Sous Sous by Norah Gaughan – KNIT

Knitting… one of those endlessly therapeutic crafts… once you master it!

I had the Sous Sous jumper in my Ravelry queue for quite some time, it looked quite complex, large and daunting. However when you keep coming back to something, at some point you either abandon it – or you rise to the challenge.

Sous Sous - front view

ref=”https://sewbusylizzy.com/2018/06/06/soussous/sousous3/” rel=”attachment wp-att-6512″> Sous Sous – front view. There’s some colour pooling at the front lower edge… you can’t ‘un-see’ it once you’ve ‘seen’ it. One of the dangers of beautiful but variegated hand-dyed yarn. I love it despite the ‘flaws’.[/ca

It didn’t take me quite as long as expected – and it also wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined.

It was a pleasure to knit with beautiful Madelinetosh Merino DK yarn and a gorgeous set of circular needles I received for Christmas.

I was guilty of being very excited about this project right from the beginning!

I was guilty of being very excited about this project right from the beginning!

Construction

The front and back and knitted in two pieces. The shoulders are seamed and you pick up stitches to knit the sleeves. The side seams are then sewn… and it’s done!

There is an enormous amount of moss stitch and the cables are quite simple once you get into the pattern.

Sous Sous - back cable detail

Sous Sous – back cable detail

I did have issues with the sleeves. After ripping out my first sleeve attempt about four times, I just knitted in pattern in a way that made sense to me and that worked rather than following the pattern word for word. Very brief notes on Ravelry here.

Sous Sous - moss stitch

Sous Sous – moss stitch

I’ve only steam blocked this. I think it will soften and relax again with a gentle wash and block later.

Tips

I’m no knitting guru. Every project you learn something, gain more confidence, try something new. And every project I’m on YouTube deciphering and mastering a new technique!

I’ve found Very Pink Knits on Youtube very helpful. Clear concise demonstrations of techniques.

Thoughts

It is an unusual shape and I was slightly concerned when I finished that I may struggle to wear it. Turns out I love it. It’s a lovely casual layering piece, easy to slip on over everything and anything. Perfect for those in-between days when it’s neither cold or hot. If I had the time and patience I would be tempted to knit one in a few more colours!

Sous Sous - back view

Sous Sous – back view

The back is large and weighty and I find the weight makes wants to slip backwards… but I love it enough to forgive it for that. However when you look at the back photos on the pattern itself, the shoulder seams are set over the back of shoulder.

I originally thought I would like to change the front curved hem or raise the neckline – however I’m so glad I left the proportions as they are… for me, it just ‘works’ and has been worn quite a lot… in fact it’s perhaps my most loved thing I’ve ever made!

Sous Sous jumper, design Norah Gaughan, yarn Madelinetosh Merino DK. Knitted by Sew Busy Lizzy

I tell no lie, this jumper is very roomy!

I was so impressed with the design of this pattern that I purchased the Cable Source Book by Norah Gaughan. It’s an absolutely beautiful and detailed book which includes techniques and patterns – highly recommended to all the knitting people out there.

Details

Pattern: Sous Sous, Norah Gaughan on Ravelry here, purchased via Ravelry.
Size: the smallest one Рfinished bust size 132cm or 51 inches.
Needles: Knit Pro Golden Light Gift Set, purchased from Morris & Sons (on sale!)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Merino DK in Cloud Dweller, purchased from yarn.com

No affiliate links – purchase where you choose.

action shot…

Sous Sous jumper, design Norah Gaughan, yarn Madelinetosh Merino DK. Knitted by Sew Busy Lizzy

as randomly snapped late on night in the work lift – thank goodness for mirrored lifts!

Me?I’m doing OK – thank you

Me?

I’m doing OK – thank you to those who send me lovely messages and check in on me.

I’m running but not excessively. I run about 30kms a week. I don’t push myself too hard but somehow have taken a minute off my pre-accident 5km personal best (and my calves are getting too big for my long fitted boots and also my jeans LOL!). I have plenty of restrictions, no weights, no lifting anything above my head, rollercoasters, contact sports, painting ceilings, chiropractors and other things – things I can live with. Sometimes anxiety eats away at me – and I get sad or emotional – but that voice gets quieter as I leave ‘that day’ further behind.

