I’m very frustrated. I have the house to myself this week and yet I am not able to make anything it seems. So here I sit, blogging to you (or myself quite possibly…).

Megan Neilsen's Darling Ranges

Megan Neilsen’s Darling Ranges with a Lisette cotton voile. I don’t think I’m this pattern’s Darling… alas…

The Darling Ranges dress continues to defy me. I guess I should have expected no less, I’m a full two inches under the XS size – I tried a SBA and moving the bust dart upwards… to no avail… so I’ve put it aside yet again. That fabric was more expensive than I usually buy so I’m not risking it. I think it this fabric is destined to become another dress.

Since I wasnt a ‘Darling’, for some completely bizarre reason that not even I can fathom, I thought it was time for me to discover my inner Wiggle (which I fear may be a mere Shimmy) and decided to make Gertie’s Butterick dress. If Darling Ranges has me beat I’m not quite sure why I thought tackling a dress with boning and lining was a good idea… or in red polka dot taffeta… this is probably going to be my biggest folly yet.

Gertie's Butterick 5814 - pattern and fabric

Gertie’s Butterick 5814 – pattern and fabric

I was stumped on size but Gertie was very helpful via Twitter about sizing. Allow 1-2 inches for ease in the bust, 1 in the waist and 2 in the hips (I must be the only person in the sewing blogosphere not taking part in the coat sewalong, so she is probably humoring the mad Aussie).

MariaDenmark Yasmin Yoke Skirt pattern

MariaDenmark Yasmin Yoke Skirt pattern

The week hasn’t been a complete loss as I have made a very cute little a-line skirt. MariaDenmark sent me her brand new Yasmin Yoke Skirt pattern to try the weekend before last – thank you so much Maria it really made my week. I’ve really been struggling with crippling exhaustion on the weekends – only to recover for another five work days, then collapse in an absolute heap again. I’m more than tired, I can’t function unless I sleep for several hours in the middle of the day on weekends. I’m reading blogs but struggling to comment as I’m too tired to think. What’s with that?? Anyway Maria’s pattern arrived on Sunday night and I put it together during the week and then sewed it up on Sunday afternoon/night after the family left for Tasmania.MariaDenmark Yasmin Yoke Skirt

I’m loving making separates at the moment I must say. I’ve made it in a wine-coloured  ‘butter suede’, which is super synthetic – an unusual choice for me but it feels great.

I’ve got plenty to say about the pattern – however you will have to wait as I have no-one to take photos. I did try but they are tragic beyond measure – I’m just sharing a thumbnail of a self-portrait in the mirror – I’d like to post a nicepicture when I get back from Tasmania (where the camera is on holiday) as Maria deserves it and I will be making some more! I hopefully don’t get frostbite modelling it… it has been snowing at the holiday house!


I’ll be a long way from my barefoot beaches this weekend!

So I will post as soon as I can (about the skirt… not the frostbite!) – watch this space. In the meantime check out Meg The Grand’s epic cartoon version and a work version.

And if you have ever been put off downloadable patterns – don’t be. The actual pattern for this skirt is just 12 pages! Yes 12 pages. Read that again TWELVE PAGES. I was amazed and it is well drafted. The pockets aren’t quite as large as I’m used to, but then the Kelly and Vogue 1247 skirts have freaky large pockets so you shouldn’t compare those with this. I also suspect huge pockets would ruin the line of this neat little skirt. Maria’s Yasmin Yoke Skirt pattern is available on Craftsy, Pattern Review or of course ShopOnion (which includes VAT). Maria is finishing up her teaching job to concentrate on her pattern business – yay for Maria!

I had a huge giggle when I read the description for this skirt… a cute A-line shaped yoke skirt in two lengths, with curved front pockets. This skirt is perfect for everyday wear. The skirt is designed to sit at the belly button and the yoke keeps any tummy fluff in.” It comes in two lengths, above and below the knee.It goes without saying (after my Vogue 1247 skirt post) that I made it in the hussy length (above the knee). And my tummy fluff is quite happy 🙂 thank you for asking.

AUSTRALIAN WILDLIFE TALES (not tails – they don’t have them)

The koalas have certainly generated a bit of interest – in fact there have been some google search terms that have made it clear people are trying to figure out where is this koala/beach paradise where SewBusyLizzy hangs out?

