And now for something completely different

I’m still catching up on blogging a few old makes! This time I have another gift for my sister, her Christmas present – which I managed to give her on time I’m proud to say :p A dancer and committed gym-goer, I made my sister something I knew she’d love – some coordinating activewear! Obviously, this was quite a departure from my usual sewing fare of retro ensembles, ballgowns and lacy lingerie, so some research was definitely required. Fortunately DIY activewear is a sewing trend that seems to have caught on rather well, so I wasn’t lacking in resources! I ended up being quite spoilt for choice; after reading extensive reviews of some of the most popular activewear designers and patterns, I went with Jalie 3462 (Cora tights) and 2563 (sports bra and short tights). I chose the Jalie patterns for a few reasons: great and versatile designs (I particularly like the colour blocking options on the Cora leggings!), good reviews, amazing price and the huge size range (very convenient if I ever decide I want some too!).

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Put a label on it!

I’m sure all of you would agree that those of us who sew our own clothes love little more than the satisfaction of adding little personal details and touches make our things truly individual. One particularly cool way of doing this is by using custom clothing labels! I’d seen other sewists add these to their makes before and been intrigued – they’re such a sweet touch which make the garment seem both more polished and professional and more unique. I’d been considering getting some of my own made for a while but not found anything that particularly caught my eye, when Abby from the Dutch Label Shop contacted me about trying their products. It seemed the perfect opportunity, so I was only to happy to take up the offer!

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The Cat’s Pyjamas

I feel I should preface this post by saying, no, I did not call this post about my sister’s pyjamas the cat’s pyjamas because I think she is an animal – I just wanted to use a cool bit of 1920s slang that was vaguely related to my post content 😛

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Sooooo I think we all know I’m a bit of a selfish sewer – and I’m not ashamed of it! As many of us makes know, creating garments is hobby that takes a lot of time and skill, and as much as I’d love to sew heaps of things for all my friends and family, I barely have time to make the things I want for myself. But when it comes to gifts, I try and make a bit more of an effort – I really do love giving people close to me the special present of something that’s been made just for them. This comes with it’s own challenges – I tend to put off and procrastinate on making presents right until the last minute, as I’m always more worried about them not turning out well than I am about the things I make for myself. Usually, I do make the deadline – however every now and then I don’t: my poor, patient sister had to wait a whole year for part of her 18th birthday present! Still, I hope she thinks her custom tartan Carolyn pyjamas were worth the wait!

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Meet the Maker: interview with THE Vivien of Holloway!

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Vivien of Holloway Jezebel dress

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VOH Cropped Gypsy Top and shorts

As some of you may know, I’ve recently been working with the amazing shop Christine’s in Fitzroy – as the official Australian stockist of renowned brand Vivien of Holloway, it’s certainly a favourite haunt of those of us in the Melbourne vintage scene! A couple of weeks ago I attended a lock-in party at the shop, where I had oodles of fun dressing up and meeting other retro lovers. I also got to meet the woman behind it all, Vivien herself! She and I had a wonderful chat about how she got started, her vintage clothing and sewing background, and just why the vintage scene is so amazing! Keep reading to find out what she said 😀

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A Very Merry Aussie Christmas

For those unfamiliar with an Antipodean Christmas, let me start by telling you it’s rather the opposite of the cosy, fireside White Christmases enshrined by greeting cards and carols; the festive season in Australia is celebrated in blazing sunshine and 30+ degree celsius heat, with kids playing cricket in the back yard, and the adults sitting around on deck chairs in the shade sipping chilled white wine, preferably on the beach or poolside. I have experienced some wintery Christmases in my time, and while they are beautiful and magical and cosy, I wouldn’t give up my summery Aussie Christmas for anything! For one, it means that it’s pretty much always guaranteed to be warm enough to be able to sew vintage-inspired sundresses and have it be warm enough to wear them…

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The Queen of Hearts

Far out, where has the summer gone?? I had the best intentions of making and blogging heaps over summer, goals which I half-achieved: plenty of making, not so much blogging! I guess after exams were all finally over, I felt much more like getting away from my desk and being creative than I wanted to just sit and write about it. Then Christmas, always a crazy time of year – then I was off jet-setting on an international adventure! I spent most of January in Canada, travelling solo, and was lucky enough to finally meet the amazing Erin in person and spend a whole weekend sightseeing and talking bras with her! I realised at the time that it had been almost six months since I’d made a bra for myself, but learning some alteration and drafting techniques from Erin (who is an amazing teacher by the way – if you’re lucky enough to live on the same continent as her, definitely go and check out her amazing studio!) definitely got me inspired and ready to make myself some new lingerie.

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A Style of One’s Own

Hi there friends! I was a little horrified when I saw that my last post had been in October – where on earth has the time gone?? That seems to have been a theme for me for sure this year; life is pretty great right now but continually getting busier in a trend that doesn’t seem like letting up any time soon! But for now, I’ve managed to come through the end of year uni/exam vortex and finally enjoying my hard-earned break. I’ve been making the most of them so far, and sewing up a storm of projects that I can’t wait to share with you all, but I have something a little different to share with you all today (and it’s not just my hair)!

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This time of year certainly lends itself to reflection, and I’ve certainly been thinking about the past year a lot recently! I’ve also really enjoyed reading Erin’s posts on her personal style search over the last couple of months, and thought I’d share a bit about my own style journey this year! I’m pretty comfortable and confident in my personal style now, and am very settled in my retro and vintage ways – but that doesn’t mean that my style is no longer evolving! There are always new preferences to discover,  and so many new styles and ideas to try, that I doubt anyone ever really finishes perfecting their personal style. I know for myself, I’ve recently become more adventurous with doing my hair in pin-up styles (and even temporarily dyed it pink!), and choosing to dress in a more overtly retro style on a day to day basis.

Dressing vintage style on the daily can be very daunting to even the most passionate lover of retro designs; so I often I see in blog comments, forums and Facebook groups people repeating their fears of looking “too dressed up”, “costume-y” or standing too far out from the crowd. So what I thought I’d write about today is some tips for dressing retro in a more casual, easy-to-wear way – given that this is something I feel I have only started to get the hang of more recently, I hope it will coax some more vintage devotees to embrace their preferred style on a daily basis!

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