Saturday, July 26, 2014

Finished Outfits + GIVEAWAY WINNER!!!

I'm so sorry that the announcement of the winner was delayed by a day.  I have been sick for the last two days, but I'm better now so lets do this!

There was only one person that guessed the correct combination.  Which has made me feel like a hard task-master.  So to make me feel better I decided to have a second chance draw for everyone else who entered!  Hooray!!

First up, a reminder of the prize (and a photo, since I didn't actually post a photo of it in my earlier post).

The winner will get the border print fabric, zipper and thread to make their own skirt, and the fabric, thread, bias, vintage buttons and a copy of my pattern to make their own blouse.

So the person who put the blouses and skirts together as I intended them was Jacqui!!!  Well done honey, please send me an email at sewretrorose(at) and I'll organise to post you your prize!

Now for the second chance draw.  There were 26 of you who entered, so I got out my numbered ping-pong balls again.

And I think Stella has worked out what it means, because she got quite excited!  We had to do the draw inside, because it was raining outside.  No problem!

I threw the balls on the floor and let Stella make her choice.

The photo is a bit blurry with all the excitement...

And she picked number 15.

And that number belongs to Girliefrank!  Yay honey - this is what you've won!

A vintage pattern (34" bust) and some vintage buttons on their original card!

Please send me an email at sewretrorose(at) and I'll organise to get it in the post to you!

Thank you to everyone who entered!!!  Now I suppose you'd like to see the finished outfits!  I am still working on the skirts, so they have pins in the waistband and the second row of gathers hasn't been removed yet.... but you get the idea!

This blouse refuses to photograph as hot pink.  It is the same colour as the rose on the skirt (that you can't see in this photo)

I'm really happy with the way they came out and I'm going to look so cute and comfortable on holidays!


Monday, July 21, 2014

The Blouses are Finished! + GIVEAWAY!!!

After a marathon effort on Friday, Saturday and Sunday the blouses are all finished!!!!!!!

For a while there I never thought I would be saying that.  Sewing production line style is great for getting lots of the same thing done, but it was really beginning to do my head in.  Just the repetition!  And the last step before sewing the buttons on involved quite a number of smaller steps that took about an hour to complete for each one....

So yes, I love production line sewing - but maybe for smaller quantities than 8 of the same thing....

Anyway!  In celebration of getting my holiday wardrobe finished, I thought we'd have a fun giveaway!  I'm going to post the photos of the skirts and the blouses below, and I'd like you leave a comment on this blog post saying which goes with what.  The skirts will be numbered 1 to 7, and the blouses A to G, so comment and say 1C 2C 3G etc.

I hope that makes sense!  The people that get it right will be going into the draw to win a 'Make-An-Outfit-Like-Mine' Kit - (modern) border print fabric, zipper, and closure to make a skirt, and fabric, pattern (copy of mine), buttons, and matching thread to make a blouse!

I haven't put it all together yet, but here is the border print fabric for the skirt:

Yes, I should have ironed it....

Ok!  So I know you've seen them all before, but here are the skirts.  Note they are numbered in the top left hand corner.

And here are the blouses - also numbered in the top left corner!

Its going to involve a fair bit of scrolling backwards and forwards isn't it... sorry... but it will be worth it if you are picked the winner!!!

This little competition will be open from now until 9pm Sydney time on Thursday the 24th - so that's 4 days to work it out!  The winner will be drawn and announced in a new blog post on Friday that also shows everyone the completed outfits (or the correct answers) on my dress form.

Good luck!!!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

And the Production Line continues...

But this time with blouses!

But first I got to go shopping for vintage buttons to go with my blouse fabrics.  God I love buttons!  There is just something about them that is almost magical.

My local (well - 1 hour away) antique centre has a store that has a good collection of buttons and some other bits and pieces.  I call that stall The Button Lady.  I realised recently you can also find her on etsy!

This is how the button lady has most of her buttons:

They are stitched onto cards, and sorted by colour.  It makes it really easy to find what you are looking for!!  There are more of these baskets on the other side of the stand, and there are also odds and ends in this lovely case.

It took some time to match buttons to my fabrics, but I ended up with the following, which I'm really happy with!

These are glass, and a better match in person...

I couldn't decide between these.  The ones on the left are glass, the ones on the right are plastic.  Seeing them now on the fabric instead of the card I think I'm going to go with the ones on the left.

This fabric was really difficult.  Its a dark hot pink.  The buttons on the right are a better match in person than in this photo, but the glass buttons on the right will go better with the skirt.... still umming and ahhing about these ones.

If I hadn't spend so much on buttons (and the arctic fox fur stole I couldn't leave behind) I would have purchased this adorable single-serve teapot!

Its a TOASTER!!!!!

So with the buttons pretty well sorted, I set about starting on the blouses.  Just for a reminder, I'm using this pattern:

An "Easy To Sew" pattern that only has four pieces!  Sounds good doesn't it - until you have to cut it out 8 times!  Sigh, it took FFFFOOORRREEEVVVVEEERRR!!!

I did also cut out some bias strips.  Instead of hemming the blouse and finishing the sleeve with a facing, I've decided to use bias made from the same fabric as the blouse.

I worked for two days straight on these 8 blouses...

By the way has anyone noticed that there are 7 skirts, but I'm making 8 blouses???

Thats because I'm getting in early and making the blouse to go with this skirt!

But more on that later...

Anyway, after spending two days I ended up with 8 blouses that could be hung on hangers, which made me feel like I'd achieved something!

The sleeves and the hems aren't finished, and they don't have collars, buttons or button holes, but I worked damn hard to get them to this point, and I just couldn't face going any further...

Well, I did put the collar on one just to see what it looked like...

Please excuse the terrible lighting, it was quite late...

I still have a lot of work ahead of me with these, BUT we are going to have a competition next week when I get them finished.  I'm going to show you photos of the 7 finished blouses, and the 7 skirts, and I'm going to get you to guess which blouse goes with which skirt!  Doesn't that sound like fun!!!  All the people that get it right will go into the draw to win..... something.  I haven't worked that bit out yet! hahaha!!

Wish me luck with getting these done!  I have a feeling they will be the death of me!!


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!!!