Outfit post: sunshine yellow edition

It was the weirdest thing. I was on the lookout for some butter-soft grey linen to make a shirt exactly like this. We’d taken a friend who is unable to drive to the doctor and while waiting for his blood tests, … Read More

Meet my new shirt

This shirt has brought so much joy. I love denim and was intrigued to find this simple short sleeved top in the op shop last week. I altered the length to perfection but was unsure how the embroidery on light black … Read More

A new (vintage) tea set.

 My teapot broke awhile back. It’s lid was always a tricky one and it finally gave out. I have been making do with my little one cup wonder pot and have had my eyes peeled for a teapot that will … Read More

Finds of the Month

A new monthly feature here on GrowMama, where I share a few finds of the month.  So! The Finds of the Month rundown for December…. Clothing find of the month: Handmade Indian shift dress. $12. Despite the distinct lack of summery … Read More

Outfit post – featuring fennec fox

I whip out these outfit posts every now and then to show that it’s possible and fun to source clothing you love from secondhand places, rather than buying new. I figure there is enough stuff in the world.  And did … Read More

Fabric-a-brac – the rundown

The blank looks when I told people I was going to Fabric-a-brac gave way to looks of befuddlement when I explained it was a fabric market. That’s one way to tell the textile enthusiasts and crafters from the uninitiated or … Read More

roadie finds

So, okay, I couldn’t do a road trip without putting the brakes on for a few op shops along the way. This was the extent of the haul though. If I was a dealer I could’ve brought back much more, … Read More

Spideyman Op Shop Show off

It’s all about super heroes and secret agents around here. The little dude spotted this Spiderman City Crossing game at the op shop as soon as we walked in. Brand new and with all the pieces. Quite the find! It’s … Read More

Op Shop Show Off

It’s been a while since I joined in with the Op Shop Show Off but I have been back at it, and I am happy to report that I have not lost the knack. Ha!  Me and my sidekick popped … Read More

Outfit post: behind the scenes

I whip out these Outfit posts every now and then to show that it’s possible and fun to source clothing from secondhand places, rather than buying new. I figure there is enough stuff in the world. But just in case … 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

Local Goodness: Merlins and a pop up vintage store

Local Goodness: it’s a series here on GrowMama. I’ll be profiling or taking a peek into various cool businesses, products and places aroundabout here.  We’re talking eco-minded, progressive smaller endeavours, with a definite more’ish quality. How to define the boundaries … Read More

a tea set come true

I kept an eye out for a tea set for years. It just didn’t happen. I found a blue and white set that was, meh, okaaay…but it didn’t make my heart sing to see it. It did just fine. But, … Read More

outfit post – the car dress

One of my favourite outfits at the moment. It’s so comfortable to wear and I love the way this dress drapes and fits. Dress: Yumi – brand new off Trademe.co.nz – about $50 I think. That’s a big number for … Read More

Hazel May treasures

I thought I would share my recent acquisitions. Dispel a few myths! People assumed that those of us involved in Hazel May’s Vintage and Retro Sale all had major wardrobe boosts, but the truth is, we were all too busy … Read More

Vintage and Retro Sale – not to be missed!

This is a rare opportunity my vintage loving friends! A lovely friend is helping someone move on a huge original collection gathered over decades by a local woman with a passion for fashion, textiles and dressmaking. I had some of … Read More

Op Shop Show Off: Emersonmade

One of those busy days a few weeks ago saw me dashing full speed through the local Salvation Army thrift store. Nope. I couldn’t just walk past! I came out not five minutes later with this lovely dress. I had … Read More

Op Shop Show Off: the trug

Joining in with Blackbird has Spoken and friends for the Op Shop Show off link in: I think I could post a show off every week for two months just from last weeks finds! Er, Is that cheating?! Lucky, lucky … Read More

Op Shop Show Off: a treasure chest, mama style

Joining in with Blackbird has Spoken and friends for the Tuesday Op Shop Show Off. A friend and I spent the morning exploring new territory on Auckland’s North Shore last weekend. I brought home the best op shopping haul I … Read More

on becoming an op shopping queen

Someone said to me today, ‘Wow, great coat, I could never afford to buy a coat like that’. I looked her in the eye and said,’This coat cost $15’. What followed were murmurs along the lines of, ‘ I don’t … Read More

The sifter. Op Shop Show off.

