Tarawi in the wild!

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!

Tarawi Shoalhaven Glebe
Belmore and Tarawi

Above left, I’m wearing my navy Shoalhaven Shacket with a brushed cotton twill Tarawi Shirt, natural linen Glebe Pants and my McLean & Co scarf. Above right, I’m wearing my pink boiled wool Belmore Jacket, purple cow print Tarawi, and hot pink Glebe Pants.

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!

Brighton cow print-24
Above, I’m wearing my purple cow print Tarawi with my quilted Belmore Jacket, corduroy Glebe Pants, my Breve Bag, and McLean & Co scarf

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.

Tarawi and Shoalhaven
A navy Shoalhaven Shacket with a Tarawi Shirt, Glebe Pants and McLean & Co scarf.

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!

Tarawi and Belmore
Belmore Jacket, Tarawi Shirt, and Glebe Pants.

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?)!

A+R Linen Tarawi

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.

A and R Tarawi Shirt-47
I’m wearing a Tarawi Shirt over a Tarlee T-Shirt and Glebe Pants (the mask is the free Japanese Sewing Book 3D Mask)

This hot-off-the-machine Muna and Broad Tarawi Shirt uses the narrow-neck option which we added in for folks with proportionally small necks. My two other shirts that I’ve shared (see the purple one and the other blue one) both use the regular neckline.

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.

A and R Tarawi Shirt-51

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).

A and R Tarawi Shirt-37

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.

Check Tarawi

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.

Check Tarawi front

My measurements: Upper bust 43″, full bust 48″, largest measurement 56″, lower hip 55″. You can read more about my size choice for the Tarawi Shirt here.

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).

Check Tarawi back

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.

Check Tarawi side

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!

Tarawi Shirt

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.

Purple spotted Tarawi Shirt front

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.

Purple spotted Tarawi Shirt back

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

Purple spotted Tarawi Shirt side

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!

Matching a bike!

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!

Voluminous Mocha Waikerie

Mocha Waikerie-29

I’ve been on a bit of a Waikerie Shirt making kick recently (actually, I’ve been pretty prolific in general since I made my 2 Medlow Robes (silk and waffle), my new 3-piece outfit (see here and here), a pink Waikerie Shirt and this voluminous mocha Waikerie Shirt (I used the View B, with no collar but then hacked from there).

The Fine Cloth Company sent me some of their Pale Peach linen (which I used to make this Waikerie Shirt) and also this Mocha linen, which I decided needed gathers and then I added THE MOST gathers ever.

Mocha Waikerie-46

My measurements: My current measurements are a 53″ low hip and I’m 54″ at my roundest point (around my belly). My full bust is 48″ and my upper bust is 43″. I am relatively short through the body, and have narrow shoulders compared to my other measurements.

Pattern details: This is Size F of the Waikerie Shirt, with some modifications! I gathered in the entire width of the fabric below the back yoke and did the same to the fabric at the front (I added a front yoke). I added a chunk of length to the sleeves (maybe an inch.. ), because my previous Waikerie Shirts were a little short in the sleeve. Turns out that wasn’t necessary because Leila lengthened the sleeve before we launched.

Fabric & notions details: This 180gsm linen was nice to sew with. Where the peach version is a little sheer, this mocha doesn’t let you know what I’m wearing underneath. I had a hard time choosing buttons because of the washed colouring. In the end I found some at my local Lincraft (which was very expensive and I do not recommend it). I think I got 2.5 metres of this linen (I didn’t measure before cutting), so I’m pretty amazed that I got long sleeves and So Much Volume from that amount of fabric!

Mocha Waikerie-35

The Waikerie Shirt will be going through some changes soon, as will the Waikerie Dress Expansion. What’s 2 patterns will become 3, with an extra collar and hem option. If you have both patterns before we make the change, we’ll send out the new view and collar once the pattern is ready to go. After that, to get all the views you’ll need to buy 3 separate patterns (but we’re phasing out this collarless view). Anyway, that’s my hot tip- if you’re thinking about it, do it before we change it.

