Winter is here

I hate Winter. I loathe it. I have blogged about my hate for Winter a few years back and yeah I know I shouldn’t dwell on the negative stuff but…maaaaan I hate the cold.

My whole wardrobe changes, everyone is sick (I’ve just spent the weekend in bed sick with some funky bug), the heater is on all the time, I can’t dry clothes on the line outside because it takes days to dry, whinge whine & add more carry on here.

So..instead let me turn my attention to my fab Summer wardrobe. I just get all jealous when I see pics on Instagram of my fellow gorgeous vintage loving gals in the northern parts of the world with sleeveless this and short sleeved that. I lust for the warm air and it just makes me so happy for them but then I look out the window and brrrrrrr.

Oh well…June the start of Winter in Australia. 3 months (maybe 4 months) of this shit and then we hit spring and my flowers will bloom and the earth will warm up and the days will grow longer and warmer air temperatures..ahhhhh.

Skirt handmade by me. The fabric has a Christmas tree theme.

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Dress by Retrospec’d, Cropped cardi from OpShop and Jukebox Brooch by Martinis and Slippers

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 Skirt from The Oblong Box Shop, Cropped cardi OpShop find and Martinis and Slippers Retro TV Brooch
(and my sweet little baby who wanted to join in)

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Dress by PinupGirl Clothing, Opshop cardi and Martinis and Slippers Pink Martini cocktail brooch

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 Dress by Vivien of Holloway, Target AU pink cardigan, Donut brooch by For The Love Of Vintage and Ice Cream brooch by Saturday Lollipop

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Victory Rolls & a little shirt waist dress made by me!!

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Helping out on the last day of kinder so I wore my handmade Christmas skirt.

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Yaaaaaay!! The pools on a hot Summer afternoon.

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Spooky tunnel pic. I really do have a rockabilly psycho killer thing happening here!!

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Dress PinupGirl Clothing & milk & cookie brooch by Martinis and Slippers

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Christmas Day – it was warm that day because NO CARDI!!! Reindeer brooch by Deer Arrow

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My new Retrospec’d dress I got for Christmas

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I tried a new setting pattern (That I can’t bloody well remember) and my hair was so on fucking point I declared it the best it will ever be

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Away on the border of Victoria & New South Wales for New Years Eve…it was very hot.

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Found my party hat for our NYE Luau Party

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My gorgeous gals Betty & Wilma

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I went for a swim and got my hair wet. Never get the hair wet…never

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This Instagram pic won me some water balloons for the kids. I was drinking strawberry margaritas out of a pineapple mug

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I made this dress. It’s a Gertie pattern by Butterick B6019. I have made two of these dresses now

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Dress by Retrospec’d and jumper because I was going out at night. Cat Eye Sunglasses brooch by Martinis and Slippers

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My handmade Atomic dress with my Bass saddle shoes and Jukebox brooch by Martinis and Slippers

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Another awesome Retrospec’d dress with a cute cat eye sunglasses brooch by Martinis and Slippers

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PinupGirl Clothing dress with my Ukelele brooch by Martinis and Slippers

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The most adorable little girl in the world

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My Gertie Shirtwaist dress. The pattern is in her first book. Glittery Poodle brooch by Martinis and Slippers

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PinupGirl Clothing dress, OpShop cardi and Margarita cocktail glass by Martinis and Slippers

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Skirt by The Oblong Box Shop, pink top by H&R, OpShop cardi & my Little UFO Brooch by Martinis and Slippers

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Pinup Girl Clothing dress, old old old OpShop Cardi and Ice Cream Brooch by Martinis and Slippers

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Dress handmade by me from a Gertie Pattern B6019, Ukelele & Hurricane Cocktail brooch by Martinis and Slippers

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Day at the beach with my red umbrella for shade. My beautiful family in the background

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Last day of Summer spent holding a market stall.

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Well that was my Summer 2015/2016, for those readers in the northern hemisphere I hope you really enjoy the sunshine and warm air. I have the heater on and a persistent cough. Hmmm

Cheers

Alex

Oooh fancy new brooches!!

Oh my gosh…I have been busy. Between kids, helping out at kinder & school and arranging Miss 4 turning 5’s birthday party and the usual guff around the house I have been trying *TRYING* to get some new brooch designs under my belt.

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I swear these babies just took forever. I have the ideas, I do a really really rough sketch and then illustrate it pulled apart and visualise my concept in 3D and visualise all the bits that are needed to create it and then I have to put all that stuff in my head and the rough ideas on paper into a vector format and then…..fix it and fix it again and re-fix it and then alter it and stuff around with it some more and then finally get it ok and THEN lay out the artwork in all it’s bits so that everything once cut onto acrylic or bamboo all fits together.

