Friday, June 28, 2013



It came today @_@


I literally jumped up and down next to my mailbox and said everything I just typed above.

And I have two versions planned:

1: Using a cotton fabric from Aboriginal Fabrics in Alice Springs printed with a design called Bambilah by Nambooka. The fabric is soft and silky and kind of poplin-ish. Bambilah are also known as sugar gliders, which are the cutest things out and unfortunately illegal to have as pets in Australia.

2: A beautiful cotton sateen from, printed with Vincent Van Gogh's Starry, Starry Night. This I am making in honour of a dear friend who passed away last year. The song his parents chose for his funeral was Don McLean's Starry, Starry Night, and while Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah will forever be the song I associate with my Adriaan, it makes this fabric is a poignant choice.

But I guess I should finish Practice Dress 1 first!

I'll probably disappear for the next three weeks. I'm going on holiday (and making my giant Dad a jacket that actually fits him).

See you in July

Monday, June 24, 2013

FBA AKA Full Bust Adjustment

I am what our beloved Gertie calls "bodacious of bust", and since my Nanna lost her marbles well before I developed this particular attribute I've never really learnt how to do a bust adjustment. I used to just throw together a larger size, pin it in a bit in places and be slightly annoyed that the shoulder seams stuck out so far past my shoulders or so much armpit flesh and side boob gaped. Then I'd go travelling and not give a rats' aluminium nut about it.

Which is what I did with Project 1: The Practice Dress, Take 1. Chop-chop, stitch-stitch. So when I'd pinned  in and placed it on Celia, I went "There's got to be a better way." All these blogs I've been following have convinced me that I really must learn to do these things properly.


Enter Gertie's guide to bust adjustment, which lead me to a bunch of how-to's on standard bust adjustments. The tiny little wrinkle being that I completely stuffed up my pattern selection and picked one with princess seams <sigh>. So google "full bust adjustment princess seams" I did. By Hand London's guide for the Elisalex seemed the easiest to pull off. As luck would have it, I'm waiting for an Elisalex pattern to drop into my mailbox. Please by Friday! Please by Friday! Please by Friday!

After several false starts (one looked a bit like Pacman) I found myself with a workable pattern that I whizzed together, taking care to do a little easing-in stitch on the extra bustiness, and slung on. It fit beautifully on me, except for when I attached it to the skirt for Project 1: The Practice Dress, Take 2. Triumph turned to self flagellation as I discovered that I had a inches of extra fabric at the waist. <FACEPALM!> Madame Brilliance had skipped Step 8. Ee-gads!


So after a little line drawing, I yield at this particular midnight.  I had hoped to blog the entire finished Practice Dress today. But I shall push on tomorrow instead. For it is a brand new day! And I am on holiday, after all ;-)

Sweet dreams all xo

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Burgeoning Blog

Dearest Readers Who Aren't There Yet,

I am very nearly ready to blog my first project. There have been a few bits and pieces to sort out, because my now-sewing corner has undergone a little transformation from stash of everything to somewhat sorted:

The journey to this stage has felt like an eternity, but not to worry. Somehow the hell which is renovating has only just managed to dampen my fabric and pattern habit (I submit the top shelf full of patterns in the right hand photo as exhibit A). And as soon as I've whipped up some calico curtains to hide my shame (that would be the aforementioned Exhibit A), there's going to be some regular stash busting.

Which brings me to the pleasure of introducing a couple of intended projects:

Project 1: The Practice Dress

As ever, there is Back Stash for this one, but I've been searching for a basic shift pattern in two parts (bodice & skirt) that would allow a little lot of play. And thanks be to Spotlight's end of financial sale, I found a $3 gem: New Look 3824. It's a bodice with darted back & front, different sleeves and two styles of skirt. It's actually the skirt that I intend to play with the most, but a good fit is required on the bodice and this is a style of pattern that is incredibly easy to adjust for my bust.


So I'm going to do a practice version with a beautiful Japanese print cotton that I fell in love with. It's a great fabric to work with when you haven't sewed for a while, and has a consistency similar to calico.

The end goal is to create a Ted Baker-inspired lace number (that's his Aliana dress in what they call Natural down below) from this gorgeous moss green lace that I picked up in Madrid about a decade ago. It's one of those fabrics that I just haven't been able to find the right pattern for.


Project 2: The Perfectly Pleated Manequim Blouse


I've been following a bundle of sewing blogs this year, and sucking up information like a sponge. It's been great fun. Along the way I got wind of Manequim magazine from the illustrious Melissa over at The Curious Kiwi, and managed to get hold of the November 2012 edition from eBay. Oh the excitement!!!

I'm sure that Blusa 460 isn't the easiest of choices, given that I haven't done a button hole for some time...and that the instructions are all in Portugese. But it's the perfect style to test out my brand new Clotilde Perfect Pleater, as the peplum is fully pleated. I've dragged out a red and white striped shirting cotton from my stash that I'm not overly attached to with this end in mind. If I stuff it up "Meh! Doesn't matter." And if I don't, I hopefully won't mind wearing it anyway.

I promise to try to be a good little blogger and show pictures of each project underway. And I'll see if I can work out making these pictures a little smaller so they don't take an eternity to download.

 Much love,
Liz & Penny (the long suffering companion hound).

Monday, June 10, 2013

Getting Organised.

Getting organised is a wonderful concept, and one that I've long struggled with. Apparently being in the midsts of renovating doesn't help, nor does living in a one-bedroom unit.

But I've been going through my sewing paraphernalia and coming to the startling realisation of just how many patterns I have amassed over the years. I really need to make every single one of them! And I need to finish a couple of projects that are currently...stalled, shall we say.

But sew we shall! In the nearish future.