A day out

I have been at home a lot recently.  My work contract ended and we have been renovating madly.

But I snuck away for a haircut.  I went to Sterling Apothecary in Chippendale.  It’s really fabulous.  The decor is vintage barbershop – right down to the Bakelite power points – fantastic attention to detail.  While I was there some TV types were scoping it out to use it in an ad.

Tony Vacher cut my hair – as you can see, I’m pretty pleased with it!  He is amazing.  A very understated guy of huge talent.  He masterminded the decor of the place, and is a very experienced in “precision cutting”.

You know it’s a good haircut when you wake up the next day and boing! You run your fingers through it and you are good to go!

I am experimenting with letting a little of they grey come through, as I have been dying my hair since about 1987 and I am really over it!

Then on the way home I popped in to Spotlight, had time for a quick outfit photo in the Centre Loos! I wore my Forties Jeans

Just for a look – below are a few shots. I visited Gertie’s Fabrics, to see if any new ones had been added to the range. Didn’t find any and they were a little messy!

See that stack of infant prints?  I bought some of the diamonds.

I have been sewing some toiles, testing patterns – not ready to cut into it yet.  I will keep you posted!

              

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Fifties Fair 2014 – What we wore (Or “Two Ladies for Tea”)

Hello!  I’ve been busy, a new job, a traveling husband, lots of appointments for my son, so here’s some photos of my sewing buddy Toni and I at the fabulous Fifties Fair at Rose Seidler House in Wahroonga, Sydney from August.

Full Length Shot Fifties Style Dress

We were super excited but fashionably late arriving around midday after the epic wrangling of hair and false eyelashes. Just as we had taken these first photos – down came the rain. Darn it. And whoops, our slips are showing.
 
Head and Shoulders Fifties Style Hair and Dress

Still it didn’t last long and we were at last in. Excited face.

Back View Fifties Style Dress at Fifties Fair

This is a few hours later and I feel like Lurch, trying to get up that hill in those heels, (that I had so carefully hand dyed). I was exhausted by about three pm – the terrain at the site is precarious in flats, lots of sloping driveway , the bush garden section steps, and crazy paving.

Full Length Fifties Style Dress with Vintage Car

Toni is still looking fresh on the way back to the car. I loved her colour combo of Tangerine and Teal – quite unexpected and exciting. She made her hat copying one in my collection! She also made her dress in genuine vintage rose print fabric. Check out all those tiny pleats around the neckline and sleeve hem – wow!

Full Length Fifties Style Dress with Vintage Car

But by now I am over it. My feet are killing me, the hair has flopped and I wish I had a flying car. Still, it was a fun. More photos to come…

The details.

Pattern Used: Um, I have to dig it up – it was a Princes Seamed Sixties Dress with very puffy sleeve heads. The skirt was just pleated – no pattern required
Fabric: My favorite Cotton Lycra Sateen* in a Border Print from Lincraft (this fabric was also used by Laura Ashley – for a dress sold out very quickly)
Necklace: Vintage Pink Multi- strand Pink Faux Pearls from Vinnies about 15 years ago
Shoes: Target Suede Wedges (ow!) – Plus Suede Dye
Handbag: Vintage Brown Beaded purse – Salvos $25
Belt: Self-fabric with a vintage celluloid buckle from my stash
Hat: Amazing Floral Confection from Salvos $25
Watch: Gold Marcasite Vintage Costume Watch – a present from my parents when I was a child

*I cant say enough good about sewing with this fabric. It handles so beautifully when you are sewing. It has great body and drape and looks fantastic made up! I have just sewn a dress in a quilting cotton – such hard work to make it look good.

Gertie’s Fabrics!