So I decided to share another story of Australian wildlife intelligence with you…

I woke up one night to the sound of a very large rat just outside my bedroom door. I woke up the Ever-Lovin’ Husband and made him get up to check it out. He is no more fond of rats than me but he ‘manned’ up for the event. After a little bit of poking around the kids’ school bags, he gave up and turned on the hall light…

We found a very large koala madly trying to break in the front door – we have black-glass reflective doors – so there is every chance he thought he had found the love of his life… no photos of the koala making passionate love to the front door unfortunately due to its reflective nature.

We eventually open the front door and he ambled up the path and then decided to take the closest tree… which was our downpipe.

Koala up a drainpipe

Koala – going up a downpipe!

After an ear-shatteringly noisy ascent, he was most perplexed to only find guttering instead of branches and leaves. So he commenced an ear-shatteringly noisy descent and then we shooed him up the driveway and into the reserve near our house.

Yes they are funny little creatures.

Boomdeeadda nominated me for a Lovely Blogger Award – which was a lovely surprise. It was a lovely surprise on Sunday night after feeling so deperately tired for the previous two days. Thanks Boomdeeadda (and your blog header is gorgeous!) – I will need to write a separate post about that. So… watch this space.

Anyway I’m off to trace off another bit of my Wiggle/Shimmy dress…

Thanks for listening!


  1. shame about the darling ranges dress but I hope you find a different pattern for that gorgeous fabric!
    Very excited to see the wriggle dress progress! I am sure it will look amazing even if you are shimmering. 😛
    That skirt pattern looks great! I really like MariaDenmark´s designs! Thanks for introducing her to me. 😛
    The Koala´s crack me up! I never knew this side to them! Must be annoying to lose so much sleep because of them. maybe that is why you are tired? I hope you feel better and refreshed soon!

    • Koalas are funny. They were very quiet last year, we had a lot of rain so maybe we just didn’t hear them!
      I might yet conquer Darling Ranges – we shall see… I have several other dress patterns the fabric would suit in many case!
      Off the sleep so I can do some more wiggle work tomorrow…

  2. If you have the house to yourself and you’re tired, don’t try to sew. Get some sleep. You’ll never have a better opportunity! (Always assuming the koalas don’t wake you, of course. We were once woken by a pair of kangaroos having a boxing match outside our bedroom window but I suspect that may have been less noisy than the koalas.) 🙂

    I do like that spotty fabric and am certain it will sew up beautifully into a wiggle (or shimmy).

  3. Wow, Butterick 5814 looks positively intimidating. You have a perfect figure for that design, good pick. Tasmania, sounds so exotic I would have never guessed it snowed there. Mr Koala seems to be a night owl. Or course we only see them in zoo habitats here and they always seem so docile, I’m beginning to wonder if those zoo people aren’t messing with some kind of sleeping aids. I do like the illustrations on the Darling Ranges, cute hair and shoes. Have a nice get away! (PS, don’t sweat these awards, they are a bit of work and I myself have just passed on a thank you for most of them..It’s just to know that your peeps are enjoying your lovely posts).

    • They do generally just sit about in trees have a snooze. It’s just when they get down and move trees that they get themselves into trouble, one fell in someone’s swimming pool in our street once! I’m glad I’ve never had to rescue one, they have seriously scary looking claws.

  4. Darling is one of those patterns that is quite tricky to crack if you fall out of the chart size. Five muslins later and I still didn’t get it perfect.

    The Wiggle dress will be stunning, I can only imagine.

    • I’m beginning to think I might do better to use a shirt top that I know fits and alter the neckline to match the Darling finish. Then it seems more sensible to just use another pattern.
      I’m hoping the Wiggle works and it’s not too technical for me – I’m going to take it sloooooow…..

  5. Another burgundy Yasmin. Will have to copy that!

    Anyway. Are you getting your vitamins, and especially your iron (I know that’s not a vitamin, but can’t be bothered to look up the word right now:-)?
    I felt like you did on the verge of depression, even being tired. Had my iron count done and was started on heavy dose iron tablets – and felt better with in a week! Now I just take my supplements according to my cycle. Anyway. Get it checked!

    I love hearing about the koalas. I didn’t know they were wildlife at all.

    The Butteric dress is going to be fantastic. I love the print, too!

    • I’ve got to get a blood test, a few years ago I ended up with next to no iron and no B12. They have no idea why as its usually a vegan or old person condition. They think its ‘pernicious anemia’. I got treated with a series of injections and recovered quite quickly. I’ve started taking vitamins again but they think my body doesn’t absorb b12 properly so I end up needing injections to top it up. Last time I was falling asleep during the week at 6, quite a feat as the kids were 1 & 3!
      And I probably just need a long holiday – that’s next year. A whole month off!!!

