• 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 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).


    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

  • Pink & red Alistra

    I love a red and pink combo, and this curved-colourblock take on the Alistra Dress is the Muna and Broad Patreon Insider & Maker Pattern Bonus for April.

    These two colours together were exactly what I was searching for- I got in touch with Fabric Box in Auckland to ask for a photo of the two fabric together before I purchased them. I really wanted to buy two identical fabrics that were just different colours for ease of sewing and general matchiness.

    Colourblock Alistra-31

    My recent quilting experiments with curves left me a bit nervous about getting all these pattern pieces together nicely. Fortunately, the curves are smooth and long, I was patient and careful and also the tension on my machine was playing ball.. My worrying paid off and it all came together without a hitch.

    Leila and I talked A LOT about the colourblock shapes, and I think the only thing that came from the first version to this final version was that we wanted to have a sleeve of each colour. Is this big curve shape a Gen Z look? I love the large scale of the colour-blocking and how the curved lines subvert but also reinforce the shapes of the body. I’m super pleased with the outcome.

    Colourblock Alistra-50

    I made a straight Size G because I didn’t want to have to think about grading between the sizes with the pattern pieces being what they were. You absolutely could grade but I didn’t want to have to think much so I didn’t. The dress is slightly more figure-hugging than this version where the front piece is Size H, but it’s still very wearable and comfortable. I cut 2″ off the sleeves.

    Colourblock Alistra lights-14

    You do need the Alistra pattern to use with this colourblocked pattern bonus. The Alistra Dress is the latest pattern from Muna and Broad and email newsletter subscribers have 15% off during launch week.

  • Alistra Dress

    The Alistra Dress is the latest pattern from me and Leila through Muna and Broad and email newsletter subscribers have 15% off during launch week.

    The Alistra is a knit column dress that’s designed to hug all the curves and give great shape to the back of the dress while skimming through the front of the dress. It’s the kind of shape that is simple to buy for smaller bodied folks but the RTW versions for plus-sizes never end up as good.

    There’s 2 views, a scoop neck with a delicate neckband and this funnelneck view.

    Capricorn Alistra-06
    It’s not too often that I wear black, and now that I’ve experienced trying to photograph black you’ll likely never see it again!

    My current measurements are 50″ bust and 60″ low hip (some of that includes belly), so I made a mashup of Size G and Size H. I used size G for most of the pattern but the front of the dress through the belly section is Size H. This is just my way of accounting for the fact that my upper belly protrudes quite a lot.

    I have also made a straight Size G with no issues, there’s just less room through the belly.

    The funnelneck size is customisable depending on your fit preference and I used T6, which is the largest size. I also cut 2″ off the end of the sleeve.

    Capricorn Alistra-04

    I’m always surprised at the yardage that we manage to get on the M&B patterns- forever squeaking things that I think will take way more fabric onto much less fabric. The funnelneck view of the Alistra uses 3.4m/3.7yds of 150cm/60” wide fabric, and I used this bargain-priced very soft cotton with 60% 4-way stretch from Backstreet Bargains here in NZ. It’s not perceptively ribbed, even though it’s sold as a ‘ribbed fabric’ and I really just bought it as toile fabric, but liked the match with the wintry/cosy funnel neck view.

    Stay tuned for a fun Patreon Insider & Maker bonus view of the Alistra Dress too!

  • Improv quilt No.1

    I signed up for the free Improv Curves Scrap Play 2023 from Sherri Lynn Wood, watching it back quite a while after it was live because I wasn’t quite keen enough for some 6am improv in the NZ time zone. You can still sign up for the class and watch it back as I’ve done here: https://www.sherrilynnwood.com/free-scrap-quilting-class

    The prompts for the class were 

    Poetic Prompt: Joyful
    Design Prompt: Scale
    Color Prompt: Green + Neutrals
    Shape Prompt: Curves + Angles

    But, you can probably tell that I paid no attention at all, and I totally went off on my own- I guess I find the colours joyful, and there’s certainly curves and also a few angles. There’s also one very bright tennis ball green fabric that I incorporated into it.

    improv quilt No. 1-08

    This strip-based block you can see above was made from the offcuts of other blocks as I tried to cut them down to similar sizes, and it might be my favourite section. I put it on the top left thinking that if it got big enough to go on the bed then that would be at the top on the side that I sleep on. Unfortunately, when I did the math on how much more improv work it would require for me to get a queen bed sized quilt top, I pivoted and settled on a large lap blanket for the couch.

    improv quilt No. 1-04

    The thought of basting and self quilting all that really just made my arms sore, so I just didn’t do it! It was a super-quick turnaround to get the quilt back, and it arrived at an excellent time because Christchurch has really settled into autumnal weather (and temperatures) and I’ve been under the quilt quite frequently since it returned home!

