Clothing Store

New Clothing Store online!

Summer this year is one that will be etched in my mind forever. It started off particularly warm for Auckland with the humidity taking over the city in early December & the warmness just didn’t abate. Sure, the rain came & went but the days stayed scorching & the nights balmy leaving my normal December attire of jeans tucked in the drawer. The summer warmth was a welcomed end to a long year.

The year before, a friend had found out that my children’s pattern making business was up & running. With eager excitement she said, “you should make kaftans for kids, I’ll buy them!”. Her pale skinned, strawberry blonde little girl was in desperate need of covering up with something light & airy. It wouldn’t be until a year later that I decided it was time to crack on & get that kaftan pattern sorted for that little girl’s birthday. So, the Aruba Kaftan was designed, & made. 

Aruba Kaftan in Midnight

Aruba Kaftan in Midnight

I got such a great response from the gift that my husband harped on that “you should be making those to sell, because not everyone can sew you know!”. I am a sewing pattern brand catering to home sewers, so this didn’t really sound like a convincing argument to get me behind the machine for the summer. But it did get me thinking, sewers don’t always make everything they wear or what their children wear. Sometimes life just gets too busy, or they're indulging in another creative hobby & don't have time to sew. This has definitely been the case for me over the years. Either way, the love of handmade can still be appreciated & enjoyed even if it's made by someone else.

So, with the December heat blazing I started cutting & sewing kaftans to see if the world liked them as much as my friends & family…. I have to say I have a new appreciation for the women & men who sew ‘bulk’ fashion in mass production factories at discount prices. They are the true super stars of mainstream fashion.

I'm so excited to announce that my online Clothing Store has opened at www.patternandcloth.com! I’m going to say it’s a case of dipping my toes in to see if it works at this stage, but I had great fun sewing the kaftans & we'll see if others love them as much as my friends & I do.

xAmy

Aruba Kaftan in Bloom

Aruba Kaftan in Bloom

Aruba Kaftan

I plan to offer my Aruba kaftan pattern for free in the future when anyone signs up to my website. (All my current followers will be sent it, so don’t worry yours will be on its way in the next month or so). If you don’t have time to sew at the moment, or you're looking for a quick gift. I'd love for you to check out my new Clothing Store.

The Aruba Kaftans NZ$40 + postage, 100% cotton, handmade in New Zealand by yours truly & limited sizes & colours available.
Available in sizes small 3-5yrs, medium 6-8yrs & large 9-12yrs.

Fabric Shopping in Auckland

If you are wanting to find great fabric in Auckland, check out my previous post on The Ultimate Guide to Fabric Shopping Auckland.


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sewing essentials

What to buy someone who loves sewing this Christmas?

I’ve been harping on to my girls about needing to tell me what they want for Christmas for months now. I like to be organised well before the day, so the days rolling into Christmas are aimed at keeping my resting heart rate under 160. My girls are 6 & 8 years, & I thought this would be the year my heart would sing with requests of sewing machines & fabrics in all prints & colours. Finally they're at an age where they understand what I do & are even proud as punch to wear Pattern and Cloth clothes. So I started the hints early, that maybe it’s time to teach these young ladies how to sew. I relayed stories of  dreaming to make clothes in any colour or fabric you want. I’d teach them & it would be loads of fun. I thought I’d sold the dream, I sure had talked about it enough. My 6 year old was confronted last night at the dinner table. The question was asked, ‘what do you want for Christmas’? My husband & I looking intently waiting for the revelation that would solve all Christmas shopping woes. The anticipation on my part, was bubbling inside, this is where Mother and daughter start their bond of endless stitches only yet to be imagined. And she drops the bomb. ‘I want a whoopee cushion!’ Deflation of the un-whoopee cushion kind leaves my body. A $3 piece of rubber so she can prank her sister.  I concede... this year is not going to be the year for sewing machines. I will try again next year.

For all of you more serious sewers, or even novice or beginner sewers that want to up their sewing game. I’ve listed my 10 all time best sewing tools I wish I’d bought way back at the start of my sewing journey.  Not everything life changing in the sewing world has to be expensive, so there is something for everyones budget.        

10 gifts for the sewers Christmas stocking

1. Dritz Cone Thread Holder
These are a must for all sewers & if you haven’t seen one in the sewing room, then it’s a fantastic gift to give this Christmas. How many small spools of cotton do you have to go through before you ask 'there must be a cheaper way?! These little gadgets are under NZ$20, coupled with a few overlocker/serger spool sized cotton reals & the savings on cotton purchasing will start accumulating. This is definitely my number 1 purchase for a sewing christmas gift.

