Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Snobby sale assistants: the lipstick-on-teeth incident

I have this unwritten personal rule...if someone has lipstick on their teeth you tell them. They could be your best friend, your mum, your best friend, a shop assistant or some person on your tell them. You tell them in a non condescending way, add a 'pffft, it happens', you smile, laugh and move on.

 You help your sisters out! After all, it happens! Unless you constantly, constantly check every minute you are unlikely to avoid this and will probably experience it at least once. You try a new lipstick that is sticky, you rush in the morning, you eat or drink and forget to just happens. No biggie!

Lately I was in Canberra and went out to a light industrial area to check out a certain vintage store. When I was there I unknowingly had lipstick on my teeth, how dare I! When I was there I was treated terribly, they made fun of me in front of my boyfriend while I was in the dressing room, they tutted, rolled their eyes and laughed. They were middle aged women who made me feel like I wasn't part of the club, silly little girl playing with makeup. They also did not allow me to walk around with clothes because I 'might steal them'.

I love vintage and I love vintage shopping. I usually find store owners lovely and as someone who spent years in retail I try to be the best customer I can. I always try and think from the assistants perspective, but I also know that you are NEVER to be mean to your customers. It really threw me because I've always felt the vintage community was accepting, but recently I've felt that I'm just not 'cool' enough for this club.

It may seem like an overreaction to this incident, but to me telling someone they have lipstick on their teeth is like telling someone something is stuck to their shoe or have something in their hair....its common courtesy and something that is just good manners. It surprised me that adult women who were likely to have adult children were so immature.

Let's all strive to support each other and do to others what we would want to be done for us. 

Have you had any bad experiences in the vintage community or in vintage stores?

Alecia xx

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Blue and coral

Before christmas one of my favourite stores Review held a competition called the '12 days of review' with one dress given away every day for 12 days. I was lucky enough to win one and I thought I would share the one I had chosen. 

Review has always been one of my favourites and my wardrobe is filled with old review from when I was working. Oh the days of having disposable income! Being a student has its downfalls after all. They have very 1950s 'inspired' clothes with a modern twist and do lovely going-out dresses. I am so happy to have won and have worn this dress loads. It's not quite stretchy but has some give, plus I think the colours are so fun! I suggest that you check them out at Myer or their concrete stores as they often have sales making them more affordable. If you are close to a discount outlet it is always worth a look! 

Dress and belt: Review found here
Bag: Vintage 

I hope you're all keeping cool in this ghastly heat! 
Alecia xx

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The vintage sewing pattern pledge


It's time for the 2015 vintage sewing pattern pledge! Since I began sewing I have bought way more patterns than I have been using, which is nothing to be ashamed of. However my sewing output has fallen far behind my acquisition of patterns meaning that many of my beloved patterns haven't even been made up yet. This is why I have joined this years pledge. 

During 2015, I Alecia, will sew at least five of my vintage or vintage reproduction patterns.

I am yet to decide which patterns I aim to complete, although even If I were to chose them I would probably change my mind! I hope to sew some separates, but I have many dress patterns that are waiting to be made up too. I'm so excited to get this started and I hope that you all join and share your makes too!

Alecia xx

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Sew to help the (koala) victims of the Adelaide hills fire

Taken from IFAW Facebook page
If you're in Australia you've probably heard about the terrible bush fires in Adelaide. One way we can  all help is to sew mittens for the koalas that have been caught up in the destruction. Sometimes we forget that homes and human lives aren't the only thing at risk, the wildlife needs help too. Animals are in danger of burns, dehydration, loss of habitat and food sources. The IFAW Facebook page recently put out a call for Koala mittens to cover the bandaged paws of Koalas who have been burnt in the fire. 

They are quick and easy to make but can only be made from 100% cotton. You can use clean sheets, cotton fabric and other such things that you may have. You will also need wool to create a way for them to be tied on. 

Send your mittens to IFAW at 6 Belmore Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010 (they will be distributed to where they are needed most)

  Photo: Jeremy the koala being treated for badly burned paws, which he suffered in the Sampson Flat bushfires. (Supplied: Aaron Machado, via The ABC)

Join in and help these animals in their time of need! So far I've made eight pairs!

Alecia xx

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Gertie book review (Part 2): Gertie sews vintage casual

Pin up sweater with the flared skirt quilted option

I honestly meant to post the second part to my review much earlier than this and for that, I am sorry! Christmas, travelling back and forth plus a bout of being sick has drained all my energy away. I meant to get this done while I had free time before christmas but I left my notebook and the book itself behind by accident. So here it is! Better late than never! 

