Friday, June 28, 2013


Special prize for you if you know what the above phobia is!
(disclaimer - there is no prize, sorry! But you have my respect!!)

When it came to the buttons for my coats, there was only one place to go - All Buttons Great and Small in Newtown, an inner suburb of Sydney.  Normally this would be a two and a half hour drive just to buy buttons, but thankfully I was already going to Sydney for a sexy photoshoot:

Photo by Jessica Eisner 

And to catch up with a girlfriend of mine, Miss Sasha.  Miss Sasha was happy to go to the button shop with me as long as I was happy to go to Spotlight with her (I can't believe she thought she had to ask!).

So, once the shoot was done, I picked up Miss Sasha from the Sherbet Birdie studio and headed off to the button store - or as I like to call it, Button Heaven.

Even their door handle is a giant button!

Here is the inside of the store.  Its not a big store, but it doesn't have to be.  On the right is the counter, and behind the counter are the more expensive buttons, and buckles and things... and in the counter are the most expensive buttons.  I never look in there!

I chose my buttons and while Sasha and I were at the counter chatting to the owner while she served me, a young couple walked in.  And by young I mean late-teens, 20 at most.  Anyway, she had a blindfold on, and he lead her into the store and positioned her in front of one of the bays of buttons.  Sasha and I were thinking 'Aww, she must love buttons like we do!  What a nice thing to do for her!!'

Now, this is where the title of this post comes in.  Koumpounophobia is a fear of buttons.

He whipped off her blindfold and she started screaming and turned to run, and he wouldnt let her leave.  She was hysterical and hyperventilating by the time she managed to get past him and get out the door.  We were all a bit stunned... I commented to the store in general that she best dump that guy quick smart.

But back to the buttons!  I bought these!!

These buttons are for the black coat.  I know they look grey in this photo, but they are textured black.

 These buttons are for the lilac coat.  As mentioned previously, this fabric is IMPOSSIBLE to photograph and get the colour right.  The same goes for the buttons.  They coordinate beautifully, trust me!
These 'french blue' buttons have a semi matte finish so they look silver, but they aren't.  They are for a future project.  I was trying to buy all the buttons I thought I would need so I didn't have to go back.

And this beauty is also for a future project, but how gorgeous!

Once I'd paid (don't ask how much!) the store owner was telling me that koumpounophobia is quite common and she has people telling her all the time about someone they know that has a fear of buttons.  I've never met anyone!  She also told me about this video, so I thought I'd share it:

If you want to watch this direct on Youtube, click here

So I'm curious, do any of you know someone with a fear of buttons???


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My next project - COATS!!!!

You will notice I said coats rather than a coat...

Because, thats right friends, I'm making two.... AT THE SAME TIME!!!

You may remember this coat:

You can read more about this coat here, here and here
And you must excuse my hair in the above photo - I must have been having a bad hair day...

And this one:

The black coat was THE FIRST THING I EVER MADE and it has many many issues, and I made adjustments to the pattern that I shouldn't have made, but, I was so proud of it that I wore it in a best dressed competition at a vintage fair.

12 months on I decided to make the red one to show myself (and you guys) just how far I'd come (which is a long way).  I love it and wear it regularly, and get many many compliments on it.

Now that its winter again, my head is turning to coats.  And whilst its not quite 12 months (my blogiversary is in August) I want to see what I can do with my new pattern drafting skills and this same gorgeous coat pattern.

I have two inspiration images:

I have always loved shawl collars, but have you seen how expensive these coats are!!!! 

And the cape collar is lovely too, and makes me think of Sherlock Holmes (god knows why!).

The shawl collar will be made out of this lilac wool blend, with a silk rayon lining (both impossible to photograph and get the colours right!):

Wool blend from (now sold out)
Lining from Mood Fabrics (thanks to Relynn!)

And the cape collar will be made from this black Amicale blazer-weight flannel (which is luxuriously soft!) and an acetate lining (unless I change my mind and can find something else)

Wool flannel from Gorgeous Fabrics (now sold out)
Swirly dotted acetate lining also from Gorgeous Fabrics (now sold out)

I have also purchased some AMAZING buttons, but that deserves a post of its own!

So now I need to adjust a few pattern pieces to make this work.  Wish me luck!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

My 'Gertie' Wiggle Dresses

Just recently, you may recall, I tried to be super efficient and sew two dresses at the same time.  It was a total success and I've worn each of them a few of times and I've only had them a couple of weeks!

As a reminder, this is the pattern I was using:

But with a different neckline...

And I'd previously used the pattern to make my Mad Men Dress:

I really need to do my hair like that again soon...

And because I have been able to wear them both (at least once!) I've been able to get photos of them to show you!!!  However, the background is REALLY BORING!  Its winter here now, and so its often dull and too dark to take photos at home, which means I'm confined to taking them in the office with a helpful co-worker.  Luckily there is an empty room that gets plenty of sunshine.

Maybe I should ask if I could bring some props in... I don't think anyone would care....  I'll work on that.