2. Sharp Scissors
I recommend buying the best shears you can afford so they’ll be enjoyed for many years ahead. After many many pairs of cheap plastic handled sewing scissors, my husband bought me a pair from a clothing factory in China. I haven't sharpened these in over 5 years & they’re a pleasure to cut with each & every time. A beautiful gift that will last a life time if you purchase quality.

3. Merchant & Mills Entomology Pins
For the sewer of fine & sheer garments, you can’t go past popping a box of these pins into the Christmas stocking. After years of pulled fibres whilst working with silk & satins, a friend told me to give the Merchant & Mills entomology pins a crack. They’re super fine & perfect for pinning away with no pulls.

 4. Overlocker/Serger
 
Sewing gifts don’t get much better than an overlocker/serger, especially if the recipient has never owned one before. When it comes to sewing knit fabrics a 4 thread overlocker makes the job super quick & gives a stunning finish. Definitely worth splurging for one of these this Christmas!

5. Dritz Point Turner
Looking for a cheap & cheery sewing gift? This little bamboo gem is inexpensive & indispensable once you've had a go with one. Great for pushing out corners to ensure a crisp professional finish. Definitly worth adding to the sewing tool kit.

6. Bohin Pin Cushion
I have to admit, I don't have one of these. I've been using my own handmade cushion for years. Pins are often left all over the place, because I don't aways carry my pin cushion with me back & forth between the iron & the sewing machine. The Bohin pin cushion is on my own Christmas list this year. They look so good, classy & so handy that it goes around your wrist. I love it!

 7. Fraliz Snips
A descent pair of snips or small scissors are a fantastic present for a sewer at Christmas. Cheap snips wear blunt with time or the alignment goes out. These Fraliz soft touch scissors from Italy are amazing.... they look gorgeous & not so easy to lose being hot pink.

8. Bernina Seam Ripper
Not all seam rippers are created equal...trust me! The Bernina seam ripper/quick unpick is my go to. I'll drive miles to pick up this particular brand. It's fine & sharp & makes light work of those annoying mistakes.

9. Clover Chaco Liner Pen
 
This little gem of an invention is a cracker present for under the tree. Standard chalk pencils often don't stay sharp & markings are often thick & lacking precision. The Clover Chaco Liner Pen is fine & exact in its markings. You can buy different shade refills or gather several pens for different projects & colours. Often found in quilting stores.

 10. Sewing Machine
 
We all know sewing without a sewing machine is a fate many often us wouldn't consider. If you're looking to give the ultimate sewing gift this year. What about a sewing machine for a wanna be sewer or a machine upgrade for the avid seamstress?
I've linked to the sewing machine I use - the Bernina B380. I absolutely love this machine! It has auto button hole programming. For someone that hates & usually avoids sewing button holes, this function makes sewing them perfectly, easy every time.

If you're looking for a cute starter machine, you could take a look at this really cool Bernina Bernette Seville. This was the one I wanted to buy for my girls, but alas it's not mean't to be.

Merry Christmas!


Never tried a PDF sewing pattern before?

You can download our Simple Bib pattern here for free so you can see just how easy it is!


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Fabric for PDF patterns

The Ultimate Guide to Fabric Shopping in Auckland

Looking for the best fabric shops in Auckland? If you're a sewer heading to the Auckland area, you can't leave without checking out our great fabric stores. Here's my list of the best fabric haunts in town to get you enthusiastic over your next sewing project. 

Central & Inner City Suburbs

The Fabric Store, Newton

The Fabric Store, Newton

Drapers Fabric
394 Khyber Pass Road (open 7 days)
This new little gem of a fabric shop has not long popped up on the corner of Khyber Pass & Suiter Street in Newmarket. This is my type of shop as it stocks high quality fabrics, loads of natural fibre fabrics, a great stash of bundled up oddments, leather hides & they stock a range of Merchant & Mills patterns and products. The welcoming staff are the cherry on top here . They're definitely worth checking out if you're in Newmarket.

The Fabric Store
139 Newton Road, Newton (open 7 days)

A New Zealand institution for anyone looking for the ultimate natural fibre fabrics. In the last few years they've started stocking Liberty fabrics, which has injected some great prints into the store. They've got a to-die-for stock of leathers in all shades & even a few sewing patterns on hand. They support a few indie pattern brands & have the odd notion likes zips & threads.... but you wouldn't head here to stock up on your sewing tools & equipment basics. Sign up as a member & you'll get notified when they have their fantastic members sales. They've just recently started selling online too! I LOVE this store, a lot of my clothes originate from their fabric rolls.

