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Hedgehog shorts

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Hedgehog [Shorts]

It’s been a very warm summer in Wellington.  The warmest summer on record in fact.  So I’ve been making, and wearing, lots and lots and lots of shorts, and lots, and lots of short-sleeved Scroop Miramar tops.

I tend to make my shirts in solids and stripes, but I like fun, patterned bottoms.  Summer shorts should be a wee bit silly.  You’ve already seen my Smaug Shorts as a pretty good example of that.

When it comes to fun and wacky, my latest pair of shorts leaves the Smaug shorts well in the dust.

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Yes. They have hedgehogs all over them. In green and fuchsia purple:

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Hedgehog shorts

I just couldn’t resist when the fabric came in at Made Marion Craft.  It’s a beautifully soft cotton drill, and Hedgehog Girl is my superhero alter ego after all (she rescues hedgehogs).

I know it’s slightly ridiculous to wear hedgehog shorts when you’re on the dark side of 30, but I’ve embraced the fact that slightly ridiculous is something I’m OK with being.

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Fuchsia and bamboo green on taupe-grey isn’t the easiest colour scheme to coordinate tops with, but luckily I had this viscose jersey in stash, just perfect for a Miramar.

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I made this Miramar  a tunic rather than a shirt, because I like the look of tunics over shorts.  On me I feel it makes them a bit dressier, and lends the outfit a bit more gravitas.  I’m not sure how much gravitas you can manage in hedgehog shorts though!

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I tend to ruch the tunic up a bit so I can put my hands and other things in my pockets.  Enormous pockets are mandatory in shorts as far as I’m concerned.  And when you get to draft your own patterns, you can add all the pockets you want to a pattern!

Hedgehog shorts

I really don’t want the tunic look, I can always tie the Miramar up.

The ’80s and early ’90s are back in right?  I’ve even heard rumours that not only are scrunchies having a renaissance, but we’re about to see those circular T-shirt slides for knotting your T-shirt up again.  Remember those?

Hedgehog shorts

No matter how mad the ’80s revival gets, please stop me if I start cutting out the extra hedgehog motifs from my scraps and applying them to my shirt and highlighting them with glitter puff paint!

The photos were taken during one of our weekend walks down around the Wellington coast.  I always feel happier around water, and love the way the coast changes ever day, with different weather, and different tides.

I always find something fun on our walks.  On this trip I found the remains of this amazing crab:

Hedgehog shorts

Hedgehog shorts

Camouflage skills on fleek!  (that’s what the hip young things are saying these days, right?)

Hedgehog shorts


Scroop Patterns call for pattern testers

Scroop Patterns – Pattern Testers Needed!

I’ve got a new Scroop Pattern ready to be tested!

I did a general call for pattern testers a year and a half ago, and that gave me a fantastic pool to work from.  I’m incredibly grateful for all the amazing people who responded, even if the sheer volume meant I wasn’t able to use everyone as a tester.  After 18th months (and now that there are so many new Scroop fans – thank you all!), I realise that people may no longer be in the same position to test.  From now on I’ll be doing calls for pattern testers for individual patterns.

So, who wants to test my next pattern?

The Pattern:

It’s a modern zipped hoodie pattern with design options ranging from very classic, to very quirky.

The pattern comes in the full Scroop Patterns size range, from size 30-52

Sizes 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52
Body Measurements in Inches
Bust 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52
Waist 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46
Hips 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56
Body Measurements in Centimeters
Bust 76.5 81 86 91.5 96.5 101.5 106.5 112 117 122 127 132
Waist 61 66 72 76 81 86 91.5 96.5 101.5 106.5 112 117
Hips 86.5 91.5 96.5 101.5 106.5 112 117 122 127 132 137.5 132


For this pattern I need testers who are intermediate or higher level sewers with experience sewing knits, and experience with zips.

You will also need to:

  • be able to print patterns in A4, A0, US Letter or US full sized Copyshop paper sizes
  • have the time to sew up the item if you agree to be a tester for it
  •  be able to photograph your make being worn, and be willing for me to share your photos on this blog and instagram.
  • be able to provide clear feedback
  • be willing to agree to a confidentially agreement regarding the pattern
  • have a blog or other format where you share and analyse your sewing

I would hugely appreciate it if you would share your finished make once the pattern launches, but this is not mandatory.  I’m asking for TESTERS, not marketers.  The requirement of a blog/other review format is to help me pick testers.   I want to be able to see how you think about sewing, and that your experience level matches up to the pattern.

