Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I'm in pieces, bits and pieces

Some of the happenings in the atelier, aka the dining table 

The weekend is so close! 

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers, and happy Black Friday online sales to everyone else 

Cat xo

Title courtesy of Bits and Pieces by the Dave Clark Five

Monday, November 25, 2013

4 little DIYs for 4 little dresses

Happy Monday to you all! 

I'm so excited to finally get this idea started! For the past few weeks I've been busily sewing away 4 somewhat identical dresses for this special post series

Inspired by The Great British Sewing Bees segment in which contestants are all given the same garment and are challenged to do them up with fabric, trim and other decorative bits to create different looks. In much the same vein  I'm going to take 4 long sleeved shift dresses and do them up with the following embellishments to give them more of a 60's look and feel.

• Peter Pan Collar and matching cuffs
• Pin tuck bib with lace trim
• Ruffle lace collar jabot and cuffs
• Band collar and cuffs

The idea of this series is to give you the ability to fine tune your modern purchases or those dowdy tired garments in your wardrobe. While its lovely to buy new things, its also important to recycle and buy second-hand. So if that means taking the time to do some sewing to improve the look, silhouette or style of a dress, then it will make you feel useful and clever in the end, and you'll have an individual and special item all of your own! 

For most of these tutorials you will need a sewing machine, but I will also have some ideas for those of you with only a needle and thread.

All of these techniques can be applied to new dresses, second hand finds or something you've made yourself. For those of you who don't sew currently this would be a great starting point! Modifying clothing is a great way to introduce yourself to sewing and get to understand sewing terms and techniques.

The decorative elements for this project should all be easy to source at your local fabric store. You can even try op-shops and online to find genuine vintage or one off bits

Lace, ribbon, button kits, trim and plain cotton
In tangent with these posts I'll also be offering some insight into the foundations of the styles and how they became popular

Well I'll leave you with that little teaser for now - I hope you'll come back for the first post later this week! 

Cat xo

Sunday, November 24, 2013

House of Merivale

While the 60's may belong to swinging London, attracting many Aussies to venture to the motherland to experience the excitement, fashion and music on offer, a few clever antipodeans decided to stay at home and start their own swinging Sydney.

One such pair were Merivale and John Hemmes. 

The names Merivale and Hemmes now are more commonly known for the Merivale Group of bars and hotels, and their entrepreneurial son Justin Hemmes. You don't need to go too far in Sydney to find a venue owned by Merivale, one of the most popular being The Ivy nightclub on George Street along with delicious restaurants such as Mr Wong, Mrs G's and Ash St Cellar

But before they were in the Hospitality and entertainment industry, the Hemmes' were more well known for their fashion boutique - House of Merivale

Merivale and John Hemmes

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bower-birds bower

Well hello there fine reader! 

Did you have a good weekend? As miserable as Mondays are there are always some good things to look forward to in the week. 

That parcel that's due to arrive, the new shoes you plan to wear when it stops raining or seeing your friends next weekend. Mondays don't have to be so bad! 

My Monday was made that little bit better by the arrival of this new pattern - you may remember that this pattern was the original that I wanted for my Pattie suit but I couldn't find it to buy at the time.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Dressing the Decade - 1963

I spent way to much time this last weekend looking at all the 60s patterns in Etsy, and picked up 3 new pretties to add to my collection. It also reminded me that I need to continue with my series on 60's sewing pattern appreciation...

So here is the next installment of Dressing the Decade - 1963

Monday, November 11, 2013

I love the flower girl

Its been a rainy Monday - how I wish I could have spent it lying in the warm grass with flowers and sun-rays and not soaking wet and cold on the train.

This song seemed most appropriate for my imaginings of where I'd rather be

Time for another daydream....

Pattie Boyd

Charlotte Martin
Pamela Des Barres

Pattie darling

Pattie Boyd in India

Cathee Dahmen

Source - Sweet Janes Pop Boutique

Jenny Boyd

Scene from Far from the Maddening Crowd 1967

Maudie James


Care of Miss Peelpants

Charlotte Martin

Sharon Tate

Charlotte Rampling

Lovely Marianne

The Beatles in flowers

Cathee Dahmen

Modern Flower girl - Johanna Soderberg of First Aid Kit

Enjoy your week lovely Flower girls and boys
Stay warm and dry!

Cat xo

Thursday, November 7, 2013

If I were an ambassadors wife...

I would wear this gown to the governors ball



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.