Blog is moving!

Hello everyone!

I know I wrote a little while ago, pondering the future of this blog in it’s current incarnation (with the poorness of the Kooky Kat and struggles to keep the shop etc updated as I had initially planned).

As a result, I’ve ported all of the content over to a new address – but all of the historical stuff will still stay here to view – although you will be able to see it all on the new blog anyway.

I know it will be a faff for anyone who follows me and links to me from their blog to update their bookmarks, but I think it’s the most sensible step moving forward and would appreciate it very much if everyone would kindly do so 🙂

The new address is http://azzymakes.wordpress.com

As always I have the worst timing, but I hope everyone reading has had a good 2011 and I wish you all the best for 2012!


Three out of three

Well today I have received my third order from Biubiu (which meant a 90 minute walk to the sorting office and back in all sorts of mud… climbing over fallen-down trees and all sorts… anyway) and I am pleased to announce it is another winner.

Also, despite the shockingly bad light here in the north of England, we’ve managed to take some better pictures of all of my previous purchases so people can see them a bit better 🙂

My latest order was for tops. I’d already bought three dresses (with a fourth soon to come) and two shirts, but what I wanted was *tops*. Things just to chuck on and have look right with the minimum of fuss (and ironing!) needed. So I present to you, the Porto top – which comes in three colours, burgundy, petrol and black. That I would buy black is a given, but I decided to get both of the other colours to try and broaden my colour horizons a bit…

Here we are – first up, burgundy:

Biubiu Porto Burgundy Top

I cannot say enough good things about this top. I love the colour, the fit, the feel of the fabric. Yes, they are a bit clingy so you can see my belt etc underneath, but that’s not the end of the world.

Cleavage, I’m pleased to report, isn’t a major issue, meaning these tops will be suitable for work:

Biubiu Porto Burgundy Top

I just love the neckline and the way the fabric sits and is styled:

Biubiu Porto Burgundy Top

Next up, Petrol:

Biubiu Porto Petrol Top

The top is a lot greener in real life, but my camera hates greens (along with strong blues, reds and purples), so you’ll just have to imagine it being a different colour to what’s shown here.

Again though, fits in a really nice way (despite more jean-related lumps-booooo!)

Biubiu Porto Petrol Top

Finally black:

Biubiu Porto Black Top

So glad I bought these – I love the fit and just the *feel* of them and will be sure to snag other Biubiu tops in future. I now need to try the Fuego tops, but with them being more of a traditional empire fit, I worry about looking like I’m expecting! Can but try, I suppose!

Forgot to mention that all of the tops are in 40 B/BB – the stretchy stuff comes in two sizes (B/BB and BB/BBB depending generally on whether you’re above or below a GG cup) – at an FF cup, the B/BB is fine. All of the fitted items, come in B, BB or BBB.

Speaking of fitted items, here are better pics that we took earlier of my previous acquisitions:

Red Town Dress in 40B:

Biubiu Red Town Dress

Biubiu Red Town Dress

Stone Town Dress in 40B:

Biubiu Stone Town Dress

Ponti Navy Dress in 40B/BB:

Biubiu Ponti Navy Dress

Biubiu Ponti Navy Dress

Vanity Fair Shirt in Black, 40B:

Biubiu Vanity Fair Black Shirt

Vanity Fair Shirt in White, 40B:

Biubiu Vanity Fair White Shirt

I love the little Vanity Fair shirt buttons – squares!

Biubiu Vanity Fair White Shirt

Needless to say I completely agree with Holly from the Full Figured Chest who did a round up of her best brands from 2011 for clothing and lingerie. In her clothing section she had the following three as brands she could happily make her wardrobe from:

My love for Biubiu is well known, but at some point soon I will try the fabulous Campbell and Kate shirts for an extra-special well-fitted piece of awesomeness. With my job I’m always in need of a well cut shirt and I struggle to find ones of nice quality that fit well (I tend to buy shirts from Hawes & Curtis in a larger size, but with a Hipster fit, which is slim fitted, to give me some definition – their sales make it a bit cheaper – £70-80 per shirt is a bit rich for my taste).

