Friday, 30 March 2012

Good Sports

It's time for another Fashionable Friday! Today I'd like to share some casual and sporty styles from the 1930s. It appears tennis was very popular with women...

Happy Friday!

- Tamara

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

I'll Swap Ya!

This weekend was the 20th annual Broadford Swap Meet and while it is usually the blokes domain, this year the organisers allowed antiques and collectibles stalls too.

The event is major fundraiser for the town's football and netball club's and this year was hailed as the largest yet with over 300 stallholders on the ground. As I mentioned, the stalls are usually full of car parts, tools and general men's shed crap so I've never been, but with the promise of nic-knacks, I was raring to go by 9am Sunday morning.

I was surprised to find a good selection of antique stalls and had a lovely morning fossicking about in the hope of finding hidden treasures. I picked up a few bits and pieces but first I'd like to share some of the more interesting stuff that was for sale.

A replica hunting trophy head for those who aren't taxidermy fans.
The iconic Australian Redheads safety matches from the mid 1940s.

I get the impression Totopoly (c.1938) wasn't as successful as Monopoly.
What at first appeared to be an art deco desk top calendar...
...Turned out to be a musical cigarette dispenser!
 Lastly, here's my meagre haul

Some swap cards, a small, brass 'Bonnie Scotland' dish, a Scottie dog pin, a Dept of Defence brooch issued to Women of Australia for duty done, and an embroidered 'Souvenir from France' postcard.

I've since done some research on the postcard and was pleased to discover it dates back to WWI. French women embroidered patriotic or romantic designs on silk and sold to soldiers as a means of supporting themselves. This particular one is in excellent condition and imagine my joy at discovering it also had a hand written message on the back.

Not at all what I'd would have unexpected find at a swap meet!

- Tamara

Blues in the Night

Late last night while time wasting on the interwebs, I came across this amazing 1930s blouse that I simply had to share.

This electric blue stunner is made from silk chiffon and features a lovely ruffled jabot, trimmed with pale grey lace, short neck ties and feminine puffed sleeves.

The blouse slips on over the head and fastens at the neck with a snap closure, while the waist tie in back takes care of the fullness in the bodice.

Sadly, it's quite small and while it will come close to fitting me, it's too big in the bust. Looking at the design there doesn't appear to be any way it could be taken in either. Plus, I wouldn't want to attempt to adjust it for fear of ruining this beautiful piece.

So dear readers, if your a petite woman like me and are looking for something really unique, it can be found on etsy at Violet's Vintage Emporium.

Happy shopping!


Friday, 23 March 2012

Hello Ladies!!

Today I'd like to introduce you to some of the lovely ladies in my wire name pin collection. I'm particularly attracted to old-fashioned names you don't hear anymore, or the just plain unusual. Things started with the demure Mildred, then came Lucille and...

Lola is a little grubby and her previous owner found her cavorting with the earrings when it came time to send her on, but she seems to have settled in quite well.

Romaine is one of my favourites! I've never met or even heard of anyone called Romaine so I've no idea of its origins, but she is so lovely and delicate I just had to have her.

Sylvia is a very recent addition to the collection and I adore her streamlined look.

Belle has been squashed at some point in her life but she's still a favourite - it was my grandfather's pet name for my grandmother, Isabelle. 

Anne is so pretty with her girly curls, she's perfect pinned to a floaty, feminine blouse or fluffy 50s sweater.

The beautifully kept Helga arrived last week and is the most recent addition to my collection.

Aren't they lovely?!!

- Tamara

Thursday, 22 March 2012

So I Gather

Progress on the Birthday dress is very slow and despite being desperate to cut out something new, I am persisting. The only road-block now is setting in the sleeves...

As with the 40s blouse I was working on last month, the sleeves were supposed to sit flat but there was too much fabric in the sleeve cap. After comparing the measurements of the armhole and sleeve cap, I found I needed to take roughly an inch from the curve at the top to make them much easier to fit. Now for the pin easing...

