The ES Clyde jumpsuit aka the mother of all pockets

I took a break from sewing masks to sew up a muslin of the Elizabeth Suzann (ES) Clyde jumpsuit last week. Which I adore. I have long been a fan and was sad to hear that the business had closed … Read More

Flashback Fridays: re-usable snack bags from July 2011!

June 2018 marked nine years of blogging here on GrowMama. NINE years! We’re coming up to almost 1000 blog posts – plenty of posts to revisit on Flashback Fridays. Let’s reminisce…this post was published on July 19, 2011. Making re-usable snack bags … Read More

Making: striped chambray Sarah dress

I had this dress cut out and waiting for sewing attention for at least a month.  You can see the original review post for the SewKnitlove Sarah dress pattern HERE.  I wanted to see what the dress would be like with … Read More

birthday gift

I opened the mailbox on my birthday to find this beauty. A gift from a wonderful woman. I feel extraordinarily blessed to have some incredible people in my life.  So much love and skill has gone into this.  I love … Read More

summer tote

I was hanging out with the amazing Alia Bland of Little Bee the other day.  I told her about the happy shirt I made as part of my plan to wrestle 2018 into being a great year, and she told … Read More

end of an extracurricular era

I have been a contributor to Extracurricular magazine for years. The latest issue has just landed. It’s always a joy to sit down with a cup of tea and see it all in print. I will miss it. Yes, because … Read More

summer sewing therapy

In the midst of the busy I have been seeking the calm of creative work. Those of you who been popping in here at GrowMama awhile know that I sometimes sew as a kind of therapy. I think we all … Read More

A gift for you: A Christmas mandala

There are rhythms to our year. In the run up to Solstice and Christmas, like most holidays, we make things. We make peppermint bark, special cookies, cards and gifts to give.  We make for many reasons. It helps bring meaning … Read More

woodworking fijian style

Jed is into his woodworking. His toolboxes are legendary. For awhile he would disappear into a neighbours workshop and the two of them would research and design different swords. When they started hanging out I had visions of him bringing home … Read More

mini clothes peg shooters

 The King of Random delivers again. Hours of fun to be had making these. It does take awhile to whittle the wooden clothes peg but it is worth it. Especially if you get to fire a flaming match. Sheesh! What’s … Read More

birthday prep

I love how much care this kid puts into his birthday plans. It’s all about bringing his people together and sharing good food this year. Oh, and the dressing up and games. I’m looking forward to it. Japanese theme! Think … Read More

matchbox rockets

Matchbox rockets are big in our world at the moment. Who knew you could have so much fun with foil and matches?! Simple to make and super fun, we’ve had these rockets go for 15 metres! The wonderful Adrian showed … Read More

renegade summer sewing

It’s been sooooo HOT here in the New Zealand summer. Several degrees warmer than our usual summer high’s. Not exactly good sewing weather. Especially since my sewing lab is upstairs in our little house. Heat rises and the afternoon can … Read More

Matchbox Studios

Wellington has some uber cool places. Cafe’s bars, galleries, stores…it’s my kind of city. The stand out was a place my friend Ann Brown of AnnieB Handmade, recommended to me. I mentioned that I wanted to visit in the Viva … Read More

handcrafted gift tags

No gift tags and it’s gift wrapping time? Or you just choose to make your own on principle? I am so there. I used a handcrafted label from Izzy and Jean as a template for the size and shape of … Read More


It’s amazing how much fun you can have decorating with just $10 spent at the two dollar shop and a dive into the fabric stash and craft box! We came home with a bag of cobwebs, a pile of black … Read More

nature mandalas

On our way back from tending the vegetable garden we meandered our way back to the house collecting leaves and flowers. We had watched a few YouTube clips of the Dalai Lama and other monks creating sand mandala’s that morning … Read More

A good mess.