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My dress for those playing at home is made my Retrospec’d and amazing AUSSIE dressmaker (yes I am barefoot…I was tired!!)

The artwork gets quoted, I pay and cross my fingers and toes that it will all work. Can you imagine paying $$$ to get something created that *MAY* or *MAY NOT* work.

Stress…some more grey hairs to add to my glorious head of hair and when I open the box…shit can be really good or really bad. I hold my breath, I find the bits that fit here and there and IT ALL WORKS….!!! I was literally punching the air because all this worked. All my stress, late nights and stupid dreams (can we talk about that the dreams..once I used to get some pretty prophetic & awesome dreams and now…BROOCHES AND HOW THEY SHOULD FIT TOGETHER!!!!!) and it works.

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I can honestly say that I am thrilled with how these have turned out and I hope you like them too, they are available on my online store www.martinisandslipperstore.com

Cheers

Alex

When brooches go wrong

By Tuesday, February 9, 2016 2 , Permalink 0

So I have this dress.

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It has cute little deck chairs all over it.

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When I wear it I don’t really have a brooch that goes with it.

So naturally I thought to myself, I need to make a brooch to go with it and wouldn’t it be cute to have a deck chair brooch to go with my deck chair dress.

Deck Chair brooch was born.

When I did the artwork it was perfect…EXCEPT for that time when I rushed to get my artwork out to be laser cut and didn’t select my line work correctly and when I got my brooches back, half were perfect and half were not perfect.

See the outline of the frame of the deck chair…the one of the left has it missing and the one on the right has it.

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FUCK. This costs money and I can’t have 6 brooches that are worthless sitting on my desk. So I figured I might be able to work around my own mistake.

Cough

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Cough

Anyway, that’s not going to happen. I won’t produce or sell half rate shitty work so, I have 6 brooches instead of 12.

That’s cool, the problem is…do I paint the frame of the deck chair with the brown paint like my dodgy trial version or do I leave it. I actually like the look of the painted version and that it defines the frame of the deck chair (ignore the lack of outline on the dodgy trial version).

Unsure if I should paint in the deck chair frame with brown paint.

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So if you have a better idea let me know!

Cheers

Alex

Alien Invasion

By Monday, February 1, 2016 0 , , Permalink 0

ALIENS!!!

AlienInvasionMartinis and Slippers had a bit of an alien invasion recently and these gorgeous…I mean very scary aliens have been added to my brooch collection and they are available from my martinisandslippersstore.com

I have a bit of soft spot for them…probably because I haven’t been abducted by them (as far as I know!) but I used to love watching spooky Mulder & Scully on The X-Files in the 90’s and playing on the paranoia of visitors from outer space that became part of the culture during the late 40’s at Roswell so I created my very own range of Alien brooches.

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My Little Alien I have called Roswell…of course I have no idea what an alien looks like so I just based him on what ‘eye witnesses’ reported and that so called autopsy photograph, although I think that alien was more grey than green but my alien my choice of colour!

Of course what alien would travel across the galaxy without their UFO. So Roswell also has his very own Little UFO brooch. The brooch has an acrylic mirror finish and Roswell peering out of his window. I sketched this UFO on a scrap of paper while waiting to pick up my Son from school last year and I think it’s perfect.

I assembled these during the Dec/Jan holiday break and one night I had left the Xmas lights on in my office (my work space is shared with the kids playroom) and went to my desk to find something and I found something alright…my aliens were glowing!!! It was such an awesome effect that I took a pic and shared it on my Instagram account.

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Last night the premiere of The X-Files was on TV…old school free to air on a Sunday night so I had to watch and I had instant flash backs (maybe I was abducted by aliens??) to the mid 90’s when I watched the very first episode of The X-Files (back then Australian capital cities had 5 free to air tv channels and NO pay tv!!). So in honour of this awesome event I wore my very own Roswell out for the day.

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I hope you got to catch The X-Files…I quite enjoyed the first episode, although the ads gave me the shits and the constant pop up ads when the show was on…grrrr, far out no wonder people don’t watch much tv, are mostly online or stick to watching whole seasons on Netflix. The next episode is scheduled for 9pm tonight and I just know I will end up missing an episode because of the stupid scheduling of the show.

Cheers

Alex

Christmas is coming

My very own handmade Christmas Tree skirt – I drafted the pattern, cut & sewed on a Sunday arvo.

