Tarlee babeee…


Stardate Year 2021 day 4572….no wait, what? We made it to February? Yeow, whoop whoop , kiss me a kitten! Holidays done & dusted here, back at work, although thanks to Auckland Anniversary day and Waitangi day we have two long weekends on the trot, perfect. As you can see I need to spend at least one of those days in the jungle of my garden… 

So what has been occurring at Plum Towers? Well for starters please do admire my fancy new tee. This is the new Muna & Broad Tarlee tee.


Now, you might ask myself does the world need another tee pattern? Such a simple garment yes? Um no. From the perfect neckline (my sister & I have bored for England on this very topic, as only siblings can, she is V neck or die, I’m more flexible) to the perfect sleeve. I love an elbow length, which can be surprising hard to find in RTW. Fit is another can of worms altogether. I want a snug fit around my shoulders & bust, so it doesn’t look sloppy. I want a less snug fit around my waist & hips…



I love this pattern. I know not what drafting wizardry was involved, but I have a great fit through my shoulders & bust, with just the right “loose but not sloppy” fit through my lower torso. The curved hem is a cute finish, elevating this from a basic tee. I made the Size C, grading out to Size D at the waist & hips.

The pattern comes with notches for applying the neckline finish. This seems a much more sensible application than the quartering method, works much better for me anyway. Sadly my twin needle & I had a parting of ways, so the neckline isn’t finished perfectly…I need to get another needle, but I think I can zigzag this one to finish . My photographer was getting rather impatient so perfectly imperfect it is.

There is an option of a turtleneck , in various sizes, which when it cools down here, I shall definitely be making. Actually when I was growing up a turtleneck was called a skivvy, “it’s cold , put your skivvy on under your jumper”! Unlike the pattern, a turtleneck then came in one size only , tight! Many a neck was slightly strangled in the name of warmth (given the terrible heating most homes had it was probably a good thing!) 


I was gifted some beautiful merino from A & R Fabrics , the colour is Whiskey , appropriate for a Douglas. The softness (& lack of scratch) combined with a good “drape but not cling” are great for this tee. I thought the Whiskey would match perfectly with the mustard dots on my Willandra pants. If I’m standing around in the garden grinning inanely at the fence I want to be colour coordinated ok. Actually this is a perfect weekend outfit, comfy but smart enough for a casual lunch or BBQ (elastic waist for the win too) 

So other than tee shirt fun, what’s been going on?



My tomato plants have gone into high gear, as have the passionfruit. The limes are not far off either . I have “fond” memories of mid summer when I was a kid. I grew up in the burbs , Dad was a nurse & Mum looked after five of us & did a bit of cleaning work. As you can imagine money was tight, but we had the classic Kiwi Quarter acre section, and both my parents grew up knowing how to stretch a buck. Despite Mums best efforts to cover the whole section in flowers, Dad did carve out a vege garden, and we had prolific fruit trees. Which meant acres of Beef Steak tomatoes & Golden Queen peaches in summer. If there is a more thankless task than canning peaches or making tomato sauce in Auckland in January even now, I know not what it is, but back then?? Humidity in the high 90’s, no air con & ingrate children who wanted Watties like everyone else, I’m surprised Mum didn’t lose it completely. I do remember some frayed nerves…


I took the easy route & roasted my tomatoes with basil, oregano & thyme from the garden, a good splash of Olive oil, a few cloves of garlic & plenty of salt & pepper. 180C for about an hour


Push the whole lot through a mouli (or a sieve) & you have the most delicious roasted tomato passata, I popped mine in the freezer in small pottles, perfect for pizza sauce, pasta, and tomorrow nights patatas bravas, using potato’s I didn’t realize had actually survived the Auckland hose pipe ban! 


I hope January has been kind, or at least not too crappy My nephew and his lovely girlfriend in the UK contracted Covid over Xmas but have thankfully recovered. We are enjoying enormous freedom here in NZ, but I’m very aware we don’t have real freedom until everyone can be vaccinated & we can rid ourselves of this horrible disease.
So I’ll leave you with this. It was a joy to see President Biden and Vice President Harris enter the White House, but oh golly we were excited to see Major Biden , the first rescue dog to live at the White House! Here is his Indoguration, it’s all lovely, but especially at 15 mins in, Josh Grobin singing a lovely wee song. The best breed? Rescue every day (Tommy & Tuppence insist!)