But until then, here are the photos (with a very empty and boring background!)

the black version

This is seriously the most comfortable dress!  Its form fitting without being tight, and its so versatile!  And I'm REALLY HAPPY with the changes I made to the neckline.

the green version

You may remember that I thought the green version was too plain when it was finished?  Well my solution was to make a gathered attached 'belt' just like in the blue 'Mad Men' version.  I did make a small boo-boo though, and attached it a bit high, so it sits just under my bust rather than around my waist, but I like the way that such a simple addition really changes the look of the dress.  I am trying to resist putting one on the black dress!

Oh!  And you may notice the lovely flowered hair pieces I'm wearing???  I've just found this lady with a business called Swell Dame Vintage Inspired Accessories and Apparel who lives in Greece who makes the most AMAZING hair pieces...  She has an etsy store here, and a facebook page here.  If you are looking for any gorgeous hand made things, you should check her out.

This is the one I wore with the green dress

 This is the one I wore with the black dress
And it has a BIRDIE!!!!!

I should add that Swell Dame has in no way asked me to say that, or paid me to say that, or given me anything to say that.  I just enjoy promoting people who make beautiful things that I think others would love too.

Now that I have been so successful at sewing two dresses at the same time, I am planning my next efficient sewing project - COATS!!!!!  Lets hope I don't bite off more than I can chew!


Monday, June 17, 2013

Stash Busting Skirts... FOR YOU!

So I went through my fabric stash late last week and found a whole bunch of fabulous fabrics that I had purchased because I loved them.  But you know how it is with a fabric stash, they just sit there ... what a waste!  And then I realised - I can make custom skirts for people with them!!!

I posted them all in an album on my facebook page, and two of them sold quick smart.  And I thought I should do a post about them so everyone else gets an opportunity to have a look.

The deal is that for AU$90 + postage, I will make a skirt for you, to your waist size, using these fabulous fabrics.  And there is only enough fabric for one skirt, so yours will be a ONE OF A KIND ORIGINAL!!!! 

Here are the fabrics up for grabs:

Cotton fabric with a lovely novely print of colourful birds sitting on power lines.  Will make a fabulous gathered, or dirndl skirt.

How adorable is this cotton print!  Border print of pinky-red roses, with small polka dots below the roses, and large dots shrinking to small dots at the selvedge above the roses.  Will make a lovely gathered or dirndl skirt

Navy cotton fabric covered in gorgeous butterflies.  Will make a lovely circle skirt!

Cotton drill fabric with elegant 1950s ladies.  WIll make a really eye catching circle skirt!

Cotton drill fabric printed wiht pattern envelopes from the 1950s!  Will make a fun circle skirt

This gorgeous vibrant cotton will make the loveliest circle skirt!

Cotton fabric with hot pink hibiscus and tropical parrots.  Will make a gorgeous circle skirt

This is a vintage fabric, a cotton lawn, with big red polka dots and small white polka dots.  Its a bit on the sheer side (as you can see) so it will need to be worn with a slip underneath it.  Would make a lovely light circle skirt for the warmer months!

If you would like me to make you a skirt from one of these fabrics you can either contact me on my Facebook page, or send me an email at beccieblossom(at)


Friday, June 14, 2013


<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

There has been a lot of talk recently about the end of the Google Reader, and while I have no idea how this will affect me or you (I'm good at sewing, not computers!), I felt the need to go to Bloglovin and signup and 'claim' my blog over there.

So I'm sorry this is not about sewing - there will be a post about sewing later I PROMISE! - so just ignore this until then.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Double Trouble is actually Double Success!

Well wasn't that a flat-out busy weekend!  And a long weekend too!!

I spent most of Saturday, Sunday and Monday sewing the two wool Gertie Wiggle Dresses that I talked about in my last post.  I did it production-line style (or sweatshop style - thanks Bea W, I like that one!) where I did each step to both dresses one after the other, keeping them at the same level of progress.

When you are talking about things like darts and underarm gussets and zippers, it really gives you a chance to practice your techniques, but when its just straight seam sewing, its kinda mindless.  Thank goodness I don't actually work in a sweatshop!  I think I'd go to sleep and sew my finger to something!!

And I have NO IDEA how many times I changed the thread and bobbin on my machine.  Next time I attempt this I might have to try harder to plan so my thread colours are the same on all garments!

Another downside to sewing sweatshop style is that I get so focussed on what I'm doing (in multiple) that I forget to take progress photos.  This is only a problem if you have a sewing blog...

However, I did take this photo:

Mainly because she just looked so adorable.  Miss Stella was sleeping on this cushion while I did the hand sewing in front of the TV with the dresses on my headless helper.