 

ChristmasSkirt

I know…everyone is all urrrrrggggghhhhh about Christmas but if you know me you know that I totally LOVE Christmas time. There is a period of about two weeks which feels like it’s the party to celebrate the end of a full & busy year. It’s the twinkly lights (ooh how I love the fairy lights) and decorations, most people are on holidays and it’s warm (hey..it’s Australia!!!) and and and.

Our tree when it was alive and producing valuable oxygen and before we cut it down so we could stick tinsel on it.

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Everyone can bitch all they like but I really enjoy sitting down with friends and family at this time and having a drink and nice food to eat. I love decorating the tree and the excitement from my kids when Finnegan the Elf returns to our house (link to all his previous antics over the years…esp handy to all those people who want their elf to get a few ideas!!).

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The kids version of what a tree looks like when it’s decorated..cough
(insert my O.C.D. right here – yes the tree has been fixed since this pic was taken)

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This year has been bittersweet for me, The good stuff…I turned 40 and started my very own business which I am enjoying so much. It’s so exciting packing the orders and posting them, an amazing sense of achievement for me. I also have a stockist and Martinis and Slippers are now listed on Vintage Pip’s website (more to come in other blog post on that!!).

A few of my Christmas brooches (they are for sale online right now)

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The shitty stuff…My beloved cat Indy died in June. My beautiful 9 year old Burmese boy was my first ‘grown up’ pet and we got him before the kids and after our first year living in our newly purchased home. I still find myself crying because he isn’t around for cuddles and for a long time going to bed a night was a challenge without my little mouse to hug.

I referred to him as my ‘new fur’ in this pic. We hugged like this all the time…silly moushy.

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Because some cats like to roll around the jumpaline!

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It’s all those little rituals that I miss – his annoying & constant meowing after I would finish a shower – all because he wanted to put his cat funk all over me again. Him licking/bathing himself at 3am right near my face and waking me up and I would have to yell STOP IT INDY and then he would stop for 5 seconds and then continue cleaning himself…sigh. Breakfast v1, v2, v3 and then him sleeping on my side of the bed for the whole day.

This is how we would snuggle at night.

IndySleeping

 

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We plan on getting a new pet but not for a few more months, it’s a slow process that we aren’t rushing into. We know what pet we want next and I really can’t wait until that time comes.

Onwards and upwards!

I also had my very first market stall. I was shitting myself the whole day…it was waaaaaay outside of my comfort zone and I knew I could do it but…akhgakljfhsdlfgjhsadfkhsdfjshadd.

Cheeky trial run at home!

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I did a trial run the weekend before and everything looked pretty good and setting up was quick and then I learnt that I can also be an awesome mute!! ha ha…I had my friend Fleur, who suggested I do the market in the first place with me the whole time and she was just bloody brilliant. I was certainly a lot more confident & comfortable with her around to help.

Here is my table BEFORE shot.

MASMarket01The AFTER shot…all set up!

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My goal for the market was to:
1. learn the ropes – how to do a market stall etc.
&
2. Sell 5 brooches.

I did it!!!

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I am happy to say that I sold double that and in a 3 hour period at a school twilight market with not many retro, vintage, rockabilly people there I was very happy with that result. I plan on doing another market but not until early next year and probably at a classic car show…because I like looking at classic cars!!!

Cheers

Alex

 

Martinis and Slippers Online Store

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IS OPEN….!!! (click here)

What an extremely busy few weeks we have had. Well it’s been months but certainly the past 2 weeks have been crazy busy.

First was my rash decision to just let the world know of my intentions to open an online store on Instagram. I originally had intended to open the Martinis and Slippers online store early October, I needed my packaging printing done and was terribly let down and consequently delayed by 2 weeks, which just threw all my plans out the window. I was hoping to have a stall at a local market last week but yeah…those 2 weeks really stuffed me. I could have still done the market but with 2 days to prep…I’m crazy but not that crazy!!!!

Novelty Retro TV Brooch

So while the packaging was being printed I was working on a bunch of brooches, some of which were royally screwed up. I fixed them/still fixing them but they just weren’t perfect enough for me to sell.

Cocktail Brooch

I was also putting together the artwork for new brooches and coming up with new concepts. Some ideas hit me at the strangest times. School pick up was one of those times and I all I had in my handbag to write on was an invoice & a pen that works when it wants to. That idea is awesome (and is still sitting in my handbag) and I hope to produce it someday soon.

