My Holly Pants are in the BHL #PatternHackathon competition, & I would really appreciate your vote! 1 like = 1 vote & there's no pesky mailing list to join. 

Click here to vote for me (by 'liking' the picture)
Click here to see all of the contestants
Click here to see Drunk J Crew tumblr

Ok so I've done my sneaky little plug (I really want that prize pack!), please let me tell you how I made a shirt just so I can swan around the apartment pretending to be Gillian Anderson from The Fall, or Hannibal, or some kind of spectacular, silk blouse adorning, wine sipping mish mash of both. 

The pattern is Grainline Archer Button Up Shirt (see my previous versions: one & two) and I made the following changes
  • Andrea's v-neck alteration tutorial;
  • Removed the yoke & back pleats. This is a stretchy fabric & the Archer has a relaxed fit, so it doesn't miss the pleats;
  • Hand stitched the front two plackets together instead of buttons; 
  • Rolled & stitched the sleeves because that's how I plan on wearing it. 
The fabric is an off-white silk lycra and I would have done terrible, terrible things to get my desperate mittens on a walking foot. I was, however, incredibly grateful to whomever invented the teflon coated stretch needle because it melted through the fabric and I get to say I sewed with a teflon coated needle.

It's not my neatest sewing, to be honest in some places it's a fucking mess, and that collar had to be unpicked, re-cut, extra fused, and re-stitched to a point where I was cursing silk-fucking-lycra and weeping for my ravaged finger tips, but I'm giving myself a break because... well, because I am - but that's not why I'm conflicted about this fabric. 

You see, although wearing it feels like a swarm of tiny, floating cherubs are planting kisses on my skin, I've found unexplained little runs in areas that have never had contact with a needle or scissors, like the bust or back. I have enough left over to make a cami, but I'm unsure if I want to put the effort into another garment that will just fall apart. Anyone have experience with silk lycra?

The pants are a lengthened variation of Grainline Maritime shorts, with all of the fitting adjustments copied from my first & second versions. I've been smitten with the idea of Maritime Pants ever since spying Natasha's dreamy pair with those turned up cuffs. 

I did have to let out the waist band to ~1cm seams due to a not-so-stretchy cotton & because I'm carrying a little extra junk in the trunk. The seams are bound in outrageous, glee inducing hot pink satin bias tape (as seen on instagram) & I used Morgan's marvellous waistband tutorial that I bullied her into sharing (thank you Morgan!). The only difference is that I tacked the waistband down at intervals rather than stitching the entire way around because, without a walking foot, my waist band became twisted and my left eye spasmed involuntarily. 

The fabric is a double sided cotton blend, and it's not the last time you'll be seeing it on this blog (dum dum DUUUUUUMMMM!). Notions are just the fly zip & a big red button, because I never turn down a big red button. But seeing as though this is a post about pants you know it's coming.... ASS. 

Hahaha that photo on the right cracks me up! So moody, so serious, so junky-in-the-trunky.

I've been loving everyone's autumnal leaf photos, but it's Spring in NZ so here's my southern hemisphere version

Other news is I've been stuck in bed with the flu instead of packing for Australia, checking out the #bpsewvember challenge with frothing-at-the-mouth joy (I've been joining in here), and - following in the steps of Ms. Anderson - solving crimes around the apartment. Last night was "Reana Silkblouse & the case of the dirty frypan." Spoiler: it was me. 

Photos by Kieran Wynn - thanks KP!


How have you been?! It feels like forever since we've spoken! I have so much to tell you! Firstly I can now do the whole 'half up half down' hair thing. Do you like it? Not as cute as your hair, obviously. You are looking fabulous. 

So I'm fighting crime now! No, wait. That's wrong. I made pants that I could fight crime in. Let's talk about those and then I'll tell you that other stuff. 

The pattern is By Hand London's Holly Jumpsuit view C pants, or trousers as those lovely English ladies probably refer to them. I adored Holly from first sight but it was Rachel's, Jenny'sLizzy's, and SallieOh's versions that prompted me to get down and dirty. 

