Fashionary – Giveaway

Fashionary contacted me several weeks ago and asked me if I would like to review their products. I was super excited because I really do love these products,they are great quality, simple to use, thoughtfully produced and useful resources.

I said yes because I already owned a Fashionary A5 Sketchbook and I love it. My sister-in-law gave it to me for my birthday, purchased from Stitch 56.

Fashionary A5

Fashionary A5 – I love this book

I’m more than happy to sing the praises of their products and share them with you. The A5 sketchbook is a hardcover book, lovely paper, three lightly printed figures per page and they also have oodles of useful information (reference book lists; websites; catwalk calendar, illustrations and names for a vast range of jackets, lapels, hats and more; as well as fabric type descriptions and common prints).

If you can’t draw – you can with a Fashionary. Thanks to the very faint figures on every page, you can get the proportions bang on every time. Seriously, you will feel like Leonardo Da Vinci (with ears). Some bloggers do amazing watercolours, colour and add prints to their designs (just check out Handmade by Carolyn who used this concept to document her paper doll project). Me? I’m a line drawing kinda gal. I’m that person who pretty much only looks at the line drawings on pattern websites. I love design details and that’s what inspires me, seamlines, darts, pleats etc – design possibilities based on the bare bones of a garment. But if you like to colour in, paint and whatnot – knock yourself out I say!

Fashionary A5 - sketches

Fashionary A5 – sketches

Really if you don’t have one – invest. They are brilliant. I have a BIG handbag (it’s from Madrid and I love love love it) so I carry it around for doodling when I feel like it.

What is Fashionary?

From their website: “Fashionary project started in 2009 – targets to bring efficiency to professional fashion designers and fellow fashionistas. Fashionary grew from a person’s vision to a fashion sketchbook line. Fashionary is an on-going project and it will keep improving with trends and customer feedbacks.

Fashionary sent me…

Fashionary Tape

Fashionary Tape

The new Fashion Tape… it’s… “the World 1st tape marked with advanced body measurements.  30 Womens Measurements and 27 Mens Measurements are precisely marked on the white and black side of tape respectively with womens size: 38(EU), 10(UK), 6(US) and mens size: 48(EU), 38(UK, US).” I’ve never seen anything quite like this tape so for those pattern drafters and prospective pattern designers out there I think this could be right up your alley! Or you could just love collecting sewing notions (yup, guilty as charged) and want to add to your stash.

If you are not sure how you might use this… check our their website, they have some great resources including a little video…

and they also sent…

A set of mini Neon Fashionary booklets… I am going to give away all three – to three winners. I figure this way more people get a taste of the fun of Fashionary… and you’ve got more of a chance of winning!

Fashionary Neon Light Womens

Fashionary Neon Light Womens

These are little Fashionary notebooks - and apart from their disco covers which makes me feel like dancin’ – they are seriously cool. They are pint-sized, perfect for throwing into your handbag, each page is perforated so you can tear out your sketches and they also have several reference pages covering fabric types, measurements etc.

Fashionary Neon - reference pages

Fashionary Neon – reference pages

and these fabulous, fabulous postcards which shall be used to decorate the renovated Sew Busy Lizzy ‘Sewing Treehouse’ (it’s not really a treehouse but I look out into the trees…). I’m going to frame these and put them up as a series in my room – and yes I will share that with you once I’m done. It’s a huge job so it’s going to be awhile yet! It took a whole weekend to sort and fold my fabric stash!

Fashionary Postcard Book

Fashionary Postcard Book

Seriously how cute are they? And they even have shoes, accessories and men’s clothing!

Fashionary postcards - shoes

Fashionary postcards – shoes

Fashionary postcards - mens

Fashionary postcards – mens

I love inspiration – and these are perfect to surround me in the sewing room. It’s a bit like being surrounded by Pinterest(I spend too much time there online so I need a bit of reality!).

I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading the Fashionary site and it’s well worth a visit… and there are more products that tempt me… particularly the tiger print Fashionaries… (hello Anne), and custom made Fashionaries!

ummmm and did I mention shipping is free… worldwide… hmmmm…

What to do in the giveaway draw?

