Tuesday, 30 December 2014

New Years resolutions

Image taken from google 

I'm never one for new years resolutions, I always ask too much of myself. I always say 'I'm going to get fit', 'I'm going to get healthy' or 'I'm going to ....... (insert something vague and cliche here)'. But I think the problem with new years resolutions is that we always ask too much, we want to be better, perfect people but time and life inevitably gets in the way.

We become disappointed in ourselves as we break the hopes that we had for the new 'us'. We are after all, only human. As much as I would love to be this insanely fit woman with bulletproof confidence, a tonne of energy, perfect marks and incredibly healthy diet I have to take into account reality. I'm chronically ill, I'm a student and I'm fallible. Some days I feel so crap I don't even get out of bed, some days I can't make it to uni and some days I just want to sleep the day away.

 I can try, and oh boy! will I try to be that woman! However  you only have so much energy, so much time and the reality is that you can't spread yourself too thin. I want to be fit, healthy, a good student, a good daughter, a good sister, a good girlfriend and a good friend. I want to blog more, be better at sewing, learn to crochet (finally) and get back into baking. We however cannot beat ourselves up when we don't get A+ in every single category, its good to push ourselves to be better but we should never, ever beat ourselves up when we don't come close to an impossible ideal of perfection.

So this year my goals are going to be specific and reachable. I am going to try my best and be flexible with my goals, because I know life gets in the way sometimes.

  1. I want to read at least 10 books. I used to be the biggest bookworm, I remember devoured the last harry potter book in the space of a morning to evening. I lived for books! However school and then uni has brought me away from my love so I want to get back into it. Maybe I will read more! Who knows! 
  2. I want to work out or do some form of physical activity at least once a week when I am well 
  3. I want to sew five of my existing sewing patterns before I buy a new one (unless they are vintage, in that case 'nothing haunts you more than the vintage you didn't buy')
  4. I want to sew at least 10 items of clothing 
  5. I want to bake once a month
  6. Create a study routine that works  
What are your new years resolutions and what are your biggest mistakes when it comes to creating them? 

I hope you all have a lovely, safe new year!
Alecia xx

Sunday, 28 December 2014

My first circle skirt

If you read my blog you probably know that this project has been a while in the making. I put off hemming it for the longest time, purely because I was terrified of the curved hem! However after finishing the sewing part pretty quickly I have come to the conclusion that circle skirts are amazing. I mean look how twirly they are! and flattering! Gosh, why I haven't I made them sooner? 

See! Its so full and pretty! 

Action shot: wind 

(tip: wind and circle skirts are not a GREAT combo)

I'm so happy I finally got to use this fabric, I bought it over a year ago from spotlight. I fell in love with it and planned to make a dress but I saw a red patterned circle skirt and KNEW that I needed to make one. The good news is that I have loads left over! Matching top? 

Top: Target
Skirt: self made
 Bag: 1950s vintage
Shoes: Mel by Melissa

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Where do you keep your bobbins?

When I first started sewing I was naive, I just let my bobbins run wild in a shoe box. As you can imagine there was a LOT of frustration when it came time to fish them out, there is nothing quite like trying to untangle a mess of cotton to ruin a perfectly good sewing session. The more you fight the bobbins, the more they unwind, I feel like they just KNOW what they're doing and do it just to spite me. 

Now, months back I was scavenging an op shop and found this beauty, its an old plastic powder jar. It still smells faintly of powder and is the perfect size to hold my bobbins. I quickly fished through my sewing shoebox trying to cut free every single knotted bobbin so they could all move in to their new home.

 Super tip: a small piece of sticky tape on the tip of the thread and tape it to the bobbin case, this will stop them from unrolling. 

