Monday, September 12, 2011


Kate Hoolahan.

Kate Hoolahan is working on her Masters in design in Perth. She has a wonderfully fresh approach to graphic design and also produces some lovely digital drawings. The first piece of hers that I saw was this fashion illustration and I was immediately captivated. 

Kate laid out the Crowns Clothing Spring/Summer 11-12 lookbook, which I am yet to take photos of despite having already sent it out to retailers! I'll have to get some images soon.
 Here is some more of her work. Visit her portfolio at


Saturday, September 10, 2011


I have been way too slack with blogging, oh dear. I do have an excuse though, as I have been busy putting the new Crowns Clothing collection online for preorder on Etsy. Here are a few shots from the lookbook!

Addington blouse and Collingwood skirt

Caroline draped crop and Haddington shorts

Flora swing dress

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I have a new website! will now take you to the official Crowns Clothing website and portfolio. The blog will stay here, however! I have been wrestling with the new site for a little while so I am really happy that it is now finally up and functional. Check it out!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Sale time! I'm having a clear out of the stock in my Etsy shop in preparation for the new range that will be coming soon.

Don't miss out! Get 30% off everything in stock with the code AUGCLEAR. The sale will last until August 15th.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


How gorgeous are these photos? They're actually super magnified photos of sand grains! They'd look lovely printed on fabric...

via the Daily Mail

Saturday, July 30, 2011


A selection of delectable sorbet-coloured blankets. The bottom two blankets are still waiting to be made into capes!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I made this Claremont skirt for a customer a few weeks ago. She loved the design but had too many blue skirts, so we decided on this lush forest green linen with contrasting lemon yellow pockets. I think it looks great polished off with the vintage wooden buttons.
Send me an email or contact me via the Crowns Clothing Etsy for your own custom orders.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Yesterday I picked up the latest issue of Idealog, a magazine dedicated to ideas and innovation in New Zealand. I have to admit I'm not in the habit of reading this magazine regularly, but I had a feeling that it might be a good idea to check the Gear page ('Design. Performance. Innovation.' !) in the July/August issue.

What's that? Rechargeable 3D TV glasses? An aerated ski helmet? Oh! The capes?

I was super stoked to see this, and a big old thanks to the folks at Idealog for thinking my ideas are worthy of logging! 

Monday, July 25, 2011


I have a legitimate reason for the shortage of blog posts this time: I was hard at work getting everything ready for the SS11/12 lookbook photoshoot! The shoot took place last Friday at the beautiful historic house The Moorings in Wellington, as it was far too cold and a bit drizzly for the original outdoor location.

I was too busy to take my camera along, so this post is made of a mish-mash of a cellphone photo, a shot Louise took of us all and a few I've stolen from Georgia's blog. She made a much more comprehensive post about the shoot on her blog The Velvettes. I won't share any of the lookbook shots yet but here are a few behind the scenes photos!

Georgia adeptly assisting Louise in the lighting; Daisy looking cold!

Attempting to keep Daisy from freezing!

Group photo! Every photoshoot needs one. From L-R:
Louise Hatton (photographer), Daisy @ Red11 (model), Georgia (styling and hair), Grace (makeup pro!) and myself in those ridiculous 70s pants that we deemed too silly to even make it into the real shoot.

I can't wait to share the lookbook photos! In the meantime I have to extend a massive thank you to Lou, Georgia, Grace and Daisy for making Friday so much fun and running (mostly) smoothly.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I've been a bit slack with blogging since my queued posts ran out and university started back. I have ten novels to read this semester on top of what seems like more assessment than usual so it's hard to dedicate time to writing something probably meaningless for a blog over schoolwork.

That's not to say I haven't been busy with Crowns! Rather there have been all sorts of exciting things happening behind the scenes which have kept me very busy. The culmination of this is something big happening next week, which I can't wait to share!

I've started working at the Adam Art Gallery on campus at the university on Saturdays. I'm posting this from behind the desk, in fact! I brought along some orders that need hand-finishing to help pass the time between visitors. Here's a Robin's Egg Madeline Cape enjoying some prestigious company amongst a couple of Toss Woollaston landscapes. Maybe some of the gallery's magic will rub off on the cape? Excuse the rubbish photo, I took it with my phone.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Have a read of this interesting Listener article about the resurgence of crafting. How cute is this dog badge? Made by a 12 year old boy. The picture is the link!

