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.


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


 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)


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


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


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


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


Yaaaaaay!! The pools on a hot Summer afternoon.


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


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


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


My new Retrospec’d dress I got for Christmas


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


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


Found my party hat for our NYE Luau Party


My gorgeous gals Betty & Wilma


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


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


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


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


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


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


PinupGirl Clothing dress with my Ukelele brooch by Martinis and Slippers


The most adorable little girl in the world


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


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


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


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


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


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


Last day of Summer spent holding a market stall.


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



Christmas is coming

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



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 (’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.


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!!).


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)


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)



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.


Because some cats like to roll around the jumpaline!



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.




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!



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!


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!!!



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!!!




Trick or Treating in Melbourne

I was a little more organised this year and had my darling husband put together a DL flyer that I could print up x 3 to an A4 sheet and then cut down to size  I bought 150 balloons from Spotlight and yes spent a bit of time sticking the orange balloons to the flyers with sticky tape. My friend Fleur and I took our kids on a very warm afternoon & delivered the flyers to let our neighbours know that we would be Trick or Treating on Halloween.
In September my son had chosen Darth Vader as his costume so for his birthday we got him a light sabre. He already had the costume so I didn’t have  to worry much about that. My daughter had chosen Queen Elsa (like pretty much every little girl under the age of 12). Then a bombshell…my son changed his mind on the Monday morning before Halloween. he didn’t want to go as Darth Vader, instead he wanted to go as a Vampire. Great!!!
I went back to Savers and for $14.99 I picked up a cape (with a red satin collar), vest, medallion, bow tie & white gloves. we did a makeup trial with a few photos & i spent about 5 minutes doing his make up & he looked awesome. My daughter THE NIGHT BEFORE HALLOWEEN says that she wants to be a witch. Sorry little chicken it’s too late to change.
 My costume wasn’t really a costume, actually it probably would be a costume to someone, I just picked out a poodle skirt from my wardrobe & went as a zombie cheerleader. In retrospect maybe I should have tried to organise a Princess Anna costume for myself & gotten an Olaf or Christoph for Oliver. Surely a grown woman walking around with a costume like that is scary??
So Friday 31st October in Melbourne was warm…31 degrees warm (87.8 fahrenheit) so yeah, not exactly layers of clothing & walking around the streets type of weather. We headed over to our friends house and started from there & worked / walked our way back towards home.
Oliver ‘The Vampire’ & his best friend Ruben ‘The Grim Reaper’
Me & Fleur rockin’ the red coloured hair.
 I really wasn’t sure what the reaction to my flyer would be like but it was awesome. Quite a few houses for us to trick or treat at, the kids received an impressive stash of lollies, to the point of me having to unload their buckets so they could fit more lollies inside.
This ‘wrestler’ was one of the Dads walking around with his kids. Undies on the outside!!!
Kids from our local school heading towards us. All the kids were so excited.
How clever were these Chupa Chups disguised as spiders.
One of the houses we went to was amazing. Two ladies inside cackled like witches and posed for photos & made delicious shortbread witches fingers. The kids were actually a bit scared and we had to tell them that they weren’t real witches.
Fabulous Witches – these ladies made my evening!
We got back home before the sun set & I managed to offload quite a few of the lollies that we had ready for trick or treaters. The kids had a very late night & were up to their eyeballs full of sugar. This is some of what Oliver had received.
All up it was a great night and I felt slightly off the next day (a few strawberry margaritas & walking around in such warm weather will do that to you).
This was the giant spider I had on my front door. Some of my friends children were very scared of him.
This was the lousy decorating at the front of my house. The web looked awesome when I first put it up, a freaky spring storm that had rain coming sideways wrecked the webs. I tried to fix it but it just made it look crappier. Up close there were black bats hung with fishing line.
Our carved pumpkin & even a headstone with some dead flowers!
If you celebrate Halloween, I hope you had a great time. I am positive we will do it all again next year. Anyway, all the Halloween decorations have been removed now & we can start getting ready for Christmas!

I got my hair cut!!

I cut my hair!!

I did it!

I finally gathered up all the bits of courage I had laying around and stuffed them into my purse and got my hair cut.

Long story short, I have had MANY bad haircuts. A mixture of trusting new hairdressers and letting them do what they wanted or thought was best for me, as well as my own lack of knowledge when it came to styling my hair and therefore not being able to accurately describe what it was that I wanted.

