Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Blue Fans

This Sunday was Mdblm's birthday and in honour of all those M's, we went to see The Muppets - we were both fans as kids - and then Mexican for dinner. Being a special birthday evening, I wanted to look my best for my man so I took the opportunity to wear my adorable new dress. 

Hollywood 1606.
Hollywood 1606 is yet another of my patterns which has been patiently awaiting its time in the sun. I found the perfect fabric a couple of months later - a stretch cotton with an awesome fan print - but I've just never had the desire to put them together. Until now...

I had originally planned to wear this dress to the Kustom Nationals in January but the weather was lousy so I held off finishing it. I was really glad I did because I was having some fitting issues with the bodice and ended up having to add a couple of bustline darts to get it to sit properly.

And just look how cute the bow at the back is! I was a little worried it was going to be too big but I'm really happy with how it looks. In the end, I added some lining to give the bow little more weight and it's cut on the bias so it falls beautifully.

The inverted pleat at the back is only attached at the waistband which gives it a bit more room in the skirt and makes it super comfy to wear. I really love this dress and I'm now thinking I might need to make a little bolero to match.


Saturday, 28 January 2012

A Fabric Wonderland

Guess where I went yesterday?

141  - 143 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. 
Only the most beautiful fabric store in Melbourne... Tessuti!

If you're local, make sure you get into the Flinders Lane store quick smart! They're having a sale with 10-30% off most fabric but I'm not sure how long it will last. I myself  was lucky enough to find a roll of black suiting that was 50% off. What a bargain!

You can shop online too, but there's nothing like touching good quality fabric to help with the selection process.

- Tamara

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Business of Deco

Greetings dear readers!
Today I'd like to share some more of the amazing art deco architecture
I discovered while on my break...


The Glen Bakery, Rutherglen, Vic.

Fire Station, Rutherglen, Vic.

Commonwealth Bank building, Lockhart, NSW

Memorial Hall, Lockhart, NSW
Old Bank Bakery, Lockhart, NSW
C.W.A, Benalla, Victoria.

Happy hump day!

- Tamara

Monday, 23 January 2012

Home, Sweet Deco Home

Last week I took a trip to NSW to visit my Ma - she wanted some company and I needed to escape for a few days. Their new home is so quiet, you really do feel like you're in the middle of nowhere but there a several large towns within an hours drive.

One of those is Wagga Wagga, a place I had been keen to visit after reading of the city's 1920s-1940s suburb of Turvey Park and its Art Deco homes. The day was insanely hot - not at all conducive to driving around aimlessly - but I kept stumbling upon all these amazing buildings and stayed out in the sun longer than I should have. 

As you can see from the pics below, it was well worth it!

Stay tuned for more Art Deco lovelies later in the week!

- Tamara

Saturday, 21 January 2012

But What is it Worth?

I have been watching a stunning, mid-1930s evening dress pattern on eBay this week and while I had intended on bidding, the price very quickly became too high for my modest budget. 

McCall 8013, circa 1934

As the days went by, the price climbed higher and higher and when the auction finally ended on Friday the final sale price was a whopping US$423.30!! Wow!! All I can say is the winning bidder must have really wanted it. I don't think I've ever seen a pattern sell for anything close to this amount. It is an amazing dress but is it really worth $400+?

What say you dear readers? Would you be prepared to pay this sort of money for a vintage pattern? I don't like to pay more than $20 for a vintage so I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

- Tamara

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A Summer Tradition

The Night Market has become a bit of a summer tradition for me and when I was living in the inner city I would drop in after work and grab some dinner before heading home. It was great! Now I no longer have the luxury of being so close, I like to get there at least once during the season. If for no other reason than the food...

Chicken Satay Sticks. Yum!!

Not matter what you fancy, you're bound to find it here. There's Mexican, Greek, Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, Korean... the list goes on. The Spanish is always really popular; they cook several huge pans of paella and the sangria is always flowing freely. Even though there's so much on offer, for me it's always the Vegie Curry Man, I just can't help myself. 

The Night Market also hosts a large range of hand-made clothing, jewellery and various other crafty stalls. And let me tell you, there are some very creative people out there...

Awesome vintage stamp cufflinks by Noushka Designs.
Btw - If anyone one recognises the image on the Japanese stamp please let me know, it's really familiar but I just can't place it.

A new take on the retro set of flying ducks by Record Attempts. They also make funky notebooks using the album covers; make sure you keep an eye out for Jane Fonda's Workout album!

And lastly, how amazing are these orchid necklaces?! Orchid Treasures Australia produce a large range of jewellery using real orchids preserved in resin. They also make hairpieces which are very popular for weddings but I think they'd be perfect for use with vintage hairstyles. They're very reasonably priced and will ship internationally too.

The Night Market is held every Wednesday night during summer (5.30pm to 10.00pm) from 16 November 2011 to 29 February 2012 at the Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne.


Friday, 13 January 2012

Summer Sun?

It's time for another Fashionable Friday and this week I'm sharing some summer fashions from The Weekly Times Magazine section, circa early 1930s.

