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  • Results of check-in

    I recently posted my ‘Wardrobe check-in‘ method for auditing my wardrobe based on recent wears (and attempted wears). I posted this a couple of weeks ago and then ruminated on my wears, and here’s the results:

    Items I’ve worn multiple times over the past week

    • RTW Jeans
    • Alistra toile T-shirt
    • Pembroke merino T-shirt
    • Black Banksia bralette
    • Torrens Box Jumper
    • Boiled Wool Belmore
    • Corduroy Glebe Pants
    • RTW denim shacket
    Atrax-and-Belmore-RTW-jeans

    Levi Wedgie Jeans (size 24), the Alistra Tee tester and my boiled wool Belmore are a constant in my day-to-day wear.

    Hilariously, if I’d made these jeans I would judge the fit and would probably hate them. So interesting that I’m giving Mr Levi a pass and holding my own make to a much different standard. I bought a 2nd pair when I spotted these on sale for ease of rotation. I find the waist fit to be quite good, which perhaps explain why I love them so.

    The tee was a test of the scoopy neckline with narrow binding which we first used on the Alistra Dress. It has our classic shaping through the back, so I love the fit back there, the bamboo is a delight to wear, and I love the bit of swing that the front has (pretty sure I added that in myself). It feels casual and comfie, but also a little-bit nice, and I’m VERY SAD when its in the wash so I do really need to make some more. This feels like it has a more relaxed fit than some of my more-fitted tees, which I appreciate.

    My boiled wool Belmore Jacket, is my slip-on-to-take-the-dog-out jacket but I’ve also been extra cold this winter and wearing it a lot more inside. Often a merino top simply won’t cut it indoors here in NZ (my apartment is above average for warmth and heat retention, but you still feel the weather inside), so this is only getting so much wear because of my own wardrobe gaps: cosy sweaters.

    RTW-shacket

    RTW Levi Shacket

    I nabbed this on sale (still on sale here) as research for whether I got as much of a kick from wearing these western details as I hoped. It has also increased the wearing of these corduroy Glebe because I’m not quite ready for double-denim with the RTW jeans from back at the start. I love all the details (pearl snaps!?), the length, the colour… but what I don’t love is how it’s tight through the hips when buttoned. I don’t know that I’ll keep this because of the hip fit, but I would like to use it to inform a replacement that has enough room through the belly and bum (maybe rubbing off a pattern?)!

    These corduroy Glebe get reached for a lot when it cools down because most of my linen ones are simply inappropriate at this time of the year. They’ve remained my go-to since April (when I last did a wardrobe check-in).

    This t-shirt version of the Cashmerette Pembroke is in a brown colour which I initially didn’t care for, but in hindsight find Very Easy to pair with items in my wardrobe. I wish the fit was looser through the chest and belly- I suspect I wouldn’t be the same size as when I made this (I usually half tuck so it’s not super noticeable that it’s too tight through my belly).

    Items that I haven’t reached for or that I’ve changed out of?

    Black is such a difficult colour for me. I don’t think it goes with any of my shoes and I struggle to pair black with anything other than black? I can see that if you were into black it would be easiest to just let it take over your wardrobe out of ease. I’d love to find what my version of black is- the colour that feels as neutral as black, but which slots better into my wardrobe.

    Gaps in my wardrobe

    • Clothes that are warm enough
    • Cosy layers that I can pop over things to make other garments appropriate for colder weather
    • Go-to slightly fancy outfits that I love to reduce stress when trying to get dressed for nice things.

    Conclusion

    Marta’s rumination on her own wardrobe got me thinking about my own 3-word-style and how I don’t always manage to apply my style goals and aspirations to my project queue (no idea why). I’ve started a new Pinterest Board, and I’m doing some ‘how does Jess want to present to the world’ thinking which has pushed me to set up @chch_destash for destashing clothes and fabrics which no longer speak to me.

  • Wardrobe check-in

    Back in April I shared a Me-made wardrobe seasonal check-up post for Muna and Broad Patreons. Basically, the seasons were changing, so it meant that the comfortable spot I had got into with warmer-weather wears was no longer working for me.

    Without further faffing about- here’s my process for the check-in. I’ll share my own results and musings in another post!

