say too much at the moment, this will be using one of the patterns in the shop at the moment and it will be in the middle of the year.


So what have I actaully sewn this month, I mean this is a sewing blog after all! Well I finished off my Charlotte skirt and, of course, my Batwing dress (yet to take photos). Is that it? Well not entirely… I’m nearly finished making my Brigitte Dress and I started making a Jasmine by Colette. Except that in truly amateur fashion I burnt-melted a hole in it whilst ironing the darts flat. So that has completely stalled.


I also had a giveaway on the blog this month! Entrants took instagram photos of their cats and used the hashtag #catsforcolette. This competition was held to launch the Colette range at Dresses & Me. To see all the entrants search #catsforcolette on instagram. They’re pretty darn cute. Luna won with the gorgeous photo above.

Tea cups all set up in our new apartment

I’d be completely lying if I said I flew through April. In reality it was a slog! I moved house, wrote a public relations strategy for university and began writing two more essays! I know not many people feel for the plight of the student but I’m working a lot harder this time round at uni. Perhaps I’m a bit older and wiser… or just older with a less demanding social life!


Perhaps the best, and sadly, the most commersumer-tastic, thing to happen this month was the arrival of my freight boxes from London. As the last leg of my trip was backpacking we sent a lot of heavy or unnecessary things home to NZ. So when the boxes arrived I was greeted with spices and a tea set that I bought in Morocco, a 100% wool coat I bought in London, books that my family had sent me while away, fabric I bought on Goldhawk Road and a mulled wine mug from Potsdam, Germany. All of these ‘things’ have memories attached so it was lovely to have them in our home.


11 thoughts on “What Happened in April”

  1. Finally read all of this completely and I especially love the last bit about you shipping treats back from your travels. WInter coat and tea set LOVE IT πŸ™‚ Keep up all the great work Penny its fabulous and we love you for it xxx


  2. Wow what a busy month you have had indeed! Well done on all that you have accomplished and keep at it. Love your finished Charlotte skirt. What fabric have you used? I can’t figure it out from the pic. Cheers, Sasha


    1. Thanks Teaandrainbows πŸ™‚ I have thought about it and was waiting to see if she came out with more patterns or if it was just the two… She’s pretty high on my list though πŸ™‚


  3. You have had a busy month, congratulations on all that you have accomplished. I loved all the kitties on Instagram #catsforcolette. They were all so funny. Maybe cats were sewers in former lives. Those tea cups are so beautiful! I hope that you are enjoying your new home.


    1. Yeah I loved catsforcolette too! It was really fun to run, seeing people get involved and their adorable cats! Yes the tea cups were my grandmas πŸ™‚ the pink and grey are my favourites – I still haven’t found the rest of the set in the boxes which doesn’t bode well…


  4. Penny you do such a wonderful job with the patterns shop I can’t believe anyone would have anything negative to say. Keep up the superb work! That is a little disappointing that Deer & Doe have taken that stance given that we are all the way down under and postage time would be much better if you were to stock. Enjoy being reunited with your holiday collections.


    1. Thank you Sandra! You’ve been one of my cheerleaders from the start πŸ™‚ I always appreciate your support. Yes, I’m not really sure why Deer & Doe have that policy but if it changes I’ll be first in line to being their designs to NZ!


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