M&B pants

At Muna and Broad we’re celebrating our 3rd birthday and we’ve shared 5 days of prompts for folks to share their M&B makes on Instagram! Up first, pants day!

What better time to delve through the archive for vintage pants (3 years old is vintage now).

Glebe Pants Green 3
Torrens Box Top 3
Black silk noil Torrens

Above, our first pants pattern, the Glebe Pants! The natural linen ones were my first pair (and the pants that started it all… literally started M&B), then the dark green on the left and the green on the right.

McElroy Lawn Torrens 2
Nullarbor 6

If you squint at the photo on above with the very colourful top you can see the early Willandra Pants that I made and then we put on the back burner for months (I thought I didn’t like them, but my love grew over the months). After the Glebe we released our side-pocketed Sculthorpe Pants next!

Shoalhaven Blog

Next, the Willandra made it out into the world. I made them in a plum tencel and it was love! Pink wool Glebe joined my wardrobe and we released the Birchgrove Pants (the red ones above)


At some point, the bright pink pants that I made on a whim and which revolutionised my wardrobe and thoughts on colour need to be mentioned.. These pants changed everything.

Corduroy Glebe Tarlee
New Glebe-19
Glebe Pants September-037

And I keep filling my wardrobe with Glebe… It’s fair to say that they’re my favourite pants pattern (and so, by default they’re also my favourite M&B pants pattern)!

Bishop Melba Top

A little while ago I shared this Melba Dress sewing fail on Instagram– a sad outcome for this deep stash linen which I cut into far too haphazardly. With the bold sleeves and the red colour, it felt like something I should be wearing as a church chorister.


I knew that removing the sleeves and making them less dramatic would probably fix the dress for me, but I really do prefer to wear pants so I decided that I’d just make a dramatic top instead since that will get the most wear.

Glebe Pants September-100

This was an early version of the Melba and the neckline isn’t quite the same as the final version, which has a much better fit on my narrow, hollow chest.

I don’t have much of this tomato red shade in my wardrobe, but I do love a pink and red pairing, so I’m hoping this top will work well with my various pink pants and also my natural linen Glebe Pants too!

Glebe Pants September-107

In fact, I like this combo so much that I used the photo as my headshot for the announcement that I’ll be one of the speakers (and attendees) at Camp Boom in Wellington this year! I’m very excited to attend ‘a fierce camp for fat babes’ in November, and am already planning a couple of extra pieces for my wardrobe (including some kind of me-made rain covering)!

Red and pink combo

Pinterest can attest to my love of pink and red combos, but my wardrobe couldn’t, until now. Inspired by this post from The Fine Cloth Company which showed their candy apple red and bubblegum pink linens combined into a tiered dress, I went ahead and purchased The Exact Same Fabrics for my own colourblock adventure using the M&B Torrens Box Top and Glebe Pants.

Glebe Pants September-037

I thought i might not like the combo for wearing as much as the thought of it made me chuckle (and also brought me pleasure) and I was kind of right. The combo feels rather conspicuous (d’uh Jess) and I’m left with the feeling that maybe I needed even more colourblocking to make this sit right with me (when in doubt, double down).

Fabric consumption: I purchased 1.5metres of each colour, and although I had enough, I ended up having to cut the red of the back as several pieces (through poor planning on my part). As you can see from the improv quilts in the background of the photo, I had lots of small pieces of fabric left.

The back of the pockets are self-linen (since they are visible past the slash pockets) but the front of the pockets are a viscose fabric (this saves fabric but adds some extra slink to my pockets).

Glebe Pants September-021

The red fabric is opaque but the pink was letting things shine through (I don’t mind a bra but I draw the line at underwear), so I did a half lining using the method from men’s suit trousers which is to cut your pattern pieces sideways so that the bottom hem sits on the selvedge. This means you can skip hemming your lining, which is extra comfortable and doesn’t let any bumps show through your pants. They’re lined in the same opaque pink fabric I lined the pockets with.

However, for some reason the pants and the lining looked really tight on, there were all these extra drag lines.. basically, it looked really bad. This was my standard size for the Glebe so I think the issue was how my lining pants and the linen pants were interacting (the lining pants were attached through the pocket but not the crotch seam). I experimented with unpicking the centre crotch along the leg seam and this unlocked a lot of the tension, so I added a gusset into both sets of pants. Much better!

Glebe Pants September-045

Speaking of doubling down when things aren’t working- When I’d decided that maybe this combo wasn’t working, I went back and ordered more of this fabric, with a plan to make an epic Waikerie Dress to wear as a duster with the outfit. Very much inspired by Garth Brook’s The Chase album cover, my duster would have pockets added onto the front to amp up the colourblock, and maybe I’d finally use that snap press that I bought so I could stop sewing buttonholes! Good things take time though, so I’ll continue procrastinating!

Pale Peach Waikerie

Back in July last year I made a couple of hacked Waikerie Shirts from Fine Cloth Company linen. I made a gathered mocha Waikerie and this breast pocketed peach Waikerie.

