Snaking through summer with Wiksten




Ok, despite the evidence to the contrary it really is summer here. Yes, my legs are capable of inducing snow blindness (“milk bottles” my friends charming Dad used to call them) but with a UV rating hitting 12 today, which indicates a burn time of approx. 12 minutes, pink is about the best I’m ever likely to manage. I’ll be moaning when it cools down of course… #neverhappy

Anyway, it’s hot, so a lovely cool rayon dress is just the ticket. Even better,  I’ve discovered a new form of animal print, snake! While it would be some peoples worst nightmare (including a dear friend who cant even watch the slithery reptiles on TV with cringing), I’m quite taken with this print.  Spotlight has really upped their game with prints, plus I picked this up on sale, yay.


The pattern is the tunic version of the Wiksten top I made recently. After looking at the finished measurements & reading a few reviews the dress version has more ease than the top. I debated sizing down, but decided a loose fit would really work with this light fabric, so I cut another straight size 20.

I really like the back of this dress

Unlike the top, the Wiksten dress has a yoke & gathering on the back, this is ideal for me as my butt sticks out, so anything longer than hip length needs that bit of extra fabric to avoid cling.

Now, the one part of this fab pattern that did give me pause for thought? Pockets.

No hair clips here , move along…

Despite the fact I don’t often put anything other than hands in my pockets, I like to have them. Actually I do have a history carrying hair clips. This led to an expensive plumbing bill when I forgot to take them out of my pants , buggering up the washing machine. From memory there was a very grumpy husband involved…

Embrace the flop!

I wasn’t sure how such a soft fabric would work in pocket form. So you’d think I would have the sense to at least interface the pieces yes? Well, no actually. This led to much “pocket flop” angst. I asked the considered opinions of the folks on Instagram (my most favorite social media platform, I don’t care what anyone says) and the general consensus was either attach a button or go with it. When I attempted adding a button the weight was too much for the fabric, so instead, I’m embracing the flop. Not often you hear that eh…?


This is a great summer dress, loose but not TOO loose, it’s really comfortable to wear, either to the supermarket with sneakers, or thrown over a pair of togs at the beach. If I went to the beach, which to be honest I don’t often do. The sand, the heat, the midges…sometimes I wonder if I’m actually a proper Kiwi. I don’t even like jandals?!

Then I remember how ridiculously proud I’ve been when travelling if literally anything NZ comes up . I’m sure it isn’t unique to New Zealanders, but that thing when you’re from a smaller nation & something pops up that makes you think of home. When Mr PK & I went to live in the UK literally the first thing we did after getting off the plane at Heathrow was get to our hotel, dump the bags & jump on the Tube (the Tube, I was so excited!) to Wembley stadium for Wales v the All Blacks . Actually is that not peak New Zealand, getting off a plane in a new country & going straight to a rugby game…?

Image may contain: 2 people, including Kristina Douglas, people smiling
Me in the DHL corporate box , right on the half way line at Eden Park, watching the opening ceremony of the 2011 Rugby World Cup with Tana Umaga. Yep, I’d peaked!


Anyway,  the national anthems played & I managed about two lines of God of Nations before getting all chocked up. This was 1997 so singing the anthems first in Te Reo & then English was quite new. I went to Manurewa East primary school in South Auckland and we always sung the national anthem that way, so despite my limited knowledge of the Maori language I could actually sing this.

To be honest my emotional response was great for anyone sitting around me, I might know the words but even my cats sound better, howling at the dog next door.

What makes you think of home when you are travelling?



In other news, it’s the summer of tomatoes! This is an heirloom variety called Black Krim Very delicious but be warned, the plants grow large. This one took over the garden.


Perfect for this super simple tart. Take a square of puff pastry & cut 2-3 cm strips off another square , the length of your sides. Place one on each side of your large square to form a border. I used a little bit of water brushed underneath to make the pieces stick.

Spread over some pesto, then thinly sliced courgette (zucchini) and tomato. Season well, then dot over little chunks of goat cheese & a grating of Parmesan . Bake at 200 C for approx 15 mins until the pastry is crisp & golden . Delicious with a green salad & a cheeky glass of white wine. I had intended to sprinkle on some pine nuts before baking but I forgot them.  Feta would also work well if you don’t like goat cheese.

Right , off to cook dinner , otherwise known as throw a slab of protein on the BBQ & compose a salad. Pour a glass of chilled Chard. Summer!

Kristina x




  1. Susan M says:

    We grew Black Krio a few years ago. Definitely an heirloom indeterminate tomato. Our cages go 8 ft high and they plant kept growing. Lots of delicious tomatoes. Your dress is lovely. Great choice of fabric, pattern and color for you. A real winner!


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks Susan, I’m really pleased with it, there will be more 🙂 Yes I think part of my problem with the tomato was not pinching out the laterals enough, I’d forget them until it had taken over the garden! 🙂


  2. Shelly says:

    I love your dress! I am not usually a fan of reptile prints but this one has a certain mosaic quality that I really admire. The colors are great too! I need to check out this pattern as I live in Texas, which has punishing heat and 7 months of the year.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Hi Shelly, thanks so much, yes its one of those prints you see & think “hmmm, maybe”? But when I got it home & ironed I thought it would work perfectly for that pattern. Check it out , would be prefect for Texas heat 🙂


  3. Sandra says:

    Gorgeous print! And you really suit that design. I used to live in Papakura then Manurewa – now in sultry Cairns. Love your blogs – chatty, interesting and full of inspiration 🐏


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks Sandra, small world! Gosh I’m complaining about the heat here, I’d never manage Cairns (although I may totally rethink that in winter…) x


  4. Shelly says:

    I really like your dress. I am not normally a fan of snake print but this one has a mosaic quality that makes it more interesting. I need to make up this pattern to get ready for our brutally hot Texas summers that will be here soon!


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Do it, perfect for the heat 🙂


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