Thank goodness I am on holidays for a month at the end of this week, I am dead on my feet from exhaustion!

I have been super busy making/knitting things but need to take some pictures and finish some projects off in the next couple of days. I’m working on two skirts – one of which is my next Abakahan Fabrics 15 Pound Aussie project. The other I’m hoping to wear to the meet-up. How fabulous does this day out in London sound?? Thank you Rachel of House of Pinheiro who has done all the organising – can’t wait to meet you!

The gorgeous Rachel of House of Pinheiro

The gorgeous Rachel of House of Pinheiro (IRL I probably only come up to her kneecap)


Like all truly hopeless marathon runners, I hit the wall of exhaustion hard after the Tessuti competition.


TESSUTI GRIDLOCK – sleeves rolled back.

I thought it was a pretty neat entry. Thought out, well executed, highly wearable and stood out from the crowd, an imaginative use of the fabric. The photos were well styled and the backdrop was awesome! Unfortunately Tessuti did not agree – or at least not in a winning or honorable mention kinda way. The winner was an outstanding creation and they also decided to award five runners-ups with $100 Tessuti vouchers. And no, I didn’t make that short list either. They are all great projects, there were some in particular I really liked right from when they were posted.

I never ‘expect’ to win these comps. I’m fairly uncompromising person at times, I make something I will wear and suits the fabric – that’s not going to win me accolades – but I’d rather be ‘me’ and someone else’s version of ‘me’. At some point in our lives we all get caught up in being the someone other people want us to be or think that we are, I’m past being that person. I simply am who I am. Take me or leave me. I’ve never been a fan of reptiles of any shape or size – so my chameleon qualities are non-existent. My conclusion was that either:-

  1. my stitching is not up to scratch; or/and
  2. my fitting is not top-notch; or/and
  3. my style is not ‘Tessuti Style’; or…
  4. it actually doesnt mean much at all…

I admit, I felt quite despondent about entire process. It was one of those ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ moments. The feeling you get when you know it doesn’t matter what the dumper says to the dumpee, it’s simply a sugar-coated version of the truth.

Then I came back and read all the comments on this post, read the comments on the Tessuti post, the Twitter feedback and realised that to humble old me it’s your opinion that counts more. I might not be a stitcher to attract Tessuti applause but you gave me a standing ovation.

Thank you.

I’m annoyed with myself for being distracted by the Tessuti project and thinking about the outcomes and what that meant about me, my style, my ability. It took me a few days to realise it meant precisely nothing. I’m just me and I’m happy with that. $1K would have been nice or just a pat on the back – but you gave me truckloads of encouragement and admiration. That’s more than enough for me. I sew & blog because it makes me happy. That’s all.

My disappointment is no criticism of the Tessuti winners, the judges or anything else. It’s simply an interesting reflection about me & the process. And I’m tired, very very tired and that never helps.

It even manged to stop me stitching (it can and does happen LOL) while I gazed at my bellybutton in long sorrowful moments of self reflection & doubt. So much so that I lost faith that I could make my pink jacket. Stupid I know.

Burda 03/2013 jacket

Burda 03/2013 jacket. A pretty wool blend.

I have these wonderfully perfect buttons from Buttonmania in Melbourne – thanks to the ever-wonderful Rachel of My Messings. I could finish the jacket before I leave but I would botch the finish. And that’s not worth it. So it shall now wait for my return. I feel really bad about as Rachel made a huge effort to get them to me on time. Thank you Rachel you are fabulous.

I had a go at making my own buttons, they were horrendous. The fabric was thick and frayed awfully. I wish I’d taken a picture of my efforts but I tossed them aside in disgust and outrage! This buttons are perfection. You need buttons? Check out Buttonmania in Melbourne, Australia. Go on spoil yourself. I know you want to.

Perfection: Buttons from Buttonmania

Perfection: Buttons from Buttonmania

Me? I’ve gotta go. Sew & pack for London, Paris & Madrid. Yes, sucks to be me.

Thanks for hanging around with me and putting up with my random rumblings and sewing creations.

Love Lizzy. πŸ™‚


Footnote: You know this post always bothered me a bit and I’ve frequently thought about taking it down. I think people misread it. I genuinely like Tessuti, I’m a customer and I actually didn’t mind not winning. At all. I know the winning entry would have been impeccable. I know people who know and highly respect the sewist (sorry just can’t type sewer when I talk about someone) and her & her skills are held in very high regard.
I guess the point I was making was simply I didn’t understand the criteria and I had no idea how to improve if I was to sew in a competitive sense. The more I sew and blog the more I’m not bothered by these things. I think Tessuti have more than a right to run their competitions however they like. I work in a highly regulated environment and initially struggled with anything that wasn’t strictly governed, had guidelines and so on. These days I kinda like that. I don’t mind how designers or fabric shops run their business – it’s none of my business. I’m happy to support them. In fact I love Tessuti and frequently buy fabric there.

