Thursday, July 10, 2014

Skirts Skirts SKIRTS!!!!!!

Last weekend was one of those ones that held plenty of unexpected surprises.  Good surprises!!

My husband and I spent Friday and most of Saturday in Brisbane.  He had a business meeting on Friday, and we decided to stay on and catch up with some of his University friends that he hasn't seen for some time (and I've never met).

I've often wondered what people think when they meet me for the first time.... anyway!

There are a couple of quite renowned antique centres in Brisbane, and I made it my mission to visit both of them!

The Woolloongabba Antique Centre was very welcoming and I had a lovely chat to the owner!  And she pointed out to me just the thing I was looking for!

I have been looking for a bag just like this one to take on my trip - the same one I've been making the skirts for!  This bag is perfect - great size, the perfect colour, and it closes so no-one can relieve me of my things!

I also purchased this little cut crystal dressing table bowl for my bakelite earrings and rings to live in.

And these two 1940s hats

The following day I managed to get to the Paddington Antique Centre.  My my my, what a place!!!  There were so many fantastic stores with all manner of vintage and antique fabulousness, and the building itself is amazing, if you remember to look.  An old theatre, showing all the signs of the faded glory that I love, with beautiful arches over the main stage and side stages.  So much beautiful plasterwork!

Sadly, I only had half an hour to look through the whole place, and I easily think I could have spent all day there!  I did manage to find two treasures though.

This brooch is a bakelite mourning brooch from the early 1920s, which is early for bakelite.  And from what I've been told, I only paid half of what it was worth - hooray!

And there was no way I could leave this incredibly glamorous hat behind!

Sadly I did have to leave these things behind...

Adorable toy sewing machines

This amazing art deco cabinet

This kitchen dresser... I mean look at it!

And this matching canister set!

Steve and I flew back in the afternoon and we were home by early evening.  Which meant I had all day Sunday to sew.  I hadn't managed to do the hand sewing required to get on with the suit jacket, so I decided to continue with the skirts.

First job was to put the waistbands together, including the hair canvas interface that I decided to use for strength.

Then I put the zippers in the skirts.  I don't think anyone is in love with putting zippers in things, but if you do seven of them one after the other you really quickly get the hang of it!

Then came the most exciting bit of all - putting together the skirt and the waistband!  I have been making skirts every afternoon this week and finished the last one last night.  Here they all are!

Granted, I still have some work to do on the skirts.  I need to hand sew the inside of the waistband, and attach the hook and eye, then remove the second line of gathering stitch that you can see just below the waistline.

This week my husband is away so I have the house to myself, which means I can sew all hours of the day and night to my hearts content, so I'm going to do more work on my suit, work on the hand sewing on the skirts, and start on the blouses.

I really can't wait to show you what fabrics go with what skirts.  I am beyond happy with my choices and they are going to make fabulous, stylish, and comfortable outfits!

Oh, and check out this sheet that I bought, in its original packaging, for not much.

It will be turned into a dress come summer time!

Goodness I've got a lot to do!!!



  1. I love, love, love all the stuff you showed here in your post. I think I would have bought the kitchen dresser, it's gorgeous! And the sewing machines - for kids? Adorable! They would be perfect for me! Ah, and - the black straw hat. That one is totally amazing, and it suits you so well, I think it was made for you…

    I am trying to sew some pieces for my holiday wardrobe too, but I think I will not finish all of them (sometimes I wish I could send the kids and my husband on holiday to have a week off to sew). At least I will have some new skirts as well (quick and easy to make), but yours are more beautiful!

    1. I WISH I could have bought the kitchen dresser! It was just so cute and adorable... if only I had more room in my sewing room. It would make FABULOUS storage! And yes, they were toy sewing machines for children. Completely adorable!

      Skirts are really quick and easy to make and they do make for fabulous holiday wear. Perhaps you should consider sending your kids and husband on a holiday on their own... I would!!!

