Gorgeous Gorman Gladrags !!!

Looking for Aussie designers?  I found these Gorman pieces in a mag then discovered them on sale at Chatswood Chase.

I love that print in the “Backgammon Backhand” skirt.  Maybe Santa will bring me that skirt??

Check them out at gormanshop.com.au


Small is beautiful

November in Sydney – we usually get a few really hot days – over 35 degrees (95F).  And the Jacaranda trees are in flower.  They are just lovely with their clouds of purple fluff dotted around the ‘burb. But not great a week or two later when the flowers rain down on your car and coat the footpaths in a brown cereal like sludge!!

The weekend was very hot so we did the Summer maintenance on the spa, everyone helped.  We found we could tip the spa up on one side to empty it, one man and one woman – just imagine!  Honestly, sometimes I don’t know my own strength!

We found we have two frogs living in the spa! We don’t know what kind they are but thankfully they are quiet at night (which is lucky, as they live right near our room) and they are brown with yellow armpits. There are some that live in the neighbour’s pond who croak and make a huge racket all night long!


They are still staying close to the pool but I am expecting them to move on when the spa chemicals are added. Shame – they have had a great time feasting on the mosquitos living in the spa over winter and have been such lovely, quiet neighbours.

So they boys had a lovely swim today after school.  Wow, I just looked out the window.  They even put the cover back on after their swim – they are growing up!

Lost in translation

Recently I went to Tokyo.  In my dreams.  No, but I did make it to the new Daiso store which opened up in Chatswood a few weeks ago.  I am a huge fan of Japanese stuff – from their amazing way with textiles, to Harajuku girls, right through to cutesy girly plastic stuff.

Here are a few things I loved but didn’t buy:

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Clearly I am slightly obsessed with love hearts and the colours pink and red.  What is wrong with me?  Perhaps I can put it down to a deficiency of child hood.  The 70’s were awash in yellow, orange, rust, red, brown, and olive.  A friend mine had a deficiency of stationery in her childhood.  Now when you open any drawer at her home you will find scissors, paper and pens!!  I have another dear friend whose family never went on holidays (they stayed home and painted and plastered the house) – every year she and her family take a cracker of a holidays and do exactly as they please – it’s their thing.

Most things have an English label amongst a slew of Japanese characters – such as “Detergent” which apparently helps remove makeup – hmmm!

What to buy:

If you go, make sure you check out the ceramics.  Also stationery; note books, pens and pencils for the kids, or big kids.  Cosmetics including nail varnish – amazingly cheap.  Cute gift bags and nylon shopping bags like the red and white polka dot one below – so handy.  Mark went of course he found totally different stuff to me like iPhone accessories – very cheap!

Everything costs just $2.80 – so I spend $67.20 on the below essential items – whoops!

Cuteness hey?  Did you pick the Polka Dot theme?  Definitely deficient in  my 70’s childhood – what’s the deficiency of your childhood?

The “Feet on the Ground” Dress

What does Pin-Up Style mean to you?  To me it means Vargas Cheesecake images from the 40’s and 50’s, sweet heart necklines, sailor style, leopard print and halter necks and legs in the air!   This week it’s A Pin-Up week at the Sew Weekly.

Source: allday.ru via Trish on Pinterest



I don’t do cleavage.  I prefer a more demure look – I am a Christian – it’s part of my thing.  Don’t do legs in the air either.  I felt weird about doing pin up poses – as you can see from the first shot – bit up tight!  But I was having fun by the end.  Thanks Mark for the great photos xx.

Did you see Maggie Alderson declared recently that “Leopard is the new neutral”  really Maggie?  She is biased I think – she has been a fan for years.  Secretly, so have I.  But then there was the awful moment a few years back when I was admiring a red and black leopard print in a fabric shop in the Sydney CBD, and two women appeared to openly laugh at me!  Actually it is silly that I care but it put me off somewhat!  These days I try not to give a fig about what people think of me.  Of course I still do sometimes I have feelings!

I love the leopard print skirt in September 2010 Vogue:

Alas I did not buy enough fabric to make a circular skirt, oo I have again used my go-to pattern McCalls 9400 from the 50’s, omitting the front box pleat.  The skirt a 3/4 circle.  It gives a similar effect to a circle skirt for a lot less fabric.

The top is Style 1568 from 1988 and features the compulsory sweetheart neckline and halter effect straps.  I chose this pattern because the wide straps offer better coverage, and the top is actually an feminine cut if you look closely.

I am happy with the way the skirt turned out and love the effect of the straight grain on the sides of the skirt while the centre front is where the bias is – it sits nicely because of this and is visually interesting too

The top needs more work, the neckline is gaping and it doesen’t fit well.  I was really happy with the attempt though.  I think it proves you don’t have to be boring to be modest!


The Facts

Fabric: Stretch cotton/Lycra from Spotlight – 3 metres – just made it!
Pattern:  Style 1568, 50 cents, and McCalls 9500 $7
Year: Skirt. 19050’s , Top 1985
Notions: Thread, fusible interfacing
Time to complete: 7 hours
First worn: October 2011
Wear again? The skirt definitely, the top – doubtful!

