Saturday, 7 March 2015

Butterick 5863 -The reverse Toile - aka - what not to do.

The first cut is the deepest

Before I get into my finished items I want to say I was wowed by the response to my last post.
An amazing 138 people voted on my haircut.... I don't even know 138 people. I apologise to anyone who had a massive time suck playing with hairstyles on after reading my post (along with pinterest, facebook, blogger, twitter etc it is a wonder the world still rotates and things still get done.)

So - did I get my haircut and who am I sporting? Yes the cut has happened......

I really really really wanted Lisa. I have never had my hair in a style like that and haven't had a fringe since I was a teenager...... only a few short years ago....... My hairdresser recommended against it. She said my hair is too curly for that short a cut at the front and it would take maintenance to kept it looking good. That unless I used product and straightened it each wash it would go woolley. I didn't want to risk it as I had never been to this hairdresser before, she is relatively cheap and I have never seen customers in her salon... Hmm as Alison said to me - not very good signs.....

I ended up with a kind of frankencut - a mix of Sarah on the top and Lisa on the bottom,,,, Kind of.

Before and after

I actually really like my cut and once I wash it I will know if I will keep it. Good on the hairdresser. She turned out to be a find I think.

Back to sewing

When my Pretty Grievances Sabertooth Swap partner Barbara Jane sent me this beautiful beefy knit I was drawn to Butterick 5863. I thought it plain enough to let the fabric speak for itself but also have an interesting neckline.

Now - me being me, I decided to "adjust" the one thing that drew it to me - the neckline. I always find necklines too high and narrow for my big neck so I always make them lower and wider...........

Hmm - did you happen to notice how low and wide the neckline is on the model?

This is what it turned out like..... (and haircut after 2 days)

Not bad for a street walker but not exactly the look I was going for. Luckily Addicted to Fabric (where Barbara Jane purchased the fabric) had 1 lonely metre left and waiting just for me - talk about luck! After exchange of emails and phone calls that lonely remnant has a home and is waiting to be a fixed Butterick 5863. I am so glad as I love this top and the fabric is wonderful and the colours really look good on me if I might say so myself. StyleArc had a great khaki bengaline that would match beautifully but it sold out before I could get my grubby mits on it... *sigh* ..... I am hoping for more stock soon.

I did modify the top in other ways too. I made the sleeves longer and added length to the body as well.

I am modelling it with a pair of modified Linda pants in an absolutely gorgeous navy hybrid crepe from Emma One Sock. I LOVE this fabric. I have it in a multitude of colours and it will play a big part in my Artisan Square SWAP. It is not cheap, especially when you factor shipping to Australia into the price, but well worth the cost IMO. It feels divine, hangs beautifully and has my favourite thing in the material world - stretch.

Navy is not what I would normally pair with this top but I was being frugal with my modelling as my visiting sister was taking pics for me. I say these are modified Lindas as I gave them a little flare at the bottom. I like the way they turned out.

Anyhow, after the Gulf of Mexico neckline (or should I call it the Great Australian Bight), I thought I had better do a toile - after the horse has bolted so to speak. I used fabric that I purchased on sale and very cheap from the Remnant Warehouse. It was about half the price it is now when I purchased 5 metres of it.

Being photobombed by Elle

 Back of top and pants - haircut has held up well for 2 days.

Next step will be to add maybe another cm to the neckline and then to remake the Sabretooth top.

I am looking forward to finishing it and adding it to my wardrobe and also seeing how Barbara Jane transformed the fabric I sent her.

Happy sewing.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

A virtual haircut

First I would like to say thank you for all the wonderful advice on the RTW top in my last post. Can you believe I couldn't find any hand sewing needles so had to buy some! Now I have my new needles I will be able to make the adjustments.

On a different matter, I am desperate to have a hair cut. I haven't had my hair done since the PR tea party back in November 2013!.

Anyway, I was trying to decide on hair styles and came across this great site where you can try on celebrity hairstyles.

It is

So what do I do? Leave my hair long and just have it styled or cut it a bit shorter?

I have been sewing too..... But completely stuffed up my sabertooth swap top. Barbara Jane - if you are out there - where did you get the fabric from? I want to see if I can get some more. I love that fabric and it looks spectacular made up but the neckline is way too big.

Anyway, thought I would share my results of the hairdos with you all.

Here I am as my untarnished self.

Now with a bit of "virtual pretend" make up.

Now as a red haired Jane Fonda

As Sarah Paulson

As Eva Longoria

As Joy Behar

As Cynthia Nixon

As Lisa Rima

You can even add sunglasses to see which frame suits your face.

Interested to see what you think. Vote below.

(if you are reading this in a reader you may have to click on to the blog itself to vote as I made an error originally)

Which hair cut free polls

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

My Jalie Skirt. Plus advice required - alterations on RTW top.

First a big huge thanks for all of the lovely comments on my Jungle January dress. Most appreciated.

Now my second post in as many days - hope you don't get sick of me.

