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.


Thrift Life and What I bought at the Fifties Fair

Thrift Life

The gorgeous Astred over at Design Cherry is starting a new regular “semi regular” feature called “Thrift Life” which involves boasting about Op Shop or Thrift Store finds – I said I’d join up, you are invited to join in too!

She is a graphic designer, that lovely banner and button are her work.  Her blog is a visual treat, her home amazing and her colourful friends are like exotic birds.

Do go and check out Astred‘s fabulous blog and I hope you join in the fun!

Fifties Fair Shopping

So to kick off my contribution to Thrift Life – here’s what I bought this year at the fifties fair.

I was quite restrained this year while shopping . The fact that the prices were astronomical did help.

The pick of the day had to be these glasses. I plan to them made into reading glasses. You can’t have too many pairs!

This male Calypso dancer figure was cheap. He should be on a frame, and have a female partner, but he didn’t so he was just $20.   He’s hanging out in the hallway.

Finally, I couldn’t resist this sweet tablecloth.  I love the colour palette and strawberries – I think it needs to be reincarnated as a skirt, I know, another one.

Other business – Wardrobe renovations

My husband had some time off this week so we went to Ikea and are in the process of installing new wardrobes. Very exciting as the old ones were original from 1971 – damp, dark staring to fall apart and woefully inadequate for our (my) wardrobe.

I salvaged the vintage door handles and I hope that we can reuse them on the new white Ikea doors.

We will do the kids rooms too – when we get time.  Meanwhile – there are doors and parts stacked in the hallway – that’s nothing compared to the six months we had with a un-assembled kitchen taking up half the room – piece of cake;)





The Fifties Fair – What People Wore – Part 3

Here are few more outstanding examples of great outfits from the best day of the year.

The Dress! This is the lovely Deborah from The Vintage Drawer, shop 14 at the Sydney Antiques Centre who I bought a dress from back in March. We chatted about how she, as a retailer, as realized that women are not all tiny! Smart woman! She is making a concerted effort to seek larger sized vintage clothing. If you are not a size 10 person, and love vintage, you need Deborah in your life! Now why can’t all Australian Designers take a leaf out of her book?!

I do hope this beautiful woman will forgive me for cutting off her head, but my camera caught her pulling a funny face, and I wouldn’t like it if it was me doing that!  I really want to talk about her dress.  I had serious dress lust at Laura Ashley last summer over this baby and have recently haunted the Birkenhead outlet store in the vain hope that I could pick on up on the cheap.  Alas – it was such a great dress that it sold out last summer.  There was a sweet little cardigan with Bunting (I know! Bunting – so cute!) embroidered on it that was in the same story, an another dress or skirt, with different print still in the travel theme.  I just love vintage postcards – but I just can’t spend nearly $200 on a dress.  I just can’t.  Especially as I still have this lurking about in the sewing room – waiting for a new yoke!  Promise I will get it out for summer!

Burgundy ensemble, with lovely hair and accessories!

Hottest couple !  Aren’t they cute!

I thought this woman looked so effortless and chic. Is she about to go overboard by buying a fur coat? Look! Her mouth is open!   Think I might tone it down next year and dress like this. Who am I kidding –  I will no doubt overdo it again!

The gorgeous Michelle over at Ravishing Retro has just done her blog post on the Fifties Fair and she very kindly mentioned me.  And used my photo of us, from Instagram up.  She looks immaculate, me – not taking Coco Chanel’s advice at all that morning.  Oh well!

So that’s it for my pick of the sartorially splendid from the day. The next few blog posts will show you merchandise available!  Get ready for piles of vintage fabric – so exciting!

Fifties Fair 2012 – What People Wore – Part 2

Ole!  Christine from Classic Vintage dresses up in amazing fifties outfits each year.  I have seen her dressed as a sailor and a mechanic in recent years.  How’s that rack of amazing mens shirts she has for sale!?

Here’s the lovely Toni – isn’t she just stunning in her self-made, from vintage fabric, skirt, her hat is totally hand sewn and it took hours to attach the braided trim and lined in fabric to match the skirt.

Confetti Earrings!

This young woman deserves 10 out of 10 for sheer guts.  She told me it was 1970’s Mexican.  I think the dress is amazing and I would love to wear a dress like that.

This was one of my favourite outfits of the whole day!  Perfection!

Wow!  Hair!

I met Georgio last year at the Fair – sorry it’s not a great photo, but his fiance Robyn looks immaculate as she always does.

I apologize for the quality of these photos.  I dropped my pink Cybershot camera in the excitement the morning of the Fair.  The display screen is not working properly.  So all day, I wasn’t sure if I was getting any pictures at all!  It kind of put me off asking people if they would pose for a quick snap, as I normally would.  My photos on this post were what I call my “stalker shots” – they are usually shot through the crowd and I have cropped random elbows and things out!  That’s why they are all tall and skinny – I hope you enjoy them regardless!

Maybe now my dear husband will buy me that DSLR I have been dreaming of.  Or maybe I will have proved once again that I can’t be trusted with cameras, and I will have to buy that $69 one at Aldi this week!

Fifties Fair 2012 – What People Wore – Part 1

Did you go?  Wasn’t it great?!

Here is some of the people that caught my eye during the day

Wowsers!  – This woman looks stunning doesn’t she??!

Isn’t this woman adorable in her mint green?  I had a chat with her and she said she bought her outfit on the day and changed into it!   She is just lovely.  STOPPRESS I now know it’s Rachel who I follow in Instagram under VintageCarousel – I am going to try to find out more about her – but I know this – she’s shy!

How about this woman’s skirt!  It is hand painted velvet – unlike anything I’ve ever seen irl.  I should have quizzed her about its origins, but the fashion parade was starting I think.  Her hat is amazing too – see the feathers.  And the shoes…!

These ladies were from the Evening Wear Fashion Parade – which we missed.  However, luckily for us – they paraded around the market area – where we spend most of the day – funnily enough.  So we captured them as they floated by – aren’t those gowns incredible?

These two women looked impeccable, great attention to detail.  This was early on in the day when the coat was needed.  Later it warmed up beautifully.

Here’s a close up of that fish print – so cute right?

Well, I think that’s enough for now.  Watch this space for more shots from the day!

Lighthouses and old movies

I have been trying desperately to keep up with Sew Weekly challenges lately – and failing!

I have made a blouse for the Olympics Week – and a skirt which still needs a zip inserted for the “Yellow Week”. But I am overwhelmed by the thought of doing yet another solo photo shoot or using my mannequin, again!

Truth is, I am a little distracted by thoughts of the Fifties Fair – coming up on 26th August.

Here is a little peek at the fabric I am using:

What do you think? It’s a different colourway of Mena’s Lighthousey “Dark Nautical” Fabric! It was on Ebay and I negotiated the price down and ended up getting 5 metres for about $50 including postage – bargain right?!  I love its depiction of a New England Fishing Village.  Maybe one day I will travel there?

I love a black background, and a splash of red.

I am attempting a dress with a bolero.

Bodice under construction, Lighthouse on strap – Back view

I like to watch old movies while I sew – they keep me company. This week I watched “The Seven Year Itch” – which is really funny – if you havent seen it. Also appropriate to mark the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s passing. And “All About Eve” – a fascinating portrayal of selfish ambition!

I really have a lot of sewing to do – I will try to put some more progress shots on: Instagram under: quiet_vintage_sewing – I hope you don’t become as addicted to this ap as I have!!