Happy sewing! 
Alecia xx

A quick and simple santa hat nail tutorial

You will need
  • A sheer pale pink or tinted clear nail polish
  • Red nail polish, it doesn't matter if it is a flat cream red or metallic, santa can be sparkly! 
  • White nail polish. You can use a normal bottle and brush which I used here, a nail art bottle/pen or use a tool. 
  • Clear top coat

What did I do? 
  • Paint your whole nail with a sheer pale pink or tinted clear nail polish to make your bare nails look pretty. 
  • After this has dried use your red polish to create an almost exaggerated french tip that covers 1/3 to 1/2 of the nail. Paint this straight across
  • To paint the tip of the santa hat draw a vertical stripe along one side of the nail. This line should look smaller at the bottom and get slightly bigger at the top so it looks like a santa hat the tip folded down.
  • Touch up any unclean lines and wait for it to dry
  • Using a white nail polish with either a brush or tool place a white stripe (for the band of the hat) from where the vertical stripe ends, to the edge of the nail. 
  • For the bobble, create a white dot
  • Once dry cover nail with a top coat to ensure the polish stays on and looks shiny and pretty
  • Taaa daaaa! You are done! Have a fruit mince pie and a cup of tea once they are totally dry to celebrate
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season! 
Alecia xx

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Gertie book review (Part 1): New book for better sewing

I recently completed my set of Gertie sewing books so I thought it would be fun to do a bit of a comparative review to see how they differ from each other. I hope this helps anyone wondering which book they should, the first book I am reviewing is her first book (my latest purchase). Her first book I would say is dedicated to more 'couture' and classic 'vintage' styles. The techniques are more difficult and there are more challenging patterns, so I would say this is for an advanced beginner. You would need to have a few garments that you have already sewn as I suspect a newbie might want to tear their hair out if this was their first project.

The book is split into two distinct parts, one being skills and one being wardrobe. 

Skills: the skills section includes a section with information on sewing vintage patterns, repro and vintage inspiration. It also includes a section on preparation which focuses on pretreating the fabric, tools and fabric required and general sewing information that you might find in a beginner book. This provided a good base and reference point, even if you are not totally confident with sewing some of the projects this section is still very useful. Also included is a section on techniques ranging from simple hems, stitches, zippers, buttonholes and stabilising to more couture techniques such as tailoring, boning, pad stitching and bound buttonholes. These techniques are all used throughout the book and are explained clearly with well drawn diagrams.  There is also a section on pattern making, cutting and altering which comes in handy with the paper patterns included. The lucky last section is on fitting and goes through all sorts of flat pattern adjustments useful in creating a great fit. 

The second section of the book is the wardrobe section, this includes the patterns, pattern variations and cutting diagrams.  There are 10 base patterns with many different variations, each pattern has comprehensive, easy to follow instructions and illustrations. Each variation has instructions and illustrations guiding the reader through adjusting the existing pattern to achieve the look. I feel that this is a good way to encourage people to play around with patterns. 

There are 10 base patterns with many variations: 
1. Pencil skirt: the pencil skirt is fitted and has a classic shape with a high waistband. The high waist band can be boned. With this pattern there are also instructions on creating a pencil skirt with a flounce and a 1940s style A-line skirt with pin-tucks. 
2. Portrait blouse: A fairly simple blouse that is neither too loose nor too tight and looks great tucked into a skirt. There are also instructions on how to make this blouse in Chantilly lace, which requires different finishings.
3. Sultry Sheath: A red hot dress that is close fitted with a low heart shaped neckline. It creates an hourglass shape and has double darts in the bodice and skirt waist. Instructions are also included on how to change this into a square necked winter jumper dress and a sundress.
4. Scallop waist skirt: A high waisted full gored skirt with scallop waist detail, the waist is boned for shape. One variation is included with a straight waist akin to the dior new look suit skirt that is so famous. 
5. Bow tie blouse: a simple, slightly shaped blouse with a bowtie neckline that opens by bound button holes in the back. Two variations are included, a keyhole version and a peter pan version.

6. Sweetheart sundress: A sundress with gathered, sweetheart bust with thick straps, front facing and gathered skirt. Two variations are included; a tiki dress with shirred back and slightly draped skirt plus a sweetheart strapless dress with circle skirt.

7. Wiggle dress: A fitted classic wiggle dress with 3/4 sleeves and underarm gussets. A brocade dress (pictured on cover) and dropped waist cocktail dress are included as variations. 

8. Shirtwaist dress: A classic shirtwaist dress with puffed sleeves and shirred back. A zip-front 1940s style variation is included.

9. Suit jacket: This is in the style of the famous 1940s Dior newlook suit jacket. It is very tailored with slight flare at the waist. No variations are given for this pattern

10. Coat dress: elbow length coat dress with circle skirt, collar and off centre buttons. No variations are given for this pattern and looks to be one of the more difficult patterns. 