I managed to complete the run leg of a 70.3 Ironman in Port Macquarie about a month ago (that’s a 21.1km – or 13.1 mile – run), you read about it here. It wasn’t a stellar effort – running on a hot day at midday, about 26 degrees celsius, full sun and no breeze. I agree, it was perhaps not the smartest idea but it did go some way to restoring my faith in my physical abilities again.

Next weekend I’m in Perth running in the Western Australian Marathon event. I have no intention to attempt a marathon until I’ve ‘passed’ an MRI or get some sort of clearance from the endovascular specialist – my next one isn’t until November. I’m just running another half marathon in a relay team with a lovely friend – who is running her first ever marathon. No stress. Just fun with friends.

First appeared on ww.sewbusylizzy.com

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Busy and still sewing… Named, Sewaholic, Burda and more!

I have been on an unexpected blog break for a few weeks. There are a few times of the year when work, life, family collide and the result is utter chaos. This is one of them.

Rather than bore you with some chest-beating wail about everything that is going on, I’ll simply say amongst the endless storm of life, I’ve been grateful for small pockets of sewing, it has felt like the calm among the chaos.

Firstly – the winner of Stylish Remakes Giveaway is PHYSIC KATHLEEEN (I wonder if she knew that was going to happen!). I’ll send you an email Kathleen to organise postage of your book.

Secondly – what have I been sewing. A bit of everything to be honest. And many things probably won’t make the blog – for all sorts of reasons, some times it about finding the time, the ‘worthiness’ of blogging a simple item or it becomes one of those garments that I wear and totally forget about documenting (which is probably why I should!). So I’ve decided to just provide snapshots of those types of projects.

Here’s a few of those:

NAMED PATTERNS BEVERLY BIKINIS

Named Patterns Beverly Bikini - a selfie

Named Patterns Beverly Bikini – a selfie

This project lifted me out of a post-Christmas and work stress fog. I was inspired to give these a go after Measure Twice Cut Once launched a sewalong. For those of you in the Northern hemisphere and about to enjoy summer, I recommend these as a fun swimwear project. My first piece of swimwear and nowhere near as daunting as I thought it might be! Sorry – no photos. I thought about it but just don’t feel comfortable – but I applaud those that do. I’ve been destroyed by carrying to two rather large babies and regardless of how awesome they are… I really do hate my stomach. We all have things we dislike about ourselves and for me, it’s my stomach – disaster zone! Such is life. Will some indie designer please release a pair of one-piece cut-outs that are a bit skimpy and sexy? Thank you ūüėČ
Pattern: Named Beverly Bikini

BURDA DOLMAN DRESS

Dolman Dress 06/2012 #134 - I really do need another of these!

Dolman Dress 06/2012 #134 – I really do need another of these!

One of those fun dresses that is incredibly simple to make and makes you feel rather sexy. This is a rayon knit from the Spotlight remanent bin. It has low-cut armholes and I omitted the shoulder details due to the busyness of the print. I opted to make a very skinny tie belt – which you don’t see under the fold of the ‘bodice’ or upper part of the dress. I use it to simply to keep the dress from slipping down and to provide some waist definition.
Pattern: Dolman Dress 06/2012 #134.

SEWAHOLIC CAMBIE

Sewaholic Cambie - No.5. Yes unhemmed. I had was camping and just completed some handsewing. I knew there would be no blog pictures, I couldn't resist trying it on for size...

Sewaholic Cambie – No.5. Yes unhemmed. I had was camping and just completed some handsewing. I knew there would be no blog pictures, I couldn’t resist trying it on for size…

Yes, it is unhemmed. I never took blog photos of this as it was a birthday gift. I took this camping to finished some hand sewing on the lining and dress, I hemmed it with some bias tape when I got home. I couldn’t resist trying it on for size. I do so love this pattern, a beautiful dress inside and out – and an utter delight to sew.
This is a cotton sateen from Spotlight.
Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie

And a sneak peek of some upcoming finished projects!

April & May 2016 projects

April & May 2016 projects

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.

When Chuck met Cambie… or I knitted a jumper…

Just a quick little post… I knitted a jumper!