So if you would like to win either the Fashionary Tape, a Neon Lite - or both – please complete this online form via Survey Monkey (competition now over).

Your responses are completely confidential. I just realised that I could, and should, be using Survey Monkey to collect simple information for giveaways – so much faster, easier for you and me!

And if you just want to chat (or for some reason the form freaks you out) – comment in the WordPress fields below. Mwah.

Giveaway closes Thursday 31 August 2014. Winners will be selected via random draw.

Thank you Fashionary!

Top 5 Inspirations

Top 5 of 2013

Top 5 of 2013

My writing at the moment is a little brief. I managed to throw my spine out of alignment (merely by stretching after my morning coffee!) on New Year’s Eve.

Don’t fret I’m much better, still stiff and sore but on the road to recovery.

Top Inspirations…

I’ve changed a lot in the past year of sewing.

I’m sewing more to the beat of my own drum. I know what I like, what suits me and my lifestyle. More and more I just sew ideas that pop into my head. I am forever browsing the internet, watching people in the street, examining garments in-store, I love clothes in ‘action’.

I guess my top Inspirations would be.. (sorry just four today – I clearly can’t count this year)

Sewing blogs & twitter
Without a doubt seeing what everyone is creating and how they are doing it is a Number 1 inspiration. Keep sewing & blogging people!
I’ve recently discovered Beaute J-adore and Jolies Bobines. Fabulous sites with great makes, photography and styling – check them out.
I love twitter – love it. I get lots of ideas, inspirations and solutions from my twitter friends – thank you – love you all!

I love new pattern releases – whether it’s the Big 4 or indies. I find all new patterns thought-provoking and inspiring. These days I like to look beyond the styling and create my own version. Recent examples of this are my Late Lunch Tunic (which has been worn a lot!) and my Vogue 1351 for Minerva Fabrics. I’m currently working on my Lolita Patterns Gunmetal and it’s really sweet and very different in feel to the other Gunmetals floating around out there!

I’m very driven by my fabric choices. My husband said to me one day - “it’s a peculiar gift – you walk past a bolt of fabric, pat it and say… ‘wow that would make a perfect halterneck dress/shirt/trousers/jacket etc’… I just see a bolt of fabric – you see what it could become.”
This is probably why I struggle with sewalongs. I can’t make something unless I can find the right fabric for a pattern. I’m a little obsessive on that score.
So fabric stores and online shops I can spend hours in, dreaming about my next make…

‘Not’ shopping
I love to wander around shops and browse online. I very rarely buy these days – instead I’m forever snapping images on my iPhone and filing away ideas for another sewing day.
I’m very driven by my lifestyle. Fortunately I have a need for casual wear, corporate wear and cocktail dresses in my life so I have diverse sewing projects to tackle. I like to make things I will actually wear. It’s fun to sew things for the sheer challenge – it’s more fun to sew things that you wear frequently!

Still got my 2014 Goals to go – I’ve been thinking hard about this one!

Just one Reflection for 2013

Top 5 of 2013

Top 5 of 2013

I had five things written down. All very sensible & fluent. However this morning I read this post by Rochelle of Lucky Lucille.

It got me thinking.

Of all my reflections about life, sewing, blogging I simply have this to share…

Don’t undervalue what you are.
Don’t overvalue what you are not.

(Malcolm Forbes)

Celebrate who you are. The hits & misses, positives & negatives… we need both to find balance. Maybe it’s not that someone is better or worse… it’s simply that they are different.

Top 5 Hits of 2013

Top 5 of 2013

Top 5 of 2013

This is a tricky one… am I cheating if I have categories and post multiple makes?
I’ve hyperlinked all the images to the original posts – in case you want more pictures or details…
I’ve also created a Made-by-Me 2013 page where you can see all my makes…

I love all of these makes. The latest girl in the BHL Club has surfaced many many times this party season – with both heels and bare feet… Georgia is a go-anywhere girl… and seriously comfortable. I asked my husband if it was appropriate for an informal event… and he said “oh well I’ll just have to put up with having the hottest wife in the room again…” LOL I think that’s a good sign.

