Tuesday, 27 January 2015

My Jalie Skirt. Plus advice required - alterations on RTW top.

First a big huge thanks for all of the lovely comments on my Jungle January dress. Most appreciated.

Now my second post in as many days - hope you don't get sick of me.

As mentioned in my last post, I made a Jalie 8 gore skirt in a beautiful Hybrid Crepe from EmmaOneSock. This fabric is really gorgeous with stretch  :-)  :-)  :-) and 2 sides - one matt and darker and one a little shiney. I chose the matt side of course - shine being the enemy of the bulge. (I just read this back LOL - of course the fabric has 2 sides - DOH!)

I have made this skirt before but this time I actually put all 8 gores in LOL.. last time I carefully measured and when I altered the pattern to fit me I was surprised at how tight it turned out when made up (check out the pic of the back) - only to find the 8th gore months later under a pile of fabric on my sewing table (told you before math is not my strong suit - although one would think I could count to eight). I have since undone one seam and the top and hem and inserted the 8th gore and it fits much better now...... When making this version I counted each gore as it went in if only to prove I can count to eight!!!!

Anyway - I really like this skirt and can wear this style of skirt a lot easier than a pencil shape which tends to tent over my tum.

This post is not only to show off my new skirt but to seek advice on the top. It is a RTW top (yes shame on me - I broke my RTW shun pledge - in a HUGE way - in the TVSN sales in December). Don't you just love television shopping - although what looks great on size 8 model doesn't necessarily translate to looking great on size BeaJay.

It really doesn't look good on someone so top heavy. Looks like a toffee apple.

First - I do like a peek a boo shoulder but the whole arm is way too much sausage on show so I shall put a small tack half way down the arm to hold it more together... now .... about the "fluff".

Should I take in the sides and sleeves a bit?
Take away the elastic?
Or both?
Or is it a lost cause?

I do so love the fabric and it fits right in with my planned navy work wardrobe.

Knock knock - Mrs Mole - are you there?? Any advice from you or any other of my talented sewing friends out there would be greatly appreciated.


Thanking you in advance.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Jungle January and the Sabertooth Swap.

The drought has broken.

It really took some doing to get my sewjo mojo a flowing. After so long with problems with my knee and our cold winter I lost the momentum with sewing. I did quite a bit of cutting and just a little sewing but really couldn't get my act together.

It took a great day at Tessutis with my sewing buddies (and Jungle January) to re-ignite my mojo. I took 3 items already cut out and ready to sew. At Tessutis I did the sewing of the seams on all 3, so all I had to do was the finishing - binding / hemming etc. The items made up so quickly and it really made me want to sew again.

In a beautiful navy hybrid crepe from EmmaOneSock I cut a Jalie 8 gore skirt and a pair of StyleArc Linda Pants. These are part of my Artisan's Square SWAP. These will be photographed when I finish some matching tops.

In a lovely fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics I had a cut out dress from McCalls 5890. This is fabric I first saw on the lovely and talented Thornberry and HAD. TO. HAVE! With its fun scales it fits right into the Jungle. If you like anything animal head over to Pretty Grievances and check out the cat walk before the cruise ends. Yes - it's Jungle January.

It is quite a heavy ponte so will be put in the safari suitcase and pulled out in winter.

Of course I will wear it with a jacket or cardigan like below - but I am thinking more of the Orange StyleArc Fiona I have planned. There are touches of orange in the fabric but maybe full on Orange will be too much. I will have to look when I get the Fiona sewn.

Overall I am happy with the dress.

Oh - and btw - look at what Santa brought me.

This is so much better than the little cutting mats that I used before. Longer than my dining table. No more shuffling little boards around. It was purchased here and is 1.8m x 0.9m (or 71" X 36" for those not in cms). I was able to pick it up at Yagoona so even saved on the shipping.

On the cutting table....

I have some gorgeous fabric from The Remnant Warehouse. It is a Spirograph bengaline. It is more of a wedgwood colour than the aqua in the picture and quite beefy. The feel is lovely and it is a reversible jacquard - although I am only going to use one side (Can't decide which one though). I did purchase some of the red (which is less orange than in the pic on their website) for a dress and may use both sides of that one.

