Monday, 31 October 2011

A Soggy Sunday Picnic

This weekend was the 19th Annual John's Rod & Custom Picnic, held at Lardner Park, Waragul - don't ask, it's in the middle of nowhere. With this being the second one of these events in as many weeks, it was all a bit same ol', same ol' to me. However, having a hot rod lovin' other half means I just have to deal with it. And here's how...

He sees a 1932 Ford Pickup Truck.... and COFFEE!!
I see a cool old truck selling take-away coffee and sporting some funky, retro signage.

He sees 1928 Ford jalopy...

I see her adorable 'Memphis Belle' pinup art.

You get the picture!
Here are some more of the arty design features I spied...

Metallic candy apple scallops and hood ornament, 1957 Chevy (detail).
Early 1950s 'Single Spinner' Ford, hood ornament and pinstripe detail (black)

Rambler Royce bonnet detail and indicator lamp.

Early 1950s 'Single Spinner' Ford, hood ornament detail (red)

Thankfully, that's it for cars for a while.
Happy Monday everyone!!

- Tamara

Note: I own copyright for all images contained in this post. Should you wish to reuse them,
please contact me for permission: misteebelle (at) gmail (dot) com

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Inappropriate use of material

Hello dear Readers.

Have you ever had a sewing project which you knew was a bad idea, but foolishly decided to plough on ahead anyway? This is one of those stories...

An old friend was getting married in January this year and as usual I thought I'd make a new dress for the occasion. I wasn't feeling particularly inspired but I kept seeing this pattern on Ebay...

Advance 6398
I already had a copy in my collection, and some remarkably similar fabric in my stash, so I thought why not? Had I actually considered that question, I may not have made such a disaster. For you see, the material I had in my stash was a light-weight, brushed cotton and was not at all suitable for this dress.

Just look how pretty that blue is!!
Needless to say, I learnt my lesson the hard way. The fabric was too flimsy and the bodice stitching started coming apart at the neckline while I was wearing it. Not to mention the waistline, it was nowhere near straight because of the lack of weight in the fabric and I ended up having to hide it with a thick, waist-cinching belt.

The shoulders kept slipping down all night; I was paranoid the straps of my slip were hanging out (it makes me feel a bit trashy); spending an evening in this dress was not a pleasant experience. In fact, I hated it so much that I don't really have any good pics of me in it, these are the best I could find...

The happy couple - Cam & Shaney - and yours truly
The other happy couple...
As much as I disliked this dress, it is interesting to note that I received loads of compliments on how nice I looked. Go figure!

- Tamara

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A Rockabilly Weekend

This weekend was the 5th Annual Camperdown Cruise Rockabilly Weekend. This was our second trip to 'The Cruise' and I have to say it has well and truly exploded. It originally started with 15 cars and a BBQ; now, in 2011, there were an estimated 700 show cars, 1800 dancers, 16 bands and trade stalls too numerous to mention.

The highlight for me was meeting the girls from 'Some Fancy Ladies' who were launching their 2012 Gil Elvgren inspired pinup calendar. They also had a 'peep show' featuring the gorgeous Foxtrot India. There were no pics allowed during the performance but here's one of the stage setup. It was a very small room so people were a little unsure how to react but I hear tell they've been given a spot on the stage in the theatre for next year. Go girls!!

Kustom Lane Gallery were lucky enough to have their own street - or should I say lane - in which they had a collection of Lowbrow, Tiki and Pinstriping art for sale. And there was also a guy doing a pinstriping display. Talk about a steady hand!

This could quite possibly be the coolest scooter I've ever seen!
Not to mention its matching caravan & car...

An adorable Rockabilly couple who were kind enough to allow me to photograph them while they were eating lunch. A big thank you!

With so many cars in attendance it was hard to pick a favourite, but this beautiful green machine caught my eye...

Congratulations to the organisers for yet another successful weekend and here's to an even bigger and better event next year.

- Tamara


Friday, 21 October 2011

Fashionable Friday

It's time for another Fashionable Friday! But instead of delving into the Weekly Times archive, I thought I share some of the 30s lovelies from my own pattern collection.

Simplicity 2754

Simplicity 3226

Simplicity 3523

Simplicity 2647

Simplicity 3047

Happy Friday everyone!!

- Tamara

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Helper Kitties

It has come to my attention that there are a lot of sewers in the blogosphere who are cat owners and with all the sewing I've been doing of late, I thought it a good time to introduce my Cornish Rex boys.


Marcel is the newest member of our family, he's nearly 8 months old and adorable as all hell. But don't be fooled, he's an absolute ratbag! Like all kittens, he gets into everything and often tries to grab the material as it's going through the machine. Talk about potential for disaster! The above pic was taken this afternoon while I was trying to finish my 40s blouse. Someone was trying to let me know it was time for food, but for this little guy anytime is food time, which made it quite difficult to get my hand sewing done.


At 6 years old, Flynn is the elder statesman of the family and is less than impressed with our new addition. While he is now far too mature to 'help' with my sewing, as a kitten he used to pull the pins out of my garments when left unattended (even for a second!) and could often be found sitting on top of the machine while I was sewing.  These days, our self-appointed security officer prefers to guard the equipment but the rustling of pattern pieces always gets his attention.