    Make a list of what you’ve worn over the past week (or fortnight)

    • If an item turns up multiple times, what’s the occasion/s you wore it for and what made that the most appropriate item?
    • Have you been entirely happy with this item getting so much wear? Why/why not?
    • Are there things about these items that could be improved?

    Of the items getting multiple wears

    • Are there common denominators between these items that you’ve been reaching for?
    • If there are items that have made you especially happy to wear, can you explain why?

    Make a list of things that you haven’t worn

    I’ll often change outfits if I’m feeling stressed and I might change multiple times before leaving the house in something that I’m not even all that happy about! Things that might go on this list include recent makes that I might have expected to be reaching for, or garments that I’ve frequently put on AND then changed out of before leaving the house

    • Are there garments or outfits that you might have expected to reach for but haven’t and do you have a sense for why?

    Make a list of gaps in your wardrobe

    Sometimes it can be easy to identify things that you’re missing- I’ve recently been feeling bereft of cosy layers that aren’t outers. I don’t want to sit on my couch in a coat, but I don’t have many warm mid-layer options suitable for indoor winter in a relatively chilly NZ apartment.

    • Things I think I would be wearing frequently if I had them
    • If I had x or y garment, I wouldn’t be wearing z so often

    Conclusion?

    You know I’m always over-analysing my wardrobe, my makes, my preferences (Sewing Wins, but Why? and Sewing Wins, conclusions posts), but I’m really just hoping to ensure that I’m making things that I’ll actually wear and that I’ll enjoy wearing.

    No conclusions yet- until I write my list and analysis for you.

  • Flat Shoe Style: High-top Converse style

    As part of my ‘Flat Shoe Style’ blog series here on my blog, I’ve previously covered Sporty sneaker style, white sneaker style, slip-on sandals (Birkenstocks), and after an extensive hunt on my local 2nd-hand marketplace, High-top Converse!

    Converse-Whitlam-Skirt-Muna-and-Broad
    The Muna and Broad Whitlam Skirt with a peach Waikerie Shirt and black Torrens Box Top

    See more?

    I’ve started a Pinterest Board of fat bodies with flat shoes (separated into different styles of shoes), and I’ve been sharing more outfit pics on Instagram using the hashtag #FatFlatShoe and adding ‘Guides’ (which you can find on my profile under the tab next to the Reel tab).

    Converse-Muna-and-Broad
    L-R Waikerie Shirt w/ Glebe Pants, Waikerie Shirt with Sculthorpe Pants, Lobethal Shirt with RTW jeans

    These shoes with pants might feel like a ‘of course that works’ kind of thing, but I was quite skeptical actually! I find that I don’t enjoy ankle-height boots with my pants- somehow it feels weird to skip that flash of skin between pants and shoes (This interesting episode talks about that), so I’m glad that didn’t happen here!

    I’ve been loving my big Lobethal Shirts with some RTW jeans that I recently discovered came in my size (read more on the insta post)!

    Muna and Broad converse
    Waikerie Shirt (View A) with Pyrmont Skirt

    I have actually had these shoes, and these photos, for a while now and they’ve been on my instagram for a month! I held off on posting because I wanted to include these pictures but the Pyrmont Skirt wasn’t released to the public yet. Now it is well-and-truly released and I can tell you that I enjoy how the converse subvert what feels otherwise quite girly (girl pairs edgy shoes with otherwise lovely outfit to prove she’s unique and very interesting.. it’s not exactly groundbreaking, but it’s still true).

    These shoes would be getting a whole lot more wear if they weren’t so dang uncomfortable. Give me arch support and room for my toes!

  • Jacquard gauze Pyrmont

    This is my 3rd Pyrmont Skirt from Muna and Broad and is the only one I’ve made that isn’t brown! You can see the spotty brown one here, and non-spotted brown one here.

    During the launch week M&B email newsletter subscribers have 15% off the Pyrmont and M&B Patreon Insiders and Makers save 25% on all patterns at all times!

