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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Every month there’s a Muna and Broad Patreon Zoom Sewing Circle, which lasts for 2 hours. This weekend, the Zoom kicked off at 8am NZ-time, and I really didn’t feel like cutting out a new project at that time of the morning (it’s my least favourite thing to do)!
So, I used the 2 hours to sew up this pair of bright pink Glebe Pants that I’d cut out a while ago to replace my original pink pants (which are dying because the fabric is very lightweight and was never really appropriate for pants).
So this version has a fully elastic waistband, instead of the flat-front that’s standard with the View B.
I’m wearing these with my new favourite shirt! I found this quite worn men’s workwear shirt at an op-shop/thrift store in Oamaru or $5. It smelled pretty musty, but I loved those huge pockets, and I figured that if it didn’t fit I’d simply take it back and then it was a bit like I’d donated $5 to a good cause.
It’s a 3XL popover placket shirt (for men with 115cm chest, according to the label inside), and the fabric is delightfully soft and comfortable thanks to someone else doing all the hard work softening it up. I love the relaxed fit through the shoulders and now I basically want more like it (but maybe I should make something similar so that I can give myself a bit more room through the hips)!
I’ve been wearing this as my ‘cycle shirt’, I roll the sleeves down to protect my arms from the sun and I’ve also popped the collar to protect my neck (and make me look very cool on my bike).
I didn’t quite get these pants entirely finished in the 2-hour zoom, I did the final step of the waistband and hemmed them later that day. But, a pair of pants that take less than 2.5hours to sew is basically my favourite style of project- instant gratification!
The Glebe Pants got a size update this week, so I thought it would be appropriate to sift back through all my past Glebe Pants to see both how many I’ve made, but also what were the big successes (and failures)!
The first Glebe!
The Glebe Pants (and eventually Muna and Broad) came to be because Leila got in touch via Instagram DM to let me know that she had a pants pattern which she wanted to release as a free pattern, but didn’t want to set up a blog. I had a blog and I loved free pants patterns, so we teamed up to release a free pattern via email together (and the rest, is quite recent history)!
The natural linen Glebe Pants were my first version. I cut into a linen remnant I’d been saving without toiling, and I finished a lot of the internal seams with bias tape (including the hem, which I hand-stitched up). My second pair of Glebe Pants came from a 5+ metre viscose/mystery remnant which cost me $15 locally. I loved how drapey they were and I wore them to work A Lot. The natural linen Glebe Pants are still going strong, and I recently sold the green pair as I decided that they weren’t a colour that I loved.
Middle period Glebe
Then I entered a period of Glebe Pants that didn’t necessarily work out, so you won’t see them online much (you can see them below though). After that I entered my middle period of Glebe Pants. What I’m going to term my own pants pinnacle.
You can see the bright pink Glebe Pants which I made on a whim, but which have become a staple of my wardrobe. They’ve also lead the way for more pink in my wardrobe, in general, but also specifically more pink Glebe Pants (so they were pretty transformative).
You can also see the natural linen Glebe that I made to replace my first pair (hilariously, these ones are looking rattier than the OG pair, thanks to the weave of the linen on the original pair). I also made a pair of pink corduroy Glebe Pants (an homage to Sue) which were my go-to winter pants! The dusky pink/brown wool pants lead me to make a Glebe petti-pant (which you can see here).
Glebe Pants you won’t see
This check flannel fabric feels like a mouth full of velvet when you have styrofoam teeth.
These Glebe Pants fell into obscurity because they were colours I didn’t love, or pocketless PJs (not for me, it turns out)! Or fabric which felt awful to touch and couldn’t be worn.
The blue and green day-time Glebe Pants above were made in a viscose or tencel blends, and it was at a time when I couldn’t mix the texture of linen and viscose (and especially not viscose on the bottom) without feeling quite conspicuous. Now, I’d manage better, but I still don’t think I’d choose those colours for my wardrobe.
The ultimate pink pants
My most-recent pair of Glebe Pants has been this bright pink satin-backed crepe. Its brightness knows no bounds. My camera doesn’t want to deal with it, it’s so bright. These are my fancy going out Glebe Pants, and since the satin is on the inside, they’re like secret delicious silky PJs that are likely to make you fall off chairs if your underwear isn’t made of toweling or something grippy.
Total Glebe Pants
I think that puts me at 11 pairs of Glebe Pants in total, which is a pretty solid usage number for a pattern, even though a few of them weren’t winners (but maybe would be now that I can wear different textured fabric together😂😂)! The #GlebePants hashtag abounds with inspiration (aka, pants I want to blatantly copy), so there’ll definitely be more in the future!
