Vintage dress
Yes, it happens but once a year.

No I’m not talking about me wearing brown clothing – or even Christmas, Easter or New Year. These are all things that we celebrate with great noise, joy, street parties, lots of chocolate, drinking and so on.

This once a year event is my birthday which I generally let pass with as little fuss as possible. No noise, chocolate (maybe some drinking) and the biggest party is my children unwrapping my presents as they get more of a thrill out of it than me. I don’t even really like birthday cake. Yes I am BORING.

This year I am making an exception for you! It’s my birthday tomorrow (20 November – remember I’m a scary scorpio LOL) and I’m making a little bit of blog noise… because I have a new dress and that’s what I do in this corner of the world.

I didn’t make it. I didn’t buy it.

My mother-in-law bought it for me at the vintage dress fair in Hobart. It’s a 1950s dress!

Happy Birthday Vintage Dress - bodice

Happy Birthday Vintage Dress – bodice. I’ve got my hand on my hip (cos I’ve got old gal attitude) my shoulders are not lopsided!

It’s a very simple dress but beautifully made. I’m sure whoever owned it before me, loved it dearly as it is in amazing condition.

When I found this on the rack I didn’t think it would fit. Its waist is 24 inches (I always remember how Scarlett O’Hara’s waist was 18 inches. Seriously! How small is that!!). I was convinced it might not even do up but I decided to risk my self esteem in the pursuit of chocolate lace (so there is chocolate at this party). It did, and it fits like it was made just for me.

Happy Birthday Vintage Dress - old gal

Happy Birthday Vintage Dress – old gal can’t handle the snow glare!!

Since I am always boring you to death with beach pictures, I decided to take advantage of the snow in Tasmania and frolick about in the snow for these pictures.

Happy Birthday Vintage Dress - back view

Happy Birthday Vintage Dress – back view

And you want to see inside? *blush*

Vintage dress - inside

Vintage dress – inside

And the shoes? I know that Anne of Pretty Grievances is dying to know…

Well… my husband’s size 13 sneakers…

Happy Birthday Vintage Dress - the shoes

Happy Birthday Vintage Dress – the shoes

I know stylin’! In my defense I hadn’t planned on any vintage dress photo shoots while having a long weekend in Tasmania. My boots would have been much harder to crop out! I spent most of my time dressed like this…

Vogue 1247 skirt and Sewaholic Renfrew cowl neck

Vogue 1247 skirt and Sewaholic Renfrew cowl neck

Don’t ask me my age – it destroys a gal’s mystique and it makes me glare at you like this…

Happy Birthday Vintage Dress - the cranky shot

Happy Birthday Vintage Dress – the super model frosty stare… actually just snow glare induced but makes me laugh all the same…

More importantly – the burning question for today is… what is the best way to get rid of a ‘musty’ smell. I’m a little terrified to entrust this dress to a drycleaner… I’ve heard a theatre rumour that the wardrobe people use a vodka/water spray to freshen up clothing between shows… More research required… and if it doesn’t work at least I can drink the experiment….

And Happy Birthday to the zillions of sewing bloggers born in November! Clearly Scorpios love to sew!!


In my childhood world there was no Halloween, yes we knew about it but it wasn’t something that really was celebrated in Australia.

It’s only been in the last few years that you can now expect a door knock and little faces begging you for yet more sugar.

This year I have relented and will let my girls do a little ‘trick or treating’. The eldest was so excited that she coaxed/coerced her grandmother into helping her sew a costume on the recent Tasmania trip. They did an excellent job! My only contribution to this outfit was stitching on the droopy sleeve ends – the instructions were rather unclear and I think Grandma was also a little worn out by the excitement of Miss 9!

We snapped some snow shots while at the holiday house (as snow is a novelty for us!)

Halloween Costume 2012 - made by Miss 9 and Grandma

Halloween Costume 2012 – made by Miss 9 and Grandma

Halloween Costume 2012

Halloween Costume 2012 – made by Miss 9 and Grandma

She is my daughter so she insisted that she have a few more shots taken at home as she had finished accessorising the outfit. Yes, that’s my girl!

The witch and the vampire

The witch and the vampire

The little munchkin of the house is in the Halloween fun – but wearing a hand-me-down black velvet dress. We shall accessorise her Halloween look with some dripping ‘blood’ down her chin as she wants to be a vampire. Yes, it’s not enough that she sucks money from my wallet, she want your blood (and lollies) too!