Novelty Vintage Cat Eye Brooch

Then the big one…THE MARTINIS AND SLIPPERS ONLINE STORE. We spent countless hours working on the photography for the brooches, coming up with names for each of the brooches, writing the blurbs for each brooch, working out the costs, researching postage, getting insurance and then we weren’t happy with the online store we had so we made some changes and finally here we are. What a huge difference it has made and I really hope that you love the brooches as much as I do.

Vintage Inspired Cat Eye Brooch

So to celebrate the opening on my new Martinis and Slippers online store, we are offering 10% off all purchases until midnight Saturday 31st October (Melbourne, Australia time). To get the benefit of the discount please use the OCTOBERSALE code at the checkout.

Novelty Cat Eye Brooches

At this stage my store is only open to Australia residents but we are working on opening it to all international purchases – stay tuned for news on this.

You can link to the Martinis and Slippers online store via the SHOP link at the top of this page OR you can click on this Martinis and Slippers Store link and head right over to take a look and make a purchase!

Cheers

Alex

Coming Soon

By Sunday, October 18, 2015 0 , , , Permalink 0

Ooh this week has been FULL ON!

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I decided to stop procrastinating and just let the world know that Martinis and Slippers are now creating gorgeous vintage inspired brooches.

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On Wednesday morning I created a sneaky teaser post on Instagram and the response online was awesome. I will admit I was petrified…this is a huge step for me and is something I have been working on for quite some time. Lots of testing and many failures and finally I got to a point where I had something that I would spend my money on.

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Stay tuned…my online store is soooooo close to being ready. Once we are ready to roll I will let everyone know and hopefully everyone loves my brooches as much as I do.

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Cheers

Alex

 

My Shirtwaist Dress

By Monday, July 20, 2015 1 , , , Permalink 0

Gertie's Shirtwaist DressI made another dress!

This time it’s a Shirtwaist Dress from the ‘Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing’. I have a vintage black shirtwaist dress. It’s preloved and now adored so much that it’s slightly faded and just a little see through (though with a pettiskirt that’s not a problem). I was on the hunt for another shirtwaist dress that I could wear around the house and not stress that the kids & normal wear would kill it. So when I saw this dress pattern in Gertie’s book I decided that I would give it a crack.

Gertie's Shirtwaist DressA pic from my Martinis and Slippers Instagram account.

Gertie's Shirtwaist Dress

Next was the fabric. While I was on holidays in Mauritius last year I posted a picture on Instagram of the gorgeous teal & floral cotton fabric that I picked up in Rose Hill for only $AUS 12.00. From memory I got about 5 or 6 metres.

Teal Floral Cotton

In early January this year I copied the paper pattern pieces onto tracing toile and then cut up my pre-washed fabric and then folded everything up for another time. From memory my brand new Pfaff sewing machine shit itself when I was testing / trying to shirr. So after only having the machine for 3 months I had to get it serviced and believe it or not it’s still a shit trying to get the shirring right. So I use my elcheapo Brother $99 machine (side loaded bobbin for the win!!) to do all my shirring.

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Of course this Shirtwaist Dress has shirring on the back so held back doing starting sewing this dress until my Pfaff was back from the Doctors & in the end I still used the Brother because the shirring was so bloody temperamental.

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Overall this dress was really easy to do, I will admit I struggled with the collar when I was about to join the collar to the dress it was too short & the notches didn’t match. So I double checked that I had copied the right size which I had. So I did it again and sewed a smaller seam allowance & managed to get it to fit. I absolutely love this dress, it really does have a very 1940’s feel to it – did I mention it also has pockets!!!

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I still have heaps of fabric left over and I will probably make a skirt or maybe a shirt…hmmm.

Cheers

Alex

Pinup Girl Clothing’s Monica Dress

By Friday, July 10, 2015 0 , , Permalink 0

Pinup Girl Clothing Monica Dress

WOW!!!

 

That’s the only way to describe the Monica dress from Pinup Girl Clothing!

 

I would say that 90% of my wardrobe has dresses & skirts that all are either full circle skirts or have full skirts, so I can wear my pettiskirts underneath. I could wear the figure hugging wiggle dresses but I wouldn’t be able to eat or drink anything (Ha!) and I really don’t feel absolutely comfortable wearing them.

Pinup Girl Clothing Monica Dress

However there is always an exception! I saw this dress on Pinup Girl Clothing and did the ssssssiiiiiigggggghhhhhh. I neeeeeeeeeeed that dress.

 

So I waited patiently until MisKonduct Clothing had it in stock and in my size and bang bang, that baby was mine.

Pinup Girl Clothing Monica Dress

Since I have had this gorgeous dress, I haven’t actually had any significantly special (non eating!) events come up that I could wear it to, so until that special date occurs it will sit waiting in my wardrobe.

