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. 🙂


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.

Tessuti Gridlock Pop – mission complete

This project has been an endurance sport. I feel like that little athlete from an unknown country who staggers into the Olympic stadium about 3 hours after the winner of the marathon has crossed the line. A little nobody with no energy but simply determined to finish.


The original post from Tessuti was to “design an outfit incorporating this fabric. Make it up however you like but make it just for you! Our brief is simply to create something stylish and appropriate as day wear.” That later seemed to morph into ‘garment’ but I had this ‘outfit’ concept stuck in my head.

I spent ages looking at this fabric. It sat next to me on the lounge some nights and I draped it over myself quite a bit. I learnt about the fabric, how it draped and felt against my skin. This fabric is hot to wear – it’s 21% cotton, 77% poly and 2% polyurethane – there is no way I would make this to wear as a ‘daywear’ dress in my climate. I would ‘glisten’ terribly at any time of the year (that’s sweat in ladylike terms). It’s ‘breathing’ properties are limited. It’s a great jacket fabric though.

I chose my trusty Fashion Star jacket in the end. Like everyone I loved the Burda Crossover Blazer and Burda 7491 came in a close second (I even traced Burda 7491 and purchased the Crossover Blazer pattern). Those jackets are lovely but I don’t think Gridlock would have done them justice. Thank you Trish & Felicity for their advice.

The fabric had arrived wrapped in an old McCalls pattern – it seemed like fate.

The colour, while being a very beautiful blue, looked dead against the cream background. It needed a ‘pick-me-up’ so I decided a burst of colour was required.

My first choice was dusty pink but when I visited the fabric store this cerise cotton linen leapt from the pile of bolts, saying ‘Whattaboutme?’. It made the Gridlock POP so I found some matching lining and away I went.

Tessuti Gridlock - POP

Tessuti Gridlock – POP

I think the temptation with this competition is to clad yourself from head to toe in Gridlock. I decided to create a statement piece (the jacket) and a dress is to complement the statement piece. They complement each other without being ‘matchy-matchy’. The items can be worn by themselves or together as an ‘outfit’. I wore the jacket today with my jeans for a TV interview!

That was the EASY PART.


The optional extras that I inflicted on myself:-

  • Continuous bias binding
  • Made-by-me piping
  • Topstitching. Not just the jacket shell but also the lining – in contrasting thread (pink on blue and blue on pink)
  • Covered buttons


As I prefer to make my life as difficult as possible, I made up Fashion Star pattern (6699) to pair with the jacket. It’s got cute contrast pockets, skirt vent and waistband. The Gridlock fabric is quite bulky so I chose to add strips of it to the pocket lining.

To the dress I added:-

  • Topstitching to the neckline and armhole.
  • Piping to the waistband (self made as for the jacket). I’ve really proud of the zipper as the piping is pretty close to perfect.
  • Underlined the skirt, I was concerned the pockets would show through the skirt.

I will write up a post later in the week about how I did a few things with this project – right now I’m too tired and over it to say much more (except I want to make a t-shirt for therapy).

There are some seriously awesome entrants now for this competition – which you would expect with $1000 on the line.


OK. Let the pictures speak for themselves. A little creased due to car travel – no ironing facilities at the lighthouse!

I can’t help but point out – how perfect are these shoes for this outfit!!?? The right colour and even a bit ‘Gridlocky’, it was pure luck, I’ve had these for years!

Even the ominous clouds seem to be the right colour. I have not colour altered these pictures at all.



TESSUTI GRIDLOCK - alternate view

TESSUTI GRIDLOCK – alternate view

Tessuti Gridlock. The dress - Cerise with contrasting Gridlock elements

Tessuti Gridlock. The dress – Cerise with contrasting Gridlock elements


TESSUTI GRIDLOCK – sleeves rolled back.



Tessuti Gridlock - back view

Tessuti Gridlock – back view. Alas cotton linen is very ‘crushable’.

Some detail pictures…

Tessuti Gridlock: lapel, button, piping, topstitching

Tessuti Gridlock: lapel, button, piping, topstitching

Tessuti Gridlock - pocket

Tessuti Gridlock – pocket

Tessuti Gridlock - zipper

Tessuti Gridlock – zipper

Tessuti Gridlock. Shell - construction

Tessuti Gridlock. Shell – construction

Tessuti Gridlock. Lining - construction

Tessuti Gridlock. Lining – construction. Please note I’ve top stitched the lining with contrasting thread!

Thank you in particular to Trish, she endured regular random emails from me – which I am sure made little or no sense some days – I even inflicted progress shots on her. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This stopped what was a hard project from also being a long & lonely project.

Thank you also to the Tweeples who checked on my progress and cheered me on, especially Bimble&Pimble with her derby cheers and pom poms.

Good Luck Tessuti Gridlock contestants…


Hello it’s me – world’s most boring sewing blogger (at least at the moment, Tessuti Gridlock has me in a headlock).

I am STILL working on the never-ending project. I WILL (must) finish soon (I pray). I have nothing of interest to show off today, however all is not lost! You can check out my Desert Island Sewing post over on the ever-delightful Winnie of Scruffy Badger… who I will meet in IRL very very soon!

Desert Island Sewing with Scruffy Badger (aka Winnie)

Desert Island Sewing with Scruffy Badger (aka Winnie)

My epic Tessuti Gridlock project continues. I swear it’s not that epic or amazing but it is taking ages… I don’t know why… I wish I did know… I just want it to be over… (sob)

Tessuti teaser

Tessuti teaser

Ah, I need a holiday… hang on… I seem to recall I am jetting off somewhere soon… London? Paris? Madrid?