07 October 2010

A Conversation with Greta from Topography

How personal could a hand crafted baby and toddler tee-shirt get? Well Greta from Topography can answer that easily with "P" for passion. Driven by a desire for something better for her own children, she's sharing the tee-shirt love with the rest of us. Her well crafted images are hand cut and lovingly sewn onto cute cotton tee-shirts. With a strong kiwi influence, the discerning baby around town would have no problem pulling such unique designs off ... and like all mum's, Greta knows how to make it work. Lets meet Greta ... Carol 

Who is Topography?
I design, cut and sew my own appliques on to quality cotton shirts to make a practical and precious baby gift. I am obsessed with personalised products (I think it comes from having an uncommon name!) so I particularly love using alphabet letters to make something that will become a keepsake after baby has grown out of it.

What’s your “handmade groove ?
I like working on a really small scale so I can see results quickly and I only need a small amount of gorgeous fabric to make something with impact. My other products are even smaller than my tiny shirts – things like bag tags and brooches.

What’s on your bedside table right now? (hey, no tidying up or censoring)
A baby monitor, a Vanity Fair magazine I am re-reading for the third time, a book I have been meaning to start for 3 months (I find it hard to commit to a book these days!)

Who are your creative role models? What music, books, images, poetry spark your creative fire?
I admire anyone who is making their own designs and putting their work out there for the public to see – it is hard! My inspirations are in my everyday family life, like interests that my daughter has, children’s books we read or things in nature we come across during the day. I am also addicted to quilting fabric, there are so many amazing designs, so sometimes I start with fabric and have to figure out a way to use it that will look young and fresh.

What could you talk late into the night about with like minded people?
It has always been movies, but lately it has definitely become crafting… I have to watch that I’m not trying to talk about it with people that are not as interested as I am!

If you could go to three free workshops/creative events this year which ones would they be? What are they about?
I would love to see some of the markets and events out of Auckland to see what other crafters are working on – A Craft Affair in Christchurch sounded great.

How do you balance your creative life with your family, life commitments?
The kids are so little that I have to do most of it while they are asleep, which is really difficult, but luckily I have always been a night owl…

What is your favourite creative screw-up?
Cutting things from fabric back-to-front. Often.

Kitchen table or studio?
I am supposed to have two shelves and half a desk in our spare room, but my fabrics and stencils have exploded all over the room and I can’t figure out how to condense them again.

Do you have a wish list? Can you tell us what’s on it?
My obsession with personalising things extends to jewellery and I have been browsing silver pendants for months to figure out what I can get made that will relate to my children. I would also love the new black and white lily pad seat liner from my blog buddy lily pad designs (hint, hint!)

Have a great week everyone ... and if you want to be a friend of New Zealand Handmade click on this We would love to interview you.


  1. Hi Greta, A cool conversation. I am a movie fan also, cheers Marie

  2. Great to learn more about you Greta - thanks for sharing :)

  3. Isn't it easy to let things you love take over your spare room - and they never ever seem to fit back where they came from!!

  4. How fascinating and wonderful creations! Thank you for sharing your world with us. :)

  5. Hi Greta. Lovely to learn more about you and your gorgeous work! There are some pretty cool markets happening down here soon :)
    Kim x

  6. Nice to meet you! I love the shirts, I've bookmarked your site for when I need the next baby gift!
    Averil :)

  7. Nice to read more about you... I am a movie and a typography fan too...


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