Sunday, November 29, 2009

Town and Country...

It was a weekend of contrasts, one day (and night) dressed up in the city, and one day visiting friends in the country.

Garth and I were invited to his work's end of year party, at the casino. I wore my black 40's rayon dress with ribbon trim. I found it in an antique store in Flagstaff, Arizona for $14. Garth wore his 30's suit, found in an op shop in Vegas.We stayed the night in the Hilton - hence the room service!

On Sunday, we went for a country drive. It's so hot here at the moment, so I just threw my hair up and wore a dress I made from an old bedsheet.

Remember a while back when I said my favourite handbag was breaking? I've found a solution: Knit one! Here's my progress so far:

Hope you had a good weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

30's - 40's Hair Tutorial...

So pincurls can be time consuming. You have to put them in, sleep on them, take them out in the morning...yes, they are the most authentic, longest lasting way to curl your hair for a vintage look, but sometimes, a girl's gotta get ready quick!

With this in mind, I present my first tutorial. It's in pictures, as I'm not clever enough to do the you tube thing yet. Photos are mostly taken with the timer, so pardon the extra "flashi-ness" of some of them. Just follow the steps, and you'll be on your way to cute vintage hair in under 20 minutes. (with practice!)

Have everything laid out before you start.
Use a 'round" brush.
Wear a cotton glove to protect your fingers when you slide the curls off the iron.
Practice makes perfect!


Oh, and this is what I wore tonight. Funny story actually - This dress was a swap with a great old lady who runs a vintage museum in the middle of nowhere. I discovered the museum on a road trip and noticed she had a bolt of fabric that perfectly matched a 40's dress I had been given by another old lady who was given it by an old man who died. Whew!
Turns out that old man owned a factory that made the dresses in the 40's, had closed it down before the war, and kept only the samples of each dress. When I mentioned this, the old lady's eyes glazed over. She told me she had been trying to track those samples down, as she had only the bolts of fabric from the factory. I had 3 of the dresses, in different colours, so I suggested a swap. She agreed, and now we're both happy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

D.I.Y. Weekend...

Here are some detail shots from the last dress I made...

The weekend held a much larger (and time consuming) project though. My Nana has had this fridge since the late 40's and I had coveted it ever since I was little. When we bought our house, she gave it to us! It's got a lot of wear and tear, so we set about tarting it up a bit...The process was as follows:

Note Damage.

Sand off top layer of old (lead) paint.
Wear a mask!

Tape up any areas you don't want painted.

Mix up your paint and thinners.

Spray in long, slow strokes.
Let it dry.
Sand again.

Take off tape.

Voila! New fridge!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I finished another dress yesterday, but I can't find my camera, so webcam it is!
You can't really tell, but it has a peter pan collar with a little bow.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Raw Silk and The Old Museum...

This post is actually a combo of the last two days. Garth had a job interview in the valley, near The Old Museum, so I snuck around the grounds to take some photos. I actually wore the last little dress I made, but it was nearly 40 degrees celcuis and I was a gross sweaty mess, so no photos of me that day!

The dress in these photos is a recent fix-er-upper. You know those dresses you get for cheap and always say you'll fix up but never do? Yeah, this is one of those. It was hanging on the wall in my living room for about a year and I finally got round to hemming and fixing it up for wear. It's raw silk, so it feels beautiful.

I'm going down to Melbourne to find an apartment for us in the 12th-14th December. I'm so excited. But, today is our day off and we're planning an afternoonn picnic, so I've got to go! See you soon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vintage Rides...

It might not interest everyone, but I've written a little article about vintage cars over at Queens Of Vintage. Most of you vintage girls probably have guys that are into old cars, so hopefully it'll give you something to talk and share your love of "old stuff" together! Read the story here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Green Dress...

So here's the dress that came in the mail, the dress that was too big, the dress that has been taken in.

It's from the 40's and the tag proudly declares that it is "ALL AMERICAN RAYON."
I've never seen a dress with this kind of decoration before, it's funny, but I really like it.

In other news, my fringe is finally long enough to do a little roll.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dress via Bedsheet..

It was a rainy day yesterday and I got bored.
I had this old sheet lying around and hadn't ever used it - I bought it from an op shop a year or so ago for the print.
So I decided to make up a dress.

I just used an easy pattern that I've made before, and it took about an hour.

It looked a bit plain, so I decided to add a peter pan collar and a bow.
Ta Da!

It might gross some of you out, but old bedsheets are a great (and cheap) source of vintage style fabric. They're usually nice and soft too. Just wash them before use!

Date Night...

It's been a while since our last date night. We've both been busy with work and planning the move. But last night, he wanted ice cream and I wanted absinthe, so off we went!

We went to Belle Epoque, one of the nicest french places in town, complete with beautiful decor, french waiters and a cocktail list as long as my arm. Garth had a "Down the Rabbit Hole" (I think it had strawberry, whiskey and egg whites as the main ingredients) and I had a "Bohemian Mojito," which was basically a mojito with absinthe. Both were excellent, I'm pleased to report.

