On our last visit to Christchurch (we left exactly a week almost to the hour before the quake, again), we did something I haven’t plucked up the courage to do at home yet.
We painted. Or rather, Harriet painted.

There were some learning curves at the start. If we squeezed the paint into saucers, she naturally thought they were something both highly colourful and edible. When we squirted small blobs onto the paper, then things started happening.

The only problem then became that things didn’t stop happening.

Let’s just say, it’s wise to run the bath before beginning the painting.

New quilt

I’m working my way through a single sized quilt for an old cast iron bed I’ve got for Harriet’s room. It’s made me realise that I will never, never, never, make a queen size one. With that in mind, Etsy and I became better friends that we had been already, and I bought this.
Washed and dried, here’s how it looks on my bed:

And here’s what I love about it:


Recycled dress using my favourite pattern, again. It used to be an old nighty from the Gap, but the smocking elastic went and then it was just a shapeless pile of pretty fabric. Not any more!

One of Harriet’s grandfather’s shirts, cut down into a summery tunic. Shown here with no pants, ahem, but ordinarily, I’d suggest something more. I used a great free pattern from, although it’s super hard to find on their website. I think this would work well on a boy as well… probably turned around and maybe with a collar? I’ll definitely use it again, maybe even with some fancy twists (and some pants).

The Botanic Gardens

Wellington has fantastic botanic gardens, full of fountains and secret paths, and other children.

The beautiful weather here has made it hard to resist, and it’s so close to our new house.

The hot house, with its raised fish pond, was H’s favourite. I loved that she was quite happy to toddle about pointing at plants and people, and that there was an environment in which it was fine for her to do that. We’re not free-range parents by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d like to think we’re pretty free-reined.

Quilt for EK

In Christchurch, every baby is given a small black and white board book to help with their eye development and, hopefully, an early love of reading. A very good friend of mine is pregnant for the second time, but the new baby will not be born in Christchurch, so I wanted to make something to fill the gap.

The front is made from a black and white charm pack by Moda, mixed with a turquoise cotton I bought in a Plunket fundraiser grab bag. It’s backed with a black and white check/spot, and filled with a cotton flannel.

I’m super proud of making the binding myself, and for the hours of blindstitch I actually did. I was tempted to resort to topstitching with the machine, but resisted.

New shoes

Experimentation in progress:

Harriet is in need of shoes now she’;s been walking for over a month, and she’s keen to try walking on pavements and rough ground. I thought I’d try to make a sandal, as it’s been so warm here. These are on the right track…

…but now quite there yet. They tend to slip around her feet a bit, and I think I need to re-think the back strap.
On the up side, they were very easy to make and the lovely think leather came from Hands in Christchurch for only $10/kg, so I definitely have enough for a few more attempts!

Summer shirts

Harriet and I have just come back from a week in Christchurch. It was absurdly hot down there for two girls who have thoroughly acclimatised to Wellington. Good thing I made these before we left:

Knowing it would be hot, I made up some little peasant tops, using the tutorial from indietutes again. One is in what I suspect is a coral cotton/silk (but was purchased in a grab bag from a Plunket fundraiser, so who knows?) and the other is a very graphic light cotton from Global Fabrics. I flared the bottom of the tops out into an A-line, and left off the elastic on the slightly-longer-than-last-time sleeves.

They’re comfortable and light and were in constant use in the hot sun, protecting fair little arms (that were also slathered in suncream). Also, H seems very happy in them…


(Notice the very fun props she has. They spend far more time being played with than worn!)

Sewing leather shoes, part 2

A very basic shoe, but a much needed one. The mary-janes are very similar to a pair I was given when Harriet was newborn. I made a cloth pair based on the originals about 6 months ago, and she has now outgrown both sets.
These were made from a knee length pink suede skirt. I’ve stepped up my game with the transition from cloth to suede, and added a few little details, like the bunched backs to help keep them on.

They’re so easy to make… a foot tracing for the lower piece and horseshoe shape for the top, with arms long enough to meet at the back.
The model has recently discovered velcro, so shoe-on shots are hard to come by!

Here’s our best attempt:

Tips for sewing with leather:
– Leather needles, leather needles, leather needles
– Go slow
– Use cheap leather to begin with (reused is the best kind)


First quilt:

First monogram:

First reuse of old linens:

First birthday present:

Less than a month til H turns one. I loved making this for her… it’s primarily old table linens, including the back which is one beautiful botanical embroidered cloth. The batting is an old woollen blanket and the prints on the front are mostly Heather Ross.