Pale Peach Waikerie Hack

Did you know that I keep track of the online shops that sell fabric in NZ? I’m often looking for specific kinds of fabric, so often stumble upon new shops and add them to my list! In the case of The Fine Cloth Company, I found their website before it was live and signed up for the email newsletter so that I could add it to the website as soon as they were ready for me!

Wellington-based (well, Upper Hutt to be exact), The Fine Cloth Company stocks lots of delicious looking natural fibres in lots of great colours! So, when they asked if I’d like to check out some of their fabrics, I asked for some samples of their lovely linen- ‘warm colours with pinks and browns’ was my brief.. I ended up getting this Pale Peach linen and also a Mocha linen (another post coming with that make)!

Fine Cloth Company Shirt-10

The Waikerie Shirt was the obvious choice for pairing with this lovely linen- oversized linen shirts was why I started sewing! So, I made myself a hacked Waikerie, where I added two in-built breast pockets (think Elbe Textiles’ Sanders Shirt and Paper Theory’s Olya Shirt). I went with the long-sleeve version because it’s winter and I like to roll my sleeves, and I used the collarless option because then I got to skip making a collar!

My measurements: My current measurements are a 53″ low hip and I’m 54″ at my roundest point (around my belly). My full bust is 48″ and my upper bust is 43″. I am relatively short through the body, and have narrow shoulders compared to my other measurements.

Pattern details: This is Size F of the Waikerie Shirt, with some mods- built-in breast pockets, and I straightened out the side-seams and added an extra fabric to the pleat at the back of the shirt. I added a chunk of length to the sleeves (maybe an inch.. honestly, I eye-balled it), but usually I make a Size E in the Waikerie, and the Size F sleeves probably would have been long enough without modifications.

Fine Cloth Company Shirt-16

Fabric & notions details: This 180gsm linen is a little sheer, and certainly wouldn’t last long as pants for my powerful thighs, it was nice to sew with and pressed well. I used Corozo buttons from Auckland-based Hawes & Freer to pair with the soft pink. The breast pockets I added were convenient but tactical, as you would have otherwise been able to see much of the colour of my bra or bralette through the slightly sheer fabric.

For the hack: I cut a yoke across the front of the top (basically recreating the Belmore Jacket pockets but much higher), and added a 1/2″ seam allowance to each side. Then I approximated where I wanted the pockets to start and finish (horizontally) and added that on to both the top and the bottom of the shirt fronts (plus seam allowance). Next time, I’ll move the pockets closer to my arms, keeping them the same size but giving me a bit more room to overlap the centre fronts.

Fine Cloth Company Shirt-20

The outcome? I’m on a pink kick recently, so this is obviously leaving me tickled pink. I like the pockets, and the relaxed vibe (which stops this from feeling too feminine for me). Apart from moving the pockets on the next version (and taking out the extra length I’d added to the sleeves), I can definitely see this popping up in my wardrobe again! You can see what I’ve got underneath the top, because of its light colour and the slightly sheer fabric. The triple-layer of fabric at the bust helps to disguise my under-clothes somewhat, but it’s worth taking into consideration!

Waikerie and Willandra plums

This Willandra Pants and Waikerie Shirt combos is one of my favourite (and most worn) outfit combinations.
Muna and Broad is celebrating a Willandra Pants this week as it seemed like a perfect time to revisit this pattern, which we unfortunately released right in the middle of lockdown- just at the time where nobody was thinking about sewing slightly elevated pants which are a little bit elevated and perfect for workwear.


Huon Shirt in Sister Mintaka

Full length shirt looking down

The Huon Shirt and Dress is the latest pattern release from Leila and I through Muna and Broad.

I’ve wanted a gathered shirt like this for the longest time but could never find the right pattern, and if I found something close then it was inevitably never in my size!

Silk Noil Waikerie Shirt

Silk Noil Waikerie

The latest pattern from Muna and Broad is the Waikerie Shirt pattern, and this here is the collarless variation (View C) with short sleeves.

I’ve avoided buttonholes for pretty much the whole time I’ve been sewing (all my pants have elastic), even though I love shirts, and finding shirts that fit both my bust and my hips was one of my biggest issues when shopping RTW!