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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Tartan Nettie Dress

What’s better than Secret Pyjamas?

…a Secret BLANKET, of course! If you’ve got no idea what I’m talking about, allow me to enlighten you at once – the secret pyjamas movement trend promotes the wearing of clothes that LOOK like normal clothes – but are secretly like wearing pyjamas! I know Heather of Closet Case Files is a big supporter of this trend, so I’m sure she’d approve of my efforts to take this noble ideal another step forwards – to secret wearable blankets!! Using one of her fabulous patterns, no less – I proudly present my new Nettie secret blanket dress!

Tartan Nettie Dress

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Boundless Style: Review

A change is as good as a rest, apparently – so a little change of pace here on the blog with a book review! I think from my numerous makes from Gertie’s books over the last couple of years how much I enjoy a good sewing and pattern book; provided you like at least a few of the patterns, they can be tremendously good value – I have definitely gotten more than my money’s worth out of my Gertie book so far (to be fair, I did receive them as presents from my parents. But I’ve still gotten a lot of value out of them)! I also really appreciate having a beautiful hard-cover, bound, colour set of instructions to work from, let alone the usually helpful and comprehensive reference they usually provide. So I was pretty thrilled when I expanded my collection late last year, when I won Pattern Review’s giveaway to win a copy of Boundless Style!

Spring Blossom Shirt

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Turtledove Dress

Knits Sew Easy!

I’m no stranger to stretch fabrics – they’re very much a staple of lingerie sewing fabric! But up till recently, I’d never really used them for garment sewing. The main reason for this was my lack of overlocker – although you can definitely sew stretch garments on a regular sewing machine, I didn’t seem like the cleanest way of doing things and that was enough to put me off. But once I got my overlocker? Well, let’s say there’s been a dramatic increase in the amount of stretch clothing I’ve made 😉

Cosy Knit Pencil Skirt

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