Chuck by Andi Satterlund - front view

Chuck by Andi Satterlund – front view. Dear God – how tired are those eyes!

This one took me waaaaayyyyy longer than it should of. Once you understand how to knit cables, it’s not that tricky (really,¬†I swear it’s easy¬†– would I lie to you? Thank heavens for YouTube is all I can say…). It’s just concentrating that’s difficult and making sure EVERY SINGLE STITCH you knit/purl/cable corresponds with the knitting graph – that IS the challenge. One stitch wrong in a pattern like this and it’s obvious.

I had to rip back the first 15-20 rows in the pattern… not once but twice! I almost gave up but I knuckled down and I’m glad didn’t give up – and trust me I was soooo tempted to knit something else!

Chuck by Andi Satterlund - pattern not quite perfect but it's FINISHED!

Chuck by Andi Satterlund – pattern not quite perfect but it’s FINISHED! Yes, I¬†was thinking that I completely¬†rocked at this moment.

There is one tiny hiccup near the top of the second pattern repeat. It’s so minor I left it. The thought of ripping back about five or so rows was soul destroying. So I decided to keep my soul in tact and knit on. It’s barely noticeable. I’m glad I kept my soul in one piece.

Love this wool – it’s Malabrigo Worsted in Buscazul Buscando Azul, it’s so soft it feels like cotton wool. I purchase it from yarn.com and it comes down to less that $10 a skein (I used three) + postage.

I think the wide neckline of this design may be somewhat limiting for wear however it’s got the great visual trick of widening out the shoulders while the waist nips into providing a great hourglass shape.

Chuck by Andi Satterlund - back view

Chuck by Andi Satterlund – back view

I do love Andi’s designs, they are snug and cute as a button. They seem to be the perfect paring for Sewaholic Designs (I’ve paired Chuck with my Cambie Pox Dress – and I think they fell in love… he loves her spots and all). Andi’s designs are quite short but they finish bang on your waist and are perfect with retro-style dresses.

when Chuck met Cambie...

when Chuck met Cambie… this photo was taken by Miss 8 – camera settings not quite right (too dark and shadowy)¬†but she was thrilled to have a go at blog photography!

Cambie was also perfect with Marion remember? She’s a versatile lass.

Sewaholic Cambie & Andi Satterlund's Marion

Sewaholic Cambie & Andi Satterlund’s Marion

Next up Andi’s Agatha – in RED!

Jumper: Chuck by Andi Satterlund, Wool from yarn.com
Dresses: Cambie by Sewaholic (if you are in Australia, it’s available from Sew Squirrel).

Psst…. Don’t forget to check out my Crazy Barbie Doll dress and enter the giveaway!

SEWING SURPRISES SWOP (and maybe a new Cambie…)

I’ve been amazed at how frantic life has been since my return from holidays. I should have posted this when I got home – however it was so sweet and lovely I wanted to take lovely pictures… thank you Sparkly Super Nova for organising this! On the upside this post has been lost in the tidal wave of posts following a swop!

Sewing Surprises from Musings of a Seamstress

First up – check out these lovely hair bows that Sarah sent to me for my girls. I know – soooo cute. You can buy these from Sarah Etsy’s shop which will help fund her adoption project – please take some time to¬†read about it here

Bows for Adoption

Bows for Adoption – my girls love these!

She also sent me this necklace which is just perfection. I love love love love it. I know – green with envy? I’m not sure where Sarah got this but it’s perfect and I love it. Even the chain is beautiful and dainty.

Sewing Surprises Swop - neckalce

Sewing Surprises Swop – necklace

And watcha wearing with that Lizzy?

Sewaholic Cambie - Little Skulls

Sewaholic Cambie – Little Skulls. Note to self: iron dress before photos next time Lizzy!

ummmmmm, it might be Cambie No.4…. OK stop laughing. Cambie 1, Cambie 2 & Cambie 3¬†are all much loved¬†members of my dress family and they wanted a little sister. She’s a bit naughtier than the others… if you look closely…

Skulls Sewaholic Cambie

Skulls Sewaholic Cambie

I love the sweetness of the Sewaholic Cambie shape combined with the quirky little aqua skulls. When I started knitting the cardigan I had an immediate vision the Little Skulls Cambie with it.

