Kilt knows how to surprise and delight

I was walking around on my lunch break a few weeks ago when I got a phone call from an unknown number. Expecting a bank or an insurance company, I was surprised to hear that it was someone from Kilt. She was calling to let me know that my free earrings were available for me to pick up. Why? Because it was my birthday month!

Not many brands actually go to the effort of doing this, but when they do it really does make a difference. I’ve always been fans of Kilt and their NZ-made ethos, but this was super lovely and a real point of difference.

It’s small gestures like this that can really make a brand stand out from the crowd. Thanks Kilt!

Check out the goodies Kilt has

Kilt earrings image1 (3)

My two-tone merino scarf experiment

In Wellington, the wind can mean that you need a thick wide scarf to snuggle into while you’re walking around. I couldn’t find one that was wide enough, so I decided to make my own.

You can buy infinity scarves, but they aren’t cheap (around $40-60). I made one by watching this ‘how-to’ video. I spent a grand total of $21 getting my merino in the Global Fabrics sale.

For this super simple project, you need:

  • fabric that you love, length 24 inches, width 54-60 inches (stretch is what I used)
  • measuring tape
  • good pair of scissors
  • thread
  • a sewing needle
  • of course, your sewing machine.

Here’s how mine turned out. For mine, it was a variation on the video tutorial. Basically instead of folding over the same piece of merino, I cut out two wide pieces in different colours. I then followed the basic instructions on the video.

Try it out and see how easy it is!

Merino scarf

Made my first skirt thanks to the Fashion Workshop

I’m so pleased my friend asked me if I’d be keen to do a bag making sewing class a few months ago. Because after progressing from that, we decided we were ready for the skirt making ‘not your nana’s sewing class’ at Wellington’s Fashion Workshop.

I was super excited to find a NZ made pattern for my skirt from Papercut Patterns. Really cute packaging and pretty easy to follow. They are based in Nelson, NZ and have a modern take on patterns. Here’s the pattern of the skirt I made.

As I am a total rookie, it was great that our tutor Jenny from the Fashion Workshop was really helpful and patient. Questions like ‘umm how do I thread the machine?’ were allowed. No question was too stupid and the class was nice and small.

I finished the skirt during the once a week (for 3 weeks) 3 hour sessions after work. Using mum’s hardly used dream machine Bernina was a bonus and created a nice smooth finish. I reckon it might need tweaking and taking in a little bit, but I was so excited to get some use out of it that had to wear it to work (pic below – skirt made from 100% wool bought at Global Fabrics Wellington).

I fully recommend this sewing course and I know my friend and I will definitely be getting along to another one.

Check out patterns at Papercut Patterns

Find out about sewing classes at the FashionWorkshop

Wearing my first made skirt

Made in NZ – CAST clothing

Just discovered this brand CAST by Catherine Stonely, made right here in NZ.

CAST is a one man or should I say woman band. She stocks and ships lots of cute dresses, tunics, tops, leggings and accessories. She is based in Fielding but occasionally comes down to Wellington to the Frank Kitts market. Hoping she gets here soon otherwise I feel a road trip is in order…

I love this coat.

CAST website

An interview with Starfish founder Laurie Foon

I was lucky enough to score an interview with the inspirational founder of New Zealand label ‘Starfish‘.
Here she answers 3 burning questions that I had…

How has Starfish managed to keep its manufacturing in NZ when so many other NZ labels have moved offshore for their manufacturing?

“Through prioritising this as one of our values, using good systems and recognising the value that NZ Manufacturers offer our product – be this in the quality, timely delivery and ease of communication.”

What do you think Starfish’s point of difference is from other brands?

“Our point of difference is our design essence which consists of love and longevity. Our customers love our garments on their bodies. They look great and always seem to be uplifted and the fabrics work and breathe well (we love natural fibres).  Our customers are also happy to invest as their previous garments have remained favourites and worn well over time.”

What is one thing in the NZ fashion industry that you would like to see changed?

“For our business, we really want to see more ‘environmentally kind’ fabrics offered to us from our fabric suppliers. Instead we are seeing more and more polyester based fabrics which are cheaper but in the long-term not sustainable.  Also I would like to see the industry start to help with agreeing on some environmental values and start to promote this.  For example, can we agree that NZ made is better for the economy and environment and promote this.
I’d like to measure chain store garment waste and also have some tax or pollution measure.  The UK recorded an incredible number of garments that end up in landfills and can’t even be donated to third world countries.  Allowing business to create such waste is very short-sighted. Encouraging chain store garment waste would be a good test to make businesses responsible for what they produce.” – Laurie Foon, Starfish founder
Laurie Foon Starfish founder
Snapshot starfish website

The wonderful Starfish is NZ made and proud of it

I bought this lovely top awhile ago when I was looking for a Starfish sale gem. What attracted me to Starfish as a brand is the fact that they’ve been walking the sustainable ethical walk for ages now!

Starfish brings you eco fashion from New Zealand and around the world.

As well as the iconic Starfish label, the Starfish Shops carry an extensive range of fantastic clothes, shoes and accessories. They show that a love for fashion can go hand in hand with caring for the environment.

Starfish jacket/top

Read about their story

Read about how eco fashion battles throwaway fashion