 

The best thing about this dress…no bra!! I mean I don’t have to wear a bra. It’s full lined with a stretchy shaping fabric and has the amazing ability to hold all the wobbly bits in nice & tight. The added bonus is the draping effect of the fabric is very flattering.

Pinup Girl Clothing Monica Dress

I won’t buy a dress if it ends above the knees, I am fussy and it means that so many dresses are automatically on the no buy list, simply because I have varicose veins on the backs of my knees. Nothing dramatic & worth getting medical intervention for but it’s just enough to cause some anxiety for me. So rather than be stuck in pants forever, I work around it and only buy dresses that end past the knee. Thankfully this dress does end past the knee!

Pinup Girl Clothing Monica Dress

MisKonduct has the Monica dress in stock, they have amazingly fast delivery if you buy online, you can also buy the Monica dress online at Pinup Girl Clothing and they have it in many gorgeous colours so knock yourself out!

 

Now I just have to wait for a special occasion to wear it to!

 

Cheers

Alex

The Deck Chair Dress

By Wednesday, June 10, 2015 0 , , , Permalink 0

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I started sewing this dress 2 years ago.

 

It’s taken me 2 whole years to finish sewing a dress. I know it sounds bad but there is a story behind why it took me so long.

 

I found the pattern for this dress 1958 Ladies’ Party Dress on the Sense & Sensibility website. My friend who sews told me about this pattern all those years ago and I decided that this was the dress that I would start my sewing journey with.

 

The pattern was bought online, downloaded as a PDF, printed into a million (well it felt like that) pages and then I had this huge jigsaw pattern to stick together. All of that I did with no real hassles. The next thing I did was trace the pattern onto tracing toile so that I didn’t have to cut up my giant jigsaw puzzle, plus the thought of sticking paper onto fabric and then trying to pin it & cut…yeah…no thanks.

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So tracing the pattern was easy. Then I realised half way through tracing that I was copying my shop bought clothing size – not my true size. SHITE…start tracing again. I wasn’t happy about it but at the time I was thinking it would be better than cutting the fabric and it’s too small.

 

Then I had darts….darts at the back and front of the bodice and I just froze. I had no idea how to copy those darts from the pattern to the fabric. No idea at all.

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So everything was folded up and put into the bottom of a box and I decided that perhaps I needed to go and do some sewing lessons. One of the first things I learnt to do in those first few weeks of my sewing lessons was transferring the dart from the pattern paper/toile to the fabric. I had a burst of enthusiasm and I pulled the fabric out of storage and transferred my darts, pinned them down ready for stitching aaaaaand then put everything back into storage.

 

Fast forward almost two years and I needed to finish that dress off. However…I learned a few things over the years.

 

1.     Wash your fabric – yup…I didn’t wash my fabric before cutting it.

2.     Make a toile – yup…I didn’t make a toile and I discovered that my torso is short so quite often I have to adjust the bodice of any dresses / tops that I make so that they fit.

3.     I cut rather large notches on my fabric – a simple straight short cut is all that is needed…not my giant year 7 sewing class triangle notch (I was doing what I was taught all those years ago!).

4.     Lining – didn’t even think for a minute that I would need to add lining to my bodice. I ended up having enough fabric so I self lined it and it turned out perfectly.

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I start sewing, matching my giant notches and trying on my toile/real bodice and it was a tight fit. I was seriously wondering if this dress would fit once I put the zip in.

 

Meh…just keep going.

 

It’s cool, so what if it doesn’t fit me, at least it’s practice. I sometimes stress so much that what I am making won’t work or fit or look any good but I have to remind myself that even if I fail at least I tried and at least I am getting practice and using the skills I have learnt.

 

Sure enough it all came together and with my brand new overlocker I was even able to finish off all my raw edges.

 

I took a deep breath in and zipped her up and what do you know…it fit!

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If I had to make any changes I would actually lower the bodice a little – maybe half an inch to an inch and I would make the skirt a bit longer. Otherwise this dress is awesome and will be worn this coming Spring/Summer.

 

I have already received a compliment wearing this dress (it was a mild day so I HAD to wear it out!). I went to Spotlight where I bought the ‘Deck Chair’ fabric from originally and one of the ladies working behind the cutting counter said my dress was beautiful and when I told her that I bought the fabric here she said “I know”.

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The deck chairs are navy & white and goes perfectly with my navy shoes and cute vintage navy purse I picked up at The Vintage Emporium in Tyabb this past weekend.

 

Cheers

Alex