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 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 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 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 to get started. A0 printing is $6 per sheet and A4 from $.15 per page

Ice dyeing outcome

In this blog I’m going to share the results of my recent ice dyeing experiments!

Check out the previous posts

1. Ice dyeing equipment & soaking
2. Ice dyeing, how to!
3. Ice dye rinsing

If you want more info, Check out my 2-page PDF which rounds up places in NZ to shop the supplies and has an easy-to-follow 1 page set of instructions for ice dyeing.

A white linen Muna and Broad Waikerie Shirt
Dyed with bubblegum, hot pink, brown rose Procion MX dyes 

In the Ice dye rinsing blog I shared which dye shades I used with each of these fabrics! I loved the look of my Waikerie Shirt so much that I went ahead and dyed my white duvet cover and some matching pillowcases for my bed. I love the results and shared them as a Reel on Instagram!

The colour took really well to my viscose knit fabric (below), but the colour combo itself doesn’t particularly speak to me (totally my own fault)! I might turn this fabric into some summery knit PJs.

You can also see the white seersucker that I dyed above. I love the way that the great texture of the seersucker continues to play on the dye. I wonder about turning this into a really dramatic dress with lots of gathering.

I think my favourite outcome came from dyeing this shirt though. Because it was already constructed, the dye pattern plays across the shirt really seamlessly, and I really like how it obscures the different pattern pieces.

You can see here how the dye continues from the yoke down to the back piece. I enjoy how it looks like I’ve really nailed pattern matching.

I’d love to experiment with some more already-constructed-clothing. Maybe socks, beanies, and some other garments which aren’t in my favourite shades!

Ice dyeing, how to!

Check out part 1 of my ice dyeing blog posts here: Ice dyeing equipment & soaking.

After soaking my fabrics for 20-minutes (more info on that here), I cracked on with the next steps!

Set up the equipment

It helped to have everything set up so that once the soaking was done, I was ready to go.

The corrugated cardboard collars needed to be taped to stay in its circular form and it would have been more useful if I had cut them higher so that they acted as a barrier for even more ice.

I used 1 bag of ice, which I had crushed on the ground (still in the bag) to separate the ice cubes as much as possible. I could/should have used more to totally cover the fabrics. If you sprinkle the powdered dye directly onto the fabric then you get powder dye spots rather than the renaissance cloud texture of the ice dye.

Want easy to follow step-by-step instructions?

Check out my 2-page PDF which includes 1 pages of easy to follow instructions.

Note: I did not use gloves for any step because I’m a rebel, but the inside of my fingernails are still showing the dye colours… You should also use a mask while handling the dye powder.

The fun part: dyeing

Of course, the best part of this project is sprinkling the Procion MX powdered dye onto the ice!

Wearing a mask, sprinkle your Procion PX dye over the ice with a spoon. You can add multiple colours, but remember that neighbouring colours will blend together as they melt. That may or may not make colours that you enjoy.

Keep your colour-theory in mind when choosing colours to put onto the same fabric, as the blending of your colours could give you muddy browns which might not be what you were aiming for.

Colour splitting with the dye powder

Once of the luck-of-the-draw things about ice dyeing is the colour split that happens! You can see in the pictures below that there are spots of yellow and blue and pinks and burgundy- this is from a selection of colours that were all pinks and warm blacks and browns. Basically, each powdered dye is made up of lots of other colours of powder, and within a burgundy dye pot you might get specks of yellow and blue and other colours (you know, because of that whole primary colours making other colours thing)!

So, although I guessed some colour combos that I thought would be nice together, it was also quite nice to watch those sub-colours popping out as the dyes split. I think this happened more when the powder touched the fabric directly (instead of melting with the ice), so you can lean into it if you would like.

Time to wait!

Then you need to wait patiently for your ice to melt. Keep your ice out of the sun though as having it melt too quickly can change affect your results! I waited overnight for my ice to melt and came back the following morning to take the next steps- stay tuned!

Skip ahead?

Check out my 2-page PDF which rounds up places in NZ to purchase sodium carbonate and where in NZ sells the cheapest Procion MX dyes and also includes easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions!

Ice dye rinsing

This post will cover off the rinsing and final wash of your fabric, after the ice has melted.

Check out the previous posts

1. Ice dyeing equipment & soaking
2. Ice dyeing, how to!

If you want more info, Check out my 2-page PDF which rounds up places in NZ to shop the supplies and has an easy-to-follow 1 page set of instructions for ice dyeing.

Colours used

The Procion MX dyes come in a wide variety of colours, and I’ve been slowly purchasing different colours as I spotted them on sale during the year. I used different dyes for the 3 different buckets that I set up:

Waikerie Shirt: bubblegum, hot pink, brown rose

Seersucker: magenta, burgundy, chocolate brown, warm black

Viscose Knit: pale aqua, aquamarine, hot pink, emerald

You can see below how the colours split- the blue and yellow spots came from my Waikerie Shirt bucket which was 3 different shades of pink!

Rinse & wash

Once your ice has melted, rinse in cold water till the water runs clear. Jacquard, the company who makes the Procion MX dyes, recommends rinsing in increasingly warm water until it’s as hot as you can stand. Then you want to wash in the washing machine on a hot cycle. You can use a product like Synthrapol or other soap meant for dyeing (I recommend different products in my 2-page PDF on ice dyeing).

Although there wasn’t many white-spots on the fabric after the ice had melted, after the rinsing and the wash, a lot of the excess colour had washed out and had left me with some nice undyed sections, which I’m pleased about.

