Vintage show and tell

I haven’t blogged properly the results of our trip to The Way We Wear fair because the natural light in our house sucks. So I took along my finds to my mum’s house where it has lots of windows so people can see during the day without turning the lights on. Freaky, I know.

First up is this utterly beautiful spool of silk thread.

It is barely enough for a neckline edging but even if I never use it, it will still look beautiful sitting quietly on a studio shelf.

I found two of Madame Weigel’s patterns. I’m fascinated by such a strong reminder of the roaring rag trade in Melbourne (well, it roared until the 1950s). A brief bio of Johanne Weigel and her family appears here, courtesy of Shirley Joy and the Brighton Cemetorians (thanks to a post by Shula for the tip off).

I particularly love this next one because it may be very nearly my size. The design of the bust shaping is so sleek – shoulder pleats to fullness, nipped back in with three little darts on each side.

Next, two editions of ‘Marion’ a quarterly (?) pattern catalogue from a Dutch patternmaker. The first is 1968 and the second 1970, giving a really good sense of the fashion shift from the 1960s to the 1970s. Each edition carried a few free patterns and these are still with the catalogues. I think you’ll see why I’d prefer to draft my own pattern and it has nothing to do with not knowing Dutch.

Finally, Stitchcraft No. 242 (maybe the late 1950s) with a hint of batwing, berets and bonnets. There is also a stocking cap with contrasting bobbles but I didn’t want to scare people.


Hot and Not

I was wavering on doing one this week and then I read sooz’s blog. Her creative partnership announcement is just so hot, it has to take top billing.

The rain on the weekend (see here) is also pretty damn good. If nothing else, it may help my kids get over their inordinate fear of catastrophic weather events like rain. Or clouds. I was briefly woken on Sunday morning by the lass asking, ‘I saw a big puddle outside. Will there be a flood?’.

The lass and I had huge amounts of fun at ‘The Way We Wear‘ fair at Williamstown Town Hall. I scored two vintage sewing patterns from ‘Madame Weigel’ who was based in Lennox St, Richmond (here in Melbourne). They’re both 50s dresses and one of the comes in my bust size which is so nice. I picked up two copies of a Dutch sewing magazine ‘Marion’ which I think was a promotional booklet for their season’s sewing patterns. They also included patterns for three of the styles in each issue. I’ll have to do a separate post to do this outing justice, especially the lass’ growing appreciation for vintage fashion and the fact that she scored Dorothy shoes in her size within five minutes of entering the hall.

The not hot stuff is rather little: my little toe which I re-broke two weeks ago. An x-ray this morning seems to show the toe and some bones around it look rather ‘interesting’. I don’t think ‘x-ray’ and ‘interesting’ used together in the same sentence bodes well.

Rainy Day

I can’t tell you how much I loved this on Sunday:

Fabulous, no?

So much so, that the kids wanted to play outside in the rain and puddles. Excellent!

BUT – all the winter gear is packed away, ready for moving. What to do?

Send them outside in their pyjamas and gumboots and run the hot bath. Worked a treat.

Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy

Did anyone else read those Le Carre novels? At the time I wasn’t quite sure what a tinker was – I read these as a teenager – but I did imagine something like this:

In this matter, I am completely outnumbered by the rest of the family. Take apart a theoretical model? No problem. Take apart a piece of machinery? Where’s the sledgehammer?

Looking out


There’s something so serene about eucalyptus buds. I love that these appear just outside our front door.

Adelaide photos

I particularly enjoyed the jacaranda up and down the streets of Adelaide.

Glenelg was such a relief with its cooling breeze and jetty.

But I did wonder where all the people were….until I looked underneath.

What’s hot, what’s not (Adelaide edition)

Greetings from swelteringly hot Adelaide. It’s the first time I’ve ever been in Adelaide and I chose the middle of it’s very first November heatwave to arrive. For the three days of my visit temperatures have been 39C. Criss-crossing a university campus at the foot of the Adelaide Hills is not the best thing to do in such weather. It’s a little disheartening when even the outdoorsy viticulture types regard it as too hot.

What’s hot:

  • Adelaide, obviously.
  • Glenelg beach – six degrees cooler and with a lovely sea breeze.
  • Connies on trams – had a great little chat with the first conductor I’ve seen in over a decade. Apparently every Melburnian (bar one) waxes lyrical about seeing a connie.

What’s not:

  • Power blackout for four hours on the first day. All the interviews went ahead but at least one was conducted with the sound of a number of freezers complaining they were getting too warm.
  • Losing my glasses. It’s even worse than losing my religion.
  • Being away, for the first time ever, for the Bloke’s birthday. I was there on loudspeaker while the cake was lit and Happy Birthday sung. I only joined in on the ‘hooray’ bits because I was in a restaurant at the time.

Photos coming later!