There’s something about this time of the year that makes me want new PJs- I’m not sure if it’s about presentable sleepwear for Christmas day, or if it’s so I can enter the new year fresh and crisp?

Whatever the reason, I’ve got a need for presentable loungeable sleepwear, and I’m clearly going to be sewing it!

The Fifey PJs

Named for the M&B greyhound mascot (and his favourite activity), the Fifey PJs are knit PJs.

To celebrate their launch there’s 15% off all M&B loungewear with code LOUNGETOWN

Gibson Loungewear

The Gibson Loungewear Set from In The Folds is a 2-piece set that can be made with an alternate dress view.

The Medlow Robe

Perfect for layering over your PJs or for layering over exactly nothing…. the Medlow Robe is perfect loungewear and perfect concert wear..?!

Save 15% on the Medlow Robe (and all M&B loungewear) with code LOUNGETOWN

Want more?

Luna Lounge Set

The Luna Lounge Set from Jennifer Lauren Handmade is a two-piece matching set that can be made in varying lengths.

Cal Pajama Set

The Cal Pajama Set from Seamwork has a racerback and fitted shorts with a faux fly

The Fran Pajamas

The Fran Pajamas are a recent release from Closet Core Patterns which are designed to be nightware that fits the ‘Pajamas as daywear’ vibe!

Nocture Pajamas

The Nocturne Pajamas from Sew Liberated is a two-piece set for woven fabrics that has long and short-sleeve options.

Free Pattern

The free Harlow Pajamas from Gertie’s Charm Patterns has been previously included in a roundup of free patterns but not in a PJs roundup.. So, here you go!

Kids Classic Pajamas

The aptly named Kids Classic Pajamas from Made by me patterns are pretty classic pajamas for kids

Free PJs

The Devin Pajamas are a free pattern from Fabrics Shop

The Mulberry Pajamas

The Mulberry Pajamas from Sewing and the City comes with shorts and pants options

Lara Loungewear

The Lara Loungewear Set from Swim Style Patterns- they don’t only do things to swim in!

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Dreams of summer garden

A little bit of an unusual premise for this blog- fabrics & garment inspo that remind me of the gardens of Piet Oudolf (see more here and also here).

Piet Oudolf designed the high line garden/park in NYC, and all of the fabrics suggested here are from nz fabric stores.

Designer End – Fun Spring Colour Viscose Lawn $22 pm from The Fine Cloth Company

Oval Shank Button etched vine floral design from Drapers Fabrics

Wintergarden Sateen Double Georgette – Night $26.00 per metre from The Fabric Store

Abstracty fabrics

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Dupe this #6

My style-prediction for southern hemisphere summer is ‘European Summer Holiday Vibes’. Breezy, woven, natural-fibre clothes which have a slightly fancier edge. Think things you could throw on over togs when heading to the beach, but which are nice enough to wear to sunny afternoon drinks.

The kind of clothes you’d pack for a summer vacay on the European coast. Think Daniel Craig’s seersucker two-piece swimsuit from Glass Onion, Aubrey Plaza’s wardrobe in White Lotus (particularly this vintage dress and this striped shirt). Neutral coloured linens and crisp shirtings, pleated pants but relaxed shirts, there’s matching sets and plenty of elastic-waisted wide-leg pants.

So here’s a summer-style inspired Dupe This.

The striped shirt is the obvious starting point, and I saw it coming when I set up this Summer Stripe Pinterest Board. Crisp shirting in vertical stripes (lots of white and cream as the neutral shade).

Check out my roundup of oversized shirts for the perfect smart, but casual, sun protection excellence.

NZ striped shirting fabrics

I love the crumpled cotton look on this dress, and I think The Fine Cloth Company’s Washer Cotton in lilac would be a great dupe.

No exact dupe patterns but Quincy from Jennifer Lauren, Naomi from StyleArc, Wildwood Wrap Dress or Melba from Muna and Broad all have aspects of the inspo.

I think we’ll be seeing a lot of relaxed-fit shirts in fun summery prints (probably with matching pants or shorts).

Check out my roundups of not specifically oversized shirts part 1, part 2, and part 3 or specifically the Waikerie Shirt or Gilbert Top and this fabric.

Printed summery fabrics

I love to find an exact fabric match- it’s much easier with prints than it is with solid fabrics. Use this cotton shirting for an exact fabric match with Romey from Sew House 7, or Huon from Muna and Broad

Whether it’s excellent straight line holes or broderie anglaise holes, what says summer more than fabric with holes in it?

