Monday, 27 February 2012

The Hats Have It

This weekend saw the 150th Anniversary of the Kilmore Racing Club being celebrated with the running of the Kilmore Heritage Turf Cup. With Mdblm off exploring 27kms of rusty crap at the Ballarat Swap Meet (boy stuff), I was at a loose end so I took the opportunity to get dressed up and get out of the house.

Entry was free to those dressing in period costume - 1860 to 1950s era - and it gave me a real buzz to be able to choose from something straight from my wardrobe. The weather has been insanely hot so the obvious choice was my recently completed 1940s Blue Fans dress. On a whim, I entered the Heritage section of Fashions on the Field but I had no luck. I think my lack of a hat went against me.

Speaking of hats, check out some of these amazing creations!

Winner of Fashions on the Field - Modern section.

Rear view of the winner's vintage lace hat

Runner-Up of Fashions on the Field - Modern section.
The top prize winners of the Modern section were both representing miliners and their dresses were custom-made to match the hats. Their win was well deserved.

This woman's hat was a personal favourite and the ruffled neckline was an unusual detail.

Not to mention her sky-high heels...

Complete with price tag - oh dear.
But I didn't have the heart to tell her.
And those things on the heels are called 'Starlettos' - a nifty little invention to stop your heels sinking into the turf. I'd never seen these things before and to be honest I thought she had stepped on a lolly!There are more subtle ones available.

All in all, it was a nice day out and next time I'll be sure to wear a hat!

- Tamara

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Dressed for Success

After my sewing slump a few week ago, I'm pleased to announce that things seem to be back on track and I've had quite a few successes.

On Sunday I sent some quality time with my quick-unpick (seam ripper) and dismantled the BurdaStyle wiggle skirt. While I had some more fabric, I decided to just unpick and recut the failed original, a much better idea. The skirt is rated for intermediate sewers but I found it very simple to put together and managed to complete it in an evening. But, that could have been because it was my second attempt.

I've also made a matching blouse from Burda 7576. Once again, really simple to construct and I was done in an evening. Oh yeah!!

As you can see, the skirt is a much better fit than my first attempt. If I were to make another one of these skirts, I'd probably cut it out a size larger, it's tight but surprisingly comfortable. As for the top, I'm not a huge fan but it serves its purpose. On the whole, the look is a little on the corporate side but the tail on the skirt gives it a nice bit of vintage styling.

And check out those angled darts in the back! Talk about form-flattering!
I just know I'm gonna be wiggling about all over the place in this sexy skirt.

How's your sewing going? Had any success stories?

- Tamara

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Sales & Symphony

I did some more garage sale-ing this weekend, this time it was a deceased estate in Northcote and it was well worth the fourty minute drive.

The dear departed was a woman of extremely good taste with lots of high quality linen clothing up for sale. She also appeared to be a bit of a sewer too, there was a decent collection of Vogue patterns but they were from the early 1980s so I left them. I did however end up going home with a few pieces of velvet, some books, a box of buttons, and a good selection of vintage hats - two of which are hand-made.

Three 1960s berets

Tassel detail of hand-made pill-box hat

From Northcote I rushed to my favourite 'yeast free' bakery, Loafer Bread in North Fitzroy to stock up on real sourdough bread before heading home to prepare for an evening at the symphony...

Picnickers at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra free concert series is another summer tradition I've been trying to keep alive since moving from the inner city. Each year, the MSO play four free concerts at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and is a great opportunity for the uninitiated (like myself) to experience classical music - not to mention a good excuse for a picnic.

Our selection of gourmet sandwiches;
mine's turkey & cranberry!
This Saturday's concert was called Kulkadungu and is also the name of the featured a piece written for the didjeridu - not my cup of tea but it was something different. The first piece, El Salon Mexico, also fell a bit flat and I was ready to head home at intermission. Thankfully, the third piece 'Sibelius Symphony No. 2' was a bit more traditional and had lots of soaring violins and chellos. As the sun went down, the crowd relaxed into the music and the atmosphere became magical.

Sadly, there is only one concert left for the season - Saturday 25th February - and is billed as 'a celebration of Latin American music'., which sounds promising. The weather is also looking good so if you plan to go, make sure you get there early, it's bound to be popular.  Gates open 4pm, concert starts at 7pm.

- Tamara

Friday, 17 February 2012

Testing! Testing!

This week I have been working on an adorable wiggle skirt using a pattern I downloaded from BurdaStyle last month.
Stretch Pencil Skirt with godet
I was so excited to start this skirt - I had some dark navy stretch sateen which was perfect and the form-flattering darts leading into the godet would give me more of a reason to wiggle. Sadly, in my haste to get started, I neglected one major detail - the test square.

