Thursday, November 7, 2013

If I were an ambassadors wife...

I would wear this gown to the governors ball

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Burda released a new range of dress patterns on Tuesday, one of them was this lovely bow back Maxi Dress. I may never get to make and wear this dress cause I don't often get invited to black tie events so I'd thought I'd bring this loveliness to your attention (and then maybe you can make it!)

The length, full skirt, pleated back and bows reminds me of something you might see in a 60s movie, worn by some ambassadors wife at a fancy ball, before the movies protagonist comes stumbling in spilling wine down her silk brocade gown... 

Ahhh so much day dreaming...

Also! If you are in the US, or anywhere near a computer really - the first issue of BurdaStyle Magazine US was released recently. The editors plan to have a reoccurring feature where they call upon BurdaStyle members to share their sewing tips. This month they wanted tips on buttons and I submitted my tip on measuring buttons for a button hole and happily they featured it! 


You can buy an online version of the magazine here or wherever you might normally find sewing magazines in your town

I hope your all enjoying your week - Friday is almost here and then the weekend! 

Cat xoxo

Monday, November 4, 2013

Overcasting your cares away!

Are you like me and tend to do all your sewing on the one machine? Not everyone might own an over-locker, especially beginner sewers, but there is a way to finish your edges very easily without having to buy or lug out your over locker for what might only be a small job. 

Most modern sewing machines come with a range of feet - one of which is the overcasting foot. It's a rather distinct foot and only serves one purpose - albeit a very good purpose.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Devoted to Donovan

A few months back I read Donovan's biography Hurdy Gurdy Man. Sarah from Where the Roses go and I were planning on doing a joint post, but Sarah is no longer at the blogging helm sadly! 

Initially my intention was to write a post about the book and whether or not I liked it, but now I think I must write more. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blackbird (singing in the dead of night)

How nice it is to finish projects - especially those which are so simple and leave you feeling like an expert! 

This sewing project was an aim to get back to the simpleness of sewing and 60s design. A shift dress with contrasting collar and cuffs. No fussy bows or ruffles, just plain, simple and easy. 

Something reminiscent of the mid-60s. A simple silhouette which suited many, and which was so different to the dresses of the previous years. A Peter Pan collar to recall the clothing of their childhood and cuffs to balance.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Summer of my smiles

Hello there lovely people! 

Do you often have those periods where everything seems overwhelming? Since returning from my little work break, life has been quite a full on little bastard. Mostly with work and lack of sleep and other issues which I never managed to balance out properly. And then the massive wave of tasks at work somehow took over my life to the point where I wouldn't leave until 6pm. That's not a good finishing time for someone who has to commute an hour sometimes and hour and a half home. I had started Yoga before my leave but stopped due to a lack of time (and money) 

With the recent bushfires in the Blue Mountains and also thanks to a little visit with my friend and her baby, Jamie, It really has made me learn to stop and enjoy my life. Work will always be there, but everything else will pass by unnoticed if I don't take control of the boat, so to speak. Waking up in the morning and feeling exhausted before I've even gotten out of bed isn't a good feeling.

It's funny how we put this pressure on ourselves, but just end up making mistakes and being exhausted from things that are totally within our own control. 

This is why I love spring. I honestly feel like there is a coat that I shrug off when spring comes both physically and metaphorically. 

Getting back to owning my time and reassessing what I'm doing, and not worrying about what I should or shouldn't be doing. Stopping myself from putting up barricades and not getting angry when others keep theirs up - these are all things that are motivating me right now.

Don't worry, this isn't an announcement to say I'm stopping blogging or anything, this is just my mental release of everything that swims around my head from time to time and brings me down. 

The best way for me to asses my situation is to remember those things that I love the most that make me happy or giggle lots. 

Would you like to know some of those things are currently keeping me sane happy? 