PZI Jeans is another US brand I’m desperate to try. You’ve all seen the pics above with my belt showing through the tops – unfortunately with more than a ten inch difference between my waist and hips (closer to 12-13 inches) I cannot find jeans that fit me properly. To get ones that fit over my large hips, it means a massive amount of gaping at the waist. Even a belt doesn’t always help as the jeans pull down and often look extremely messy at the back. So at some point soon I’m going to try these jeans – which have a steeper hip-waist slope, which should mean a better fit and hopefully, NO BELT! Happy days!

So that’s where I’m currently at on the clothing front! The awesome bra I’m wearing underneath all of the clothes is an Ewa Michalak bra and there will be a bra-related post coming after this one, probably!

All I’m waiting for now is a Paris dress – which will be what I exchange the returned Pasadena dress for when it eventually arrives back in Poland!

Thanks again so much to everyone who has recommended Biubiu in the past – and thank you of course to Kinga and the team for producing such awesome stuff. My curves thank you!

Time for a spin

It’s been a little while since I did some spinning. In fact I haven’t blogged about any for almost three months! Not great.

But! I got my November fibre club shipment from The Thylacine and it turned out to be this beautiful Gotland roving, in a colourway called Scorched:

The Thylacine - Scorched

I love some good purples, reds and greys.

Now with Gotland being a fibre that doesn’t like too much twist (it turns to wire) and because it was in roving form, rather than combed top, I thought that a suspended spindle, using a long-draw method might be best to maximise the loftiness and softness of the yarn.

So I started spinning:

Phang-spun Gotland

I think the above picture was taken after the first day or so. I’m spinning on my Gripping Yarn Phang – which weighs 42g and is made of Bubinga – so it’s a little on the chunky side, but is gorgeous. Has a nice grain too.

And I tell you what, there’s a reason that long, crimpy fibres aren’t traditionally spun this way. It’s HARD! Getting things even is a challenge – there’s lots of slubbiness due to the prep and I’m having to work hard at consistency, but it’s a good challenge.

Yesterday I finished the first half:

Phang-spun Gotland

That’s about 44g of yarn on there (or a little over 1.5 ounces) – and a pretty fat, pregnant looking cop. Good thing it’s done now – was getting to the point where I was finding it hard to keep it spinning for any length of time. But I do think I need to work on building the cop lower – that might help with balance and spinning.

Now to see how quickly I can wind all this off and spin up the other half. Looking forward to seeing the end result! 🙂

That’s right people – I placed and received another order from the fabulous Biubiu. I got my first order just under a month ago (post here) and was so happy I promptly placed another.

First things first, I wore my Red Town dress from the last post out to a little awards do in Leeds last week. Now because I’m completely crap, there are no proper pictures of me dolled up on the night. So instead, you’ll have to make do with a terrible photo of me taken while the outfit was being decided:

Biubiu Red Town Dress

I paired the dress with a lovely black and white tuxedo jacket (from Next of all places) – with awesome buttons. Then with some nice black patent heels, hair down and even a bit of makeup. Got lots of compliments on the outfit during the night, which as someone who normally feels more at home in jeans and t-shirts, meant a lot.

So, onto the new stuff!

After ordering a dress and shirt last time, I took the plunge and ordered another shirt (but in a different colour) and three other dresses.

First up is the shirt – another Vanity Fair, in a 40B, in black:

Biubiu Vanity Fair Black Shirt

I heart the fit of these shirts. This one looks like it fits better due to bra selection, which I’ll come on to – but I cannot get enough of these shirts. I hope Biubiu make them forever.

Next up is one of the jersey dresses – Ponti Navy in 40B/BB (the jersey stuff comes in two sizes, rather than three – on account of it being more stretchy):

Biubiu Ponti Navy Dress

I ADORE this. Love the colour and the fit – I need to get a little belt to team it with, I think along with a great selection of tights – so I can hide the legs and knobbly knees.

Finally we have the Stone Town dress – same as the Red Town I already own, but in a different fabric (linen) and colour:

Biubiu Stone Town Dress

This is Trev’s favourite – I think it could work in a variety of situations and will be an awesome summer dress too. It’s not lined, unlike the Red version, so will be brilliant in warm weather.

Why do I say “finally” when I ordered four things? Well, I also ordered the supremely fabulous and gorgeous Pasadena dress (do click and see it – it’s gorgeous grey with black panels and fitted and MWAH) but horror of horrors, I could not fit it over my hips! It seems I can wear a fitted Biubiu dress when it’s cut with more room, ala the Town dresses, but Pasadena and I were not to be. So it shall be going back to Poland while I plot my next order.

