Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sustainable kids wear...

I want to share with you my recently completed sustainable kids wear range.  For the school project we were able to focus on either recycled fabrics, or organic/sustainable fibres i.e. bamboo, hemp etc.

I chose recycled fabrics for my size six girls range.  Everything except the cape zip was bought from op shops or leftovers from other projects.


The end result is this...

I am really happy with the end result.  I didn't think kids wear would be as much fun as it turned out to be.

What do you think?

BTW - I have new things to show you, but am yet to take happy snaps - it has been very rainy lately :-)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You know you have too many clothes when...

After a full day at college, I arrived home to find a this on my dressing room door -

With a feeling of dread I opened the door, and found this -


My double garment rack had spontaneously self destructed, frightening the be-Jesus out of my boyfriend.

What to do ???  We made a late night dash to Bunnings (huge Australian hardware chain store) just before they closed.

Three hours later we had this -


2.4 metres of hanging/shelf space, fully adjustable and reconfigurable, reasonably priced wardrobe heaven!!!

And, believe it or not, DIY flat pack with good instructions, plenty of screws etc...and not one cross word was uttered - AMAZING!!!

My boyfriend is brilliant...with help from a gorgeous assistant ;-)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Simplicity 9969...

Even though it is getting chilly here in Australia I still have summer dresses to show you.

This is a "costume" pattern from Simplicity (I recently won on Ebay), a reproduction of the style of dresses the "torch" singers wore while singing to the troops in WWII.

The pattern was not cheap, at $24.00, but I love the style, the drape front, the frills, and the sweetheart neckline.  I made view A.

Sorry about the lousy backdrop, it was too dark outside (early a.m.) to take a photo.

The fabric was bought from a lady who is selling lots of vintage fabric from a recently deceased "hoarder" of fabric...the husband didn't know what to do with all the fabric, so she is selling it and giving the money to their church.  I often wonder what my family would do with my stash ?!?!?

Anyway...the dress was easy to sew, and my only adjustment was to add about 1.5 cm to the waist only, thanks to my modern, and not 1950s, figure!  I am going to make the longer sleeve version next - I really need some cool weather dresses...

The dress is incredibly flattering, with its slight a-line skirt, and I felt very nice going to "town" (Melbourne) in my most recent best dress.  A woman with a retro dress store asked if I would make some for her shop...if only I could make it more low-cut at the neck, and a much tighter skirt :-) 

I love it just the way it is!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Vogue 8686...

We recently had our annual industry day, when members of the fashion industry come to our school and give presentations on various topics.  We are also asked to make something - usually an accessory - which relates to the theme of the day.  This year's theme was sustainability, and we were asked to make an accessory using recycled materials.

I had recently shortened some leather pants to shorts length, and saved the leg pieces.  I had this "vintage vogue" pattern V8686, so decided to make the peplum from the recycled leather, and the dress from vintage fabric given to me by an elderly lady.

I decided to make a matching hat, and chose view 3 of Wearing History's "sporty toppers".  I used some of the leftover leather to trim the hat.


I was challenged by the construction techniques used, it wasn't difficult...I just had to proceed carefully and read the instructions well.  It was a challenge in a good way.  I followed the directions precisely, but shortened the sleeves as it is still quite warm here in March.  I had replaced the side splits with pleats, because I prefer pleats, but the fabric wasn't working so I went back to side splits.

I paired it with a vintage patent leather bag and shoes from my local op shop.  I just love all the design details of this dress, and think the hat makes the look.  I especially like it when my outfits are truly era specific - some vintage patterns just look great, others look absolutely from an earlier time.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Vogue 6744...

I am slowly catching up on taking photos and documenting my finished here is (yet) another dress.

I made this dress especially to wear to my scholarship presentation evening - I was very lucky to receive a scholarship this year.  Even though the invitation said "smart casual" I realise that is not possible for me :-)

I used a nice weighty stretch satin in the nicest leopard print I have seen in awhile...I LOVE animal print!  I think this would be an early 60s pattern, but I'm not sure.