So readers, how do your creatures like 'help' with your sewing? Are any of them as curious as my boys? I'd love to hear your stories.

- Tamara

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

In the Swing

Saturday week ago, the Last Dance dress had it's first outing to see The JW Swing Orchestra at the Austrian Club in West Heidelberg. I'm not entirely sure of the correlation but JW has had a regular gig there for many years. With this being their last AC gig for the year, I thought it the perfect opportunity to show off my new dress.

The Austrian Club has a decent sized dance floor but it can get a bit crowded with the ballroom and swing dancers competing for space. No matter though, the chance to dance to a live band these days is few and far between so we swing dancers make do. 

It's been ages since I've been dancing and after two medium tempo songs I was exhausted. Although there wasn't as much rug cutting as I would have liked, it was great to catch up with some old friends and the dress was huge success (if I do say so myself). I received many compliments throughout the evening, the majority being given by complete strangers, and needless to say I was quite pleased.

Mr JW & the boys put on a great show so if you get the chance to see them play, you won't be disappointed.
JW blowin' up a storm

- Tamara 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

And we're back!


It's been a while since my last post but Blogger has miraculously repaired itself and I can finally download images again. 'Bout time too because I've been super busy and have lots to share. So, without further ado, let's get to it!

I've completed several sewing projects, two nighties using New Look 6160 - I cut the long sleeve top a size or two larger than needed and make it knee length. Too easy!

A late 1940s skirt using New York pattern 1127

I'm also close to finishing an early 1940s blouse using Advance 2275 from this gorgeous fabric...

It's coming together nicely and I'm hoping to have completed by the end of the week.
Stayed tuned for pics...

- Tamara

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Sweet Blog Award

I am still having trouble uploading images so I thought I might give this a try instead.

The lovely Nabby over at This Old Life has sent me the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award and along with the award, I have to share seven random facts about myself. Here goes...
  1. I am the proud owner of an early 1980s Italian sports car and although it has been a drain on my finances over the years, I wouldn't drive anything else. In fact, I'm heading off to drive around the Victorian countryside for the bi-annual Lancia rally this weekend.
  2. As a teenager I raced BMX - yes, I was a BMX Bandit! My entire family raced (step-father, two brothers & my sister) but as a teenage girl from a small country town, it was the perfect excuse to meet boys.
  3. Currently, my favourite TV shows are Being Erica & Psych. They were both on free to air for a short while but I've since had to get them on DVD to watch the newer series.
  4. I have an intolerance to yeast. I am supposed to eat foods which don't contain anything fermented to avoid what I like to call 'the alien baby' (bloated stomach) but I'm really bad at it. It's surprising just how many yummy things contain yeast. 
  5. Regular readers of my blog will have noticed I adore the Art Deco aesthetic. I love the sweeping lines and attention to detail in the architecture, the furniture the cars and of course, there's the fashions.
  6. I have never been a Tammy. My name is often shortened to Tam by people who know me well but I'm usually called Tamara. Plus, Tammy is far too girly which is definitely not me.
  7. I am a proficient juggler of the rings, balls & clubs.
And there you have it!!

The other component of this award is for me to pass it on to other blogs but I feel it's too much like a chain letter so am going to skip that part. Hope that's OK.

Keep your fingers crossed my image uploading issue will be sorted real soon, I've been sewing up a storm and am keen to share my successes.

Until next time...

- Tamara

Monday, 10 October 2011

Communication breakdown

I'm having major problems uploading images at the moment but I hope to be back in the next day or so, provided Blogger decides to cooperate. Thanks again for your patience

- Tamara

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

A Gift Horse

No outings to speak of this weekend. I have been doing some sewing but more on that later.
A couple of weeks ago, a former colleague contacted me to say something had come across her desk which had my name all over it. Of course I was curious, so I told her to send it my way. Two days later, a large envelope arrived and you can imagine my surprise when I opened it find four Vintage Vogue patterns! Talk about exciting!! It seems Spotlight were hoping for some media exposure for the Spring Racing Carnival.

Once I had calmed down a little, I took a closer look at my gift only to find the envelopes felt unusually thin. They were stuffed with loads of different fabric swatches but no actual patterns. Cheeky buggers!! Also, very few of the fabrics could actually be used to make any of the dresses, there isn't enough weight in them. On the positive side of things, I get a look at some of the fabric that will be arriving in stores this season...

 The samples with VV2401 are mostly stretch sateen but I'm not keen on their choice of prints, they seem too obvious a choice to me.

VV2903 has a couple of heavy weight cotton samples but the rest are tana lawn (cotton). Wrong!
I'm quite keen on the humming bird print though.

VV1136 has a printed stretch sateen and a couple of linens but the rest are light-weight cotton, totally unsuitable for this outfit.

Check out the retina-burning brightness of the floral prints which came with VV2960!!
Sadly, only the rose print sateen at the front would be do-able.

A bit disappointing all round really.

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