Throughout the book there are many beautiful illustrations that make this book not only practical and easy to understand, but also very pretty to look at. 

One of my favourite patterns in the book is this dress, the wiggle dress. I feel that it gives a nice shape with a good length. The sleeves make it good to wear in between seasons or in an air-conditioned environment. The underarm gussets would add ease of movement making it more practical for everyday life. I love the colour of the fabric used and the styling. I would like to make this in both a stunning colour and a plain black as I feel this would be a great wardrobe staple that can be worn for work, evening or everyday. 

I also love the simplicity of the pencil skirt. It is such a basic pattern that with correct fitting looks a million dollars. The length is perfect and adds the the vintage vibe and the high waistband gives a very hourglass shape that is very flattering. Again, this is a wardrobe staple than can be made in many colours and fabrics that can be worn on almost any occasion. I also have this on my to sew list. 

Also pictured is the bow tie blouse, I think it looks perfect with the pencil skirt, what do you think? 

Another pattern I love is the shirtwaist dress. I love the fabric used in the picture as it plays up the vintage vibe and makes it look really fun. The covered belt makes it look very polished and hides the shirring in the back. Yay for shirring! Yay for comfort! Depending on the styling and fabric I feel this dress could be made to look from both the 40s, 50s or  early 60s.

This is not a pattern but a variation of the sweetheart sundress pattern. The tiki dress is a beautiful rendition of the pattern that feels very tropical and glamourous. It too has shirring for comfort and fit and I am very excited to work up to this dress as I have wanted to buy a 1950s tiki style dress for a long time (but cannot afford it).

  • beautiful illustrations
  • helpful instructions and diagrams
  • includes variations on patterns which encourages pattern altering skills.
  • simple to advanced techniques and patterns 
  • techniques required to create variations or patterns have written instructions on the page and within the skills section. 
  • Discusses vintage patterns and inspiration
  • Advanced beginner can grow with the book using each project as an opportunity to learn new skills. 
  • Beautiful vintage style patterns that will build up a lovely wardrobe.
  • Not a  starter book, this is a book that one would get after they have mastered the very basics. 
  • Some images and fabric used make it hard to see detail, especially the drop waist cocktail dress.
I would say that this is a great book and I am very glad to have bought it. It can create a mini wardrobe full of vintage styles and is a great way to learn new skills or practice complex skills if you are a intermediate/advanced sewer. I would highly recommend it. 

Hang around for part 2: Gertie sews vintage casual and part 3 where I compare them.

Have a good week!
Alecia xxx

Monday, 8 December 2014

I did it!

If you're wondering what 'it' is, I conquered the curved hem. After weeks of procrastination facilitated by both exams and christmas shopping I sat down and did it. We all have our fears when it comes to sewing and you know what? I realised that in reality curved hems aren't that scary. Its a bit like when you see something in the dark and it looks frightening, but when you turn on the light its just a normal object. I am so proud of myself for persevering.

I will share some photos of my creation soon!

Have a great week! 
Alecia xx

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

10 ridiculously adorable animal inspired etsy finds

Sometimes I fall into the abyss that is cute animal videos on youtube. Whenever I am sad, seeing cute kittens, puppies and ducks seem to always cheer me up again. I thought I'd show you a collection of my favourite cute animal etsy finds so you can carry over that happiness of watching cute animal videos 24/7/. 

1. Corgi purse from the etsy store BENWINEWIN 

3. Bunny kiss necklace from the etsy store Schmooks

4. Happy/Sad Yowie necklace from the etsy store Yellow Tree

5. Snowflake cat ring from the etsy store Mordernaked

6. Duckling necklace from the etsy store Flower Land

9. Siamese cat pocket mirror from the etsy store Matouenpeluche

10. Pug in a ball pit tote from the etsy store Girliepains

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Makeup does not change who you are

I always hear women say mean things about other women, mostly because they feel superior or want to make themselves feel superior simply by not putting on makeup. In this society there is some kind of crazy idea that makeup changes a person. This is even more evident in an academic environment. If I tied my hair back and wore no makeup I would probably be taken more seriously at uni than if I wore lipstick and eye liner. Why? because girls who spend time on their appearance aren't supposed to be smart, they're supposed to just stare into the mirror. Wearing makeup doesn't block information from being processed in my brain, where does this even come from? If you wear a hat or socks or have a tattoo does that make you any less intelligent than someone who doesn't? 

