It’s so nice to be writing a blog post again! So many big things have happened in my life over the last couple of years since my last post here – I graduated from my degree, moved out of home, started my first full time job, moved house again…and, two months ago, married my best friend ❤
I knew even before I got engaged that I would make my own wedding dress, and moreover, which pattern I would use. I had a very clear vision of the style of dress I wanted, so when I stumbled across this vintage Weldon’s pattern I knew straightaway it was the one. It had the three things I wanted most – empire waistline, with princess seams from under the bust, and a back opening bolero. And given there were only two copies for sale online, I knew I had to act and swiftly bought the one closest to my size. Then I just had to wait until I got officially engaged six months later 😛
This will just be a quick one today! A few months ago I got a call from my dad’s cousin, who is a wonderfully thoughtful woman, to tell me that she’d seen two huge tubs of vintage buttons (in sets!) for sale in a charity shop for $50. Whilst I wasn’t supposed to be spending any money (cause I’d just gotten back from my lengthy Europe trip), I couldn’t resist at least seeing them and asked her to send me a picture. I think when you see the photos below you’ll know the kinds of vintage sewing ecstasy I was in. Still, I was firm with myself, sadly told her I was on a spending ban and that I couldn’t take them. However, being the incredibly generous soul that she is, got them for me as a gift (as an “engagement” present – my poor fiancé has gotten a bit jibbed here ahaha). SO this story has a very happy ending, I am now the delighted owner of literally hundreds of vintage buttons, and I will now share the eye candy with you all. What’s your best vintage or sewing market/charity find ??
If there’s one thing I love, it’s great sewing tools – anything that helps me take my creativity to the next level and up my sewing game. So when Madam Sew reached out to me recently and asked if I’d like to play with their incredible presser foot set, what could I say but YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES.
The Madam Sew 32 Piece Presser Foot Set is most certainly a *drool-worthy* selection of tools, even for an advanced sewer. The sheer range of feet included was enough to immediately have my brain ticking over with ideas for projects. In terms of decorative feet, there’s pin-tucking feet, piping and cording feet, an appliqué foot; on the technical side of things there’s zipper feet, roller and non-stick feet, darning feet and hemming feet. There a feet I never even dreamed would EXIST in this set. Imagine having to hand a presser foot for every conceivable sewing need – a foot for stitch-in-the-ditch, a foot for tricky parallel stitching lines, a FOOT FOR ATTACHING FRINGE – well, my friends, this set has you covered.
I’m digging back through the archives of my makes over the last 12 months that have yet to appear on this blog – next up is 2017’s ball dress! Since my second year of uni, I have made my dress for the annual ball each year (and am just about to start work on this year’s!). Last year was no different – although I decided to go for a very different style to the princess dresses of 2015 and 2016!
Ahoy there friends! It’s coming up to a year since I last managed to post here – last year was my most academically demanding year of university, and took up pretty much all my time and energy up to November. Then it was Christmas a frenzy of sewing (and no blogging) ensued; on Boxing Day I left for an overseas holiday + university placement in the UK. When I arrived back in March, I was off to Bendigo (a town about two hours drive from Melbourne) for a rural placement and didn’t get back till the end of April. In between all of THAT, I’ve been applying for jobs for next year and whilst I was overseas…I got engaged! Hence lots of engagement and wedding-related planning has been going on behind the scenes (though I’ve been posting some updates here and there on Instagram!). Sooooo I think that explains where I’ve been! There has actually been a fair bit of sewing going on despite all of this, so I’m hoping now that I’m keen to make time for writing again in my life, I’ll be able to share what I’ve been up to since then !
Today though, I have a slightly different project to share with you – some millinery escapades! As I continue to delve more in to vintage fashion and dressing, I’ve been trying to up my accessories game: I have a decent glove collection going now, and I’ve been building my vintage jewellery collection. But for ages, the thing I’ve been coveting over anything else has been hats. True vintage hats are hard to find: Melbourne Op shops never seem to have them, eBay is full of pretty sad looking examples, and the ones which have been well-preserved usually far exceed my student budget. Hats are one area which repro hasn’t really touched; and creations by millinery artistes are even further out of my budget than the real deal. So what’s a crafty girl to do? Hit the DIY of course!
As long time followers will know, whilst my real sewing passion is whipping up endless dresses (especially ballgowns), I do try and keep my makes somewhat practical with some separates here and there. And, truth be told, even I must admit that I do get more wear out of my me-made tops and bottoms on a day to day basis than all my fancy frocks 😛 So amongst all the dresses I’ve been posting about lately, I thought I’d better show off the ensemble I made during my break: a black Gable top and a pencil skirt in vintage wool!
As a sewist, is there a greater pleasure than realising the perfect combination of fabric and pattern to perfectly recreate one’s vision in the real world? (the answer is no, there is not). So you may imagine just how pleased I am to be sharing this shining example with you all today!
Altering RTW, clothes-hacking and upcycling; whilst I have dabbled in all of these, they tend to be a little outside of my comfort zone. Whilst many discover a passion for sewing through altering op-shop finds, I have always preferred to sew from scratch, as it were. However, as I’ve been lucky enough to receive a few windfalls of pre-loved clothes from friends and family over the last year or two, I’ve slowly been building up my alteration skills in adapting clothes to my shape and style. Whilst I’ve now successfully reworked a few pieces with basic fixes, this time I took on a slightly more ambitious project!
I received this dress from my auntie a couple of years ago as she’d bought it online but didn’t fit. It didn’t fit me either, but she thought I might like to see if I could do something with it. I loved the fabric but wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, so it’s been lurking in my sewing cupboard ever since. Flash forward to just a few months ago, when I saw the fabulous Nora Finds wearing this Stop Staring dress on Instagram. My second thought (after, my god, I need this dress) was I’VE SEEN THAT FABRIC BEFORE. And, lo and behold…I’m convinced it’s almost an exact match!
Did anyone read The Crafty Pinup’s recent post about sewing and motivation? It’s a really great read with some excellent tips on helping you get your creativity back in to gear – which I’ve definitely needed lately! When there’s a fiddly or complicated project sitting on my sewing table, my sewjo can really take a hit – like with that silk trench coat from last year that’s still only about 30% done (I swear I will finish it…eventually…), or the green shirt dress that I cut out almost a year ago, started sewing up about six weeks ago…and just finished last weekend 😛 Still, I’m always proud of myself whenever I complete a project, especially if it’s one that took me a long time; and even moreso in this case, as I took the trouble to take my time and finish every thing really nicely – and I think the result it well worth it!
I have to say, writing this post I am feeling a little (very) nostalgic for my summer holidays – right now, cosyed up by the fire, I really do wish I was back in the warm weather, waltzing around in this pink gingham ensemble (i.e. one of my favourite outfits EVER).
I’d been wanting a retro outfit in pink gingham for some months now; I can’t remember the exact inspiration, but I’ve definitely seen a few repro pieces in variations on this theme before and knew that this was an outfit fantasy I had to indulge myself in. Accordingly I obtained a vast quantity of pink gingham from Spotlight and settled on a design. I wanted a dress, but decided to make it in two pieces as a top and skirt for greater versatility (a brilliant call, I might add). The skirt is a simple gathered circle skirt and the top is the bodice of B6167, modified to have a shirred back and a side zip (a “design feature” added when I couldn’t get the finished top over my head…whoops!).