Man, this technique is tedious! I can't help wishing there were an easier way but, if you're a perfectionist like me, the finish really is divine. The sleeves sit smoothly inside the armhole and it looks so much more professional. That said, I've only managed to get one sleeve in, evenly gathered and no puckers, but the other one needs to be unpicked.

Sigh, back to gathering I go...

- Tamara

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Birthday Happenings

Well, as predicted, I left it too late to complete my new dress. By Wednesday, the Birthday Dress was coming together much better than I'd expected and I didn't want to ruin it by rushing. I knew wasn't going to have enough time to finish it to my high standards so I decided to put it aside.

Here's where I got up to...

I'm really pleased with the bodice gathering, I managed to do it in one go with no unpicking! Surprisingly, it really does pay do make a muslin first. I took nearly two inches out of the length of the skirt but it's still too long and I'll need to take in the bodice a smidgen for a more flattering fit. The plan is to wear it next weekend so it will be finished in the next few days. Hopefully...

Now, back to my birthday celebrations!

Things kicked off on Thursday evening with a show at The Famous Spiegeltent. I've been a Johnette Napolitano fan for many years and it was great to see her perform live. I last saw her back in the early 1990s when Concrete Blonde toured Melbourne, and while it may have been over 20 years (wow!), it was well worth the wait. Johnette may now be in her 60s but boy can that woman still sing! 

Johnette Napolitano at the Spiegeltent
Friday morning began with a home cooked breakfast of crepes and nutella (choc-hazelnut spread), followed by a busy afternoon preparing for our garage sale to be held at 9am the next day. There was a lot to do and before I knew it, it was time to head off for dinner.

Bathing beauties on Eastern Beach, Geelong
Eastern Beach on Coiro Bay, Geelong has long been one of my favourite places to visit and I've always wanted to dine at The Promenade Restaurant. The restaurant is located on the upper level of  the Beach House - the former kiosk of the Art Deco bathing pavilion. 

The swimming and recreation area of Eastern Beach were built in the 1930s and featured a shark-proof enclosure, a children's pool, kiosk and dressing room pavilion. The area began a slow decline from the 1960s and later decades of neglect saw the area fall into disrepair. In 1993, the Geelong council announced plans to restore the area to its former glory.

The concrete staircase & fountain.
The Promenade restaurant was very intimate and we were given a table over-looking the swimming enclosures and the bay. Sadly, we missed the sunset but it was quite relaxing watching the boats come in to dock. The food was excellent, as was the service, and we left feeling extremely well fed.

As for my outfit, I had to go with Plan B - the Last Dance Dress which was made under similar circumstances if I recall...

While it was a busy few days and I didn't finish my dress, I still had a lovely birthday.


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Birthday Dress - Part 1

It's my birthday this Friday and to celebrate Mdblm is taking me out for dinner. I am hoping to have a spectacular new dress to wear for the occasion but I'm concerned I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

Advance 2824

I chose this pretty 1940s afternoon / evening dress from my collection and I knew I had some beautiful forest green micro-crepe in the stash which would work perfectly. Sadly, I found I only have enough green for a blouse, but I did have 3m of flannel grey in the same micro-crepe which would suit. I'm not entirely convinced it's a good colour for me but I really didn't want to have to buy more material. 

In the past, I've found the fit of Advance patterns to be average at best so I decided to invest some time in making a muslin. I'm also not feeling all that confident about the gathered front on the bodice so a test version is probably a good idea. Here's where I'm up to:

Bodice front with gathering stitches
After staring at the instructions for what seemed like hours, the light finally went on and I was underway!

After sewing the centre front seam and clipping the excess, I attached the stay just below the neckline V and made gathering stitches on each side of the seam. While it is a bit fiddly, the neat thing about this design is that all the messy gathering and clipped seams are hidden beneath the stay. No need for additional finishing on this bit!

The muslin of the bodice is done and, as expected, it will need a bit of tweaking in terms of fit. The micro-crepe will make the bodice front appear a lot softer and will fall much better than this crappy cotton, but it's at least given me a better idea of construction.