The new kid in town - Georgia from By Hand London

The new kid in town – Georgia from By Hand London

Elisalotte dress - back

Elisalotte dress – a combination of the Charlotte Skirt and the Elisazlex bodice

The Sari Edition - By Hand London Victoria Blazer

The Sari Edition – By Hand London Victoria Blazer

Charlotte The Second: By Hand London

Charlotte The Second: By Hand London

and my lovely Anna dresses… I love all these…

Anna Rose - a girly girly dress

Anna Rose By Hand London – a girly girly dress

Anna Blue by the seaside

Anna Blue by the seaside. By Hand London

Jungle Anna - there's that wild thigh slit... I finished it a little higher than Anna Roses...

Jungle Anna – there’s that wild thigh slit… I finished it a little higher than Anna Roses… cos Jungle Anna is a wild girl…

Love both of these makes and wear them a lot!

Tania Culottes and the odd giraffe

Tania Culottes and the odd giraffe

Love this skirt! Megan Neilsen's Cascade Skirt

Love this skirt! Megan Neilsen’s Cascade Skirt. Perfect perfect perfect fabric for this make.

It’s a recent love affair but I love the modern simplicity of Jen’s designs.

Grainline Maritime Urban butterfly

now I’m wondering if there is some halo graffiti around town somewhere….

Grainline Maritime Shorts in floral denim

Grainline Maritime Shorts in floral denim

Grainline Studio - Archer It was extremely windy - so this looks hard more fitted than it is!

Grainline Studio – Archer
It was extremely windy – so this looks more fitted than it is!

I re-taught myself to knit. All I can say is YouTube is a wonder! Of all my makes I adore Idlewood the most. Long, warm, casual AND it has a monster cowl.

Idlewood by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.

Idlewood – taken after 36 hours of travel. I knitted the last four rows just after I landed!

Idlewood by Cecily Glowik MacDonald COWL

Now THAT’S what I call a cowl!

Sewaholic Cambie and Whole Wheat cardigan

Sewaholic Cambie and Whole Wheat cardigan

Sewaholic Cambie & Andi Satterlund's Marion

Sewaholic Cambie & Andi Satterlund’s Marion

Chuck by Andi Satterlund - front view

Chuck by Andi Satterlund – front view

I adore this pattern mash-up. I wear the blue dress a lot on the weekends.
And Clairy – she’s my kinda gal… I’ve worn her to Frocktails and to a work function.
In both versions I feel fabulous and I get loads of compliments.
My original Maria Denmark day-to-night top is also heavily worn.
Buy this pattern!

Maria Denmark day-to-night dress - take 2

Maria Denmark day-to-night dress – take 2

Clairy Dress - pouting lips, shaking hips...

Clairy Dress – pouting lips, shaking hips…


I’ve made lots of things I really like this year! I know – fatheaded of me but it’s true… so the honourable mentions go to…

Hot Mess Birthday Dress

On the beach before Birthday dinner

Hot Mess Birthday Dress – I’ve worn this quite a lot. it’s easy to wear and the b/w scheme make it as classic – despite the craziness!

Liesl + Co Late Lunch Tunic aka my beach shirt…

Liesl + Co Late Lunch Tunic SewBusyLizzy

The Beach edition of the Late Lunch Tunic (and my Michael Jackson moment)

McCalls 6611 Fashion Star Jacket

McCalls 6611 - Fashion Star

McCalls 6611 – Fashion Star

Sewaholic Lonsdale

Sewaholic Lonsdale - the front view

Sewaholic Lonsdale – the front view

There are a few more – but that’s enough :-)

Top 5 Misses of 2013 (and some koala romance)

Top 5 of 2013

Top 5 of 2013


I’ve decided to start with my Top 5 Misses. Rationale? Well after this post… the only way is up and I like to think positive!

I really enjoy these blogger posts – it’s such a great snapshot across the sewing blogsphere of what everyone has been doing. It as started last year by Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow and so it continues in 2013!

I’ve struggled to find much in my last 12 months of making that I would regard as a ‘miss’ (despite the nasty drunk monkey’s best efforts).

I’m taking a slightly different approach… bear with me & ignore the drunk monkey shrieking … I fear the festive season and its indulgences is making him worse than usual.

