This is a great example of a project making its way onto the blog, not necessarily for you, but because I keep coming back to the blog to double check the details of my makes. What size did I make, did I make adjustments? I’ve got no idea, but the blog can remind me about exactly what past Jess was up to.
I made 2 View C versions of the Muna and Broad Tarlee T-Shirt (which almost feels like a vintage pattern at this point because we released it so long ago). It was all a practice run so that I could settle on the sizing for a final version in a dusky purple ribbed bamboo. Are either of these fabrics less expensive than my final fabric? No. Final fabric is in the eye of the beholder.
Toile, trouble, fabric bubble
First, the darker blue bamboo knit (I think from Nellie Joans), I made a Size F through the shoulders grading out to a Size G through the hip. There’s quite a bit of pulling through the back and the side seams are swinging forward because my IBS belly is requesting much more room.
So this second version is a Size G through the top, but I swung the pattern pieces out, which mean the hips have even more room than if I’d graded to a Size I. I hadn’t topstitched the neckline down when I took these photos and it’s sitting nicer now. This ribbed cotton (the ocean shade from Nellie Joans) is hefty but did lettuce a bit around the hems as I was sewing even though I tried to be gentle. Steam has fixed some of it and I’m hoping that a run through the wash will do the rest of the work. I don’t think sizing up has done much for my bust fit (I’ve got narrow shoulders and they curve forwards quite a bit), but the back looks less like it’s screaming for extra room.
@Ithacamaven‘s Top, Down, Centre, Out seems to be the topic of conversation that’s attached to every self-sewn pair of pants on the internet!
Recently we got a question about TDCO on the M&B Patreon forum, so I did some additional research and dove in with my Glebe Pants pattern to make some new pants for my travel capsule to take with me to Wellington. The pink pants I shared recently were made from the pattern pieces after doing this TDCO fitting.
Size and fit details: Using Ruth’s recommendation for choosing sizes, basing the outer seam on your waist size and the inseam and crotch seams on your hip size. This is the TDCO approach to blending or grading between sizes, rather than blending sizes at the outer seam which changes the shape of the pants.
I picked a Size F at the outer seams and a Size M through the inseams and crotch seams. Size F is the size I’ve made my other Glebe Pants and I basically just chose Size M for the other parts because it had the most crotch extension. I did not add any width to the pattern pieces or height above the waist for the purpose of fitting because I was VERY confident that the pants would have too much rise and would not need any extra width added.
The fitting process
I omitted the slash pockets and cut out one half of the pattern- one front leg and one back leg, which I basted together. I sewed some elastic into a loop and popped it where I’d want my waistband to sit. Because there was no issue with the pants being too small anywhere, it simplified the fitting process a lot.
I concentrated on getting the front and back seams to sit in my centre, tucking them into the elastic, pulling them up until the crotch was hitting at the right spot (with enough ease). Then I basically arranged the rest of the fabric into the elastic waistband. I knew I was only going to have elastic in the back, so I concentrated on getting the sideseam to hit in the correct spot, and made myself a deep pleat at the front. I tugged at the top of the side seam of the pants, pulling it higher into the elastic waistband until wrinkles through the legs disappeared. And I ended up deciding that I needed to remove some fabric from the centre back.
Is this the exact order of things I was supposed to do? I’m not sure, but it felt right.
I transferred where the pants were interacting with the waistband over onto my paper pattern and cut out the other side of the pants and then I used my shears to lop off the fabric I had deemed unnecessary at the top of my first side of the pants (leaving a seam allowance of 1/2″). Then I did a check with both legs attached to each other still with the elastic loop as a waistband, tweaking and pinching fabric.
I ended up adding a 4″ pleat to the front and removing an amount from the centre back of the pattern. I effectively ended up removing 2″ from the rise all around the pattern pieces, with slightly more through the centre back as I was trying to remove some excess fabric pooling in the small of my back.
In truth, I haven’t exactly maintained the design intent of the Glebe Pants because I’ve seriously widened the legs of the pants and put a very deep pleat in which is twice as big as the original View B pleat.