Watching - All the Wes Anderson films. I started my Wes Ander-thon on Sunday. A bit late to start one, but I'll pick up from The Royal Tenenbaums this Friday 

Eating - Bananas, in all forms. I'm not currently able to bite, thanks to my lovely braces, so bananas in the form of cakes, bread and smoothies are good easy and yummy

Listening to - Led Zeppelin. Last year I had a similar listening obsession with Led Zeppelin, but that was an initial getting to know their work, this time around I'm listening more carefully and understanding their techniques. A lot of their music is quite up lifting to!


The Rain Song - from where the title of this post comes from

Reading Light and Shade, conversations with Jimmy Page by Brad Tolinski. In combination with the music, I'm learning quite a bit. I've also got Miss O'Dell by Chris O'Dell on the run, so I switch between the two. 

Obsessed with - Spring, her lovely flowers and the abundance of sunlight that comes with it. This is when I start to like Sydney again and spend a lot of time staring out the window at the trees and also the baby ducks that are living in the pond near my window at work. 

Sewing - I'm yet to name her, but the black dress with white collars and cuffs is my current project. Making this most basic of dresses is also helping with my stress release

Worried about - the bushfires in the Blue Mountains. My Boyfriends cousin lives at the base of the mountains and they were on "watch an act" alert, which is the next down from evacuate. They have a beautiful property and we have lots of family parties there. Their doing ok and the bushfires have been downgraded for now. 

** You can make a donation to the Red Cross here to assist those who have lost their homes
Or if you are an animal lover you can also make a donation here to WIRES who are doing a very good job rescuing and treating animals that live in the bushfire affected area **

Something new - My Kikki K purchases. I do actually do a good job at work and sometimes people give me "reward points" which I always spend on Kikki K vouchers

A sentence a day diary, to do list, gold stripe pen and cute magnetic bookmarks
Also the new collection from Yeye Vintage Boutique, with lots of 60s and 70s gorgeousness to buy


Excited for - summer holidays! I've put my leave in for work - 3 lovely weeks of relaxing, celebrating and of course sewing. 

Life in general - Is pretty good! I'm healthy, my braces are doing their thing and it's my favourite time of year - why shouldn't I be happy? 

How's everything going for you dear reader? I hope life is being kind to you! 

Feel free to tell me your own list of things that are making you happy in your comment

xoxo

Monday, October 21, 2013

Collars'n'cuffs

Liza Minelli
Mmm Peter Pan collars. Aren't they just delish? And paired with matching cuffs on a cute shift, make for the idyllic 60's dress. 

I'm not sure how this trend started. Perhaps it was to replicate men's business shirts with the white collar and cuffs on a contrasting fabric? But with a cuter, sweeter edge.

Regardless, I'm smitten with this neat mod look and as such my next project is very much influenced by the following images. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Goldie - The wearble muslin

Do you often make muslin's when your sewing? or Toile's or Calico's?

They're all the same thing but named differently depending on where you live. In Australia, we apparently call them calico's  but considering the majority of my sewing education comes from books, YouTube and blogs, I've ended up calling any garment that is a practice garment a Muslin 

Normally I make my muslin's out of left over fabric, old sheets or fabric from the op-shop. I rarely buy actual calico from the store because its actually quite expensive! Its cheaper to buy home spun plain cotton. Go figure. 

Wearable muslin's however are another deal. Sometimes I make up a garment without any adjustments or edge finishes as they're intended to be a test, but they end up being wearable. And other times I make things with the intention of wearing them out, but they end up not really being the best. This is one of those kinds of projects. (kinda)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dressing the Decade - 1962

Oh my it's been a rather busy few days for me! Sewing and visiting friends, working late and birthday dinners. Very tricky to fit in more than one blog post a week sadly.

How has the past few days been treating you? Nicely I hope! 

I've decided to make up for my absence with a chunky new addition to Dressing the Decade

Here we go with 1962!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The trouble with lurex aka sewing with slippery fabrics

Hello there all you lovely people! Its been a very busy week for myself. Working late, crafting up engagement presents and trying to make a dress for this weekend which is taking way longer then normal.