As mentioned in my last post, I made a Jalie 8 gore skirt in a beautiful Hybrid Crepe from EmmaOneSock. This fabric is really gorgeous with stretch  :-)  :-)  :-) and 2 sides - one matt and darker and one a little shiney. I chose the matt side of course - shine being the enemy of the bulge. (I just read this back LOL - of course the fabric has 2 sides - DOH!)

I have made this skirt before but this time I actually put all 8 gores in LOL.. last time I carefully measured and when I altered the pattern to fit me I was surprised at how tight it turned out when made up (check out the pic of the back) - only to find the 8th gore months later under a pile of fabric on my sewing table (told you before math is not my strong suit - although one would think I could count to eight). I have since undone one seam and the top and hem and inserted the 8th gore and it fits much better now...... When making this version I counted each gore as it went in if only to prove I can count to eight!!!!

Anyway - I really like this skirt and can wear this style of skirt a lot easier than a pencil shape which tends to tent over my tum.

This post is not only to show off my new skirt but to seek advice on the top. It is a RTW top (yes shame on me - I broke my RTW shun pledge - in a HUGE way - in the TVSN sales in December). Don't you just love television shopping - although what looks great on size 8 model doesn't necessarily translate to looking great on size BeaJay.

It really doesn't look good on someone so top heavy. Looks like a toffee apple.

First - I do like a peek a boo shoulder but the whole arm is way too much sausage on show so I shall put a small tack half way down the arm to hold it more together... now .... about the "fluff".

Should I take in the sides and sleeves a bit?
Take away the elastic?
Or both?
Or is it a lost cause?

I do so love the fabric and it fits right in with my planned navy work wardrobe.

Knock knock - Mrs Mole - are you there?? Any advice from you or any other of my talented sewing friends out there would be greatly appreciated.


Thanking you in advance.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Jungle January and the Sabertooth Swap.

The drought has broken.

It really took some doing to get my sewjo mojo a flowing. After so long with problems with my knee and our cold winter I lost the momentum with sewing. I did quite a bit of cutting and just a little sewing but really couldn't get my act together.

It took a great day at Tessutis with my sewing buddies (and Jungle January) to re-ignite my mojo. I took 3 items already cut out and ready to sew. At Tessutis I did the sewing of the seams on all 3, so all I had to do was the finishing - binding / hemming etc. The items made up so quickly and it really made me want to sew again.

In a beautiful navy hybrid crepe from EmmaOneSock I cut a Jalie 8 gore skirt and a pair of StyleArc Linda Pants. These are part of my Artisan's Square SWAP. These will be photographed when I finish some matching tops.

In a lovely fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics I had a cut out dress from McCalls 5890. This is fabric I first saw on the lovely and talented Thornberry and HAD. TO. HAVE! With its fun scales it fits right into the Jungle. If you like anything animal head over to Pretty Grievances and check out the cat walk before the cruise ends. Yes - it's Jungle January.

It is quite a heavy ponte so will be put in the safari suitcase and pulled out in winter.

Of course I will wear it with a jacket or cardigan like below - but I am thinking more of the Orange StyleArc Fiona I have planned. There are touches of orange in the fabric but maybe full on Orange will be too much. I will have to look when I get the Fiona sewn.

Overall I am happy with the dress.

Oh - and btw - look at what Santa brought me.

This is so much better than the little cutting mats that I used before. Longer than my dining table. No more shuffling little boards around. It was purchased here and is 1.8m x 0.9m (or 71" X 36" for those not in cms). I was able to pick it up at Yagoona so even saved on the shipping.

On the cutting table....

I have some gorgeous fabric from The Remnant Warehouse. It is a Spirograph bengaline. It is more of a wedgwood colour than the aqua in the picture and quite beefy. The feel is lovely and it is a reversible jacquard - although I am only going to use one side (Can't decide which one though). I did purchase some of the red (which is less orange than in the pic on their website) for a dress and may use both sides of that one.

Although this is a departure from my A.S. SWAP, I can't help it - the fabric is crying out to be a pair of summer capris.

Also on the table is a lacy (from the remnants warehouse) little jardi. Short sleeved for summer. You can see the fabric in the pic of the cutting board but if you want a closer look you can find it here.

The lovely Anne at Pretty Grievances also gave me my Sabertooth SWAP partner. This is where we swap animal print fabric with a partner who then makes an item with it.

It was really exciting to receive fabric from Barbara at Barbara Jane Made. (And great to find another Aussie sewist). Barbara gifted me this lovely knit (and 2 spools of matching cotton - oh yeah!) and now I am deciding on what to make of it. It is thick without being too hot like ponte and has a nice recovery.

These are my picks. I can either make a top or use it for panels in a dress. I am leaning towards the top in the lower left corner.

Wish me luck.