It really upsets me because I feel so strongly that we should support each other and we should all be equal. You do NOT have to put someone down to make yourself feel better about yourself and your choices. You can make you feel great without tearing someone else down.

 I don't wear makeup to attract guys, I wear it because I like it. I love the routine and the fact that it is five minutes out of my day that is mine. I love how creative it is and how it changes with time. I am happy with how I look, I can leave the house without it. I am 21 years old and I have skin that I am okay with, I don't need it to fill a void and I don't need it to make myself happy. I do not stare at a mirror all day, I have a life to live. I have dreams and rough patches, I have sad days and happy days. No matter what someone puts or doesn't put on their face we are all human and we all have complex lives. The 'Barbie' myth is just a myth. 

I just want us all to live in a world where we accept each other and understand that we are all unique, beautiful people with our own lives. Sometimes we get caught up on the exterior and stereotypes, but as women I think we need to go beyond that.  If you don't want to wear makeup thats okay! You don't have to wear it and not wearing it doesn't make you any less beautiful and wonderful. Conversely, it is alright to wear makeup, it doesn't make you any less intelligent or take away your humanity.

I hope you have all gotten something out of this and I hope it made sense. These are just my thoughts and of course, you can disagree. 

Alecia xx

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Outfits of the week: indecisive weather edition

Hello! I've been working my little butt off for exams and finishing up with my assignments for the year so much that I've nothing crafty or sewing related to show you (Bad Alecia!). However since I have been trying to get out of the house more to try and break up my study blocks I thought I would show you some outfits that I have been wearing the last week. The weather has been so indecisive, It's as if you get all four seasons within the week....which is not always bad. I shudder to think of the 40+ heat waves in the coming months so I'll be happy to hold onto the cooler weather for a bit longer.

Dress- Dangerfield (old)
Bag- Vintage
Shoes- Zara
Lipstick- Santa Baby lip tint from Lush

Dress - Target (old)
Bag- Vintage
Shoes- Zara
Tights - Woolworths

Lipstick - Australis Velour lips in NY-CEE 

Please forgive the lighting and different backgrounds, I am still trying to find the best place to take pictures. I hope you all have a lovely week and to all those going through end of year exams, good luck! 

-Alecia xx

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

'Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something'

Where does fear come from and why, oh why does it stop us from moving forward. 
Exhibit A: this skirt. This skirt is a long project in the making because to be honest I am terrified of curved hems. One of the very first garments I made had a curved hem and that did NOT go well. So here I am a psychology student afraid of bikes and curved hems....button holes, knits and failure in general. The funny thing is that all those things I am afraid with in relation to sewing are things I tried to do above my ability. I wonder if I had resisted the temptation to throw myself in the deep end would I still be afraid. I wonder if we should be more careful to pace ourselves, however making juggling balls and pillows in home economics is only a fraction as cool as making your own dress. Mistakes happen and I guess part of sewing is accepting that and working past our fears. To put it in the words of Jake from Adventure Times 'Sucking at something is the first step to being sorta good at something' and when it comes to skills like sewing I think you've just gotta put your big girl (or boy) knickers on and get through it, baby! Everybody has a skill they're scared of, I'm pretty sure even really amazing sewers are challenged by things. Maybe we need to celebrate fear as a part of learning instead of pretending we are perfect.

What sewing related skills are you afraid of?
Alecia xx

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Sunday update

My boyfriends photography makes studying look way more glamorous than it is. My sewing and photo taking has been falling so far behind. I'm such a terrible blogger. This is why though, I'm at the pointy end of my first year at uni and drowning under assignments and exam revision. I put a lot of pressure on myself and it often leads me to neglect things other than studying, such as blogging, cleaning, sleeping and leaving the house.

Yes, that is a block of top deck on top of my neuroscience textbook.....priorities!