34 thoughts on “MOMENTARY LOSS OF MOJO

  1. Awe, Lizzy…you’re fabulous and what you make is just as fabulous as you are. I must admit I love how you’re unapologetically yourself, I love how you blog about your triumphs and failures and I love that you’re 100% Lizzy…and I know everyone else here feels the same! I’ll always be a follower of SewBuzyLizzy so keep doing what makes you happy. Have a blast overseas πŸ™‚ BTW, thanks for the button link, I too have made *miserable* self fabric buttons and would love to have a real professional do it for me sometimes. Can’t wait for the pink jacket!

  2. So good to know that I am not the only one who gets down on myself about my skills. I think your outfit looks gorgeous and compliments your figure abd colouring extremely well.
    Enjoy your holoday!

  3. I’ve heard a saying that helps me in moments like these: comparison is the thief of joy. You like your outfit, it looks great on you and you know that the Tessuti judges couldn’t possibly be judging it on the quality of sewing. It just came down to there being many entrants and only so few winners. Mind you I felt this way after I entered one of their competitions a few years ago so didn’t even think of entering this time. At the end of the day if what we sew makes us happy then that’s all we need isn’t it?

    Enjoy your Europe trip – I am so envious of the awesome places you’re going!

  4. Frankly, I loved how you used the Tessuti fabric and I hope you can enjoy wearing your creation because it’s beautiful and is so flattering.
    Now, …….. you need a vacation and oh, do you have a terrific one planned! Maybe you can blog a little during your trip….. or not. Have fun! (ps,,,,,, don’t worry about getting the peplum instructions back to me.)

  5. I know that feeling all too well. It’s one of the reasons I can’t enter contests. You know I love your jacket and the dress and the pink and just everything. If you can, enjoy your time away from the machine. πŸ™‚ I just got my mojo back…or rather, it’s coming back slowly. But coming back nonetheless. I’m sure by the time you get back from your trip you’ll be ready to go again. And I love the boucle!

  6. If the Tessuti comp remit was an outfit you would wear, then that’s precisely what you’ve come up with and therefore, even if you didn’t get the $1K (which, no doubt, would have been greatly appreciated on your forthcoming trip) you’re still a winner. I think I said that before but it bears repeating. And if you are happy with what you’ve made, that’s the biggest win of all. After all, you’ll still be wearing your lovely outfit long after the stress of the competition is mere memory.

    I think I’ve also said before that I’m seriously envying your holiday plans. And, OMG, what fabulous buttons. Thanks for the link. Temptation!

  7. Well I am going to be controversial and say that although the winner of the Tessuti was outstanding I didn’t think much of some of the runners-up in terms of creativity. What is creative about making a standard dress out of the fabric? Your entry showed a thoughtful approach to the placement of the fabric and I would be a bit miffed in your shoes. There, I’ve said it.
    On another note I was looking forward to meeting you in London but I had already booked a bra making course that weekend. I hope you have a fabulous holiday and I would pack an empty bag as looking at the price of fabric when I was in Melbourne you are going to have a field day down Goldhawk Road x

  8. I think you got it right as far as making what you wanted to make and wear rather than something that you thought other people might be looking for because it really looks amazing on you.

  9. I bet by the time your bum hits your designated aeroplane seat, you will have forgotten all about the disappointment that was the Tessuti competition. Have a stunning holiday x

  10. You always put so much thought and effort into your sewing so of course you can be disappointed. And being over scheduled and overtired just adds to the stress. So go, have a great time, and we’ll all be right here to see whatever you have up your sleeve next!

  11. I always see competitions a way to challenge my own sewing fears, if you get catch up on grading you end up elimination the fun part of sewing, I thought yours and Karens items were amazing.. both winners in my book.

    Pack warm, I heard still terribly cold. not long now.

  12. Awww I loved your entry. It was so different. Hugs. I like your process tho. Sometimes we do just get caught up a bit too much though and if its an expression of who we are the disappointment can be bigger. Anyway glad you are ok and packing! See you v soon!

  13. You are you and we love you for it! I can understand the self doubt particularly when you had put SO much into your entry. But you stayed true to you and that can take a million times more courage than bending to meet someone else’s idea of what you (or a dress) should be.
    Have a fabulous time in Europe. You’re going to have an absolute blast!