I cut a size 6 and, fitting wise, all I did was shorten the hem and do my standard full booty adjustment. 

I wasn't sure if wide leg pants were my jam so I trawled Pinterest for inspiration & happened upon these gems. The decision was made: if I was going to go wide, I was going to go wiiide and throwing in a few pleats while I was there. Here's a basic tutorial if you'd like to give it a go:

I top stitched the top 7" of the pleats because they were bursting opening making my soft yet flattish tummy look a bit on the "is she pregnant or did she have a big lunch?" side. Thank god I'm not a celebrity or paparazzi would be salivating

The fabric is a teal rayon that kisses my skin when I move but begged for a walking foot during construction. There's a few too many tucks and pleats around seam lines for my liking, but thems the breaks until I can afford (or karate kick my way to) a walking foot. 

My only other quibbles are that hemming long pants are hard and that the pearl snaps, despite advertising themselves as 'strong,' pop open with a deep breath or mention of a burrito. 

So there you have it! Pants. I like them. They feel nice. They're for BHL's #PatternHackathon but I didn't have a kitty because let's be real: those karate kicks are too dangerous to be near any living creature. 

Now let's talk about those other things! I'm still in New Zealand and when we arrived ~2 months ago we decided to slow this thing down and save money. My first fiscally responsible decision was to purchase a $10 ice cream. The second was to throw all remaining money on a handsome older man.

Friends, meet Napoleon Sewnaparte (Napoleon for short). 

^ photos from my instagram

Born in Switzerland in 1977, Napoleon is a Bernina Nova with strawberry and cream colouring, a collection of fancy shoes (feet), and a kooky velvet coat (case). He never skips a stitch but exhibits quirks that make me laugh, sometimes with love and other times a bit too maniacally. I purchased him from one of the strangest, sweetest persons I have ever met on the good suggestion of Bella, a Aucklandarian Aucklandian Aucklander person who lives in Auckland. 

Speaking of fantabulous sewing people, I haven't really bragged about meeting Melissa & Erin yet, have I? Well not here, anyway, if we've caught up in person I probably chewed your ear off about their loveliness. I met with them both in the US a few months back & Erin even invited me to stay with her for a weekend (she wrote about it here). 

Go ahead and imagine the sweetest, most generous, talented, beautiful, vivacious and funny creature you can and then totally dismiss it because it's not even close to how cool Erin is. I've missed hanging out with her and her sweet family the moment I drove away from their house, and I may have tried to steal Stella (ssssh, don't tell Erin). I was pretty rubbish at taking photos but here are a few from the afternoon we went to Hearst Castle, where I swear Erin should be a tour guide, and then watched whales. It was pretty fucking magical. 

And finally... In less than 10 days I'm heading back to Australia! I'm going to miss New Zealand but am pretty dang excited to see my friends and binge cherry ripe bars. I'm planning on taking Napoleon home with me and am welcoming ALL tips for packing a sewing machine on a plane!

Love and karate kicks, 
Reana xo


Whaaaat? Yep. The next stop is the first stop. I fell head over heels on my last visit and never got to meet this lady in person so I'm heading back. Plus there's a totally boring story where I lost some money to some terrible car rental company which means that my travels to the UK and Canada are now postponed.

But what does this all mean?

1. Coffee. Kiwis just make really good fucking coffee and I'm going to be all over that.
2. Sewing machine. I can't tell you how happy it will make me to be back with a machine and I plan on buying one the moment I have enough dollars to do so. That means more blogging (and hopefully a more permanent location means I can finally share those other items yet-to-be-blogged).
3. If you're in Auckland and you have a couch, some time, some tips, or sewing adventures to share with 2 Aussies, I would love you to contact me!
4. I'm not going to be living in a fucking tent soon. These tears? They're full of love and they're real.