I cut the dress from the micro-crepe yesterday; the skirt was completed last night and was a dream to sew; and I'm now back to working on the gathered front. Phew!

Time's a wasting so I'd better get back to it.

- Tamara

Monday, 12 March 2012

Sunday Afternoon at the Cinema

I've wanting to see The Artist for weeks now and with a free afternoon this Sunday, we headed off to the Art Deco beauty of the Rivoli Cinema Complex in Camberwell.

Exterior of the Rivoli Cinema, Camberwell Rd, Camberwell
The Rivoli Cinema was originally opened on the current site in October 1940 and was designed by noted Melbourne cinema architects Taylor & Soilleux. The interior was innovative in its design with a large, split-level auditorium seating a total of 1644 people (circle & stalls); an open-air roof garden;  toilet facilities, milk bars providing refreshments; concealed lighting; and an extensive lounge.

The roof-top bar & garden.
The Rivoli was one of the few Melbourne cinemas to survive the post-war decline in patronage, and while it has undergone two major renovations in its time, many of the distinctive Jazz Moderne and Streamlined Moderne elements remain.

The Rivoli's art deco staircase and floating ceiling.

As you can see, the Rivoli was the perfect setting to see The Artist but I'm afraid say the film didn't quite live up to my expectations. The surround sound in our cinema was on the fritz and we could hear explosions from the film next door, making it difficult to become absorbed and it detracted greatly from our viewing experience. I think it may need another viewing when it's released on DVD...

How was your weekend?


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

I Want Candy!

With so much to tell yesterday, I didn't get a chance to mention my new dress!

The plan was to draw people to my stall by wearing something eye-catching so I set about making something from the 'Atomic' print quilting material I'd picked up a few weeks ago. It certainly does grab your attention. Now, what to sew?

1940s Mail Order pattern for House/Day dress
For some reason, I've always referred to this pattern as the 'baseball dress' - I imagine the fabric is red & white candy stripes. It was very simple to put together, I only really glanced at the instructions and it was finished in a weekend. It did take me a bit to figure out the bodice piece though - it's only one piece and a very odd shape.

I've also managed to conquer my button hole phobia - I now just sew a couple of test ones on a scrap of fabric until I get the feel of it, then make them in my garment. I also use an air-erasable pen and mark the size of the hole of the back of the fabric, just in case it stains.

 I've been looking for a dress I can wear all day, everyday and I think I've found it!

The print is a bit crazy but I think the white collar tabs and inset belt break it up, giving it a bit more balance. I'm also really lovin' the buttons! When I first put them with the fabric, they reminded me of boiled lollies - exactly what I was looking for.

The only additions I need to make are adding a couple of press-studs; one to keep the front cross-over closed and one to stop the skirt flying open. On the positive side: at least you can see my beautifully bias bound hem.

What do you think? Gumballs? Jawbreakers? Or perhaps billiard balls?
No matter what they are, I love 'em!


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Too Cool for Skool

This Sunday was Kustom Lane Gallery's first 'Market for the Cool' for the year - and my first time as a stall-holder. After my last market at Thread Den I wasn't sure if I wanted to do another, but this one sounded a little more like my kinda thing so I thought I'd give it a go.

Kustom Lane Gallery, 6 Luton Lane, Hawthorn.

The 'Market for the Cool' is a vintage & collectables swap-meet, held four times a year at Kustom Lane Gallery in Hawthorn. I'd never even been to the market before Sunday so I had no idea what to expect. 

There were some weird and wonderfully kitsch things on offer...
The 'Strom-Bot' was very popular,
 but I don't think anyone took him home.

How about these recycled books from Made By Matt ( I love 'em!
Their website should be live by the end of the week so be sure to check back later.

Unfortunately, there were a couple of other rockabilly events on this weekend which meant numbers were down, but there was a really relaxed atmosphere and everyone was very friendly. And, when it came time to pack up, I didn't even have to think twice about booking a stall for the next market.

Market for the Cool
Sunday, 14th April
 8am - 12 noon
That's roughly five weeks away so be sure to mark it in your diaries!!

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