Why is this you may ask? Well the fabric I chose for this task, while lovely and very nice for going out, is having a small fight with my machine. They just don't want to hang out with each other, so I've have to bring in a mediator

The fabric I chose is a stretchy knit gold Lurex. It has a really lovely drape and because its knitted, I can cut the hem in any shape as I please and it wont unravel and fray all over the place. 

But the downside is that my machine has trouble picking up and carrying the fabric through the feed dog. It bunches, it skips stitches and generally makes sewing a dress a lot more stressful than normal

To help the machine and the fabric get along, I simply take a piece of grease proof paper and layer it over the fabric. In the below image you can see that the top layer is normal lining fabric and underneath is the paper. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Barbara

Finally I bring to you - The Barbara dress! 


I actually finished this last weekend, but never got to take photos! Cheeky me, but finally this lovely lady is complete and I love it! Its soft and feminine and even if it's really more 70s than 60s, I must argue - for its inspiration comes from one of the great ladies of the 60s - Barbara Hulanicki

Friday, October 4, 2013

Dress Dreams

This coming weekend is not only a long weekend, but its also the start of daylight savings which means lots more sunlight before and after work

Around this time every year, my sketch books and ideas lists quickly become full perhaps because of the extra light, warm weather and the increase of activity in the garden and in nature. The anticipation of summer and the festive season also provides lots of reasons to come up with fun new dresses to make.

Here are some of the dresses that are helping me with these ideas. They're also the kind I wish I could just pluck off the screen in the morning to wear and head off for the day feeling super

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tutorial: French seams and double stitched seams

Two of the techniques I managed to obtain while making the Barbara dress (photos yet to come!) were French seams and rolled hems. Both are good techniques for light materials such as chiffon or silk as they both hide the delicate edges within the seam and give a nice clean finish

Today I will show you French seams - which are apparently called English seams in France (couture anglaise), and also a neat little technique which is ideal for curves while using delicate fabrics
French seam
The French seam requires you to make two lines of stitches – one in the seam allowance and one on the normal seam line. It’s ideal for nice soft fabrics as it encases the raw edge within in the seam. Some fabrics do not take well to being overlocked and so the less it's fussed around with, the better. They are also good for medium weight fabrics and children’s clothes as they are hardy and tend not to unravel on often washed garments

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Beatles in Australia (and a little giveaway!)

On Sunday, my boyfriend and I took a little visit to the city to see the exhibition - The Beatles in Australia! 

The exhibition details the hype before, during and after The Beatles tour to Australia in June 1964.

It was a pretty thorough and exciting exhibition, with lots of newspaper clippings, magazines, promotional merchandise and newsreel footage for visitors to read. There were also listening booths set up to hear from people who were there recall their own experiences with the tour and a mini diner set with a jukebox and dining table so you could sit and flick through scrapbooks put together by various Beatles fans


You can view the entire photo album over here on my Flickr, but here are a few stand outs of the exhibition

Friday, September 27, 2013

Dedicated Follower of Fashion - 4 out of 5 days!

At the start of the week, the weatherman promised us a week of 29 to 30 degree temps every day, and lots of sunshine! Just the perfect weather for me to start pulling out my dresses that I haven't worn since March/April. And combined with the early sunrises (5:30am) there is plenty of daylight for me to finally start taking some outfit photos! 

So I made an effort to take a photo of my outfit for work each day (except Friday where i was running late) so here we go!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Barbara - progress update

So far I have really enjoyed making this dress. Sewing with a different fabric in a new style is rather refreshing! And as this is underlined, managing 2 pieces of fabric that move around a lot has been a learning experience

To recap, this dress as named after the BIBA genius herself Barbara Hulanicki, will be modeled on this pattern - Style 1118 (1975)


Saturday, September 21, 2013

She is, Polly Maggoo!

We had planned to go to the Beatles exhibition today, but decided to wait as we thought that it might be a crowded for opening day, so instead we stayed home had pancakes and watched movies all day

One movie I like to watch largely for the visuals is Who are you, Polly Magoo?

