ChCh Sews A0 printing!

I made an exciting purchase/investment recently, and I’m now the very proud owner of a large-format printer- so I can now print my own A0 patterns while I’m still in my PJs!

I do a lot of printing as part of the Muna and Broad pattern development process, and since the going rate for A0 prints here in NZ is $7, that was adding up pretty quickly! After a decent amount of number crunching, the numbers suggested that it could work, so long as I had somewhere in my new rental for it to go!

And, here it is! Right now, it’s taken over my dining room table, and led to a serious re-ordering of my work/lounge/dining space. But, I’m so excited to have the capability to be a bit more self sufficient, and to also offer prints for other local folks. It doesn’t make sense to print and ship patterns from me (most other countries seem to have printing that is a whole lot cheaper than the cost of printing large format prints here in NZ), but for now I’m printing for folks based in Christchurch and doing pickup by arrangement.

ChCh sews is here!

And so I’ve launched a new website (www.ChChsews.com) and I’ve added another Instagram account to my app (@ChChsews) and I’ve got a Facebook page too (/ChChsews)!

A0 printing is $6 per A0 page, and I can also print A4 files too for folks who want their instructions printed, or for patterns that are just a couple of small pages (so aren’t worth printing as an A0)!

Shopping small in NZ

Here’s a small roundup of gift-able NZ-made items! This is really just a list of things that I already have and love, or things that I’ve been eyeing for myself!

McLean & Co weave NZ wool on a vintage loom outside of Oamaru in the South Island of NZ. This husband and wife team are both lovely, and you can read more about their journey here

There’s nothing like a nice mug to drink out of. These are from Plum Ceramics on Waiheke Island, just off the coast of Auckland.

Kate Mitchell makes glass tumblers with colourful terazzo-style splodges.

Art from Alanna Josie features a lot of large-bodied women, and she also takes commissions!

Alanna Josie (the artist above) also collaborates with a local ceramicist, and paints great bodies onto jugs from Artemis Ceramics.

Silvan Made is a Christchurch-based husband and wife team who rescue timber from earthquake damaged buildings, turning them in to gorgeous photo frames, and lovely cutting boards.

This ceramic citrus juicer from Gidon Bing. I have this exact juicer in white and use it most days.

These ‘local materials vessels’ from Busy Finch use locally collected dirt to make earthy mugs.

NZ made gifts for crafters

NZ Paua Shell buttons from Wild and Wooly Yarns

Ceramic buttons are handmade by Miss Muffet Knits in Ashburton.

Bias tape made in Canterbury by Forty Five Degrees.

A piwakawaka shaped needle gauge from Honey Cakes in Otago

Food and drink made in NZ

Golden Fields is a Christchurch-based grower of organic teas. The dried lemon verbena, and dried peppermint tea are my 2 favourites, but the dandelion chai and the roasted malt are also tasty and caffeine-free.

Six Barrel Soda makes flavoured syrups including kiwi flavours like Kawakawa + Lime and Feijoa

Hogarth Chocolate makes chocolate in NZ, and this 3 pack of kiwi flavours includes my favourite chocolate of theirs- buttered toast.

Garage Project and Whittakers Chocolate beer collaboration. There’s also Kereru Brewing, which makes some great NZ flavoured beers.

Boozy NZ made marmalade! I’ve finished off a jar of both this Kirsch Marmalade and this Whisky Marmalade.

1 year of Muna and Broad

It’s Muna and Broad’s first birthday party on the 15th of November and we’re planning on celebrating for the remainder of the month. It’s pretty amazing to think that after 1-year of working on patterns, it was possible to make M&B my full-time job!

The 15th of November is the anniversary of our website launch and our first pattern sales, so that’s when we’re counting from. We actually launched the Torrens Box Top as our first paid pattern, and then eventually went back and added extra sizes and full instructions to previously free the Glebe Pants and released those too!

Celebrate our 1 year anniversary and win some prizes by getting involved on Instagram!

How did we start?

We launched our Glebe Pants as a free pattern, which was available in 3 sizes, a 54″, 56.5″ and 59″ hip. Makers signed up to a newsletter to get the file which had very minimal instructions printed on the A0 file.

There was absolutely no hand-holding in the pattern instructions and we fielded so many questions from enthusiastic beginners who were very confused by the minimal instructions, that we realised that there was a great need for beginner friendly patterns for plus-size makers!

Here I am in my first pair of
Glebe Pants , which I made using special linen I’d been saving and fortunately the fit was great!

What have we done?

In the past year, we’ve released 15 (!!) patterns, joined Patreon, built an amazing community online, and generally had an amazing time! In the middle of the year, I was thrilled to be able to quit my job and start working from home full-time on M&B!

We’ve really released a mix of sewing patterns, but they’re all things that we want to wear ourselves! I’ve now got a new favourite bralette, a very happy undies drawer, and the linen shirts and shirt dresses of my dreams!

McLean & Co, NZ Made Fabric

A couple of months ago (or maybe even late last year- time goes so quickly!) our national radio re-played an interview with two New Zealanders who were weaving short runs of traditionally-made fabric down here in the South Island of New Zealand under the name McLean & Co. Woven on a ‘Hattersley Domestic Weaving System’ from 1918, you can see some pictures of the weaving process here.

It seems they’ve recently woven some new fabric, which is now available online to purchase, and I’ve never wanted a particular fabric more in my life!

Woven using NZ yarn, down in Oamaru (the steampunk capital of NZ), this fabric is made a little over 3 hours away from where I live and I’m not certain that I could get fabric that was woven any closer (thanks to the terrible state of industry here).

Isn’t this the most glorious thing you’ve ever seen? I’d love to get my hands on enough to make a coat from, but I know I’d never be able to settle on a pattern that wasn’t zero-waste!

While I start saving for making some of this fabric mine, I’ll also be keeping my eye out for fabric & scarves made using the un-dyed wool of different sheep to create patterns- Imagine a tweed jacket made from white, brown and black sheep. I’d be in eco-fabric heaven!