Make a shirt or a shirt dress (lots of links above) or a boxy top like Augustina (free), Torrens (extended sizes), or Square Neck Top,

Find broderie fabric

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Oversized shirt patterns

If you’re thinking about sewing big shirts, this is the roundup for you! This season I’m feeling inspired by relaxed fit, natural fibre shirts- they’re 1 part fancy and 1 part sun protection!

Let’s kick off with the Oversized Shirt from The Assembly Line- it’s all in the name! You can also purchase a pack of different shaped collars separately.

Available up to 139cm (54″.5″) hip

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

For Big Shirt Energy, the Lobethal Shirt from Muna and Broad. This lets you skip making a collar and has excellently sized pockets.

Available up to 182cm (71.5″) hip (but will grade up if sizing is too small to include you for no extra cost)

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

The Cornell Shirt from Elbe Textiles is a casual, oversized shirt with drop shoulder and a grandpa collar which is designed for unisex wearing.

Available up to 143cm (56.5″) hip

Want more shirts?

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

The Olya Shirt and Shirtdress from Paper Theory Patterns has a great oversized look and fancy breast pockets that are cleverly constructed into the front. I feel like everyone who makes this raves about the clever drafting which makes this an especially fun sew to sink your teeth into.

Available up to 146cm (57.5″) hip

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

The Bloom Shirt & Dress from Make by TFS has 3 collar options, which includes some very unique collars!

Available up to 159cm (62.5″) hip but will grade up or down if you’re outside of their size range.

The Ellworth from Merchant & Mills is an An oversized, boxy shirt with a dropped back hem and half placket.

Available up to 145cm (57.5″) hip

The Waikerie Shirt (and the Waikerie Dress Expansion) from Muna and Broad has multiple views and distinct short and long-sleeve options.

Available up to 182cm (71.5″) hip (but will grade up if sizing is too small to include you for no extra cost)

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Sew yourself Barbie

Christchurch-makers are headed to see the Barbie Movie this Saturday, so what better time to round up some patterns & fabric to replicate some looks!

The Upton Dress from Cashmerette gives you a wide range of sizes and cup-size options on a princess seam dress and Sew Over It has a few vintage-vibe dress patterns. Charm Patterns has a Patreon-only pattern which is an exact dupe for this dress!

Dupe Barbie’s pink look with Jude Flare Jeans from Closet Core or Isle Jeans from Chalk & Notch. Use the Birch Vest from Pattern Emporium, Joy Vest from Style Arc for the vest.

Be just Ken! Embrace fringing on a cowboy-style shirt with the Patsy Blouse from Charm Patterns. It comes in 2 size ranges, sleeved and sleeveless options, and many other options too.

Elbe Textiles’ Serpentine Hat is great for making your own summery hat!

Lean into the pointy collar vibes of this look with the Fibremood Tilda Dress or the Patina Blouse from Friday Pattern Company.

Whip yourself up a pink jumpsuit using the free Rational Dress Society patterns, Closet Core’s Blanca Flight Suit, Fibremood’s Leah Jumpsuit.

Embrace nautical T-shirt vibes with Tarlee T-Shirt (up to 64″ (162cm) from Muna and Broad, Concord T-Shirt (up to 62” (157cm) bust) from Cashmerette, or the Gable Top (up to 62″ (157cm) bust) from Jennifer Lauren Handmade, or a free t-shirt from Closet Core (up to 60″ (152cm) bust).

Duplicate this puff sleeve dress with the Cloud Dress from Sewing by Masin, the Gracie Wrap Dress from Chch-based (I think) The Bold One, or ZW Soft Blouse from Birgitta Helmersson.

Complete the look with a Birkenstock sandal.

Pink fabrics in NZ

Double-sided gingham double gauze from For Fabrics Sake
Hot pink tencel twill from The Fabric Shop in Otara
Hot pink wide-rib knit from The Fabric Box
Hot pink cotton voile from The Fabric Store
Magenta chunky corduroy from Harmer & Huff
Pink silk crepe de chine from The Fine Cloth Company
Bubblegum washer cotton from The Fine Cloth Company
Textured ribbed-ish swim fabric from Drapers Fabrics

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Sewing to replace single-use plastics

As of July, quite a few single-use plastic items have been banned by the NZ government (read more here: https://environment.govt.nz/publications/plastic-products-banned-from-july-2023/). Single-use plastic tableware and cutlery, single-use plastic drinking straws, and single-use plastic produce bags will no longer be available.

Maybe you had already come up with your own solutions to avoid reaching for the single-use plastics, but if not here’s some DIY solutions, like sewing your own reusable produce bags!

Reusable veggie bags

You can absolutely sew your own reusable produce bags- if you’ve got an overlocker, they’re super quick!

Pair tulle, netting or lace with cord or ribbon from your stash. Here’s a great tutorial (and this one too), but any tutorial for a drawstring bag will work out!