We made it to February, have a fab week friends

Kristina xxx 

So many outfits, Nullarbor & Willandra…



What a surreal three months it has been since my last post.

I’ll be honest, when I see the terrible suffering this horrible disease is causing all around the world I do feel a mixture of amazement at our Team of 5 million dodging a real disaster, (although cold comfort sadly for the 22 people who lost their lives, their friends and whanau)  and guilt,  that aside from being able to see my sister in Oz or visit my friends in the UK, my life is pretty much back to “normal”, when so many are living anything but.

It was interesting hearing people talking about how much they thought they would do over lockdown, versus what they actually did. When I realised I would be working from home & literally going nowhere for weeks I thought I would get ALL the sewing done, read ALL the books, cook ALL the meals. Well I did end up cooking all the meals (Mr D can make toast & fairly average coffee, it ends there…) and thanks to a healthy supply of yeast & flour, baking all the goodies. But sewing , even reading proved more difficult. I don’t think I realised at the time how anxious I actually was.


So besides eating my body weight in carbs , discovering what a Zoom meeting is (if I never hear “no, turn the mute off, I still can’t hear you…!” again, it will be a good thing) & emptying our stocks of gin completely have I done anything actually productive in the last few months?

So a cute cami top, fab trousers,  two “jumpsuits” and a “dress” sound impressive? I know, get me! Ok, not QUITE accurate, but I’m congratulating past Kristina on having the sense to buy up Spotlight fabric she really liked when it was on sale.

I made my first Nullarbor Cami using rayon I had leftover after making these Tania culottes. Version A of the cami can be squeezed out of a metre of fabic, perfect stash busting, and also an oppourtunity for a faux jumpsuit, all the cute but with bathroom benefits. Plus, even for a slow sewer, more distracted than usual , this was a speedy make.



Because of the width of the culottes, it actually looks like a pretty dress. However on a windy Auckland day the benefits of culottes over a skirt become apparent.



The cami is also really cute with jeans and a cardigan, casual but a bit more dressed up than a tee shirt.


Clearly I’m a fan of Muna & Broad patterns, these Torrens tops are favs, and I still have to blog my fab Sculthorpe pants. The instructions are good, the shapes are lovely, and I admire Leila & Jess for their authenticity & lets be honest, fabulous wardrobes. I’ve already cut out another Nullarbor, so perfect for work with coordinating cardigans (you know I love me a good cardi) , but it has been pushed out by yet another awesome pant pattern, the Willandra. I’m going to bore for England about this one, its FAB.


Flat front, elastic gathered waist back for veeeery comfortable pants, with voluminous pockets and a cool side seam which wraps around the leg. It’s rather hard to see in my spotty fabric (wont lie, ironing it gives me optical illusions) but it’s the nice details I like with these patterns.


Resting B*tch Face, I’m actually loving this outfit.


Best of all, ZERO adjustments. Yep, straight out of the packet, size ii, not a thing changed. It’s a unicorn I tell you.


I topstitched the elastic, I cannot stand twisted elastic, plus it looks nice. Even with rogue cat hairs…

Spotty butt, it’s a good thing…

I love the fit over my hips & butt, not clinging, not tight, just a nice skim of fabric. Did I mention the elastic around the waist? I think the flat front is a really nice detail, makes the pants slightly more formal , but not too much.

Please don’t let the hair distract you from the marvelous spotty top & pants!

Mum came over last night for a slumber party as Mr D is away, when I showed her my new makes she was all over these pants. No Mum, you’ll have to make your own. She did get out & prune my roses so I shouldn’t be so mean. Watching a proper gardener prune roses is quite something, she considered every cut carefully, I would have gone in with my lopers & hoped for the best, which is why her garden is glorious & mine is…mine.


Although my vege garden at least is going great guns. I ordered seedings from Awapuni Nurseries over lockdown & they have thrived.

April 2020


July 2020 (Tommy not convinced about Winter gardening)

Its Brassica Central , or as my husband so kindly called it, the Garden of Many Farts.

