Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Awards, Mad Men and Give Away!!

'Ello, 'ello ... and what do we 'ave 'ere then?

Believe it or not Scott, some crazy, talented people out there have given me some awards! True story!

But before I start my thank you speech let's talk shop.

Mad Men.

Holy nicotene patches, the Mad Men Dress Challenge is almost upon us! I'm getting so excited it's hard to sleep!
April 1st I shall be posting all the vintage delights for all to 'Ooh and Aah' over. To be part of the challenge you need to email to me the following by Friday, March 30th:
  • A photo of you in your finished garment
  • An inspiration photo from Mad Men - If you didn't base it off a particular dress but just went with a Mad Men theme that's fine, you don't need to send a photo
  • Your blog post web address - Make sure you blog about your dress before you submit the pictures to me. That way I can reference your blog post at the big reveal! If you can't do your post by then just send me your website address instead. If you don't have a blog that's fine too - everyone is welcome.
Here's an example:

Inspiration - Peggy Olson
Blog Post - 

If you have any questions shoot me an email at


The wonderful Jane from the amazing sewing blog Hand made Jane has nominated me for the Sunshine Award. Thank you so much! Such a talented lady!

You can see the rules of this award here but here are my answers to the questions that go with this award:
  1. Favourite Colour: Oh I do love my colours, but I guess if I had to chose it would be red or blue.
  2. Favourite Animal: Me after one to many drinks. It gets messy.
  3. Favourite Number: The local Japanese restaurants phone number.
  4. Favourite Non-Alcoholic Drink: There are drinks that don't have alcohol?
  5. Facebook or Twitter: I have both, let's be honest.
  6. My Passion: Sewing (surprise!) salsa dancing, family and friends, reading
  7. Getting or Giving Presents: Both!
  8. Favourite Pattern: At the moment it's Butterick 5603 I've only made it four times!
  9. Favourite Day of the Week: Saturday - my sewing day!
  10. Favourite Flower: Roses -classic, beautiful and timeless. And they make for some pretty sleeves.
I would like to pass this award onto four people:

  1. Splatastic - She's a Melbourne girl with loads of talent and fabric choices that make you want to be her best friend.
  2. Poppy Kettle - This woman is an engineer by trade and sure knows how to break down a pattern! She churns out outfits at an indecent rate, and is contantly adding awesome tutorials to her blog
  3. Kazz the Spazz - She's just so cool is makes me want to stalk her. Her garments always look like works of art and she sports some wicked ink.

Laura Mae from the fabulous sewing blog Lilacs and Lace and the wonderful Tina from the sewing blog Down The Retro Rabbit Hole have nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award (VBA)! Ladies thank you! I'm full of all sorts of warm and fuzzies :)

You can check out the rules for the VBA here.
I'm supposed to tell you seven things about myself, but I think I'll cheat and just use the answers from the Sunshine Award; my sewing machine is calling me!
I'd like to get all community-ish and pass this award onto some of my fellow bloggers:

  1. Zo Sews - She's a total spunk and everything she makes is precise, beautiful and vastly different from all her previous outfits.
  2. OonaBallona from Kalkatroona - Not only is this girl talented, but she can hold her liquor. That and her blog title makes me want to sing nursery rhymes.
  3. Cirque du bebe - Oh gee-golly she's just so pretty! Love the clothes she makes for her son, who is already way better dressed than most grown men that I know.


In honour of being nominated for awards I thought I would have another fabric giveaway!

I have two yards of 100% wool crepe and ladies and gentleman, it's lipstick RED!

Isn't it lovely?!!! It's very similar to the fabric that I used to make this dress. The crepe is a slightly different texture and the colour is slightly pinker, but they are both wool and have a beautiful drape

Here are the fabric details:

2 yards of red wool crepe
57 inches wide
100% wool
Dry clean only
Value $35USD per yard

To win this fabric simply comment on this post.

One lucky person will be randomly selected as the winner.

Entries are open to everyone from anywhere in the world.
Entries close on April 6, 2012 Australian EST
One random winner will announced in a blog post on April 8th, 2012.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Robin Scherbatsky Dress - Vogue 1190

 Vogue 1190, Julia Bobbin, Robin Scherbatsky 

What up Washington DC! Julia Bobbin is loitering your streets!