Friday, July 8, 2011


I don't think I ever made a post in celebration of my new URL. The most important part is that I need to thank Dane of Tornadoes and Tigers for gifting it to me!

Dane is a "designer, daddy, husband and teacher" and the blogger behind Tornadoes and Tigers. He has a daughter named James, which I think is very sweet, and not only because my brother's name is James.

Since my discovery of the blog I have become an avid follower as he features great photography and design from awesome New Zealand creatives. He also joint-runs the project Hello Holga which shares photos and things to do with the indie favourite camera. I've posted a couple of my favourite photos from the project.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I made a few Polyvore sets that might give you a sneaky idea about what I'm working on for summer - although I seem to have been on a 70s vibe when I made these! Probably something to do with those ridiculous pants.

1970s inspiration

1970s set 2

Flora simple set

Summer inspiration


Tuesday, July 5, 2011


A little while ago I was planning on having a stall at a big craft market in Wellington. I haven't had a stall at a market for quite some time, so I had to have a think about how I wanted to display my wares.

It's quite difficult to make a market display of clothing look interesting. You need to make the best use of your table space on top of having a rack, which is hard especially when your clothing items are so big!

Beer crates are a good size for sitting on a table and providing some visual interest as well as acting as both containers and shelves for functionality, too. I couldn't find any in a good condition on TradeMe and have been too busy to go out to second-hand and charity shops, but I did find a lumber company selling beer crate kits. Mine arrived the other day and I had a fun hour or so assembling it. It didn't come with any instructions so it took a wee bit of figuring out, and I'm not a hammer-and-nails expert but it came out looking great! 

Here are some photos I found of authentic beer crates being repurposed for storage and display.




Monday, July 4, 2011


Recent purchases: silly 1970s crochet flares edition. 

I bought these online with the knowledge they would be too small for me, but they go so well with some of the things I've been designing lately that I just had to have them. Hopefully they will make an appearance in an upcoming look book! They are a slightly unusual fit, I think simply due to their era - in the first photo I've folded the waistband over at least 15cm. The elastic in the waist will definitely need replacing, which will have to wait until I can find the right stuff and have the heart to take to these with a seam ripper!

Friday, July 1, 2011


Another cape! This one was made for my lovely Grandma. Granddad commissioned it and we decided green would be the best colour for her. I managed to track down this great sage green blanket on Trademe after much scouring and at a slightly steeper price than I'd usually pay, but these are the things you do for your family! We didn't tell her about it and she was very surprised and pleased when I took it to them last weekend for midwinter Christmas dinner. 

I don't have any green capes for sale anywhere at the moment but I do have another green blanket in a brighter colour, maybe best described as a cross between mint and grass green. Email me or leave a comment if you're interested in a green Madeline cape.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I put in another order for stationery and paraphernalia, which arrived the other day. Since I was a kid I've had a big thing for nice paper goods, and I'm still exactly the same! Unfortunately with the rain at the moment I've been running the risk of my parcel deliveries sitting out and getting wet, which is what happened with this order. Luckily I got heaps of everything so it doesn't matter. Address labels, stickers and postcards (with discount codes! Not pictured!) I also got new business card bases now that I'm no longer on the blogspot url. More sewing cards to look forward to!

I keep a stack of pre-loaded bobbins on the top of my machine in the colours I use the most. Isn't this colour combination lovely?

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I'll be making a series of shorter posts in the hope of keeping this blog more active. I've been really busy filling orders and drafting my summer samples so I don't have a lot of time to sit down and put together a big post.

Madeline cape in Robin's Egg with cream toggle patches (do those things have a name?) for my friend Katie, shown below. The cream was an experiment, but I'm not sure if I prefer it over using the same blue. They match the lining, though, and I like the way the blue, cream and wood of the toggles go together.

You can order a custom cape in this colourway, or just in the regular blue, on Foxes, or contact me directly by email.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


You can read an interview with me over at the New Zealand Handmade blog. Click on the image below for the link. And check out the nice intro!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Just a quick post today! It's the end of the semester so I am in the middle of a busy few weeks. I had an essay due last Friday, I have a big test tomorrow and an exam next week. I've been treating myself to sewing breaks in between study blitzes, and after sending out a cape yesterday I got this email in my inbox today. A lovely surprise! It feels great knowing I have happy customers - I don't always get to hear back after my capes go out into the NZ Post abyss.