As always I’m be looking for a range of testers, in terms of geographical location, body type, sewing experience, and personal style.

The Timeline:

If you’re selected to test I’ll send you the materials requirements & line drawings by 2 noon NZ time on Mon the 26th of Feb (Sun the 25th for most of the rest of the world).

I will send out a digital copy of the pattern to testers before 12 noon NZ time on Thur the 8th of March.

Testing & Reviewing:
Testers will have until 12 noon NZ time on Thur the 22th of March (two weeks, with two full weekends) to sew the hoodie, and respond to the testing questions.  I will need basic photos by this date, but if you want a further weekend to take better photographs I can wait until Tue the 27th of March for those.

What you get:

Pattern testers will get a digital copy of the final pattern, my eternal gratitude, and as much publicity as I can manage for your sewing.

Keen to be a tester for the Hoodie pattern? please email me with the following:

  1. Your name
  2. Your bust, waist and hip measures
  3. Your height
  4. A bit about your sewing experience with knits & zips
  5. A link to your blog/Instagram/Flickr/Sewing Pattern Review profile/something else sewing-y presence
  6. A link to a sewing make with a review (so I can see how you think about and analyse your sewing)
  7. Do you have any other skills that would really make you an extra-super-awesome pattern tester?  (i.e. experience copy-editing)

email me

Hope to hear from you!

Felicity the Sewing Cat for Scroop Patterns,



Rate the Dress: An 1887 Wedding Dress Two Ways

This week’s Rate the Dress is an extremely practical wedding ensemble, for an the bride of an extremely wealthy fabric-weavers son.  How will it compare to last week’s anything-but-practical 1920s dress?

Last week: a ca. 1925 playing card themed evening dress, possibly by Poiret

Mixed reactions to that one.  A few of you loved it.  A few of you loved it because it was awesomely tacky.  Some of you just saw the awkwardness (not helped by presentation, but hey, an auction house isn’t a museum photographing items for display or a book), and some of you just saw the tackiness.

The Total: 7.8 out of 10

Not quite a full house…

This week: A Wedding Ensemble from 1887

This wedding ensemble was worn by Louise Whitfield for her marriage to business magnate & philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.  Carnegie was one of the richest men in the US, and at 51 to her 30, was 21 years Whitfield’s senior.  He’d refused to marry while his mother was still alive, and the wedding was held six months after Margaret Carnegie’s death.  It was, by all accounts, a simple quite affair, probably from personal preferences and due to morning.

The Carnegies left for their honeymoon immediately following their wedding, with Louise still in her wool wedding outfit.  She was able to wear it numerous other times on the voyage across the Atlantic, and during their honeymoon in England and Scotland, as the ensemble comes with three bodice options.

The first option, a longer tailed jacket, made the outfit appropriate as a travelling suit.  A second shorter day bodice came with two separate button-on plastron fronts: a subdued one with the same fabric and trim as the rest of the ensemble, and a dressier scarlet and gold number, for a little pizzaz.

The ensemble is full of interesting construction details, from the sewn in skirt pleats:

To the applied tape decoration:

And the tiny curved pockets on the hips of the longer jacket bodice.

In contrast to the straight lines and controlled draping of the front of the dress, the back skirt falls into a swoosh of loose asymmetrical  bustling.

Andrew Carnegie was known for his personal restraint, despite his immense wealth.  He famously lived on $50,000 a year (my very rough calculation is that this was about US$150,000-$170,000 a year in 2018 money, and fraction of his actual income), and gave the rest to charity.  Louise Carnegie fit the Victorian ideal of a domestic woman, with no aspirations to be a social star.  She had her only child at 40, and devoted her life to religion and charity.

What do you think?  It’s not the traditional wedding dress, but is this an appropriate and attractive alternative for an older (by the standards of the time) bride, with a fairly retiring temperament.  And what do you think about the three looks?  Do you prefer one over the other?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

(as usual, nothing more complicated than a .5.  I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment, so I can find it!  Thanks in advance!)