Now before I go I want to share a tip I read on Sewing on the Edge. This tip is sure to CHANGE MY LIFE!!!!!! At the moment I and sitting in the loungeroom having a rest after the mammoth task of ironing steam a seam on the neckline and armholes of a dress (believe me - it is a mammoth task - especially in today's heat). Using Barbara's tip I shouldn't have to do that anymore. If you are one of the few who don't follow her or if you missed the post -  check it out.

P.S. I wrote this yesterday but hadn't taken the pics. The temperature has dropped 18 degrees celsius today (that is over 64 degrees fahrenheit) and it is actually cool - hallelujah.

Happy Australia Day to my fellow Aussies

Have a good sewing day.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Blog Give Away

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas from down-under.

Thank you all for your support through the year. I have enjoyed reading your posts and your comments to my posts. I have loved the sense of community the sewing blogs bring and am really thrilled to "get to know you" all.

I had my recent blog anniversary and have drawn a winner for the $35 voucher.

I used the random calculator to pick a post from the year and it picked this one .

I then used the calculator to pick a number out of the comments and it the comment from the lovely Sarah Liz.

Sarah, please email me you preference for the shop for the voucher to

bevinvest at bigpond dot com


For those who don't celebrate Christmas - have a wonderful holiday season.

For everyone else.......

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Advice required - linings

Hi all, I need some advice for the blogisphere from those who line garments.

I do not. The reason being - I have a hot bod........... temperature wise that is.... LOL.

The 2 dresses that I have lined - the red one and the brown one - have gone to the  big sewing bin in the sky. I just couldn't wear them - they cooked me. I thought about taking out the lining but the actual fabric is too hot too.

In the midst of winter here in Sydney I would usually just add a thicker cardi and closed in shoes to my wardrobe. I did feel the cold last winter but that was in my very cold home. When I go out to work the premises are always well heated.

Now I need to use lining. It needs to be stretchy.

Any advice as to what to get and where to get it? I do have some stretch lining here but it is a little too thick for my liking. I did read somewhere that someone used swimming lining for clothing. Would that work?

Hope you are all having a superb weekend.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Blog anniversary coming up and my 3rd year sewing review.

Well - it is rolling around again - my sewing and blogging anniversary. I have now been sewing for 3 years and will have been blogging for 3 years on the 17th (although I have not sewn anything in the last 6 months!!!!)

First a review of the year and then an announcement of a bloggiversary gift.

I was much more productive before I hurt my knee.

1 - Snake skin dress - part of the tradition of Jungle January.... Bring it on!!! This is a house dress as the shape doesn't really suit me. It is worn a lot - as a matter of fact I am wearing it now. It does not travel outside of the front door though.

2 - Never worn - I don't know why. I must wear it soon

3 - Wadder - went straight into the bin

4 - Loved this top but it shredded at the seams on the first wear. Sigh.

5 - A representation of the 7 pairs of Barbs I made. I wear them all. They are the most worn items of my wardrobe. They are so comfy.

6 - Creative Cate top. Most worn top from this year - very happy with this.

7 - too scared to wear after the issue of the shredding of number 4 as it is the same pattern. Will have to grit my teeth and wear.

8 & 9 - home wear only - do sometimes wear out to shops etc but not for business wear.

10 - Occasional business wear.

11 & 12 - weekend wear. I was going to put 12 as work wear but after all of my careful pattern placement I have noticed some alien looking fallopian tubes in the photo so now relegated to weekend only.

13 - still needs adjustments to be made

14 - Will add to my work wardrobe when the weather warms up. This was started many many months ago and only finished last month.

Well - not a very productive year for me. I am happily cutting away ready to get my sewjo back. I have way too many things in the pipeline. I just have to get into the rhythm again. I still can't sit in a chair for too long. I have to put my leg up regularly. I get by at work by putting my leg on another chair. I am looking forward to sewing though. I just need to start.


Now - my actual bloggiversay is on the 17th and on that day I will draw a winner for my bloggiversary gift.

There has been a plethora of indie patterns being released (Michelle from happily caffeinated does a weekly roundup of new patterns if you are interested), not to mention the big 4, fabric stores are having sales and there is always the room for more fabric or patterns in the life of a sewist.

I really really appreciate the people who read my blog and absolutely adore those who take the time to comment. In deep thanks for your support I would like to give a AUS$35 voucher to a person who has commented on my blog in the last year. YOU choose the store the voucher is for.

There are a couple of rules:

  1. I must be able to purchase the voucher online and have it put in your name.
  2. The voucher must be for a sewing purchase. It doesn't matter what - notions, patterns, fabric, magazine subscription etc.
  3. You must post what you purchase on your blog. If you don't have a blog then email me and let me know what you purchased with the voucher.

So, those who have wanted to try an indie pattern but put off by the price, those who want to purchase fabric from OS but put off by the shipping - you can put the voucher toward this if you want. Mind you - if you are in Australia then it will only go a SHORT way towards shipping LOL - but it will help. You decide.

Tune in on the 17th Sydney time to see if you have won. I will use a random number calculator using the numbers on comments from last year to this year so the more you commented the more chance you have of winning.