There really isn’t much I can’t tell you about Cambie that I haven’t already. It’s a lovely shape, well drafted and by far the easiest full lined dress I’ve made so far.

ICECREAM MARION

Sewaholic Cambie - Little Skulls

Sewaholic Cambie – Little Skulls with Icecream Marion

Cute cardie… did you make that too? Yes I did! I’ve been a bit ‘knit obsessed’ this year. this delightful little monster is Marion by Andi Satterlund. It’s a new release and I just HAD to knit it as soon as I saw it. I adore the cables and I really wanted a longer sleeved cardigan as I wear my Whole Wheat cardigan a lot – cream goes with just about everything. When this cream Malabrigo arrived from yarn.com I was a little disappointed with the colour. Fortunately as soon as I started to knit it up, I fell in love. The colour reminds me of icecream¬†and hence I call this cardigan my Icecream Marion.

It’s perfection with Cambie as it finishes right on the waistband… and Tasia of Sewaholic fame¬†is in fact also knitting this, I spied her over on Ravelry with Marion WIP.

Marion by Andi Satterlund - available on Ravelry

Marion by Andi Satterlund – available on Ravelry

I love the buttons, they are coconut shell. The shop only had one card of four buttons and the pattern said I needed five. Then I read the pattern (I know, novel idea) and I only needed four for the smaller size. If I knit this again (and I’m tempted to in red) I will just do three button holes.

At the Historic Cemetery

At the Historical Cemetery

It just seemed perfect to photograph this dress in our Historical Cemetery. It is no longer used as a cemetery but it is where the free settlers were buried in the early days¬†of European settlement in Port Macquarie, the graves are scattered randomly through beautiful grass and trees, it’s quite serene (this from a girl that freaks out at the idea of serenity). It’s now a beautiful park at the end of our main street.

Dress: Sewaholic Cambie (purchased from Sew Squirrel)
Cardigan: Marion by Andi Satterlund from Ravelry. Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted from yarn.com

I’ve been fearsomely tired this weekend with a crashing headache for two days. Not great pictures but hopefully I’m not looking so drained for my¬†By Hand London¬†Victoria Blazer – which is not far off being finished!!

And my hair is HORRID. Off to get that fixed this Tuesday!

AND! I went to the recent Sydney meet-up organised by Kristy of¬†Lower Your Press Foot – you can check out all the pictures here at Little Betty’s blog… I felt like I cheated but my 1950 vintage lace dress just seemed the perfect choice for High Tea!

The Sydney Meet-up outfit - 1950s lace...

The Sydney Meet-up outfit – 1950s lace…

I CAN’T SIT STILL…

INTERNATIONAL IDLEWOOD

I’m terrible at sitting still… outstandingly so. So what to do while on holidays?

Clearly packing my sewing machine to go overseas was not an option (remember all that fabric?), I packed my knitting needles instead. For those of you concerned about getting through international security with knitting needles, don’t be. I got them through security in my hand luggage in Sydney, Dubai, London, Paris, Madrid and Singapore. I think we can safely say I did a pretty thorough investigation of international knitting & airport security and came up trumps.

I decided that whatever I knitted needed to be easy and not require constant reference to a knitting graph or pattern. Not to mention survive jet-lag induced exhaustion idiot brain syndrome.

I chose Idlewood from Ravelry. It was perfect. I got some needles in Paris (I only packed the size for the body. Doh!). Knit Pro Symphonie needles. They are heaven.

Meet International Idlewood. Yarn from USA. Needles from Paris. Knitted in London, Madrid, Singapore, Sydney and Port Macquarie!

Idlewood by by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.

Yes, I arrived home to wet weather! Rambling about in a jet lag fog after lunch

This is essentially a tube. You start at the top and knit the cowl. Change needles, knit the yoke. Leave stitches live on waste yarn or holders for the sleeves. Knit the body (a tube with minor shaping). Then knit a few rows on the sleeves and you are done! There are a few rows of purl on the bands but other than that it’s plain knitting all the way! Perfect beginner knit & being a worsted weight it knits up quickly.