Yes that's right, Ms. Bobbin and her Australian passport have jet setted over to the business end of the U.S.A. and is absolutely loving it.

I arrived Friday evening after a 20 hour plain ride. Yes. that's right.

When I finally arrived at Dulles International airport I felt like I had been hit on the head with a piano. I also looked like I had been punched in the face about three times. With steel knuckles.  You know you look bad when small children look at you and start crying for no reason.

Thank the good Lord for coffee.

Because I am away for training for a week and a half, I haven't had the opportunity to photograph any of my new outfits, so I thought I'd share a dress with you that I made about ten months ago using Vogue Pattern 1190, a Tracy Reese design.

 Julia Bobbin, Robin Scherbatsky, Vogue 1190 

I had this pattern in my stash for quite some time and had never really been motivated to make it. Then one night I was minding my own business sitting on the couch, chip crumbs down my top watching one of my favourite shows 'How I met your mother'. The awesome Robin Scherbatsky makes her pretty way onto the TV screen and I cry out in surprise! The character is wearing a Tracy Reese dress and By Jove! it's the dress that I have the vogue pattern for!
There is nothing more motivating then seeing a celebrity wearing a dress that you know you can recreate. 

 Julia bobbin, Robin Scherbatsky, Vogue 1190 

Challenge accepted!

So I got busy with some purple polyester satin and here is the result.

Julia Bobbin, Robin Scherbatsky, Vogue 1190 
Obviously the colours are different to the Scherbatsky version, but the style is the same.

 Julia Bobbin, Robin Scherbatsky, Vogue 1190 

I shortened the bodice at the shoulder seams by two cm's and I changed the skirt to a half circle for a more flattering fit on me.

I contrasted the purple with a black bow and waist band.

Julia Bobbin, Robin Scherbatsky, Vogue 1190 
Julia Bobbin, Robin Scherbatsky, Vogue 1190 

If I made this dress again I would re-think the bodice. The shape is quite low cut and as a result pretty revealing. Maybe I could just invest in a few well placed snap closures, or raise the neckline somehow.

 Julia Bobbin, Robin Scherbatsky, Vogue 1190 

I love the girliness of this dress and I think it looks lovely in a purple.

 Julia Bobbin, Robin Scherbatsky, Vogue 1190 

On a side note, I am in love with Washington D.C! On day one of my schedule I visited a fabric store which I'm sure will surprise none of you. I made my way over to Exquisite fabrics, which is aptly named and almost started hyperventilating. The store, jam packed with couture fabrics and imported delights was having a 50-70% off sale on all their freaking fabrics!
Holy seam-ripper! This stuff never happens to me!

The store is relocating and will be closed temporarily from next Saturday so their stuff has been significantly reduced. It took considerable self discipline to not start bawling my eyes out as a result of over stimulation. Once I got my vitals going again I ravaged the store and came out 2 hours later, $200 poorer and full of song.

I think I'm going to like it here ....

 Julia Bobbin, Vogue 1190, Robin Scherbatsky

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Easiest Button to Button - Butterick 5603 strikes again

Introducing the latest part of my soul, and it's not a horcrux (I'm not so tricksy with a wand and my face doesn't look melted plastic).

It is a Mad Men inspired, button riddled, red extraveganza. Or Butterick 5603 if you want to simplify it.

I'm more than a little bit excited about this dress and for a few reasons.

One: it fits (that's always a relief - my energy IN compared to my energy OUT ratio is seriously out of wack at the moment. Apparently walking up the drive way twice does not burn off a box of doughnuts. Whatever.)

Two: it's red. Enough said.

Three: It fits. Oh wait.

Four: It pulls in and pushes out in all the appropriate vintage ways. I do love me some vintage.

Five: (and this one's my favourite) It has a row of the loveliest fabric covered buttons all the way down my centre back. And who doesn't love buttons. Seriously.

OOoooh yes. Aren't they wonderful? There's 12 buttons folks, and yes dad, I did actually count them correctly this time (father-daughter inside joke).

Why do I love these so much? I can't quite explain it?!! There is just something so immensly satisfying about seeing a row of neat(ish) little matching buttons nestling between each verterbrae.

