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!



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

Treasure from a Pre-TV World

Gosh, the beginning of the school year is so busy isn’t it?

I must make a note to watch our commitments and make sure I have at least cleared off the notice board of the previous year of school before the year starts!

We have been busy teaching Sunday School, getting our youngest organized for his first year of club soccer, as well as the usual round of Parent/Teacher meetings – there literally is a deluge of paper to contend with, and lists of stationary to buy, and I still don’t feel like I have gotten on top of things since we got back from NZ!

The kids are busy, the little one joined the Drama Club (!!!) and will do Gymnastics next term. The eldest one with also do Senior Gymnastics

So here’s the bit about Opera. This is a book I found many years ago in an Op Shop – It’s a guide to Operas. My Dad, who is a bit of an Opera buff, comes to Sydney he likes to go to the Opera House and catch one, so we study before we go. The handmade cover is very beautifully embroidered isn’t it. It’s a much loved book from a Pre-TV world. It’s nearly 100 years old. It fell off the book case the other day and this postcard was hiding inside. I have no idea where the building is but its sweet. Don’t you think?

A book cover, that’s a nice easy sewing project, make it as simple or crochet the edges?

Hope you are managing to juggle your load successfully…





Stop me, before I volunteer again

Peonies and baubles in pink cake stand with vintage sheet as tablecloth

Peonies and baubles in pink cake stand with vintage sheet as tablecloth

What?! Christmas is the day after tomorrow?!! Life has been a blur of work, domestics, supporting my husband in his business, final chats with the kids teachers, decoration my church’s Christmas Party (for 200 guests) coordinating two gifts, flowers and cards for two teachers, and trying to get to the gym and sew, before we go to New Zealand in Saturday.

Vintage ceramic Santa Chimney Vase, Deer Planter and Japanese Fifties Musical Carousel Ornament

Vintage ceramic Santa Chimney Vase, Deer Planter and Japanese Fifties Musical Carousel Ornament

I know everyone’s busy but I really seem to have overdone it this year but it’s been blogging that has suffered the most.

Glass Vase filled with Tortured Willow, decorated with tiny Mason Jars, with cakestand filled with baubles

Vintage New Zealand Map, Tortured Willow in vase (so 90’s) decorated with miniature Mason Jars

It’s hard to devote lots of time to something that doesn’t make any money especially when Instagram is so immediate and gratifying.  So I am not apologizing for my slackness, but my life seems busier than when I started this blog and my lack of sewing has become frustrates me.  This blog should be called Silent Vintage Sewing, or more aptly, Copious Amounts of Opshopping, as that is the direction things are going!

Vintage tins in my kitchen with Acrylic Handbad Decorations

Vintage tins in my kitchen with Acrylic Handbag Decorations

The needs of my kids keep growing and I need to focus on my youngest one in particular next year. He’s had a rough time at school and I want next year to be great for him.

Vintage 60's glassware and comportes with baubles in blye, green and pink

Vintage 60’s glassware and comportes with baubles in blue, green and pink

Anyway – I will not make any promises I am unlikely to keep!

Christmas Tree from the garden in a Fifties Concrete Tree Trunk Pot

Christmas Tree from the garden, with vintage decorations, in a Fifties Concrete Tree Trunk Pot

I hope you swing by once in a while to see what I bought, rather than what I have made!

Baubles in Chrystal Cakestand and Cloche, with Red Diana Vase and Australia Tray

Baubles in Crystal Cakestand and Cloche, with Red Diana Vase and Australia Tray

Meanwhile here are some pretty pictures of the minimal decorations I have put up this year.

Red Baubles in Glass vase, Fifities Aluminium Apple Ice Bucket, Vintage Maori Dolls

Red Baubles in Glass vase, Fifties Aluminium Apple Ice Bucket, Vintage Maori Dolls

I wish you a peaceful, reflective Christmas and thanks so much for your support this year.

Fifties Hairstyle by Alyce at Sterling Hair, Surry Hills

Fifties Hairstyle by Alyce at Sterling Hair, Surry Hills

Lots of love

Trish xxxx

PS – here’s a link to my Hairdressers

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!

















The Cocktail Hour

My parents are coming to visit for a few days. Time to set up the bar!

Mum likes Gin and Tonic, so I have stocked up on lemons. My seafaring Dad is a rum drinker so I have bought cola and hidden it from the kids.
We love to spend time with them. They are very kind to visit us every year. They are very laid back, supportive and respect our beliefs even though they differ from theirs.


Cheers Mum and Dad! Can’t wait to have a drink with you!