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.

Bursting with Buttons

I am trying hard to cut back on op shopping of late, due to an excess of hoarding, but here is a peek of some great vintage buttons that have recently come into my life.

My friend gave me a tip about a dressmakers dummy at an op shop in the Inner West recently. So first thing the next day I packed the kids into the car and off we went.

Sadly the mannequin was was tiny and I wasn’t sure she’d go up to size 16.  And I already have a tiny one.

I found the accompanying sewing box and this great tin – the buttons and tin were too good to leave behind.


Next we visited my father in law and after the Boci Ball game he saw me going through the buttons.

He said he had been meaning to give me this little stash for a while – aren’t these pretty?


First I plan to use the red ones on a cardigan – I love their art deco shapes and I don’t mind that no two are the same.


The sewing basket (and the contents) is available to buy on eBay right now.

Shopping for second hand items is such a hard habit to break, especially when you have been doing it since you were five!

Yesterday I walked out of an op-shop empty handed after nearly buying a packet of vintage iron on motifs, including an anchor, a ships steering wheel and racing cars.  A pair of green plastic knitting needles with black tops and a set of Vintage Yellow Rose Sheridan sheets.  Do you know what stopped me?  No cash in my wallet!

How do you exercise restraint?

Child free, let loose at the markets

This Saturday morning is the first time I’ve been alone in two weeks! I dropped the kids into a Parkour class in Pyrmont and hit Rozelle Market!

Here’s a few snaps




This is a piece of Tivaevae which is applique from the Cook Islands.  It is quite rare – I have never found a piece for sale in Australia or New Zealand.  It was for sale for just $40 – but as I don’t love yellow – I left it behind.  One day, I would love to go there and see the women making it – I find it fascinating and beautiful.






I bought a tea towel and the Gold Coast table cloth for $5 each, and the three bracelets were $15 and I am pretty sure the green one is Bakelite – hooray!


I think it’s Sydney’s best vintage/second-hand market, which is still mostly affordable.

What do you do when you are childfree?

Rozelle Market
Open Saturdays and Sundays

Address: 663 Darling Street, Rozelle

Opening Times: 9-4

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?








Dusty old dust jackets

It’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in this part of the world. We get Monday off – along with the washing, I have some plans!

I have come across some lovely old books lately. I think the art work on the dust jackets is so charming.

I think they would look great enlarged made into artworks for a vintage themed home.




I have also had some luck in finding 1950’s art prints recently.

This one called “Sea Scape” no artist, is in the living room – the colours are perfect for that room.

The “Nutcracker Suite” is much more restful so its going into the sewing/guest room, where I have visions of creating a Kate Spade Gallery Wall, I hope I can get this little project up this long weekend. Do you have any plans for home decoration or sewing this weekend?

Please don’t lick the jewellery

Even opshops have rules and vinyl records are hard to shift, so I reckon these upcycled, in-house, advisory messages from one of my favourite places um, rock.

1960's Upcycled Record Cover Jewellery

I felt so guilty when I read this one – as I am totally guilty of tapping jewellery on my teeth – to determine if its plastic or glass.  You probably can’t see but this blue lady even has a real vintage earring on!  Mixed media!  Noice!

1960's Upcycled Record Cover Carousel

Ah yes, the “No tag, No sale” rule.  I have never actually seen this rule enforced.  Personally I would think you would have to be a bit of a scumbag to try they old “I’ll rip the tag off and hopefully get it cheaper” stunt.

1960's Upcycled Record Cover In the mood for love

My favourite thing about these “artworks” is the model’s hair and make up – all false eyelashes and lacqured hair – they deserve to be seen, even if no-one wants to listen to the music!

1960's Upcycled Record Cover $1,000,000 Melodies

Wonder who the clever person who created them is?

1960's Upcycled Record Cover Belafonte

And finally – a note to myself too – Nobody wants to handle jewellery after you have put your saliva all over it.