A photo from the vinyard at Waiheke where I stayed last time


I googled "hiking boots and dresses" and apparently it's a thing. A fashion thing. Not just a "shit I'm living out of a car and I have no other shoes - flip flops or hiking boots?" thing. So here you go, a dress with hiking boots. I am just so fashion forward I'm basically backward.

First let's talk the location - I am in Utah baby! More specifically Arches National Park, down south where everything is red but the sky. I was warned off a Utah summer because of the heat, but I'm a rebel and my visa won't let me hang out here until the fall when apparently it's even lovelier.

The dress is yet another Grainline Scout Tee variation (see previous blogged scouts here, and my first scout dress here. There's also a bunch more unblogged ones that pop up on instagram). I have (had) 2 scout tee patterns: one with only a few fitting adjustments that kept the original shape, and another variation that shall be referred to as "The Pattern Formally Known As Scout" (TPFKAS). It's been altered and adjusted into a more fitted, longer, more curvy shape and only the neckline and sleeves suggest any relation to her mother. This dress is from TPFKAS, but I'm sure it would work with the real scout tee pattern, or any other tee pattern for that matter, especially if you wear it with a belt. 

It was so easy to make. Just take the original pattern and cut straight down from the hips / but, which on me is the widest part. 

The fabric is a semi-sheer silk from The Fabric Store, and divine to touch. Actually, if I stand between your eyes and the sun it's very sheer. Ever wanted to know what I look like naked? Well there you (nearly) go. 

I was keen to use this fabric before leaving Australia so I serged (overlocked) the seams where I normally would have frenched them. Speaking of serge vs. overlock, even though we share a tongue, Australians and Americans still have some pretty major linguistic differences. The other day I was telling travel buddy about only being able to find one thong and getting a very filthy look from another camper within ear shot (Oooooh, you call them flip flops. I get it now). Then there's coriander vs. cilantro, or zucchini vs. courgette. And I'm not sure what the American word is yet, but the other day I asked for a tarp and I'm pretty sure I offended someone's mother. 

If you'd like to see more of where I am please follow along on instagram or twitter (I've just joined!), so please say hi!

The deets
The pattern: TPFKAS
Fabric: Silk from The Fabric Store - I think it's DKNY?
Notions: None
Changes made: Lengthened to make it a dress 
Next time: I'll remember not to stand in front of the sun ;) 
Worn with: Country Road leather belt, hiking boots, and a serious sheen of moisturiser, sunscreen, bug spray and sweat. I call it Eau de Camp.


These are, to date, the most tested garment to appear on this blog. I made them all the way back here, tested their seams and durability through Fiji, and they've lived to cover my ass in Portland.

They are of course the Maritime shorts, version 2. My first pair, which are still in high rotation, were nearly, oh-so-close-it-hurts to perfect that all these needed were:

  • a teensy bigger Full Booty Adjustment
  • ~1.5cm removed from the outer thigh
  • ~1cm pinched out of the waistband and centre back

I'm giving approximates because these changes were made 4 months (!) ago, and my sewing notepad is languishing away in a cardboard box in a beautiful girl's attic like some kind of paper Rapunzel.

Oh, and in case you were wondering the bridge I am hanging out on is St. John's in Portland. Pretty stellar, huh? I've kind of fallen in love with Portland, maybe because it's full of darling bridges & darling people. And yes, before you ask, I did indeed check out her Minoru and it's even better than we all imagined. That woman is a superstar.

The deets
The pattern: Grainline Maritime
Fabric: Stretch italian cotton, leftovers from The Birthday Georgia
Notions: 1 zip (way easier the 2nd time) and a button.
Changes made: Same as last time plus the changes listed above
Next time: I will make 1,000. I'd also love to make a pair of long maritimes. I miss my machine so much :'(
Worn with: A Lucky Jeans t-shirt that I had to purchase because the white tee I made for this trip was mauled by an evil (although cute) cat in Fiji. However, this would make a great Scout Tee, no?


Alternative title: things I wish I had sewn.

