Back from the blog holiday… and a sparkly Vogue 8280

It’s been nearly 50 days since my last post… which wasn’t much of a post just simply a note that I was disappearing. I was exhausted and took myself off the blog radar for even longer than I anticipated. I needed it.

I spent a week in Tasmania over Christmas – we stayed in a quiet little spot and had an uncomplicated, quiet Christmas. After Christmas we jumped on a plane in Sydney and flew over to the South Island of New Zealand for nearly two weeks. I made a deliberate decision NOT to make any craft-related books or projects with me despite having oodles of time to indulge. I spent my time reading, relaxing and seeing some truly magnificent country. We toured a part of the South Island – between Christchurch and Queenstown – and will no doubt return in a couple of years to tour the rest.

I won’t bore you with all my holidays pictures (there are A LOT), I did that on Instagram. This is just a small selection of my favourite pictures and places.

Kaikoura, New Zealand

Kaikoura, New Zealand

Up above Fox Glacier, New Zealand - reached via helicopter

Up above Fox Glacier, New Zealand – reached via helicopter

The girls sitting by the Haast River, New Zealand

The girls sitting by the Haast River, New Zealand

Jackson Bay - perhaps my favourite bay. Beautiful weather in a beautiful somewhat remote place.

Jackson Bay, New Zealand – perhaps my favourite day. Beautiful weather in a beautiful tiny remote place. I ate the best fish & chips (and coffee) I had in New Zealand from a tiny little caravan beside the road.

Queenstown, New Zealand - after dinner with LynneSews - Instagram meet-up!

Queenstown, New Zealand – after dinner with LynneSews – an Instagram meet-up!

Just a gorgeous lake - shot out of the car window on the way to Lake Tekapo

Lake Pukaki – shot out of the car window on the way to Lake Tekapo

When I returned to ‘reality’ I hit the deck at work at the busiest time of the year. So very little time or brain space for anything except work. I did squeeze in a quick frock for the major work function, thank you to Maria and Happylat for coming to my rescue – as naturally when I went to sew Vogue 8280 I discovered I had misplaced the first page of instructions.

The theme was blue and sparkles… from my dress to my shoes to my necklace and earrings… everything sparkled. That probably sounds a little OOT but it worked for the event. The pattern is Vogue 8280 – which is sadly OOP.

Vogue 8280 - lift selfie

Vogue 8280 – lift selfie. Looking a little ‘rumpled’

You’d think I would have stopped and taken some nice photos as my hair and make-up were ‘done’ however on days/nights like these you just fly through the moments and suddenly it is over!

I’m not going to review this dress as I have made it once before, this time I just lengthened the bodice by 1cm. I will say that it is a great pattern. Other than lengthening the bodice, this pattern fits me perfectly (the crease on my hip above is because I’m stepping forward). It’s a classic design that is very flattering and feminine without being fussy. I decided not to use two layers of the woven sequined fabric for the flanges as it would have been too itchy and thick. So I lined them instead – in hindsight I probably should have interfaced them but such is life. It worked perfectly on the night and I got lots of compliments – people were gobsmacked to find out it was ‘homemade’. LOL.

This is an iphone snap of my computer screen as I went through the pictures on my work computer. I was having a confessional moment with an audience of 600 or so people about my great love of Wuthering Heights.

'hand on my heart' Vogue 8280 is a sensational cocktail frock.

‘hand on my heart’ Vogue 8280 is a sensational cocktail frock.

And I’ve started knitting, a long-term simple project to make me relax at night… aptly named… Relax

Relax - knitting in MadelaineTosh Pashmina, Fallen Cloud. A pattern from Ravelry

Relax – knitting in MadelaineTosh Pashmina, Fallen Cloud. A pattern from Ravelry

So where to from here?

I have lots of blog posts to catch up on as mentioned in my last post.

During my time off I reflected on life – as anyone is apt to do when you are ‘getting away from it all’. It was exactly what I needed to do and while I won’t put all those thoughts here… in 2016 I’d like to do lots of sewing – highly selfish sewing. I want to sew where my imagination takes me. Random, inspired and experimental – with a few disasters along the way. That’s what motivates me to sew.

41 thoughts on “Back from the blog holiday… and a sparkly Vogue 8280

  1. I am soooooooooooo glad you are back! You were missed. I’m glad you took a well-deserved break, and that you had time to reflect on your life. It’s priceless! I hope you feel refreshed and as ready as you can be for the return to blogging. You have a loyal following, but you come first. I am currently knitting with Madeline Tosh myself, colorway Tart. Not as restful as your knit, but knitting is a very mindful activity, and I think when I get in the flow, it is just as good as meditation for me. Your frock is beautiful, as usual. Keep us posted on where your imagination takes you. It’s always a great ride!