  6. I’m definitely going to have to look into that skirt pattern–might be just the thing I need. . .
    That’s too bad about the Darling Ranges dress–and it’s so cute, too! I’m sure you’ll find a solution 🙂
    I’ve been very curious to try B5814, but I know I would never, ever wear it. I just want to see if I can do it!

    • The Darling is a darling-looking dress but it’s like a child, looks angelic but there beats the heart of a devil!
      I actually want a LBD for the wiggle dress but I stumbled across the red polka dots on sale and thought they would look lovely in the wiggle shape, so it’s a bit of an experiment to see if I can get the dress to work – then I’ll make the LBD, well that’s the plan anyway.

  7. Too bad Darling Ranges isn’t working for you — it’s one of my favorites! Love the skirt though. The wiggle dress will be perfect on your figure too!

  8. I’m with Maria. If you are that tired, you need to go and be checked. Take as good care of yourself as you do of others, they are counting on you! Great skirt, and you will definitely be a bombshell.

    • I’ve always shied away from wiggly dresses, ie I’m sure Gertie’s bombshell dress would not work on me, but I think the pleating, wide neckline and shoulders will work with the Butterick dress… well that’s what I’m hoping….

  9. Hey crazy Aussie…this crazy Kiwi is embarking on shorts next….what will the rest of the world think?

    I have issues with the Kelly skirt sizing. I made a small to extra small. I haven’t been an extra small in 20 years! I think that may be where my problem lies.

    I second the iron level problem, maybe you need to get your blood tested.

    • Yes I made Kelly in an XS. Megan’s designs seem to run large. I still want that dress but will need to think about how to make it work. I suspect I may end up with a Darling-inspired dress.
      Shorts! What is the world coming to?! Summer LOL

  10. I hope that all these comments and cheering you up, and cheering you on with the sewing! I hope that you can pamper yourself a bit while the family is away, and get back your strength! You sewed SOOO much stuff over the summer… Hopefully work will lighten up and you’ll be back on your game soon! 🙂

    • I think I do need a blood test and I have an exhausting fortnight with the kids competing in Speech & Drama Eisteddfod and the Ballet Eisteddfod, my mum was not well and work is… interesting! I’m glad to have some time at home at nights which is just me & the dog. I’m flying to Tasmania for a long weekend on Friday which will be a nice break

    • I did sew alot – but it’s what I do in my spare time and it relaxes me. I’m cutting out the wiggle dress sloooowly. I’m hoping it won’t be a disaster on me! In any case it will be a learning experience. Now off to research boning. I’m hoping my Gertie book arrives tomorrow and there will be something in that.

  11. I once nominated my husband to go downstairs and establish what the noise was… we found a naked polish guy in our “vestibule” confused as to why his key wouldn’t work in our door… my husband finally managed to convince him after 15 minutes that he lived 5 doors down…still don’t know why he was naked…but he was drunk…

  12. Hey not so busy sewing at the moment Lizzy! hehe.
    Enjoy the time without the family…. have a rest and you’ll tackle those projects with lots more gusto!
    Have you seen the Deer & Doe Sureau dress? It looks similar to the Darling Ranges dress but has a fake placket … it is super cute so check it out.
    I have barely done any sewing the past couple weeks because we’ve been on a short holiday, then had the flu and now mastitis which I’m starting to get over. I attempted some sewing but just made a horrible mess, which is how it always is when you should be resting huh.
    Hope the rest of the week goes well 🙂

    • Yes! I saw Roobeedoo’s Sureau and it’s a lovely pattern… very tempting! You poor thing, the flu followed by mastitis, that’s awful! I had a lot of mastitis with my second baby, it was the most horrid thing – best not to sew when you are that sick.

  13. Your koalas are adorable!! I am so sorry you have been suffering from exhaustion, and I sure hope you are back up to par soon. Sending energising vibes your way 🙂
    I am certain Megan would answer any questions and help you out with the darling ranges dress if you contacted her 🙂 good luck!

    • I’ve checked out Megan’s sewalong in the Darling Ranges dress and made the alteration suggested but no joy.
      Megan is lovely and I’m sure would help but the Darling must wait as I am busy wiggling away in my sewing room 🙂

  14. My sewing goes in and out in waves. Sometimes I completely understand everything that comes my way and sew it up hot quick. Sometimes it looks like French:) glad to see you’re keeping at it!

  15. That fabric is really pretty! Funny about the koala, for some reason my mind went to a balaclava clad koala trying to jimmy your front door open. I’m warped. lol

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