Bula from Fiji! Last we spoke I was trekking around New Zealand's North Island with 3 of my best girl friends (Hard life. I know). Before departing Australia I attempted to create a handmade travel wardrobe, and while I think I did pretty well* there are a few changes and additions I would make if I had my trip again. So, here's my dream autumn / winter travel wardrobe, and a few thoughts on a travelling MeMadeMay.

*Check out my MeMadeMay photos on instagram: @reana_louise

  • My love affair with cotton kind of screwed me over. Next time everything will be flexible & crinkle free. 
  • I had 2 items made from Bamboo jersey (a scout tee & a nettie), and there were times I wish my entire wardrobe was. Completely crinkle proof, delicious to the touch, and let's get real here: odour resistant. 
  • I wish I knew how to knit. Jumpers rock. 
  • Separates are good! Admittedly I'm a separates over dress girl, but mixing and matching helps combat wardrobe fatigue. 
  • You know what's even better than separates? Separates that match. I'm looking at you, beautiful-but-only-go-with-one-shirt Clover pants.
  • Patterns are Ok! In the past I've seen my pattern addiction as silly, but for someone who regularly drops food on herself (we're friends, right?) patterns are ideal. "That? Oh no. Pattern feature. It just looks like a smooshed strawberry."

ALSO, I've suggested patterns here that I would use & they're mostly indies. That's because I like indies. If you have a pattern or tip to suggest, please put it in the comments for others! And holla if you've got a pattern or tips you think I should add to my spring / summer travelling. After Fiji I'm heading to the States and I will track down a machine. Is it pathetic that I miss my old machines? I do. I really freaking do. 


via: one / two / three / four / five / six 

1 x thick leggings that could be doubled as pants (Anita Ponti / Ooh La La / Sara / PB Jam)
1 x jeans (Jamie / Craftsy Tutorial)
1-2 x pants. Comfortable yet fitted. (Suzy / Anima / Laura / Colette / Alpi / Traveller)

  • Anyone who rages "leggings aren't pants!" can kiss my ponti-clad ass. A thick wool or ponti with spandex (so the knees don't do that stretchy-out, buckley thing at the knee) are perfect for wearing in transit, slouching around, wearing under dresses, and yes as pants. 
  • Jeans aren't the best protection against the cold I admit, but I don't leave home without them. If you're looking for some jean-spiration, check out SallieOh. Dat ass.


via: one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine

2 x long sleeve Merino / Bamboo fitted shirts (Nettie / Renfrew)
2 x relaxed-fit tees (Plantain / Coco / Hemlock / Blair / SJ / Hot Cocoa / Bronte / Lane)
1 x button up shirt (Archer / Pihla)

  • I love the Nettie pattern (see one of mine here). It's a shirt! It's a thermal! It's a layer under an button up shirt! Hooray! As much as I love Heather for making it, I'm equal parts annoyed at her for releasing it only a few weeks before departing my sewing machine. 
  • My Archer shirts (one & two) were perfect for feeling a touch dressier. Also cute under a jumper. Side note: Did you know my boyfriend Archer went and got a girlfriend? IS THAT NOT THE CUTEST THING EVER?!


via: one / two / three

1 x hoodie or jumper


  • I'm not suggesting any patterns because I don't know the first thing about knitting. In fact, all of my knitting is done by this lovely lady


via: one / two / three

1 x 3/4 sleeve shirt dress (Hawthorne / Lola / M6696 / Modified Archer / Cami)


  • I have a long sleeve chambray dress that can be both casual and formalish. And although I'm not a 'dress' person, it really gets a work out.


via: one / two / three

1 x Jacket (Albion / Pavot)


  • My Columbia jacket (seen here) is fan-fucking-tastic. It's waterproof, has a thermal inside that can be removed or worn separately, nifty little pockets and a hood and there's probably some Maxwell Smart gizmo in there, but sure it would be nice if I had made my own for bonus gloating / pride points. 


via: one / two / three

1 x beanie
1 x knitted scarf
1 x mittens
1 x silk scarf (no pattern, just a piece of fabric with a rolled hem. Then use this for inspiration!)