There’s so much more awesome stuff to be had. Like the new Paris dress – in black or grey, or the new Fuego tops – I particularly like the raspberry colour. Looks like I’ll be placing another order soon. I will also try and get better pics at the weekend when I get some daylight.

Now I know I briefly mentioned bras – I placed an order with Polish lingerie site Ewa Michalak for an initial three bras, to see how I got on. They’re very highly rated by those women who are large of boob and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

In short, the bras are awesome. The most supported I have EVER felt in a bra – which for someone who is a 32FF is quite an achievement! The *lift* is incredible. I’m tempted to do a separate post about these, but not sure how much appetite there is for pictures of my boobs on the internet?!? If people would like more information I’ll take some pics of the bras (not on) and give lots of info about the ordering and the fit. But happy to do pics-with-the-bras-on if people think it would be useful.

Anyhooo – rambled on enough for now – I shall be back, with better pictures and bra reviews!

Today, I sewed

For the time in ages today I dug out the sewing machine and some fabric and had a go at sewing something!

Previously I’ve made a couple of box bags that you can see in old posts, but I wanted to try a tutorial that left me with no raw seams on the inside of the bag – which most do. I guess it’s part of learning and being a beginner, but I hate having the untidy edges inside. If I had an overlocker, I could use that on the edges and it would look better, but I want perfection, dammit!

So enter a new tutorial: http://sew4home.com/projects/storage-solutions/930-travel-accessories-cosmetics-a-toiletries-case

I’ve used the fabrics I’ve used before – some of the stashed vinyl and another fat quarter I had laying around. One of these days I’ll try using interfacing to stiffen the bag up, as they do some up a little floppy.

I’ve also got some denim (old pair of jeans) that I might use to make a washbag – with the vinyl as a lining – that will require some different needles and thread I imagine and of course some more zips.

I also practiced sewing on Grace – something I haven’t done too much of as the electricity still scares me. Most has been done on my handcranks – but Grace is lovely:

Grace Is Gorgeous!

Thankfully now I’ve finished sewing the bag, I feel a bit happier with the machine and more comfortable using it.

Here’s some pics!

The bag is a little narrower and taller than others I’ve done – this is no doubt due to the corners I sewed – for the next one I’ll try and get similar dimensions to last time:

Hidden Seams Box Bag

Little bit of wonky topstitching by the back, unfortunately – I always struggle with doing the second half of the zip:

Hidden Seams Box Bag

From the front though, it looks pretty good!

Hidden Seams Box Bag

There’s only one seam on the inside – from where you turn using the final corner. Next time I’ll use a matching colour thread to make this as invisible as possible:

Hidden Seams Box Bag

At the back, all invisible seams inside – all you an see is my dodgy top-stitching:

Hidden Seams Box Bag

I did have a slight hiccup at the back with two pins getting stuck by the back tab when I was sewing the seams. This meant I had to cut a teeny tiny whole to get the pins out – but it can hardly be seen.

Hidden Seams Box Bag

Other than the top-stitching and contrasting inside thread, all other seams and lines are either invisible or as they should be! I’m pretty pleased!

I would probably consider making one or two tweaks to the pattern – it asks you to see all the way along the top and bottom, which means you end up sewing bits of the lining that really need to be left free (unless I’ve misunderstood the pattern) – so I had to unpick some bits.

Finished dimensions are:

A touch over 4″ tall
About 3.5″ wide
About 7″ long – plus strap

Will try and whizz up another one or two tomorrow – will then have to make a trip into town to get some more supplies.

I managed to get hold of a cheap zigzagger on eBay, which I’ll try (would be awesome to be able to use knit fabrics on this machine too) and am finally getting around to making a list of all of the sewing notions and things I want for the room. I’ve also taken Grace out of her table temporarily, to see if it’s easier to use that way. She stands up quite well on her own little feet and I might see about getting a proper desk that she can live on one corner of permanently.

So even though I’ve not been that successful on the knitting front recently, it’s nice to be sewing!

Thoughts on the shop

So when I kicked off this blog in its new incarnation I went all-out and put together a little Etsy shop where I was going to sell handspun and handknits etc. For one reason or another, things haven’t really worked out as planned. Work, time and other things have conspired against me to leave the shop almost always empty.

