She’s Got A New Spell

Some of you may be aware that I’ve got a thing for old stuff – which has now been renamed Vintage (where would we be without marketing departments!) I ADORE Vintage, when I eventually take over the world I shall throw all the new crap into a rather large furnace, burn it, and make everyone shop at their local op-shop. I quite simply don’t understand why people buy their drinking glasses from places like Freedom, when they could drink out of delicate etched glass or brightly coloured tumblers. Why Oh Why, do peeps eat from ikea plates when they could fill their cupboards with 1950s florals or the pale pastels of Johnson Bros?

This way of thinking does not extend to my wardrobe. I used to wear “second-hand” way back in the 80s when only a small gang of people were doing it. I very rarely wear it now (although I do have an old Fletcher Jones coral double box-pleated skirt hanging up waiting to be hemmed). I turned away from second hand clothing in England in the 90s when, in a dusty old op-shop in Maldon On Sea, I found a couple of 1960s sewing patterns. Coming from a long line of seamstresses, sewing is in my blood, so I guess it was only natural that I would eventually make my own “vintage” clothing.

Now while I have been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, I DO love the internet. How on earth did we survive without craft blogs and internet shopping? I LOVE that I can pop onto Bendigo Mills website, tick a few boxes and in a week have yarn delivered to my front door. I LOVE that I can read about (and covet) other women’s crafting lives on their blogs. And I LOVE that community has sprung up from a seemingly anti-social activity.  Although I recognise I’m lucky enough to live in a City, when I eventually buy the big old rambling house in the country and have a herb garden and front porch to DIE for, I know my blogging skills will improve ten-fold. As will my shopping.

Which brings me very nicely to the point of today’s post. Vogue Patterns. I’ve been buying my sewing patterns over the internet for a couple of years now. As it’s an American site, they are a season ahead, which means I can start thinking about my spring wardrobe in autumn, as I wait for a package of summer dress patterns to be slotted in my mailbox. Vogue also have the most ridiculous, RIDICULOUS, sales, so I usually end up paying around $7 – $11 for patterns. To celebrate the launch of their fabulous new website, they are having a sale. All patterns are USD$4.05, yes $4.05. You have to be a Club BMV member, but you can get two years membership for USD$25, which means 10% off everything all the time, plus other stuff. With the Oz dollar at 90 cents, now is not just a good time to get membership, but also to get patterns. And get patterns I did. Wanna see?


“Run to the air-raid shelter with you Mr Clooney? Not in these heels.”

“No Mr Clooney, I don’t get this Mad Men malarky either.”

I simply adore the black top with the bright floral, although I’m not sure how practical it is long. I love how “dressed” she is, she looks like she’s got a pearl handle gun in her purse, and she’s going to shoot you, cos she’s working for the KGB, but my word she’s frocked up. As is the gal at the top – look how beautifully she’s styled – I love her hat and gloves, and while I only ever want to wear gloves in the winter, how divine is her hat. We are chronic under-dressers in this country – I went to see Streetcar last year and there were people in jeans, jeans for heaven’s sake. If you are going to sit in the audience of Miss Blanchett, the least you can do is put a frock and heels on. I really just bought V2859 because I’d seen it made up on Sew Tessuti, but looking at the illo of the frock, I think it might just make a lovely summer frock.

I am transfixed by the shoulder detail of this frock. Belville Sasson has always been a little frou-frou for me. But look at that sleeve, I just have to know how to make it!

I love the simplicity of this frock, that all the detail is in the cut of the fabric. I struggle with bias cut skirts, I can never get the hem to sit straight , but I have a feeling this will look divine in navy with white bias around the sleeves, neckline and tie-front.


I’m not 100% on this one, the blouse looks a little ill-fitting across the shoulders. Might be a good one to make a toile of, not that I ever sew up toiles. And there are some fab craft fabrics that this blouse might work in.  The skirt on this has a divine little kicky frill, I just had to have it!

The new website is worth a look-see, not just to buy patterns. One of the new features of the site is more photos of each pattern; importantly how the pattern looks made up. This is essential – sometimes I will pooh-pooh the illo, but when I see it made up it’s fab, or more often, I will fall head over heels with the illo, then hate it made up. Or, as in the case of V1044, it will force you to rethink the pattern. I bought V1044 because I loved the front tucked bodice and cap sleeves, and thought I could extend the bodice and make it into a summer blouse, in a light cotton voile.

But now I look at it and wonder where the hell I am going to purchase shell-pink handkerchief linen!


2 thoughts on “She’s Got A New Spell

  1. Hi Fran
    I love the 50’s style dresses too. Very feminine and flattering. I made one similar to the last picture and I wear it to all events as I don’t go to many, sad I know.
    I did a course at the community college that taught you how to change the sleeves etc on patterns. The teacher was great and she actually does classes at her house where you can take along what you want to make and then she will help. So if you want to get those sleeves she is your lady. If you fancy doing that let me know and i’ll get her number for you.

    Thanks for the laughs, your blog always makes me chuckle.

    See you Sunday


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