A Wiksten (or two) for the holidays


Merry Christmas, Miri Kirihimete, Happy Holidays to you. ‘Tis the season to be exhausted! For various reasons it’s been a hectic month or so at Plum Towers. After hosting 21 lovely whanau for Christmas day (thankfully it didn’t rain so we could fit everyone on the new deck, avoiding the need for a ticketing system for the  dining table…yessss!) , a fab Boxing Day lunch at my sisters around the corner, AND a sisters sewing bee on the 27th, it’s been all go here.

As per tradition I didn’t manage to get a Christmas day outfit organised (I suspect those who do should really be given control of the universe, they can clearly do anything). But we have a family holiday to the Hawkes Bay this week & I thought a few loose summer tops would be perfect. My bestie recently made a Wiksten top & dress & when she sent me some pics I was intrigued. Up until then I really couldn’t see what the fuss was about. Being “bigger of boobage” a top without darts always feels like we could easily veer into box territory. Actually that’s the point, and when done well, it’s a great easy shape.


Certainly a deceptively simple shape. Actually this pattern is an absolute winner. I’ve made two so far, there will be more. In fact my eldest sister Dette used my pattern to cut out a Wiksten for my younger sister Wou (I talk with a cast of thousands when it comes to sisters…) and she looks great in this. Bearing in mind I’m a 5’6″. pear with a 44″ bust & Wou is 5′ nothing on tippy toes & is definitely apple shaped (Braeburn for preference) . This is a crazy good pattern.


My first version is in a fab soft double gauze from Drapers Fabric , I couldn’t resist the feel of the fabric or the pattern. I cut the pockets on the bias to create interest. Possibly not the easiest choice with a soft fabric like double gauze, but my pattern matching skills are weak, so better to go completely the opposite I say. My mother didn’t call me out so as far as I’m concerned that’s win .

I made the top version of the pattern, with the 3/4 sleeve, and also added approx 4 inches/10 cm to the hem, I figured I could cut it off later if needed, but I actually really like the length. Most excellent butt coverage yes? I cut a straight size 20, so pretty close to my actual measurements of 44/40/50

Snow Blindness ?

My second Wiksten is in a linen cotton blend, a Xmas gift from Dette with a rather bold print I happen to love. As my husband also helpfully pointed out “I’ll never lose you in Bunnings” *


The sleeve add on is genius, I definitely refer a longer sleeve, in NZ sun with my Irish “colouring” (or complete LACK of of colouring save for freckles!) a longer sleeve is a real bonus. Plus, excellent arm movement achieved!

Party like its 2020…!

All up, an excellent pattern that would suit a variety of shapes, quick to sew (even for me!) and so easy to wear.

In other news , what’s been occurring since November & the Xmas silly kicked in?

Check out my back garden , a little cottage garden type situation…(what you say when everything has gone completely feral & you don’t even know where to start)


This Triffid disguised itself as a tomato & is currently taking over my garden. We will eat nothing that doesn’t contain tomato for approximately the next six months.



But at least I got my spice drawer organised . It’s possibly a bit sad how happy that makes me, but I like to feel if I’m facing all the trials, tribulations and elections that 2020 will bring , I want to do it fully spiced up  ready to go.


I hope 2019 has been kind to you, if not, I hope you have the opportunity  to give it a massive kick into touch & head into 2020 feeling you will prevail. There is a lot of pressure this time of year, resolutions, to do lists, well meaning suggestions of ways we can make ourselves better/more successful/richer/ for the coming year.

I’ll leave you with a Xmas card that keeps it real…


Watch out 2020, we’re coming for you xxx


* Bunnings is a huge DIY store (aka Man Cave) , I’ve lost Mr PK there more than once…



  1. Marlene says:

    You make my day every time you send off photos and comments about sewing, your garden, your family, your husbands comments, etc. Thank you so much for the happiness you bring to my sewing life. Always look forward to your next sewing adventure. In the meantime, every time I need a smile I reread some of your past messages. Hope 2020 keeps you in stitches!


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Hi Marlene, thank you so much for your lovely comments , that’s made my day! 😘 Huge good wishes for a wonderful 2020 (we shall both be in stitches!) xxx


  2. Marlene says:

    By the way, what is a whanau?


    1. plumkitchen says:

      It is Te Reo ( Maori language) for extended family 💕


  3. Susan@IFRMarketing.com says:

    Yes, I question a few of the NZ terms such as whanau. I’m glad you have a full life with plenty of family and friend. Have a grand New Years celebration.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks Susan, best wishes to you for 2020 !🥂 x


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