Oh, and this one:

This just shows that I REALLY need to do some sewing machine maintenance!  I was sewing the lining for the green dress and I'd done a stop stitch to start and then got about 8 stitches down and the whole thing jammed.  The bobbin thread had wrapped itself around this giant ball of fluff under the feed dogs.  I tried yanking it out (which didn't work) and then I started worrying about damaging my pieces (eek! Don't want to do those darts and underarm gussets again!) so I got out my unpicker and levered the fluff ball out, breaking my unpicker in the process.  And while this all sounds like a mini disaster, I managed to clean all this up without ruining my fabric pieces!  Hooray!!

So, after a lot of diligent concentration over three days, I got my two dresses finished.

Here is the black one:

I wore this dress yesterday to a Rugby Union function - I think I was one of only three women in the room - so it wasn't really a situation in which I could take photos...  But how fabulous is the red lining with the pink bias on the edge of the black!!!  I love it!!  Just cause its a boring black dress on the outside doesn't mean it has to be on the inside!

Here is the green one:

Same with this one - I love the magenta lining with the teal edging on the wool!

And while I like the green one as is, I think it just needs something else, so I'm going to do a gathered waistband belt thing like I did on the Mad Men dress, just without the bow.  So while I say its finished, its not quite.

And can I say these are two of the best zips I have EVER put in.  EVER.  I know a lot of you have zipophobia, so this coming weekend I promise to do the photos for a zip tutorial.

I hope you are enjoying the start of my winter sewing, because there is so much more to come - I have such plans for my next few garments!

I'm off to do some maintenance on my sewing machine.  Anyone need to join me?


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Double Trouble???

Last weekend I started making two dresses that I think will be the staple for my winter wardrobe - and what better way to make two dresses than to make them at the same time!

....until I realised that this means twice the amount of the crappy jobs like cutting out, and darts, and underarm gussets, but more on that later!

After the Mad Men Dress Challenge where I turned the Gertie Wiggle Dress into a dress just like Joan wore, I knew it would be the perfect winter dress for me.

Warm, with sleeves, and a sexy curve hugging silhouette

So I purchased some more fabric in a couple of colours.  One being the every popular and servicable black

Black Italian Herringbone wool from Gorgeous Fabrics
(Seriously, how gorgeous are the fabrics from Gorgeous Fabrics!)

and another, more unusual choice for me, a dark teal green wool crepe

Changes colour every time I look at it...

Now the green wool was inspired by these shoes...

You can find these shoes here

We all know this isn't the first time I've let what should be an accessory define the dress I make!  I'm sure we all remember the tropical dress for the sparkly pineapple bag, or the cherry outfit inspired by another pair of shoes... anyway!

And the lining... I chose some lovely vibrant rayon.

Magenta for the green dress, and red for the black one

I had to retrace the pattern (sigh!) because I wanted to change the neckline again, so once I did that I cut out a couple of pieces using the lovely sheet we saw last week and pinned them together on my dress form.  I then drew all over it with texta...

Somehow I managed to remember which lines were the ones I wanted, and I adjusted my pattern and started cutting.  Which took forever.  Since I'm fully lining the dresses I had to cut out the pattern 4 times!  5 pieces for the dress outer, 5 pieces for the dress lining, 8 gussett pieces, and front and back neckline facings for EACH DRESS!!!!

I seriously didnt think I'd get it done before the weekend was through!  But I kept at it and by Sunday lunch time I had it all cut out... so I started on the darts.

Now, for some reason I HATE sewing darts!  They are just a pain!!  Totally necessary but a pain none the less.  So I knuckled down and I sewed 24 DARTS!!  24!!!!

But that wasn't the worst of it.  Next I had to do the underarm gussets - there are 16 in all.  I've worked at this during the week and at this point I've done 10, and I'll have 6 to go when I start sewing again on Saturday.  But I suppose all this repetition gives me the chance to master a technique...

I'm hoping to have both dresses finished this weekend because its a long weekend, so that means I have THREE DAYS TO SEW!!!!  Wooooo!!!!!

Have you ever sewn more than one garment at once?  How did you go?


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Remember the Giveaway Skirt???

Back in February (seems like forever ago doesn't it!) you might remember that I had a giveaway as part of Sew Grateful Week where I would sew a the winner a skirt? 

Well last week I received photos of Shannon wearing her prize - The Shoe Skirt!

Shannon also wrote me a lovely email:

"I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to send you some photos.  I actually took these the day after I received the skirt, but then I was moving across the country and they got put on the back burner."

"I don't have that many to send you even though we took quite a few.  I had no idea how hard taking nice outfit shots would be.  I appreciate your lovely photos even more now"

"I wore the skirt to dinner to a Brazillian restaurant that night we took the photos.  As we were leaving the restaurant, one of the hostessess actually ran out to catch us in the parking lot... just to ask me where I got my skirt!  I told her a friend made it for me.  She seemed disappointed not to be able to go out and buy one for herself."

"I also wore the skirt often during our drive out to California, and was asked about it several times.  I love my skirt and feel so special when I wear it.  Thank you again!"

Well, thank you Shannon for playing along and sending me some photos to share with everyone (especially that last one - love it!!).  I'm so glad that you love your skirt!!!

I hope you all feel suitably jealous!!!