Tommy helping out squashing some lilies…

I’m not sure what it says about my priorities, but the most exciting thing about coming out of Level 3 was being able to reschedule my Loven appointment, I know everyone was going crazy at being able to get to the hairdressers, but a clean oven, that is a thing of joy. Best not look at my hair.

I may look like Miss Havisham but check out that oven!

Another lockdown treat was this gem, from Scottish sports broadcaster Andrew Cotter, and his gorgeous Labs Olive & Mable, this is Episode 1, but watch them all. Episode 2, Game of Bones is my favorite, utterly hilarious!

I hope wherever you are , you & yours are safe & well, we’ve made it halfway through 2020, that deserves a medal, gold star, champagne & probably a blessing from the Pope, onwards!

Kristina xxx










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.





















































































































Jumping for joy Cressida


Goodness, it’s been a month since I last posted, how time flies when you get the front of your house ripped apart. You’d think, given my sewing room is at the back of the house I could continue unabated. But constantly wiping dust off EVERYTHING, deciding on things like door furniture (yes, it’s a thing) and secretly bitching about having to spend a couple of grand replacing the circuit board (alright yes I know it means the house is about 98% less likely to burn down but still, that’s a LOT of fabric people!) Most problematic of all? WHERE TO PUT THE CAT DOOR???*

So we can confidently say first world problem Kristina, build a bridge love. In my defense we are having Christmas at ours this year, my sister & her partner will be coming from Oz, hopefully my nephew from the UK so I want everything to be lovely . We were supposed to be visiting the UK over Summer, but as with most home reno’s the “nice bit of decking off the lounge” has morphed into “well I need feature lighting for the sculpture area & did we really spend over a thousand dollars on screws for the deck???”*


So how on earth does all this relate to a woman standing in her garden wearing a snake print jumpsuit you may ask? When I was contacted by Jules at Sew Me Something asking if I’d like to write a review of her new pattern I was torn. A jumpsuit? Me? Really? I wont lie I was tempted by the Zadie jumpsuit that’s all over social media, but the idea of a wrap top made me nervous. Could a button front be the way to go?


After several weeks of chaos I just thought bugger it, if I can survive inhaling my body weight in wood dust every day, I can certainly manage a jumpsuit!

Averting my eyes from those mucky pavers (thanks Tuppence…)

Very pleased I did. This is a great pattern! Not too complicated to sew (I’ve made several  of Jule’s patterns before, her instructions are excellent), so easy to wear. I decided to go with a slightly more formal version I could wear to work, using a drapey rayon from Spotlight. The pattern is for a pant that hits above the ankle,  but there are lengthen lines so I added 4 cm/2 incs to the leg. Because I have a VERY short waist I chopped the same amount off the bottom of the bodice that attaches to the pants. As you can see Im still belting higher than the waistline, so next time I would shave off another couple of cm. I’ve done this with other patterns, if something is going to sit on my waist, I need to adjust for the fact my waist is darn high!

I will raise the bodice up another couple of cm next time…

The buttons make for an easy in & out when necessary (the bane of many a jumpsuit). The pockets are magnificent, nice & deep. I didn’t turn the sleeve cuffs over, I was happy with the sleeve length and I think the plain hem is a little more dressy. Because my belt is made from flimsy rayon it twists up very easily, next time I would add some interfacing for a bit of body. I made the size 20 but I think I could size down to an 18 next time.

Me wondering why some woman can wear heels all day & I’m moaning after five minutes…

So despite my reservations, a perfect work/going out outfit , ideal with the cropped black leather jacket I have in a cupboard somewhere just waiting for me to find it again…

I will definitely make this pattern again, I’d like a gorgeous linen version to wear with sneakers of sandals when it warms up , linen for the winnin!

In the meantime, according to my husband I look “great… and also if I need to parachute into Western Europe on a moments notice I’m perfectly dressed!”

Thanks hon…

So when I haven’t been whipping up jumpsuits or dusting what else has been occurring?

Little jars of sparkling fruity goodness

When your Mum comes to visit bearing oranges from her neighbor & a bag of sugar? You make marmalade of course, I don’t have Seville oranges so this one also includes limes from our tree for some bite,  delicious. Mum can’t have grapefruit, so this marmalade is a wonderful alternative, how pretty does it look?