  I am linking up with Max of Blackbird has Spoken in her Op Shop Show Off series. Now, I am famously bad at posting regularly at the same time every week, so I can’t promise I’ll be a weekly participant, … Read More


  Confession. I wear aprons, bake bread and wear sensible shoes. My nana would have been so proud of me. These arrived in the mail and my feet are so happy. A brand sparkling new pair of ecco shoes someone … Read More

colour me autumn

Autumn’s welcome chill is seeping into the nights here. I love this time of year. Digging out flannel pyjama;s (why, yes, they ARE made from upcycled vintage sheets!), but still being able to sneak down for a swim in the … Read More

outfit post – the summer edition

They are popular, these outfit posts. I get a bunch of emails after each one. An over-riding theme is cash-strapped mama’s amazed that i manage to put together these outfits on so little money. Yup, folks…second hand and vintage is … Read More


During a pit stop at a new favourite charity shop we unearthed a big bag of ribbons. All new, all very red and green and gold and all for $2, with a little tinsel thrown in for fun. That’s our … Read More

outfit styling fun

I had just got back from town and a friend dropped by. Her mouth dropped open when she saw what i’d just found at the thrift store. I unearthed some more goodies i had found secondhand in the past month … Read More

$14.50 plus postage

I am a firm believer in an alternative economy. Those of you who’ve been around awhile know my reluctance to buy anything new. There is enough stuff in the world already. If you haven’t seen the story of stuff animated … Read More

spring vintage

It’s been awhile since i hit the vintage sheet bonanza at the op shop. Today was a fleeting visit and i came away with some spring floral loveliness. I came home inspired to sew. Market season fast approaching, eek!  I have … Read More

sewing makes everything better (almost)

So, Mother’s Day weekend…i couldn’t leave the premises so…what to do, but unearth the fabric stash and get sewing?! I shelved all manner of projects to sew a few things for myself. These two jersey fabrics came from the thrift … Read More

stitching therapy – oh yeah!

I finished the Alabama Chanin skirt i started at the Sew Fun retreat awhile ago. All handstitched folks. When i was travelling i didn’t have a sewing machine in my backpack (imagine, no unlimited sewing machine access for 16+ years…shudder!) … Read More

outfit and assistant

Just ignore the floor that might need a vaccuum and feast your eyes on this dance of colour. Yup, that was my town outfit a few days ago.  It is always interesting to see the reactions of others when i … Read More

no handknitted undergarments here

 The change of season is upon us and that chill is creeping into the early morning air. All attempts at my learning to knit have ended in tears and so i rely on thrifting finds for the handknits i love. … Read More

upcycled edge

 This is a recent secondhand acquisition. Worn as soon as it arrived in the post and a perfect fit. I may or may not have slept in it – but that would only have been ’cause i loved it so … Read More

secondhand happy

 These are some recent second hand finds that i love.  I find it interesting that i often find things in secondhand shops in the same theme/pattern or colour over a period of time. Definitely have some sort of purple strange … Read More

first kraftbomb of the year

 I’ve gone pretty deep into my retro revival jag lately. This is my latest thrift store find. A fun summer dress for sure. Handmade way back in the seventies…it’s as old as i am! I have been sewing like a … Read More

thrifty acquisitions

So, a more intense week than usual had some interesting results. Namely a bad case of entrenched irritability in the mama. An escape was called for. And enroute, of course, i found time for a little rummaging in our local … Read More

book bonanza

One of the benefits of getting lost is stumbling across places you wouldn’t otherwise. Yesterday took a wrong turn (or three) and found a gem of a op-shop. Hoorah! As well as an armful of fabric we brought home a … Read More


Rummages (even at speed) in op shops have been rare lately. As Jed gets older and my work from home picks up so does the pace. I make a concerted effort to live fairly simply. Fully, i like to think, … Read More


Hoorah! I finally made it to ‘The Bread and Butter Letter’ on New North Rd in Auckland’s ‘almost city’. Sans child too…so i could potter to hearts content. Vintage and handmade loveliness. And, everything (well, mostly) is between 10 and … Read More

7 days of blogging 4/7 – mama style

So, i have received a few emails from readers asking if i had thought about doing a ‘what i wore wednesday’ kinda of a post. The short answer is no. Accompanied by a fit of giggles at the question. This … Read More

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