Timeless fashions, the love affair with vintage continues

Husband is at cricket. Baby is at the tail end of the nap. The house is quiet… almost… my fingers fly across the keys and I am pondering some recent beauties… and although I am a teeny bit disappointed that recovery from a c-section may take up to a year and I can’t swim for another few weeks yet, it is wonderful to have such pretty delights to dwell on (apart from my gorgeous husband and cutest ever baby son- though I am sure all mums say that… it is possible I am biased)!

Whats not to love?

STYLE 3678… love the collar and the ways it has been paired with a long black skirt… so elegant…

Mega glam... mega stylish!

STYLE 1409… How can anyone not love Carolina Herrera? Had no idea until I found this pattern that Carolina Herrera dabbled, at least for a short time, in a range of sewing patterns. A bit of research and it seems she did some designer patterns with VOGUE in the last couple of decades, as well…

Reminds me of the dress Gwenneth Paltrow wore in the film Great Expectations, when her character goes to tempt the unsuspecting and green around the ears Finn... except she was in ice-cream pink (and it may have been sleeveless)?

VOGUE 8909… Fabulous Summer dress. Already have the black and white polka dot fabric chosen for this pretty number…

Perfect for a date with my husband at Cafe-With-Good-Gelato

McCalls 9041, circa 1952… fun fun fun!

Suggested fabrics include linen, chambray and cotton tweed... the red and white combo portrayed is stunning.

And finally Vogue 2146… every girl needs a bit of silky glam in her wardrobe… circa 1988… but what I want to know is why there are no token brunettes in the illustration? Clearly everyone in 1988 looked like a leggy blonde supermodel…LOL. All the same the french knickers are gorgeous.

Vogue 2146... a large format pattern

Peonies and plaid

Its raining. Its cold. But the cycle of feeding and sleeping was broken by the arrival of SHERRY! Okay, Sherry is the nick-name I have given the dressmaker’s dummy I ordered on eBay after many months of lusting. Just thought it was a fun name given my love of vintage and the quintessentially forties and fifties feel of many of the patterns I love. Unlikely however that this one will do a Kim Cattrall as in the 80s movie mannequin (does anyone remember that)?

Like the idea of pairing the skirt with a plain white t-shirt... mixing old and new styles... yet to be hemmed and finished...

1940s glam.. making the shorter version without the bustle

My bones ache and I pray I am not coming down with something. But in any event, the peonies my mother brought over at dinner last night are cheerful and too pretty not to photograph.

A thing of beauty if a joy forever.

Father comforts son in the background… love the domesticity.


Vintage Vogue Dress 6196, drawstring neckline – simple sophistication…

I chanced upon this little gem recently and was wowed by the simple elegance which reminded me of the VOGUE COUTURIER 1587 dress by Simonetta… I was thrilled to examine the instructions to find the construction fairly basic with a few main pattern pieces. The dress would no doubt overlay a ¬†pretty slip… So pretty me thinks, in black linen for day or night.


There are some patterns I buy because I like them and also their historical context…. there are others I adore and cannot wait to attempt…. this is the latter. I will probably start it right after my current whip-it-up project, a 1940s tea length Simplicity skirt 2024 which I am making up sans bustle in some vintage red and green plaid I have been hankering to use… if baby starts sleeping more, it might be completed before the end of the Summer! I thought I was being so original but a short peruse of the net and it seems Mr Vuitton is all over plaid at the moment and in tea length, no less.

Everything old is new. Who said that?

Life after Birth

The clock is ticking. My life has suddenly been divided into increments of time: stolen hours of sleep, feeding baby, changing baby, consoling baby… over and over again. Occassionally this is broken up by a few wonderful moments with my husband, who repeats this process with me but is not bound to a chair by the feeding process for hours and thus can sneak in some laundry, meal preparation and so forth. And in the moments when baby has entered light sleep in my arms, but not deep enough sleep to be put down, I can surf the net on our iPad. This is of course is limited by which hand is free and my ability to be ambidextrous.
So why blog, in the small sliver of time??? Because blogging keeps me writing, thinking, and my mind continues to tick over on something that is not at all times baby related. Today, I figure my window of opportunity is twenty minutes, not enough to nap but enough for my thoughts to transform into a blog!

Its been two weeks since bub was born and despite the exhaustion it has been filled with immense joy, the gurgles, shared glances and smiles, the feeling of bubs cheek on the skin beneath my neck when he occassionally he falls a sleep when nuzzling there for comfort… this is one of my favourite sorts of moments with him, and one that makes motherhood everything I didn’t realise it could be.
We ventured out today, for half an hour. At two weeks, a half an hour dose of the world didn’t seem like too much stimulation. Hubbie did the grocery shopping whilst I took bub to a baby shop in search for a hat. I have to admit I was pretty surprised to discover a hat for a newborn costs $30. This seemed ridiculous given the possible time he might have to wear it (maybe a couple of months at most)? Naturally, I resolved to find a suitable pattern and make one myself (in another such twenty minute window of opportunity of course)! Ha!
I found a bonnet pattern amongst my collection that looked appropriate- 1950s Simplicity 4905 which has a number of garments. Three pattern pieces plus interfacing, not too complicated and would probably cost me $5 in fabric. Old fashioned, possibly, but also possibly retro cool!

Very Grace Kelly!

In my brief search I also found another pattern that I love, a hat pattern by VOGUE that screams Grace Kelly. Not sure how it will translate, but again the make looks fairly straightforward.

Finally, I also stumbled across another pattern which I had ordered on eBay from England and with my free hand decided to count the pieces to ensure it was complete… and discovered a vestige from the past- “letter card” which allowed for brief notes in what might be considered modern email shorthand- correspondence from one friend to another about a sewing pattern for their respective children.

Old fashioned email... kinda...

When Pete goes back to work in December, I wonder if I will feel isolated. But how did women in the 50s feel? When they were separated by distances from their friends and without the wonders of modern communication? I can send an email across the world and get a response in minutes…. but for women of that time, they were limited to the haste of the postman and were perhaps glad for the convenience of “letter cards”…
Bub is stirring. My window is closing. But my mind, as usual ponders the history in which some of my patterns emerged, and their owners…
Motherhood, with its trials and pleasures does not, in essence, change over time. Perhaps, in that sense, no matter what the era, women are never alone and its a bond between them that is not created or broken by the limitations of the time or the corresponding advances in technology.
“Will write on the weekend if poss. God bless,” Closes the writer to her friend.
Whoever that long ago mother was, she was stealing moments also.