I wish you could feel how soft this is…

We had a crafters lunch last weekend and lovely Lesley turned up with this gorgeous hottie cover for me, isn’t that colour magic! The wool is alpaca, I can confirm it is one of life’s joys to slip into cool cotton sheets in winter & have this beauty to warm your feet on (I cant abide electric blankets!), bliss!


Apparently some crafters take it next level…!

Have a fabulous week

Kristina xxx

*Yes, we got a fancy new front door & put a big hole in it to install a cat door. My Mother was almost as appalled as my builder 🙂

*Yes, that really is how much we spent on screws. Yes, I needed a lie down.


Getting my match on with Tania


So, I made a pair of pants. And a skirt. At the same time. While perfectly matching my cardi to my shoes. IS THERE NO END TO THIS WOMAN’S SUPERPOWERS???!!!*


Ok, it isn’t strictly a skirt, but my latest make, the Tania culottes from Megan Neilson Patterns have all the lovely swish of a skirt, with the security of knowing should I need to break out some interpretative dance moves (or ok, more likely,  walk through a stiff breeze) I’m sparing the universe the sight of my knickers. In the words of lovely work colleague from my London days, “it’s always good to keep yourself nice” .*


The fabric is a rayon from Spotlight , I wanted something really soft and drapey, but I didn’t want to use anything too expensive, I haven’t used Megan Neilson patterns before and I do have a history of messing up pants. This pattern uses a LOT of fabric! I made View C in size 22, so I used up all of the 4 meters /4.25 yards of fabric I had. Thankfully it was on sale.

Now, these puppies are not perfect. I used the wrong iron on interfacing for my waistband. By the time I came to finishing up it had almost completely come away from my fabric. I find knit interfacing seems to be much more stable when using rayon, but I’d run out so used the standard version. Lesson learned.

I only pull this pose out for special occasions,  honest..

Because the waistband isn’t as stiff as it should be, and is possibly a tad too big it does tend to slip down. It isn’t a major , but next time I will be probably go down a size so the waistband sits up on my natural waist (which is high!).

That face …”Pockets so deep Im actually concerned I’ve lost a hand…”


Now, shall we talk pockets? These beauties are deep! Full hand coverage, nice shape & sitting at just the right height (unlike my last make, which involved moving the pockets 10 cm/ 5 inches???)

The instructions are good, but I would also HIGHLY recommend the sew along on the Megan Neilson website, I’m quite a visual learner so I love me a good sew along. Lets be honest, Indie patterns are expensive (although here in NZ even Big 4 patterns are usually $15-18 so not cheap) . But the accountant in me also factors in things like this. I’m a confident sewer, and yes, I could trawl You Tube for the right tutorial for any given situation. Or ask my Mum! But when I can open the tablet, and find exactly the tips & tricks I need for what I’m making right now? Added value.

Easy peezy…

I did my first invisible zipper on these culottes and it was a breeze!


Actually on the subject I should say this garment is both Mum & Mum in Law certified. Mum was well impressed , she actually brought the same fabric , and one my best friend also purchased on a recent Spotlight outing. I mentioned this to Vanessa & commented we really are turning into our Mums. She did point out they dress really well, which is good since we got their bingo wing arms…they owe us good dress sense at least. That’s my Mum in an outfit she made which I love, so chic! And my goodness how tiny is that waist (pre five daughters…)


I didn’t make any alterations to this pattern, and to be honest other than sizing down I don’t think I will, which is praise indeed! I made the PDF version, which came together nicely, and in the interests of open kimono I got this pattern gratis in exchange for a review on the Curvy Sewing Collective website , I’d like to think you know me well enough to know I’ll tell it how it is regardless, but if in doubt, I’m wearing this outfit to work tomorrow feeling very pleased with myself, I cant say higher than that!

I’m calling this one “crazy cat woman in the wind” 


Because Tommy is such a photo hog I’m sharing Tuppence, doing what she does best…

Tuppence living her best life 

He isn’t happy..

