Retro Waikerie Dress

This fabric from Lady McElroy almost got away from me! I spotted it, loved all the colours and the cool things on it but then it sold out! I used my internet sluething skills and eventually found some in-stock at Sew Me Sunshine in the UK! I decided that I wanted it, held my breath and ordered without working out the currency conversion.

When it arrived I realised that I had enough fabric for a Waikerie Dress, not just the Waikerie Shirt that I was planning!

Waikerie Retro front

I’m not sure that the pattern placement ended all that well since I’ve got two very prominent jugs on my own jugs! I was certainly trying to be thrifty with the fabric.

Waikerie Retro

I think the thing I love about this fabric is that it’s basically just my dream home aesthetic! coffee pot, mid-century mustard chairs and indoor plants! This was my first short-sleeve version of the Waikerie Dress and I can see that it will get a lot of wear not that we’re heading in to cooler weather!

Waikerie Retro back 3

Torrens Box Top Bonus Sleeve

Leila and I are on Patreon, and we’ve been super overwhelmed (and thrilled) that 100 lovely folks have signed up to support us on a monthly basis! This sleeve that I’ve made was the September pattern bonus for the Insider and Maker level supporters of the Muna and Broad Patreon!

Bonus sleeve

I’ve wanted a gathered sleeve addition to the Torrens Box Top for quite some time! When I tried to make myself a cuff-sleeve pattern piece, it never quite went as smoothly or turned out like I was hoping, so it’s great to have a vehicle for putting out these pattern bonuses on a monthly basis to help folks (and me) extend the possibilities of the M&B patterns!

Bonus sleeve 2

I got a whole bolt of this slightly strange feeling viscose (it’s matte in colour and almost furry in person- it’s not at all slippery, but it does crush as soon as you look at it and I did struggle with the back bottom hem)! Since I’ve got so much of this viscose, I imagine you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the future (linings for things, pocket fabrics, maybe even pants for an outrageous matching set)!?

Bonus sleeve 3

Other Patreon pattern bonuses have been:
August: the Semi-Breve Pouch (a quilted pouch which practices a lot of the techniques for the Grainger Coat), September: this gathered sleeve bonus for the M&B Torrens Box Top, October: 2 bonus collar options for the Waikerie Shirt and Waikerie Dress. Makers and Insiders also get 15% off any patterns on the website and we share lots of other content on Patreon too!

Brown striped Waikerie Dress

This is one of my 7 Waikerie Shirts and Waikerie Dresses that are in various states of completion- This dress has been sitting almost completed for quite a few months now and I finally put some buttons and button-holes on this tencel/linen stripe fabric.

I’ve made View B of the Waikerie Dress (with mitered corners and a high-low hem), and this is my first Waikerie Dress with short sleeves

Brown dress 6.5

It’s not quite warm enough here yet for me to be wearing only a dress- and Christchurch often has a chilly wind even in the middle of summer! I’m wearing the dress over some linen Glebe Pants, but could also see myself wearing it like a short-sleeve duster with a top (maybe a Nullarbor Cami or a knit-tank) on underneath. The dress has a high-low hem (which is a bit more clear on the final picture below), and for my taste I thin I’ll lengthen the front pieces for future versions so that it hits mid-calf. The length of the dress is perfect and exactly what I was hoping for!

Brown dress 3

Please excuse the popped collar in the picture below! Don’t you hate when you take a heap of photos and then realise that there was something sitting wrong the whole time!? I didn’t realise how wrong my collar was sitting until I got up close to the camera to show you how I changed the direction of the stripes so that I could skip any pattern matching stress that comes up when dealing with stripes! I also changed up the direction of the stripes on the sleeve band.

Size Details: I made Size E, graded out to Size F (I increased the size of the pleat in the back so that the Size F back piece matched up to the Size E yoke.

Brown dress

I love the generous pleat in the back of this dress, and the deep pockets, and I’m excited to finish up the many other Waikerie Work-In-Progress piles that are waiting for me in my sewing room!

Grainger Coat, a plus-size quilted coat sewing pattern!

I’m so thrilled about the Grainger Coat, the latest pattern release from Leila and me through Muna and Broad! I’ve wanted to make myself a quilted coat for the longest time, but the popular patterns on the market weren’t available in my size.