For those who haven't used a 'print at home' pattern, the test square tells you if your home printed pattern is to scale. The BurdaStyle standard is a 10cm/4" square - my printed copy had an 11cm square. You wouldn't think that 3/8 of an inch would make that much of a difference but it does.

No wonder I had so much trouble getting it to fit! It was ridiculously large and although I've taken the sides in at least an inch, and added an extra dart in the front - which I like - I still can't get it to fit. At least the back kinda looks like it should...

I've since been back to the copy shop and had the pattern reprinted to the correct size - it seems they needed to set it to print to the size of the PDF, rather than the paper. But of course! Thankfully, I have enough fabric to sew another one and I'm hoping to get some time this weekend to try again.

Have a good one!

- Tamara

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Shoe Porn

I've just wasted the last two hours on the Internet drooling over shoes, a bad idea for a shoe addict. Don't get me wrong, my collection is not to Imelda Marcos proportions, the Knitting Whiz holds that title, but I am a sucker for a beautiful pair of shoes. Here are some of the lovelies I spied on

Cannon pump (bordo) by Portlandia
Available in no less than six colours!

Cherolee pump (blue) by Miz Mooz
Available in only four colours.

Plush Silk (black) - Indigo by Clarks
These also come in Pewter Metallic & Bronze
Jungle Java (dark brown) - Indigo by Clarks
Only one pair left...

Belle Star by John Fluevog
Only blue & only on Amazon

Rubens (burgundy), Baroque family
Another stunning creation from the awesome Mr Fluevog.

Now all I can say is...
 Happy shopping fellow shoe addicts!!

- Tamara

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Garage Sale-ing

This weekend was pretty quiet, lots of domestic duties to be done, but I did get in a bit of garage sale-ing on Saturday morning. It was slim pickin' I'm afraid, but we did happen to stumble upon a fundraising trash & treasure. It was held in a local retirement community and I picked up some knitting patterns for the princely sum of 10 cents. Can you believe the lovely lady even offered to give me change?!

I was also very naughty and bought some more fabric for my stash - a retro-style print from the quilting fabric section. My local Spotlight store appears to clearing out some of the older quilting stock - there are so many awesome prints and they're all reduced to $4 per metre! All things considered, I was very restrained.

Regular readers will know I can't knit but I like to collect knitting patterns for hair & styling inspiration. Here are a couple of my favourite patterns from my new acquisitions:





Lastly, a very nautical Regina

- Tamara

Friday, 10 February 2012

Fashionable Friday

It's time for another Fashionable Friday and today I'm sharing some more summer styles from the 1930s Weekly Times Magazine Section.

Happy Friday everyone!

- Tamara

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Habadashery Heaven

I'm taking a break from my sewing projects at the moment, things aren't going to plan so it's best I step away for a few days before I make more of a mess. That said, today's post is still sewing related...

Welcome to Fashion Central!
Spread across the ground floor of the Midlands Hotel in Castlemaine are a collection of boutique stores which make up Fashion Central and one of these stores is Habadash...

Habadash has been sourcing rare and collectible notions since 2007 and while you can shop online, the store really has to be seen to be believed. It's a vintage sewer's heaven! So many buttons, trims and buckles hidden in drawers and cabinets; you could quite easily while away an afternoon but it would be well worth it.

Drawers of carded vintage buttons

Buttons, buckles & vintage thread

Art Deco beaded appliques & lucite belt buckles

More buttons...

And more beaded beauties.

Make sure you head on over to the Habadash website for more of their drool-worthy goodies.

- Tamara

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Easy Does It

This week I've been working on another version of the 'Spitfire Women' blouse - this time it's the more casual Style 3.

Simplicity 4139

Here's where I'm up to... 

It still requires a few tweaks in terms of fitting - the bust is a little bit big and the armholes are too high, but it is the sleeves that are causing me the most trouble. According to the instructions you just 'ease' them in but I can't for the life of me get it to work. I never really have.

A previous 'easing in' disaster, thankfully this was only a muslin.

Next to button holes, 'easing in' is the bane of my sewing existence. Over the years I've tried various tricks to fit things smoothly but nothing quite works. At one point I had a theory that if you kept the bulk of the fabric in front of the needle it would sit flat and while it works, I always end up coming back to gathering stitches. 

This is my second attempt at fitting the sleeves, I've used gathering stitches for this one, but they're still too puffy for my liking. I'm going to need to make the armholes larger so hopefully the next attempt will be more successful. Until then, there's likely to be a whole lot of unpicking in my immediate future.

Have a good weekend everyone!

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