I’m also not going to do five… I think three is enough…

I’m notoriously tough on myself – great at encouraging and inspiring confidence in others but specialise in giving myself a hard time. I’m so glad I started my blog, all the blog comments, twitter people and stitchers I have met IRL, have all helped me develop a more balanced view of myself. It sounds like such a simple thing but it never is.

I do like to be busy but this year has been OTT. Between travelling, work, family, blogging, helping out at the school and other things along the way, I have been really bad at taking some time out for myself – and by that I mean doing NOTHING. I desperately need a rest for a few weeks. I am T.I.R.E.D.

This goes hand-in-hand with the above. I am great with deadlines, in fact I love them. Juggling multiple demands, schedules and more is OK. However this year I have had just too many and ended up pushed and pulled between them all. There are so many people I need to get back to, things to sew and stuff to write I feel dizzy – and that’s just the blog!

A perfect example of this is agreeing the make the recently released Lolita Patterns Gunmetal. First the print shop stuffed up the print, I failed to notice, I made a top – misshapen due to bad print job. I printed it again… and this time was too tired to remember that I had to sew 3/8in seam allowances instead of the usual 5/8in seam allowances (entirely my fault) so ended up with another too-tight top (there are about eight seams in the bodice so that’s a total of 2 inches smaller than it should have been…). I’m totally gutted as it was looking so lovely and completely different to the other Gunmetals. What an idiot Lizzy…. fortunately it’s going to fit Miss 10.

It was just an unfortunate collision of deadlines, I was in the midst of my busiest time at work, sewing Gunmetal, sewing the Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat test pattern (that’s why I was so quiet for a while – it was a big job), sewing my Minerva Crafts Christmas Skirt, the By Hand London Georgia Dress and more. The Peacoat pattern was a little late coming to me, so everything collided – just swamped me and things fell apart a little. Sorry everyone! I’m getting back on my feet – just a little more sleep required.

I’m stopping at Three Misses for 2013. I could go on and on… because I’m great at giving myself a hard time, doing too much… and what I really need to do is eat dinner and have a good sleep…

IN THE MEANTIME… some koala lovin’ (or not)
ELH spotted two koalas in the tree across from our house. Koalas are quite common around our home, it’s less common to spot two up a tree together unless it’s Mum & a Bubba. Unless it’s mating season… which it is…
Excuse the poor quality photos – they were very high up in the branches and the sun was going down…

Koala slumber party...

Koala slumber party… that’s Bruce (the big male down low, showing us his best side) and Shazza (the alluring demure female curled up in the higher branches)

Hi, my name's Bruce... like to share a juicy gum tip or two?

As the sun goes down…
BRUCE: Hi, the name’s Bruce… like to share a juicy gum tip or two?

Alright, not into gum tips? Howsabout a kiss then love?

BRUCE: Alright, not into gum tips? Howsabout a kiss love?

Not on your sweet Nellie - go try your sweet talk on some other sheila...

SHAZZA: Not on your sweet Nellie – go try your luck with some other sheila…
I said NO *thump* – rack off! Go shave your back or something… you can’t even call yourself a bear. Poser! *thump*

Yeah, she doesn't know what she's missing out on...

BRUCE: Yeah, she doesn’t know what she’s missing out on… *hastily retreats down the tree*
Needless to say Bruce didn’t lucky this evening… think he’s going to try his luck elsewhere tonight.


Here’s a quick little post with a Black Friday deal for you! Black Friday – Cyber Monday Sale

11/28/2013 – 12/2/2013

  • $5 Deals – Over 100 patterns to choose from for just $5!
  • Spend $25 or more and get the new Whimsy Winter Bench Pillow Pattern by Kimberbell for free
  • 10% off on all orders over $40


SewBusyLizzy WIPs

Now I must rush too… I just have a Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat pattern test to finish… a ByHandLondon Georgia dress underway and also the long-awaited Lolita Patterns Gunmetal project to finish – had such trouble getting the fabric I want for this project… unfortunately I’m a little obsessive about getting the ‘right’ fabric for a pattern and I have a Gunmetal in my head – I just need to find it in the fabric store. *sigh*