While the mocha Waikerie got a lot of wear, this peach shirt has been somewhat spurned.

Glebe Pants September-120

The mocha linen was a slightly heavier weight and is totally opaque, but I didn’t reach for this shirt because it pretty clearly displayed my bralettes and my favourite black bra. Recently I read that a red bra works as a flesh tone and can’t be seen through things, and I was pleased to find that works for me with this shirt!

Of course, I don’t like to wear a bra very often so I’ve now got a plan to make some red Banksia Bralettes!

Glebe Pants September-118

Pattern details: This is Size F of the Waikerie Shirt, with some breast pockets, a straightened-out the side seam and extra fabric in the pleat at the back of the shirt. I added length to the sleeves.

Fabric & notions details: This 180gsm linen is not opaque, and certainly wouldn’t last long as pants for me. I used Corozo buttons from Auckland-based Hawes & Freer to pair with the soft pink.

Silk noil and raw linen

Here’s a fun little combo which includes 2 pieces that I’ve already shared here on the blog- my most recent and what’s probably my earliest make in A+R Fabric!

Waikerie and Herringbone Glebes-088

My top is the Waikerie Shirt in moss silk noil and the pants are Glebe Pants in raw herringbone linen.

The contrast between these 2 garments is pretty hilarious. The pants might be some of my tidiest sewing ever and the shirt is pre-overlocker, pre-rotary cutter and was one of my first shirts! Because the insides have a zigzag finish (which just isn’t as good as an overlocker finish), I still have to snip the occasional loose thread off from various locations.. I’m also not sure that I nailed the button locations since they don’t reeeeaaalllllyyy meet perfectly with their buttonhole pals.

Waikerie and Herringbone Glebes-084

In the background my improv quilting explorations, and a not-so-improv patchworking exploration which is going to be part of a fun and very cosy project!

New Glebe Pants

After my two most-worn M&B Glebe Pants (both natural linen) died in quick succession my wardrobe has been screaming out for a new pair so at the August M&B Patreon Zoom Sewing Circle last weekend I finally finished up this pair in A+R Fabrics Herringbone linen.

The deaths were particularly sad because the pair I’d made to replace my most-loved and first ever pair died first because the fabric just did not hold up! A particular disappointment since I felt like I’d purchased pricey linen which should have been up to the job.

Waikerie and Herringbone Glebes-040

One thing that’s not a disappointment about those 2 pairs of pants dying is that I got to replace them with this delicious herringbone linen. It’s hefty, and it’s soft and I have high hopes of it withstanding my powerful thighs!

I can’t lie to you, dear reader. These pants sat in the naughty pile for quite some time before I finally finished them off. I don’t remember exactly why they were in the naughty pile but I unpicked 6 darts (6?!?) from the back and unpicked the darts on the front before starting again.

Waikerie and Herringbone Glebes-034

Size: I printed and cut out a Size G for this pair, even though I’ve generally made a Size F. I’d hoped that the extra room I’d gained would give me a bit of ‘breathing’ space around my lower belly (but above where my hip is measured). I’ve got a relatively low and protruding bum and a full lower belly that is firm rather than soft and pliable. While they appreciated the space, my waist didn’t care for the extra fabric, which was exacerbated by the flat front (means the fabric at the back is doing all the gathering work and you end up with much more fabric gathering in the small of your back).

Adjustments: In the end, I moved the front pleats and deepened them and I removed some width through the centre back seam, and lowered where the waistband sat on the back rise of the pants. This removed some extra fabric through the back and took care of the ‘pouf’ of fabric which would be perfect for accommodating a shelf-but if I had one.

Waikerie and Herringbone Glebes-004

The natural linen Glebe Pants have become such a wardrobe workhorse and a comfort item for me. It’s something I know that I can reach for even when I’m at my most frazzled and nothing looks or feels right! They feel put-together but can also look casual- I appreciate that they never make me feel under, or over, dressed.

Glebe and Gusset

I love a quick sew and I especially love a quick sew that I’ve memorised- the Glebe Pants were the first pattern that Leila and I released together and I’ve got the making down to a fine art where I can absolutely watch tv while I go through the pants-making motion.

New Glebe-17

I cut these out as part of a batch-cutting whirlwind (which included 3 Torrens Box Tops and another pair of Glebe) and I whipped them up on Sunday afternoon. This is a 7oz Linen Cotton Slub in Dusty Teal from Blackbird Fabrics (or it’s a Viscose Linen Noil in Ocean Mist) and I hunted down my leftovers from cutting out to cut out a Spinifex PJs gusset which I added into the centre crotch seam.

New Glebe-19

I did forget to take into account how much extra length that ends up giving in other spots, so I might end up shortening the rise on these (my first time shortening the rise on anything I think)!

Floral Faux Jumpsuit

The aim was a matching floral faux-jumpsuit, my inspiration was summer garden parties, or perhaps the kind of ensemble that one might wear to an outdoor wedding in the summer. The fabric didn’t necessarily scream ‘Jess’, but I was also quite drawn to it, so perhaps it actually did call my name (but more of a whisper than a scream).