Geoff's Emporium
274 Dominion Road, Mt Eden (closed Sundays)

Not a fabric shop as such, but an emporium that is very well known to every central city creative dweller in Auckland. This shop is just simply interesting. They stock fabrics, vinyls, tuille, island prints, sewing tools & equipment, buttons, ribbon, elastic, bias binding.... you get the picture on the sewing front. As well, they stock dress ups, art brushes, pens, papers, cardboard etc.  This is the type of place you just have to have a quick check if you are going past, because you never know what hidden gems are lurking in the fabric piles. The prices are exceptional. If you have to whip up a kids dress up for a party or school, this is definitely your first port of call. 

The Fabric Warehouse
5 Harold Street, Mt Eden
I've found the odd bit of gold in this shop. They have a good range of different weight, price & composition of fabric within each colour way. I would probably try here first if I wanted some plain coloured fabric for suiting or silk.

Centrepoint Fabrics
4 Roxburgh Street, Newmarket (open 7 days)

Recently moved into new premises on Roxburgh Street. Centrepoint is the place to go if you want to find loads of printed patterns, embellished fabrics & a great range of bridal fabrics.  Prices range from entry level rayons up to expensive bridal tulles, laces & beaded lovliness. Make sure you save an hour to pop over the road to Little and Friday for lunch afterwards or even just to stop by and pick up a mouth watering raspberry cream donut....trust me, you won't be dissappointed.

Textile & Things
1 Melrose Street, Newmarket (closed Sundays)

Good selection of fabric for homewares & curtains

Martha's Furnishing Fabrics
12 Melrose Street, Newmarket
(open 7 days)
This is a great shop if you are planning on making curtains, cushions, blinds or covering a chair. They stock a good range of homeware fabrics.

AB Fabrics
2/4 Eden Street, Newmarket (closed Sundays)

A good selection of fabric for the home, loads of heavy printed cottons & canvas.

Remuera Sewing Centre
320 Remuera Road, Remuera

This shop is more of a quilting fabric shop than stocking fabric for garments. It is a treasure trove full of knick knacks and embellishments.

West Auckland

Spotlight
111 Lincoln Road, Henderson (open 7 days)

I've noticed recently there has been mention of organic cottons being stocked. Not a huge range, but it's a start. Maybe times are a changing for the better at Spotlight. They have 5 branches over Auckland, all open 7 days.

South Auckland

Ribbon & Rose
45b Mt Wellington Highway, Mt Wellington (open 7 days)
This shop is a crafters paradise. They stock everything you need for quilting, embroidery, beading, patchwork & knitting.

The Fabric Shop
24 Lovegrove Crescent, Otara (closed Sundays, half day on Saturday)

This shop is a treasure trove of a huge range of fabrics. Definitely worth the trip down south if you  have transport to get there. 

Nick's Fabrics
5 Lovegrove Crescent, Otara (closed Sundays)

This is where fabric rolls go to die.... well not quite and don't let that put you off. Bargains are to be had at this shop and its well worth a trip down south to check it out. The great thing about going to Nicks fabrics, is there is another wee gem just round the corner!

Spotlight
67 Cavendish Drive, Manukau City (open 7 days)

The good old faithful Spotlight. Not top of the line quality fabrics, but quite a good range of everything from fabrics to notions, tools & equipment. I've noticed recently there has been mention of organic cottons being stocked. Not a huge range, but it's a start. Maybe times are a changing for the better at Spotlight. They have 5 branches over Auckland, all open 7 days.

Spotlight
315-375 Mt Wellington Highway, Mt Wellington
(open 7 days)
 

North Auckland - over the bridge

Spotlight
19 Link Drive, Wairua Park

The good old faithful Spotlight. Not top of the line quality fabrics, but quite a good range of everything from fabrics to haberdashery, tools & equipment. I've noticed recently there has been mention of organic cottons being stocked. Not a huge range, but it's a start. Maybe times are a changing for the better at Spotlight. They have 5 branches over Auckland, all open 7 days.

Spotlight
6 Mercari Way, Albany (open 7 days)

Ike's Emporium
92 Clyde Road, Browns Bay (open 7 days)

Brother to Geoff's emporium on Dominion Road. This is the go to place if you're trying to whip up a cheap and cheerful costume. If you hit this emporium on the right day, you can find yourself  discovering some great fabrics at bargain prices.