So I let my hair grow and grow and grow. With minor trims here and there but never anything over the top. I think my last big hair cut was about 11yrs ago & that was THE worst cut. I eventually got over it and found a great local hairdresser who was responsible for my colour as well as the odd trims & layer cuts.

The BEFORE shot

Alex Middy Cut Before

My hair was looong!
Alex Middy Cut BEFORE

In the meantime I found my confidence and discovered I actually have some skillz when it comes to setting my hair in vintage styles. THEN I found the words to describe the cut I wanted THE MIDDY.

My life has changed. Amazing that one good or bad hairstyle can have such a huge impact on how you feel about yourself. Right now, I ROCK the world. I simply adore my hair and I will admit that I am incredibly pedantic when it comes to doing wet set pin curls and the stylist today wasn’t as precious I am and the curls are still amazing.


The AFTER shot!!!!! (so many exclamation marks…I must be happy!)

Alex Middy Cut AFTER

I am looking forward to trying all my different setting patterns that I have learnt over the years as well as seeing the difference between foam roller wet sets and pin curl wet sets. Either way, the next few weeks will be loads of fun.

I did insist that the front length still be long enough that I could continue doing victory rolls, faux bumper bangs as well as faux Bettie Page bangs, so my Middy may not be a ‘true’ Middy, it still suits my needs.

The colour – ahhh how great is covering all those grey hairs. My red is red. I asked for red and I got red, actually it’s a mix of two different reds (and pink based red & an orange based red) made by ‘Special Effects’. It’s vibrant and I am hoping I can stick to one wash a week to keep its vibrancy as long as possible.

For those who want to know I got my hair cut & coloured at Wildilocks in West Melbourne, VIC.
My black button down shirt is a Savers find
My 3/4 sleeve black cropped cardi an op shop find
My red & white polkadot circle skirt is hand made by ME!!
Vintage Pearls are a purchase from the ‘Round She Goes’ vintage market



Outfit of the day


I love this skirt. It’s called the Jenny Cherry Skirt & I got it from MisKonduct for my Birthday this year. I would love to make a skirt like this but I fear the cost would be outrageous, there is just so much fabric and I don’t need to wear a pettiskirt under it because it foofs out all on it’s own.

The red Marilyn top I am wearing underneath my cardi was also bought from MisKonduct.


You can’t go wrong with cherries!

Jenny Cherry Skirt

I teamed it with a plain black cropped cardi and a fab brooch I picked up from Savers (which has just opened near me) from memory the brooch cost $3.99. I wore this outfit to do my grocery shopping, it was a bit cold the day I took this pic so I have an ugly pair of panty hose on but they are so robust – I actually chuck them in the wash sans washing bag and they survive!

Peek through my Victory Roll.

Victory Roll

 Side view of my Victory Roll.

Martinis & SlippersCan you believe my 5yr old Son took the shot below!!! Very talented young man!!

Martinis & Slippers



Sewing lessons – It’s completed!!!

I did it!!!

I finished my skirt and I am thrilled!!!

I actually finished it about 4 weeks ago but just never got a chance to have some proper pics taken of the finished skirt, last night was my first opportunity so here it is.

Sewing lessons 1940s skirt

I am really proud of my effort and because Melbourne had some amazing warm days in the first week of September I did actually wear my skirt outside…in the world…and it was perfect. Made all the more better because I FREAKIN MADE THIS BABY!!!.

Sewing lessons 1940s skirtYup…handmade by me!

Sewing lessons 1940s skirt

So, what to do now? Well I decided to do a top next.  A good friend of mine is a collector of vintage patterns and she recently finished an adorable blouse from a pattern made in 1944.

1944 Blouse PatternCopyright 1944

1944 Blouse Pattern

I couldn’t help myself, I have to make this top. So I borrowed the top and tried it on – perfect fit and works so well with my Freddies of Pinewood jeans.

The pattern is a 34 inch bust and I AM NOT a 34 inch bust. So I copied the pattern onto interfacing – no way in hell I am cutting up a paper pattern from the 40’s!

I then skillfully (HA!) added an extra 3cms to the sleeves and sides of the pattern – the black lines are the original lines on the pattern and the red is my attempt at increasing the size of the top.

1944 Blouse Pattern

When I got into my sewing lesson I showed my teacher the pattern and my friends blouse and my ahem…dodgy alterations to the pattern size and I decided that was my next challenge. It’s a gorgeous top and I will actually make a few of them and shock horror…will go and buy the same fabric as my friends version just because it’s so freakin perfect!!

The real deal – vintage sewing pattern instructions.