Let's hope these ladies had more of chance to wear their sun-frocks than we are at the moment. It is the middle of summer here in Melbourne but over the last few days it's been so cold I've had to dig out my thermals!

Happy Friday and try to stay warm, wherever you are.

- Tamara

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Some Boy Things

This weekend saw the 10th Annual Kustom Nationals take over Phillip Island and you guessed it - time for another car show!

My Sunday started at the ridiculous hour of 6am - I wanted to do my hair and we had a 3 hour drive ahead of us. It was a real struggle but at least there was the promise of dirty Maccas for breakfast to keep me going. As for the weather, it was true to form and bucketed down for nearly the entire trip. Things were not looking good but by lunchtime the sun broke through and more cars started to arrive.

After such a damp start to the day I had trouble finding the fun but at least this little guy was having a good time...

There weren't anywhere near enough 'vintage' cars for my liking but I did find a few Art Deco details to brighten my day...

Chevrolet Dash Clock

Pontiac Hood Ornament (detail)

Chevrolet Tail Light
One of the airbrushed beauties on 'Pinup'.

The next event  will be full of fancy show cars so I think I'm gonna skip it.


The Incedible Shrinking Woman

While I've been quite on the blog front, I have in fact been doing a fair bit of sewing. It had gotten to the point where my UFO pile was starting to overflow and I was getting sick of the sight of it so I dug out some of the easy fixes. I'm ashamed to admit there were a couple of things which only needed to be hemmed or a hook & eye added and they were done. Well, not any more!

Regular readers will remember, back in August last year, I introduced my first garment from the '500 Days of Summer Project - The Rooftop Garden Party Dress. The fabric and pattern were perfect for this dress but I wasn't hugely happy with how it looked. My next 'Summer' inspiration was from the office party scene at the beginning of the film.

Just a quick reminder, all my outfits from the 500 Days of Summer Project were to be made using vintage patterns from my collection and would be inspired by the film rather than replicas of what appeared on-screen.

The skirt was fairly simple...

I chose Style B but left the pockets off and stitched the top of the inverted pleat down - it made me feel like I had a paunch! Not flattering at all.

This blouse pattern has been in my collection since the early days and I've been dying to make it but was a little afraid - just look at all that detail! I'd had the perfect fabric for years and now the perfect occasion to make it so there were no more excuses.

I chose Style 1...

This blouse is adorable and the fabric makes my eyes look amazingly blue but it is a little 'blousey'. I've tried taking in the side seams but it made no difference so I may try adding an extra bust dart to get rid of the excess material.

As for the skirt and blouse as a combo - from the back it looks pretty good...

But from the front...

Very average indeed. I look like I'm going to disappear! And I do have a waist under all that fabric, this makes me look rectangular! OK, the second pic has more to do with how I'm standing but you get the point.

As far as the 500 Days of Summer Project goes, I've achieved my goal but as an outfit, it's a fail. I do plan to make some improvements - add the extra dart in the bust of the blouse; take the inverted pleat out of the skirt - but any fitting advice you guys might have would be greatly appreciated.

- Tamara

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

All Dressed Up & Nowhere To Go

Happy New Year everyone!!

First up, I'd like to apologise for going MIA for the last few weeks. It was our turn to host Christmas this year - there were ten of us in total - and while Mdblm has done it before, I was a hosting virgin. The plan was to keep things simple; it was going to be a warm day so I did three different salads and Mdblm BBQ ed the meats. For dessert, there was the traditional plum pudding (ick!), delicious little lemon tarts and a fresh fruit platter. The Mothers found it difficult to stay out of the kitchen but I had things well in hand and the day went without a hitch. Phew!

Our New Years Eve plans were very simple too. A local restaurant was holding an 'Al Capone' party and we thought it would be a better option than staying home. It was also the perfect opportunity to make something spectacular to wear.

I bought this pattern from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library a few years ago but have never really been inspired to make it, until now. The only real problem was that it was a day dress and I wanted a fancy evening dress.

After studying the pattern pieces, I couldn't see any reason why the dress couldn't be made backless under the attached cape. I would still need something to support the skirt so I cut two triangular pieces using the existing back piece. Due to the limited amount of material at my disposal, I decided to make a muslin to see if it would work. Can you believe it?! I almost never do that!

I was pleased with the result so I pressed on ahead with some printed stretch satin from my stash. I'd also decided to line the cape with some green matte satin to give it a bit more flash when I moved. Oh, and I also got smart with the bias binding and top stitching - it's so much easier to sew it all while the bodice is still flat.

Construction of this dress was insanely easy and it was finished with three days to spare - plenty of time to work on Mdblm's party pants. Sadly, it was all for nought. Late on Friday afternoon I received a phone call from the restaurant, they had decided to cancel the party. What?! Apparently there was very little interest and it was going to be more cost effective call things off. Talk about leaving us in the lurch!

Now I have a gorgeous 1930s evening dress and nowhere to wear it.

New Year's Eve wasn't a total wash though, Plan B was Japanese and it was delicious!

- Tamara
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