Changing

handmade green pencil skirt aldi wool top wittner tan maryjane heels

What a year so far! I’m sort of on the road to recovery after a very long and very boring hiatus from sewing.

I wish I could say that there was a good reason that I stopped sewing for all those months, but they’re all the lame, trite excuses of a seasoned procrastinator. Truth is, I had a bit of a sewing block, and watching Netflix in bed with my bebs until the wee hours of the morning seemed way more appealing than dragging out the ol’ sewing machine so I could sit for a few hours in the freezing cold, cramped sewing room. Now that the weather is heating up, so is my sewing machine! The fact that I now have a giant sewing desk in my room somewhat helps too. I have a million vintage patterns, it’s time to get started on them.

Last night, I sewed on the sleeves on my WIP McCall’s 2329 project, which was exciting. AND it now buttons up at the back. Just need to whip up that skirt and I’ll have another me-made dress for the blog! I’m trying to phase my wardrobe into more handmade items, but gosh the lure of AliExpress and eBay is mighty tempting. Especially since AliExpress is having another mega-sale tonight. There goes all my money, oh well.

handmade green pencil skirt aldi wool top wittner tan maryjane heels

You’ve already seen this skirt but I wanted to show it off again, because my new resolution is to make lots of these. They’re comfortable, work-appropriate, versatile, and made-for-me-sized, so no gappy waists and saggy hips. Albeit the hips are slightly tight on this one (or has my butt gotten bigger? Again?). Nevermind, the next one will be better.

How good are these heels? I bought them from a jumble sale because they were barely-worn Wittner heels and my size to boot (ha, not my best shoe-related pun) but they were a kind of weird pale yellow brown sort of colour. A bit of tan shoe polish and some time later, hey presto! Perfect shoes to coordinate with my favorite tan belt.

handmade green pencil skirt aldi wool top

What I’m wearing:

  • Bronze Amber Elephant Necklace – Mum’s, vintage
  • Navy wool top – Aldi (gift from mum but I think it was $25?)
  • Tan Belt – ASOS, free with a dress
  • Green Pencil Skirt – DIY, $1.80
  • Wittner “Jordy” Tan Cutout MaryJane Heels – Jumble Sale, $8

handmade green pencil skirt aldi wool top wittner tan maryjane heels

The Wild West

I haven’t shopped on AliExpress for a good while but man, I am loving this new dress.

There’s like a whole rule about redheads wearing red all over that I have completely smashed and broken, but I’m not feeling any regret about this one yet!

And bug-themed accessories are still relevant here, because, I mean, there were bugs in the wild west, weren’t there??

I bought this dress initially for my dance lessons but as we’re ramping up towards the holidays, I’m finding less time to dance as more of my time is spent sewing and sourcing various different Christmas presents for friends and family. I’ve done most of my Christmas shopping well in advance, but I know of some masochists that enjoy shopping for presents on Christmas Eve (seriously, is that the new test for sociopathy?).

In an effort to conserve my money, I’m also looking to craft a few of my gifts, too! I hope to post tutorials on a couple of them soon enough.

Between all the thrift shopping and making my own clothes, I rarely visit the store anymore, and I feel like the origin of this blog is getting less and less relevant as time goes on. Maybe it’s time for a name change, or a shift in perspective. What do you think?

What I wore:

  • Touch by Alyssa Milano 102 Black Pink Glasses – c/o Clearly
  • Bee Hair PinAliExpress, $2.45 (Comes in a pair, bought during a Black Friday sale)
  • Bee Collar ClipseBay, $1.70
  • Grace Karin Red Cowgirl DressAliExpress, $21 (Again on the same sale. The prices are back up a little, but there’s heaps of other styles and colours to choose from too!)
  • Mollini Tan Heels with Broguing – Salvation Army, $4

Total: $29.15

I have a disturbing lack of accessories with this outfit, and shockingly enough, for once I’m not wearing a belt. But you know what? I think this dress makes a perfect statement on its own.