1944 Blouse Pattern

So by the end of my lesson I managed to finish my skirt and started cutting my fabric out ready for my gorgeous blouse, just hoping that it does actually fit when it’s done. If not, then that’s ok. It’s all good practise I suppose!

 Ready to cut the fabric.

1944 Blouse Pattern




Sewing lessons – week 6

By Wednesday, August 21, 2013 2 , , Permalink 0

I was absolutely convinced that by the end of Monday’s lesson I would have completed my skirt.


Nope, didn’t happen. Although I am desperate to get this skirt finished I also understand that there is a process to follow and all the extra little unknown steps actually help to produce a more professional looking skirt.

Ok, so when I arrived into class thinking that I would be trimming some edging on my skirt – maybe iron it down and then getting straight into the hemming I was kinda right but also wrong.

First up – trimming that excess fabric in the corners of the facing and then using the iron to press it down and then stitching it so it doesn’t roll up when you are wearing it.

Ooh messy edges.

Sewing LessonsAll neat & tidy!

Sewing LessonsExtra stitching to the facing to stop it rolling out when wearing (oh and I had to iron this after stitching, with the aid of a Tailors Ham – how amazing is a Tailors Ham!!!..gotta get me one of those!).

Sewing LessonsThen the flap that covers the zipper needed to be pinned into place.

Sewing LessonsThen be stitched over to hold the flap in place.

Sewing Lessons

Then I had to find out what the seam allowance was on this skirt, checking the paper pattern it was 3.2cms so we cheated a little and made it 3cms. I had to get the measuring tape and head over to the iron and measure & iron 3cms all around the hem of the skirt so the fabric would be pressed into place.

Sewing Lessons

Next is to overlock (insert Angels playing on harps here cause I just LOVE using the overlocker) the edge of the hem.

Sewing LessonsAll nicely overlocked and ready for….HAND STITCHING……AHHHHH!

Sewing Lessons

I am kinda getting really excited now. I really really want to finish my skirt and BAM. I am told that I have to HAND STITCH my hem. Thank goodness this isn’t a circle skirt. LOL.

So never having actually been shown the correct way to do hidden stitching and always being very unimpressed with any hand stitching I have done in the past I was actually really surprised that it was actually pretty easy and shhh I actually enjoyed it.

Yup, I totally enjoyed sitting at my table and stitching with my hands and a sewing needle and getting all squinty eyed while I try and find 2 looms that my little needle could go through.

Sewing Lessons

Unfortunately class finished before I could so I will ahem…cheat and actually pick it up sometime this week and finish it while the method is still fresh in my head.

Almost finished!!! I still have 4 weeks of lessons to do so I am curious as to what I will do then – another skirt would be great!!!!


Sewing lessons – week 5

By Tuesday, August 13, 2013 1 , , Permalink 0

The half way point in my first ever sewing lessons as an adult and I am quite happy to admit that I really am enjoying it, I am busting to get this skirt done and just put it.

Week 5 was all about facing. I started pinning the paper pattern to the fabric last week but the class ended so this week I doubled checked that my two paper pattern pieces were in place and pinned down. I cut the pieces out and then got the interfacing out, placed my cut pattern pieces over the interfacing and cut those pieces out.

Pattern pieces overlayed on the interfacing.

Sewing classes

Once the interfacing was all cut I had to cut a nick into the sides of the facing that sits on my hips so I could distinguish which side goes where, it’s easy with my fabric because there is a very distinct front and back to it. If you had fabric that was difficult to determine ‘front’ or ‘back’ the nick/cut comes in handy when fusing the interfacing to the facing – ooh look…technical terms!! lol

Over to the ironing board where we double check that the fusing & interfacing are the right way – fabric pattern facing down (or right side down) and the interfacing with the glue sits on top of the fabric (glue side down). Calico under all the fabric to protect the ironing board. Calico on top of the fabric & interfacing to protect the iron and press away. You need heat & pressure to make the interfacing stick.

Interfacing all fused onto the facing. I trimmed those fuzzy edges.

Sewing classes

Sweet sweet overlocker! Overlock the short edges on my facing (seriously…how fricken amazing is the overlocker…person who invented the overlocker – YOU ROCK!).

Overlocking the short edges of the facing.

Sewing classesShort edges are overlocked and just need to be trimmed.

Sewing classes

Now to match all my pieces up ready to join them up.

Sewing classes

Stitch the matched up facing pieces and then you have one long piece of facing that has a long piece that sits at the front of the skirt and two smaller pieces that sit at the back of the skirt.