    Fifey Pyrmont Tarlee Belmore-13
    A ribbed Tarlee T-Shirt and Pyrmont Skirt

    This cotton jacquard is a gauze-like fabric which has an abstract ‘print’/weave. It’s heftier than a double gauze, and doesn’t get as crinkled either. I’ve got quite a bit of this sitting in my stash (and some in an olive green too), but I really struggle with wearing and styling such a dark colour, so I’m not sure this will stick around in my wardrobe long-term.

    I knew I didn’t want to be ironing interfacing onto the waistband of this gauze fabric, so I just didn’t. Instead I threaded elastic all the way through the waistband (instead of just the back half), and then secured it at the side seams so that most of the gathering is forced into the back, and the elastic in the front acts like a stiffener to the waistband.

    Fifey-blue-Pyrmont
    Belmore Jacket, Tarlee T-Shirt and Pyrmont Skirt

    To help ensure ease-of-working-with-gauze, I popped the top of the skirt on the selvedge edge and didn’t notch the pleat markings in with my snips until I’d sewn the pockets onto the sides. This just meant that my skirt had no time to stretch out and go all shifty while I worked on the other bits. Because the pattern itself is relatively straightforward, I didn’t have issues with other bits stretching out or making a nuisance of themselves during construction! Apart from the fact that it’s navy and I should have known I would struggle with wearing it, it was a pretty pain free project!

  • Khaki Pyrmont

    The Pyrmont Skirt is the latest skirt from Muna and Broad and is indeed my second brown Pyrmont (see the other one here)! When we were talking about our ideas for a woven skirt, we kept calling this one the ‘Japanese sewing book skirt’- it’s very much inspired by those very aesthetic books with patterns, but which we’ve never been able to sew from because they definitely don’t come in size fat!

    Waikerie khaki Pyrmont-40
    Pyrmont Skirt with ice-dyed Waikerie Shirt

    When I was thinking about what fabric I’d use for the sample photos the Pyrmont Skirt, I went all out on a very thorough Pyrmont Pinterest Board and kept being drawn to pleated utility twill skirts. Like a manual labour school uniform, but much more compelling, I actually had the perfect shirting-weight twill fabric in my stash! It would have been too lightweight for pants, but was perfect for the Pyrmont! Where the pleats look quite delicate on my spotted brown skirt, they’ve ended up looking a lot like my twill inspo skirts (below)!

    Forever searching out tension in outfits- I’ve mostly experimented with pairing this skirt with pinks of varying shades (things don’t look like utility clothing when worn with pink). I’d also love to experiment with a look that I’m going to call ‘UK-vibes’, which is reminiscent of UK-brands Toast or Margaret Howell (above). A seafoam knitted vest with long socks and flat leather oxfords? Definitely worth exploring.

    Waikerie khaki Pyrmont-42

    After putting not-so-hefty interfacing into the front of the waistband on my spotty Pyrmont, I went all out and used hefty interfacing that I had purchased for hat making into this waistband to make it extra crisp and self supporting. It was absolutely the right choice, and I kind of regret not putting something with a bit more heft into my first waistband.

    Get the Pyrmont?

    During the launch week M&B email newsletter subscribers have 15% off the Pyrmont and M&B Patreon Insiders and Makers save 25% on all patterns at all times!

  • Pyrmont Skirt

    The Pyrmont Skirt is the latest skirt from Leila and I through Muna and Broad. During the launch week M&B email newsletter subscribers have 15% off and M&B Patreon Insiders and Makers save 25% on all patterns at all times!

    Muna and Broad converse
    Pyrmont Skirt with Waikerie Shirt (View A)

    This crisp cotton sateen is an 86gsm (2oz) shirting-weight fabric which has a subtle sheen while being opaque, which I think it important in a skirt. I had 3m of this 110cm wide fabric (only a remnant remains on sale, and not enough to replicate this skirt).

    I made a Size G, which matches my hip measurement on the M&B size chart, and this pattern was made with no other changes to the pattern.

    The Pyrmont Skirt print file is a low-print eco pattern which minimises the amount of paper you’ll need to print out, while also giving you a full pleating schematic to ensure that the pleating is a breeze! It’s also not entirely rectangles- the back pattern piece is shaped at the top to ensure that your hem hangs straight (instead of slightly higher in the back, which happens so often in ‘Size Fat’ skirts like this).

