Thursday, May 23, 2013

DRAB TO FAB

Mid last year saw me trot off to a Take2Market at the Northcote Town Hall, in search of a vintage gem or two. 

I came home with this, not so glittering number...


Whilst she could have once been called a chic 1940s silk day dress, she was certainly currently a little worse for wear.

The dress came from a stall run by a lady who has a successful vintage clothing boutique here in Melbourne. I think she was at this market to sell off all the slightly broken and damaged vintage that she had accumulated, but couldn't sell in her shop. 

Anyway, for some unknown reason, I saw this dress as a make-over/renovation waiting to happen. It has been almost a year in the making, but i think i'm almost done! Here are a few 'before' images, just so you can really see the state that this dress was in. It had everything; fraying fabric, dodgy hand sewn seams, gaping rips and holes, broken and missing buttons, dark stains and a general dishevelled appearance!

These photos are pretty over exposed. The colour of the dress is more dark blue than faded blueish grey. 

Both the buttons and the button loops were removed and washed. I like the button-loop detailing at the top of the neck edge, where they are crossing over one another. I have saved all that has come off the dress, and have heaps of these loops, so i may go back and re-attach them like above.

Big section of fraying fabric. I have stabilised the back of it, but unfortunately there isn't much else I can do. 

Huge rip at the back under the collar. But because the collar was in bad nick too, it had to come off. I carefully sewed up the rip, so it is now just a thin line of stitching.

Most of the dark stains came out after a careful hand wash. The water, after washing, was brownish grey. Nice. 

Frayed and stained collar. I decided that this had to go. I used the fabric of the underside of the collar (not as stained) to make some new self-covered buttons, so its removal didn't go to complete waste.

Dodgy hand sewing all over the dress, using, oddly enough, a very very thick thread (and black in colour), which was very visible everywhere. In repaired all the seams, I hand sewed everything in a silk thread, matching the colour of the dress. 

The front skirt section was a little worse for wear too. The fabric is quite a heavy silk, so seams like these had taken a battering and appeared to be struggling to stay together. 

I think i purchased the dress for $40 or $50, and i remember the lady saying how it would only need some buttons replaced, and it would be perfectly wearable. That she hadn't done it herself as she was too busy. I remember being bemused hearing this, as it was obvious that the dress needed much more than just a few buttons replaced! And what is more, the price of such a dress like this, in great condition, would have fetched $150-$200, easily, but in a condition like this, it was pretty much unsalable in a renowned boutique like hers. 
But anyway, I saw this dress as a challenge, and as the basic 1940s shape and style was still intact, and the blue silk was gorgeous, I parted with my money, with both parties happy (her probably happy she had offloaded a broken, unsalable dress, and me happy that i had gotten a 1940s silk dress so cheap!)

Stay tuned for the big reveal!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

LONSDALE: DRESS, NOT STREET

Yo.

I've finally bitten the bullet and purchased the Sewaholic Lonsdale Dress. Thank you Paypal for making online purchases so easy...you've really helped my bank balance...

But anyway, the Lonsdale. 


I've been seeing it around the sewing blogosphere for a while now, and whilst I LOVE some versions, I was a little lukewarm towards others, resulting in utter indecision. But I have been turned. Probably mainly because I am over uni for this semester, and just want to be done and doing other stuff, but also because sewing keeps me sane, and i've been feeling a little un-sane of late!


Sarai in her lovely floral Lonsdale number

Roisin in her gingham version

And here is a lovely french version by Charlotte

So whilst I wait for it to fly to me from Canada, I must start pondering how i am going to take this. I think I have figured out that i am not much of a casual dress-wearer (am yet to change this, no matter how best my intentions are!), so i may as well semi-splurge on some nice fabric to whip this baby up in. Thankfully, The Fabric Store is having a VIP sale this Thursday, so I may just have to pop over and see what they have to offer. Thinking black. Or at least dark. Probably silk, or similar. 

And even though the following images are very summery and Palm Springs-y (Mad Men episode from season 2 'The Jet Set'), they are very helpful in imagining the desired final product. Tres chic is all i can say!



 

 
























all screen shot by moi. 
Delightful, non?
(and by that i mean both the dress and the house!)

So watch this space, as there will be a Lonsdale dress here soon(ish)!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

DIGGING

Thanks to Tara-Lynn of good night, day, who blogged recently about these amaze-balls patchwork dresses. I can't quite explain why i love them so much, but mannn, i do. I think it is the combination of simple shift dress that i have been so very much digging of late (as previously blogged about), with a nod towards the wonderful world of patchwork and quilting (or at least, that is my opinion). 

The first two are those that Tara-Lynn featured herself, and the rest are ones that i picked out as honourable mentions from the Maryam Nassir Zadeh website. I feel that these lovely dresses have entered my world at just the right time, as what with uni soon finishing for the semester (two weeks and counting!), my mind is firmly set on sewing, and all the possible things i can make as soon as i have the time. And as i am also a lazy person by nature, i have decided that the first thing on the list will be another shift dress, as i know the pattern and know how it will turn out. 

But more on that laters. Lets just sit back and enjoy the prettiness shall we?









Thursday, May 16, 2013

I HEART DAISO

Who could resist the combination of Japanese aesthetic and a $2 shop? Well, i should say $2.80 shop. Yes, I have fallen under the Daiso spell. For those of you not in the know, Daiso is an 'everything store', sort of recent to Australia. It is brilliant. Mind you, I have always had a soft spot for the cheap warehouse concept store. Reject Shop, Sam's Warehouse (known to all the Valley peeps out there), hell, even Aldi, if you can count it as one. 

I suppose my love of these places could be said to be linked with my love of the Op-Shop, as they're both places full of cheap crap, whereby you have to do a little digging before you uncover a gem. 

Perhaps i am not exactly doing the best for the environment, buying into this highly plastic world, but a girl has her weakness alright! 

Anyhoo, as there hasn't been much opshopin' of late (haven't been home to the Valley in agggessss), Daiso has filled the void. 

Now let us enter the colourful plastic world of cheapness

 first trip, a few weeks back

drink bottle (with cup!), cedar spoon and spatula thing, cup and saucer

tres cute, perfect for un cafe!

for Agatha

Agatha showing off her new collar (matches her eyes!)

glittery orange hairbrush, just because

spoon in its new home

In other news, as you may have figured out from above references, i got a cat! Attempt number two. Let's just say that my previous attempt resulted in living with a devil kitten. So cute to look at, but beyond ferocious (i still have the scars, six months later). Agatha came from the Lost Dogs Home in North Melbourne. She was begging to be taken home (i was told she had been with them for ages. She wasn't as playful as the other cats, but she loves a good head scratch). 


The end. 


Sunday, May 5, 2013

TOO MUCH EGYPTIAN, NOT ENOUGH SEWING

Hi y'all. 

It has been a bit quiet here for the past couple of weeks. Alas uni has once again got the better of me. Currently am bogged down with research for an Egyptian essay (debating the nature of Middle Kingdom sculpture as naturalistic portraiture or idealistic representation). And then in any spare time (read: time procrastinating), i've been watching a lot of British crime drama Scott & Bailey. Suffice to say, there hasn't been much happening worthy of blogging about. 

It is a good thing then that my friend Elizabeth has been doing much nicer stuff (and blogging about it), so i can live vicariously through her for the time being.  

Oh and these handsome gents are who i've had my eyes on of late...

Senwosret III

King of the XIII Dynasty

Amenhotep III in the Blue Crown

All works on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.