Michelle Blouse from Schnittchen

Michelle Blouse

I’ve had the Michelle Blouse from Schnittchen printed out for ages, but now that NZ is in lockdown and it’s not possible to print anything, I was finally spurred me on to testing it out (also because I hate buttonholes but love shirts)!

The Schnittchen plus-size patterns up to EU 56 or 53.54″ (136cm) bust and 55.91″ (142cm) hip. The shirt has a wide, swingy cut and a small collar, there is a yoke and a box-pleat in the center back.

Michelle Blouse

It can be sewn up either sleeveless or with sleeves, but rather unusually the sleeveless version is exactly the same as the sleeved version but with bias tape around the armscye.

The pattern doesn’t list finished measurements, and although this arm hole looks very generous, there was no way the sleeve would fit my arm in there, so sleeveless version it is.

michelle Blouse

Size details: I cut out the straight size 56 (the largest side), and it’s too big across the shoulders, but there’s not enough cross over at the front for me to be certain that I wouldn’t flash a lot of people if worn outside of the house, and the shirt is much longer on me than it is on the model. I’d also need to do a very substantial full-bicep adjustment if I wanted to make the version with sleeves!

Would I make this pattern again?

Maybe.. The instructions were quite inscrutable and although the instruction sheet talked about instructions with pictures on the website, I wasn’t able to find any to use. I did quite a bit of head-scratching but I’m still not sure that I sewed things up in the correct order.

I love the aesthetic of the patterns, but I think it would likely be much quicker for me to start with a pattern that fits and adjust to recreate this look rather than spending the time to make the necessary adjustments at the shoulders, hips and the arms too.

LB Pullover from Paper Theory

Paper Theory LB Pullover

The LB Pullover from Paper Theory Patterns is available in sizes 6-28, with the size 28 being a 56″ bust and 57.5″ hip. Currently Tara has released her Kabuki Tee, Miller Trousers, Zadie Jumpsuit and this LB Pullover in her extended size range (and her website tells me that the Olya Shirt is coming early 2020)!

Tara has studied fashion design, and so is trained in pattern production so I’ve always found her patterns and instructions to be very exacting- no confusing instructions, no inexplicably shoddy finishes, notches always match, and I think she also does a great job for plus size bodies too (which is obviously an important consideration.

Paper Theory LB Pullover 2

Size details: My current measurements are around 47″ bust 44″ waist, 56″ hip and between and 18-19″ bicep. I cut a size 22 neckline/bust and graded out to a size 26 at the waist and hip. The sleeves I cut in size 28 (the largest size).

The pattern had small amount of tapering in below the armpit, and the adjustments to the size basically meant that I cut straight down from the size 22 armscye and where I was supposed to turn in, I cut straight down, meeting up with the size 26 line. Oversized tops can end up looking less-than-optimal if you have to grade out too much from the bust (because your grading out can cause a kind of trapeze effect around the hem).

Viscose Tweed Sculthorpe Pants

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These are the new Sculthorpe Pants that Leila and I have released through Muna and Broad! We’ve been testing out a few different narrow leg pants options because we know that not everyone loves wide-leg pants!

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Size details: I make a size 1 in the Muna and Broad sizing (which is meant for a 54″ hip) but I have between a 53-56″ depending on the time of day and how much sun is out, etc)

Fabric info: This viscose blend from The Fabric Store. It has a small amount of one-way stretch and a lovely nubbly texture (that I hope will hold up to lots of thigh rubbing). Fabric Usage: We suggest 2.5 metres for these pants, but I can generally use less by cutting on the open.

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These pants have the same crotch curve as the Glebe Pants, so I get the same great fit. The pockets are just long enough to put your hand down in to, but doesn’t require me to bend over to reach in there.

I’ve made a few versions of these pants already, and I’ve got a couple more planned (including a black canvas pair that I’ll be making as part of my next Minerva Makers project)!

Gingham Torrens Box Top

Torrens Gingham

I made this Torrens Box Top in
cosy ‘Savvy Gingham’ from Miss Maude. The fibre content is 88% Cotton, 7% Linen, 5% Wool and it’s a delight.

I thought I could squeeze a long-sleeve version out of this fabric, but was foiled due the narrow width of this fabric.

Torrens Gingham

It was great to sew and it’s lovely to wear, although I do regret not ordering a little bit extra so that I could make it long-sleeve.

I finished the neckline facing off with one of these gorgeous bright pink labels from the Stitch Collective. You can win a whole set of labels from Stitch Collective by tagging an inspirational maker over on this instagram post (until Feb 23rd)!

Plus-size Kabuki Tee from Paper Theory

I’ve had the extended sizes of the Kabuki Tee from Paper Theory printed out for ages now, and it’s been in the back of my mind that I ought to find some lovely linen for this for ages now. A couple of weeks ago I tried to find some examples of plus-size bodies in the pattern, but found so few of them (which was very surprising since it was such a popular pattern when it first came out).

Kabuki Tee

I rarely toile but have done so this time around (which is why I didn’t bother to finish the neckline). I’ve never sewn a right angle sleeve before, so I read the instructions before starting (very rare) and also watched this video that Tara put together on how she does it.

I haven’t pressed anything for these pictures (sorry), but the instructions were good and the sleeve will sit perfectly once I iron it out.

The reason I chose to toile this is that so many folks got in touch with me to tell me to be careful with the pattern because they’d ended up with something very oversized that they weren’t very happy with.

Kabuki Tee

I chose my size based on my bust measurement and didn’t grade out at the hips (which, as you can see was a mistake)! I made a straight size 22 for my 47″ bust and 54-ish” hips (I was relying on positive ease in the hips for the size 22). I don’t mind oversized but thought it was best to play it safe based on the advice from the hive mind.

I’ve popped some pictures which show the sample garments from the Paper Theory socials- the area between the neckline and where the sleeve portion begins is much wider on my size 22 than it is on the samples in white.

Kabuki Tee

Unfortunately, I have pretty narrow shoulders, so where the sleeve starts is practically already at the edge of my shoulders (as opposed to sitting quite close to the neckline as it does in the samples). I’m not sure if this is an issue that’s unique to me or if the extended sizes drafting presumed I got a bit broader in the shoulder or perhaps it was trying to make the top in similar proportions).

What do you think, is it worth moving the sleeve in, lengthening the sleeves and grading out at the hips before giving it another go?