A Very Merry Christmas Skirt Kit Update

If you liked my Christmas Skirt - but found the pattern sizes were not for you – Minerva is quite happy to change over the envelope to the other size – just let them know when ordering the kit :-) their customer service is brilliant. (mwah Vicki)

(more than just) a Late Lunch Tunic: Liesl + Co

As you know… I go to the beach… a lot… it’s what happens when one lives in a town that is littered with them. You just sort of dawdle along and splat… you find yourself on the beach again with sand between your toes and saltwater drying on your skin. It’s a tough life but I’m coping well. Here’s one of my favourite beaches… Nobbys (aka The Dog Beach)… it’s a friendly beach where everyone says hello and you can let your dog off the leash, a rather fabulous feature when you own a whippet… it’s rather rocky but that’s what I love the most about it. It’s just magic at Nobbys.

The ever-beautiful Nobbys

The ever-beautiful Nobbys, Port Macquarie

It’s springtime here. Sun protective clothing, hats & sunnies are indispensable again. I decided I needed something new to throw on over my swimmers on the dog beach mornings (I’m tired of daggy old sarongs)… what to make?

When the Liesl + Co patterns were released I was underwhelmed. They looked big, shapeless… not ‘me’ at all… especially the Late Lunch Tunic… I’ve never even owned a ‘tunic’. Seriously.

I’m the girl that bolts down a meal and skips onto the next thing on my ‘to-do’ list. Food is merely fuel to keep the SewBusy machinery operational. So the Late Lunch Tunic held no lifestyle appeal – and it looked… so boxy… then I saw Sown Brooklyn’s Tough as Silk Tunic… and I went back to the patterns and had another look… and with a couple of clicks it was sitting in my inbox. Oops!

Hello Late Morning Beach Tunic…

Liesl + Co Late Lunch Tunic SewBusyLizzy

The Beach edition of the Late Lunch Tunic (and my Michael Jackson moment). Please note I AM wearing swimwear under this. I’m a nice girl.

I’ve always had a penchant for sheer shirts, not fitted ones but soft, billowing sheer shirts that just hint at what lies beneath, modest but not dowdy – I adore them. I’ve been wearing them since high school.

This is made from cotton cheesecloth in the palest pink. It’s easy to care for, light and cool to wear and so so easy to sew… not to mention I paid about $12 for the fabric – all 3 metres of it. I also adore the crinkle of cheesecloth… let’s just say I like ironing when I’m sewing but ironing laundry is not my gig.

Now even I don’t go to the beach all the time (it just seems that way) and prance about in swimwear… (in fact I think that’s the first time you have come close to seeing me in swimwear on the blog). So how would I wear this out – if I was so inclined to sit around all afternoon and eat?

The Late Lunch Tunic when you actually want to go out and eat lunch...

The Late Lunch Tunic when you actually want to go out and eat lunch…

Liesl + Co Late Lunch Tunic - back view

The more demure way – with proper clothing… & an ‘up do’ because I’ve got Beach Hair going on…

I’ve paired this with skinny jeans, heels, earrings and a nude lace cami. The yoke has a double layer of fabric which creates a bit more ‘coverage’.

I can imagine wearing this in plaid/flannel with leggings & flats in winter – dead cute, comfortable and warm! that would make me look as short as I actually am… I’ll have to think about that…

My handsome (but v.stoopid) whippet Banjo decided this was THE day to photo bomb…

Photo bombed!

Photo bombed!

and again…

Photo bombed by the hound

Photo bombed again by the hound

and sometimes I admit I’m not always so keen to get wet at first…

It might be warm - but the water is cold until you get used to it some mornings!

It might be warm – but the water is cold in spring/summer until you get used to it some mornings!

STITCH 56 – a new blogging gig

This is my first project with Stitch 56 – I’ll be blogging some of my makes over at Stitch 56 and some tips on how I finished my makes. Stitch 56 has a really big range of sewing accessories, patterns, digital patterns, patterns for clothes, homewares, hats, bags and more – go and have a look!