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Tommy plotting Dad’s downfall…

I cant leave this post without addressing whats been happening in my country over the last few weeks. This is a fun, generally happy mostly sewing and cats space, but in reality I’ve been neither happy nor inclined to sew. A man with gun walked into a Mosque, a place of worship,  & gunned down innocent people at prayer. He killed 50, injured many more, shattered families & irrevocably changed how we feel about our country.

I’ve many thoughts & feels on this, but to be honest as a white woman of relative privilege I don’t think my reckons are the one that need to be heard or listened to right now. Instead, the voices of those actually dealing with this , both the immediate atrocity, and the underlying issues. The hash tag #thisisntus kinda irked me, I wont lie. It is us. I grew up in South Auckland, my best friend is Maori, there IS racism, everyday, to say it isn’t us is nonsense, and until we address it, it will continue to be us. If I can say nothing else this week it would be to call it out. Call out all those crappy comments, the snide remarks, the outright bullshit & maybe, we can make a change. Don’t enable crap. Call it out. And back up your friends/whanau/colleagues/strangers calling it out.

Have a better week lovely people

Kristina x


* I can also thread an overlocker, and whip up a roast dinner with my eyes closed. I can’t tell left from right however, so if your superhero needs to travel, don’t call me….

* Said colleague went to Canada on a rodeo holiday & ended up having a torrid affair with a cowboy. Don’t keep yourself TOO nice kids! 🙂






Portia & her big girl pants…

Just hangin’ in my cool pants…

When the Curvy Sewing Collective announced the first make of their year of sewing, I must admit I was slightly less than excited. My last few attempts at pants had been very much that, was I ready to get back on the particular grump inducing horse??


Then I remembered a pattern I had picked up in the UK, on my wonderful sewing adventure to Sew Me Something last year. The Portia pant, I really like this style , wide leg & casual but still smart,  and I thought it might be a reasonably easy pattern to start with. Or at least not have me reaching for the Chard after ten minutes. Also I have used several of Jules patterns before, & know her drafting and instructions are excellent.

Hi. Oh yeah I know, cool pants…:)

I had some rather lovely soft washed Merchant & Mills linen from Miss Maude in my stash, loose swishy wide leg pants, very cool & elegant for walks on the beach, trawling a fabulous museum…or in my case, the aisles of New World.

To tuck or not to tuck, that is the question…

Now I’ll fess up , these are too big. This isn’t a problem I normally have , but there you go! I made up a size 22, next time I will sew an 18 waist grading to 20 hip. I don’t wear my tops tucked into my pants anyway, so I can easily wear a belt , but they do feel quite loose.


Second confession? What on earth was I thinking when I put those back pockets on? I clearly buggered up the markings when I cut the pattern out. Seriously, are they supposed to be on my butt? On my hip? Cargo style on my thigh?? Who knows, when I can face it, I’ll definitely unpick & re-position. I’m really cross about it actually, as I really nailed the stitching (I take every small victory ok)

I was so careful too…

I like the details on these pants, the front pockets, the belt loops, the generous width of the leg. It’s a reasonably easy sew, and following the instructions made even inserting a fly zip really straightforward. Yes, honestly! I’m really chuffed with that zip & it wasn’t a big deal at all!

Vintage button love.

I’ve seen other versions made in heavy cotton, and even denim, which look fab, but for me it’s some slightly lighter weight crisp navy blue linen for my next pair. I made a trip (only my second, honest…this week) to The Fabric Store and was blown away by the gorgeous linens. Yes, it creases, but as I memorably overheard one day “it’s expensive looking creases”. Actually not so much with 20% off, yeow!

Tommy & I coordinating poses.

I’m seeing these with my navy blue & white striped boat neck (in the wash), a cute floral shirt (like this Harrison), or as per the pics, my Liberty print Dartmouth, which is so easy to wear, but just that bit more interesting than a plain tee.


They would be gorgeous with some pretty sandals, but after a particularly aggressive pedicure, I have a wee toe infection at the moment (sorry, but this is an open kimono blog!), so I’m all about the sneaker. According to my husband/photographer/not fashion guru, these are rather heinous sneakers. To quote,  “they look like Mums nursing shoes. Even worse, ’cause you’ve taped them together with elastic”. Harsh.

Not Nurses Shoes.

Needless to say, I laughed & ignored him completely. Such is marital harmony.