This movie from 1966 takes a satirical look at the fashion industry and its opulence 

The main protagonist is Polly Magoo. Model and It Girl from New York who everyone is enamored with. 

A TV show interviews her and the host falls in love, while a Prince sees her photo in a magazine and falls for her also, ordering for his best secret agents to go find her.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pine Lime Splice

I honestly thought I wouldn't like this dress once it was complete. I liked the fabric, but it had a kind of cliché 60s feel to it with the daisies and bright green and so on, but now that it’s sewn up, I’m pretty darn happy that it is so typically 60s

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Museum Day in Sunny Sydney

Well hi there! How have you been? 

One of the great things about taking holidays on a work day is that you get to go to the museums when they're empty! So today I took advantage of that and went to 3. Well not really 3, more like 2 and a half (The ABC centre isn't really a museum, but it did have an exhibit!)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tuffin

Well hello to you! I hope you are enjoying your weekend?
Would you like to see the Tuffin dress as modelled by yours truly? Well read on!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Who'll be the next in Line?

So! How have we all been so far this week? I’m rather excited because after lots of being sick and in toothy pain, I have finally finished the drop waist dress! I have decided to call it the Tuffin dress after Sally Tuffin from the 60s design duo, Foale and Tuffin. 

Source

I’m currently reading their biography and read that Sally mainly designed the dresses and Marion designed the suits, hence the name!  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dressing the Decade - 1961

Oh my, this cold is a brute – pair that with my lovely new orthodontic spacers (I’m getting braces next week) and I’ve got the sorest head in the Southern Hemisphere!

To distract myself from this (and to avoid watching snoozy election night coverage) I bring to you the next installment of Dressing the Decade – 1961!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I've got a bike, you can ride it if you like...

The naughty cold has gotten to me again leaving me nothing else to do but sit at home and watch TV, sleep, knit (very slowly) and drink lots of honey lemon tea

Day time TV is pretty ordinary, so I've been watching Adventure Time and also Girl on a Motorcycle - Marianne Faithfulls movie from 1968

Source

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A dive into my dads record crate

It's Fathers day today in Australia! Most dads are getting presents and being taken out for the day, but my dad and I live quite a distance away (Sydney - Alice Springs) so I wont get do very much with him. We did get to spend the day with my boyfriends dad and the family so there were some fatherly things happening still. 

So as a small tribute to my dad, I bring to you - A dive into my dads record crate

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dressing the Decade - 1960

One of my favourite things to do when I need some sewing inspiration or just some ideas for what to wear to work is to look through the Vintage PatternWiki.

I love pattern illustrations. The fine details in the drawings - the perfect hair, dainty shoes and the fabric choices all give me lots of ideas! Making wool look like wool with tiny little brush flecks is always fun to see. 

Sometime the models can be a bit suspect or being doing some very odd poses - take a look a pattern junkie if you need a good giggle! 

There are of course obvious issues with the illustrations - the models legs can sometimes be a little unrealistic and some illustrations for plus size women are still drawn with the same template as the misses patterns - but that's a whole other kettle of fish that we might discuss another time. As un-PC as they are, it definitely shows how far we have come to be more accepting of other body shapes. 

My favourite years to look at are mostly 1967 to 1968 patterns, but I decided recently to look at earlier years and compare how the styles have changed through the decade.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Facile Patterns

Hello one and all! I hope you've been having a pleasant week?

Last week I had a rather full mind posting often, but this week I decided to sew and let the blog breath a little. 

But anyway I'm back and in the mean time I've received these lovely Australian patterns from Bella's Vintage Affair - (She has a great floral Oilcloth rain coat for sale at the moment!)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Legend of a Girl Child Linda

It’s been a rather nice weekend – warm and sunny 23 degrees which is lovely for Winter and hopefully and indicator of the next few months to come
This new dress will be perfect for when the warmer weather arrives and I’m very excited to show it to you.


Friday, August 16, 2013

My Sewing Space

Today I took the day off work for an Orthodontist appointment so it was nice to be home on a week day morning.