Hi I love Gertie’s blog and her style and it’s been wonderful to see her growing success. So yesterday (no luck) and today, I ran into Spotlight, to have a peek at Gretchen Hirsch’s brand new fabric range. Fell in love the Red Bows on the black background – I need this! I also love the Red Roses which I would love a top in – needed also! The other designs are nicely executed – the Kitschy Cats, the Cherries and the pastel Tropical Prints. Great to see the beautiful rose/polka dots border print – hallelujah! But… they are all Polyester (looks like Crepe de Chine to me). Sad face. Sure, I get that they are easy care – no ironing and all that. But even as an experienced seamstress I really have to love something to even think of sewing with the stuff. And it’s so hot to wear in an Australian summer! We need cotton!  Or maybe viscose! What are your thoughts? If these float your boat, then snap the up while they are on sale at $11.99/m 148cms wide (normally $16.99). The new book’s only $25 currently too. Congrats Gertie! IMG_8202.JPG IMG_8197.JPG Continue reading

Stamp Collecting

Did you collect stamps as a child?

I did – Mum worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs before she had my brother and I – one of her friends saved a big box of stamps and Mum planned to repackage them and sell them for the church fete!  She seemed to always get such labour intensive tasks assigned to her!

Guess who had first pick?!  I think my brother and I probably had the best collections on the street!

I spent hours looking at the stamps as a kid and imagining the far away lands.  Quite educational.

Last year at the Fifties Fair there were a few lengths of fabric printed with stamps designs which I had never seen before.  They were, as most things at that event, quite pricey so I held back and didn’t buy anything.  So I have now spend the past year dreaming about stamp fabric!

This year there was very little fabric for sale, probably due to the rain – disappointingly.

So thrilled to find this stamp print at Spotlight recently!   And at just $8 per metre.  It reminds me of that time as a child and the stamps are vintage, not like some other similar fabrics currently available.

Can’t wait to make it up – perfect for yet another Fifties Style Novelty Skirt!

Vintage Australian Stamp with Crocodile

Vintage Australian Stamp with Crocodile

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Fabric Printed with Vintage Stamps - French Stamp picturing the Arc de Triomphe

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Fifties Fabric from Hungary

So it looks like November passed me by in a blur as the “Silly Season” descended.

Here’s some eye candy in the form of some 1950’s fabric samples I have recently acquired.

They were in a lot of Hungarian textiles – which also included a large amount of eighties or nineties curtain fabrics – not going to show you those.

My favorites are the barkcloths which would be lovely framed but I thought the linen rose prints would make a lovely patchwork bed covering, don’t you think?

I can feel some new cushions coming on!

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Book Week Sewing – Finn the Human Costume

Ned Kelly Costume and Finn the Human Costume
We love book week at our school.  Some people go all out. Here’s what we came up with.

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Alex dressed as Bushranger Ned Kelly and Noah is dressed as Finn the Human from Adventure time (one of their favourite cartoons).

Noah is hard to please at times, but he was happy with this, and the reaction he got from his classmates.

Alex made his gun and did the painting himself.  I helped with the body armor which is under the my trench coat.

I made Noah’s hat and backback and all the info on how to do that is here.  (The only differences were that I used polarfleece, not felt in a double layer as I wanted the face hole to be stable).

I love an easy costume using stuff from around the house don’t you?

Gotta run as we need to urgently go to the mall and get more caps for Noah’s cap gun – love school holidays!

Fifties repro fabric – an unlikely source

If you are in the market for reproduction fifties style fabric, perhaps a source you haven’t considered is right under your nose – your local quilting shop.

Admittedly, I live pretty close to one of the best in Australia’s: Material Obsession, at Drummoyne.  Their selection is mouthwatering.

Here are a few things I spotted in there recently that I thought might work for fifties style garments.  I didn’t take any notes about the fabrics, all I can say is get in there fast as they sell out fast and not always reordered, so the lovely lady who helped me could tell me.

I was extremely lucky to find the scarlet print with the bows was still in stock – I have been dreaming about it since the last time I visited – months ago.   I think it will be perfect in a blouse like Butterick 4985.

If you are in Sydney’s Western Suburbs I recommend Fred the Needle – I haven’t visited them in their new location in Dural – but their Penrith store was fabulous.

If you have a good one one near you – I would love to hear about it.

Also if you have tried sewing garments with quilting fabric and how that went.  Thanks.

It’s the second week of the school holidays and I just heard the little guy say, as he tumbled around the living room “I can feel my brain moving” – had better go.

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