I started knitting Idlewood in London and finished the morning I arrived in Port Macquarie. These pictures were taken after lunch with ELH. If I look tired and sloppy…. I was… this is after 30 hours of travel and very little sleep!

The pattern includes patch pockets which I’ve omitted, I felt it looked a little hippy (in shape & lifestyle choice). I prefer it’s simplicity.

Idlewood - post international long haul flight from hell.

Idlewood – post international long haul flight from hell.

I wear this A LOT. I totally get that it’s not going to be everyone’s style – it’s not lacy, floral or pretty – heck it’s not even a girly colour! However I love a bit of grunge. This is totally my style on a casual weekend. And hello? COWL! Monster cowl! It’s snuggly and warm. The cowl is so big it can be pulled over and worn like a hood, that look isn’t for me I feel like an Ewok.

Idlewood by Cecily Glowik MacDonald COWL

Now THAT’S what I call a cowl!

I’d love another one sometime. I would knit it on a smaller needle as this is the smallest size and it could do with just being a smidge smaller.

Wool: Malabrigo Worsted. I buy mine from yarn.com. This yarn is delightful. Buy it. Buy it now!
Skirt: Vogue 1247. It’s ridiculous how much I wear this skirt.
Boots: Flore from Duo. These boots are gorgeous. I ordered these in London from the Duo shop in Convent Garden – they shipped them direct to Australia for me for free – minus the VAT. Awesome – and you can get the same deal on the website. I was served by the delightful Laura and guess what!? She’s a sewing blogger too – a newbie – go and say hi!
What is so amazing about these boots is they come in calf sizes as well as foot sizes – so there is a perfect fit for everyone. I struggle to get boots to fit my toothpicks. Worth every penny. I also got a pair of Aralia – which I wear to work almost everyday…
Bag: from Madrid – another perfect match for my less-girly grunge days. It’s a little weather-beaten looking like me. Love this bag!

And I also knitted…

Zuzu Petals for Mum

ZuZu Petals for Mum. Knitted with Malabrigo Worsted

I knitted this for my mum with the leftovers from Idlewood. ūüôā It’s Zuzu Petals Cowl by Carina Spencer- also from Ravelry. This has a 32 row pattern and I had to concentrate (and not drink at night LOL). it’s not hard but there is a lot of pattern!

On the needles now…

Marion by Andi Satterlund. It’s also on Tasia of Sewaholic’s needles and Leila of Three Dresses is swatching her Marion after all my tweetin’ about it! I’m on my second sleeve now…

Marion Cardigan

Marion – I love my Whole Wheat cardigan so much I wanted another cream one with longer sleeves

Tripped up by the trip – the first 7 days…

One thing I often get asked is: ‘how do you find time to do everything?’. Right now I’m wondering that myself.

Settling back into ‘life’ has been more challenging than I thought. My travelling life for three weeks was a whirlwind of planes, trains, places and faces. The¬†last three weeks back at home has been a whirlwind of school fete, dance eisteddfod, dentist visits and oh… work…

The First Week

My April/May travels took me to London, Paris and Madrid. Was it great? Yes. Did I buy much? Yes – I’m sure I could have got more – except the thought of dragging it home stopped me many times!

I arrived in London (via Dubai in a¬†huge A380 plane)¬†on Saturday 13 April after 26 hours of¬†flying (trip was much longer if you count the trip to the Sydney airport from home and into the city). It¬†was COLD! I didn’t have much time to acclimatise as¬†7.30am Monday morning I was on a train to Paris.

Paris!

Paris!

I was in Paris for just three days – I had some work to do while I was there.

I arrive Monday lunchtime and had a little wander around Paris in the afternoon. I then had dinner with my husband’s cousin who has lived in Paris for 12 years now. We had a lovely night and it was such a great opportunity to get to know her better. Thank you Emma xox

I did manage to squash in some shopping with Barbara of Stitching up Paris. Barbara is a Kiwi (New Zealander) who has lived in Paris for 25 years. She’s a stitcher/knitter and knows all the places to take you in Paris – ALL OF THEM. she took me to lots and then left me with a list of more! Did I buy lots of fabric? No, not a scrap. Why? I knew Goldhawk Road was in my near future, courtesy of the Mega London Blogger’s Meet-up so I decided to focus on yarn and trims. I did visit the famous Montmartre fabric shops but if you want stories of fabric decadence then you better head to Roisin or Kim’s corner of the blogsphere.