Ike's Emporium
14 Clarence Street, Devonport (open 7 days)

A smaller version of the Ike's emporium in Browns Bay, still offering a selection of fabrics, however a much small selection.


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A Designer Life

A Designer Life: An Interview with Fabric Designer Holli Zollinger

pdf-sewing-patterns-holli-zollinger-interview.jpg

I’m ecstatic that my first interview is with someone who’s work I’ve truly loved for a long time. With a name like Holli Zollinger, I’m sure she was earmarked for a creative path from birth, & yes I checked it’s her real name. 
Holli, a self confessed shy introvert hailing from Moab, Utah is a designer & artist whom lucky for us, has been putting her unique creative talent to work designing textiles & wallpapers for the past 10 years. Holli’s earthy soulful disposition is well & truly reflected in her design & colour combinations, which she’s ready to let loose on her just being built Moab cottage. I absolutely love seeing Holli's designs shift as the influences & inspirations behind Holli's work change & evolve over time & with the recent launch of my new Little Havana girls dress pattern, I chose the Flamingo Coastal design from her Orlando collection for the pattern release. I caught up with Holli recently to check out what makes her tick, how she keeps the creativity flowing & what’s next for Holli

What’s the latest from Holli Zollinger right now?
I am still deeply invested in botanicals, but lately applying them in a way that feels modern & fresh.  Geometric & tribal designs still play an important role, as I love indigenous & global textiles. Also currently I am pairing down my color palette, to reflect subtlety & hues that are more slight, which feels very exciting to me.

The new release Little Havana dress pattern sewn in Holli's Flamingo Coastal print from the Orlando collection.

The new release Little Havana dress pattern sewn in Holli's Flamingo Coastal print from the Orlando collection.

Have you always wanted to design fabric or is it something that’s evolved over time?
I am currently wrapping up almost a decade in designing textiles!!  I taught myself illustrator about 10 years ago, & needed some way to apply it.  So I started designing fabric to sharpen my digital skills. Having been a visual artist for over 25 years,  graphic design was fairly new to me but so exciting.  Luckily, my hobby turned into a real career, I feel really blessed to be able to do it everyday!

Little Havana dress in Flamingo Coastal print.

Little Havana dress in Flamingo Coastal print.

Have family and friends been supportive of your creative pursuits?
Very, I have amazing family and friend support.  They have been with me from day one.

I see you’re in the process of building a house. Will it be filled with Holli Zollinger originals?Absolutely, you have no idea how much brain activity is ear marked for my future little desert bungalow :)

When you’re designing a range of fabrics, are they designed with an end use in mind?
I don't always have buyers or product in mind, I love to design without any limitations. Though lately, I am feeling the wallpaper trend, and would love to have designs used specifically for that use. 

When the creative juices have somewhat evaporated, what’s your go to, to reinvigorate
yourself & to come up with new designs?

I am still very much active on Pinterest & sites like this to keep on trend & refuel.

Do you feel like you’ve achieved all that you set out to do with your business?
Yes, & no. There's still so much I would love to do. But so amazed that I have come this far.

What’s on the horizon for Holli?
More designs, always!

Holli Zollinger

Holli Zollinger

Your dose of inspiration right now…

Current obsession? Tile
Colour of the moment? Cement
Song on repeat? Clem Leek Album
Your idea of holiday bliss? Relaxing on a beach
Present creative crush? Moroccan Architecture

Do you sew?

Yes, I am embarrassed to admit though, only a little.  I can sew straight lines for things such as pillows and curtains, but I am lost on the variety of detail a garment would require.
I have a 9 year old boy.  And I am certain he would be mortified to wear anything I made for him.

Connect with Holli

Instagram         @hollizollinger
Facebook         https://www.facebook.com/holli.zollinger
Web                 www.hollizollinger.com
Pinterest          https://www.pinterest.com/hollizollinger/


Designs I love from Holli's collections


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A Designer Life

New Pattern & A Designer Life Blog Series Launching Tomorrow

Little Havana Dress Pattern

Summery, simple & stylish.

This week was the launch of my latest pattern at Pattern and Cloth. The Little Havana dress in sizes 3-12yrs. It's the perfect little dress for this coming summer & its super easy to whip up in an afternoon (or two). I've made a few for my girls to wear for school. They love the over sized pockets & it looks great in cotton, knit or a light linen fabric.

