Mermaids Purse

The fabulous Bobbie Barret was the inspiration for my entry into Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Dress Challenge 3. I chose Butterick 9497, with this lovely purple fabric from an op shop. I decided to make a hat to accessorise, as ‘business’ Bobbie is rarely seen without a perfectly styled hat, fortunately I had the body of a hat I had played around with just waiting to be embellished.

I have had some fun in this dress already, my daughter and I dressed up to watch Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face at a lovely old cinema on the weekend. By special request I had to whip up a dress for her in matching fabric, she also embellished her own hat, the base of which I had at hand. Here we are, it was VERY exciting.

This is the original pattern – I have many more photos over on my blog – this dress really was ‘quick and easy’ and I love it more than I thought, I do plan to make the full skirted version, perhaps for spring.

It has been ages since I have posted here, but I have been doing a lot of vintage sewing! Many separates, that get worn daily – including finishing off other people’s sewing projects, like this lovely gabardine skirt, which came to me through a friend, in a suitcase with fabrics and patterns, mostly 1970s.

I also have accepted a really exciting project, through some very talented women who have set themselves up to run workshops in millinery, corset making and vintage sewing (cool!). I was invited to document and blog a vintage sewing project with their vintage specialist – who in completing her MA designed and made a range of luxurious woollen coats using vintage techniques and based on coat designs from the 40s to the 60s. A couple of her coats are inspired by none other than Balenciaga, I had the pleasure of trying them on when we met on the weekend.

The collaboration was an opportunity for me to find a project that I would find challenging, one using techniques or skills that are new to me. So I brought a selection of patterns and fabrics, we talked and dreamed up several exciting projects, we had to chose one, and this is what we will create. The fabric and pattern are both 1950s, the pattern is unused and the fabric was a gift from a dear friend. I have many more photos on my blog including the projects that didn’t make it – this time. I was excited as I have a few (ahem, well perhaps more than a ‘few’) vintage fabrics that I hesitate to cut into, so it is good to go into a project with someone who has more experience – we both want to do justice to the lovely fabric and the gorgeous pattern. So, watch this space!

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Another new favourite dress, I love this pattern, I made a version in lovely green and black houndstooth over here.  And when I found this lovely blue crepe in an op shop, I had to make the slim skirted version, it was the perfect colour.  I’m sure you all know how exciting that can be!  So, here are the finished photos…

I went for sleeveless this time, and I have enough fabric left to make another dress too, so that worked out just fine.

I have been wearing it a lot lately, and it wears well, is comfy and so very blue!

I spent a bit of time working on the bodice for the best fit, I took some photos along the way, and shared some tips I have found useful.  Many more photos about the making over on my blog of course.

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I started this project nearly a year ago, hit a bit of a roadblock on account of ah, not quite know what I was doing!  I figured I’d just use the bodice from one pattern the skirt from another and well just put them together…  I made some adjustments, to accommodate the differences, but it was (not surprisingly) not quite so simple.

But this week, I tackled it, finished it, and I love it!  I have more photos on my blog, where I talk a bit more about this crazy project.  It’s looking like it will be a hot summer this year, while many of you are preparing for winter, I’m another sewer planning summer dresses.

 

 

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This is not a post about vintage fabric or a vintage pattern project, but it is certainly inspired by vintage fashions, fabrics and patterns!   I wanted to share with you all, my most recent project.  When I started vintage sewing about five years ago, I would never have taken on a project like this!  But I have honed my skills, tried many new ideas and techniques, loved seeing what you are all up to, and had feedback and support for my sewing projects from We Sew Retro, and this is what I find myself working on, who would have thought!

Above and below are a couple of fuzzy photos of a garment, Coralline, made from plastic supermarket bags which I then re-worked and wove into a huge continuous mat.  Yes, it took me months!

I have documented the assembly process over on my blog, which has more photos of the ‘fabric’ itself.  Here’s another photo…  I’m sure you can spot the influences, I am in love with excessive Dior couture dresses, that narrow waist and massive skirt.  I also love Alexander McQueen.

I entered these garments into a fashion show, Cult Couture, which happened on Saturday night.  It was fabulous and so very exciting, as to top it off, my second entry, Hydra, won the Recycled Revolution category prize, wonderful!  Here it is, another made from re-worked plastic from bags.  This is Hydra:

Such a fabulous night, wonderful to see my creations alive on the catwalk.

Here’s another less fuzzy photo.

Enjoy! x

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