I hope you all have had a wonderful week.
-Alecia x

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sunday update

So another busy week has gone by and I haven't done anything even remotely creative. I've been planning on taking photos  of my vintage finds and finishing up my sewing projects but nope...not just yet. However this is what I HAVE done this week

1. I turned 21! Yes, little me is another year older and I feel exactly the same. I still feel like I'm 13 years old and the idea of adulthood still scares me. I had a wonderful birthday and I got extremely spoilt. I didn't do much (thats how I like it), but I am planning on having a gathering with friends later on.  I had a mini freak out because I feel like for a 21 year old  haven't done much but I came to the conclusion that comparing your life to someone else's life might as well be comparing apples and oranges. We each have our own little path with bumps and detours, some happen early on, some later on, some are big and some are small. Just gotta keeep movin' on anywaaaaaaaay 

2. I bought Gertie's new sewing book with some of the money I acquired from my birthday. Hopefully I will give it a  review once I have gotten through it. I usually like styles that are a little fancier, but I think a book based on casual vintage basics is a good place to practise skills. I'm excited to give it a go. 

3. Fell in love with Darrell Lea strawberry liquorice. It's great! They have all sorts of flavours...it's just amazing. I love liquorice, but this is definitely a liquorice that non-liquorice people will love too. 
4. Attempted to break out of my makeup rut.....and failed. Winged eyeliner, neutral shadow and red lips just go together too damn well. 

5. Got accused of being sexually attracted to yoghurt in the grocery store because I was looking at it like I wanted to 'date' it.....apparently.  (I forgot my glasses so I squint at everything). The conversation was so awkward that climbing into the juice fridge seemed like a great idea.

6. Got teary while watching Telethon (Yearly 26 hour televised fundraiser for the childrens hospital and charities in Perth). I grew up watching this every single year and it brings so much hope knowing that a whole state can get together at one time and raise millions of dollars for a good cause. 

Friday, 17 October 2014

One lovely blog award

The Rules: 

1. You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog. 
2. You must list the rules and display the award. 
3. You must add seven facts about yourself. 
4. You must nominate fifteen other bloggers and let them know they have been nominated.
5. You must display the award logo and follower the blogger who nominated you. 

Thank you Lucy from the carnabetian army for passing this along!

Seven Facts About Me:

1. I had surgery when I was 18 that permanently fused most of my spine together, I had to learn how to walk again and spent a lot of time by myself doing nothing....thats when I decided to learn to sew!

2.  When I was a child I was adamant I was going to be a lawyer. I watched Legally Blonde and I felt like suddenly it was okay to be feminine and smart. I may no longer want to be a lawyer (I think I would be too distressing), but I am at university studying to be a Psychologist. 

3.  I love peppermint tea and I drink it ALL the time. When I come to think of it I love anything that smells or tastes like peppermint. 

4. I burn in the sun ridiculously quickly. I have been known to stop in the sun for a chat with people at uni for 10 minutes and end up with blistering, tomato red sunburn. SPF 50+ is my best friend and I don't know what I'd do without it.
5.  I live in Australia, grew up in a coastal town, live in a coastal city and hate swimming at the beach! 

6. I had a spice girls crop top when I was a kid and I thought I was the coolest. I felt like baby spice (she was my favourite)
7. When I was little I watched a cartoon called the Magical Adventures of Mumfie. It had a little elephant in a pink coat, a scarecrow, a pig with wings and a whale with a house inside it. Nobody I talked to remembered it and I've still never met anyone who remembers it......but I know its real! 

Lisa from tea and craft
Wendy from the butterfly balcony
Eve and Blaire from old is now vintage
CiCi from cici-marie
Hayley from lady haze of vintage
Liz from sixties twist
Bonita from lavender and twill
Lynne from  ozzy black beard

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Perfect vintage sale attire
1. Small bag that doesn't get in the way or a bag large enough to carry every single item home in......(become Mary Poppins and have both?). Either way it needs to be able to hold your denial for vintage acquisition syndrome.
2. A dress. There will be no privacy in change rooms. Use the skirt of your dress as a change room if you wish to not flash your butt and flabby bits. (Although there is nothing wrong with butts and flabby bits, everybody has a butt and flabby bits).
3. Flat shoes. You wouldn't go to war in stilettos 

Here is a cute photo of a mumma swan and her babies on the creatively named swan river. Aren't they just the cutest?! I didn't want to get too close and stress them out or end up as a viral video on youtube. 

