VIP – The “Walk the Line” Dress

This week over at the challenge was to use a VIP – Very Important Piece of fabric from our stash.  While I must come clean and admit I have had many pieces in my stash for years, this is a pretty recent arrival.  I found it a few months ago and it immediately screamed 50’s Fair to me!

HHT Fifties Fair from Historic Houses Trust on Vimeo.

I agonized over cutting into the fabric and choosing the right design, so there was a bit of sketching, much thought and a toile before I cut into the actual fabric.

The pattern I first attempted was:  Vintage Vogue V1043.  The top was a complete disaster, how much chocolate have I been eating lately?  I binned it and had a total change of direction.  Decided the skirt was worthwhile using.

Plan B was Butterick B4513, I made it very large (after the first disasterous attempt) then had to do lots of fitting.  The back of this dress is meant to be gathered into the gathered waistline of the skirt.  I wanted a fitted look, so had to alter it quite drastically to get this look.

This pattern calls for bias binding to form the ties at the shoulders.  I quite enjoy a bit of bias-binding action, so went quite nerdy, and made my own self-fabric bias binding, I think it makes it a bit special.

I was watching Walk the Line as I sewed for a bit of inspiration while sewing, then I looked down at the DVD’s cover after I had finished and saw I had subliminally created the dress Reece Witherspoon wears on the front cover!!!

The fabric sewed up like a dream despite not being pure cotton and doesn’t crease – which we like!  Even the side zip ended up facing the right way – which didn’t happen last time I attempted one!

Cost: Fabric $A25, patterns about $A10 from Ebay each.

The Facts

Fabric: Poly cotton from a Junk shop $20
Pattern: Skirt from Vogue V1043, top fron B4513 (with major fitting alterations)
Year: ’53 and ’57
Notions: Zip $3
Time to complete: 9 hours
First worn: August 2011 – Sydney’s 50’s Fair
Wear again?  It should be useful for spring days in Sydney –  but not for those stinking hot 40 degree days, when anything synthetic is un-wearable and unbearable.

Love the pretty coloured polka dots on a black back ground – I wear a lot of black – it’s very me, this dress!!

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I had a ball at the 50’s Fair today – it was freezing (about 16 degrees – so please excuse the leggings peeping out from under the skirt – if I had a fur coat I would have worn it!

I will add more photos all week from the day!

Thanks to my lovely friend Penny the queen of handbags for coming with me.

It was also lovely to see Kesenya from

And I said hello to the lovely Kelly Doust from


Dotty over Dots

Polka dots are my Kryptonite.

I found this fabric a few months ago in a junk shop which I  visit when I get my haircut, I drive about 30 minutes west, and I always try to visit this gem of a shop in Epping when I go.  The man there has a great range from early Australian cedar furniture, lots of ceramics, right through to 50’s pieces, a vast collection of lovely vintage jewellery, patterns and occasionally 50s and 60’s ladies hats!

I got the fabric which I thought would be perfect for a 50’s dress – what do you think?  I am now thinking it is more a little bit more 60’s than 50’s and I did a burn test and, as I suspected, it has a bit of synthetic mixed with cotton.  I hate polyester and always try to avoid it, I hate how it retains odours. is difficult to press, and seams usually pucker and look awful.  Surprisingly – this sewed up beautifully.

I paid about $A25 for 4 metres – not bad for vintage.  It had come from a ladies stash and she had stored everything beautifully and the mothball smell only took a couple of days airing, out of sunlight, on the clothesline.

I plan to wear it to the 50’s Fair on Sunday – more photos then, – please pray for sun, as today is looking so dreary!

Hope you get your sewing machine out this weekend – I have to do a last-minute belt for my dress for the 50’s fair, and may do something clever with self fabric bra straps – if I can’t find a strap-less bra today at the shops – it could work – or it may be an uncomfortable failure!

Trish x

Snowy Wellington!

This is insane, it never snows in Wellington, it’s excessively windy, a fact I was in denial about until I moved to Sydney!  But it did today

It is a harbour city, like Sydney, it’s not supposed to snow near the sea is it?  It snowed up in the hilly suburb of Karori once when I was growing up from memory.   But today it did in Cuba Street and even out in Island Bay – a beach side suburb, and Plimmerton – another one near the beach.


I have included a couple of shots from a rare sunny day spent in Welly, in January, below.


Take a look at this cute little video.

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Snow on Cuba Mall in central Wellington (HD) from Ro Tierney on Vimeo.

Yellow buses, they used to be red but now they are in Wellington colours - I hate yellow.

Anyone for Taffeta?

Loving this song by Kimbra – she wears the cutest black taffeta frock – love it – want one!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Taffeta (pronounced /ˈtæf.ɪt.ə/, formerly sometimes spelled taffety) is a crisp, smooth plain woven fabric made from silk or synthetic fibers. The word is Persian in origin, and means “twisted woven.”

Yummy. Nothing makes a fancy frock like Taffetta – it just sits up on its own so well! Another project on the to do list.


The movie was OK but the sets were incredible!

Do you watch movies just for the interior styling? My favourite movie (I nearly know the script by heart I have seen it so many times is Somethings Got to Give). The story is pretty far fetched – really, really old dude pulls beautiful young thing, then ends up with her mum – as if – that would never happen! But that Hamptons Beach House is to die for! Well not really, but it would be really nice to spend a weekend there right?

Here is a lovely link to movies with amazing interiors for you this week:

I have watched Rosemary’s Baby again recently – the apartment building is something else, and the lashings of white paint Mia Farrow throws about – are so right now. It even makes me like the colour yellow, but the movie darkens up in a meaningful way – worth a look and beware of Satanists in the building.

In the same vein as “Somethings Got to Give” due to Beth A Rubino’s excellent set decoration is “It’s Complicated”, makes me want to go all french provincial around my funky 60’s/70’s house!

North by Northwest, amazing sets/homes, great 50’s clothes too, really love the black and red floral dress!!!

Sorry I’ve been quiet – few struggles with Noah’s school work – bit distracted, house guest the list goes on!

This weekend I have to make the frock for the 50’s Fair – it’s coming down to the wire. The toile is cut out, hopefully it will not need drastic alterations.

Leaving you with a shot of my two little monkeys – they love our treehouse with its sliding poles and built in rock walls to climb.

Trish xx