    Pyrmont-spots-Atrax
    Pyrmont Skirt with merino Atrax Top

    This brown spotty number was the first Pyrmont Skirt that I sewed up- I wanted a fabric that wasn’t overly feminine- I guess to subvert the ‘skirt’ factor. Brown was what came to mind, though with the spots and the sheen of the fabric it’s come up looking quite delicate and dressy. I’m hoping that the chocolate brown will pair well within my wardrobe (my current mood is dusky and musky (which is a step above dusty and musty).

    In total I’ve made 3 Pyrmont Skirts, so stay-tuned for details of the others over the next few days.

  • Flat Shoe Style: Slip-on sandals

    As part of my ‘Flat Shoe Style’ blog series here on my blog, today I’m talking slip on sandals, including Birkenstock style sandals.

    Waikerie and Herringbone Glebes-088
    Waikerie Shirt & Glebe Pants
    M&B outfits-43
    Glebe Pants, Tarlee T-Shirt and Belmore Jacket
    Waikerie and Herringbone Glebes-034
    Hacked Waikerie Shirt & Glebe Pants

    I pulled my Birkenstock sandals out of the dark wardrobe after my little ankle break last year. I find them really easy to style with things- and they’re quite ‘in’ right now! Unfortunately, I wore through the soles in less than 2 months on the gold pair so I won’t be purchasing any more of these. I also find that they encourage me to claw foot up while I’m wearing them, which just makes my gait worse…. But, they are cute and easy to pair with things if they work for you!

    See more?

    I’ve started a Pinterest Board of fat bodies with flat shoes (separated into different styles of shoes), and I’ve been sharing more outfit pics on Instagram using the hashtag #FatFlatShoe and adding ‘Guides’ (which you can find on my profile under the tab next to the Reel tab).

    Melba gathered top-23
    Glebe Pants & hacked Melba Dress top
    Pink Atrax and squiggle skirt-02
    Atrax Top and Whitlam Skirt

    I’ve also lumped these yellow slip-on shoes into this category because I think their vibe is similar to slip on Birkenstocks, and also because they’ve subsequently broken so I can’t take more photos so they can have their own post. The best thing about these shoes is the ridiculous bright colour- they were so fun for bringing a pop to any outfit! In the back of my mind I’ve catalogued the ‘radioactive sandal’ to the future shoe wishlist.

    Glebe Pants September-100
    Glebe Pants & hacked Melba Dress top
    Glebe Pants September-037
    Torrens Box Top & Glebe Pants
  • Flat Shoe Style: White Sneakers

    As a person who only wears flat shoes, I’ve been thinking more and more about taking a shoe-first approach to wardrobe planning (and outfit planning too)!

    I’ve started a Pinterest Board of fat bodies with flat shoes (separated into different styles of shoes), I’ve started a ‘Flat Shoe Style’ blog series here on my blog, started sharing more on Instagram about it and using the hashtag #FatFlatShoe.

    White Sneakers: easy to style

    I’m new to white sneakers, and was basically convinced I should buy them by a very friendly salesperson and the podiatrist

    I didn’t really think I’d wear these creamy leather shoes all that often, but let me tell you that these have become my go-to shoes.. I hate to admit that she was right, but they’re incredibly comfortable and super easy to pair with things.

    White sneakers are low-profile enough to pair well with ‘girls dresses’- bias cut dresses, summery dresses with gathers, but they can also look cool and minimal with black pants. They’re kind of like a style chameleon- not reading as particularly feminine or masculine, but working well with whatever they’re paired with. Check out the White Sneaker Pinterest Board for more inspo or proof!

    Plus size white sneaker outfits

    Here’s my stream of consciousness paragraph about what cute white sneakers go with:

    They go with dresses and skirts- pair them with a silky bias skirt or a casual knit skirt, a lovely bias cut dress like the Nullarbor Cami Dress or a knit t-shirt dress like the Hexham Dress. They look great with summery dresses with gathered skirts (Waikerie Dress View A) but you could also style them with longer socks for extra cosy.

    They work with pants, and bring a hint of business to business casual fabrics. They also fit well with business type fabrics (you know those black business women pants, and a blazer if you can buy that kind of thing in your size). They look great peeking out from under wide-leg pants like the Glebe Pants, but would also look great with a linen 2 piece.

