Fun with Glebe & Torrens…


So , summer proper has finally arrived in Auckland. It’s approximately 107% humidity today, with zero breeze. My husband is sitting in boxer shorts in front of the computer, valiantly fending off Tommy’s best efforts to sit on his lap. I’m sitting under the heat pump , set to just a smidgen over “Arctic”. Like many peeps with curly hair humidity can makes things a little wild, in my case I get an interesting combination of fluff & frizz. Gorgeous. Needless to say in my imagination this is what my hair actually looks like.

Image result for miss fisher

The glorious Miss Fisher, which is fitting as it was her marvelous wardrobe that got me thinking about my latest makes. If you haven’t already , please check out the wonderful books and TV series featuring 1920’s Melbourne’s most fabulous lady detective. She drives a cool sports car, has various lovers but takes orders from no man and generally kicks butt.

Image result for miss fisher car

Phryne’s wardrobe is literally the stuff of my dreams. I was lucky enough to visit an exhibition of Marion Boyce’s amazing costumes from the series in Sydney a few years back , it was truly awesome. So much attention to the style of the period, exquisite fabrics & details, yet still something you would want to wear tomorrow.

Many periods in history have marvelous fashions, but while say I love the tight waisted full skirted styles of the 50’s in theory, are they something I would actually want to wear? (well doing the hoovering in heels would be an issue to start with…) Cute Mary Quant dresses are so fabulous , but on a woman with more than her share of boobs & butt, not quite so much (only my opinion of course, if you want to rock that look, rock on!).


But wide leg pants with fabulous patterned tops & duster coats? Now that’s a look I can get on board with (although I’m sure Phryne wouldn’t wear hers with sneakers. I’m also sure she wouldn’t be schlepping around New World for bog rolls so I think we’ll let that one slide…)

This wee ensemble is from Muna & Broad.  Simple yet exceedingly functional patterns for the Plus Sized sewist. I was initially out side the size range of these, but the lovely Leila & Jess have extended the size range to include as many sewists as possible, which is ALWAYS a good thing.



First up is the Glebe, a wide leg pant with cool slash pockets, and a choice of flat front or full elastic waist.  I’m going to do a whole separate post on these, as this is actually my wearable muslin. I used an inexpensive lightweight linen, cutting a straight size iii which ended up being too big around the front & waist. With some jiggery pokery I still have a great pair of pants, but next time I will size down, and probably have to make a small adjustment around the crotch curve. I have a shallow crotch curve but a sticky out butt. You probably didn’t need to know that but hey, we’re all friends here.



To go with is the Torrens Box Top. As discussed in my previous post, I wasn’t fully sure about a boxy shape, but after the success of the Wiksten I was prepared to give it a go.



I REALLY like this top. I cut a size i, with no alterations, and I’m super happy with the fit. The sleeves are spot on, and the neckline is a really nice shape. If you look very closely you will see I’ve stretched the rayon ever so slightly. But you’re not my Mum so you wont look that close, yes?

I really need to dust that Ficus…what is my life now, I dust plants!?

The fabric is a cute rayon from Spotlight (currently on special!!!) Who can resist orange animal print? Not I.

It was interesting, when I showed my sister the top & pants while I was making them she commented “but you wouldn’t wear them together”? Apparently the perceived wisdom is a loose top with fitted pants, or vice versa. Now I agree,  wide pants and a baggy top can look like you’ve just rolled out of bed … (and not in the Rod Stewart “I’m out of milk & coffee but lets watch the early movie & do you think I’m sexy” kinda way).

But I think it’s all about fabric choice, proportions and attitude. Without wishing to go full Trinny & Susanna, I think a loose pant & top, with sneakers is casual, comfy but still smart . The fabric is drapy , but not TOO long & not TOO baggy, I’m not swamped. A fun bright print says while I’m not trying to hug every curve, I’m also not trying to hide my curves. According to my husband you can see me coming from a mile away. Never a bad thing (especially in fog or rain, think of the safety aspect alone.)


In case I was missing something, I also wore my top to work, with a slimmer pant , and just to be doubly safe, orange loafers.

Safety shoes!

Well, I think it works both ways. While I’m not sure how my Official Photographer has managed to make my very average length legs look 3 inches long (actually he’s 6′ 3″ so often ends up taking pics looking down on me rather than front on, also he was watching this weirdly compelling doco while we were taking pics & was clearly thoroughly distracted! I can’t compete with Sunderland) I’m very happy with this for a workday.


After a day at work I know I need a forward shoulder adjustment, it’s something I have found on almost every top & dress I make, because I have a slight roundness on my upper shoulder common to many of us hunched over a computer all day . It is sometimes called a Dowagers Hump, but frankly the only thing a terrible moniker like that gives me IS the hump!*

So future plans include another pair of Glebes, I’m thinking a coloured linen, because can you ever have to many wide leg linen pants? No, of course not.

Top wise, I’m thinking a cute contrast sleeve band, my sister had a lovely RTW version on holiday I shall be shamelessly copying!

I love this fabric combo

I hope you are having a fab week, keeping cool, warm or in-between, I’m off to water the garden, I have approx 4000 tomatoes on the cusp of ripe, so I’m looking forward to a sauce making session this weekend. Surely nothing says summer like being drenched in sweat while it’s 30 C in the kitchen and the house minging of vinegar, huzzah!


Kristina x

*For my overseas readers, a saying from my parents/aunties generation, if you don’t like something , eg “she had the hump with me”, or alternatively, if you are in a mood “she had the pip” . I personally also like “she had a face on”. Naturally I have been described as all of these at one time or other. More than one time if I’m honest.






















































































































  1. Michelle Dunne says:

    What a brilliant blog, I really enjoyed this read and seeing your gorgeous makes – I am envious that you can wear a boxy top I adore it…alas they don’t suit me (therefore of course I want one!). Great style – thank you & yes dusting plants,,,I have never been brave enough to admit to it.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Hi Michelle, so glad you are enjoying the blog, thanks for reading 🙂 I’m the same with fit & flare style dresses, so cute, but not really on me! Your plant dusting secret is safe with me…;) x


  2. Dian says:

    You are an absolute joy


  3. Marlene says:

    You did it again – a great outfit and a side-splitting post! Too busy to comment much now, but never fear, I’ll always be here lurking and waiting for the next giggle. No time to even sew right now – boohoo! Keep up the good work


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Hi Marlene, thanks so much! Hope you get a chance to relax soon, take care! x


  4. Joan says:

    Thank you so much for this post! Great clothes, and a fabulous new pattern company I cannot wait to try !


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Hi Joan, thanks so much, yes it’s a great wee company, give them a go! x


  5. Sweetbetsy says:

    Looks lovely to me. Well done. As a fellow Phryne fan, I want a pattern for the fabulous blue brocade coat with the silver fur collar. I have an entire Pinterest board devoted to it. We can dream.


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thanks, oh yes, that coat is GLORIOUS! We sure can dream (in blue brocade no less…) x


  6. Pingback: Torrens Times Two
  7. Sandra says:

    Apologies for not commenting my admiration when I first saw your pants. They look awesome. I was inspired to look into Mina and Broad but still took a long time to sew one of their patterns. I am in the process of making the Spinifex in a size D and am having a similar problem to what you described with a bit too much fullness in the front. Do you remember what jiggery pokery you did to fix it? Thank you.


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