Monday, 13 January 2014

Sewing day and PPP

Thank you for all of your kind words on my Franki Dress and Island Ali Top.

Franki will remain a dress but is relegated to weekends as it is too short for me to feel comfortable with clients.

Well the Tess Girls (Velosewer, Dilliander, Sharon, Kristy, Wendy, Margaret and I) got together again for another day of sewing and talking at Sew Inn at Tessuti's in Surry Hills.

How wonderful to sew surrounded by lovely women and gorgeous fabric.

The incredible Maria (Velosewer) spent some time drafting a pattern and chatting to the wonderful Colette, one of the owners of Tessuti, who never fails to make us feel so welcome as if we were part of the Tessuti family. It really is a joy going there.

Maria then helped me with the fitting of the Busting Butterick jacket that I have been spasmodically working on. Maria is working on fit a lot. We moved darts and took it in somewhat and the fit is much better. Thanks Maria. (side on is not my best profile!!).

If you look carefully between Maria and I you will see a bolt of fabric that both Kristy and I were eyeing off and yes - we both went home with some. (only one day after I pledged to TRY not to purchase fabric - but it was staring at me all day!!!)

I wore my new outfit and found a couple of things...

Island Ali top - way too high neckline and kept choking me. Sharon said that I may need a forward shoulder adjustment as well.

The lovely Lara from Thornberry alerted me to the fact that I have left out some side panels which would give me an extra 8 inches in width DOH DER DOH... now wonder it was tight, pulling and the flanges or sleeves don't look right. I will be spending quality time with my unpicker today......

Barb pants - well - they do need elastic after all. But still very happy with them.

To other news...

There is less than a week for the Plus Sized Pattern Pyramid draw on my blog. Can you help to spread the word? People who enter must be prepared to pay for postage to send it on.

So far the votes are saying that it is wanted, needed and to keep it going. This is very pleasing . Let's help spread the word,

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Are we ready for the Jungle: AKA I have been sewing

We exercised vigorously to make sure we were fit for the trek into the Jungle.

We have made sure everything is packed for the trip.

We looked closely and checked that all paperwork, visas and passports are in order.

And now it is off to Anne from Pretty Grievances' Jungle trek.

Of course we had to dress to blend in..

This is the StyleArc Frankie dress.

Although looking at the photo it is way too short for me so I will be cutting it down to a top.

When I made the Creative Cate top the first time I mentioned that I would like to make it into a dress. Rather than mess with the pattern I purchased the Franki dress which is similar in shape but a whole dress. I think I will try the Creative Cate as a dress as I think I would prefer it to the Franki.

The cowl keeps wanting to turn to the outside but a little tip from the Gorgeous Ann from Gorgeous fabrics has fixed that. Thanks Ann.

The armholes were too big and the band for them too small. I ended up cutting bigger bands which helped fill in the armhole.

I also wasn't sure about the length and it ended up being a bit too short so I have hemmed it with a narrow hem.

I have already added sleeves to the Cate and I think the cowl is a little different too.

I do like it - but I don't love it. It will do it's time in wardrobe probation until I decide if it is a bad Franki or a good Franki.

Here it is with a cardi (RTW) which is how I will wear it - even as a top.

Next two items are the StyleArc Barb pants (sewn in StyleArc's Bengaline) and the Island Ali Top from StyleArc.

Alright alright - the top isn't exactly animal print but surely a trekker gets extra cruise bar credits for wearing the actual jungle itself!!!

The Barb pants are my December item for Make a Garment a Month and the top is my January item.

Simple review (I will do a detailed review on PR)

Barb - Love them. They are more slim lined than Linda and perfect for the Bengaline that I have been amassing. I also made the waist band double the width and slightly smaller than the body of the pant and therefore - no elastic needed.

Island Ali - hmmm - love the style but maybe a little tight (all that Christmas pud and cake - what - who said and wine????). This was a little more of a complicated sew than I am used to. Lots of concentration. Thanks to JillyBe for the guidance on her blog.

The neckline is too high and will have to come down a couple of inches (even though I had already taken some off)

I haven't added the elastic - a bit too tight for that.

One thing that confused me greatly was the side panels.. They were not symmetrical and no indication of whether the higher bit went at the front or back - so I just guessed. It looks like this.

I thought what better fabric to create an Island Ali in than this gorgeous fabric from Knitwit.

New things

- Using my rolled hem foot for knits (thanks JillyBe)
- Using FOE (Fold over elastic) - liking this but not liking the fact that it is not readily available - I still have envy of the wall of FOE that Alison came across in NZ. I did buy some on ebay but having the right colour available at the right time isn't easy.


There have been a lot of reflections and top 5s around the blogisphere which I have enjoyed immensely. When you read someone's blog on a regular basis you loose track of all the wonderful items they have made and a snap shot of the year is like a smorgasbord.

I am not going to do a top five - simply because my sewing isn't at the stage where I can pick 5 I am totally happy with, nor will I do a five misses. Just some reflections on the year and on a few different items.

One of the things that I am heartily sick of is pilling.

