The “She’s got issues” Dress

I made this dress back in December, and wore it in January back home in Wellington New Zealand – when I met the lovely, lovely fellow tall girl Kat of  Modern Vintage Cupcakes.  You may have seen the photos on her blog of our meet up for coffee, sunshiny waterfront photo shoot with gelato, followed by the walk home to my folks place.

I apologise for the photos – while some are very beautiful – they don’t show the dress that well.

There’s the infamous Wellington wind blowing up our skirts!

FIRST ISSUE: Not enough fabric

I bought the last piece on the roll – I thought – great that will make a nice skirt.

Then I became obsessed by the above pattern – and would have loved to find a similar border print – nothing on eBay except swimwear fabrics and other uglies. So this stripe (is that what you would call it?) fabric had to do. It was really wide so I convinced myself there was a dress in there – waiting to get out!

I had to piece together bits of fabric to get the bodice out of the fabric I had left.

SECOND ISSUE: The pattern

The pattern was teeny tiny – I should have thrown it away and used something that fitted me.


It looks weird, like it’s creeping around my body. The side seams of course don’t match up either.

FOURTH ISSUE: The wrong undergarments.

I purchased a black strapless bra, not realizing at the time that it is some kind of super duper booster bra! Now, I don’t have nothing to start with, so that didn’t help!

I haven’t worn it again – I might give it another try sans push-up strapless stupidity – before it feels the wrath of my pink unpicker and is transformed into the skirt it should have always been.

And Kat, well she is a bit shy, surprising for a girl with hair as blue as Wellington’s sky on a good day! But by the end of our walk she told me that she was expecting! I felt so special that she shared her secret with me. It made me forget my dress issues immediately! She is going to be a wonderful Mum!

Here is my spring palette, I hope this dress falls into it – the oranges and brown are not exactly correct but I doubt anyone will notice!

By the way, I am standing in front of one of the remnant building of Wellington’s early China town – cute isn’t it!


Vintage style fabrics

It was 1991, I was studying Fashion Design – I got a part-time job at a fabric shop.  The manager there was a hard taskmaster – let’s call her Deirdre.

With a whole team of newby fabric sales assistants we had the biggest opening sale Wellington’s ever seen.  There were ladies desperate to buy cheap dupion silk and they were five deep around the counter.  scary stuff.

We had to  re-merchandize the whole store – often.  We were trained in the correct  display the rolls of fabric by draping  it so the customer doesn’t have to pull if off the roll to see it, neatly, and no trailing yarns showing. Broken rolls were not allowed.   That store had to be immaculate.

Each Friday night I used to spend time stroking the Liberty lawns and wools, I mean – tidying the display.

We were all very relieved when one day Deirdre got sacked.

Back to now.  The buyers at Spotlight have been doing a decent job in catering to the trend for all things vintage.  Here are some of their picks:

Isn’t this so reminiscent of Orla Kiely’s  amazing 70’s influenced textile designs?

Check out these fabric designs which come labeled with as 1930’s.

They look a little table cloth-like to me – but may suit blonde haired gals for dresses?

This art deco style rose print is very pretty:

This is a sweet print, labelled 1930’s but I feel the colour are more 50’s in style.  Got the wrong label perhaps?

But lets not talk about what a complete mess the stores are in.  Deirdre would have had a fit.

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The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast

Source: via Trish on Pinterest

As a child did you ever read  The Butterfly Ball, and the Grasshopper’s Feast?  This was a trippy 70’s book the like of which I had never seen until a visit to my friend Stacey’s  house.  Stacey’s family lived at the back of her mother’s hairdressing shop on Rotherham Terrace, Miramar in Wellington (NZ) – know the place?  It had the 80’s pink and black sign writing on the window well into the 90’s.  Stacey was way cool, she had the Grease record (we never even had a record player),  her mum had big hair and smoked – and was pretty relaxed about things.  Even when the dog ate the whole birthday cake at her party held in the salon.  And she had cool jewellery, actually I pinched an orange plastic bangle from her once – I am so sorry Stace.

She came to my Dad’s work with me once – it was the week Elvis died (that was in 1977) – and I spilt coffee from the Cafe Bar dispenser on her pink  Elvis t-shirt – she was so upset.

Source: via Trish on Pinterest

Source: via Trish on Pinterest



What you you wear to such an event? I think this fabric would make the perfect frock for the Butterfly Ball.  Isn’t this fabric “Pretty Butterflies Cream by Alexander Henry”  just divine?



You can get it at  Fabric Traders. This is the new business venture of Simone of Beach Vintage. I have been a big fan of for ages now.  Simone has an eye for perfect shabby chic fabrics – all vintage roses and lovely prints, nothing lurid!

Just the thing for a ball.

Source: via Trish on Pinterest

 Anthropologie -Lepidoptera Dress