    The quilting is straight lines which run horizontally across what I pretty arbitrarily decided was the top and the bottom and the thread is grey- which was a nice neutral that worked with the various colours included (particularly the chambray). Given how not-at-all-flat the top was, it’s interesting to see that it’s come out relatively flat! Good news because it means that I don’t at all have to work on being more careful.

    You can see some more pictures here on instagram.

  • Gusset pocket Lobethal

    Cobalt pocket Lobethal Whitlam-74

    The pockets came before the shirt, but got attached after the shirt was already constructed. Confusing? Yes.

    I made these blue pockets when I was photographing the method for making them for Muna and Broad Patreons. Leila had digitised my pocket pattern which I used to add a cargo pocket to my TDCO Glebe Pants.

    Then the Lobethal Shirt happened and I had enough fabric leftover after mocking up the pockets to make a whole cobalt blue shirt with pockets.

    Cobalt pocket Lobethal Whitlam-62

    I knew I didn’t have long to wait and think about the pockets because the shirt would fade and change with washing and wearing, so while the iron was hot I added these two massive gusseted breast pockets to the front.

    If you already hated the Lobethal, then I don’t think that my addition of pockets is going to save it for you- it will likely make it worse. I find that it cracks me up by playing with proportions- massive shirt, massive pockets. It’s probably why I’ve also added some massive earrings for these photos.

    Cobalt pocket Lobethal Whitlam-88

    The inspo behind the whole shirt with its massive pockets? This blue RM Williams shirt which gives me strong nostalgic childhood memories.

  • Low contrast colours

    Hello, Hello. It’s been a while between wardrobe planning posts, but it definitely hasn’t been a while between me thinking a lot about my wardrobe! In this post I’m going to talk about contrast, specifically from my face, and how that plays out in my wardrobe.

    Maybe you’re on TikTok? Even if you’re not I think you can still watch this short video that I made.

    How to tell your contrast?

    The easiest way to work out your contrast level is to take a makeup-less photo of yourself in natural lighting which reflects your actual colouring and then use your phone/photo editing software to desaturate the photo. Using black & white filters will usually amp up the contrast setting when they apply the B&W filter, so just be careful that you’re just removing the colour.

    Here are 2 photos of me looking a bit creepy and dazed. Even though I have bright red cheeks from my rosacea, you can swipe to see that in b&w I have medium-low contrast, my eyebrows practically blend into my face, the whites of my eyes aren’t much lighter than my face. I can see also in the bottom image that as my grey hairs grow in, I’m definitely going to fall into the low-contrast category as the light grey hair is very similar to my skin.

    Some garment fails

    I suppose the next thing to do is to show you 4 garments that don’t get much wear/are ongoing regrets from my sewing (I’m looking at you Shacket). The Torrens Box Top on the left is a relatively recent make, which I thought was going to be a real wardrobe winner- so it just goes to show how being armed with all my previous musings hasn’t entirely stopped flops!

    What do all these tops and outerwear makes that I’ve deemed flops have in common? They all contrast my low-contrast face A LOT.

    Here might be a good time to include some links to other folks who have more to say about this topic before I crack on with quoting some of them and showing you more comparison pictures!

    You might like to read these

    Here are some outfits that I do like, and it was interesting to me that even though I’ve written about low-contrasting colour combos, I generally thought of that as being monochromatic or analogous colour combos (so pairing similar colours together), rather than pairing tonally similar colours together. You can see above that some of the combos which have quite different colours paired together, are quite low-contrast in black & white.

    But, you’re a warm autumn!

    The image to the left is a picture from Chromology UK (who offer colour analysis for individuals).

    She’s also a warm autumn, but she’s a warm autumn with a lot more contrast between her features, thanks to her dark hair and dark eyes.

    It makes sense to me in hindsight that we wouldn’t necessarily gravitate to the same warm autumn colours.

    If you want to read more from me about colour-schemes and wardrobe-planning, check out all of those posts here.

    Do I need to embrace my contrast?

    It’s absolutely not necessary for me to embrace my low-contrast face and sew by it. Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow mentions in her post about contrast that although she’s low-contrast she enjoys using makeup to create contrast for herself. So, you can absolutely play with makeup/dyeing your hair to play with your contrast levels.

    I would rather lean in to dressing my natural face than wearing makeup because:

    • I actively don’t want to create a high-femme look
    • I feel that sometimes covering my rosacea might lead me to feel worse about my skin in the long run
    • My skin is so sensitive that I can’t wear mascara, eyeliner, oil-based products, astringent products, etc.

    Prove it, I guess?

    Above are 2 selfies taken 1 day apart at a very similar time of day in the same location in my apartment. On the left I’m wearing a golden coloured top that I think sits exactly in my warm autumn but low-contrast palette, and on the right I’m wearing colour that’s really not in my warm autumn scheme.

    I see a really big difference between the two. Do you?