Prints Charming – now available at Spotlight!

Australian and New Zealand readers – do you pounce on your Spotlight Catalogue when it hits your letterbox? I know I do!

So most recently when I was tearing through I was so excited to see that those clever ladies from Sydney label “Prints Charming” have a range of their prints in store now!

I dragged Mum off to Birkenhead Point – my favourite factory outlet centre in Sydney and home to my nearest Spotty store for a look!


How good are those colours!?

I bought a little piece of this one :


It it destined for my second quilt – which is waiting for me to take a breather from the fifties wardrobe work!

There were two weights – drill – for skirts or bags and a finer cotton for crafting or tops/dresses – both great for beginner sewers.

Aren’t they fun?! I think they would make adorable dresses for little girls or if they suit your colouring – big girls too!

Or what would you do with such happy neon brights?


The Lighthouse Dress – WIP


Here it is – looks finished right? Not at all. And the Fifties Fair is next Sunday!!! Arghhh!! Why do info this to myself?

I have been sick with a fever and cough and am now on antibiotics. Feeling quite bedraggled!

Have not touched it all day today (Saturday) as another more pressing project came up – might share more on that later.

Mum arrives in a week and the sewing room needs to become a beautiful guest-room !

Also the whole house was a total mess of dead flowers, laundry and too much stuff.

So I spent lots of time today organising stuff for donation to the op shop or adding to the pile to eBay, dont forget the laundry and meals for little people and so it goes on.

When it’s clean it will be the opportune time to photograph it – look out for that next week or perhaps the weather will warm up enough for inspiration to strike and inspire me to finish a sundress in August!

The “Pineapples and Palmtrees” Skirt

I have been making this skirt since the early 90’s.  I think this is the sixth time I have made it

I have made it in chiffon, denim and cottons.  It’s great – I think the A-line shape is not bad on a pear-shaped figure.  It’s comfortable to wear and easy to sew.

I have made it so often I have even traced it on to patternmaking kraft paper (heavy, card weight paper) – this is much easier to handle than tissue patterns for things you make repeatedly.  This is how they do it in the industry.

Although, you think I would have learned that the side zip really ruins the way the side seam sits.  I am so lazy I can’t even be bothered to do any seams that are unnecessary – such as the centre back seam – but seeing it in the photos – I am determined to note this for next time on my pattern.

I love the pineapple print.  Perfect for the Sew Weekly’s Yellow Week – but I think it would look better as a big gathered skirt – but I didn’t feel like spending quite a lot on buying fabric for yet another skirt.

I couldn’t be bothered changing the threads from the permanent black, so I used bias binding for all the seams – it didn’t take long.  I love using bias binding.

Another lesson learned – the straight pattern looks weird on the A-line shape and appears as if it is disappearing into the side seam.

So this photo shoot was tricky.  It was about 4pm – I had read somewhere that the light is good in the morning or right before it goes down.  I found it was incredibly bright and in some shots my skin is as white as my T-shirt in some photos.  So I adjusted the brightness thingy on my Pink camera – that helped.  Although it looks sunny and tropical it was quite cold.  And I really struggled to get a decent shot – it took ages.   Hoping Mark is not so busy next time.
On a positive note – I went and had my hair done at Sterling Hair Salon and Barber Shop in Surry Hills, on the day of the photos.  James is so wonderful – he is a perfectionist and I was really happy with my hair again.  They gave me advice on how to try to keep the style, like – put some rollers in it, use a silk pillowcase, hairnet and a silk scarf – all of which I totally ignored.  I just ran a hairdryer over it and pushed it around a bit – not too bad!

Oh well – some valuable lessons there and the skirt will be fine for the school run on a stinking hot day and perfect for around the house.

The Facts

Fabric: Cotton Pineapple Print – approx. $15/metre

Pattern: Simplicity 9926

Year:  1990

Notions: Zip and cotton bias binding for all the seams

Time to complete: 2 hours

First worn: For the photos

Wear again? Yes on hot days, maybe out of the house

Total Cost: About $20

Lighthouses and old movies

I have been trying desperately to keep up with Sew Weekly challenges lately – and failing!

I have made a blouse for the Olympics Week – and a skirt which still needs a zip inserted for the “Yellow Week”. But I am overwhelmed by the thought of doing yet another solo photo shoot or using my mannequin, again!

Truth is, I am a little distracted by thoughts of the Fifties Fair – coming up on 26th August.

Here is a little peek at the fabric I am using:

What do you think? It’s a different colourway of Mena’s Lighthousey “Dark Nautical” Fabric! It was on Ebay and I negotiated the price down and ended up getting 5 metres for about $50 including postage – bargain right?!  I love its depiction of a New England Fishing Village.  Maybe one day I will travel there?

I love a black background, and a splash of red.

I am attempting a dress with a bolero.

Bodice under construction, Lighthouse on strap – Back view

I like to watch old movies while I sew – they keep me company. This week I watched “The Seven Year Itch” – which is really funny – if you havent seen it. Also appropriate to mark the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s passing. And “All About Eve” – a fascinating portrayal of selfish ambition!

I really have a lot of sewing to do – I will try to put some more progress shots on: Instagram under: quiet_vintage_sewing – I hope you don’t become as addicted to this ap as I have!!