Knit sweetheart top with the sailor shorts version of the cigarette pattern 

The second book by Gertie is centred around vintage casual, precisely the 'American Look'. The styles in the book are drawn from the fourties to the sixties and are all very classic styles that can be used to build a wardrobe of vintage inspired basics. I say 'vintage inspired' as they are not all 'true' vintage copies and some have been tweaked for a modern lifestyle and modern materials. Gertie explains the reasoning behind this and as much as I would love a book full of truly vintage copies, I agree that practicality and modern materials are also a blessing. It may not appeal to vintage purists, but hey, I am no vintage purist! It's a good way of getting a vintage casual wardrobe without spending money and time trawling ebay, etsy or learning to draft multiple patterns. It's all in one!   

Sleeveless knit sweetheart top with easy knit pencil skirt

Like the first book it is split into two sections: skills and wardrobe 

Sleeveless option of the 40s blouse with the jeans version of the cigarette pants

The skills section itself is split into six subsections
1. Casual inspiration: Includes information on the 'American Look', popular designers and figures of the time plus movies to watch for inspiration. This section further explains the direction of the book and gives insight into the evolution of casualwear.
2. Materials and supplies: Basic skills such as choosing the right fabric, trim and general supplies
3. Woven skills: Section (you guessed it!) that focuses on woven fabric. Includes instructions on pretreating, seam finishes, zippers, hems, stitches, stabilising, facings, collars, pockets and buttonholes.
4. Knit skills: You guessed it again! A section JUST for knits! Includes instructions on stabilising, stitching, trim, seams, finishes and hems for knit fabric. 
5. Fitting: Includes information on wearable muslins and traditional muslins, fitting pants, flat pattern adjusting and fitting knit fabric
6. Pattern making: Included techniques for making changes to patterns, adding collars, cuffs, pockets and pleats 

40s wide leg trouser version of cigarette pants pattern


  1. Fourties style blouse with a sleeveless option plus instructions to alter it into a bomber jacket
  2. Flared skirt with A-line alteration, quilted option and pocket option.
  3. Knit sweetheart top with sleeveless version plus instructions to alter into a boatneck, scooped necked sweater and puffy sleeve sweater.
  4. Cigarette pants with information to alter the pattern into a pair of 40s style wide leg trousers, pedal pushers, flared shorts, sailor shorts and jeans.
  5. Easy knit pencil skirt with information to alter into A-line mini and flared skirt with gores.
  6. Pin up sweater with information to alter it into a cropped version with buttons and a cardigan
  7. Shift dress with information to change into a summer dress with flared skirt and a A-line swing top.
  8. Wrap dress with one shoulder romper and jumpsuit version
  9. Zip front dress with sailor blouse version.
  10. Halter top with romper version.
Wrap dress pattern

I've wanted a pattern for a 40s style wrap dress for a LONG time, I'm super excited to see how this turns out! 

Romper version of the halter top patter (one of my faves!)

This little romper got me! Oh man I just want to pull it out of the book and make it miiiiiiiiiiiine! 

Bomber jacket alteration on 40s blouse 

Things I liked: 
I loved the inclusion of a skill section for BOTH wovens and knits. I am someone who is quite terrified of knits and has never had any confidence to sew them.....mainly because I didn't really have that skillset. I feel that having skills based on both fabrics is a good way to educate people and hold their hand while they do something new. It is also great for intermediate sewers who may just want to look at the techniques to refresh or find alternative ways of doing them. 

It has helpful instructions and diagrams that are easy to follow and pretty to look at (a plus!). These techniques range from easy peasy to intermediate which means that beginner sewers with some experience can grow with the book as they go through the skills, and experienced sewers can challenge themselves or focus on refining their skills. 

The patterns themselves include an interesting range of vintage inspired to true to vintage styles which covers many tastes. They are quite wearable pieces that could me made to look modern or more vintage with taste. There is a good range of separates such as tops, skirts and pants with dresses and jumpsuits/rompers thrown in. 

Things I did not like: 
I felt some patterns had more variations than there needed to be and I felt some other patterns could have used more. I found myself feeling that there were too many versions of the knit top and pin up blouse and longed for more on the wrap dress, halter top and zip dress. 

I found the bomber jacket a bit odd, mainly because it looks a splitting image of a jacket I had when I was a teenager that I would wear with flared jeans and skate shoes (oh! the shame!), so I think that it is not the ACTUAL pattern but the memories I associate with it (weird huh?!). 

Overall I am SO glad I bought it, the skills sections alone are pretty bloody great! I cannot wait to sew some of these up and work on my knit skills.    

*This is all my own opinion and is an honest critique. I bought this with my own money*