Outside kids are walking to school, cars are making a fuss about getting through the traffic and neighbours are going in and out to leave for the day. I was going to do a little sewing before my appointment, but in the bright morning light everything looks much newer and fresher. Something I only get to see on the weekends

I thought I'd take a photo of my sewing area for you and the tools I use most while working

My sewing area is at the end of the dining table in a corner so I can spread out and make a mess in one little area if I need. The spare room is dark and pokey so I'm not keen on being in there much and from here I can watch TV, listen to music or keep an eye on my cooking.

My pretty sewing machine Dolly has been behaving well since her return from repairs


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

60s fashion elements - The Drop Waist

Well, another dress down and a new one already lined up! I'll of course take some photos for you all this weekend, but in the meantime I'm making plans to use this modern pattern to make a deep red drop waist dress with white buttons and bias binding

101_0712_b_large
In my research for an inspiration image I came across a reoccurring trend of 60's drop waist dresses, so let us delve a little deeper shall we?

Monday, August 12, 2013

60's Australia

Sometimes with all the excitement surrounding London or New York in the 60's, I sometimes forget about my own little country.

During my late night trawling of the National Archives of Australia, I came across some images of Australian fashion in the 60's and realised that although we weren't the center of the cultural revolution like London, we still were there doing our own version of the swinging sixties

Here are a few of my favourites

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Bliss of Mrs Blossom - the movie

In case I haven't made it clear by naming one of my dresses after it - I'm a big fan of the movie The Bliss of Mrs Blossom

I came across it back when I was 16 or so on a Saturday afternoon when channel 9 took a rare break from Clint Eastwood and Elisabeth Taylor films to show this visual treat.
I finally got a DVD copy a few years ago, so now let me share with you some of my favourite scenes and clothing from the film

(Note: This post is a little picture heavy!)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Queens & Quilts

The lovely Lena from The Vintage Guide to London and Style High Club has been ever so kind to let me be one of her Queens of Vintage

Thank you Lena for featuring me!

Take a pop over the to the Queens of Vintage site to see all the other lovely Queens and Kings of this wonderful community of vintage lovers

In other news, I can finally show of the little quilt I made for my friends Baby!




I made it double sided with 2 prints, as I wasn't sure of the colour scheme of the baby room. I used geo giraffe and chevron ikat both from Spoonflower (where else?) and I added some bias around the edges. I initially started quilting the layers together with 10cm rows of stitching, but I changed it to 5cm when it wasn't giving me that “quilted” look

Quilting when you think about it is pretty easy – There are more complicated and decorative techniques out there with patchwork and so on, but if you can do a running stitch you can make a basic quilt. This one is just a sandwich of fabric, batting and fabric so there are no overly complicated techniques involved. Give it a go if you like!

The future Mama and Papa! See how they glow!



And now back to our scheduled programming – the next project begins!



Take Care!
Cat 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Opp Shopping on a cloud

I often forget to post photos of my opp shopping and by the time I remember, the time has passed and its pointless, but I remembered today, so would you like to see my goodies?

After going to the dentist for a filling (boo!) I decided I deserved a present. Shopping while coming off anesthetic can be funny. I kept touching my numb face like some kind of weirdo, and finding silly little things that I would stare at for a bit before realising that its just crap and I would never buy that on a normal day. 

What I did manage to find with my head in the clouds were these...


In my garden I have a few plants already budding waiting for spring, but they never get very big so this little bud vase will fit them nicely. Lucy's recent post on her dresser table featured little glass bowls as jewellery/ make up storage and I spotted this little bowl which I think will handy for my rings and such

The single (sigh) dinner plate is important to me. As a minor ceramics fan I saw the name on this and knew straight away that I should buy it. The design is by Kathie Winkle who did work for Broadstone ceramics in the 60s and 70s. I also have a ceramic jar by from Kathie Winkle which currently stores my marigold seeds.
You can read more about Broadhurst here