While you’re sewing, whip up a smaller bag to jam all your produce bags into like this!

You can also sew a set of opaque produce bags (maybe an organic cotton, if you’re so inclined)- if they’re heavier than those sheer fabrics, write the ‘tare weight’ (the weight of the bag to deduct from the product at the store) onto the bag with a permanent marker and let your cashier know.

Reusable straws

Grab a reusable stainless steel straw from Chch-based Earthlove and then sew yourself up a pouch to carry your reusable straw in your bag (here’s a tutorial but a google search will show you that there are many different ways to house your reusable straws).

Reusable cutlery holder

Whip yourself up a cute reusable cutlery holder using this great free tutorial.

You can see that this one has room for a reusable straw, so you can avoid double-handling and whip up this 1 set to carry everything!

If, like me, you were using those single-use produce bags for multiple uses- storing your produce in the fridge in them… then it’s time to look for an alternative!

I also spotted these french terry produce bags which are designed for you to wet and then store things in! Could be an interesting use for leftover sweatshirt bits!

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

New from NZ

Are you up-to-date on the latest patterns from NZ-based sewing pattern companies? Here’s some very fresh home-grown goodness.

See the full list of NZ Sewing Pattern Designers here or check out all my posts which round up different patterns from local designers here.

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Alistra Dress

The Alistra Dress is the latest pattern from Muna and Broad and the colourblock view is available to M&B Patreon Insiders & Makers.

‘The Alistra Dress is a body skimming, long sleeved column dress designed for larger bodies.’

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Grove Coat

The Grove Coat from Twig and Tale can be purchased in Size ranges 0-22 or 14-38 (up to a 72″ or 183cm hip).

‘The Grove features a unique darted saddle sleeve, and a beautifully-faced pleated lining.  A generous hood to keep raindrops and wind off, deep pockets for stashing treasures, and a relaxed comfortable fit that is ready for adventure.’

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Helmi Blouse

The Helmi Blouse from Forget Me Not Patterns comes with a Peter Pan collar and ruffled stand collar, and has a bishop sleeve in several lengths. There are bust and back darts to give tailoring and small, medium and full bust fits to help dial in the fit.

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Johari Shirt

The Johari Shirt from Liam by Ruby is an oversized drop-shoulder shirt with an exaggerated collar and sleeve cuffs that button into tucks.

We heard this was a juicy sew for confident makers because there’s no notches to help with the collar application!

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Emmie Tee

The Emmie Tee from Dunedin-based Jennifer Lauren Handmade is a relaxed tee with a grown-on sleeve.

‘Emmie comes complete with two bodice versions – plain or slashed, as well as two different bodice lengths and a long sleeved pattern piece for those of us heading into the cooler months.’

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Lilo Dress

The Lilo Dress from My Keeper

‘The sweetest dress you’ll ever own.’

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Paint Dress + Top

The Paint Dress + Top from Make by The Fabric Store

[A] ‘playful voluminous silhouette and raglan sleeve, gathered at the neckline and cuff… a cuffed full length sleeve, or an elasticated short sleeve The pattern can be cut as a dress, finishing at mid-calf, or as a top, finishing at low hip’

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Sweatshirt storm

It’s been chilly down here in the South Island- the perfect time to sew a sweatshirt! I whipped up a matching set over the easter long weekend (peep them here), and realised that I’d never given you a roundup of all the sweaters living in my head!

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Blueprints for Sewing

The Stadium (left in green) and the Geodesic (right in orange), both are available up to a 60″ (152.4cm) bust and 61″ (154.9cm) hip.

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

I recently made a Stadium and used the included lettering templates to add some merino felt lettering to the front of my sweater. The felt came from The Felt Factory (here in NZ) and you can watch some of my process here.

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Talvikki Sweater

The Named Clothing Talvikki Sweater is an elevated funnel with a high-low hem which is available up to a 50″ (128cm) bust and 53.5″ (142cm) hip.

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Delicious ponte in NZ?

Ponte or ponti de roma fabric is a soft and sturdy  double-knit material which can make for an excellently elevated sweater. Usually with great structure and quite resistant to pilling, it’s most often found in polyester form. You can occasionally find ponte which is mostly rayon/viscose, or sometimes even the holy grail of ponte: wool ponte!

Jocko Pullover

The Ready To Sew Jocko Pullover has a similar high-low hem to the Talvikki but with a few different neckline options.

It’s available up to a 48″ (143cm) bust and 50″ hip (129cm)

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot


The Melilot patterns Maggi Unisex Sweater is a raglan sleeve sweater which is available up to a 62″ (158cm) bust (same in hip since this is a straight-up-and-down Unisex design)1

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Sweatshirting in NZ?

