Behind the Scenes: March

March has been such a busy month at Dresses & Me HQ. I’m getting straight back into blogging and creating strategies to grow the shop now that I’m back from devouring churros, fawning over art and swimming in the Mediterranean. So what have I been up to?

The Blog

In March I starting writing a new series call A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Sewing. In the first post I talked about how to choose a pattern for your first sewing project and in the second post I offered some thoughts on where to start with fabrics. If you’re anything like me you’re self-taught and spend a lot of time wondering what the ‘correct’ way of doing something is. I’m hoping this series will offer some help for new sew-ers. I have many ideas for upcoming posts but if you have a burning question or topic send me an email [penny at dressesandme .com]


This month I made a pair of Pleated Pants and two Georgia Dresses (here and here). I was pretty stoked that my FBA turned out well as this was one of my first attempts at pattern editing – and you know what? It worked out and it wasn’t as painful as I had feared! I also cut out my Simple Sews Batwing Dress. I am currently sewing this together…

March also mean Meet Up! The Auckland Sewists’ Collective meet up at Tasca Cafe and had a riot. You can join our Facebook group to fine out about the next one here.


The Store

This month I officially launched Dresses & Me’s new website and logo. And because I am always looking for feedback on the store I developed a survey! I’m such a geek but I just can’t help it. On the survey you can tell me which patterns you’d like in the store and any other feedback (and you can do it anonymously if you prefer). So far I’m getting a clear indication that New Zealanders are keen to have Colette Patterns in the store next. So you’ll (hopefully) be pleased to read I’m working pretty hard to make this happen! Watch this space!

I have not be able to move the discount codes over to the new site yet. This is a very time consuming task as it requires manually entering randomly generated codes, creating individual discounts. If you want to make a purchase  using yours please send me an email. I hope to have this completed by the end of the month.


I was also really happy to be able to restock the whole Sewaholic range this month. Tasia’s latest design, the Gabriola Skirt, is a maxi skirt with a fitted waist and hips. It is very flattering and gloriously floaty for this great extended summer we’re having in. I also created a new patterns page so that all the newest patterns are in the same place.

What else did I do? I had a sale on all Victory and Cake Patterns and you guys pretty much bought up the whole stock! I will be placing a new order with Victory when Kristiann when she releases her latest pattern, Hannah (very soon). I don’t have a lot of sales (only had two since opening last June) so if you’d like to know about the next one join the mailing list here.

In March I also returned to study. I’ve previously completed a BA hons in sociology and art history, and while I enjoyed learning I felt totally burnt out by the end of the four years. This year I am studying Public Relations and I’m thoroughly enjoying it! But along with self-directed study and time management comes the inevitable procrastabaking (baking instead of writing a 4000 word literature review) and procrastaplanning (planning cool holidays or events instead of reading journal articles). These procrasta-pass-times have featured heavily in March for me. So tell me off if you see lurking around me too much on instagram!

To keep study spirits high I’ve been listening to this song heaps – enjoy!


Auckland Meet Up Details


Hi everyone! How’s your Wednesday? So I’m guessing you want to let others know about our meet up? You can share the image below! Or you could even add it to your sidebar by copying and pasting the code:

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Also there’s a sale on all Cake and Victory Patterns for just 24 hours over at the shop. Sale end sat midnight tonight!

Auckland Sewing Bloggers

In light of our up-coming meet up I thought I’d create a button – the Auckland Sewing Bloggers Button


Everyone is welcome to put it on their blogs (but of course it would be helpful if you were living in New Zealand!) It fairly easy to put the button into your sidebar but if anyone has any tips please comments!

So go on – show your New Zealand pride!

Let’s Have a Meet Up

I’ve been having a think – wouldn’t it be nice to have a meet up of all the Auckland sewing bloggers? I love blogging and blogging about sewing and sewing in general so wouldn’t it be great if we could talk about sewing but in person? We could even have a pattern and stash swap too if we wanted? I’ve been doing some Meet Up stalking and the lovely ladies of Wellington, New Zealand, had a great meet up the other day and I’m pretty jealous. The Curious Kiwi blogged about their amazingness.

So… If you live in Auckland or if you’re going to be in Auckland on the weekend of 27 -28 April the let me know and we can arrange something. I’m flexible about the actual meet up destination. It’ll be fun, I promise!

ALSO did you see that Colette has released a new pattern this morning??? It called Laurel and its a super versatile shift dress or top. This is my favourite version:

And of course you’ve probably already seen the new Sewaholic pattern the Robson Coat. Gorgeous, simple elegant.Love it.

So if you’re in Aucklad let’s have a meet up! Either comment on this post or email me dressesandme[at]

Award Time

Wow in the last three days I’ve been awarded three blogger awards.

Thank you to Thing, Stuff and Eco-Love, Stacy Sews and Schools and Sewville for giving me the very inspiring blogger award.


As with any blog award, there comes a set of rules
Display award image on your blog page.
Link back to the person who nominated you.
State 7 facts about yourself.
Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
Notify the bloggers that they have been nominated and link to their posts.

Facts About Me
My flatmates and I fosters kittens for SPCA before they’re big enough to be adopted (MEGA CUTE)
I have two sisters and I’m in the middle
I’m still in love with my serger
I don’t drink beer but I do love a good cider
I’m the youngest person at my workplace by exactly 20 years
This year I’m mentoring a 14 year old for the YWCA
I love swimming

And now I would like to nominate these people to these for this award
Fifty DressesBusy Lizzie in Brizzy Sertyan’s Sewing CornerMontana DesignsSew Busy LizzieVicki Kate MakesDottie DoodlePetty GrievancesA Bird on a BicycleThe Sometimes SewistSew SquirrelBelmont Sewing ClubCuckoo ChanelSusie Homemaker MDSew Incidentally




WordPress tells me that this week it was my one year anniversary with the blogging world – what an auspicious occasion! To mark this milestone I’m going to tell you one thing that I’m really proud of making and I want to hear from you too! What have you sewn that you’re just bursting with pride over?

Post a link too if you like! It can be anything, big or small! I’ll go first:

Im pleased as punch with my Lady In Red Dress


Affirmations are great, right?

Go on! Get your BRAG ON

Versatile Blogger Award

Wow I’m so flattered the madebymim nominated by blog for the Versatile Blogger award. What a kind thought!

In order to accept this honour I, first, need nominate fifteen blogs that I enjoy reading. In no particular order they are:

Make MeAn Arty BlogTime and AgainEnchanted by BooksThe Vintage Design ShopWe Heart VintageRepurposed MindErica B’s DIY StyleThe Crockery Blog
Folk HavenDid You Make That?There’s A CouchStacy Sews and SchoolsJulia Bobbin and Beaspoke

And next I have to tell you all seven things about myself.

I have blue eyes, I failed my written driver’s licence the first time, I work at a charity, I have sewn five dresses and two skirts so far this year, I love swimming in the sea, I love Kiwiana (especially the really tacky kind) and my favourite colour to wear is coral.

On a side note I’m so glad to have joined the craft blogging community. Everyone is so encouraging and affirming! It’s so nice to be part of – so thanks!

Thanks Make Me Mori!

Wow! Make Me Mori nominated me as one of her favourite bloggers! That’s awesome!

I love her blog too and am an avid follower (actually though). She makes some really pretty dresses, skirts, tops and crafty stuff too. She’s a great  seamstress and she’s super speeedy.

In case you haven’t (and you probably already have if you’re into your sewing blogs) you should totally check out Make Me Mori – she’s pretty hip!