We went next door to Freestyle Tout, a dessert restaurant, where Garth had White Chocolate and Berry Brioche Dumplings, and I was silly and ordered the Macadamia Chocolate Brownie. Oh, my, goodness. There was no way I was getting through it all. Total chocolate overload.

It was a nice night. You can sort of see my dress - I made it myself actually. Pretty proud of that one. You can't really tell in the dark, but my hair is reddish now. I'll try to take some good photos in the sunlight today and you can let me know what you think...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'd Like To Thank...You!

First, a big thanks to everyone that has ever left a comment on Gatsby and Me. I appreciate your feedback and your opinions,and I realize it takes time out of your busy day. So thanks alot. (And keep them coming!)

Thanks to the girls who gave their tips for the last sewing pattern. I'll be giving them a go when I can be motivated enough. I find that once a pattern has a "too hard" part, I shelve it for a bit and come back to it later. Plus, I've fallen in love with this one now!

Is this not the best blouse ever? The peter pan collar, the sweet brown checks, the embroidered initials...Now I just have to wait by the mailbox! This one has less pieces too, so it should be easier to make.

In other "mailbox" news, a dress arrived that I bought ages ago, and had nearly forgotten about! And oh my, it's pretty fantastic. No photos yet, as it's too big and I'm going to take it apart and resize it. Don't worry - it's easy, and I've done it before. It will be done by the weekend though, I promise.

Oh, and before I leave you - I did a bit of home hair colouring. Not your usual "from the box" job, but more of a bleach, colour correction, lightening job...I like it at the moment, but you'll only see photos if it looks good in the harsh light of day!I was sick of the old dark brown. And summer's here anyway. I'm pretty cavalier with hair. We'll see if it pays off!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Girls, I need your advice...

Dear Readers,
You may recall I was working on this pattern:

Well, I finished the skirt (I made it a bit shorter) and the blouse is nearly done. It just needs buttons.

Now, the question:

Is it any good?

I do like the collar, and the slightly puffed sleeves. The pockets, although a pain to sew, are also nice. But are the sleeves too long for me? Is the skirt too "puffy?" There can be good puffy and bad puffy - which one is this?
It also doesn't help that my waist, (despite measuring a modest 27 inches) is nowhere near as little as the ladies on the pattern. Look at their waists! They're just wider than their necks!

Oh, the questions! What do you think?

Pincurls - Step by Step...and an Ode to the Valiant!

So this is what I look like upon waking most mornings. (Minus the lipstick of course.)

Under the scarf hide roughly 52 pincurls, each rolled around a tube of MAC lipstick.

Yes, it's scary when you first take the pins out. But perservere!

See? Told you it'd be worth it.

Garth and I did a big closet clean out (his) on the weekend, and lo and behold! His drawers were secretly harbouring one of my long lost dresses. So, here it is! I'm not really sure on the era - I'm guessing 60's(?) Either way, it's comfy and good for work.

Oh, I love my car. I have to sell it before we move to Melbourne, as we'll only need (and have room for) one car. I'll be sad to see it go. We stripped and painted it, lovingly changed it's oil, washed it, filled it with fuel, drove it to shows, beaches and parties. It's been good to us.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Weekend in Pictures...

So this weekend we went to an engagement party in the country, went to the big city to buy Garth a skateboard and me some blush, eyeshadow and sunnies and I started on a 40's blouse. Sadly, my handbag gained a mysterious hole (I'm looking at you, cats.) But, all is not lost, I found one just like it on Etsy. I just have to convince the seller to post it to Australia!

While we were waiting for the skateboard to get set up, we went to Folio Books, which is one of the best bookshops in Brisbane. I was so tempted to buy the Charley Harper or "Etc", Sibella Court's beautiful new book. But...I'm too sensible.Oh, and excuse the profanity, but the "F**k you and your Blog" made me laugh...I was after all, in the store, taking pictures for my blog...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sweat and Cemeteries, Polka Dots and Hailstones...

Garth was in a driving mood today, so I was able to tick off not one, but two cemeteries on my list. For the last three days, we have had 32 degree temperatures. (That's 90 Fahrenheit for you US readers.) It's almost unbearable. For those who haven't experienced it, Australian heat is wet, sticky and not at all conducive to vintage. I do however, have a few day dresses that make the heat manageable. This one was from an op shop in Warwick. ($3, I believe.)It's light pink with dark brown dots. I love it.

For those who have never been to Ipswich, (and I'm guessing that's everyone) it's a small town about half an hour's drive from Brisbane. It's known for delinquent youth, unemployment and old people. Another 5 minute drive out of Ipswich is farmland, mines and not a whole lot else. Except old, falling down graveyards. They're probably one of the only things I'll miss when we move to Melbourne in January. So, before we go, I'm going to tick off every place on my list!

What do you know, now it's hailing.