Golden Afternoon

I love days like these.

It was the perfect day for a picnic, and that’s just what we did! Me and Robert went to the Frew Park opening in Brisbane to hear his friend singing Christmas Carols, and it was awesome. There were free pony rides, ice cream, hot dogs, rock climbing, and bouncy castles (unfortunately with an age limit in place..).

My favorite part? The petting zoo with the barnyard animals. I’ve always got a soft spot for free roaming poultry. I’ll spare you the photos of me going batshit insane over the fluffy little animals.. there were a lot of those taken that day.

What I’ve been waiting a while to show off is my DIYed skirt! I’m super duper proud of this one, and it seems like the more I make them, the better I get. This skirt is different from the others because I was lazy and used a gathering method instead. I will be posting a tutorial on how to make a fluffy gathered skirt very soon, so stay tuned! I love making skirts and I’m really enjoying focusing on an “all kinds of skirts” series right now, but are there any other tutorials you want to see? I picked up a whole stack of vintage patterns recently and I’ll be working my way through those, figuring out how to make pattern-less tutorials for them.. because patterns scare me.

I kind of want to open up a handmade products business and only sell skirts.. look at them, they look so fun! I feel like the only places you can get skirts like these are from Alannah Hill or Review, and they are not cheap at all, but these skirts are so damned easy to make without a pattern. I tried it on with a petticoat from Kitten D’Amour underneath and it looks amazing! (I’ll be going onto AliEpxress and buying them cheaply though.. $60 petticoats, no thanks!)

Bawk, bawk.

I was lucky enough to be taken vintage shopping in the hours leading up to the event and I managed to snag this straw hat for $4. I say I was lucky because I mean.. Look how pale I am. Melanoma central right there. I was pretty ill-prepared for the park in general. I wore heels, like an idiot, and didn’t bring anything to sit on. There were dogs peeing everywhere. I was so scared of sitting down.

What I wore:

  • Vintage Straw Hat – Salvation Army Superstore, $4
  • Alex Perry Glasses – c/o Specsavers
  • Black and Gold Bee Brooch – Lovisa, $3.30 (3 for $10)
  • Black Lace Cami Top – Mum’s
  • Gold Mesh Lorus Watch – Graduation gift (similar here)
  • Black and White Leather Bow Belt – Mascotte, $6
  • Handmade Gathered Skirt – Me!
  • Black Kidskin Leather Heels – Mascotte, $40

Total: $53.30

So my question for you today readers is should I stick with skirt DIYs or branch out? What do you really want to see made on this blog?

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

Repeating that mantra to myself over and over, it’s getting easier and easier to believe in it each time.

Apologies in advance for some of the grainy images, Robert took these shots just after I got home from work and the sun had almost dipped beyond the horizon. These fleeting moments were gathered just before the last light left Brisbane for the day.

If you live in Brisbane, you’ll know all about the devastating thunderstorm that wreaked havoc throughout my city on Thursday night, devastating everything in its path. I have never seen hailstones so big in my entire life, with cricket-ball sized stones pelting the town into submission. Several friends of mine have damaged cars, flooded apartments, and I’m only just coming to terms with my own losses from the storm.

I’m not gonna talk too much about it, but suffice to say that I’ve been very upset about it since Thursday. Everyone’s talk of “Oh you’re safe, that’s all that matters”, as well-intentioned as they were, was truly not comforting at all, and I got quite distressed every time someone blasted off that trite piece of baloney when I told them how upset I was over my loss. Just let me grieve!

I know grieving over material objects is stupid and pointless and possibly even quite vain of me, especially when other people lost so much more, but I can’t help but feel the pain from my own loss too. There being other people in the world who are worse-off than me does not make my pain and suffering any less valid, and I’ve always believed that and tried to explain this to others who felt guilty over being sad about something.