I want my blog to continue SewBusyLizzy style – it’s my little creative playground and I want to keep it that way. Strangely, in this virtual corner of the world I discovered a new way of looking at life and feel part of a worldwide bunch of beautiful generous people who have become my sewing circle and life. My blog is a bit like a butterfly, I don’t want to touch its wings…

At Stitch 56 I will be exercising some of my more serious craftin’ muscle (not too serious – I’m not I’m capable of that) and write some instructions, tips and reviews. I’m a former craft editor – I have a formidable arsenal of skills – from interviewing, writing, editing, technical writing, freelancing, photo shoots (not in front of the camera – I’ve always been camera shy – go figure) and broad knowledge of ‘craft’… I’ve turned my hand to many crafts – including wood carving and turning, folk art, bear making and silver jewellery, crochet, knitting, patchwork, embroidery… yes, I am bona fide creative machine, you can read more about that here.

So subscribe to the Stitch 56 blog for more product reviews, sewing pattern reviews and more SewBossyLizzy sewing tips… I’ve written more about the Late Lunch Tunic over there today… and I’m writing up another post for Stich 56 which is just some of the techniques I used to make the tunic this week as well… it’s nice to have somewhere to put all that extra information that might be of use to others!

I’ll be sewing a wider range of things at Stitch 56 – which is interesting to me. Helene has been good for broadening my horizons… I’m interested in things like sewing for tweens, hats and what not. So things like that will be popping up over at Stitch 56 too and I’ll let you know when (I would have made an excellent lollypop lady).

So if you are curious – yes, I purchased this pattern and bought my own fabric. And yes I do really love it.

I thought long and hard blogging for Stitch 56 and decided that I didn’t want to accept cash for my posts. I blog what I like, I sew what I love and I say what I think – that’s going to happen here and over at Stitch 56 - because that’s the SewBusyLizzy way :-) Helene at Stitch 56 has provided me with patterns that interest me and a discount – and I have purchased quite a lot of patterns LOL – hello Thread Theory! I see it as a mutual sponsorship.

I’m still going to be sewing plenty of Big 4 patterns, independent & free patterns at SewBusyLizzy just for you guys because *shuffles feet* I have a lot… and I like sewing my own crazy stuff and sharing it with you – it’s the highlight of my sewing projects!


  • Next week I’m going to blog my first Minerva make (25 November) The Christmas Skirt of Happy Happy Joy Joy. And it is – I had so much fun making, wearing and photographing that skirt – buckle yourself in for sewing fun!
  • I’m sewing up the new Lolita Patterns Gunmetal top - I had rather an epic journey in getting it printed (I’ve learnt my lesson, now I’m just avoiding my local Officeworks printing department whenever possible, hello Xerox) so I’m behind the blog release schedule. Patience people! And there will be a giveaway.
  • I was also selected as a tester for the Thread Theory Goldstream Peacoat so ELH is finally going to score a treasure from the sewing room.
  • The sewing room is almost re-organised. Oh it’s sooooo much better! Pictures when I’m done.
  • I’m waiting for By Hand London Georgia Dress pattern to arrive and Papercut Patterns Bellatrix Blazer… I’m so impatient. Australia Post is horrifically slooooooow….
  • Finally… I’ve nearly finished My Hot Mess Birthday Dress… which is TOMORROW!

Sorry can’t stay and talk… must sew more…

Pattern: Late Lunch Tunic by Liesl + Co from Stitch 56 - pssst… it’s a download so you can start right away! Great pattern, great instructions and great finish.
Fabric: pale pink cotton cheesecloth from Spotlight.

Stitch 56

Stitch 56


I’m a Minerva Blogger!

Minerva Bloggers Network

I’m in the gang along the likes of Winnie of Scruffy Badger, Clare of Sew Dixie Lou, Miss Dibs, Emmie of My Oh Sew Vintage Life, Handmade Jane, Seamstress Erin, Kathryn of Yes I like That!, Rachel of House of Pinheiro, Nicole Needles, Shivani of Pins & Needles, Anna of ::Paunnet::… and Maria of How Good is That also from Australia! Plus there is a number of other bloggers in the mix… so I will be loading up the good ole blog reader with more blogs to follow… because it’s not bursting at the seams already!