The dress was not too tricky to sew, although the facings and cape part were a little fiddly.  I wore it with my "What Katie Did" seamed stockings and undergarments, and a vintage pearl collar

Although the fabric is quite dressy, while I was making it and trying it on, I realised it will look great with my flat, dark chocolate leather knee high boots, thick tights, and a cardi.  Maybe that is what they mean by "smart casual"...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Local exposure...

On Saturday 27th March, my local paper - the Geelong Advertiser - dedicated its art/fashion/lifestyle supplement to the resurgence of handmade, art markets, op shops, and vintage.

I was lucky enough to be included in the supplement.


The newspaper took photos of several of my favourite dresses, and wrote a couple of hundred words about what motivates me to dress in this way.

It was a really cool article, and great exposure for me (as a fashion student).  The photographer was really nice, especially because i felt totally out of place perched on the edge of my cutting table for photos!

The Geelong Advertiser prints over 40,000 copies of its Saturday edition...even my parcel deliverer read it!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mail Order 4566...

I am still in love with mail order here is another one.



I made this dress especially for my trip to Bendigo, in country Victoria, to see the Grace Kelly exhibition.  The fabric is vintage, and I made the corsage on my left shoulder using vintage buttons and wire edged ribbon.  The hat is vintage also.

The mail order patterns seem so reliable to me, this one went together beautifully, and the fit is great.  The dress has a very elegant look, and I felt I could channel just a little of Grace's style.

The exhibition was beautiful - there were many gowns, accessories, and an Oscar on display.  The haute couture garments were varied, and stunning.  They demonstrated Grace's ability to remain stunningly elegant whilst staying very current in her choices.

Dior, Chanel, Balenciaga were just a few of the amazing designers on display.  Her two wedding outfits were displayed, and many garments from her movies.

Well worth the trip!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Marian Martin 9289...

Recently I have been making quite a few mail order patterns, the fit seems just right.  This dress, postmarked 1959, is fast becoming one of my faves.

I made the dress using vintage (36 inches wide) rayon from an op-shop, and modern white linen...there was not enough of the rayon to complete the garment.  I had to choose between sleeves or "self" fabric front bodice.  I also mistakenly cut two back bodices instead of one on the fold, and due to the fabric limitation I needed to be I added a back vent in the white.

Once again, the mail order pattern was a dream to put together, my only alteration being the removal of the large front pleat, and inclusion of a side zip.  The "shirtwaist" is purely visual in this instance.  My piece of vintage rayon was so limited, I had to minimise any excess.  I also added a small kick pleat at centre back for ease of movement.

I team this dress with red patent leather belt and shoes, and feel like a million dollars!  This is one of those dresses that is really easy to put on and accessorise, but looks like I've put in way more effort than I have.

BTW - I am going on a school excursion today to the Bendigo Gallery to see an exhibition of Grace Kelly's gowns...I am so excited, and have made a new mail order dress to wear - photo to come.

Friday, February 3, 2012

My first unprinted pattern...

Over the years I have collected hundreds of vintage sewing patterns, however I have always been a little scared of those unprinted patterns...well, not anymore!

I offer you "Butterick 2964" - 1960s I think.

I used lovely spotty linen from my fave fabric store "Joy's" - my man calls it the "twister" in the board game.

I don't know why I was so worried about unprinted patterns, because this one was really easy.  I know it was an easy design, but I didn't want to make it hard for myself.

I am going to tackle more unprinted patterns as I have started collecting old "Australian Home Journal" patterns.  This dress was very comfy to wear - it was quite warm today - and I received lots of positive comments about it, which is always nice :-)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mail Order 9140...

Happy New Year (a little delayed, I know).
I have been sewing up a storm over these holidays, and have lots of photos to take - so stay tuned.

I have taken a photo of my latest creation - a 1960s mail order pattern.

I made the straight skirt version - view A, and it is a "wiggle" dress - since it doesn't have a split or pleat I have to take really small "wiggly" steps!

The border print fabric came from an op shop, I can't remember how much it cost.  It is a loose, slubby linen type fabric.  The pattern, size 14 1/2, was very easy to put together, and both garments were completed in just a few hours.

I LOVE this outfit!!!  I love the fit of the dress so much, I am going to cut it out of heavy card and use it as my new "sloper/block".

My boyfriend thinks this is the best use of a fabric pattern I have made...

Do you like it?