I did get some AWESOME finds from the vintage sale I went to today and I'll pop them up when I get the chance. Vintage sales are always so extremely hectic and I need to put my feet up and rest.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Sometimes life is like a pair of saggy tights, annoying and as unglamorous as a used toothpick

Saggy tights really are terrible

Life isn't always perfect, in fact it is definitely far from and it. Too much study, not enough time, feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. Sometimes you just look at your life and just feel blaaaaaaah. Repeat it with me! 'BLAAAAAAAH'. Sometimes it's far too easy to lose track of the things that make you happy. I think that sometimes all we can think of are our shortcomings and become disconnected from reality. Because in reality a lot of the super dramatic things that we worry about, all the things we think about ourselves or think about the future don't really matter. They shouldn't matter. We put a magnifying glass on our flaws and put everyone else on a pedestal. 

So here is a list of 5 things that make me remember and come back to reality whenever I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, which in university can be a lot of the time.

1. Look at pictures that make you happy
The key here is the word 'happy', make sure you have a little file on your laptop or photo album full of them! Nothing sad or confronting, just things that remind you of how wonderful your life is. Photos of your friends, family, holidays, pets....anything that makes you smile and warms your heart. I often look at pictures of my dog, she always looks so happy and it reminds me how lucky I am to have her with me. 

2. Make time a happy space for yourself and take some time out. 
It might be different for everyone. For some it might be a nice book and a blanket in a nice part of your bedroom. For some it might be pulling all their pretty clothes out and trying them on. For me, I like to run myself a bath and put some music on, use a nice bath gel and relaaaaaaax. 

3. Write a list of all your achievements and remember them, think about what makes you most proud about each.
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we kick ass. 

4. Put on a song that makes you happy and dance, sing....whatever.  
Dancing is exercise and exercise makes endorphins and endorphins make you happy, happy people don't kill their husbands. 

Songs that make me happy

This song while always making me smile also reminds me of a summer full of music festivals with my friends

A song that will always, always make me smile no matter what.

5. Compliment someone else (sincerely)
Sometimes the thing that can make you most happy is knowing that you have contributed to someone else's happiness.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

I have been two things lately, sick and stressed. Since uni went back I have been sick twice and drowning in an avalanche of assignments. I'm getting there slowly so soon I'll have some more time for craft. I have a few craft projects that are nearing completion even though I told myself to finish one before I move onto the next. Like thats ever going to happen, right? My excuse is I haven't had the time to make my way down to spotlight to get zips. Good enough excuse? I think so. 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Polka Dot Vintage Market Aug 2014

Prescription Ray Bans (wooo), self made dress, Dotti tights, Kmart flats, Sportsgirl bag.

If there is one think that gets me excited its the Polka Dot Vintage Market. I've never really seemed to have much luck when it comes to finding bargains and I've generally found it to be a bit hit and miss with stalls but I always LOVE just trawling through. So many beautiful, crazy things! It's always a good day out. The one thing that makes it challenging is the crowds, as a country girl transplanted into the big city for uni, crowds scare me. I find it rather difficult navigating the crowds of people all trying to go down the narrow walkways between tables in different directions. If you're too polite I've found you just get stuck so you just have to battle it out like everyone else! 

My boyfriend and I had a lovely day going through everything, he managed to pick up a wind up film movie camera made in the USSR and something else for one of his cameras. It's amazing, It still makes the most lovely old movie camera sound so it's fun to play with, if only we could find the film.  I managed to nab some gorgeous black 1930s/1940s shoes (pictures coming soon), a present to myself for kicking butt at my first semester of uni. 

Afterwards we made our way down to the glorious Subiaco Markets (which they are now trying to knock down). It has the BEST range of cheap food and vegetables I have seen, every single type of cuisine you could think of all in one area. It's so disappointing that they want to get rid of it because it's just so lively and bright....especially since they want to replace it with Coles and Target. I suggest going down to the markets before they do close, enjoy the food and sign a petition. It's only metres from the Subiaco train station and doesn't take long at all to get there from the city.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

So, I almost cried in the Salvos

I love op-shopping, I like to think of it as both a talent and luck, because well sometimes you have to know what you are looking at to know whether you've struck gold or not. I come from a town with many small op shops, not all that promising but sometimes you find real gems. They're not often that picked over so you can get really lucky or really disheartened. Often there are racks of disintegrating chain store leftovers that you remember seeing in the stores only a few years before. It's rough and a lot of the time you go in and hope that you're going to find something absolutely perfect. You might hope that someone has thrown out something they knew nothing about, whether it be 'proper' vintage clothes, shoes, accessories or something that will ensure a fabulous story on antiques roadshow (my favourite show).  So when you find something amazing you just have to be happy, bask in that happiness, because op shop miracles happen rarely, especially in a country like Australia. 

