A retro playsuit – Butterick 6354

I’m back, with what might be my most spectacular creation so far! It’s a retro-style playsuit for my friend/pin-up, Becca BamBam. Her pinup character is so fabulous I felt it fitting to create something equally fabulous to suit.

Woman poses in front of a pink vintage car. She wears a retro playsuit, consisting of a bustier top and sarong skirt in a blue tropical print. She holds a parasol.

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Simplicity 1873 Sun Jacket

One of the strategies I use to maintain my current level of activity is have my dad take me for a drive in the afternoon. It gets me out of the house at a time I’d really rather be sleeping, and ensures I stay accustomed to the (horrible!) motion of the car. The sun has been so hot this summer that I can feel it burning me through the windscreen (sunscreen or no), and I’ve been covering up with a multitude of scarves.

A woman stands against a garden fence. She wears a blue and white polka dot sun jacket, yellow shirt, and red floral print skirt.

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The Sisterhood of the Travelling Sewing Machine

A few months ago, I found something special during my regular op-shop rounds. It was a sewing machine: in particular, a vintage New Home model, in the perfect shade of retro teal. With its chrome fixings, tactile knobs and dials and wooden carry-case, it would not have looked out of place on the set of a 60s TV show.

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A glimpse into the past – Women’s Budget Magazines, 1913

Women's Budget Magazine

One of the advantages of having a father who is an antiquarian bookbinder and bookseller is that I get to see a lot of really cool old books. (The other advantages mainly revolve around having ample opportunity to make Black Books references.) Continue reading “A glimpse into the past – Women’s Budget Magazines, 1913”

The Un-Wedding Dress – Burda 03/2016 #106

A woman poses in a garden in a retro floral print shift dress and green flock brogues.

I love checking out Burdastyle.com* for their latest pattern releases, and early this year a dress from their wedding collection caught my eye: Short A-Line Dress 03/2016 #106. As lovely a wedding dress it made, I felt it would also work as a casual, 60s-inspired shift. So I dug out some vintage sheets from my collection and got to work. Continue reading “The Un-Wedding Dress – Burda 03/2016 #106”

My tacky-tastic Simplicity 2246

A woman poses in an arch, wearing a shirtdress with pineapples on it.

This post was brought to you by my friendly local Vinnie’s. You’ll know by now my love for op shopping, and a few weeks ago I stumbled across some fabric about which I was totally undecided. I love me some crazy prints, but felt this particular fabric might stray from the “so ugly I love it” category to “so ugly I actually hate it”. As it was a mere $2 for 4m, I bought it anyway, and decided it would make economic muslins if anything. I’m glad I did, as this is possibly my most hilarious dress yet.

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Vintage Vogue 8789, or, I love op shops

G’day! Today I’ve got a particularly frothy creation to share with you. The pattern is Vogue 8789, a vintage reprint. Vogues are expensive in Australia, but V8789 is one of those patterns where both variations are so lovely and unique, that it seems better value for money than shelling out the same amount for one basic design. I sewed variation A, which has a bias-cut bodice and v-neckline.

A woman poses in a garden, wearing a 50s style frock in a floral print
Tights are Sophie by Transparenze with the waistband cut off because holy shit they are constrictive. Mel shoes, $3 from Salvos. “FUCK” ring, Ruby Pilven Ceramics.

Continue reading “Vintage Vogue 8789, or, I love op shops”

Free vintage lingerie patterns

Hey folks! I was discussing vintage patterns on Pattern Review and mentioned that I had a few images of vintage patterns for lingerie, which I thought might be worth sharing.

They are draft-your-own patterns, based on diagrams from which you plug in your measurements and draft a perfectly-fitted pattern. If you want a vintage slip, some cami-knickers or tap pants, this is an easy (and free!) way to get started. I can’t vouch for them all, but the pattern I made from the Princess Slip diagram was a success.

Click the images below or check them all out on my album.

Edit: someone has informed me in the comments that the first image is from Complete Dressmaking in Pictures by Constance Howard.

Panelled Slip

Pattern for a panelled slip Continue reading “Free vintage lingerie patterns”

Lindy Bop Ophelia knock-off (or why I despise drafting)

A woman poses in a retro car. She wears a 50s inspired shelf bust dress, kimono jacket and petticoats.
BABE.

Last time, I shared with you a few dresses I’d made for my friends. I felt this particular dress deserved a post of its own.

This dress is my pièce de résistance – a knock off the Lindy Bop Ophelia dress, drafted from New Look 6773. It was made from Spotlight poly poplin. Before you ask, I am aware that Gertie produced a pattern for Butterick (5882) which is similar in style to the Ophelia. I did consider using it, but the bust piece is so small that it looks less like a design feature and more like a pair of small birds landed on the model’s chest.

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Vintage sheets, friends and frocks, oh my!

I am very lucky to have lovely friends who are not only infinitely more gorgeous than me*, but also let me sew for them. As someone who is mainly housebound, I don’t have the opportunity to dress up for special occasions. To be able to sew for people who will get out and about in fancy clothes is incredibly cathartic, as it indulges my whim to sew special garments which I know will get good wear (unlike my formal clothes, which sit unloved in my wardrobe). It is also a helpful mental coping tool, as it forces my mind out of my situation, in which I feel trapped, and into the outside world.

A fit and flare dress on a mannequin, in a vintage floral print.

Continue reading “Vintage sheets, friends and frocks, oh my!”