Grainger Coat

While the Northern Hemisphere is thinking about heading in to cooler weather, things are starting to heat up here (or they were, but then there was a blast from Antarctica that brought snow to the nearby mountains, but now we’re back to warm weather). We’re heading in to summer but Christchurch summer can mean quite chilly weather, so I’m pleased to have this denim layer because:

A) denim is a neutral, so I hope I’ll be able to pair it with lots of my wardrobe

B) it’s a touch cooler than my boiled wool Mallee Jacket, which has been my go-to outer layer over the last few months.

I constructed this Grainger a little differently than the instructions called for because I was hoping to skip the binding on the outside. to keep the denim very neutral. With right-sides together, I sewed the lining pieces to the front of the body (all the way down the bottom hem), the neckline of the back body, the hem of the back body, and the cuffs of the sleeves. I then pressed and understitched the lining, before turning out and pressing again. I decided that I’d then sew the coat together as the instructions indicated and I’d bind the internal seams with bias tape.

Grainger Coat

Size Details: My current measurements are 47″ (119cm) Bust, 43″ (103cm) Waist and 55″ (140cm) Hip, which puts me in to the Size D bust size and Size F for hip size according to the Grainger Coat size range. Generally, I make the Muna and Broad sample size (Size F), which corresponds to my hip measurement but not my bust measurement.

One of the things that sewing has taught me (but which has been especially reinforced of late) is that I have quite narrow shoulders, and this often messes with the ‘look’ of garments.

Grainger Coat

Fabric Details: I used 12.5oz pre-quilted denim fabric from Miss Maude in NZ (currently sold out, but apparently she’ll be stocking it again in NZ Autumn), and I lined it with lightweight cotton chambray. I purchased 2.25 metres of this fabric well before the pattern was finished, and I could have got away with 1.7 metres EXCEPT that I then might not have had room to attempt quilt line matching on the two front pieces. I had actually purchased the red version of this Lady McElroy fabric for the lining, but decided just before cutting out that it would be better to have something closer to the denim in case anything peeked out!

Grainger Coat

My next version: There will definitely be a next version! I think I will make a Size D or Size E next- Size D would match with my bust measurement, and the oversized fit will mean that there’ll still be room for my hips. I’m planning a ‘summer quilt’ version where instead of batting, the middle layer is flannel, and I’m also planning to start piecing together scraps from my extensive scrap fabric collection… Perhaps I’ll start with a Semi-Breve Bag and branch out from there to improv-piecing a whole coat.

The new Torrens Box Top

You’d think that after more than a year of trying to photograph my makes, I’d be a bit better at posing or doing a good face- fear not! I’m here to prove that I’m just as un-photogenic as ever before! It probably doesn’t help that I’m always trying to have a conversation with my photographer- I popped out with a sewing friend and took some pictures of this re-drafted Torrens Box Top before heading out for a coffee!

Here I’m wearing my current favourite ‘leaving the house outfit’, my plum Willandra Pants (blogged here) and new viscose Torrens Box Top!

Torrens Box Top Viscose

The Torrens Box Top got a thorough redoing when we updated the sizes recently! The neckline has been tweaked the most and the top is also a little longer. The shirt now sits perfectly in our block now and folks at the upper sizes should experience a little extra room around the hips! Even with my narrow shoulders, the neckline is still bra-strap (or Banksia Bralette strap) friendly for me, which I’m very pleased about!

Size Details: All my previous Torrens Box Tops are made in the original Size 1 sample size, but I took the opportunity to size down in line with my bust measurements, instead of my hip measurements. I made a straight Size E (which would have been a Size i in the old size chart), and my bust is 47″ and the widest part of my hip/belly area is fluctuating between 52-56″ depending on the day.

Fabric usage: I can’t say exactly how much fabric I used for this as I cut it directly from the roll, but I generally use a little over 2 metres for my sleeved Torrens Box Tops! You could use a little bit less by making the short sleeve version, and cutting your neck facings from lining fabric could save a little extra fabric if you’re caught short.

Back Viscose Torrens Box Top

Also, these shoes are my latest love! They’re from Sevilla Smith, a business that I’ve admired from the longest time. I ordered two pairs of shoes, this being the largest (and the right choice for my feet). I find that I have a hard time finding shoes to fit when shopping in store, and because the back of these shoes doesn’t contain anything to stiffen them up, they don’t rub when wearing!

Side Viscose Torrens Box Top