Now… in this gang there is no hanging out behind the school toilets, smoking cigerettes and kissing boys. There is no time for such frivolity (maybe just at morning tea…*giggles*) , this gang is spread across the globe… slaving over our machines, and keyboards, smelling of sewing machine oil and covered in stray threads… yes ma’am – we are all about glamour!!

Each month I search through the Minerva site (which requires several bottles of Gatorade as their site is GINORMOUS…. they are one the UK’s largest stockists of fabric, yarn, and all a myriad of craft supplies. I seriously thought I was going to have to send up an emergency flare so someone could find me and drag me out of the fabric section late one night!!). I choose some supplies, fabric, patterns and then sew to inspire you!

If you get such a blogger crush on the project, the good news is Minerva can help you there too! Yes, you too can be just like me and buy a kit of my project. I know it’s going to be such fun, I’m picturing a happy little hoard of SewBusyLizzys trotting about the globe in fancy frocks and whatnot (fret not, I don’t demand that you sew at the same pace that I do – and sorry, I’m fairly certain I can’t kit up my hometown sun, surf and sand, you will have to close your eyes and imagine… or buy a tardis…).

My first project appears on 25 November (five days after my birthday.. just sayin’). I’m excited as it’s going to be The Skirt of Happy Happy Joy Joy. And if you like it – you can grab the kit from Minerva (patience, 25 November – there is stacks of time before Christmas) and on Christmas Day we can all clutch our bottles of bubbly in our SewBusyLizzy Skirts of Happy Happy Joy Joy and celebrate together in a weird virtual way!

I like happy – it’s my favourite state of mind. I do an excellent impersonation of a fire-breathing dragon but I do try to keep her in the wardrobe along with my drunk monkey. So let’s sew and be happy.

Hop over to Minerva and check out all the gorgeous talented virtual gang (if I don’t say so myself) – and maybe you will spot on of their kits that you simply must have… but don’t forget… The Skirt of Happy Happy Joy Joy is coming your way in November :-)

Mwah… ’tis all for tonight xoxo

Dandelion Top in Watercolour

Today we are on a Disparate Disciplines Dandelion blog hop!

Dandelion Dress blog hop button 300px

Dandelion seeds have been strewn all over the globe…
3 September: Wanett of Sown Brooklyn
4 September: Winnie of Scruffy Badger Time
6 September: Lizzie of Sew Busy Lizzie (oops that’s me!)
9 September: Joyatee of Joy and Smiles
11 September: Brooke of Custom Style
Here is my contribution to the Global Dandelion blog hop…
Dandelion in Watercolour…
The Dandelion Yoked Top

Mari of Disparate Disciplines’ new pattern – the Dandelion

Mari asked me to be a pattern tester and I was delighted. The timeframe changed slightly and the pattern arrived smack bang in the middle of several weekend trips I have had lately. (Tamworth, Canberra, Melbourne – all within a month!).

I decided to pattern test without making a muslin or alterations. I am one of those people that everyone likes to loathe. I was quite comfortable to do this. I rarely alter anything, RTW or patterns (with the except of Colette Patterns). I think there are two reasons for this.

One, I never even read the back of the Big 4 pattern envelopes. (Waste of time – even my monkey would tell you this.) I just decide how much ease I would like for a style, read the measurements on the printed pattern and go from there. Works a treat. And I read every blog/review I can find before I embark on any pattern to figure out the sizing of the patterns (being a pattern tester I didn’t have that option this time LOL).

The other reason is that I am one of those mythical creatures with measurements very close to the ‘standard’ (I’m certainly not mythical – although some days I am more than a little dragon-like… and I only ride my unicorn to work every blue moon…). So if a pattern has been drafted to standard measurements then I am a good case study.

I was really happy to see the diversity in this pattern – three necklines, sleeves, sleeveless, a yoke AND as a top or a dress. After my Anna binge, I was really keen to add some woven tops to my summer casual wardrobe. Woven tops in voiles & lawn are much nicer to wear on humid days than a t-shirt.