Want to do your own dyeing?

Check out my 2-page PDF which rounds up places in NZ to purchase sodium carbonate and the Procion MX dyes at the cheapest price. There’s also a 1 page document with step-by-step instructions- great for printing out and following along with whole you’re dyeing!

Ice dyeing equipment

Is Ice dyeing the perfect summer project? I’ve been planning to give it a whirl for a while, and I finally bit the bullet, after spending quite a bit of time researching! I settled on a method of dyeing that works on natural-fibre fabrics, since that’s what I sew and wear!

Over the next week-or-so there’ll be some blog posts popping up which will show the process behind the ice dyeing, but I’ve also put together a 2-page PDF which is available here!

How-to Ice-dye PDF

My pay-what-you-want PDF download steps you through ice dyeing natural-fibre fabrics using Procion MX dyes.

There’s 1 page of step-by-step instructions and handy tips and the 2nd page lists NZ-based suppliers for the Procion MX powdered dye and the soda ash/sodium carbonate who stock the products for much cheaper than at your big-box-sewing-stores.

The ingredients

  • Procion MX dyes. These are powdered dyes which work with natural fibres.
  • Soda ash/sodium carbonate (10g per litre of water)
  • Water
  • Ice

Soda ash solution

You can save the soaking water with the soda ash/sodium carbonate and reuse it. Next time I will put mine into a strong lidded bucket and keep it on hand.

Where to buy Soda ash in NZ?

Check out my 2-page PDF which rounds up places in NZ to purchase sodium carbonate and where in NZ sells the cheapest Procion MX dyes!


I basically used what I had on hand, but had also purchased some extra cake racks for the project!


You’re going to want some kind of rack that allows the water from the melting ice to drip away and not pool under your fabric.


I used these tall buckets because they’re what I had, but also because they gave me the room to pop some old torn cotton sheets below to catch the colourful drips (more on that later). I suppose you could just let it drip onto your lawn?


You probably also want some spoons you don’t love for sprinkling the dye on the ice. I used a kitchen spoon because I’m a rebel.

Optional cardboard rings

The corrugated cardboard & tape wraps around your fabric and helps you to pile high your ice and have it stop falling off. Next time I would make my cardboard a bit wider so that it held more ice.


I dyed cotton seersucker fabric, a white linen Waikerie Shirt and viscose/spandex knit. These were all pre-washed.

Preparing your fabrics

NB you should wear gloves and a mask when working with the soda ash and the procion powdered dye, basically because if you inhale it often then it’s not good.


There’s all kinds of info about washing your fabrics in something like synthrapol before soaking them in the soda ash. I did not. All of my fabrics had previously been pre-washed in the natural, low-ph, enzyme free washing powder (which is just what I always use to extend the life of my me-made clothes). So, I skipped any additional washing and I jumped straight to soaking in soda ash.

I filled a big bucket with water (which I guessed was enough to cover all the fabrics). The inside of the bucket indicated the number of litres so I added the soda ash according to the ratio 10g of soda ash per litre of water or approx 1 cup per 3.79L of water.

Stir to dissolve the soda ash (use gloves), and then pop your fabric in for 20-minutes. Gently squeeze out excess liquid, crumple into a ball and then move to the next stage.

Note: You can save soda ash solution for use over and over again if you intend to do lots of ice dyeing.

Stay tuned

Keep an eye out for the next installment, which will step you through the dyeing and rinsing process!

Roundup of roundups

Hello lovely ChCh sews makers! It’s the perfect time of the year for roundups of roundups!

Below are some links to my previous blog posts which feature giftable sewing projects- lots of inspiration and plenty of fodder for scrolling!

Free giftable pattern roundups

Other giftable pattern roundups

Some of the patterns in these roundups are free, some are not!

Giftable Projects

I’m on a sewing roundup kick and today I’ve got some more giftable sewing patterns… All of these would also make great self-gifts (that’s where you just make them for yourself…. my favourite kind of gifting)!

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

The Apreon

This cross-back apron comes in Small Child (3-8yrs), Smaller Adult, and the usual Muna and Broad size range (up to 71.5″ hip)

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

Roll Top Fanny Pack

This Roll Top Fanny Pack from Proper Fit Clothing has lots of thoughtful details. If I’d found it earlier, I might have included it in my Sewing for the outdoors pattern roundup.

“The Garden at Bougival” by Berthe Morisot

A dressing gown

Perfect in a variety of fabrics, and with free enough sizing that it’s possible to take a punt on a size that’s close enough for someone, a dressing gown in gorgeous fabric makes for a luxurious gift!

“Villa with Orange Trees, Nice” by Berthe Morisot

** Both M&B and TFS will grade their patterns up if their size range is too small to include you.

Guro bag

The Guro back from Melilot Patterns looks like a bag that would start conversations on the street!

The gift of sleepwear

How much do you like this person? If it’s A LOT, or if it’s you, then perhaps some PJs?

Find the roundup of PJs here!


A great use for leftover linen from projects, this tutorial steps you through fancy mitred corner napkins!

Sun hats

Perhaps at another time in the year there can be a roundup of hats to keep you warm, but for now, here’s some hats to keep you sun smart.

Remember- no hat, no play!

Pet hoodie

Who wouldn’t want a hoodie for their dog?

Want more roundups?

Check out the ‘Roundup of roundups‘ post that lists all the posts on the blog that include giftable projects!

Free simple zipper pouches

I’m love a cute little zipper bag, and this free tutorial steps you through sewing up a fully-lined zipper pouch

Want to get printing?

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