Here are some of the things I got…

Barbara was fantastic, she was suggested to me by Busy Lizzie in Brissy. Thanks Lizzie! Paris and Parisians have slightly different shopping customs to Australia and also the language barrier was significant for me as a complete non-French speaker (it wasn’t¬†compulsory¬†at¬†school – and I’m ok with that, this is the only time I’ve had to call on my v.limited French)¬†– Barbara looked after all that for me!

I’m a bit of a second-hand clothes and charity/thrift/op shop nut. When Barbara discovered this over a cup of coffee, she took me along to one of best second-hand clothing charity shops in Paris where I found this Tara Jarmon jacket. I’m completely in love with it. I love it’s military styling, the silk patches, the rough stitching, the na√Įve embroidery, the zip gathered patch pockets. I’m definitely be going to make a jacket inspired by this piece in my future…

I love this idea of this jacket and it's a great weight for I like. I'm sure I will create a jacket inspired by this one day.

I love this jacket, it’s unique and fits perfectly.

My little room in Paris

My little room in Paris

I stayed with a lovely and generous French lady Agnes, a place which I discovered via Airbnb. She was so helpful and I felt like I’d found myself a new aunt by the time I left! I think I enjoy her company as much as I enjoyed Paris itself.

After my work-related appointment on Wednesday morning (more on that later) I hopped on a train to London and was back mid evening.¬†Friday I spent at home and in downtown Brixton – where you can get the most AMAZING burgers at Honest Burgers in the Brixton Market. Then I went to the theatre on Friday – squee! I love theatre and this was a real treat – it was The Audience and¬†starred Helen Mirren.Via Twitter, I had ‘bumped’ into Claire-Louise Hardie, a professional theatrical costumier and sewing consultant to The Great British Sewing Bee. I tweeted the fact I work in a theatre and shortly after she got in touch and asked if I would like to see The Audience while I was in London. Yes please! She organised seats for myself and a friend at a fabulous price and we sat right under the nose of Helen Mirren, smack bang in the middle of the front row.

Claire-Louise Hardie & me!

Claire-Louise Hardie & me outside the theatre: I’m not dressed very flash as I was cold and rather too tired to get fancy this night!

I met-up with Claire-Louise pre-show and had a little backstage tour and got to see the costumes, wigs, meet some of the cast and some of the costumes up close. This is a stellar show and a must-see. Apart from the legendary Helen Mirren and fabulous cast, the costumes are fascinating. A huge proportion of Helen Mirren’s costume/wig changes happen on stage (including wigs), she moves seamlessly from age to age and era to era¬†– the trickery of dressing and undressing Ms Mirren on stage is genius. All I can say is Ms Hardie is quite brilliant – oh and she’s lovely. If you are thinking about sewing lessons, then this is the girl for you, she runs a sewing studio called the Thrifty Stitcher and has small group¬†sewing classes¬†in North London. I don’t have the opportunity to do these sorts of things where I live – but if I were you and lived in London what a fabulous way to improve your skills – with an expert AND¬†in a working studio. Yes please!

I confess the first week was exhausting and I was slightly mad to attempt to do so much in such a short period after the mammoth flight from Down Under – but you live and learn!

The next day I was dragging a mammoth case (thank you Abakhan Fabrics!)¬†across London to the V&A to meet up with Rachel of House of Pinheiro and another 50 or so bloggers… but that’s another blog post about the next 7 days…

And I have some blogger gifts to show you Рjust got to take pictures!

MORE SEWBUSYLIZZY NEWS…

I have¬†projects to share¬†including a jumper, cowl and a soon-to-be-completed First Communion dress… soon…

and I’m mid-fabric search for this project…

By Hand London Victoria Blazer

By Hand London Victoria Blazer

And many many thanks for all your kind comments on my Elisalotte dress. It’s been facebooked, tweeted and popped up all over the web. It’s given me a real buzz!