Fabric Godmother-5
Here it is with a half-tuck

Fabric: This Madison Viscose Twill fabric was sent to me by UK-based Fabric Godmother in return for posting my finished garment and tagging them on social media. The fabric is part of their collaboration with the Print Pattern Archive, this design came from a sample in a 1940’s swatch book and was printed on a silk crepe. I like the idea of re-printing old prints (there’s so many great wallpapers and decorative tiles in the world that need to be fabric)!

Working with the fabric: I noticed that there were some white lines on the fabric where it was cut when it arrived, so I decided that it needed to be treated with care. I serged the ends before washing, used a sharp needle and tried to avoid unpicking as much as possible. The fabric feels nicely hefty (it has a similar feel to 5oz tencel twill) but I’m not sure of the actual weight.

Yardage: I had 3.8m of 150cm fabric. Fabric Godmother did send me a little more than I had asked for, which was just as well since I ended up cutting two identical bag leg pieces (instead of mirrored pieces), even though I was trying to be very careful! I didn’t notice until I’d entirely constructed the front of the pants, so I ended up cutting one of the back legs and piecing together scraps to form the new crotch curve. You really can’t see it in the finished product thanks to the busy print.

Fabric Godmother-1
Here it is with the top tucked in, jumpsuit style

The pants: These are my Frankenstein’s Monster pants, which are Glebe Pants adjacent with a lengthened crotch curve. I can give no size information, because the pattern is so far from the original (literally made of different parts like Frankenstein’s Monster).

The top: How many changes can you make to a pattern before it’s really no longer a hack of that pattern and something that’s barely related at all to the original? The top here is the Ashton Top, which I’d made before, but this time I sized down to get a closer fit to my shoulders, did a small shoulder adjustment, scooped out and also dropped the arm hole to give myself more room for my arms (and to remove some excess fabric because of my narrow upper chest). I rotated out the bust dart at the hem to create extra room through the belly, and then I slashed and spread the back and front pieces until I’d created a lot of extra swing. So… at some point this pattern was an Ashton Top and what I’ve got here is the very distant relative that maybe couldn’t even be replicated since I shaved off paper, cut bits away and haphazardly slashed as I went. I did start with a Size 18, D cup though.

Fabric Godmother-8
Here it is from the side with the half tuck.

Plum frankenpants

I’m on a franken-pants kick at the moment, and I whipped up these buttery soft tencel pants with a slightly tapered leg.

This mulberry tencel is from Fabric Deluxe in Australia. This is about a 5oz tencel, but it’s buttery soft and has a slight peachskin or sandwashed sheen. I thought maybe it wasn’t heavy enough for pants but it’s actually delightful and I’ve been living in these since.

Torrens and Plum Franken-14

This is my 3rd very wearable version of these Frankenstein’s Monster pants. My first pair was a wide-leg navy tencel and my 2nd pair were a bright spring green viscose crepe.

You might remember that I have some plum Willandra Pants, so I knew that this colour would pair really well with lots of things in my wardrobe! The Torrens Box Top I’m wearing is made from fabric that I bought a whole deadstock bolt of! Every time I wear it, I think ‘I really need to sew more with this’ because I love the delicate soft pink.

Torrens and Plum Franken-03

I especially like this soft kind of monochromatic combo with my Sevilla Smith Ito shoes, but I’ve also worn it with my bright green sneakers for walkies in the park.

Green Monster Pants

I whipped up a new pair of Frankenstein’s monster pants and my intention was to make a top in matching fabric (for a faux jumpsuit matching-set), but I couldn’t decide on a pattern so the top remains a work-in-progress!

It’s not SUPER obvious in my photos, but the pants have a double pleat on the front (so 4 pleats in total) and there’s 4 darts on the back to minimise some of the extra fabric that I inevitably get pooling in the small of my back. I had intended to make the front of the waistband flat (no elastic), but I sewed these up during a Muna and Broad Patreon Zoom Sewing Circle and I obviously got distracted because there’s interfacing in the front of the waistband, but also elastic.

Green Machine-07

So after I finally hemmed this today, and lay them out on my bed to find some other things to wear with it to take some photos, I was very pleased to find that my radioactive Muna and Broad Huon Dress was a very close colour-match. They both paired well with this forest green Nullarbor Cami, and the final touch was these blister-inducing shoes which I are my go-to shoes when I feel like there’s no way to avoid being very dramatic anyway.

Green Machine-02

The pants are made from rayon crepe from The Fabric Store here in NZ, this particular shade is Lemongrass and isn’t available any more. I’ve seen the Citron colour, which is similar (but more yellow/neon toned) and I like it’s radioactive qualities even more than this particular shade.

The dress and the pants have a striking similarity to the fresh spring growth that I’ve been very much enjoying in my local park, so I suppose I can say that this very bright ensemble is inspired by this very lovely time of year.

No idea yet about the matching top, but hopefully inspiration for that strikes before I get to summer!