The house was a mess today. A good mess. You know, piles of paper bits on the floor, coloured pencils and projects all over the dining table, lego free building session in evidence across my bedroom floor, empty wooden snack … Read More

to market to market

I hadn’t been to one of our local markets for awhile. So glad I went. It was just that welcome blast of colour, friendly folk, good food and inspiration I needed. Titirangi Market, even though Auckland is awash in markets, … Read More

beginnings of a crafty winter

Making stuff is one of the foundations to my happiness. Or my contentedness. I can get by on making good food and good deep conversation or organising for awhile, but really, I need projects. Of the crafting variety. Designing something, … Read More

a tale of a dress

Some of you will remember the big Vintage Sale of Hazel May’s collection I was involved in. One of the pieces I brought home was a stunning piece of vintage 50’s fabric. Once home, I realised it was the skirt … Read More

transforming vintage pillowcases

At the Auckland Vintage Textile fair I was mainly after two things: vintage pillowcases and inspiration. I got a healthy dose of both. Once I got the vintage pillowcases home I realised some weren’t fit to be transformed into my … Read More

star babies

I love hand sewing projects. I had this star baby project in a tray in our living area for the last few weeks. They were easy to pick up and work on while Jed is working on a project. It’s … Read More

Pixie hoodies

  Each season I check through Jed’s drawers and take stock. A bunch of stuff gets passed on to the cousins and friends. I have to get sign off from every item that comes into his clothing repertoire because otherwise … Read More

Sew Liberated – Paloma pattern

I came home from Fabric-a-brac with six metres of a beautifully soft cotton/merino blend in this stripy jersey. I kept fondling it…and now i get to wear it. I finally bought a pattern from Meg McElwee’s Sew Liberated range. I … Read More

my other blog

What? Your other blog?! I hear you say?! Ah, well, it is not strictly mine, although I created it, write for it and beckon lovely guest bloggers to it. It is a fledgling blog. A work in progress. It is most lovely and … Read More

crafting with children (for the brave)

I got the idea for this craft project from Meg’s lovely Sew Liberated blog. It’s a great way to use up all those old crayons that every household with young children seems to accumulate. I have to say though: this … Read More

crafting with the boy

We are about to plunge into our homeschooling term and while looking at some new resources online i came across a cool project on Activity Village: making a set of russian dolls that fit into one another. Great for storytelling. … Read More

opening flowers: a holiday activity

A little craftiness for you (especially those of you in the Southern Hemisphere still in the depths of the summer holidays)… …the magic of the opening flower. Step one: Hand draw or down load a template from HERE (i googled ‘opening … Read More

leaves and sticks

 New leaf….  Old leaf…  …and a project. A new friend put me onto a great book: Playful Learning: develop your child’s sense of joy and wonder. Written by Maria Bruehl, it has the subtitle: Simple activities to promote reading, writing, … Read More

an owl in the making

I love it when the day gets hijacked by something that wasn’t in the plan. Like this owl for example. We were learning about owls this particular week. Jed drew an awesome one then had the idea to make an … Read More


We did the letter Hh. Which led to a lovely weeklong exploration of the word Home. What it means to us, how others in the world live, what homes have looked like in the past. One of my previous homes … Read More

a gift, a lend, a trade

 Simple things bring me joy.  This vintage woollen patchwork quilt with its original backing…a gift from a friend. I lent my Happy Birthday banner to help commemorate Kraftbomb market’s fourth birthday today. (Excited to offer these for sale and to … Read More

handmade birthdays

 Birthdays. The boy dreams it up what he wants and I try to make it happen.  Crafting together makes the run-up to his birthday fun and i think, him being involved in the making adds a sense of pride and of … Read More


We have a small house and this birthday is a winter gig in this hemisphere so invitations are a few select. The birthday one is not keen on large groups anyway, so that makes it easy. As ever, he is … Read More

The Dress Up Box – making pixies

So, by popular demand, here is a wee blast from the past and a tutorial (of sorts)- a pixie costume made two years ago and still in brought out of our Dress Up Box and played with.  This same pixie … Read More

phone cover Growmama style

I designed and sold a version of these as vintage fabric ipod covers at the GrowMama stall a few years running. They sold well and i still had a few drifting about in my stock. I inherited a fancy phone … Read More

a simple thing

 In a late night internet fog i got lost somewhere in blogland and stumbled across a post about a Montessori salt tray. Kids were playing with writing letters or drawing in the salt. They had laid brightly coloured paper on … Read More

GrowMama shortlisted in the Handmade Olympics!

Wahooo! The picnic placemat rolls i designed for the last issue of Extracurricular magazine has been shortlisted in the 2012 Handmade Olympics for the ‘favourite handmade goodie with an innovative design’ category. Event one. So exciting to see GrowMama’s name up in … Read More

Alabama Chanin

 I am a longtime fan of Natalie Chanin and her company, Alabama Chanin. You know me and my enthusiasm for upcycling? Yup, well Natalie and her stitchers have taken it several steps further. Oh yes! I just got her book Alabama … Read More

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