I’ve been casually making and modifying a pants pattern (which is made from a mash-up of several patterns) for the last wee-while, sewing up a toile and then taking terrible mirror selfies of the fit before trying to think through how I could address the various bits I notice.
I’d been stewing on adding some width through the knees/calves on the pattern, and changing the shape of the front crotch curve to better accommodate my belly. Then yesterday I decided, in an unusual fit of inspiration/decisiveness, to add width through the front and back leg to make some wide-leg pants with a 2″ pleat at the front from the pattern. So added width at the front and the back and hoped for the best.
Basically they’re the Frankenstein’s monster of pants.
I’d forgotten about this tencel in my stash, but I’ve rediscovered it and made it into pants in less than a week! It was all very fortuitous since I’d been thinking about some blue pants (and indeed, I’ve been on the hunt for blue tencel and have ordered some from Blackbird Fabric that’s a slightly different shade to this navy, which almost reads as black).
Pattern details: There’s a 2″ pleat on the front and in the back there’s 4 cute wee darts. There are elastic-waist pants, so the darts can’t be miracle workers, but they did remove some of the pooling I was getting in the centre back. Even with the pleats and the darts, there’s still plenty of room to get the pants over my largest measurement. The pockets are ‘Glebe Pants style’, but on future versions, I’ll deepen the pocket opening so that there’s more room for my arm in there.
I’ve been thinking a lot about thinking. Or over-thinking. Perhaps I’ve been over-thinking about over-thinking. For the purposes of the blog, I’m going to tell you about the over-thinking I’ve been doing about fitting and how I’d let it kill my pants-making drive.
Working on various toiles of the ‘cobbled together’ pants pattern, assessing fit and then making changes to the pattern.. Well, it felt a lot like work and not at all like the fun and carefree sewing that I like to do.
Sometimes it’s handy to remind myself that there are plenty of fitting things that I have ignored and continue to ignore/deal with in RTW clothing. So, why can’t I give the same grace to my handmade clothes? Because every pair of pants that I’ve made has definitely been an improvement on RTW pants, but lately that hasn’t felt like enough.
It’s so easy to let your sewing hobby snowball into a fitting fest, or to feel like you should be really interested in and concerned about fitting. I’ve certainly felt a bit bummed that I don’t know more, not for my own interest, but more just to combat imposter syndrome.
So my generally latent impetuous side snapped me out of my funk yesterday, and told me to ‘cut into the tencel without a toile’. Wise impetuous me knew that even if these weren’t the perfect pants, I’d still get something that I’d get a lot of wear from anyway! And although there’s plenty of unanswered questions and thoughts for the next version, I’ve got the blue pants I wanted!
The new Tarawi Shirt has happily joined my wardrobe! This is the 23rd pattern that Leila and I have released over the last two years and at the time of posting, there’s about 48-hours left to get 15% off (no discount code needed).
Here’s a little bit of wardrobe and colour-scheme exploration about fitting these new Tarawi Shirts into my wardrobe!
I’ve posted before about my explorations trying to narrow down a colour scheme for my wardrobe, or ‘trying to make sure every project is a winner’. With still no solid answers (but ever more questions), these 2 shirts raised a lot of questions for me.
The two Tarawi Shirts that I’ve shared here were fabrics I had decided wouldn’t necessarily be for me, or not for me to wear out in public! The purple ‘cow spot’ fabric I had put aside to sell at a stash sale (but nobody bought it from me) and I got the blue plaid thinking I might make a shirt for someone else, or pyjamas for myself… Basically, these were toiles that I think have redeemed themselves (and given me food for thought) because I wasn’t sure they’d be winners colour-wise for me!
Because I love all fabrics and really bright colours (would you believe that I’m a bit obsessed with bright Kaffe Fassett prints?), it can be difficult for me to narrow down things that I’m quite drawn to, but don’t necessarily want to wear. The purple ‘cow print’ fabric arrived in the post, and I thought ‘why did you buy that?’. I was pretty certain that I’d fallen prey to that classic ‘love it but don’t want to wear it’ situation.
The pale lilac shade and the print both felt very ‘young’. Like something a Gen X would wear with mint mules. Fine for them, but not something for me necessarily.
Something obviously made me hold on to the fabric, and I’m quite taken by the final product! I like how there’s a pattern, but it’s still quite low-contrast, and how the purple shade will work with many of the other colours in my wardrobe.
Navy has been a colour that I’ve been avoiding lately. Not because I don’t like it, and not because it doesn’t suit me, but because I found that it was bringing a lot of contrast to my outfits- contrast that I didn’t feel good in (read more musings from me on low-contrast combos). This discovery came after I finished this Shoalhaven (a project I was really pleased with), and then found I really wasn’t reaching for because it was too high-contrast and wasn’t bringing me joy.