  2. I wish I was as motivated as you - I can't believe how quickly you've whipped up those lovely skirts, and now blouses to match?!! I have serious sewing-envy right now.

    1. Taygan, I've worked out I'm a pretty quick sewer by regular standards, and doing them all together does make it seem like it took me less time... But yes, now blouses to match!

  3. Hi Beccie, I am sure I have commented before on how much I hate gathering skirts, I can never get the gathers even. Is that why you add an extra gathering line below the waistband, to be removed later? I have never seen that done before but it seems really sensible!

    1. YES CHARLOTTE! That is exactly what it does. Having a second line further down (I do one 2/8" from the selvedge, and the second one about an inch away from that) helps you gather because it keeps the fabric evenly bunched. And when you sew the waistband on you won't get bits of skirt stuck in the stitching! Try it, you'll never do it with one line ever again :)

    2. I have always done two lines but really close together... Your way seems much better! It never even occurred to me that I could spread them apart but remove the lower one later! I can't tell you how many handy tips I have picked up from your blog. Thank you!

  4. Wonderful! You are so productive. Love all these different novelty skirts. I am very much on a novelty skirt kick right now.

    1. I just love novelty things! So much fun to accessorise!

    2. Love your blog. I love sewing vintage. I am lucky that I can still ask my mother for assistance. She taught to sew many, many years ago in the 70's. Question, which pattern are using for the skirts? Do the skirts button or zip in the back? I am impressed with the assortment of vintage fabrics. The quality is excellent. Take care and Good luck. Robin of NC

    3. Beccie, I just noticed where you described the inserting the zippers. Oops. Sorry.
      Thanks again.

  5. Replies
    1. Aren't they! I consider myself very lucky to own all of them!!!

  6. I have been wanting to sew dresses and skirts for a long time, but I'm really nervous. I see circle skirt patterns, and I'm not sure they have the waistband like your skirts which is exactly what I want!! I have made quilts before so I know how to sew on a machine (and by hand). Are you following a specific pattern for your skirts? I tried making a staple dress-which looked TERRIBLE on me. I started making a Washi dress, but kinda gave up when I made the bodice of the muslin. But seeing your skirts has really sparked my motivation again to try. I'm 5 foot exactly and have gained about 5 pounds in the last year or so. I tried waiting for the 5 pounds to go back down, but I think they will be here for awhile until I start working again this fall (I'm a sub teacher and going back to school this fall for a new degree). I think it may be easier to start with a skirt then move onto dresses. Do you recommend a specific pattern or designer? I like Tilly's skirt pattern with the belted bow. I want a fuller skirt than an Aline skirt. I think I would want my skirt to be a bit shorter around my knees so it looks like I have a bit of leg, haha. I follow a ton of sewing blogs, but maybe you have some good advice I don't know about yet! I tend to like Indie patterns more than ones you can get at the store. I love the vintage look, but I don't really dress vintage (yet), but I would love to have a collection of dresses I can wear when I sub that are comfortable, but also practical. Thanks so much!
    If I haven't said it, I am OBSESSED with the fabrics you picked out, and can't wait to see your blouses :) For some reason, sewing garments isn't as easy as I thought it might be. But I'm not ready to give up on it yet! I have only taken one class to learn the staple dress. I also have a class credit to Craftsy that I haven't been able to decide on. I have a lot to learn in garment sewing. I would love to learn the basics, but I would also like to have a finished product when I'm done with the class.


  7. the skirts are so pretty, I love them all.

  8. These are all a-flipping-dorable! I can't wait to see them with the blouses!!!

  9. Beccie,

    Lovely1 Lovely! Clapping wildly from the rogue's gallery. These skirts and blouses look comfortable as well as pretty.

    You know you have a cool life, right?



  10. These skirts are great. You have chosen lovely fabrics.

  11. Everything is beautiful but I LOVE THE HATS!!!!!!!