I don't often have much luck with patterns at opp shops - they're usually 80s to 90s patterns which are never all that attractive. These 3 lovely ladies were waiting for me patiently today. 
Misses dress Style 1118 (1975), Jumper and shirt Simplicity 3157 (no year, I'd say early 60's) and Skirt Style 2405 (1978)
Style 1118 is particularly handy as I have been looking for a slim fit bodice dress like this for awhile 



A few fabric bits. A lovely paisley pillow case, light blue chiffon, lace and a navy silk sash

The below piece is a huge table cloth that I am considering turning into a dress. The fabric has a big design in the middle, which spreads out over the table cloth. I kinda hate it when people chop up vintage sheet sets to make clothing and leave the pillow cases as orphans (like the one above) so I'm a little unsure if I should chop up the table cloth - but I don't imagine using it for anything else and it doesn't come with matching place mats or anything.  
Do you often have silly dilemmas like this as a sewer? 



Pretty ok hoard for today. I didn't want to hang around digging for too long as I had to go pick up my repaired sewing machine.

I hope your weekend is going well so far! And remember - shop carefully while coming off anesthetic!

Cat xo 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sew! A needle pulling thread!

Why hello!

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my two dresses, you're all so very kind! I'm hoping I'll eventually be able to use my sewing skills in a non-selfish way one day, perhaps by making things to sell, teaching or sewing for others. But we will have to see what the future holds!

For now, like this illustration below, I am hand quilting a blanket for a gift. I know there are a lot of quilting devotees out there and I'm probably not doing it the traditional way, but sometimes its nice to take a break and try something else. I don't want to ruin the surprise as I know the receiver reads my blog, so I'll save photos for later. 

Source
What kind of projects, creative or otherwise, are you working on at the moment? 

Cat xo

Monday, July 29, 2013

An ode to “The Party”- In the form of a dress

Have you ever seen the Peter Sellers movie "The Party"? It's a slapstick comedy set at the party of a Hollywood director. What starts out as a sophisticated dinner party soon turns into an overblown rave with drunk waiters, pools turned into giant bubble baths and a painted baby elephant!


It's rather fun and good for a giggle on a Saturday afternoon while sewing.

When making this dress I was reminded of this movie. The bright pink and purple would be perfect for a party dress! The little orange dots in the fabric go well with gold jewellery and overall it has a rather frivolous feel to it.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

See Emily play

Oh my how the past 2 weeks have flown! So many things keeping one occupied and exhausted but I always make the time to sew!

I have made 2 dresses recently, but I only have one edited and ready for show today

Stockings from Modcloth, Shoes - opp shopped 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mondays with Marianne

Hello Lovelies! 

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was very busy – getting my hair dyed, record shopping, having lovely dinner dates with the boy and joining my friends for a crafternoon on Sunday. My dear friend is pregnant and is not too far away from popping, so we were making decorations and favors for the belly blessing. Normally you would have a baby shower but being the modern gal she is it’s a party for everyone, even the boys get to come and bless the belly.

I have of course been sewing and have something ready to photograph but must wait for the daylight on the weekend! These short daylight hours really bother me…

I've also been trying my hand at quilting and have been working on some gifts for the baby. I’ll show the photos later on as I don’t want to spoil the surprise for my friend.

Otherwise I've been reading two biographies at once – Eric Clapton’s and Marianne Faithfull’s.

ERIC CLAPTON
Eric Clapton
Marianne Faithfull
Marianne Faithfull
I've got a sudden desire to read biographies lately, even ones I've already read and listening to a mixture of Cream, Marianne Faithfull and The Stones. When reading biographies, I like to also listen to music – usually to the one they are talking about at that moment. It helps cement the story and puts me in the moment.

Do you sometimes do the same when reading a book?

