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The Countdown to Christmas...

Sunday, December 2, 2012
Christmas is just a few weeks away and I'm sooooo excited! I love Christmas. I was a bit 'meh' about it for a few years there but it got me again with all of it's happy festiveness and paid days off from work. We've already seen a few Christmas cartoons and watched A Christmas Carol. Below are a few Christmassy snaps from my instagram this weekend...

The mini tree is up and the presents wrapped, now we just need Christmas morning...bah humbug!

I've been sewing in stops and starts over the last few weeks on this dress. But as I type, I only have a few small hand sewing bits and pieces to finish and then it's done! It looks a little Christmassy non? Proper photos to come next weekend.

We had a major heat wave on Friday and Saturday and little Mocha-bee and Monty-moo didn't quite know what to do with themselves except lounge around the house only getting up every few minutes to change positions below the fan.

And I may have let The Bee have a small taste of this Christmas pudding ice cream to cool down. Monty wasn't interested.

Mini Chrismas pudding truffles!!

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend.


Two Years...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Two years ago, I married the love of my life...

Wedding Nov 2010

Happy Anniversary, I love you.


Lady in {a} Red {skirt}

Friday, November 16, 2012
Yup, that's right, I'm totally a Lady (in a red skirt...).

16 Nov 2012 5
16 Nov 2012 1
16 Nov 2012 3

I actually finished this self-drafted circle skirt a few weeks back and it's quickly made itself a staple in my wardrobe. I've worn it at least once a week since I made it - pretty and functional, perfect!

And on a totally different (but red related) note, did you know Christmas is only 5 weeks away? Yay! Not that I'm counting or anything though...


ps) It was David's 30th birthday 2 weeks ago and I surprised him with a weekend away in the Hunter Valley and I made him an awesome 1Up Mushroom cake.

Note to self - don't use a crumbly cake when you need to make the cake look pretty.

Second note to self - probably not a good idea not to embark on a cake decorating career.

Vintage Pretties - London

Sunday, November 11, 2012
V&A 7
1950s polkadot ball gown - I love this dress!

I took these photos at the V & A in London. They had a ball gown exhibition happening when I went (and I see they have a costume exhibition coming! I wish I lived a little closer to London...) and while I wasn’t allowed to take any photos in that area, they had a great little pre-exhibition set up where photos were allowed.

V&A 1
V&A 2
V&A 3
The inside of the bust of a couture Christian Dior gown...

V&A 5
V&A 6
V&A 8
Suits by Balenciaga - including a miniature day dress, cute!

V&A 9
Christian Dior miniature day dress

Don't you love the miniature dresses? Couture houses made these as mock ups before they would actually make dress in full size.

I hope your weekend is going well - I have baking, cooking dinner and sewing on the agenda!


Vintage Pretties - Paris

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Flea 5

While I didn’t actually buy any vintage pretties in Europe (I was sad to leave behind a beautiful blue 50’s dress in Paris due to its teeny tiny waist!) I did take lots of photos for sewing inspiration.

The photos below are from the Puces de Saint-Ouen (Paris’s largest and oldest flea market). It was amazing to wander the tiny passages and walkways filled with knickknacks and treasures. I walked away with some lovely French Marie Claire magazines from the 30’s and 40’s. They even had a small vintage wedding gown exhibition happening. Swoon...

A gorgeous 1940s wedding dress

  Flea 13 
Stunning delicate lace shawl from the 1920s

Flea 12
 My FAVOURITE dress of all - I have several photos of this dress, it is just beautiful...

Flea 11

Flea 15
Wedding dresses in the window...

Flea 7

Flea 10

Flea 9

Flea 8

Flea 2

Flea 4

Flea 1

Later in the week, vintage pretties from the V & A Gallery in London.

It's so nice to see beautiful creations up close! It's especially useful to inspect how they were constructed for help with my own sewing - though I wish I could have kept them all...


Spring Dresses...

Friday, October 26, 2012
Leaving my Cambie woes alone at the moment, I wanted to show you this dress I finished up a week ago. It's another version of this dress but with a deeper neckline, a waist band and a gathered skirt instead of a pleated one. Again, I made my own bias binding for the arms - tutorial coming up! - instead of using the pattern facing. This is number 5 on my sewing table completed!

23 Oct 2012 6

23 Oct 2012 5

23 Oct 2012 8  
 Self made bias binding

23 Oct 2012 9
Added waist band 
Pattern 5
Dress number 5 on my list

Sydney has been doing that strange Spring weather thing lately where we get really hot Summer days then in the blink of an eye it's back to Winter again. So this is how I actually wore the dress that day - snuggled up in a vintage cardigan. 

