Tencel Pants

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.

Tencel pleated pants-15

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 had thought that these pants were much wider than the Glebe Pants, but actually the legs are almost exactly the same width!

Tencel pleated pants-10

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.

Tencel pleated pants-11

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!

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!