A Designer Life: Interview with Holli Zollinger

Holli Zollinger - Fabric designer

Holli Zollinger - Fabric designer

Anyone who knows me well can tell you I love fabric, my hoards of fabric well & truly back me up on this point. When starting Pattern and Cloth, the sewing pattern part was always only half of the equation & I very much wanted fabric to play a big role going forward. After all, what is a great sewing pattern without its perfect fabric partner? I'm therefore launching a blog series which will delve into the lives of fabric designers to find out where they've come from, what inspires them & what they're working on at the moment. With the release of each new Pattern & Cloth sewing pattern we'll be interviewing some great fabric designers from across the globe to help you create a sustainable handmade wardrobe for the child in your life, that you & they will love. I'm excited to announce our first interview is with pattern enthusiast & visual artist Holli Zollinger from Utah.

 


Check out our Privacy Policy here | Got a sewing or fabric question you need answering? Flick me an email to amy@patternandcloth.com

Project Patterns

Want An Easy Sewing Pattern? Try Our Simple Bib Sewing Pattern for free

Starting out sewing can be a daunting process. You've bought your machine & lets be honest that can be information overload in itself, just trying to figure out which is the best machine for you, within your budget.... but now, what to sew? 

Our Pattern and Cloth Simple Bib pattern is perfect if you're learning to sew, & what's more it's free to download! 

If you're new to sewing & you're unsure of the steps to take to get you sewing & in which order. Check out our previous blog post - Beginners Guide to Start Sewing to get you sorted & feeling confident about taking the next step.

Enjoy Sewing!
x Amy

Snap fastener options for the Pattern and Cloth Simple Bib sewing pattern.

Snap fastener options for the Pattern and Cloth Simple Bib sewing pattern.


Check out our Privacy Policy here | Still got questions about getting started sewing? Flick me an email to amy@patternandcloth.com

sewing essentials

Learning to Sew? - A Beginners Guide to get you Started

Here we've outlined the steps from which equipment & tools you'll need, to how you decide what size pattern to buy. We'll show you how to choose your fabric, & prepare it for sewing.
 

Essential Sewing Tools & Equipment

Essential Sewing Tools & Equipment

Step 1. Equipment & Tools
Here's our list of essential equipment & tools that you'll need to get you sewing in a snap. We've broken our equipment & tools list down into 3 categories:
1. The first being the essentials for printing & assembling your PDF pattern.
2. Essentials for sewing your garment
3. Our nice-to-have list of tools you can gather over time to make your sewing experience more streamlined. You can improvise with a lot of sewing tools in the meantime. I think I used a lead pencil instead of tailors chalk for the fist 10 years of my sewing life!

Step 2. Work out what pattern size you need
Its rare that anybody is truly a standard size & shape. Because children's bodies have not yet developed into mature figures with curves and bumps, fitting children's clothing is far simpler than fitting an adults form. Take all your child's measurements & match them to the size indicated on our sizing guide chart to find the size pattern you are going to download.

Step 3. Choose your pattern
This is for me at least, where the fun really starts with sewing. Let your creative mind imagine what a garment could look like in a printed, plain or textured fabric. Choose the pattern you would like to create, & download the pattern.

Step 4. Buy your fabric
Follow the fabric guide on your pattern & select a fabric that you love. If you have an old garment that you've tucked away because you can't bare to throw it out. Pull it out & see if you can cut a pattern off of it.

Step 5. Prepare your fabric
It is really important that you pre shrink your fabric before sewing. This is especially important with fabrics that are made from natural fibres. You'll see exactly how to do this at the bottom of our fabric guide page.

Essential tools & supplies, for printing & assembling your pattern

Essential tools & supplies, for printing & assembling your pattern

Step 6. Print & assemble your PDF pattern
Once you've selected a pattern. Download, print & assemble your pattern.

Step 7. Cut paper pattern to size & transfer pattern markings onto fabric
Cut your Pattern and Cloth paper pattern to the size you require. Lay pattern pieces on your fabric as shown in your instructions. Transfer all markings onto fabric with your air-erasable pen/tailors chalk. Cut out fabric around pattern pieces.

Step 8. Sew
Take a deep breath & plunge right in. Get sewing & most of all, enjoy!

Shopping List

Need to purchase some equipment & tools before you get sewing? Click here for a shopping list to get you started.

Enjoy Sewing!
xAmy


Check out our Privacy Policy here | Still got questions about getting started sewing? Flick me an email to amy@patternandcloth.com