Although this is a departure from my A.S. SWAP, I can't help it - the fabric is crying out to be a pair of summer capris.

Also on the table is a lacy (from the remnants warehouse) little jardi. Short sleeved for summer. You can see the fabric in the pic of the cutting board but if you want a closer look you can find it here.

The lovely Anne at Pretty Grievances also gave me my Sabertooth SWAP partner. This is where we swap animal print fabric with a partner who then makes an item with it.

It was really exciting to receive fabric from Barbara at Barbara Jane Made. (And great to find another Aussie sewist). Barbara gifted me this lovely knit (and 2 spools of matching cotton - oh yeah!) and now I am deciding on what to make of it. It is thick without being too hot like ponte and has a nice recovery.

These are my picks. I can either make a top or use it for panels in a dress. I am leaning towards the top in the lower left corner.

Wish me luck.

Now before I go I want to share a tip I read on Sewing on the Edge. This tip is sure to CHANGE MY LIFE!!!!!! At the moment I and sitting in the loungeroom having a rest after the mammoth task of ironing steam a seam on the neckline and armholes of a dress (believe me - it is a mammoth task - especially in today's heat). Using Barbara's tip I shouldn't have to do that anymore. If you are one of the few who don't follow her or if you missed the post -  check it out.

P.S. I wrote this yesterday but hadn't taken the pics. The temperature has dropped 18 degrees celsius today (that is over 64 degrees fahrenheit) and it is actually cool - hallelujah.

Happy Australia Day to my fellow Aussies

Have a good sewing day.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Blog Give Away

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas from down-under.

Thank you all for your support through the year. I have enjoyed reading your posts and your comments to my posts. I have loved the sense of community the sewing blogs bring and am really thrilled to "get to know you" all.

I had my recent blog anniversary and have drawn a winner for the $35 voucher.

I used the random calculator to pick a post from the year and it picked this one  http://ontheroadtosewwear.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/butterick-5855-and-stylearc-shelly-top.html#comments .

I then used the calculator to pick a number out of the comments and it the comment from the lovely Sarah Liz.

Sarah, please email me you preference for the shop for the voucher to

bevinvest at bigpond dot com


For those who don't celebrate Christmas - have a wonderful holiday season.

For everyone else.......

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Advice required - linings

Hi all, I need some advice for the blogisphere from those who line garments.

I do not. The reason being - I have a hot bod........... temperature wise that is.... LOL.

The 2 dresses that I have lined - the red one and the brown one - have gone to the  big sewing bin in the sky. I just couldn't wear them - they cooked me. I thought about taking out the lining but the actual fabric is too hot too.

In the midst of winter here in Sydney I would usually just add a thicker cardi and closed in shoes to my wardrobe. I did feel the cold last winter but that was in my very cold home. When I go out to work the premises are always well heated.

Now I need to use lining. It needs to be stretchy.

Any advice as to what to get and where to get it? I do have some stretch lining here but it is a little too thick for my liking. I did read somewhere that someone used swimming lining for clothing. Would that work?

Hope you are all having a superb weekend.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Blog anniversary coming up and my 3rd year sewing review.

Well - it is rolling around again - my sewing and blogging anniversary. I have now been sewing for 3 years and will have been blogging for 3 years on the 17th (although I have not sewn anything in the last 6 months!!!!)

First a review of the year and then an announcement of a bloggiversary gift.

I was much more productive before I hurt my knee.

1 - Snake skin dress - part of the tradition of Jungle January.... Bring it on!!! This is a house dress as the shape doesn't really suit me. It is worn a lot - as a matter of fact I am wearing it now. It does not travel outside of the front door though.

2 - Never worn - I don't know why. I must wear it soon

3 - Wadder - went straight into the bin

4 - Loved this top but it shredded at the seams on the first wear. Sigh.