I’ll leave you for now to enjoy your Monday with some lovely Marianne in the movie Made in U.S.A

Cat xo

Friday, July 19, 2013

60s fashion elements - The Bishop Sleeve


Some of the things about 60s clothing tend to catch my eye when trawling through Pinterest or Tumblr. Certain elements that you begin to notice as integral parts to the look that was being worn by the Dolly Birds and Dandies of the time

In this set of blog posts, I want to explore the different elements of clothing that we often associate with or were popular in the 60s

I'll try to explain the construction of these elements and show some examples of these styles

There are many features that became popular in the 60s - most of which already existed in some form and were adapted for modern youth wear, or were invented from scratch through the genius of designers like Mary Quant or André Courrèges

This week we are going to have a look at Bishop Sleeves. Read onto the end for a little tutorial.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Measuring a button for a buttonhole

Have you ever picked out a big juicy button for a sewing project? 

Have you then only measured the diameter of the button and ended up with a button hole that is too small for your chunky button? 

Fear not! There is a way to work out exactly how wide you need to make your button hole for chunky fat buttons. 
I recently read this technique in Couture Sewing techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer

Friday, July 12, 2013

Before Biba

I’ve just finished reading A to Biba and I was blown away by the vivid and wonderful descriptions of the clothes, interiors and happenings at Biba.

The end of Biba is frustratingly tragic and left me wishing I was a billionaire and could simply buy back the Biba name, gift it to Barbara and bring it back to its original purpose – beautiful clothing in wonderful designs and sold at a reasonable price.

Although Biba’s heyday has past, there are of course plenty of devotees dedicated to keeping the original look and name alive and I hope they never disappear especially with Biba’s many reinterpretations

We know the name came from Barbara’s sister Biba, but interestingly in Polish biba also means spree or jag – which is a period of overindulgence in an activity – in this case a period of luxurious design and beautiful clothing. Perhaps it is never meant to be repeated?

Barbara Hulanicki was heavily inspired by the Hollywood movies she used to watch at Brighton as a girl as well as Art Nouveau and Art Deco design. Classic Hollywood is known for is glamour, with its actresses dressed in silk, furs and feathers and with the sets fabulously displayed with rich fabrics, mirrors and lacquered wood.

There are a lot of blog posts dedicated to Biba and the beautiful clothing and girls who worked for them but I thought I might do something different.

I decided instead to bring you some images which I think may have inspired Barbara in her younger years or that hold that certain something that Biba was known for

Have a good weekend! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Biba brown chalk stripe dress

Dearest readers! I am looking for your help!

I'm currently reading A to Biba - The Autobiography of Barbara Hulanicki 
In the book she describes 2 dresses which essentially kicked off the Biba Boutique Postal Service 

The Sugar Pink Gingham shift dress and the Brown Pinstripe smock
There are limited images of the Pink gingham dress but even less so of the Brown chalk stripe dress. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Pretty Pattie

Oh Pattie! How much stress she caused me. But in the end it turned out very well!

I cut this pattern 5 weeks ago, and other than a break to make The bliss of Mrs Blossom dress, I’ve been stitching little bits of this jacket, making improvements on the fit and fiddling around with “tailoring techniques” (which in the end were kind of useless), and having tiny hissy fits every time I tried it on

But in the end I am so happy with it I don’t even care about its remaining imperfections!

Blouse from ASOS, Patent black shoes from ASOS, Handbag - Op Shop find

Friday, July 5, 2013

So listen while I play my Green Tambourine

Today has been a rather trying day at work for me so I though we'd have a little fun this Friday to the sounds of the Lemon Pipers - Green Tambourine





Nothing too hard - just a fun little guessing game!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 1st goodies, or How to spend your tax refund

July first! For most of us that means tax returns (boring) but for the lucky ones that also means tax refunds (hooray!) 

Allow me to make some suggestions from my favourite Etsy sellers on how to throwaway invest your refund into some lovely vintage pieces!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Dark End of the Street

So how was your weekend lovelies? 

I had one of those 1 step forwards 2 steps back type weekends. 

The sleeves on the Pattie suit are still not right, so I thought adding in the shoulder pads and sleeve heads would help pick up some of the drooping but if anything it only perpetuated the 80s jacket look 

Looks ok...
The inside before the lining.
Not sure why I picked black pads