You don’t like my shoes?? Yes, I totally care….not!

Anyway, not a bad job, and I look forward to the next pair. Have you made pants? Any fav patterns, do share. And if you want to tell me how ugly my sneakers are, please feel free, I can take it. Seriously.

Kristina x

P.S Check out the poseur photo-bomber behind me. He’s called this “swimsuit edition, sultry look back over shoulder”.

Oh Tommy….



When pants really are…pants

Well, as I said in my previous post, this is a two part story. But be warned, it’s no fairy tale. In fact the sensitive reader may wish to avert their eyes at some of the more graphic images , in case sewing nightmares should ensue.

So what was I trying to achieve? Two pairs of crepe pants (in the trouser rather than undies sense) for my capsule wardrobe, a wide leg high waist navy blue version, and a simpler elastic waist version in a pretty plum colour. Sounds reasonable yes? Yeah……right.*

What I was aiming for (with a Tommy photobomb for good measure)

My first effort, Simplicity 8177. I haven’t made any Mimi G patterns before, but I really liked the idea of the You Tube tutorial for my first attempt at pants. I thought these would look fantastic in navy blue with the Ngaio blouse I (successfully) managed to make previously. The fabric was half price, and has the most wonderful drape, I could just see me rockin’ Katharine Hepburn minus the ciggy. I got this far.

This is my third attempt at zip insertion. Seriously.

I even watched the zip tutorial multiple times and still messed it up! Now I probably would have soldiered on, except for the fact these pants are HUGE. I means seriously wide, and far too big around the waist. I could wear these for a weekend away and carry all my additional luggage in each leg. With room for duty free. I’m baffled as I measured myself multiple times, and have used those measurements successfully on other patterns?

Now a saner person may have decided to leave the pants making and sew themselves a nice simple skirt, or a simple knit top maybe? Not I, instead, hey, lets throw a bit more fabric to the wind & make pants again. Pattern from a company I’ve never used before? Yes. Lovely expensive fabric I’ll be gutted to mess up? Yes. Already suspicious said fabric might be too flimsy & will make life difficult? Hell yes! What could go wrong?


Sailing perilously close to camel toe…you can almost hear my teeth grinding…

Style Arc  Daisy pants, or at least a bad version of. I wont show you the waist , there are enough horrors on the internet already, but suffice to say it ain’t pretty. The rise was a little short for me, particularly at the back, and I struggled to make the fold wide enough to cover all the elastic. The hem has move waves than my hair, not least because the pants were not long enough, and I thought adding the hem band as per the pattern would make matters worse. As if they could get much worse?

Enter a caption…maybe “delete please”

The pockets were not necessary, and difficult to sew with the fabric. They are also really low, which felt a bit odd. But I don’t think this is a particularly bad pattern, more a bad fabric choice and lack of some skills (Style Arc pattern instructions are sparse, to put it mildly). In linen, I suspect these would rock.

I finished the weekend feeling very deflated. In the grand scheme of things of course its no more than a couple of days and a few bucks of fabric, but I must admit to be decidedly grumpy on Sunday night. Quite why I thought I’d just rock into pants making without a toile or a care is unclear, but hubris is a harsh teacher!

O.M.G. I think my face sums it up nicely.

So my mini minuscule capsule wardrobe so far consists of one blouse. A wee way to go then…

In the interests of not being a complete Debbie Downer I thought I’d share the fabulous stash my lovely sister Dette sent me for my birthday. A magpie with the best taste, who does not need more fabric and more buttons? Who??

Yes, that is a cat button. Squeeeeeee!!!!

You may be wondering why I’d actually post this hot mess, but if I’m going to have a blog, it will be an honest one. I’d love you to think I’m someone who has it all down, but the reality is hits, misses and something in between. The good, the bad , the ugly….and the truly uncomfortable!

And you? Any disasters recently? If so, I hope this post makes you feel better , let some good come of this!

Kristina x


  • “Yeah, …..right” When something clearly hasn’t/didn’t/will never work. From a New Zealand ad a few years back, has to be uttered deadpan, preferably while looking both deeply skeptical and knowing at the same time, bonus points if you can simultaneously raise an eyebrow . Its almost an art form.