You want to hear something that makes these buttons even more exciting (to me any way) ...

The button closure at the centre back is ... fake....
Yes sir-ree! I have a fraudulent button closure! Scandelous!

Check it out.

Looks pretty convincing right?!! I knew I wanted buttons down the centre back to mimic this delicious Joanie look which is so vintage appropriate.

But here's the problem that happens with buttons. There always seems to be a bit of pull and stretch where the button meets the button holes and this can look pretty unflattering in the 'rounded' areas. And God knows I have some areas that are rounded.

So to keep things stable and neat with maximum support; I faked it. How cheeky of me! I unashamedly love the result!


I instead closed the dress with a sneaky invisible zip on the side seam.

So sneaky!

Curious about how to make a fake button closure? If you're interested I just might do a tutorial.

This is the third time I've employed the use of Butterick 5603 and that officially puts this pattern in my box of favourites.

Here are the other two vintage dresses that I have made with the aid of this pattern. One 'Peggy Olson' dress and one 'Joan Holloway'. You can see the blog post by clicking on the pictures.

On all three of these versions I altered the skirt to make a pencil shaped skirt. You can see my detailed photos on my skirt alterations on my Peggy Olson dress post.

Side note - how cute are these shoes?!!! They have bows at the back for crying out loud!

My original inspiration for this dress is the fabulous orangy/red dress worn by one of my growing Mad Men favourites: Megan.

I am also in LOVE with the green bow dress worn by the girl on her left (our right). Though in this photo her face looks like she's thinking about vomiting, not how wonderful her dress is. Attitude much?

The dress is made using wool faille that I purchased from Tessuti Fabrics.
This is the first time I have sewn with faille and it was an absolute delight. It was like sewing with butter. It was so soft my Janome would start purring every time it bit into it. The faille has such a lovely drape to it that makes me want to sew up my next ten garments in this fabric.

The dress is fully lined, except for the sleeves. The skirt hem is blind hemmed and I had the buttons covered with the same dress fabric at Button Mania. The woman at Button Mania is superb and she also does fabric covered belts. Her work is precise.


I added a brooch for a simple vintage touch which breaks the solid red of the dress in just the right way.

I bought it recently from a little store in the city (Melbourne) and I held it greedily to my chest like Gollum and 'the ring'. Note, there was more than a small part of me that was a little bit dissapointed on discovering that the brooch didn't render the wearer invisible.


I added sleeves, just like with my previous two dresses.


And a collar front and back, just like the inspiration dresses.

You can see how I drafted the collar on my previous 'Peggy Olson dress' blog post.

I really love the shape of this dress. I love how it's not flashing too much flesh, but it's still feminine.



This is my third Man-Men inspired dress to add to my collection and something tells me it's far from my last. It's a style that just keeps on begging to be made.

Mad Men Q&A's and Inspiration

How's everyone going with their Mad Men dresses? I have already received some amazing submissions in my inbox that I can't wait to share with everyone. Golly there are some talented people out there!

Haven't chosen a dress yet? Check out the addictive Tom & Lorenzo Mad Men page for endless inspiration. A few readers have pointed me to that website and I couldn't believe I hadn't see it sooner. They do a 'Mad Style' post for each and every Mad Men episode with an abundance of screen shots of the many dresses to drool over.
I have also started a pin board on Pinterest with some Mad Men dresses I fancy, that you can check out also.

Here's a few QA's that have popped up recently that perhaps some of you have also had tinkering around in your noggin.

Q - I don't have a blog, can I still submit a dress?
A - Heck yes! It's open to everyone. You do not need to have a blog to participate.

Q- I have a dress in mind that isn't based on a particular dress on Mad Men, but it has the same style/feel as the clothes from that time. Can I still take part?
A - Absolutely! Any dress that is from that vintage is more than welcome.

Q- Can I submit more than one dress?
A - Yes! The more the merrier! Or, if you've got a 'Mad Men' dress that you made previously you can submit that also.

Q- I have chosen a dress based on one I've seen on Mad Men but I want to make it in a different print/colour, is that OK?
A - Definitely. The theme is Mad Men but you can take the inspiration and change it to what ever takes your fancy.

Happy Sewing everyone!

P.s. - I may have just purchased another overlocker. I am out.of.control