Saturday, 29 September 2012

Hello Dolly

My friend is downsizing her vast collection of books, and kindly offered me some of her wonderful dressmaking and vintage fashion book collection. While I was at her house drooling, she showed me a doll her mother had given her, complete with a mind-boggling wardrobe of fifties dresses, and a lace wedding dress. I can't believe it, but she has offered to give her to me! I nearly screamed just now when she rang me up. Stay tuned for some photos next week. She also gave me a cabinet for my cotton reel collection!
Violet XXX

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Melbourne- does the love affair continue?

I did leave a piece of my heart in Melbourne, but I'm not emigrating just yet.
I brought back some fabulous DVDs of the TV series based on the Phryne Fisher murder mysteries (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries). They are set in Melbourne in the 1920s and are sort of a feminist version of Midsomer Murders, only with far better clothes. My friends are all lining up to borrow them when I've finished watching them, because they're not available in NZ yet.

Here are some books I am currently reading - all highly recommended :
100 years of fashion by Cally Blackman has got the most amazing photos - from glamourous gowns to dungarees and everything in between.
Knitting: fashion, industry, craft by Sandy Black.

African costumes and textiles from the Berbers to the Zulus.
Home sewn, by the New Zealand Fashion Museum. This includes a short introduction on the history of home dressmaking, interviews with ten fashion designers, and ten patterns to make.
 My favourite photo from the book, because of the lovely spotted fabric.
Schiaparelli & Prada : impossible conversations.
Sew serendipity, by Kay Whitt.
1950s fashion print by Marnie Fogg.
Vintage jewellery by Caroline Cox.
Radical lace & subversive knitting by the Museum of Arts & Design.
Books glorious books.
Violet XXX

Monday, 17 September 2012

Melbourne part 4, now with more retro fashion.

Here are some more retro items I hoovered up on my recent Melbourne holiday:
My new apron, because I am a domestic goddess (not)
Purple chiffon top with lacy yoke, and blue circular skirt with deep yoke
Purple lacy cardigan and apple green linen skirt
Flowered chiffon dress with 3-tiered skirt
Punk Mona Lisa t-shirt
Black embroidered top and sequined circle skirt
Lesser pink spotted chiffon top
Brown jacket with Peter pan collar, tan stripes and delectable Hong Kong seams.
A psychedelic zebra!
Brocade top, which is so badly made it is unravelling already
Divine green and blue silk brocade coat with wide revere collar (buttonholes required major surgery)
Black crinkly chiffon shirt with white art deco print and bell sleeves
Black knit off-the-shoulder cowl neck top
Woolen Victorian bowling nana cardigan
Ta-ta for now,

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Melbourne part 3, with Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris

When in Melbourne, it is compulsory to go and see a musical show (or so my workmates tell me). I'm not really into "Annie", which has probably been running for decades, so I decided to go to Grievous Angel, which was a Gram Parsons tribute show. I managed to score a half-price ticket, due to my canny Scots heritage. More about the show later - first here are some random shots of Sydney Road:


Melbourne cycle lanes are scary.

I had a bit of time to kill before the show so I popped into Pellegrini's on the recommendation of a friend who grew up in Melbourne. It's an old-school Italian restauraunt and hasn't changed in years. Unfortunately there was some sort of photo shoot going on, and I felt like a spare wheel, so I didn't stay.

The show was at the Athenaeum Theatre which is a gorgeous theatre next to the town hall.
This photo was in the foyer - love the uniforms. What I also loved were the outfits of some people in the audience - one woman had a onesie covered in multicoloured polkadots and her friend had tights with technicolour hearts. Both sported ugg boots and berets. I was too chicken to ask for a photo! You can tell I'm new to this blogging lark.
I enjoyed the Gram Parsons show and even bought a CD - I am a huge Gram fan so wasn't expecting much to be honest but was pleasantly surprised. The only thing which let the production down was "Emmylou's" costume, it wasn't of the right period.
I don't know what it is about Melbourne, but a lot of people seem to dodge the fares on trams. It's not as if they are expensive, compared to my home town anyway.
The next day I went to Shepparton - more pix coming soon.
Violet XXX.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Melbourne part 2.

The population of Melbourne is larger than lil' ol' New Zealand, so it should be no surprise that they have some great op shops. Here are some of my holiday souvenirs:
A flowery chiffon blouse with a painterly effect and a knit skirt.

An eighties dress in the twenties revival style, with a dropped waist and pleated skirt.
It's a lovely flowered and spotted crepe.
A casual shirt-dress with a geometric pattern.
The motifs vaguely remind me of seashells.
And vertical stripes are quite flattering.
I took the photos today - a warm blustery spring day.
It was fun trying to stop the skirts billowing out all over the place.
I needed weights in the hems like Her Maj.
I love the brick wall in the background - my house is over a hundred years old.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Mad dash to Melbourne day 1

Recently I enjoyed a few days in Melbourne and further up the line. It was amazing and next time I will definitely go for twice as long.
My main aims were to hit the opshops and to visit some close family members I haven't seen for over a year.
The less said about the plane trip there, the better. All I will mention are the words Christchurch, stopover, rain, earthquake and depressing.
In Melbourne I checked into a small but perfectly formed studio apartment near Queen Victoria Markets. The next morning I braved the rain and explored. I found a striking angel sculpture:

And lots of real fruit and veg:

I am in love with Melbourne architecture, from the old to the new. Here is a lovely old painted sign in the foreground, with a geometric masterpiece behind it:
Then I took the classic tourist shot of the Shot Tower (pun intended):
I took the tram out to Brunswick, which has a large Savers shop. I was surprised at how high the prices were, so I only bought a couple of things, then walked around marvelling at the shops full of bridal and formal wear and hideous gold jewellery. I loved hearing Italian spoken by the op shop ladies, and Mauricio in the pizza place I went to for lunch. Nearby were these moustachioed windows:
Stay tuned for more Melbourne adventures.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Welcome to my humble abode

I have been following lots of vintage clothing and sewing blogs (see below) for a few months, and shamelessly picking up ideas for my own blog. Sorry about the lack of photos, they are yet to come, but the blog's the thing, and when I lick it into shape it'll be a good thing.
I will be posting about my op shop finds, things I have made with my hands, some movies I like, random thoughts, travels, and maybe some books I have read.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

Today I saw Moonrise Kingdom. I suppose Wes Anderson is one of those directors you either get or you don't. I think it's his best movie yet - visually amazing, full of nostalgia, gently funny and emotionally devastating. The music is great, especially Benjamin Britten and Hank Williams. The love story was almost believable (call me an old cynic). His films are can border on the twee, but he manages to pull it off. Tilda Swinton as "Social Services" was fabulous in her sculptural blue costume, and Frances McDormand wore some great sixties dresses. Harvey Keitel stole every scene he was in.
It's interesting how many film-makers use children as protagonists. It's not a children's movie but I think young adults, as well as my generation who grew up in the sixties, will love it. My favourite line? "Our daughter has been abducted by those beige lunatics."

Wes Anderson is building up an impressive body of work. I've seen all his films except Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is next on my list.