A retro playsuit – Butterick 6354

I’m back, with what might be my most spectacular creation so far! It’s a retro-style playsuit for my friend/pin-up, Becca BamBam. Her pinup character is so fabulous I felt it fitting to create something equally fabulous to suit.

Woman poses in front of a pink vintage car. She wears a retro playsuit, consisting of a bustier top and sarong skirt in a blue tropical print. She holds a parasol.

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Simplicity 1873 Sun Jacket

One of the strategies I use to maintain my current level of activity is have my dad take me for a drive in the afternoon. It gets me out of the house at a time I’d really rather be sleeping, and ensures I stay accustomed to the (horrible!) motion of the car. The sun has been so hot this summer that I can feel it burning me through the windscreen (sunscreen or no), and I’ve been covering up with a multitude of scarves.

A woman stands against a garden fence. She wears a blue and white polka dot sun jacket, yellow shirt, and red floral print skirt.

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The Accidental Dress – Marimekko-Inspired Simplicity 1873

Before my most recent relapse, I had been doing a bit of sewing here and there to earn money: alterations and costumes, mostly. I decided that an Etsy shop might be a better way to channel my craft*, so built up a stock of retro-style clothing made from vintage sheets. Unfortunately, I am now not well enough to keep up with the demands of an Etsy store**, so decided to claim one of the dresses for myself.

A woman stands in front of a weatherboard house. She wears a sleeveless fit and flare dress in a bright, Marimekko-style print and green flocked brogues.
Wearing my beloved Mel flock brogues.

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The Un-Wedding Dress – Burda 03/2016 #106

A woman poses in a garden in a retro floral print shift dress and green flock brogues.

I love checking out Burdastyle.com* for their latest pattern releases, and early this year a dress from their wedding collection caught my eye: Short A-Line Dress 03/2016 #106. As lovely a wedding dress it made, I felt it would also work as a casual, 60s-inspired shift. So I dug out some vintage sheets from my collection and got to work. Continue reading “The Un-Wedding Dress – Burda 03/2016 #106”

Vintage Vogue 8789, or, I love op shops

G’day! Today I’ve got a particularly frothy creation to share with you. The pattern is Vogue 8789, a vintage reprint. Vogues are expensive in Australia, but V8789 is one of those patterns where both variations are so lovely and unique, that it seems better value for money than shelling out the same amount for one basic design. I sewed variation A, which has a bias-cut bodice and v-neckline.

A woman poses in a garden, wearing a 50s style frock in a floral print
Tights are Sophie by Transparenze with the waistband cut off because holy shit they are constrictive. Mel shoes, $3 from Salvos. “FUCK” ring, Ruby Pilven Ceramics.

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Vintage sheets, friends and frocks, oh my!

I am very lucky to have lovely friends who are not only infinitely more gorgeous than me*, but also let me sew for them. As someone who is mainly housebound, I don’t have the opportunity to dress up for special occasions. To be able to sew for people who will get out and about in fancy clothes is incredibly cathartic, as it indulges my whim to sew special garments which I know will get good wear (unlike my formal clothes, which sit unloved in my wardrobe). It is also a helpful mental coping tool, as it forces my mind out of my situation, in which I feel trapped, and into the outside world.

A fit and flare dress on a mannequin, in a vintage floral print.

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Burda / McCall’s 6696 shirt dress hack: on slopers vs blocks

Warning: contains a GIF

Any sewing aficionado not living under a rock will be aware of McCall’s 6696, their famous shirtdress pattern. Gorgeous variations abound online, and for good reason – it seems to be one of those unicorn patterns that looks good on just about anyone. Except me, of course.

A woman in a floral print shirtdress.
But you made a shirtdress, you say! Read on.

Being a lover of dresses and shirt dresses in particular, I’d been wanting to make M6696 for a long time. I even had the perfect vintage doona cover to make it from. Unfortunately (and predictably), as soon as I put sleeves on my muslin, I couldn’t move my arms – the chest was far too tight, all around my shoulders. I’d already busted my ass making adjustments, and after I’d futzed around with the muslin, I concluded that there was no way my hulk back would fit in this pattern. So I turned to my trusty Burda instead.

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