  14. Don’t worry Lizzy, we heart you and your fab creations and always will. You inspired me to sew my first cambie btw after seeing your beautiful versions. I’m v chuffed with mine {photos on my blog up now} so thanks πŸ™‚

    Your sewjo will be back in no time, especially after what sounds like an awesome meet up to be! I will be there in spirit even if not in flesh. Have a wicked time!

  15. Girl, you need some REST! I truly, seriously hope that you can set aside some time to rest between now and your departure. I’m certain that you’re going to have a fabulous time! Enjoy yourself, lady! Looking forward to hearing how your trip was!

  16. Your entry was one of my favourites – I love your outfit! But there were HEAPS of wonderful entries in that contest. Who knows what criteria they used? AND – the way that you are feeling about it is exactly why I didn’t enter. My sewing is about me and what I like to make and wear, not about what someone else (who doesn’t know me and my lifestyle) thinks is best. Have faith in yourself – and in your excellent sewing.

  17. The winning garment was lovely – but not as good as yours! But you know, sometimes you have to take a step back and let others win!!

    i look forward to hearing about your next garments – you have a strong and loyal fan club here, just waiting to see what you get up to next πŸ™‚

  18. Oh boy do you need a holiday and some sleep. You poor old thing to have put yourself through the wringer on this one. Its damned hard, right, to come up to the surface with a splot sometimes. That being said, I love love love your pieces for the comp. and I love that you are who you are and blog so I can read about your stitching.

    Besides all of that, time moves on and in a few short days you’ll be on a plane. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Have a wonderful wonderful wonderful time. Don’t forget to sleep and eat and relax too. lol.

  19. Well as you know I think your Tessuti jacket is just lovely. I am not sure what the judges were looking for, I am not even sure if they listed a criteria. But, this is not important, your make is lovely, wearable, well made and you like it. All super important qualities. Nothing wrong with the other entries, the standard overall was pretty high. Good on you for giving it a go anyway, you are still streets ahead of me who didn’t even try!!
    Have a wonderful trip overseas and rest up!!

  20. you don’t need to tell me twice about Buttonmania. I rave about them every chance I get!! Pure awesome πŸ™‚
    And I couldn’t agree more with your revelation. It’s easy to take these things to heart sometimes! But lucky you has SO many things to look forward to right now!! πŸ™‚

  21. Love your candid thoughts! And your creations. Have a wonderful trip…and definitely go with an empty suitcase to bring back luscious Goldhawk Rd goodies!

  22. I love how you put being true to yourself as the most important part of creating your pieces. And I personally loved your entry and adding that pop of color. I hope you have a wonderful time on your trip and get creatively re-inspired! Also, love love love the buttons. That blazer will be amazing, no need to rush.

  23. I was so impressed when I saw your entry, and I searched and searched on Tessuti, expecting to see it among the winners. I was depressed for you. Your outfit is fabulous! I love the contrast of the pink, and it was all beautifully done. Wear it with pride.

  24. I think your outfit was excellent, especially the use of the pink fabric as it brightened up an otherwise bland fabric. The Gridlock fabric was just so difficult to do anything with without it looking overdone. I also found the selection of winners disappointing but maybe it was me who missed the point of the competition too. It was my first competition and it nearly put me off but I have bought the Colette Laurel pattern to give that competition a go – maybe it is the thing to pull you out of your disillusionment. Or maybe you just need to take a holiday to Europe. Let me think a bit longer on that πŸ˜‰

  25. Oh I can’t believe I’ve just seen this post. Your entry was great, I hope now you’ve had a chance to let off some steam you see just how amazingly clever you’ve been? Looking forward to seeing you soon!! Bon voyage x

  26. For what it’s worth I totally preferred yours to the winning entry. I’m sure you just need a holiday. As we say here, don’t let the f*****s get you down πŸ™‚

  27. I just stumbled onto your blog and am very glad I did! very inspiring! πŸ™‚ YOU did a FABULOUS job on your entry! very beautiful indeed and you can be very proud! Enjoy your holiday! πŸ™‚

  28. Don’t worry about the Tessuti comp Lizzy! Just think about how happy you are with your fabulous creation, handmade by you! IMHO it’s better to slave away creating yourself something wonderful and wearable than something you’ll never wear because it’s been made to someone else’s taste/specs. Have a wonderful holiday! X

  29. Hi! I just found your blog and I’m enjoying it. Your jacket came out really well. Don’t be so hard on yourself. As for buttons? I have a trick that really works when making self-cover buttons, especially with delicate fabrics: Get a spray bottle filled with water, spritz the fabric circles and then mold them over the button forms. It gives a really smooth, tight fit, and lets you get all those fiddly edges firmly inside the button.

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