    • Hi Becky,
      Thanks so much, I was bone weary and I think giving myself the space to not worry about sewing or blogging or work… or really anything at all is just what I needed. I used to be a prolific reader and in recent times just been too tired to make it through a chapter – however I managed to read about 7 books in my travels! Even coming home to ‘reality’ was tough… but I think something has ‘clicked’ again recently and I’m feeling inspired again!

  2. Great photos, I love NZ and Tassie, both so beautiful. Great dress, so sparkling and the color is gorgeous. And on your reflections for 2016…hear hear!

    • I found myself so busy in 2015 with work, life and the blog that I felt overwhelmed. One month I found myself working five days a week – and volunteering three of the four weekends… that’s when I thought ‘this is crazy’. While I know people appreciate it… you do end up being part of that 20% that do 80% of the work. And there is an expectation that you will always be that person. I might be to a degree but I’m trying to control just how much other people consume my time. Fingers crossed that will allow me more time for myself.

    • cheers to you Hilda! I think I will ‘de-blog’ myself every year. Maybe not for quite so long but I also won’t push myself to feel I ‘need’ to blog. I sew and blog because it makes me happy – that’s my focus!

  3. Welcome back to blog land! So glad you got a well earned break, and a shame that we didn’t get to meet up. Maybe next time πŸ™‚
    Oh and fabulous frock!!

  4. Dear Lizzy, it’s good to know you’re back, and that you’ll be sewing whatever you like.
    You and I have never “met”, but yours was the very first blog I ever discovered, and also the link to other bloggers whose qualities I admire. You gave me the confidence to finally blog myself.
    Thank you so much for your authenticity, and the generosity of your reviews and advice. You’re a true inspiration.
    baci Sallyxx

    • Hi Sally,
      What a lovely comment and it’s always nice to have your sewing complimented – but what me truly smile is knowing you felt inspired to put yourself out there and blog too. It’s not the easiest of things to start, I felt weird for a while and hardly told a soul. However I’m now so grateful I did, I’ve met and ‘met’ so many wonderful people that I never would have without my funny little blog. Those friendships and kindnesses have changed my life in some many small yet significant ways I will always be grateful that one day I found the courage to press publish.
      Bless you, Lizzy xox

  5. What a lovely catch up post – loved the NZ photos ( makes me want to go there even more !) and your snazzy blue dress looks amazing. Sounds like it was the right kind of break for you. Just what you needed. Enjoy 2016!

    • Oh Winnie, you would love New Zealand! It’s spectacular and quaint all at the same time. While Australia is vast, it is also HUGE. New Zealand is quite compact in comparison and we saw many different landscapes and climates in just two weeks. I can’t wait to go back and spend some more time there. The kids ADORED it.
      It’s got great skiing which I know you enjoy… however a ‘snow bunny’ I am not. I loved the cooler summer weather and sunshine.

  6. Happy New Year Lizzy. New Zealand is a perfect place to escape for a while and it so spectacular and fun it needs your full attention! Your dress looks amazing. Everyone needs a sparkly dress at some point. Hope we get to see you at the High Tea again.

  7. Thanks for the beautiful photos of the South Island. I went with my mom about ten years ago. I always joke that I don’t remember much of it because she made me drive and I was so stressed driving on the left vs right side of the road. It’s nice to see that it’s as pretty as she remembered it.

  8. I love the blue sparkly dress (I love sparkles) and am disappointed the pattern is now out of print – I am going to keep my eye on eBay for a copy. Love love love your holiday pics. It looks as though you had a lovely time. NZ is a place I have always wanted to go, but it’s a long way from the UK, so I am very jealous. I will get there one day though. Glad you are back to blogging and can’t wait to see some more of your makes. Holly x

  9. Welcome back. I am glad you had relaxing holidays. I’d love to travel one day to Australia, NZ and Tasmania, and your photos made feel I was there for some seconds. Gorgeous dress πŸ™‚

  10. I went to Jackson Bay 2 years ago and loved it too! I missed the Whitebait caravan thingy as I had to cycle back to Haast by 11 am, so I was super early and cycled around that last bit of road towards the bay just as the sun was rising. It was totally magical.

  11. Fabulous dress! I like the action photos. And what a beautiful vacation too! Good for you. Best of luck with your sewing this year. I’ll enjoy seeing where the journey takes you.

  12. wow your vacation photos are so beautiful. One of these days I hope to make it to the southern hemisphere. and I know what you mean about a blog and/or sewing break. I think it is a good idea for a lot of us. Lovely sequin dress – so glam.

  13. Pingback: Musings: where to from here… | Sew Busy Lizzy

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