    If you’re a Muna and Broad Patreon, I’ve gone deeper and included inspo pics and pattern suggestions here for white sneaker outfits. But my final musing on this style of shoe is that it would be great for travel if looking tidy is important (ie trying to avoid athleisure tourist), because they’re waterproof (leather) and can also be VERY comfortable (like my podiatristy ones).

    White-sneakers-Muna-and-Broad

    Above, I’m wearing my creamy white sneakers with my hacked peachy seersucker Melba Dress, my colourblocked Alistra Dress, my hacked mocha Waikerie Shirt with squiggle Whitlam Skirt, my red chorister Melba Dress top with the squiggle Whitlam, my A+R linen Melba Dress, and a Torrens Box Top / Glebe Pants combo.

    These have been my go-to shoes for going to shows in the evening or the cinema, etc now that winter is here. In summer I was reaching for an orthotic sandal, but now that it’s cooled down I want to keep my toes cosier, so these podiatrist-approved white sneakers are perfect. Comfortable enough to actually walk in, they also work with so many thing in my wardrobe and don’t feel like a style compromise, or too much of a compromise, when I’m choosing outfits.

    Tortilla Jacket outfit-28
    Tortilla Jacket outfit-17

    In spite of the fact that they’ve been getting a surprising amount of wear, they don’t appear on my instragram grid much (yet). I think because I had a different sense of how the shoe looked in an outfit, because it doesn’t look the same when you’re looking down on it while you’re wearing it…. as it does in photos… (obviously, Jess)! Having selfie-d away on these I’m very pleasantly surprised and I think I’ll be reaching for them even more!

  • Flat Shoe Style: Sneakers

    Ever sew up a garment or buy something and then realise you have no shoes to wear with it? Shoes are my styling kryptonite, basically because I never want to wear heels again in my entire life. Because SO MUCH ‘fashion’ and especially plus-size fashion is shown with high-heels, I’ve been thinking a lot abut how to make shoe-first outfit recipes!

  • Tortilla Jacket

    Tortilla Jacket outfit-28

    My wardrobe has been missing an outer layer, so when The Fine Cloth Company asked if I wanted some of their tortilla wool, I said yes immediately.

    When the fabric arrived, I wasn’t 100% sure what kind of jacket it would become. I tossed up between something worker/utility or a robe jacket, I started a Pinterest board just for this project, and I spent a lot of time thinking about side-access pockets.

    Tortilla Jacket outfit-17

    Pattern details
    In the end I settled on a mashup of 2 Muna and Broad patterns, the Cobden Chore Jacket and the Shoalhaven Shacket. I wanted the simple placket from the Cobden, the cuffed sleeves from the Shoalhaven, and the hem of the Shoalhaven on the length of the Cobden. The pockets are my own monstrous creation born from a desire for MASSIVE pockets and side access pockets which are also top access pockets.

    Size details
    I made a straight Size G with no blending between sizes. My current measurements are 50″ bust and 60″ low hip

    Fabric details
    I asked for 2.5m of the wool (but I didn’t check to see if they snuck in more), and I planned out my cutting layout (and how long I could make the jacket) with tailor’s chalk. Because of the lovely nap on the fabric, everything needed to be cut the same way so that did limit my tetris ability.

    I ummed-and-aahed to Patreons about the colour for the lining fabric, but in the end I settled on using some leftover bubblegum pink washer cotton, which was also from The Fine Cloth Company. I wanted a relatively structured fabric that would not stretch out or be a jerk to sew with, and it seemed nice to go full FCC fabric with the make. Leila called the colour combo Bubble O’Bill and I am not mad about it.

    Tortilla Jacket outfit-19

    Those Lovely Pink Snaps
    I used 25mm pink sew on snaps which I purchased from Etsy a while ago. I knew that I wanted to buy some of these coloured snaps after seeing them on some RTW outerwear (it was either COS or Rachel Comey), and in the end I was really pleased that these saved me both from choosing buttons to pair with this wool and from sewing buttonholes on this wool.

    The shop I used is no longer active, but here are a few alternatives for large sew on snaps