While in Tasmania in early October, I stumbled over a poster in the fish ‘n’ chip shop on the Friday night I arrived. Hooray!

So after a brief stint at Salamanca Markets on Saturday morning (closing early due to bad weather on the way)…

Salamanca Markets, Hobart

Salamanca Markets, Hobart. Mount Wellington looming in the background

Grandma (my mother-in-law) and I took off to Frock Up Hobart. It was small but fabulous. They occur all over the place – check out their website for more details if you are an Aussie.

It was mainly clothes. Some very expensive clothes – I could not even find a price on this dress but the cherry necklace was $460… but the use of the border print is fabulous and would be easy enough to replicate…

Vintage Sundress

Vintage Sundress

There were a few patterns and magazine but not many. I did pick up this cute 1950s magazine…

Vintage Magazine

Vintage Magazine – no patterns but lots of lovely pictures!

I also found this little blouse pattern in my size, or close enough. Hopefully the pattern is kind to me as I would love sleeveless one with some capri pants!

Vintage blouse pattern

Vintage blouse pattern. I love the owner’s name! Thanks Lynette 🙂

My mother-in-law also bought me a super special birthday present… but you will have to wait until November 20… as it’s my birthday dress! Oh, it’s sooooo lovely….

Happy Halloween everyone!

And I hope those how have been sheltering from Sandy are safe. x

WIGGLIN’ along

Just a quick note to let you know that I’m wigglin’ along quite nicely… so far… fingers crossed…

Gertie's Butterick 5814 - pattern and fabric

Gertie’s Butterick 5814 – pattern and fabric

This dress has not only lining and boning – the skirt is underlined. I’m learning lots of new things as I go along (like making sure I read the instructions before stitching – seems like a simple concept but I’m sure you struggle as much as me with that!!). So far I think Gertie’s done a great job with the instructions and everything is fitting together beautifully.

I’m only 18 steps into the 54 steps of instructions. Here’s the bodice front…

Butterick 5814: the bodice

Butterick 5814: the bodice. Progress shot, this is just the bodice front….

I was a bit stumped on the bodice boning but figured it out. I was thinking that some shots of attaching the boning might be helpful to some people?? Or does everyone know how to do that? This was a ‘newbie’ skill for me but once I got the hang of it, I was slammin’ down that bonin’ in no time ma’am. There are two pieces of boning in the front and four in the back of the bodice so I got a bit of practice and it ended up v.neat.

Tonight I attached the bodice sides to the bodice front… and started to underline the skirt pieces…

Butterick 5814: WIP

Butterick 5814: WIP. Bodice with the side attached. I have hopped ahead a few steps and started underlining the skirt pieces. Need to trim the boning back as well…

Next I need to slip stitch in bodice lining side seams in place.


Today I reached 100 blog followers – thank you 🙂 I’ve done several little happy dances tonight (the dog was only slightly amused at my antics).

My family is away but ELH, being the ever-lovin’ husband that he is, thought I might make it to 100 followers while they were away… so when I sent a message to him to let him know I had achieved the 100th follower goal (which was another Busy Lizzie (with an ‘ie’ and she lives in Brissy – and even funnier, she set up her blog just a couple of weeks after I set up mine in April – how is that for freaky – so you better go and check her out too!)… he immediately sent me back a message…

He instructed me to go and look in the fridge on the bottom shelf at the back and I found this…

Moet - celebrating 100 blog followers!

Moet – celebrating 100 blog followers!

Gotta love a man like that 🙂 xxooxx

So I better pack my bags as I am off to Tasmania for the weekend to see the lovely ELH and my gorgeous little poppets tomorrow afternoon. There will be no more wigglin’ this weekend however my daughter has been making a Halloween outfit in Tasmania and apparently I am not allowed to sit down and watch the ‘really good movie’ that I sent down for the girls to watch (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) until I attach the sleeves for them.

But I might find some time to read a bit of this.. it arrived today – thank you gorgeous Kat of All the Whimsical Things.

Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing

Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing – I’m so intrigued by Gertie and her achievements – and interested to try some of her patterns and see what might work on this non-Wiggle, I do adore ‘girly’ clothes.