Also, the Kooky Kat after whom this blog and the shop are named is very very poorly. She has a massive tumour on her mammary gland (kitty breast cancer) and while we haven’t opted for surgery in the hope of not leaving her in massive pain towards the end of her life (plus chances of success not great) – she doesn’t have long left.

For now, I have closed the Etsy store temporarily and will update content on the blog to reflect the lack of store. I will debate whether to close it permanently and also consider changing the name of the blog – if the store and the whole initial ethos behind this blog isn’t in place, it probably makes sense to change it.

It won’t stop me selling anything – I’ll be able to put items up on here for sale if I ever have anything finished that I think others might be interested in. It may also make it a little easier to expand the scope of the blog a little – although the focus will still be predominantly on crafting etc.

I guess mostly I’m chickening out – once Kooky is no longer with us I don’t want to see reminders of her every day – so will give it some thought and decide what to do.

In the meantime we are very glad to have whatever time is left with she-of-the-giant-paws:


BiuBiu Clothing

Those of you who have met me in real life know that I’m not the smallest or slimmest of people. I was super skinny until I was around 12 and started to develop boobs. I started to grow a number of curves along with them but when that stopped, the boobs kept growing.

As a result, I’m now a large 12/14 (closer to a 16 on my mahoosive hips) and my bust is somewhere in the region of a 32/34 F/FF. While bra shopping is pretty simple, finding nice clothes that fit well is a heck of a lot harder. I bought two items of clothes from Bravissimo (before they became Pepperberry) and while I thought the fitted shirt was ok, the quality wasn’t fantastic for the almost £40 I paid and the linen wrap dress, while gorgeous, developed a hole under the arm after the first wash.

This has led to my continuing to wear pretty shapeless, baggy clothing – I don’t like to reveal anything which makes buying anything fitted but modest on the high street impossible. Fast forward to a fortnight ago and while browsing the interwebz I stumbled across a number of blogs written by larger-boobed women who kept mentioning this Polish site called BiuBiu.

I went off for a browse and decided I actually quite liked a lot of their stuff – the quality seems to be excellent, fit is great and they sold items in my size. So I took the plunge and ordered two items – a basic white shirt and a fitted red dress. The two items, including delivery from Poland cost about £65 – and after ordering on a Monday, the items arrived the following Wednesday.

Here they are!

First up is the white shirt – called Vanity Fair in size 40B (more on sizing in a bit):

Vanity Fair - White

Vanity Fair - White

I love the fit, the little square buttons, the long cuffs, everything! I may have to think about wearing this with a top underneath, but even if it’s not quite as opaque as I would like, I don’t think you can see anything.

Next we have the dress – called Red Town, also in a 40B. I chose this one as it stated that it had a little bit more room in the hips (always good in my case). Please excuse the fuzziness of these pics – my camera absolutely HATES red:

Red Town

I love how it sits around the neck:

Red Town

It also fits well at the back (any pulling is due to my not adjusting self before I took the photo):

Red Town

I really like how this fits – the colour is great and it’s a dress that would be suitable for work but also going out. There’s another dress in this cut made from linen (called Stone Town) and another gorgeous black dress they have that I’m planning to get at the end of the month.

The sizing at BiuBiu is very similar to how Bravissimo works – you have your waist size as one measurement, and then you’re either a B, BB or BBB depending on how much proportionately bigger your bust is to your waist. At the moment my waist measurement puts me at a 40B (78cm waist, 96cm bust) – but if I lose a few pounds round my middle I’ll drop to a 38BB.

That’s for the tailored clothes. For clothes made from jersey or stretchy fabrics, there’s only two bust variations – B/BB or BB/BBB – as the stretch makes it easier for things to fit.

Definitely recommending BiuBiu to everyone I know of larger boobage – the fabric quality is really good (my dress is also lined, which for about £35 I think is pretty decent) and the stitching etc is also great. Shipping is quick and cheap and they have a very active Facebook page which is a great place to get help and see pictures of items on other customers.

It turns out there’s also a lovely lingerie company based in Poland – called Ewa Michalak – which I’ve also heard great things about. Another great thing about ordering from Poland? As they’re part of the EU, if you’re getting your stuff shipped to the UK there’s no customs charges to pay! Love it 🙂