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!



Sydney’s Best Opshop

Those of you in the know will not be surprised to hear this.  I declare Sydney’s Best Op Shop to be the wonderful Salvos at Tempe / St Peters – AKA Tempe Tip!

And those of you who might be visiting Sydney will be thrilled to learn this place is a short car ride from the Airport! And it’s just near Ikea – if that takes your fancy after your flight too!

This store never fails to disappoint in coming up with the goods – and I usually find myself gasping from how good it is at least a few times!

I fount this gorgeous “Vintage Glamourpuss” handbag. In my early days of attending the Fifites Fair, I remember seeing the maker of this great range of bags selling her wares, however they were always well out of my price range so I am just so pleased to have finally nabbed one and for just $8 – yay!

One went on Ebay recently – you might find one there

Looking for wool for winter sewing? I picked up this lovely double Faced black and grey wool it is a beautiful quality – 3 meters were $15 – there was a few on the rack – one was labelled Smouha fabrics – an exclusive fabric importer in Sydney – now defunct.

I always check out the furniture, though I am banned from bringing another stick of furniture into the house, and the lighting section.  The fifties kitchen set was about $600, the the antique chair was a steal I thought at under $200.

And remember my tip for great op shop karma – always take something to keep the awesomeness coming!



7 Bellevue Street










Retail Therapy

We are three days from the end of the school term. The kids are tired and desperately trying to get a day off school. I find I would rather eat glass than shop with my children. Here’s how we are preparing for two weeks with the little darlings who will only be going to the mall for moviesandahaircutandnowearenotgoingtoSmiggleEBGamesKmartorToysRUs

I’m crabby, my poor husband is exhausted (who I was so looking forward to seeing last week, after he was away working for the second week in a row). Sadly, he copped my wrath, after he spent
most of the weekend unable to get up from the couch watching The Le Mans car race, but today he is earned some brownie points by doing the Costco shop.

He does a great job as I always come home with fun things like red kitchen utensils, Reece’s Peanut butter cups, Spanx for me and Calvin Klein undies for him. He buys the food we actually need. Also the Italian foods he loves like big bowls of ricotta cheese, ciabatta, prosciutto, a litre of pesto and about 20 kilos of meat!

Meanwhile, I found some time to pop into Typo where they are totally down with the Craft resurgence – here are a few of my favourite sewing themed items:

Embroidery ring mouse pad
Vintage sewing pattern notebook
Giant button for the wall – seriously cute
Antique Sewing Machine iPad case
Tape measure cotton tape – for gift wrapping or crafting
Pattern printed folders
Pattern wrapping paper tissue ( I suggest you visit your local op shop and buy something ugly from the nineties if you want to wrap your next gift this way), please excuse the blurry photo but I had to show you that it is just like a printed pattern

Can’t wait for the holidays and I am praying for some fine weather to get those boys of ours off Minecraft – can anyone relate?








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.


* 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


New Shoes

Hi !

There has not been a lot of sewing going on lately but here are some quick snaps of my new shoes from Target!

It rains a lot in Sydney and your shoes get ruined – gumboots (or rainboots) are a must.  Aren’t they cute?!


Also in the photo is some of my collection of concrete pots. My collection continues to grow – I love the one with the little “atomic” legs and the boys were keen to help spray paint them.

They are addictive and they will form part of our garden design when we get some landscaping done (one day!),

I have been selling lots of things on eBay lately so I can buy more!  Just as an drug addict turns to drug dealing this is how I am funding my addiction!  Well, it’s not hurting anyone is it?

Actually – with joining the gym and the eBaying – there has not been much time for sewing – that, and it’s been so hot!  I can’t even think straight, let alone sew in the heat and humidity !!

Roll on Autumn I say – then I can wear these:


Platform wedge heeled shoes have been readily available in the last few years – they add an authentic vintage look to your vintage or retro outfit and if you don’t do stilettos – they are a more comfortable option which look great – and feel more stable wihch is important when you are 175cms tall (or almost 5’10”)!

I can’t wait to feel some cool breezes instead of sweat trickling down my back.

Are you so over summer (or winter as the case may be)?

School Dance 80’s style

This is really embarrassing


This is the pattern mum made my 6th form School Dance Dress with, complete with the big bows on the shoulders and all.

It was a very 80’s shade of electric blue – which I don’t think I have worn since – polyester moire taffeta! Noice!!

I am not sure where the photos from that night are – must dig them out!

We are back from almost a month in New Zealand – I am calling it the best time ever! Great to catch up with many friends and family and we traveled every tip/op shop we could find.

Thanks Mum and Dad again for the amazing hospitality – we all loved it and thanks to my brother Gavin for making it from Scotland!!! to be there with us!

The “I Love You” Apron

I am dedicating this weeks sewing to my husband of thirteen years, Mark.

He is so great.  He is a humble man.  He takes our marriage seriously.  I appreciate how hard-working and responsible he is and how he loves our boys.  That I was able to stay home with them for seven years and that we have a lovely home.  He doesn’t mind my mad op shopping and the mess in the sewing room.  Well, he minds sometimes!

Waiting for my man

He works really hard as a Tiler – making other people’s homes absolutely beautiful.  Those tiles behind me he did them – aren’t they great!?  And he let me have exactly what I wanted – to go with our recycled country-style kitchen that I designed.  I had to wait a long time for him to do them but it was worth the wait!

Last time I made one of these novelty aprons I swore never to make another one!  But how irresistible are the hearts?  And it seemed like the perfect use of this Cherry Print fabric that has a quite a clichéd fifties look to my eyes now, but that I adored when I bought it a couple of years ago.  It was good to use up some of the pink Ric-Rac in my stash and the Rose Print and  that was left over from my “Coming Up Roses” Gypsy Blouse, which is still one of my favourite items of clothing.

Sorry about the heavily airbrushed legs and fake tan.  No, actually  I’m not!  This week I learn how to do that on Pic Monkey (photo editing software) – I might get them out again for you!
Let’s see if he reads this:  “I love you Bubba!”