I also could not be bothered to go back and add the slash pockets back in, so I attached this gusseted pocket which I had recently drafted for a wrap skirt (it’s now the November Patreon Bonus). The pocket hits at exactly the right spot for my hand and is surprisingly capacious.
Pattern number 30 from Leila and me is here: The Whitlam Skirt from Muna and Broad. I didn’t think it could be done but Leila has drafted a knit tube skirt that doesn’t want to crawl up under my belly overhang. Pure magic.
I’ve been sewing up a little storm recently as we prepare to release Muna and Broad‘s 30th pattern (not pictured here) and as I put together a small travel capsule for an upcoming weekend in Wellington for Camp Boom (capsule also not pictured here).
A gaggle of Atrax
I’ve sewn up a little collection of funnelneck knit Atrax Tops to pair with the soon-to-be-released pattern, and I loved this one so much that I wanted to share it early with you!
I love an abstract squiggle, and I bought this squiggled viscose knit fabric even though I wasn’t sure it would necessarily be a wardrobe win for me. It’s surprisingly hefty and was nice to sew with. I’m happier about it than I look in the photos.
Size details: I made a Size F Atrax and I’m wearing my Size F corduroy Glebe Pants (View B). My current measurements are 50″ bust 48″ waist 59″ hip.
I love how the armhole of the Atrax wraps around my body. I’ve tried some other short-sleeved knit tops where I’ve had so much armhole gaping- I think the other patterns just didn’t accommodate my very typical rounded back. I also love how the centre-back seam wraps the back of the funnel around my neck hump. I’ve definitely had other patterns and even RTW clothes where the neckline sits out from the hump or the neck finishes quite low on my neck- both outcomes lead to a chilly breeze down my neck and I hate it. This makes the fit wins of the Atrax feel pretty special.
I love this pattern. It’s so simple but I feel so great in it. It’s exactly the kind of thing I would have seen on Eileen Fisher and lusted after before I could sew. Worn-untucked, it flows over my hip and has a delightfully hefty bottom hem. Here I’ve tucked the bottom hem into the underwire of my bra and let the top cascade from there. The hem also tucks nicely into a bralette or, into the top of the pants for a classic half-tuck.
You’ll be seeing me in Atrax Tops of various colours and patterns a lot this summer!
I love me-made PJs because there was always something that was not-quite-perfectly-comfie about RTW PJs. The arms were always too tight or I couldn’t button the bottom buttons, often both things were a problem.
There’s also the classic problem that you never get the same options for fat PJs as straight-size folks get. I like to be able to choose exactly what I like, and to avoid any of those gross poly cotton blends. I do not want to sleep in plastic.
So, the Spinifex PJs are now my go-to sleepwear. Sometimes a full set or sometimes the bottoms with a matching knit top (I like a turtleneck in the winter).
I remember nothing specific about this project from back in July- I think I made a different size in the pants than in the shirt, but I can’t really remember. These slipped directly onto my body and are now in regular rotation in my sleep wardrobe. I’m never going back to buying PJs.
Up next, and like a year later we got into knits and knit dresses. The spotted, red and pink dresses above are various views of the Hexham Dress and the long black dress with white checks is an Atrax Top & Hexham Dress mashup that has been lengthened.
My recent dress making has been back to my lovely woven fabrics! Gorgeous A+R pink linen got made into a Melba Dress, and this very structured gold fabric got a flounce added to its hem for this fishy Melba. My most recent dress was another Melba, this time in peachy seersucker fabric with a very gathered skirt added onto the bottom.
The most recent M&B outerwear is the Cobden Chore Jacket. An excuse for a pocket party, I would love this lilac jacket with my whole heart if my machine didn’t hate top-stitching. Do not look closely.
Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete? Wouldn’t you think I’m the girl… the girl who has everything? (that she needs in the outerwear department)?
Well, no. I’ve definitely got plans to replace some of these pieces, and also to hack and experiment with them! I’d like a tan coloured Shoalhaven (I’ve got the fabric already), a bright pink Mallee (boiled wool, of course)! I’ve got blue needlecord for a high-contrast Cobden! I’d love to try lengthening the Belmore for a serious slow-fashion look. And maybe a lengthened Mallee too! Stay tuned.