Total Cost: ~$70A

The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast

Source: google.com.au via Trish on Pinterest

As a child did you ever read  The Butterfly Ball, and the Grasshopper’s Feast?  This was a trippy 70’s book the like of which I had never seen until a visit to my friend Stacey’s  house.  Stacey’s family lived at the back of her mother’s hairdressing shop on Rotherham Terrace, Miramar in Wellington (NZ) – know the place?  It had the 80’s pink and black sign writing on the window well into the 90’s.  Stacey was way cool, she had the Grease record (we never even had a record player),  her mum had big hair and smoked – and was pretty relaxed about things.  Even when the dog ate the whole birthday cake at her party held in the salon.  And she had cool jewellery, actually I pinched an orange plastic bangle from her once – I am so sorry Stace.

She came to my Dad’s work with me once – it was the week Elvis died (that was in 1977) – and I spilt coffee from the Cafe Bar dispenser on her pink  Elvis t-shirt – she was so upset.

Source: google.com.au via Trish on Pinterest

Source: google.com.au via Trish on Pinterest



What you you wear to such an event? I think this fabric would make the perfect frock for the Butterfly Ball.  Isn’t this fabric “Pretty Butterflies Cream by Alexander Henry”  just divine?



You can get it at  Fabric Traders. This is the new business venture of Simone of Beach Vintage. I have been a big fan of for ages now.  Simone has an eye for perfect shabby chic fabrics – all vintage roses and lovely prints, nothing lurid!

Just the thing for a ball.

Source: anthropologie.com via Trish on Pinterest

 Anthropologie -Lepidoptera Dress

Glitter Hands Glitter Hands!

Went a little nuts for Glitter Nail Polish recently!  Doesen’t everybody? Or is that just me and my inner 5 year old!

Reminds me of Lesley Hall – “Glitter Hands –  Glitter Hands” – she, has a vast collection of Ges Sweater from the 80’s – every time I see one in an Opshop I think of her.  She reminds me not to worry about what people think of me.

How’s my mani?  Yes, why I did paint a wall at work this week – how clever of you to guess!  Paint – no substitute for nail polish – trust me I’ve tried it!  Neither is Twink (Liquid Paper in Australian).

These China Glaze colours I had to have cost $6 a pop – not bad hey?  Where?  Sydney girls – every heard of ProNail Supply in Bankstown?  They stock Opi for about $12 a bottle.  They also have Shellac products.  They supply nail shops all across town but do retail too and have everything you could ever need to do your nails.

Glitter nail varnish – I like it!  Deal with it.  Now where are my gold stretch pants?

Want more Lesley Hall?  Check out Craft Talk:

9 Greenfield Pde
Bankstown NSW 2200
Tel: (02)-9709-2300
Fax: (02)-9709-2311
Mob: 0402 215 826
Customer Service Email:pronail_supply@yahoo.com.au

Opposite Bankstown Sports Club

The “Roman Holiday” Orange Top

My husband Mark is of Italian descent.  When we got married I found that the Italians (or maybe it’s just Mark!)  have a sort of mafia like loyalty to other Italians (or is it a profound mistrust of others?) – we only get our cars serviced by Tony the Vespa mechanic.  We drive 45 minutes to get there because his father has known Tony for years when he was the Postino (postman) in Leichardt (Sydney’s little Italy).  So off we schleped this morning in a two car cavalcade.

I thought I would make the most of it and get some snaps of Project Orange!  – this weeks Sew Weekly challenge garment.  Found a cute orange Vespa to cuddle up to and Alex (Alessandro) was my photographer for the first two shots – he got a bit creative and tipped the camera sideways – fun hey?

I actually made this top (Vogue V8080) last year and wore it up to school pickup on a horrible hot 40 degree day – but to my horror I found it gaped horribly showing my bra!  Hate that!  So I unpicked it and it has languished in a mending basked until this week.  I re-attached the elastic to make it quite a firm fit.

The really special thing about this fabric is the white printing (not embroidered) and cut out effect – I have not seen fabric quite like it before.  My guess is that it is from the 60’s.  When I originally made the top I agonized over the placement of the cut-outs to used them to greatest effect.  I had a panel strategically placed underneath   I was then forced to use self bias-binding to finish the armholes as a regular facing would ruin the effect of the cut-outs.  Rather a complex construction for such a simple top!  As for the colour it may not look that orange but “next to red it looks totally orange” as Mena of the Sew Weekly quipped!Roman Holiday Images


Tony has lots of old Vespa ads taped to the walls, amongst resuscitation instructions!  Alex found Audrey Hepburn in shots from Roman Holiday riding a Vespa.  Isn’t the lady above wonderful?  Going to Tony’s garage makes such a mundane activity as taking the car for service a little bit fun and exotic, and Tony is a lovely man.  If you have a Vespa and you live in Sydney – you need him – capish?

The Facts

Fabric: Orange cotton cut-out border print
Pattern: Vogue V8080 $15 approx
Year:  2005
Notions: Elastic
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: October 2010
Wear again? Maybe, on another stinking hot day!

Total Cost: ~$20 approx

Tony Brancato - MA Motor Garage Leichardt Vespa Mechanic

MA Motor Garage

24 Lord Street


Phone 9560 7260