Killed by the pill - these have gone into weekend wear as my gentle front loading washing machine has pilled the fabric already. Both the dress and the top didn't hold up. All my other garments are doing fine but these were 2 of my favourites and were quickly killed by the pill.

Most worn outfit for 2013.

Last year was the year of the dress and I enjoyed making and wearing them - and will make more - however this year (the beginning anyway) will be mainly separates to try to build up my wardrobe with the exception of today's Franki dress and the dress for my SWAP.

I also enjoyed initiating the Plus Sized Pattern Pyramid and Scary September.

Ahead in 2014

I have joined Sarah in the RTW fast. I have only purchased 2 items since I started sewing 2 years ago (with exception of undergarments ;-) and want to keep that up. This is one of the reasons that my wardrobe needs to be built up (my sewing has been slow and sporadic in successes LOL). I may have to break this fast to purchase an interview outfit as I will be hitting the sidewalk looking for a job soon and my sewing isn't up to job interviews just yet.

I shall also continue on with SarahLiz's Make a Garment A Month Challenge.

One of the things I am committing to in 2014 is purchasing quality fabric. Now you will still see some cheap and nasty fabric appearing in my sewing and that is because I have already purchased it. I want quality now.

I actually need to do a fabric purchase fast too but I have tried them in the past and failed dismally.

In just the short span of days of this year I have purchased the following:

*sigh* that doesn't even count what I purchased at the end of 2013.

I make this pledge - I will TRY not to purchase any more fabric..... I will TRY to only use fabric from the stash.... I didn't really stretch my skills last year. I will TRY to do better this year and try to incorporate new skills.

Monday, 6 January 2014

360 degree PPP and other stuff

A year ago (almost exactly) I started the Plus Sized Pattern Pyramid (4th January 2013) and on Saturday 4th January 2014 I picked up my winnings from Alison who had received it from Fiona in the UK, who had received it from Susan who received it from Megan who received it from Dixie who received it from KC who received it from me.

Wow - it was so interesting to follow its progress back to me here at on the road central. It has been split into two a couple of times and other pyramids given away with it and this is only one of the 2 packages of 6 patterns I sent out originally. I feel so blessed to have seen how these packages have passed through the hands of so many and that it has been embraced and added to so enthusiastically. I am also interested to note that there is only one pattern that I put in still there.

So here is what I received from Alison. An amazing 19 patterns!

Here is what I am taking out? I am absolutely delighted to welcome them to Chez Beajay and my stash.

Now - here is a big question I have for all of you curvy girls out there.

Has the PPP run its course? I noticed in a couple of the draws there weren't many entries. In other draws there were.

I think there are probably another 3 PPP going around. I have lost track of them. If you are holding on to one or just had a draw, what do you see as the response? Is there still a lot of interest?

The reason I ask is that we could do one of 3 things (or I am open to more suggestions)

1. Wind this big one down by saying - take 2 - 3 patterns - but do not replace them and then pass the rest on to your winner and they do the same until there are no patterns left?

2. If the response shows that the PPP is still strong and there is a lot of want out there I can replace my 3 withdrawals with 4 to make 20 patterns and split this into 2 packages for 2 winners.

3. Have the draw as normal and send on the 19 patterns on to one winner.

Vote on what to do with the PPP free polls 

I am really interested in your thoughts. Are you interested in the PPP? Some of the patterns in here start at 14 which I don't consider plus size - they do go up to 20 or 22 however some of the non plus sized readers may want in.

The below picture shows (at the top) Today's fit which has all sizes and Project Runway which starts at size 12. The rest of this grouping all start at size 14. (Sorry - photo malfunction - chopped the top off).

The rules of play - as copied from my original post: (You know I actually kept the date of the draw the same as the original post!!)

  • Anyone, anywhere can enter the giveaway by posting a comment below by midnight Sydney Australia Time Saturday 18th January BUT you must have an active blog. (Reasons to become obvious.)
  • I will randomly select winner/s.
  • Each winner will pick one pattern to keep for themselves, then host their own giveaway. They will randomly select a winner, post the remaining patterns to that Person C. Person C will pick a pattern for themselves, host their own giveaway and post the remaining patterns to the winner, Person D. Person D will…
  • All patterns are in the plus size category - ie - if the pattern comes in 2 sizing groups, then it will be the larger category. Patterns to go up to at least go up to a size 20 (most go higher). Patterns listed as "all sizes" will include plus sizes.
  • If you wish to take more than one pattern you can replenish the stock with a pattern you no longer want - but please make sure it is in plus size range
  • You must be prepared to pay for postage to move the pyramid on to the next recipient.
You get the idea!

  • We are taking it on trust that all pattern pieces are there
  • Your selection of patterns will be picked at random - please don’t contact me asking for specific patterns.
  • Please engage in a timely fashion, launching your own giveaways soon after receiving a parcel
  • You must be be happy to post patterns worldwide.
I look forward to your response.

What's on my cutting table?

StyleArc Frankie Dress in Snake
StyleArc Island Ali Top
StyleArc Gail top

All cut up and ready to sew.