  • I am lucky enough to be best buds with Harriet, which means I was spoilt with a beanie, mittens, and scarf - all valuable items that helped make any outfit feel a little more dressy. I'm not going to suggest patterns because I know nothing about knitting, but I will suggest HarrietByHand!


via: one / two / three

1 x day pack (Cooper)

  • Day packs are for goof balls and kids, right? Wrong! Day packs are the cutest and most glorious invention of all time! How could you even think other wise?! I have a delicious Herschel pack (seen here, bottom right), but there are little things I wish I could change about it, like a drink holder or hook to hold my keys. I also have bag envy over pretty much anything TaylorTailor creates. 


Source one / two / three

1 x running hoodie / shirt (Avocado / Coppelia / Undercover / XYT)
1 x hiking pants (Couldn't find an ideal pattern, but maybe a modified traveller?)

  • I'm a keen walker, so my totally pricey Lululemon shirt gets worn a lot. Check out this post for tips on sewing activewear. 

So what about you? Any travel capsule tips?

P.S. I've got a few more makes I'm pretty excited about sharing with you. All I need is a photographer!
P.P.S. Sweet jesus this is a wordy post. If you've made it this far, please treat yourself to an oreo. Or a martini. Or both. 


Kia ora from New Zealand! It's the first stop on this crazy little travel-thon that I mentioned here and have been gloating about here.

My amazing friend Harriet is selling some of my old patterns (amongst other things) on my behalf to help finance this thing. So, if you're interested - check out her eBay!

Travelling has been a total blast, but I'm already thinking about all of the things I want to, or wished I sewed. Obsessed? Maybe. Whatever. Hopefully I'll be back soon when I get time to photograph recent makes!

Love and passport stamps x


Ok, let's get two things out of the way:

One, yes my hair is a natural barometer. 

Two, I am long. I can't think of a nicer word to use. Small girls get petite, busty get voluptuous, and us ganglore descendants of the brontosaurus get 'long.' If you can think of a nicer word, please let me know so I can abuse the crap outta it.

Anyway being long with a bubble butt means RTW shorts have always been a drama. Too tight around the waist, too flared on the thigh, too tight on the butt, too short everywhere resulting in something-I'm-too-scared-to-type-because-of-the-creepy-google-hits-it-will-attract. So why has it taken me so long to make a pair of shorts?


This is the first pair of Grainline Maritime shorts but there will be more because I'm moving. Or travelling? I'm not sure. I've transferred my confusion about shorts to more fundamental life stuff like what my address will be and how long I can go without washing my jeans. Whatever happens it means three things:

1. I need to make some travel friendly clothes, especially more pairs of shorts that don't make me feel violated after wearing them for a full day,

2. I need to burn through my stash,

3. There's a few countries on the list so I might be knocking down your door very soon. Expect some ganglore cuddles.

The deets
The pattern: Grainline Maritime
Fabric: Awesome stretchy but stable cotton blend, which you might remember from here
Notions: 1 zip (as per Jen's instructions, which was a new method for me. Lots of head scratching) and a button.  I used my new button chisel (is that what it's called?) that I got in Utah from Sunni's shop. That thing is spectacular.
Changes made: I did a total cheater move on these babes & tried on Sophie's maritime shorts on first. This meant no muslin. Heaven. So I cut a size 6 and did:

  • a big-booty-adjustment
  • removed 1.5" from the centre back of the waist & waistbands
  • lengthened the hem 1"
  • lengthened the crotch / torso / seat (?) ½"
  • removed the back pockets as I want to get the booty fit right first

Next time: Remove some flare from the thigh, make a teeny bigger big-booty-adjustment, and hopefully a neater zip now that I get what the heckaroonie is going on there. But seriously I adore these and don't plan on wearing anything else for a while.

Thanks to Harriet for taking these photos for me! x