 Mari of Disparate Disciplines 1401 Dandelion Sketch

Mari of Disparate Disciplines 1401 Dandelion Sketch

One of the first things I noticed about this pattern was that the PDF comes with a printing guide so you only print the pages you need for the version & size you want to make – oh rapture and bliss. The pattern also features a recipe for a dandelion pesto as well as a printable envelope to make storing your pattern pieces easy & convenient. So you save paper (and sanity), eat while sewing (it’s no longer cool to starve for your art) AND store your pattern. All these style, printing, food AND storage options for just $12. Great value.

Some more pictures… I gave up my lunchbreak for this so indulge me… hang on I actually had a lunch break – that was novel…

Disparate Disciplines Dandelion Yoked Top - front view

Disparate Disciplines Dandelion Yoked Top – front view – coulda done with an iron…

Disparate Disciplines' Dandelion Top

Disparate Disciplines’ Dandelion Top – back view. I’m sorry, let’s stop & punch the air – that zip is pretty much INVISIBLE. Yeeeesss.

I really wanted to put a lace front yoke on this top – but I haven’t sew something like that and being incredibly time poor, I decided to be sensible *gasp* and make it up in one fabric – my favourite stashed voile. (this sensible decision shocked the drunk monkey into stoney silence, I think he’s still sulking). This pattern is clearly a perfect pairing with lace as demonstrated by Winnnie of Scruffy Badger Time & Velosewer of How Good is That?

This top has these tricky side panels which create the a marvellous feminine shape. They are slightly tricky to put in – but if you have sewn a similar dart/seam (if you have made the Victoria blazer you will now exactly what I mean) it is very simple. If not, Mari’s instructions are clear. You just have to think before you stitch – radical idea but trust me it works… I’m coming to really love patterns that have slightly different seamlines, in many cases they move better, it’s one of the reasons that I love my Day-to-night/Vogue hack dresses – the half back and side seams make the dress sit better when I walk

Disparate Disciplines' Dandelion Top - side view

Disparate Disciplines’ Dandelion Top – side view. Oops peekaboo bra. ELH needs some stylin’ training… if you squint you can see those side panel seams.

The instructions are very clear and well illustrated. I sewed this together in less than an hour and then finished off the armholes, neckline and hemline with bias binding the following day. I do need to put a button and thread loop at the top of the zip. I’m not too bothered, I rarely wear my hair up so it’s covered anyway.

Next time around I would shortened the bodice near the yoke seam, it’s a little took long in bodice just here for me – but I think because this fabric is so delightfully patterned it is hard to see. Totally wearable as is. Although looking at the pictures – it looks fine without alterations…

Now I have seen Wanett’s I think I need one for work…

LIKE IT? Want it?

Your very own little Dandelion top or dress is but a few clicks away… so click click click… download it and start sewing now!

I’m just putting this picture in because I find it hilarious that a muscle popped outta my scrawny arm unbidden. Take note people, this is a rare sight.

Dandelion top

Whoops – a muscle??? And yes barefoot in the water AGAIN in winter. I know, you all want to come and live with me, even with the drunk monkey, dragon moods & a unicorn in the garage.

The Photographs…

I was waiting on Town Green for ELH to appear to take some snaps in my lunchbreak. I was perched up next to Sir Edmund Barton, the first Prime Minister of Australia no less. (Hang on Lizzy, wasn’t Federation like over 100 years ago? Totally – however he was our local member at the time – hence the statue on our Town Green). I was tucked up against his shoulder, eyes closed, having a daydream, blissing out in the warm sunshine. Some tourists wandered off the nearby wharf and asked if they could take my picture because I looked so picturesque!

Dandelion top rocks – even tourists want pictures of it!


My local paper wrote about my blog… a whole page… with a picture!

Port Macquarie News

I was really nervous about this – still am – yes, I rabbit on with great enthusiasm here to the worldwide web but having the neighbours know… that was quite challenging. I love the freedom that you give me – to be a little odd and have a giggle. Not everyone IRL is so generous. I’m enormously grateful to everyone of you that has encouraged me since I started blogging. It’s changed my life in some many positive & happy ways – but more importantly given me the confidence to be more ‘me’. Thank you.

If you want to jump over and read the story… hop, hop, hop over here