23 Oct 2012 2

I can't wait to wear this dress in proper summer weather - it has the perfect mix of work appropriate-ness that can also be dressed up for the evening.

What have you been working on lately?


ps) Sorry again for all of the random 'test posts' that have been popping up in your feeds! Hopefully it's all sorted now.


Thursday, October 25, 2012
Hi everyone, I just want to apologise for all the strange posts that keep popping up - I'm not sure if you have noticed, but the blog is under going a little make over! We seem to be having a few small teething problems at the moment but should resume to normal service again soon. Thanks Jen

I know what you’re going to say...

Monday, October 8, 2012
I do know what you’re going to say, but I just wanted to make sure you were going to say it, just in case, ya know, you weren't (but you're going to, I just know it...).

Below is the bust of the first muslin of my Cambie dress. As you can see, I haven’t got far mostly because I’m getting weird, sticky-outy bits around my underarm. I have three options to fix this (well actually, only one, but I’m trying to avoid it if I can):

a)      a bust dart – okay, not really an option, but I thought I would try.

Edited to add - I've had some questions about why a bust dart wouldn't really be suitable. To explain, I think it would really ruin the lines of the dress. If I was making it in a busy fabric I might get away with it, but making it in a plain fabric, the dart line would be really noticable. It wasn't designed with a bust dart in mind so I would really want to avoid it if possible!

Cambie 1

b)      really huge waist darts - this would mean a lot of bulk around the tummy area (so probably not really an option...)

Cambie 2

c)       a small bust adjustment – there, I said it!

So my question is, do I really have to do a SBA? I have a few tutorials lined up on how to do it because I’ve never done one before (more help is welcome if you have it though!), but I just wanted a second (and third and fourth etc) opinion on whether that was actually what I needed to do.

I think I have an irrational fear. 
Do I have to?


On the sewing table...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Summer is fast approaching us in Sydney Town. The days are longer (it’s so nice to get up in the morning and its light!) and the temperatures are slowly rising. Spring is most certainly here… 

I have a number of summer sewing projects that I’m gearing up towards and so I thought, as a little motivation, I’d share them with you. I’ve been washing my parisienne fabric hoard slowly over the weekends, and collecting and sorting my various vintage patterns into bite sized pieces to sew up over the next few months. With my newly found love of ‘taking it slowly and doing it properly’ when it comes to sewing, I may not get all of it made, but I can certainly try! And let’s face it, the pants are for autumn, I’m just trying to get a head start… 

1 Stripy black and white dress 

Pattern 7

2 Vintage button blouse 

Pattern 9

 3 Tartan dress 

Pattern 10

4 Red Circle Skirt (completed) - photos coming soon!

5 Japanese Floral dress (started, should be finished this weekend).

Pattern 5

 6 Strappy Japanese cotton lawn dress 

Pattern 3

7 Pants 

pants pattern

8 Gathered dress 

Pattern 6

9 Cambie dress - I'm currently in the middle of a muslin of this that I desperately need your help with. Post coming soon!

10 Colette Patterns Macaron Dress - I still need to actually get the pattern for this, but I have my fabric combination all sorted! And that’s the hard part right?

11 Flowy lace/curtain skirt - my own made up pattern (yet to get fabric!)

12 A version of Tilly's picnic skirt

13 Skulls Dress - David found a rockabilly style dress made of this fabric in London but the style just wasn't flattering on me. They had almost the same pattern as below made up in every other fabric except the skulls, so when I found the fabric after returning home (and the pattern that had been hiding in my stash for YEARS) I knew it would work. I'm excited about this one :)

Pattern 4

14 Strappy flowery cotton dress - this fabric was about $6 a metre, can't complain!

Pattern 8

15 Gathered neckline blue cotton dress - yes, the same fabric as a dress above, but I have so much of it I may as well use it. I paid about $3 for the lot at an op shop in Dunedin, NZ.

Pattern 1

16 Blue/Black polka dot gathered bust dress 

Pattern 2

18 Green Zig Zag pleated skirt - my own made up pattern, and I've yet to get the fabric.

Phew, that’s A LOT! Of course, these projects will change as I find new inspiration/as new patterns mysteriously land in my mailbox, but these are most of them up to this point. 

What fun projects do you have in stall? Is it a huge long list like mine, or small number of pieces to add to your wardrobe for the coming season? 


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