5 - A representation of the 7 pairs of Barbs I made. I wear them all. They are the most worn items of my wardrobe. They are so comfy.

6 - Creative Cate top. Most worn top from this year - very happy with this.

7 - too scared to wear after the issue of the shredding of number 4 as it is the same pattern. Will have to grit my teeth and wear.

8 & 9 - home wear only - do sometimes wear out to shops etc but not for business wear.

10 - Occasional business wear.

11 & 12 - weekend wear. I was going to put 12 as work wear but after all of my careful pattern placement I have noticed some alien looking fallopian tubes in the photo so now relegated to weekend only.

13 - still needs adjustments to be made

14 - Will add to my work wardrobe when the weather warms up. This was started many many months ago and only finished last month.

Well - not a very productive year for me. I am happily cutting away ready to get my sewjo back. I have way too many things in the pipeline. I just have to get into the rhythm again. I still can't sit in a chair for too long. I have to put my leg up regularly. I get by at work by putting my leg on another chair. I am looking forward to sewing though. I just need to start.


Now - my actual bloggiversay is on the 17th and on that day I will draw a winner for my bloggiversary gift.

There has been a plethora of indie patterns being released (Michelle from happily caffeinated does a weekly roundup of new patterns if you are interested), not to mention the big 4, fabric stores are having sales and there is always the room for more fabric or patterns in the life of a sewist.

I really really appreciate the people who read my blog and absolutely adore those who take the time to comment. In deep thanks for your support I would like to give a AUS$35 voucher to a person who has commented on my blog in the last year. YOU choose the store the voucher is for.

There are a couple of rules:

  1. I must be able to purchase the voucher online and have it put in your name.
  2. The voucher must be for a sewing purchase. It doesn't matter what - notions, patterns, fabric, magazine subscription etc.
  3. You must post what you purchase on your blog. If you don't have a blog then email me and let me know what you purchased with the voucher.

So, those who have wanted to try an indie pattern but put off by the price, those who want to purchase fabric from OS but put off by the shipping - you can put the voucher toward this if you want. Mind you - if you are in Australia then it will only go a SHORT way towards shipping LOL - but it will help. You decide.

Tune in on the 17th Sydney time to see if you have won. I will use a random number calculator using the numbers on comments from last year to this year so the more you commented the more chance you have of winning.

Monday, 3 November 2014

StyleArc Harper Jacket and a wadder

First I would like to thank all for your lovely comments on my SWAP plan. Of course I wish I had the shape of the images - they all look fab on the plan (I did widen them a little) but my sewing skills in additon to my round bod will make them look somewhat different ;-0

Below is the StyleArc Harper Jacket. It has been wrapped around Babs keeping her warm waiting on a photo opportunity.. This was made in a lovely navy stretch crepe from EmmaOneSock. I have ordered more and will eventually make a skirt and a pair of Linda pants for the Artisan Square SWAP.

Now it will be worn as per in the SWAP plan - not with the outfit shown here. Also it was very very windy and it was difficult to keep the lapels from flying everywhere and I was trying to keep my hair out of my eyes.

Orignially I wanted to use this jacket as one of the 5 tops needed for the SWAP rules as it is designed to be worn either open as above or closed with the supplied hook and eyes.

Now I don't normally wear it closed as I don't like high necklines so I closed it up and took a picture of it closed and - well let us just say that I have changed my mind about using it as a top... Not going to happen.

In the interest of showing the not so good.... here it is.

Still trying to keep the hair from flying in the eyes!

Nuh - definitely not!!! Now don't blame Harper. You can see the gorgeous Anne from Clothing Engineer wears it well.

I also have a lovely SA Abby cardi I did on the weekend away last May and now finished but it needs a plain top - which is a hole in the wardrobe..

Now onto the wadder.