Anyways, we shall not dwell on that for the rest of this post. I had this photoshoot right after work because I wanted to show off the new skirt I made–Considering it’s the first time I’ve ever sewn from a pattern, I think it turned out pretty great! For those curious, I used a heavily modified version of Vogue 5376, with sloping sides, a back vent and additional belt loops. I grabbed the fabric from the remnants bin for a couple of dollars for practice and decided that even though it’s not colour I wear very often, it’s definitely a very wearable piece! It needs a good iron after sitting down for 8 hours, but I still love it.

I’m still desperately trying to cling onto any cool weather that’s left before it gets unbearably hot, so this is probably the last time this year that you’ll see this awesome flag-printed blouse.


What I wore:

  • Collette Dinnigan Glasses – c/o Specsavers
  • Flag-Printed Blouse – eBay, $11.50 (Available on AliExpress for $10)
  • Tan Belt – ASOS, free with a dress
  • Green Pencil Skirt – DIY, $1.80
  • Country Road Tan Leather Heels – eBay Auction, $6

Total: $19.30 – Which is a stupid total because you can only really buy one of the things I’m wearing here currently. Sorry!

Anywho, that’s all from me this week – Keep the people in Brisbane who have lost their homes and cars in your thoughts, and I’ll get back to you soon with another little DIY before you know it!

Working Girl

My mother celebrated the news of my recent employment most, between the both of us, and proudly dubs me her “working girl” now–Forgetting the fact that I’ve been running my own freelance business for a while now.. nothing but an office job counts as work, of course.

For those of you who don’t know–yay, I got a job!

Like mother, like daughter, we were both thrown into the charity sector and found it’s a really great environment to thrive in. Now that I’m working for MS Australia as a digital fundraising coordinator, I really see what all the hype is about. It’s nice working in a truly rewarding environment like this one, fuelled by cheery dispositions and a cause to follow. I’ve only been at work for three days but I’m enjoying it immensely–enough work to prevent me from being bored, enough variety in my work so I can learn new things every day, no underlying office politics or gossiping (was it gossip-y of me to make note of that?), and parking right outside the building (which came in super handy yesterday when Brisbane was overrun by a torrential storm–I only got a little bit drenched when I ran to my car). It’s a working girl’s dream come true!

So with the new job and all, that means there’s good news and bad news for this blog.

The bad news is that a 9-5 job means less opportunity for blogging. Although to be frank and fair, my time-management skills with this blog haven’t been the greatest so far anyways.

The good news is that I’ve taken a radical DIY shift and will be posting up more sewing tips and easy tutorials than ever before as I build myself a bespoke wardrobe, including a DIY project coming up very soon! Won’t that be fun?

(Of course the even better news is that I can keep my current photographer, so you’re going to be seeing more of these lovely shots in my upcoming posts.)

Now a bit about my outfit–I bought this Dolina Petites cobalt pencil skirt ages ago from my local Salvation Army superstore for about $6 and it’s one of the better pencil skirts I own. Unfortunately, with the unprecedented weight loss that followed The Break-Up, it’s slightly too loose around my waist–nothing a belt can’t fix though, right?

The rare cobalt-toned occasions also mean that I get to bust out my Lovisa bee ring–you know I’m a sucker for perfectly coordinated outfits. I pronounce myself Mayor of Matchy-Matchy Town and I don’t care!

What I wore:

  • Touch by Alyssa Milano 102 Black Pink Glasses – c/o Clearly
  • Studded White Sleeveless Blouse – Target, c/o Mission Australia
  • Five Crosses Belt – Colette, $6
  • Gold Mesh Lorus Watch – Graduation gift (buy here)
  • Cobalt, Black & Gold Bee Ring – Lovisa, $3.33
  • Dolina Petite’s Woven Cobalt Pencil Skirt – Salvation Army, $6
  • Black Kidskin Leather Heels – Mascotte, $40

Total: $55.33

Anyways, that’s all for today–Thank-you to everyone who wished me luck with my job-hunting prospects (it clearly paid off) and see you soon!