Hello Morgan

Thank you so much for the beautiful cape! I was just walking out the door when I spotted the parcel in the mailbox; I immediately backtracked, unpacked it & put it on - so it's had a wearing already.

Sometimes you find a new piece of clothing which immediately feels like an old friend - that's the way I feel about my cape.

So thank you! I hope you continue to make beautiful clothes & your business flourishes!

All the best.
PS I forgot to mention the amazing packaging!

Monday, May 23, 2011


I wrapped up my first international cape order, ready to go off to Australia this week. At the same time, I got to use a few new items that have arrived since I last shipped orders out, including packaging from Foxes HQ and tags from Kat's Paper Trail on Etsy.

Along with Foxes business cards and postcards, I now have cape-sized ziplock bags to protect the capes from the rain on their journey to their new owners. This one below is going to Australia, so I had a bit of fun vacuum-sealing the bag for better protection and potentially cheaper postage. You can also see my new scallop tags in action!

Tags, buttons (my favourite things) and string. Is that a cat-shaped button I spy?

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Yesterday was the May Fabric-a-brac, a fabric sale event that happens a few times a year to raise money for the Mary Potter Hospice. My Mum and I went and made sure to get there early! It definitely paid off, as when I insisted we do a second circuit of the market in case we'd missed anything, I noticed a lot of fabric had been snapped up quick.

Last time we went to Fabric-a-brac, it was held in Brooklyn. I got a whole load of bargains, including a bolt of vintage cream lace and a swathe of black jersey for $10 each. This time they had expanded into the St Anne's Hall in Newtown, and the selection was just as excellent. Here are a few of the things I bought:

Aztec-ish sweatshirting, cream cotton canvas, white linen, flannel check, ochre corduroy, burgundy corduroy and barely pictured, a lovely brown vintage floral blend. Also not pictured is my one regretted purchase: 3 metres of white and pink seersucker stripe. What am I going to do with that?? I'm not a baby pink person at all, but it's all for a good cause and I am sure I will find a use for it at some point.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


I have been doing some painting! I hadn't painted in at least a year so I didn't have a lot of confidence in what I was doing and abandoned my first attempt halfway through. Then after I drew everything again I looked back at the first one and realised I could totally work with it. So now I have two versions! An edited version of these will appear in the summer issue of the Tilde Journal.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Here are some photos from after I rearranged the art and such on my walls last week. This isn't even everything on the walls in our bedroom, but I got as much as I could. Things I have learned from this post: a) I need to take straighter photos, and b) I need to put things on my wall straighter.

At left is a watercolour sketch based on the reenactment of Sasha Pivovarova and Igor Vishnyakov's wedding staged for US Vogue, June 2009. The original photograph can be seen here.

In the middle are two drawings that Callum ordered for me for my birthday. They are by Alicia Carrier. Alicia runs a project called 1 Hour Drawings. Each drawing costs US$10, and she will draw what she can in an hour, loosely around your requests. You can see my two drawings in slightly better condition on her most recent blog post; mine got caught in the rain and had to be rescued with a hairdryer, heavy books and the hot water cupboard.  

The square of wallpaper you might recognise from my last post!

Wider shot featuring the most excellently grim painting. We were given it by Callum's grandmother, who didn't like how depressing it was. It's actually a lot darker - my flash is making it look a lot brighter and more positive than it really is.

L-R: cats, cats, more cats. Original watercolours and prints by Caroline Knowles of Ventricular Projects. I made the black and white collage, and the image at the bottom left (which I can't trace, anyone recognise it?) was on the wall in the room that was at once my mother's, and at once her sister's, at my grandparents' house. 

Maps from an 1886 atlas, purchased from Quilters Bookshop in Wellington. I chose the top one because it shows where I lived in Canada (the ~golden horseshoe~).

Posters I designed to promote Honesty is Appreciated Collective over the 09/10 summer. The first four went up, but the main poster never made it around town. Maybe someday soon when the boys behind Honesty have more time! 

Obscured by the exercises prescribed by my doctor is an Impressionist painting my 12 year old brother did in his year 7 class last year. 

On the far right is a painting done by DRYPNZ, who I met at the Cuba St Night Market in 2009.