So here is my little op shop miracle, this beauty right here. Thats right, its a Lutterloh golden rule book from the early 60s. It was sitting there and the moment I set eyes on it the lady picked it up to show one of her regular customers, she muttered things like 'whole book of patterns', 'absolutely beautiful' and the customer nodded, as she too obviously had good taste. It's not just only the big ass book you see, but FIVE, yes FIVE supplements. I was standing there with my boyfriend assured that this person was going to snap it up right before my eyes with my mouth and eyes wide open in terror. I nearly cried, I admit it....am I perhaps a little bit dramatic and a bit too invested in acquiring vintage patterns? Yes. So shoot me... I loved it from the moment I saw it and I had to have it. Turns out the person looking at it didn't want it, maybe they didn't sew? I don't know but I handed that cash over and this beautiful red book came home with me. I couldn't stop smiling the whole day knowing it was mine. The pictures are beautiful and although I am probably not up to the skill set required to draft and sew most of these patterns as they come with no instructions, now I just have something to work towards...It was $29.95, which is probably a good price, some people would probably say that is too much for an op shop but these things don't pop up every day. I know the money is going to help people so I think it was indeed worth it.

I really want to make the green/yellow version of this dress in a nice black velvet. The detail on the front!... *sigh*

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

I've been very lucky lately in the shoe department. I found these beautiful hardly worn 1940s cherry red heels on ebay. They're amazing and they have that nice vintage smell to them that reminds me of antique shops and old buildings. This is my very first pair of true vintage shoes, I've often been quite hesitant to buy online because of my short yet wide feet but I took the plunge and it paid off. Finding vintage shoes in shops in Western Australia is almost impossible and even if you're lucky they are rarely the right size or style. I can't wait to wear them when the weather isn't so rainy, if only it would fine up! 

Secondly, there was a huge EOFY sale on at Myer (a major department store). While I was out with my boyfriend enjoying the evening hawkers market in the city we went for a walk and I spotted these beauty's by Vivienne Westwood for Melissa. Oh boy, was I leaving with those babies. I love Melissa shoes, they smell so good....they're like adult barbie shoes but ridiculously comfy. They were thankfully discounted and my boyfriend bought them for me as a very early birthday present. I've fallen so much in love with them, I've been waiting to buy a style of these shoes for so long so when the version with the red heart came back I was ecstatic. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine

Hurrah! I have finally some pictures of my shark dress to show you. I initially wanted to make a shark dress because in my state there has been a lot of anger about the routine culling of sharks to protect swimmers. While protecting swimmers is great, unfortunately its not a very effective or humane way of tackling the problem. There has been a lot of widespread community support against the cull and continued beach protesting which is quite an amazing thing and I thought that if there was ever a time for a shark dress, the time was now.  I fell in love with the fabric in spotlight, it was part of the 'shark bay' collection, (awesome holiday location, awesome fabric collection) and I had to have it. I must have swooned over it every time I visited spotlight until I bought it. It was just too cute with little patchwork sharkies and stripes. It makes me happy because it reminds me of Bruce from Finding Nemo, which I love. It's just so happy and the colours are so nautical, I've been wearing it a lot already but I plan on wearing it much more when summer comes.

Fabric close up! DUN DUN DUNNN. Mind the pleats that need pressing.
I used Very Easy Vogue Pattern  V8723, and boy, was it very easy! Despite some initial fitting issues such as my cutting a size too big it was almost perfect. I had terrible scoliosis up until I was 18 when I had surgery, so although my back is better than it was it still makes a nightmare for fitting the back of the bodice.  Unfortunately it gapes depending on how I move, although I did try to minimise this. I cut a size 10 cup-size D and it was too wide at the side and centre back seams. I think next time I will cut a size 8 D and maybe lower the waist a tad, however with the adjustments I made this fits fine.

I had some problems gathering the skirt so in my frustrated state I decided to roughly hand pleat them. It's not very precise, some of them are wonky and uneven, some of them stick up and it kind of looks a little like gathering but I don't mind. I wanted to get it together and wear it and thats what mattered at the time. I hand sewed the zipper and lining which I find easier than doing it with a machine.