The cozy navy brushed cotton twill I used for this Tarawi was fabric that I’d decided to use as a toile- I didn’t expect to finish it into a wearable garment. The fabric was so snuggly and nice, that I did end up finishing it and it ended up being a great match for the Shoalhaven. Together, they make a pairing that I’m comfortable in.
I’ve paired the shirt and shacket combo with these rust Woden shoes that I was having a hard time pairing until @naomi.joy.creates pointed out that if I had leather shoes this shade I’d consider them a neutral. I imagine with some kind of denim pants, this would be the ultimate combo to make navy feel not-so-high-contrast!
So both of these shirts were from fabric which I had decided ‘probably weren’t for me’. I thought they’d struggle to fit into my current wardrobe, and that I wouldn’t necessarily get much joy from wearing them, or a lot of use from them. I’ve been absolutely proven wrong, and the colours have raised quite a few questions (like, do I need some warm blue linen pants?)!
I’ve been on a Tarawi Shirt-making tear over the last wee while, which I suppose is to be expected when you’re preparing a shirt pattern for release into the world!
My latest version uses the 3″/8cm check linen from A+R Fabrics in Australia. I was planning a colour-blocked version because I didn’t think I had enough fabric for a full shirt, but as I was cutting I discovered that I could squeeze the full shirt out, so long as I wasn’t too fussy about pattern placement.
With the addition of the narrow neck option, the Tarawi Shirt gives regular and narrow biceps, 4 cup-sizes and regular and narrow width necks. The hope is that this will give folks a great starting point! The size chart spans 36″-66″ (91-168cm) Bust and 41.5″-71.5″ (105-182cm) Hip, and Leila will grade the pattern up (at no extra size) if the size chart is too small to include you.
My measurements: Upper bust 43″, full bust 48″, largest measurement 56/57″, lower hip 55″. I have quite narrow shoulders, and the 5″ difference in measurements between my upper and full bust is quite misleading because that’s not my actual cup size.
Size details: I made a Size D, based on my upper bust measurements, and used the 2+ front and the narrow neck. I graded out to a little past the Size E hip to accommodate for my largest measurement and I also added 1″ to the centre of the lower-back (the piece is cut on the fold so this gave me 2″ extra through the back).
Future versions: Inspired by the lengthened versions that you can see in the hashtag #TarawiShirt, I’m thinking about a cosy mid-thigh length version from a warm fabric.
This week, the Tarawi Shirt is 15% off as part of our pre-order.
This is another View A of the new Tarawi Shirt pattern, and one that I had whipped up as a toile from this brushed cotton which I got on sale. It was so snuggly that I had to turn this toile into a finished shirt.
Size details: I made a Size D, based on my upper bust measurements, and used the 2+ front. I graded out to a little past the Size E hip to accommodate for my largest measurement. The narrow neck option didn’t exist when I made this, but I’d choose that option for my narrow neck next time.
Fabric and notions: I got this Brushed Gingham Twill Cotton on sale from The Fabric Store for $12 per metre (no longer on sale). I actually bought 7 metres while it was on sale- and because I got it for such a steal, I decided to use it for a toile (obviously, I didn’t need 7metres for this toile). I used corozo buttons from Hawes and Freer and while I did put all the buttons (and buttonholes) that the pattern called for, I omitted the bottom button on my subsequent version (this purple one).
Since this was a toile, which I really didn’t intend to finish, I didn’t put a lot of thought into pattern placement of the check. My big regret is not paying more attention to how the check would fall over the back pleat (fortunately, I don’t have to look at it). Otherwise, I did a half-assed job of matching the plaid by ensuring that I cut my pattern pieces out in the same spot on the fabric.
My recipe for check or plaid Tarawi Shirt:
Cut 2 cuffs on bias (interface these ones), Cut 2 pockets on bias, Cut 1 collar band on bias (interface this one), Cut 1 yoke on bias, Cut placket on bias
Because of the bust-dart, matching the side-seams is always going to be futile. The button band is created by notching the front of the shirt, which means that a bias-cut button band doesn’t work here.
Optional extra, cut 2 of cuff, 1 collar and 1 collar band, 1 yoke from a lining fabric. You won’t interface any of these, and they’ll end up under the collar, inside the collar and inside the cuffs and on the inside of the yoke.
And now, I’m on the lookout for snuggly brushed fabric (my ultimate would be a red and pink check)! I’m thinking this will be my go-to weekend shirt, and it’s a great match for my Shoalhaven Shacket!