I wanted to participate in the trend of patterned pants and looked at the StyleArc Lola pants.... but common sense (and Trinny and Suzanna) say that if you are large in the top half you need to balance that out in the lower half so I didn't think tapered pants were the answer. I also fell in lurve with these pants in RTW

Hence I went with Linda pants and just added more fabric to accommodate the lack of stretch. I ended up wishing I had added more ease. (More about that later)

The fabric was from an el-cheapo fabric store in Marrickville. It looks and feels like a Rayon challis but for the price I don't think so. Probably a poly cotton. Forgot to look. Excuse the fuzzy picture but for some reason my camera has decided not to flash any more which makes indoor pictures fuzzy. Need to update.

Oops - note to self - don't take morning pics still in nightie when there is a mirror behind photographed item.
Any hoo - el-cheapo thin fabric plus lack of ease - hmmmm bent over to put on shoes and heard that unmistakable sound ------------ rippppppppppp. Not worth trying to save. Fabric is too thin.

On the chopping board - oops - cutting table.

I have cut a trial in taupe jersey for the StyleArc Fiona cardi. It is a fabric hog with that band. If it goes well I will do it in an orange for my SWAP.

That's it for now. Wow - 2 posts in 2 days.... 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

It is that time of the year again..... SWAP

First let me say sewing has happened here at Chez BeaJay but haven't had the opportunity to take pics. I am doing small amounts of sewing at a time and managed to finish a few things. Will post as soon as I can.

Over at Artisans Square it is the annual SWAP - sewing with a plan. I have entered for 2 years now.

I was eagerly awaiting the posting of the rules this year and now they are up *sigh* - not what I was hoping for.

***** Edited to add - after some suggestions over at Artisan's Square - especially a brilliant easy one from Ruthie - I am IN *********

The first year I didn't get much done. Finished a few items, but didn't get near 11 items done. But I did learn that the items I chose, I did so just to fit my idea of what the "wardrobe" should be. I looked in my stash and chose fabrics that would go together and items that met the rules. One of the reasons I didn't finish is that I was "stuck" with my plan. My base colour was teal and when I had a couple of wadders I couldn't fit anything else in.

Last year the rules were more flexible and although I didn't finish it was more because I ran out of energy and time.. but I made quite a bit of way through it and came up with clothes that I wear on a regular basis and have built on.

I liked the flexible rules but they have gone back to basics and on top of that added a "twist" and while this may suit a lot of people - not so much me.

I have been thinking about SWAP since I saw the fantastic plan from Sharon at Petite and Sewing. It has lots of neutrals in so I have learnt from that and decided to give myself a palette that I can work colour into instead of basing it on colour.

This year I have planned out 2 SWAPs - don't know which one I will go with - but I am going to go ahead with one on my own. Whether or not I make changes to fit into the Artisan Square SWAP or not - I haven't decided.

I am very pleased with both choices and that is the main thing - that what I sew works for me - not for a contest.

Both have very basic neutrals to build on. The first one navy and oat and the second one oat, butter and brown. They have some cross over items. There are also lots of choices I can have if things don't work out. I am learning.

Option 1 has 12 items. If I go out on my own I don't need to change this but if I do change for Artisan's Square then I will take out an item.

Option 1

Most of the navy is Hi-tech matte hybrid stretch crepe from EmmaOneSock with the exception of the top which will be linen. The oat is a lightweight tropical wool and the hounds-tooth is a raw silk. At the end is a lovely brushed cotton / lycra from EmmaOneSock. The other fabrics are ity jersey, viscose knit and a rayon spandex.

Option 2

This one has the same oat tropical wool, a linen dress, a chocolate tropical wool dress, a raw silk dress, a divine chocolate and butter silk caftan, a blouse in a lovely silk from Remnants Warehouse and a shell top in a gorgeous georgette from Gorgeous Fabrics and a jersey cardi.

This is how both will work as wardrobes.

Gee- neutrals are starting to rock my world.

And now I just need to be all grown up and pick a plan and stick to the neutrals.

What about you? Are you going with a plan - be it the Artisan's Square SWAP or one of your own.

The good thing about going out on my own is that I can start and end it when ever I like.

***** Edited to add - after some suggestions over at Artisan's Square - especially a brilliant easy one from Ruthie - I am IN *********