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

IMG_6782.JPG

 

IMG_6780.JPG

IMG_6783.JPG

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

IMG_6786.JPG

IMG_6788.JPG

IMG_6785.JPG

 

The Fifties Red Car Coat

I have been thinking about this project for a year at least.

I have a few pieces of wool, coating bundled together and several of patterns in mind.

I need to decide whether I can be bothered to make a lined coat. Makes it easier to wear and warmer. I’m still deciding which lining fabric to use?

I really had hoped to whip up a car coat before the cold weather hits. This is really all you need in Sydney for Winter, if you have a car. There are really only a few really cold days which warrant a full length coat.

Every one complains about how freezing it is – for months, but they really don’t have a clue how to dress for truly cold weather. Not the way you learn when you live in a cold climate like NZ, or even Melbourne!

Tips for beginner sewers:

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of making a coat. A short coat should be not too difficult as there is less fabric to handle. They are easier than tailored jackets as the fabrics are easier to work with was they are more spongy and forgiving and the lining at the hem is not caught in – easy!

Make sure you have your linings and interfacing together before you start sewing.

If you get tailored button holes done it will give your coat a more professional look

20130524-124519.jpg

20130524-124924.jpg

20130524-125745.jpg

20130524-130020.jpg

20130524-130331.jpg

20130524-130803.jpg

20130524-130943.jpg

Fifties fashion from Australian Home Journal advertisements

You may like to do your Vintage Wardrobe Research using original source materials. In Australia, Australian Home Journal magazines from the forties through to the sixties are easily obtainable for under $20 on eBay or in Junk shops. They are a rich source of inspiration for your wardrobe, hairstyles, and make up.

This ad has has it all.

* Divine fabric
The diversity of fifties fabric never fails to surprise me.
This print features what looks to me like a night scene of fireworks over a Chinese village.
The cornflower blue with the pink background really appeals to me.

20130430-130652.jpg

* Five cute fifties looks:
– two simple buttoned up blouses
– what would have to be a pleated or gathered waist skirt
(but is drawn as a circular skirt)
-and a classic button front skirt for whipping off at the beach
– revealing a pinstriped sun suit
– a shirt using the border print over the hip region,
just like a menswear style!

* Period make up – heavy, unplucked, brows,
winged eyeliner, pink lipstick

*Three hairstyles

* A palm tree – love!

If you can’t get your hands on Australian Home Journal – you probably have a local equivalent in your country.

Source: Australian Home Journal September 1959

20130430-131738.jpg