The Tarawi Shirt is the latest pattern release from me and Leila under the Muna and Broad banner!
The Tarawi Shirt comes with 2+, 4+, and 6+ cup sizes (difference in inches between upper and full bust) and a no bust option (for folks with no breast tissue, or who bind). The size chart spans 36″-66″ (91-168cm) Bust and 41.5″-71.5″ (105-182cm) Hip. There’s also a regular and narrow sleeve option and after I made this shirt we also added a narrow neck option too.
Fit intentions: This relaxed shirt has a set-in shoulder (a Muna and Broad first), which is designed to sit about 1/2″ past the shoulder bones, so that it sits nicely on fat arms. The shirt has a 2-piece collar and excellent gusseted pockets, but can also be made with a band collar and the pockets omitted.
My measurements: Upper bust 43″, full bust 48″, largest measurement 56/57″, lower hip 55″. I have quite narrow shoulders, and the 5″ difference in measurements between my upper and full bust is quite misleading because that’s not my actual cup size. I also mostly wear soft bralettes, which means my bust apex is quite low and I don’t get any artificial shape or lift.
Size details: I made a Size D, based on my upper bust measurements, and used the 2+ front. I graded out to a little past the Size E hip to accommodate for my largest measurement. I think next time, I’ll grade a little bit further out around the waist and the hips to give myself some extra room. Because of my IBS-related bloating, I often do have quite a large measurement directly above my navel.
I don’t measure in to the 2+ bust front, but based on experimentation I’ve found this cup size best suited the size and projection of my actual breast tissue. I used the regular sleeve (as opposed to the narrow sleeve), and although I didn’t on this shirt
Fabric details: I used this crisp cotton shirting which has a similar feel to a lawn. I had 2.8m of this 150cm wide fabric and cut on the open. I have a decent piece of fabric left, but probably not enough for a garment for my body. For this shirt, I wasn’t fussy about pattern placement, which makes cutting out and being fabric thrifty quite easy.
Notions: I used river shell buttons from Hawes and Freer in Auckland, and used 1 less on the front than the pattern recommends. I didn’t have a great thread match, so ended up using a soft pink which blended fine.
I had this fabric bundled up, measured and priced to sell at a fabric stash sale a few months ago. Fortunately, nobody took a shine to it, and when I was packing up my fabric which didn’t sell, I snuck this one back onto my stash shelves. I hope this low-contrast patterned shirt will get lots of wear with my pink and purple wardrobe pieces.
You can get 15% off Tarawi Shirt this week as it’s currently on pre-sale!
After many months of thinking about it, I finally bit the bullet and bought a bike! Definitely prompted by Leila finding me one which she recommended (she used to be quite in to cycling)!
Of course, I have a lot of feelings tied up with outdoor activities while fat, and I can’t say that I don’t feel nervous about my biking, but so far I’ve stuck to safe-feeling bicycle lanes, or car-free areas, and I’ve been enjoying the change of pace.
I’m wearing an early prototype of the Birchgrove Pants and a Tarlee T-Shirt.
Of course, being the peak overthinker that I am, I’ve thought a lot about clothes that would be the most comfortable and appropriate! Fortunately, I have a great collection of Banksia Bralettes (which have slings which keep your breasts apart, so you don’t have your boobs smushed together getting sweaty), and a drawer full of merino and bamboo Kapunda Undies which are super comfortable. It’s not all that often that I stop to think about how much better things are when your undergarments are uncomfortable.
My Breve Bag has become the classiest bumbag/fannypack ever and keeps my phone, keys and wallet safe (mostly because I realised that my yellow basked actually didn’t hold keys, they just fell right through the holes in the wire)!
I’m certainly not doing any long-distance cycling so don’t have any need for specialised clothes, so far I’ve been enjoying wearing my Sculthorpe Pants and Birchgrove Pants (because the tapered hem means I’m not going to catch anything in the bits and it keeps my legs a bit warmer). Tarlee T-Shirts have been my go-to top- I made so many during the pattern development stage so I have a tidy collection of cotton, merino and bamboo tees.
What will I sew?
I realised that none of my bike-appropriate outer-layers have closures (I never put snaps on my Grainger Coat, or buttons on my Mallee Jacket). So, I might sew myself a waterproof outer-layer (out of a fabric which is breathable) which has closures. I’ve also been thinking of a reflective vest, but a cool one while I’ll sew.. maybe it will be pink and have reflective piping (because safety first, folks)! Apart from that, I’ll wait and see what outfit problems come up and solve them, rather than assuming what I might need and ultimately making stuff which doesn’t actually tick all the boxes!