Fashion at the Museum

I went to  ‘Selling Dreams – 100 Years of Fashion Photography’ at the Auckland Museum yesterday. A very good exhibition. Most of the images I had never seen before so it was great to be exposed to something new. I don’t usually read the blurbs next to the art when I am wondering through, I prefer just to take in the image. But the written information in this exhibition was historical, succinct and interesting – I read every word! Well worth a visit if you’re in the area.


I couldn’t take any photos in the exhibition but this quote appeared at the very end… I couldn’t agree more Vidal. Well said! These words completely sum up for me why I continue to make my own clothes and get so much joy and satisfaction out of it!


Why do you sew and make your own clothes?

2nd Secret Santa – Squared

I decided it was easiest to give my Secret Santa recipients  a slip dress each. That way I could tailor it to their tastes so that hopefully they were really unique gifts. This is my second dress – made for my brother’s girlfriend, Steph.

My Mum showed me this top, basically a square with some arm holes and a neck hole. Simplest style I have ever seen! I traced a quick pattern, with a few alterations and cut the fabric out, a lovely light fabric with mini hearts all over it which I got from Centrepoint Fabrics in Auckland.

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Again I didn’t know what size my SS recipient was so I made the pattern quite big and added ties at the back so it could be worn tight around the waist, for a more fitted look. Or alternatively loose and draping.

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This was honestly the quickest and easiest pattern I have ever sewn. The hardest part was sewing the facing around the collar. And the best part, it doesn’t actually look like a square sack once it’s on the figure.








Has anyone else sewn one of these square dresses or tops before? Or a pattern of equal simplicity?

I am very keen to keep making this pattern. I can churn new outfits out in 2 hours tops (including the trip to the fabric store)!!




Winter Swap

Changes are afoot. But before they happen I’d like to organise one last meet up, but as time is running short this will be an internet meet up. YES I’M TALKING ABOUT THE INAUGURAL WINTER SWAP 2013… unless someone has done this in winter previously… then disregard the “inaugural” part.

Winter Swap Button

So you’re wondering what a Sewing Swap is then? A great opportunity to swap sewing related items and get to know another sewing enthusiast.

But how does it work? I will match you with another sewing enthusiast and you will swap sewing patterns (printed and PDFs), fabric, notions, trims and other sewing paraphernalia! Sound great already, right? I’m putting a cap on spending so taking part doesn’t become a ‘mare at a maximum of NZ$30 (not including postage). Get creative and feel free to include all sorts of sewing items! Items don’t have to be new either – vintage and retro are awesome! Be generous – as a guideline, try to find 3ish items (or more) that you think your pair would like.

Can I take part? Yes! (but) it’s important that you have a blog so that your partner can see what you’re interested in and so you can post about the wonderful things she sent you. Just leave a comment on this post saying you’re interested and including your email address – VERY IMPORTANT. It’s also good if you say which country your living in so I can endeavor to match you with someone who lives close by. I can’t promise anything, but I can try. Everyone is welcome to get involved – you just need to be keen on sewing, have a blog and be willing to actually put your parcel in the post box.

So how much time do I have to get organised? Sign ups are now open! Just comment below. I will make matches next week and you will be expected to put your items in the post by the end of July.

PS. In case you were wondering what the changes were: I decided somewhat on a whim last week that I would be doing my OE (overseas experience, for those not familiar with NZ slang). So I am heading to London at the beginning of August and yes I have already bought my plane tickets. Also I’m doing a Contiki. I know – this is very unlike me. I like to think I’m quite a moderate sort of person who is pretty contented with how things are and will be. The truth is that I’m underemployed in a precarious job and need a change (never work for a charity!!)

Winter Meet Up


More details to follow but I just wanted to give everyone a heads up. The Winter Meet Up will be on Sunday 9 June at 10.30 am I’m open to ideas of where everyone would like to go. Please comment if you’ve got an awesome idea!

I’ll be sending an email out with more details soon. If you don’t have a blog and are keen to join us that’s cool too! Just comment with your email address and I’ll put you on the list!.

Also I’ve created a button if you’re keen to add it to your blogs:
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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]

Bunting Tutorial

All my friends are leaving. Well not quite. [Another friend has just confirmed she is also leaving.] But two of them are. One is doing a university exchange to the UK (London) and the other is doing Camp America (New York state). Pretty much I’m quite jealous of their travels and will miss them both.

But enough of me and on to sewing – what this blog is REALLY about. I decided that as a going away present I would make them each some bunting. This way when they get to their, respective, new accomodation they will have something to put on the wall and make it a bit more homely. I must give due credit to {re}purposed mind for this gift idea.

I decided to go with a green gingham (I heart gingham) and fabric with Pohutukawa blossoms and Tui (I also heart kiwiana).

You will need: scissors, a ruler, some bias seam binding, some card board or paper, thread, some fabric, pins and a pen.


1. Using your ruler measure a triangle. This will be your template to mark your fabric with. Remember to include a 1.5 cm seam allowance. I made mine 13 x 18 cm.


2. Trace around your template to mark your triangles. Cut them out. Remember you’ll need twice as many triangles as flags.


3. Pin your pieces together.


4. Sew them together.


5. Trim off the end of the triangle and the excess on the sides at the end.


6. Press the seams open. This will help the flags to lie flat.


7. Turn the flag inside out and give it another press.


8. Count your flags and measure the length of your seam binding. Decide on a distance that you wish to spread the flags out by. I decided on 4 cm between each flag.
Pin the binding over the raw edges at the top of the flag. Sew together.


9. Hang and enjoy.

I’ll post some photos of it finished when we have some good weather here!


Unveiled – The Exhibition

Whlist on my trip to Wellington a few weeks ago I went to see this exhibition. I mean how could I not? It was in the same building as the conference – literally accross the landing. I mean really – HOW COULD I NOT? So I dutifully waited until the end of the day and raced over to the exhibition.

The exhibiton included Dita Von Tesse’s wedding dress designed by Vivienne Westwood:

There were also dresses by Christian Lacroix, Charles Fredrick Worth and Norman Hartnell. Basically it was amazing.

And all sorts of other delightful dresses. I was enchanted and pleasantly surprised to note that white has only been the colour of choice in the last 200 years – and even that was subject to availability, finances (to name a few) and prior to that women expected to wear their wedding dresses again and again (I hope to be one of these women). And some, like Moncia Maurice, just liked to flout the rules:

And why not? It is your day

Some of the dresses at the exhibition were made of patterned fabric. One I particularly enjoyed was made out of upholstery material as in WWII one needed to collect stamps to buy fabric, however, for reasons unknown to me, this did not include upholstery fabric (unfortunately I cannot find a photo of this dress but I’ll let your imaginations run wild!)

And of course there were classics like this one:


An absolutely gorgeous dress worn in 1946 and, appropriately, made out of parachute slik which the bride’s husband-to-be had brought home from the war in the Pacific.

I would highly recommend going to this show.