Another Fielder in the garden


Do I look like I’m getting better at standing around posing in the garden? No, I didn’t think so either. Oh well, at least the sun is out and I have something new to wear while I’m doing it.

I’ve made several Merchant & Mills Fielder dresses, I like the easy style and it’s a reasonably quick sew, even for me. I didn’t have enough of this brown spotty rayon from Spotlight to make the dress , I can’t remember what I brought this for (I do recall I was with my BFF and she commented “oh that’s very you…I don’t really like it to be honest”…) but it reminded me of animal print, of which I am QUITE the fan (yes, especially on shoes!)

Hi neighbor…again

This is the top version, it was originally going to be another Fantail , but I remembered I had a whole bottom row of ribbing from the Great Bomber Jacket disaster of 2018, the cuffs & sleeves of which also went into a Fielder.  Unfortunately I had to unpick the remnants of its previous short-lived life first. If their were a World Cup of unpicking I would surely be on Team NZ! But worth the effort, it wasn’t cheap and such a waste not to be used.

One of my Superpowers…unpicking!

The last few Fielders I made I’ve used the striped Merchant & Mills rib, it’s lovely, but quite a bit stiffer than the rib knit I had. I can see the neckline needed to be a few cm shorter using this rib, its slightly too loose. I wished I’d seen that before I overlocked it on of course!


I was concerned after cutting out the top would end up being too short, & I think for next time I will add a couple of cm to the length. I’ve possibly put on a couple of kg since last time I used this pattern , the upper arm area feels slightly snugger than I’d like , and with a singlet underneath its a wee bit tight across my bust. I may try to eat slightly less than my body weight in mashed potato & pasta this winter…or I may cut a bigger size next time?

For reference, as per my first Fielder, I very inexpertly graded the pattern up myself, happily Merchant & Mills are currently working on a whole new block in a bigger size range, up to a size 28 or 30, no doubt much more accurately than I.  If you want to read further details see this post.

Im pretty excited by this news, I love the style of their patterns, not to everyone’s taste but I feel put together & grown up in their designs, not to fussy but nice detailing. Plus so many of them work perfectly with linen, my most favorite fabric ! I just need to live somewhere a tad warmer…

So, whats next?

All the pretty things…


I’m consciously trying to use up fabrics & patterns from my stash, rather than being blinded by all the pretty things & purchasing yet more. Not only is this better for the environment, its better for the state of my marriage, not listening to the Minister of Finance wandering through the kitchen waving the Visa statement around exclaiming “HOW MUCH??!” is really quite nice. Not that I was actually listening anyway…

I’ve made a couple of Montrose tops already, this fabric was quite spendy so I want to make something I know I like, fits me & I will wear. The chestnut double gauze will have a cute frill around the bottom hem, the delicious white fabric will have some pretty pin-tucks on the front bodice, french seams & binding around the sleeve hem.

I’m hoping to get 30-60 mins sewing done each evening, I struggle with sewing dark colours at night (yes, I’ve booked an optometrist appointment) but lighter fabric is easier. Oh the joys of powering into middle age!

This was AFTER picking 99 limes…yes, we counted

Other weekend fun? When the universe gives you an abundant lime tree , you make lime pickle!

Jars of sour joy…

I’m looking forward to curry nights in a few months time when jars of these beauties will be ready to eat. A work colleague told me how to make them, she knows her stuff when it comes to food (her Tomato Kasundi recipe I’ve been using for years) , apparently she eats this on toast, crumpets, the works. I love it involves opening a packet of Achar Masala spice mix and adding to sterilized jars filled with limes, salt & sugar. We don’t use any chemicals on our fruit (or much attention to be honest, Tough Love Gardening according to Mr D) I cant wait to taste them!

Have a fabulous week

Kristina xxx



  1. Wendie Young says:

    I really like this fabric. It suits you and pairs well with the recovered rib. It would look great with a skirt also. It gives me great joy when one of your posts pop up. I know it will be an honest critique, lots of laughter with some added random gems. Thanks, until next time.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      That’s so lovely, thank you Wendie for your kind words, glad you are enjoying the posts! 🙂 xxx


  2. Sandra says:

    Hello! I’m an ex-Wellingtonian now living in sultry Cairns. I’m retired and have recently taken up sewing. When I retired I decided I wanted to wear colourful, simple, comfortable clothing – no more synthetics, no more zips and buttons, no more paying an arm and a leg for synthetic, ill-fitting clothing which was mainly black. I also didn’t want draws full of patterns that all seem to be the same design. Instead, I have a few TNT patterns – mainly Tessuti and Style Arc – that can be backed to create different looks. A few of my favourite blogs are The Insouciant Stitcher (Australian), Coco’s Loft (USA) and Anne Whalley’s pattern reviews (Australian). Manuela HK also provides inspiration albeit overwhelming because of the style and expertise.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Hi Sandra, thanks for the tips, I’ve read a few on Anne Whalley’s reviews, I really like her style, will check out the other two. I hear you on the colourful & simple, especially in lovely fabric like linen & silk:) I hope you are enjoying the warmth, its pouring with rain here & chilly! x


  3. Julie says:

    I am loving those shoes!! I have two wonderful animal print rayons waiting to be made into tops, the machine is currently away being serviced. I picked my first and only five limes off my tree last weekend, hopefully next season I get a bumper crop like you.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks! My machine needs a service, but it takes about 2-3 weeks so waiting until I go on holiday. I cant believe how well that lime tree has done, given the lack of attention it gets!? 🙂


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