Kat tweeted she had accidentally ordered two… so I offered to purchase her ‘oops’ book, she even popped a reel of thread in the envelope. Thanks Kat! This book seems to be everywhere!! I had to get the post office to search for it – they claimed it had been delivered…. yeah right! Some postal worker must have been out the back ogling the gorgeous dresses, layout and fabrics!! LOL

Sewing – it’s the most wonderful little hobby niche filled with the most amazing people.

Talk soon xx


The Patterns and Postcards swop

The Patterns and Postcards swop

While scrabbling through my pattern stash for spring, I decided it was also time for a spring clean!

So I’ve decided to offer up the following for The Perfect Nose’s Patterns & Postcards swop.

What are you talking about Lizzy??

The rules (direct from The Perfect Nose) are…

Patterns and Postcards is an inter-blog swapfest. General guidelines are as follows:

List it: You have till the end of September 2012 to scan/ photograph everything you’d like to swap (might be a good idea to break it up into separate posts as all that scanning can get tedious after a while) and post it on your blog (if you have one) or as a Flickr/ Picassa set or Thinglink image.

Make it accessible: If you’re on Flick/ ThinkLink/ Picassa or any other image hosting site, check that you’ve set viewing access to be public so that everyone can see your swapfest goodies.

Claim it: A lot of people have expressed concerns about dibsies, so as of today there is is no official deadline for dibsies, if you like something, leave a comment/ send a message/ tweet/ email stating what you like with a link to the post/ picture set of stuff you’ve listed for swap so your swapee can choose something for themselves (and decide whether they want to swap).

Tag it: If something from your list has been spoken for, edit your post/ listing to mark it as taken (or delete it from the listing) so that you don’t get multiple dibs on the same item.

Mail it: It would be great to have things decided on and mailed by the end of October so recipients receive them early to mid November (which leaves everyone free for focusing solely on holiday/ family/ shopping stresses without having to worry about swaps etc).

Keep it social: Send your swap partner a quick email or blog comment as soon as you receive your parcel. Not only is this the polite (read, humane) thing to do, it’s great for senders to know that the goodies have arrived safely and aren’t languishing unclaimed in a customs hold up somewhere.

I’ve just loaded all the patterns I’m offering into my Flickr stream – much easier than updating this page – so click over and have a look!

What to swop? Leave a comment below or on the image of the pattern you would like to swop for.

PS. I haven’t had a chance to double check all the vintage contents so if you want one I’ll let you know if it’s all in tact. Just thought I would post this – otherwise it might not happen at all!


As if there are not enough temptations lurking in pattern catalogues, fabric shops, blogs and magazines, the world throws vintage patterns and fabric on Ebay, Etsy and op shops our way too.

I am weak…

Vintage Butterick Pattern

I paid $2 for this but discovered the bodice pieces were missing. And the sleeves! I can draft the sleeves but I think it needs the bodice pattern pieces to be ‘the real deal’.

I have given in…

Vintage dress patterns

Not super old but only paid 75 cents for these. I love the wrap dress – the shop assistant marked it down at the check out to 25 cents! Op shop finds.

Several times…

Vintage jackets and dress patterns

Vintage jackets and dress patterns costing a grand total of $1.50. Junk shop find (and that’s a nice term for that shop!). There might be something wrong with me but I quite like that shorter brown jacket and the green one.

I have resisted buying this several times at Spotlight – even when it was a ‘bargain’ at $9. I got this for 25 cents at the op shop! hooray!

Then there are these beauties… much more expensive but so so lovely…

Vintage Simplicity dress - very Cambie-like

Vintage Simplicity dress – very Cambie-like. I’ve shown you this before but I love it! I’m checking the mail box everyday waiting for its arrival from the US. Purchased on Etsy.

I just love these. I pat them often.

QUESTION: Does that big skirt pictured above need a massive petticoat or horsehair braid or something spectacular to look like that?

How gorgeous are the crossover pleats on that Vogue skirt? I die!

Other scores have included a metre of burgandy raw silk for 50 cents, enough fabric for a work blouse for $1.50, four zips for 50 cents and a few other bits and pieces.

I love op shops and funnily enough the kids enjoy trawling through the cartons and shelves as much as me!

I’ve still got to check the envelopes for all the pieces but it’s been fun so far! I might use some of them in a giveaway at some point but in the meantime I plan to pop them in a sealed plastic slip, take them out and give them a loving pat every week or so.

I’m about to indulge in a vintage mini muu-muu pattern. Why? Why not! LOL