Traveling NZ (As an American Couple)

This will be the first of many traveling NZ posts from Ian and I! When we were traveling back from our honeymoon we both agreed that we should let the masses know of our experience and pass some helpful information along.

We will cover topics like planning our trip, cost, packing list, accommodations, food, places to see, things to do, and general tips to make traveling a little easier on you.

Stay tuned!


Moeraki Boulders, NZ

New Dressform: Matilde


***also remember to hover your mouse over photos, the captions will show up!***

If you’ve followed my blog, you’ll know that I’ve attempted to make a dress form that is close to my own shape. Several. Times. I’ve tried lots of versions of duct tape forms and they’re great in a pinch but they’re not a long term solution. They tend to get your pins gummy and always end up being slightly larger than your real measurements; which isn’t helpful. I’ve collected some display forms here and there so I decided to use one to make a new dress form that will actually be my size and usable for the foreseeable future.

The first process of the form is to cut down the foam of the display to the size of my immovable parts (ie skeleton) so I can pad out the squishy parts. I really love foam carving and had a little too much fun acting like a crazy scientist.

Next I had to seal it with a glue solution so it doesn’t crumble into an oblivion! This is done using a simple solution of 1 part white glue to 1 part water. I sealed her three times to make sure nothing crumbles about…. I’m sure the neighbors have some questions for me after seeing this thing drying in the backyard.

The form is covered with batting and a canvas cover (like real ones!). The canvas is lined with a black cotton to [help] prevent sun damage to the foam itself. If you notice now yellowed the form was before I sculpted away portions of it, the yellow is the sundamage and those areas are more prone to crumbling. The sealant helps, of course, but we want this lady to be pristine for as long as possible.

There were SO MANY PIECES. And I had to cut out FOUR of each because of my dumb lining. Protip: Use a blackout curtain fabric and this will make it easier than I made it for myself.

Each piece is flatlined before assembly. I put everything together in quadrants, fitting all along the way only to find out it doesn’t matter…


….because butt problems.


It was seriously infuriating, but I got the kinks worked out after hours of tears. The front and back are attached at the crotch only before whipping it tightly to the foam form. I don’t have any process photos of that because I was in “get it done” mode but here’s the finished product!

And she truly does fit my 98lb self… AKA when I was 14


This corset was made for me when I was 14- So I’d say the measurements are pretty spot on for “as small as I could possibly be if I’m not eating properly”

Next to add 30lbs of squish and make her exactly me now!!

Mrs. Izard’s 1775 Silk Gauze Cap

A while back I decided to make a reproduction of the cap Mrs. Izard wears in a portrait of her and her husband, painted by John Singleton Copley in 1775. I made up the cap a long time ago, but had been waiting for a while for some striped silk gauze or ribbons to complete the cap. I finally found some gauze that worked so I can show it to you now!


Detail of Mrs. Izard, 1775, Painted by Johns Singleton Copley

The cap itself is a single layer cap with lots of gauze trim that’s been pleated around the band. I bought some double faced satin ribbon to more trimming and tada! There are some small details that you mig be able to catch in the previous and below photos- The top of te “bow” has a much wider area at the top from the rest of the puffs, which was an interesting thing to try to recreate, but I think I got it!


My hair is a bit bigger than hers but the higher the hair, the closer to God- esp. in 1775!

I waited a few days to take photos of it because it’s been rainy for the past week and we finally got some sunshine!

For those of you that might be interested: I’m wearing a layer of my own foundation, LBCC’s Coral Rouge on my lips and cheeks, LBCC’s Cloves for the Eyebrows and a lovely garnet necklace from FleurDeLys Originals!


And I’m not wearing an ounce of any other makeup!

Felicity’s Quilted Petticoat

While in New Zealand I took a couple projects with me to pass the time while traveling. I worked on quilting a small panel because it was easily packed away and not overly complicated- and why wouldn’t I want to make a wee quilted petti for her?!

All in all, the project took me more than 25 hours to complete- even as a simple diamond pattern.

I based the color and pattern decision on a number of images (Links here, here and here) that depict working class individuals which would make this type of garment plausible for someone like Felicity to possibly have had.


The Polite Maccaroni presenting a Nosegay to Miss Blossom
from the Lewis Walpole Library



The petticoat is made of a scrap of silk taffeta, lightweight cotton batting and scraps of handkerchief weight linen. It’s sewn in silk thread and tied with thin linen tapes.

I decided to make a pearl necklace for her, too, since I have one!

Other than a pocket and some shoes, Felicity will only need a top garment to complete her ensemble. I plan on making a linen dress for myself within the month, so I will likely make a matching one for her. More exciting stuff to come!

New Zealand: Day 21 & 22

So, we’re home now, after our 30+ hours of travel- but we thought you’d like to know what we did our last couple days in NZ. Enjoy!

Day 21: Auckland

Get ready for some adorableness! For our last couple of days in NZ, we spent our time in Auckland before our flight back to the US. We decided to spend one of the days with Stu and Donna!

Stu and Donna have been giving Auckland tours for 15 years now and offer a one-of-akind experience to anyone who’d like to not have to drive or worry about anything. Part of their tour is going to their farm and tasting jams, cheeses, fruits, etc. They even let you pet their sheep and birds! We can’t recommend this tour highly enough, and it’d be a great way to start your NZ tour off, if you’re starting in Auckland.

We had dinner at a Mexican Cafe in Auckland that was kind of close to our Mexican food in the states. By this point we were just hankering for something from home and were happy to find it similar. We also had to get on the road to Whangerei (where we were staying that night) just as the Westerly Winds started to pick up. That was a scary drive!

Day 22: Change in plans

We had driven to Whangerei to be close to Adventure World, where the “most difficult mini golf course” is said to be found. However we had awoken to a lovely high wind set of showers that weren’t suppose to end for another day or so. We decided to hightail it back to Auckland and check out some fabric stores and the Auckland Art Gallery.

We made it to several fabric storese, but none of them had what I was looking for. At around 4:07pm, we came to our last (the biggest one) and they had closed at 4pm. SAD DAY. So that day was just us be-bopping around Auckland, not taking many pictures. So sorry! We got some takeaway sushi (pretty good) and got back to the AirBnB to pack and sleep before we left.

Trip Conclusion:

In reminiscing about our trip, we wouldn’t have changed a thing. We had a great time, everyone was super nice and it was definitely an experience of a lifetime.

Our plan is to create a series of posts within the next couple of weeks with information about cost, how we planned it, tips on traveling in and around, etc. to help out anyone who might be thinking of spending some time in NZ. I found that most of the information I was coming across was more geared toward the hitchhiker or camping type person.

If there are any questions or topics you’d like us to post on, please comment! I want to be as helpful as I can to you all!

**We are not endorsed by any of the companies we’ve linked in our posts- we just want you to be able to find their information should you come along to NZ**