I’m never not hunting for natural fibre sweatshirting in NZ, and I’m a bit of a purist- I really don’t want any polyester in my sweatshirting. If that sounds like you, then here’s some links for you!

Most of my sweater knits from from the Fabric Stash from factory NZ Facebook page. I can’t link you to specific fabrics because limited pre-cut fabrics get launched Monday-Wednesday each week. There’s not always sweater knits, but when it comes it comes all at once.

Enid Sweater

The Jennifer Lauren Handmade Enid Sweater is designed to look like a cute vintage knitted sweater, but which will be much faster to make!

The Enid is available up to a 49″ (124.5cm) bust and 53″ (134.5cm) hip

More Sweaters

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Dupe this #5

In which I find RTW garments and recommend patterns and/or fabrics to duplicate it!

The dupe in this means duplicate rather than to be tricked by. Although, I suppose if the pattern and fabric match I recommend is a good enough match then you might trick people into thinking you purchased this exact look, thereby duping them?

Maybe it works both ways! You can catch episode 4, episode 3episode 2 and episode 1 on the blog.

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

Dupe the fabric

If you’ve been on the ChCh sews email newsletter you’ll know that I LOVE finding garments made from fabrics I’ve seen online.

I spotted these dresses that are made with silk check from TFS and shared them in the Dupe This #3 post.

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Since then, I’ve spotted even more RTW garments that use it! I really like it as a shirt- especially the relaxed camp collar paired with silk! If you’re looking for shirt recommendations check out all my shirt roundups! I would dupe this with my go-to Waikerie Shirt but you could also use Helen’s Closet’s Gilbert Top.

The silk top above has a knit neckline, so it’s kind of like a woven t-shirt. Dupe it with Merchant and Mills’ woven Tee Shirt pattern (which has a knit neck) or skip the casual neck with a woven shell top like Cashmerette’s Montrose Top or Grainline’s Scout Tee.

I’ve made a point to include some pointelle since I’ve been seeing a lot of it popping up recently. OTY Fabrics in NZ has some cute pointelle fabric and there’s a $12 per metre merino with subtle pinholes from Nick’s Fabrics in Auckland.

Dupe this look with the Cashmerette Fuller Cardigan or the Juniper Cardigan from Jennifer Lauren Handmade.

A swingy t-shirt dress is a great choice for cool weather layering

I would dupe this look with a lengthened Hexham Dress, but TFS Mabel Dress would also be a great choice.

Perfect for winter in merino, in NZ I search Nick’s Fabrics, The Fabric Shop Otara, and Backstreet Bargains first when I’m hunting for NZ-based options.

I have recently fallen into an internet rabbit hole of summer striped shirts or dresses (this pinterest board will attest).

TFS have a great selection of striped shirtings, including this chocolate and white stripe which may well be an exact match for this shirt.

I would dupe this with the Muna and Broad Tarawi Shirt, but TAL Oversized Shirt or the Grainline Archer Shirt.

Are you sensing the cosy theme to this post yet?

This cotton/linen blend is $35 for 5metres and would make a lovely loungewear/PJs set.

Check out my roundup of PJs here.

It’s getting towards cosy time and if you’re not keen for a self-quilting extravaganza then you can duplicate this quilted outer with pre-quilted fabric!

Maai Designs in Aus has some lovely colourful options, but at $15 per metre, this black pre-quilted fabric from Nick’s in Auckland is a great choice too.

For patterns, check out my roundup of quilted patterns here.

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Autumnal sewing

Mornings are getting chillier down here in Christchurch, and there’s pears and apples and walnuts falling almost everywhere on my daily jaunts out-and-about with the dog. What a great time to roundup some autumn-inspired blog posts from years past!

Big Pocket Patterns

I purposefully mention nature’s bounty as we head into autumn- I keep finding blackberries and walnuts on my walks, but you really do need some big pockets (and several of them) to capture everything.

Other roundups you might like

Quilted Jackets

What better time of the year to be quilting an outer layer?! The project will keep you cosy while you’re sewing it and then you’ll be wearing it in time for winter!

Cosy fabric in NZ

It’s always a good time to remind you about my list of online shops in NZ where you can buy garment fabric!


Will the shacket still be the perfect look for this winter? Even if they’re not in the shops, they can still be on your body through the power of sewing!

Chore Jackets

Keep cosy with a workwear vibe! I’ve rounded up some great chore jacket patterns here.

Want free sewing patterns?

That’s probably as juicy and link-filled as a blog post can get!

Want to get printing?

Email your PDF pattern files through to hello@chchsews.com to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page