Stitching 15mms from the overlocked edge.

Sewing classesOooh look…some stitches.

Sewing classesIron those seams please – nice and flat – this is the BEFORE shot.

Sewing classesPew pew..never underestimate the power of the IRON. lol

Sewing classes

The interfacing needed to be added to the skirt (I was secretly jumping for joy inside…I am that much closer to finishing my skirt). I matched the seams and pinned and then sewed but…BUT had to stop where the back darts are because the zipper has to be done a special way.

Sewing classes

This is where it kinda got tricky, most of what I was shown kinda went in the space between my ears and then flew straight back out – well some of it. I managed to match seams & pin the right hand side of the zipper & facing. Stitched those no probs. Eeek my problems start with matching seams where the flap is that covers the zipper on the left hand side of the skirt.

Sewing classesThe teacher did it and I tried making notes but…I am going to have to do that about 10 times before I remember how to do it.

Sewing classes

Either way, I stitched the seams and a bit of tweaking – literally a millimetre on both sides and I managed to get the fabric to meet at the top of the skirt.

All stitched together!!

Sewing classes

Sooooo I guess next week will be the bottom hem? I heard something about hand stitching ?!?!?!?!?!?! WHAT. Sigh.




Sewing lessons – Week 2

By Tuesday, July 23, 2013 1 , , Permalink 0

Ok so after a great start to my introduction to sewing last week, I picked up where I left off ‘THE OVERLOCKER’. I used one in 1992 for about 20mins and it was fun. I love that it stitches and trims the edge of the fabric and leaves your material looking so perfect & finished.


So I had another muck around with some scrap fabric and used a different machine from the one I used last week. Last week the loops were all over the place and looked worse than amateur. So this week I made a point of using a different overlocker and what would you know – perfect. Nice loopy loops and it works out that the good machine also has cream coloured thread which works perfectly against the colours on my fabric.


So I stitched and stitched on my practice scraps and then decided to tackle my pieces of fabric for my skirt and it only took me less than 5 minutes to make a mistake. I stitched the wrong edge. YUP. You see, we overlock the edge that the zipper goes on because later on when the zip is on the skirt it will be hard to overlock it then. Anyway. Not a huge problem as the edge I overlocked will be done when the time comes to do it!

The next part of our class was darts. I have 4 of them on my skirt so it was a matter of learning how to transfer the dart on the pattern onto your fabric and then gathering those darts and stitching them. I tried it on some scrap fabric and it worked. Then tackled my real fabric and it worked again! Whew!!

See that sewn in line…that’s my very first dart!! yay yay


Next week ZIPPERS!!!



Day trip to Healesville

Day trip to Healesville



Over the Queens Birthday long weekend we decided that a nice drive to the country was in order and ideally we were looking for any Sunday markets that were on, there wasn’t much to choose from which was a shame.

Anyway, it’s still nice to get out of the house and hit the road and Healesville was the direction we headed to.

Just as you are driving into Healesville is a turn off to go to the Healesville Train Station.




Miss A, Sir O & Me!


My Son lives for trains, everything is about trains – heck before kids when I would get caught at the boom gates and the flashing lights to warn of an approaching train I would sigh and get frustrated at having to wait for. Such. A. Long. Time.

Now it’s a way of keeping him quiet. He gets all squeally when he sees the train/boom gates/flashing lights and then goes to complete silence to watch the train.

The good thing about him being so into trains is that we have been on quite a few steam engines around Victoria & train travel is so old school that it kinda feels nice to be doing something that was one of the mains forms of transportation or moving goods around Australia.

So, back to Healesville!

We got to the train station just in time and managed to board the 1 carriage diesel engine (I think it’s diesel!) that does a quick 15min one direction trip and then returns you to Healesville. It was fun. The kids loved it and we took some snacks for them to eat.


It’s a historic railway and if you have some spare time, then go ride the tourist railway in Healesville (wear something warm if it’s a really cold day!)


After our train trip we wandered about the old rail station and the kids had a ball. I was cold. I wore a fabulous wool skirt that I picked up from the Salvos for $7.00 with white canvas shoes & socks. My varsity jacket is from Dangerfield and I bought it for a bargin $30.00 on sale at Clear It on Brunswick Street – upstairs). I have a cute red scarf in my hair too.







When we were ready to leave little Miss A decided that she would sulk and walk at the slowest pace with her head down. SLOWEST. WALK. EVER!.  That tiny little person in this pic is her. Bless!