The “Cabbages and Roses” Dress

Well, this is nice! A Sew Weekly Reunion!

Thanks for stopping by – glad to be back and thanks for organizing ladies.

When I think back to last year, I don’t know how I managed it. Must have been a lot of adrenalin pumping!

I’ve hardly sewn anything this year it seems. A couple of kids’ costumes and some cushions I think! I have been at the gym, which has really helped the sore back I got from so much sewing last year!

So I was relieved that I could use this dress, which I had already started, for this Pantone colour challenge.

It was good to create a whole new dress in a new pattern, and use some colours I wasn’t really sure about.


This pattern has six pleats on the shoulders

Six sleeve darts

Six bodice darts

Two wrist ties

Four metres of hand sewn hem.

That was a lot of marking in sliver gel pen and tailors tacks. Time consuming, but not difficult.

The skirt pattern is my usual semi circular skirt pattern in 4 gores.

The petticoat I purchased in Linden (um, almost) green – was way too short. So I hacked the top band off and whacked on an extended top tier – in a polka dot lining fabric from my stash.

I was really happy with the dress and I had some lovely compliments the day I wore it. The hat was from an op shop for $10 and I managed to rip the hat elastic off it as I arrived home. My feet were totally filthy from all the dust at the venue

I am feeling very inspired to sew, with the warmest winter in Australia in 150 years, (scary) feeling very much like Spring already. I hope I can make time for it.

The Facts

Fabric: Cotton Lycra Sateen – bought in New Zealand for $50

Notions: One vintage metal zip $1, one organza petticoat $30, plus extra lining fabric

Pantone Challenge colors: Acai and Linden Green

Pattern: Simplicity 3621

Year: 1952

Time to complete: 8-10 hours

First worn: The Fifties Fair, 25 August 2013

Wear again? Yes, but I’m not sure where

Total Cost: $80








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!


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?

Audrey Hepburn, Life Magazine 1962

My friend is listing this 1962 edition of Life Magazine on eBay shortly. It contains a nice spread on Audrey Hepburn wearing fashions by Givenchey.

All these garments/outfits are very bulky around the waist which look amazing on her diminutive frame – skinny girls take note!





An awkward moment with a very big bull



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

Fifties repro fabric – an unlikely source

If you are in the market for reproduction fifties style fabric, perhaps a source you haven’t considered is right under your nose – your local quilting shop.

Admittedly, I live pretty close to one of the best in Australia’s: Material Obsession, at Drummoyne.  Their selection is mouthwatering.

Here are a few things I spotted in there recently that I thought might work for fifties style garments.  I didn’t take any notes about the fabrics, all I can say is get in there fast as they sell out fast and not always reordered, so the lovely lady who helped me could tell me.

I was extremely lucky to find the scarlet print with the bows was still in stock – I have been dreaming about it since the last time I visited – months ago.   I think it will be perfect in a blouse like Butterick 4985.

If you are in Sydney’s Western Suburbs I recommend Fred the Needle – I haven’t visited them in their new location in Dural – but their Penrith store was fabulous.

If you have a good one one near you – I would love to hear about it.

Also if you have tried sewing garments with quilting fabric and how that went.  Thanks.

It’s the second week of the school holidays and I just heard the little guy say, as he tumbled around the living room “I can feel my brain moving” – had better go.